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How to Look for a New Attorney Job While Keeping the One You Have
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How to Look for a New Attorney Job While Keeping the One You Have

Many people say looking for work is a full-time job.

Success requires mastering multiple matters – doing more than one task at a time, and doing them all well.


In good times and lean times, a sound set of lawyer’s skills incorporates an affinity for project management. Thus, making the time for a quality job search need not, should not, and cannot distract you or detract from the job you are being paid to do.

I’m also not one to subscribe to the common “wisdom” that you need a job to get a job (proven by those fired throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s who recovered well and found good jobs). However, assuming you do have a job, it’s only right that you serve your clients well, retain the good will of your workplace, and earn the money you’re making by doing a good job in return – even if you have one foot out the door and a resume on the street.

How do you do that?

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  • Commit to sustaining your energy for your work and your search.
  • Prioritize activities in both your work and your search, and focus on shifting gears smoothly between the two.
  • Identify assignments in your current workplace that you’d still really like to garner in order to enhance your base of experience, and reach out affirmatively to get those assignments.
  • Recognize that, for the short run, you’re going to be busier than you might like, but the extra effort is an investment that will pay off in the long run.
  • Realize that having good work currently is a plus (not a prerequisite, but a plus) that you can use to your advantage in an interview.
  • Remember that your current employer may well be serving as a reference – if not this time around, then perhaps in a future job search, when it has become a prior employer – and that it is critical (as well as ethical) that you do the job well while you have it.

You may need to be creative about fitting your job search into your otherwise busy day, but lawyering and life require creativity. And the good news is that the dual reward will be yours.


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