6 Benefits Of Working As A Contract Attorney

Let’s be completely honest: Even if you have a law degree from a top law school or have recently begun studying for the bar exam or even passed it, you may not have your entire career mapped out — and even if you do, you know what they say about best laid plans of mice and men. You may have a general idea of what you would like to do, but like many legal professionals, you may have a strong desire to make a career change after practicing for several years.

The good news is the escape hatch from Biglaw is always nearby. If you decide the high salaries and prestige are not enough to offset the burnout of 70+ hour weeks and 4 a.m. calls from the partner who never sleeps, there exist several options for you. Up until now, the most popular one has been to go in-house. The work is on average, less taxing — at least in terms of hours — and more flexible. One option that is becoming more and more popular is to work as a contract attorney so that you can have more flexible hours and more control over your life. The beauty of contract positions are that they leave your options open. After a few years, you may decide that you want to work full-time again and start working as a Compliance Officer at a Fortune 500 company. There are also cases where we place contact attorneys permanently at Biglaw firms when they express the desire to start working full time again. While Biglaw was once thought of as inflexible — you walked a narrow ledge for eight years until you either careened off into the unknown or made partner has become more and more flexible. The safety netting of contract work, fueled by law firm’s desire to staff efficiently, is serving as both a livelihood and a way station for attorneys in transit.

A contract attorney is an attorney who works on legal cases on an as-needed or temporary basis. The contract can be for a few days, weeks or even a […]

Do We Still Need OCI?

(Image via Getty) With the “Fall” Recruiting Cycle having come to an almost complete close, the legal recruiting world has hit a bit of a lull in the schedule. Those of us in Career Services have likely shifted to working with 1Ls, and even that is not particularly intense at this moment as that cohort gears up for their first taste of law school final exams — the notable exception being my peers who work with international LL.M.s, who are likely awash in résumés as the deadlines for LL.M. job fairs are either rapidly approaching or have just passed, depending on which job fair is at issue and how long it takes me to write this column. On the legal employer side, with much of the Biglaw 2020 2L summer associate class locked in, one might be hard-pressed to find a Carribean beach without at least one legal recruiting professional having drinks with little umbrellas brought to them.

Without the same sort of day-to-day stressors prevalent in the late summer and early fall, this quieter period allows those of us in legal recruiting to be a bit more contemplative about bigger issues and more fundamental matters in this little slice of the legal profession. Such big-picture thinking has only been amplified this year as we all live through the first iteration of the post-NALP Guidelines era. One such macro question I have heard bandied about recently is whether On-Campus Interviews (OCI) still serve a purpose in 2019.

On its face, such an inquiry is borderline sacrilegious. It is quite likely that many of those reading this column obtained their current position through OCI, or at the very least got their first job out of law school via the structured interview process. Indeed, for many law students, especially those at the nation’s top law schools, going through OCI is an exhausting rite of passage.

From a historical perspective — strangely, actual histories of OCI and how it came to be an integral part of the legal recruitment process are seemingly nonexistent online, so if anyone is looking for a remarkably niche law journal/NALP […]

The Future Of Legal Research: An In-Depth Look At Lexis Advance

LexisNexis has long been one of the top names when it comes to legal research. The Lexis you may remember from your law school days, however, is not the same Lexis that’s changing the legal research game today.

We sat down with Paul Speca, VP of the Large Law and Law School Market at LexisNexis, to discuss Lexis Advance , the sophisticated platform that’s revolutionizing legal research through AI technology, analytics, and visualization, and how it’s making waves with the next generation of lawyers.

How is Lexis Advance different from the Lexis that many attorneys may have been familiar with in the past?

Lexis is a very different company than it was when today’s practicing associates experienced it in law school. The change was a result of the $1.2 billion investment we made to reinvent the core platform and develop LexisAdvance. We invested in the platform, we invested in preparing students to practice law, and we invested in buying or building emerging technologies. It was an ambitious endeavor, because we needed both a new platform and new content systems to feed that platform in order to enable us to do new things with content and big data that we couldn’t do before, like analytics and visualization. In the end, we were able to bring all our products together to work as one integrated product, all accessible through Lexis Advance.

What were some of those emerging technology investments you just mentioned?

We focused on acquiring technologies that would allow us to really exploit the capabilities of the data in our new platform. We acquired Ravel Law , known for its case law visualizations, Lex Machina , known for legal analytics, and Intelligize , known for finding legal precedent. We also very recently formed a joint venture with Knowable , a leader in contract analytics. At the same time, we built out some impressive new features, such as our Context product, which focuses on legal language analytics, and Search Terms Maps , which use visualization to enhance case search queries.

