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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Monday, October 31, 2005

Once upon a time there was a lawyer...

Good career related piece in the October 28, 2005 Chicago Law Bulletin. The author is a chief career development officer at a Chicago law firm...interesting job title. We all need a chief career development officer, right?

She raises some good questions that a person needs to be asking upon considering a law firm position. For example:

*What access will I have to supervisory feedback and mentoring?
*What degree of work-life balance am I seeking?
*What type of clients do I want to serve now and into the future?
*What commitment has the firm made to the professional advancement of its attorneys?

She lists 15 questions to ask in the article. I started my practice because I didn't believe that the law firms that I previously worked for were really committed to my professional advancement. Further, I felt that the insular nature of many law firms really didn't allow for much mentoring or supervisory feedback at all. Now I feel like I'm free to network to my hearts desire with various lawyers and really help one another out.

New office...back to blogging

Okay so we only moved some eight blocks but it's a factor and it slowed down our blogging to a crawl. We are now officially moved into the executive suite at 125 South Wacker Drive...two or three observations:

First, there's an additional 30 minutes of time in my day for legal work since we're so much closer to the Metra stations now.

Second, I'm beginning to be able to take clerical work off my plate to a greater and greater degree. Part of the executive suite is ready access to clerical staff. So faxing, dictation and full phone services are now supporting our office more effectively.

Third, the additional offices are beginning to pay off already. We've already had two new client meetings in Schaumburg. It's a very convenient location just off of I-90 at Roselle Road. My mindset from day one in starting this firm has been to at least look BIG even if we are relatively small for starters. Have three nice office locations throughout the Chicago Area definately adds to our appearing BIG!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another reason to start a firm

Good article from September's American Lawyer magazine regarding three African-American woman who all quit big firm life within their first five years to found their own firm...Ghatt Law Group. Their story tends to focus on the white male culture of larger law firms and the article points out that nearly three-quarters of minority woman associates leave their firms in the first five years. Additionally they say that "big-firm life was marked by a dearth of mentors and social networks."

Why do young lawyers want to work in large firms? The evidence seems to support the position that it's not a long-term gain...so are lawyers that short-sighted that they're only looking at those initial paychecks at the expense of long-term career development and wealth?