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Blog posts of '2014' 'September'

25-34 Year Olds Lawyers are Included in a Lost Generation

Serious economic burdens face the “Lost Generation” of young lawyers aged 25-34, which came of age during a prolonged financial crisis.  The burdens and hurdles faced by these 25-34 year olds maybe higher than any since the 1930s. 

This crisis has extracted a heavy toll on young lawyers included in the Lost Generation.  As noted in the Wall Street Journal, this Generation faces “difficult job prospects, little-to-no-income growth and a historically unprecedented level of student loan, their finances are in a more precarious state than those of prior generations.”  See WSJ, 6/10/14 page C8. 

The Lost Generation of attorneys did not choose to graduate from law school or start their careers during the Great Recession.  Nevertheless, these lawyers have had to struggle through.

Gone are the days of extensive legal training offered by existing law firms.  Jobs are available for trained attorneys, but who trains the novice out of law school or young associate who wants to change substantive arears?  Now, lawyers must seek qualified training on their own or though boot camps--- or risk perishing.  Boot camps have sprung up around the country to satisfy that need.  Bar associations offer 3-hour seminars that are summary sessions. 

However, an intensive boot camp in a substantive area is what young lawyers really need to succeed.  A bankruptcy boot camp is the ideal place for those attorneys who want to learn a marketable legal skill.

-Attorney Robert Schaller

Lawyers Who Aren't Practicing Law

A survey of lawyers who passed the bar in 2000 revealed a decline in the percentage of lawyers practicing law and major differences in pay based on gender, law school ranking and grades.  The survey results were presented at a research seminar sponsored by the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation at the ABA Midyear Meeting in February 2014.  See ABA Journal.com post by Debra Cassens Weiss, 2/8/2014.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of the surveyed lawyers admitted they were not practicing law in 2012, compared to about nine percent (9%) who were not practicing in 2003.  Stated differently, 15% of the lawyers quit the practice of law over the last twelve years.  The study showed a movement from private practice law jobs to business.

The careers with the highest percentage of nonpracticing lawyers were the nonprofit and education sector, where about 75% were not practicing.  Next, lawyers found nonpracticing careers within the federal government, where nearly 26% were not practicing law.

Why did these lawyers leave the practice of law?  Were the careers of these lawyers floundering because of poor legal training in a particular substantive area? Inability to attract clients? Failure to specialize in a particular field?  Failure to acquire a mentor?  

-Attorney Robert Schaller

Bankruptcy Lawyers Need to Become Better Salesmen

Crain's Chicago Business reported that law firms are turning to non-lawyers for sales help.  See writer Steven R. Strahler, CCB online, 2/22/14.  Mr. Strahler stated that Baker & McKenzie LLP hired non-lawyer Gregory Fleischmann from Deloitte LLP to be Baker's director of global marketing in its Chicago office.

Some law firms are hiring outside marketing/sales firms to train lawyers to sell.  Through history, lawyers relied on themselves or other lawyers within their firms to conduct business development.  Now times are changing.

The same is true among bankruptcy lawyers, especially young lawyers.  Bankruptcy lawyers need to learn their craft and market themselves effectively.  This does not come naturally for most lawyers, since most lawyers would say they did not go to law school to become salesmen.  The truth is self-evident:  bankruptcy lawyers need to learn marketing and sales to attract the clients these lawyers wish to serve.

-Attorney Robert Schaller