What are some of the key features of Lexis Advance that are […]

Fill up on Legal Podcasts

Turkey isn’t the only thing you’re going to want to load up on this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re in a food coma or driving to grandma’s house, Legal Talk Network has the perfect legal podcasts to keep you educated and entertained this holiday season. If you’re looking for tips on handling stress in the profession, tune in for candid conversations about addiction and stress. Or if you’re interested in different kinds of system reform, tune in to hear about the experiences of lawyers fighting for death row and criminal justice reform. Or if you’re curious about current events, catch the funny and thoughtful takes of other legal professionals as they share their two cents. So while you sweat over the oven, pull up Legal Talk Network on your favorite podcast app and enjoy informational and engaging legal content designed with the busy lawyer in mind.

Criminal justice reform advocate and 2019 Clio Cloud Conference keynote speaker Shaka Senghor shares his personal story of redemption along with his experience with gun violence trauma and how legal professionals can shift their perspectives on justice reform. Todd Herman talks about his book, The Alter Ego Effect , in which he explains what the “alter ego effect” is, how to use an alter ego to overcome your biggest challenges, and whether you can still be authentic while you are pretending to be someone else.

Hear the personal stories behind the death penalty in America. Andrea Lyon, dubbed “The Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, shares about the challenges of advocating for justice for death row inmates and why she maintains her belief in the power of redemption.

Jeffrey T. Frederick dives into his new book, Mastering Voir Dire and Jury Selection, Fourth Edition: Gain an Edge in Questioning and Selecting Your Jury , which expands on ways to ask the right questions that will uncover needed information.

What does it take to become data literate and data competent as a lawyer? LexisNexis CPO Jeff Pfeifer discusses the various tools and training that help lawyers gain deeper insights into the data they use on a daily basis […]

Truck driver turned law student dumbs down driving regulation laws in new book

A big rig truck brought Ashley Baker to law school.

Not literally, although the third-year student at Southern University’s Law Center could have wheeled onto campus in one.

After driving a commercial truck for nine years, the Stone Mountain, Georgia, native decided to become an attorney.

And now that background and her schooling have turned Baker into an author.

In her new book, “The Art of Commercial Trucking: Hours of Service,” Baker uses her firsthand knowledge of both trucking and the law to explain these important regulations.

“Laws are written so only lawyers can understand them,” said Baker, 33. “I explain the hours of service rules so drivers can understand them.”

The regulations, established by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, address issues such as how long a driver can stay behind the wheel, the number of breaks required and other technicalities.

Each chapter of the book deals with a specific regulation and offers a scenario to further explain it; the answers are in the back of the book.

“It shows when the rules are needed, and the real-life situations where they apply in easy-to-understand language,” said Baker. “Hopefully, it helps new drivers feel more secure in their new career and helps seasoned drivers become safer and more efficient.”Baker had to learn the regulations to get her license to drive for C.R. England, one of the nation’s oldest trucking and transportation firms.Why trucking?“I needed a job … and I wanted to get out of my momma’s house,” Baker said with a laugh.“I honestly didn’t know if I could do it,” she added. “It was rough. The first time driving the truck I couldn’t get it to stay on. There were many times I wanted to quit.”But she didn’t and spent nine years crisscrossing the United States.“It was a little scary at times,” said Baker, who, after she graduates next spring, plans on becoming a personal injury defense attorney, representing maritime, rail and transportation clients. “I slept in the truck, ate truck-stop food and made trucker friends along the way.”She traveled to almost every state, falling in love with the West Coast.“Really anywhere in […]

Interview with Harry Clark, future trainee at Baker McKenzie

Article by Zainab Hassan

Harry Clark is a future trainee solicitor at Baker McKenzie, due to start his training contract in September 2020. While studying the LLB, Harry undertook various work experience and extra-curricular activities, which boosted his applications and helped him secure his training contract during his undergraduate degree. He will be commencing the LPC in January 2020.

Harry has found great satisfaction in mentoring during his time at university and now that he is focusing on his blog, more students have been able to reach out to him.

In today’s interview, Harry shares great tips for those who are still choosing which types of firms to apply to and what can make you stand out in your applications.

Hi Harry, please share with us what the current stage of your career is?

I recently graduated from the University of York in August having studied law there for 3 years. Whilst at university, I was fortunate enough to receive a training contract offer with Baker McKenzie (London) for September 2020, meaning I would commence the Commercial LLM/LPC in January 2020 at BPP Holborn.

As a result, I’ve had the rest of the year post-graduation to spend freely before starting law school next year. I went travelling for a month in Vietnam, worked some part-time jobs to generate some income and (most excitedly) launched my law blog through my renewed efforts at LinkedIn!

What experiences or advice helped you choose which type of law you wanted to enter?

My first legal work experience was at a high street family law firm when I was around 16. It really helped me learn more about what a lawyer actually did day-to-day – working with clients, drafting and amending paperwork, etc. – as I’d never studied law prior to university. Whilst I really enjoyed it, I felt that another area of law that could provide a context to my work beyond the local area would be much more appealing to me. The week after, I did another week of work experience at a corporate firm which specialised in shipping. I found the transactional, outcome-focused approach to […]

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