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Tag Archives: Career

Coach’s Corner: Finder, grinder or minder – what type of lawyer are you?

For law firms to be successful they must be more than a collection of single practitioners. Success in the law, like success at sports, is a team effort - if the team isn't firing on all cylinders, it gets away from what made it successful and people no longer play their true roles. No law firm can be profitable and growing without a range of skills and abilities. Not every player on a sports team is expected to be a star, and not every lawyer in a law firm should be expected to play similar roles in the life of the firm.

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Legal career path adds intersections, off ramps (access required)

Charlotte attorney Gene Pridgen graduated from law school in 1978 with a clear-cut career path in front of him. He'd clerked for the large firm of Kennedy Covington - now K&L Gates - the previous summer and received a subsequent offer for a position as an associate. Five years later, he made partner. Pridgen called his longevity at the firm typical for lawyers of his generation. But times have changed. New lawyers who aspire to ascend the ranks at large firms may not follow the straight-arrow path to partnership that attorneys once did, opting instead for lateral moves or taking experimental detours into government or in-house work.

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ABA ponders ‘Truth in Law School Education’ (access required)

Law schools need to be more transparent about the costs and employment data they give to applicants, and it's time to make that happen. So says American Bar Association President Steve Zack (pictured), who recently told a group of educators that the ABA is considering whether to increase the types of information that schools are required to disclose to consumers.

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Weighing the value of LL.M. (access required)

LL.M. = Lawyers Losing Money. That's a running joke in the online legal world these days, where bloggers and practitioners puzzle over whether a master of laws degree yields valuable returns for recipients or simply plunges them into another year's worth of law school debt. It's not an easy question to answer. On one hand, the demand is certainly there. The number of LL.M.s granted by American Bar Association-approved schools grew by 65 percent between 1999 and 2009, according to a September article in the National Law Journal. North Carolina schools are trending upwards, too.

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Vocation variation: A cop, a cabinetmaker and others find second careers in the law (access required)

Guns, drugs, high-speed chases, pit bulls and stakeouts. Sounds like all of the ingredients of an action movie, but it actually describes the early days of Charlotte attorney Mark Simpson's career. And he didn't practice criminal law - at least not in the traditional sense. Simpson is one of many "second-career" lawyers - those who started off working in one job only to switch to law mid-stroke.

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