Career Change for a Lawyer

I’ve been an attorney for over 18 years and, earlier this year, for family reasons, I found I had to resign my partnership and relocate to Chicago. With that situation resolved, I am ready to find a challenging position, along with the opportunity to best employ my skill set and experience. I am open to other kinds of positions, however, my two main areas of experience lie in the fact that I was in Claims/Risk Management for 15 years, I’ve been an attorney for over 18. I don't have my licensure in IL and I don't bring a "book of business" with me, so no law firms will speak to me. I can't get call backs from in house/corporate positions or insurance companies (perhaps age) and for other kinds of jobs I don't have the requisite experience. How can I get myself in front of hiring management, to show my competency and that I worth their taking a chance?

It sounds like you are interested and willing to move into other areas of the law or to connect with insurance companies here that will value your skill set. And you are right, by submitting unsolicited resumes, your response rate may be low. Here are a few suggestions:

First – you need to do some research and carefully identify the skills that the employers in your areas of interest are seeking. You can do this by reviewing the job leads you see, talking to other attorneys and learning about some other areas. Try to set appointments or meet casually with attorneys in other areas that can offer you valuable information as you plan your search strategy.

You might do this through networking – there may be local associations you can join, classes you might take, alumni you might contact or connections through organized networking events that draw professionals from a variety of areas.

In a tight job market such as we have now, employers do not always see the value (unfortunately) in taking the time to teach someone on the job. Are there areas or pro bono legal organizations where you might gain some outside experience to help strengthen your resume?

And does your resume highlight strong accomplishments in a manner that reflects the needs of the market you wish to enter?

This is a time not only for wishing but for strategic job search planning that can take you to the next step, be recognized for your worth and find a job that brings reward.

Good luck.
Career Experts @ ChicagoJobs.org

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