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Alison Monahan

Alison\'s Legal Careers Blog

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Is Opening a Solo Law Practice Right for You?

Tuesday May 27, 2014

For any number of reasons -- from work-life balance to a desire for autonomy or an interest in running a business -- new and old attorneys alike often consider opening a solo law practice.

Could solo practice be right for you?

Check out Pros and Cons of Solo Practice for ideas!

Starting law school soon? 6 tips for career success

Tuesday May 27, 2014

If you're starting law school soon, you're probably worried about getting good grades, fitting in, finding a great coffee shop to study in, and so on.

But how much thought have you given to your future career plans?

Probably not enough! Check out 6 Useful Career Tips for Incoming 1Ls and set yourself up for the legal job you want!

Unemployed Law Grad? 5 Tips for Using the Summer Productively

Tuesday May 27, 2014

If you just graduated from law school, congratulations!

However, the reality is that many recent law grads haven't yet found employment...which can be disappointing.

If you're a recent law grad without a job, check out 5 Tips for Unemployed Law Grads for suggestions on using this summer productively.

Good luck!

Maximizing Your Chances of a BigLaw Offer

Friday May 16, 2014

As 2Ls start their BigLaw summer associate jobs, many are worried about whether they'll get a permanent offer at the end of the summer.

Here are some posts that might help!

And, if you're interviewing soon, check out: Which BigLaw Summer Associate Offer Should You Accept?

How to Get a BigLaw Job

Wednesday April 30, 2014

Getting a BigLaw job is a common ambition among law students, and it's getting harder all the time! That's why we're excited to launch a new series on getting a BigLaw job.

Check out the first four articles below:

And stay tuned for more to come!

Looking for a Law Job? Some Tips!

Monday April 28, 2014

As the school year wraps up, law students are (understandably) flipping out about finding jobs. If you're a 1L or 2L without a summer job, well, that's becoming a problem. And, of course, not-yet-employed 3Ls are feeling the pressure to have a response for "What are you doing after you graduate?"

It's no secret that the legal job market is still weak. But there are jobs out there! And it's not just about your grade, either. Work experience plays a big role in a tough economy, as discussed here: Law School Grades or Work Experience - What Matters More?

Finally, if you're looking for a job, be sure you're bringing in all the help you can get. Naturally you want your close friends and family to help, but don't forget about "weak ties." Those can really help expand your reach! You might find this recent article helpful: Want a Legal Job? 4 Tips for Getting People to Help You.

And, once you have the job, remember this piece of advice I receive unwillingly: Want Legal Career Success? Make Your Boss Look Good!

Good luck!

Is Your Job Application Telling the Right Story?

Wednesday April 23, 2014

I help lots of law students with their job application materials, and there's a common problem I see over and over again:

  • The story they're telling just isn't very compelling.

In many cases, "the story" is all about the applicant -- NOT about what the applicant can do for the employer.

In some cases, "the story" just doesn't make sense. (Why are you applying for a public interest job when all of your work experience is in finance, or vice versa?)

If you're hunting for a legal job, take a minute to really think about what story you're telling.

This post might help: How to Craft a Compelling Narrative for Your Legal Job Hunt.

Legal Career Content from Around the Web

Friday April 18, 2014
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="127" caption="Stone/Miguel Navarro/Getty Images"]Legal Careeer Links from the Web[/caption]

Each week, I come across tons of great legal career content on the web, which I think you might enjoy.

Here are a few useful links from the week of April 18th:

Enjoy! Have a great weekend.

Greetings from NALP 2014!

Friday April 11, 2014

In the world of legal careers, there's no organization more wide-reaching than NALP, the National Association of Legal Professionals. I'm here at the NALP Annual Education conference in Seattle, with thousands of legal recruiters, law school career services folks, law firm recruiting and associate development coordinators, and a variety of vendors offering everything from moving services to residency-style matching for law firms and law students. To call it overwhelming is an understatement!

If you'd like to follow along, you can follow the #NALP14 hashtag on Twitter. There's lots of great info there, and you'll encounter many fantastic people you might want to follow going forward.

For fun, here's a photo of me and my business partner, just before our presentation on Mentoring and Empowering Law Student Entrepreneurs.

Alison Monahan and Lee Burgess presenting at NALP 2014.

We were excited to see so many innovative law school representatives in the room! Stay tuned for profiles of some interesting programs that are starting around the country to help law students launch their legal careers in an entrepreneurial manner. From startup incubators to social enterprise, there's a ton of cool stuff going on in law schools today, all of which is direly needed.

Have you heard about innovative law school programs? Drop a note in the comments!

3 Law School Trends That May Surprise You

Wednesday June 12, 2013

A steady drop in law school applications indicates that many would-be law students are choosing to forgo an expensive legal education in favor of another career path.

As law schools adapt to a changing market, they are devising new and innovative approaches to legal education in an attempt to recruit students and stay on top of the wave of reform sweeping the nation's law schools.  Some of these changes may surprise you.

Below are a few recent trends in law school education:

1. Sample Classes - Not sure if law school is right for you? William & Mary has announced a new program in which non-lawyers can get a taste of law school life through online learning and a three-day on-campus program. This innovative "try before you buy" program is designed to help students decide if they want to attend law school before they commit to incurring large student loan debt.

2. Shortened Programs - Accelerated law school programs have been around a few years but more law schools are joining the ranks of legal institutions offering an alternative to the traditional three-year curriculum. Most recently, Cooley Law School announced a new "three-year plus" program that will shorten the path to a law degree by allowing students to take law school courses in their final year of college. According to the school, "Participating students will save a full year of tuition, room, board and books, and this will make law school more accessible and more affordable." Stetson University College of Law recently unveiled a similar program.

3. Tuition Freezes - Sharp declines in law school enrollment have prompted some law schools to freeze tuition in order to make law school more affordable. The University of Akron Law School, Barry University Law School and UMass School of Law are three schools that have announced tuition freezes for the upcoming school year.

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