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Maybe It Is Time to Rethink Your Strategy and Career Goals

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With campus recruitment rates shrinking even at Harvard and New York Universities, and with the highest grossing U.S. law firms having almost halved summer recruitment, the market trend is pretty obvious and it's time to shift those goal posts.

Click Here to Find Law Student Jobs on LawCrossing

According to a September article in Bloomberg by Cynthia Cotts, the executive director of the Association for Legal Career Professionals, James Leipold thinks that the job crunch is going to extend to 2011 as well. Leipold has gone on record saying ''We expect to see more students taking non-legal jobs in industry...We expect to see more students taking jobs at small and medium-sized law firms or launching solo practices right out of law school.''

Know what, that sounds wonderful to me. Even with heavy education loans riding on your back, and God only knows how many obligations to pay off, still I know, you will survive, and find the way to beat the economy crunch. And I am sure in the process, you will find a better life and a better chance to actualize your innate abilities.

Usually the up-or-out mentality of big law firms, and being recruited by law firms being projected as the ultimate goal of students, it was both the student and the country who stood to lose most. Brilliant students diving straight into firms and letting their lives get dictated by demands of the firm created cripples who were specialized in their stuff but were next to blind about most aspects of law. A small town independent practitioner usually has a greater holistic idea of the system and the roles that lawyers play in the system of this country. It is not all about the hourly bills: your career choice decides the quality of justice in this country, and the survival of your humanity.

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In 2007, I remember, it was internees and law students who, in effect, were being sought after, and they were actively seeking more work-life balance than money. In 2009, the picture has changed entirely, and forget work-life balance, getting recruited by big law firms is hardly a possibility. Thanks to the economy, I hope some of you would be joining the middle level law firms, spread a bit of better quality around the country and where it is needed, and in the process get the work-life balance that every lawyer should have.

The situation is bad only for him/her whose life and career begins and ends with getting recruited by the top most law firms in the country. However, the situation is tolerable enough for those who are ready to join middle-level or small law firms, or get enrolled in the bar and try to start their own practice. It is my personal opinion, which is not universally applicable, that a few years of litigation and exposure in small courts can work wonders in the life of a lawyer who later becomes a specialist. So, this might just be your opportunity to learn about life and courts from the angle of small firms and help them, for they serve the masses. The experience will stand you in good stead in the coming years, and if it had not been for the crunch in economy, may be you would never have had this chance to see the legal world from where it really matters.

So cheer up, there are enough small and middle-level law firms to look for who need just people like you to realize their dreams. Help them to realize their dreams, and you wouldn't even know when your own dreams start getting fulfilled. Just search the data at and you'd know that there is no question of going jobless just because the economy is in a crunch.

Click Here to View the 2015 LawCrossing Salary Survey of Lawyer Salaries in the Best Law Firms

About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

Featured Testimonials

I got a job through LawCrossing. What more can I say? LawCrossing is the best!


LawCrossing Fact #31: LawCrossing features a variety of jobs, from internships to entry-level jobs to executive positions.


Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

Let's Do It!

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.
About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

Success Stories

LawCrossing has the most listings of any job board I have used. It's actually a great site. The website had a lot of detail. It’s nice that you don't have to go through a recruiter if you don't want to. You can actually contact the law firm directly for the positions listed. LawCrossing had a ton of great features.
  • Brian McMillan San Francisco, CA