5 Reasons why More and More Lawyers are Interested in Career Counseling


Although many people are excited about becoming lawyers, and many practitioners large numbers of individuals are still aspiring to become lawyers and are studying towards this goal, several others who have already qualified are realizing that they have become extremely dissatisfied with their chosen careers. As such, here are just 5 of the main reasons why more lawyers than ever are now seeking career counseling.

  1. They Work Long and Demanding Hours

Lawyers are known for having to work for longer and more demanding hours than individuals in a number of other professions. It’s very seldom that a lawyer will actually be able to only work from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday because they not only need to spend many hours preparing for each case they take on; court deadlines and demanding clients often mean that lawyers will miss out on a lot of family and leisure time. 

  1. Their Schedules are Determined by Others

An aspect that many lawyers seeking career counseling have mentioned that makes their working days unbearable is the fact that they have virtually no control over their daily schedules. Being subject to demands from the courts, law firm partners and clients can be extremely frustrating because it means constantly having to rearrange their schedules. 

While some lawyers thought that opening their own practices would help lessen the demands on their schedules, it often made matters even worse because they found that they’d have to get everything done themselves. 

  1. Extreme Pressure and Stress

In addition to the long working hours, attorneys have to deal with the constant and intense pressure of trying to be everything to everyone with each case they’re working on – while also encountering other extremely serious issues along the way. 

This type of working environment results in extremely high stress levels and over time, it becomes extremely unbearable for many lawyers – causing several of them to seek out alternative career paths

  1. Constant Arguing between Parties

While stress is totally unavoidable in the legal industry, a large amount of results from the constant arguing that takes place between all parties concerned that are working on a specific case. 

Along with having to argue over matters such as precedent and case facts in court, there’s the daily struggle of dealing with legal matters in general such as when depositions should be scheduled and determining the amount of times each side will be allowed to make document requests, for instance. While some individuals thrive in this type of environment, many find that it becomes too much to handle. 

  1. Sheer Boredom

Most legal work that attorneys need to do each day is downright boring and anyone who attended law school thinking it would involve frequently executing cross-examinations and giving regular opening and closing arguments in court is in for quite a surprise to hear that this is not the case. The reality is that few cases make it to trial and many lawyers have never even been able to try a case. 

If you’re an attorney and you’ve been feeling disillusioned with your career choice, you may want to consider opting for career counseling. Chances are that there is an alternative career path that you’ll even enjoy. Contact us today to find out more about your options in this regard. 

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Career Counseling for Lawyers – Questions you Should be Asking During your Consultation

Although some lawyers love their jobs,  a large number of others find they are either burned out or have become bored with their careers. In a recent survey, the ABA found 50% or more of practicing attorneys are unhappy in their jobs. These people often wonder whether they will have to stick it out until it is time to retire or if it will be possible to make a career change, and either move into a more rewarding practice area or into a job that involves being more on the business side.

If you are one of the 50%-plus of legal professionals who are unhappy and are considering their career options, you should consider enlisting the advice of a qualified career mentor. Here are some questions you should ask when interviewing potential career coaches.

What Experience do you have in Assisting Lawyers who want to Change Careers?

Now is the time to remember that not all career counselors and recruitment companies are created equal – while some will assist individuals from all career areas, others such as Career Strategies Group, specialize in lawyers, and in mentoring attorneys who want to change careers or reposition themselves within the law.

Since lawyers possess unique skill sets and specialized knowledge within their practice areas, it is often challenging for them to know what else they are qualified to do, how to conduct an alternative career job search, and how to re-career without taking a pay cut. Enlisting professional assistance is a good way to find alternative employment, while still being able to use the skills and knowledge you have acquired in the legal industry.

While any competent career coach can be helpful, attorneys seeking to pursue alternative careers should look for guidance from specialists in this field.

What Services do you offer that will Help me Change Careers?

Not all career management professionals offer their clients the same services to help with their career transitions.

During your discussion with a potential career consultant, you should inquire about the services that they claim to offer. For instance, do they send you some standardized career assessment tools, or do they have instruments designed specifically for lawyers? Do they have off-the-shelf program packages or do they customize their proposals for each client? Do they just provide written or video materials on job search, or do they coach you individually on job search Best Practices? Do they offer broad-brush programs or do they help you select the specific services you need? How much time do they spend with you upfront to assess your needs before trying to make a sale?

It is also very important to ask if they offer services such as professional resume and cover letter writing, or if they just critique your original document? What experience do they have in preparing career change resumes? How do they handle your LinkedIn profile development? Who actually does the writing for you? You should also ask about the range of services they offer, such as career coaching, job search methods, personal marketing plans, interview preparation, and ongoing support. Can they do resume distribution for you to recruiters or venture capital companies? How do they help you prepare for interviews?

What is your approach on Networking?

A critically important question to ask is about their view on networking. Lawyers very often say they either do not have networks,  can’t use their networks for fear of discovery, or are simply uncomfortable asking people for favors.

Many career consultants base their programs on networking. A very few, like Career Strategies Group, have job search methods that don’t rely on traditional networking. Despite what some coaches say, traditional networking – asking friends and colleagues if they know of opportunities for you – is NOT the best way to find a new job.

How Can I Show my Qualifications if I don’t have Direct Experience in the Field in which I’d Like to Work?

It is particularly important to be honest with your potential consultant about how clear or cloudy you are about what you want to do next professionally. If you are rock solid certain about what you want to do, there are more coaches who can help you. If you are not certain or don’t have a clue about what else is out there that you would like to pursue, there are far fewer qualified coaches.

If you are not certain about exactly what you want, you will need a career coach who has substantial experience using tools that will help you see not only what you would like to do and what would be a good “fit” for you, but also what you can actually get hired to do and paid what you need to earn.

Coaches who do career testing often use tools that gauge your psychological makeup and skill set, but which are incapable of addressing marketability and whether you can in reality get hired to do a job you would like. That is a very specialized area in which few coaches are qualified. Make sure your coach can help you clarify your goals and create a real-world career path for you. For a basic overview of alternative legal careers, click this link, and get a copy of  “Caught by the Law? A Guide to Alternative Legal Careers” will be sent to you free of charge.

A key to a successful career change is to have an experienced consultant who will prepare compelling personal marketing materials for you in such a way that it will appeal to the right recruitment manager and show the full scope of your contributory abilities. In many cases, truly smart employers will be willing to help with the learning curve of a candidate if they can demonstrate firm communication skills, professionalism, intelligence and drive.

There are many good coaches out there, but no one coach is right for everyone. When it comes to your career and your specific situation, you should find a coach who has the knowledge of the law, the transferability of legal skills into non-legal roles, and who has the range of services and direct experience on point to help you.

Contact us today if you are a legal professional and are interested in exploring your career options and finding a job that you actually enjoy, that is fulfilling, affords a quality of life, and pays well. We look forward to speaking with you.


Career Change or Alternative Career Consulting

Hi, I’m Bruce Blackwell.

When I founded Career Strategies back in 1992, it was for just one reason:
To help people find new jobs or new careers.

If you are an experienced attorney or executive interested in exploring your career options … we can help. If you want to discover what else is out there, we can help you find it.


If you would like to know how you can still make a good living but not have the law firm BS of billable hours and rainmaking, we can show you … and get you there. If you are in house and looking for a new job, or a government lawyer returning to the private sector, we can help you, too.

Over the years, we have helped the careers of several thousand attorneys and executives re-energize their careers. Many of our clients are age 50+ and are ready for new challenges. Our clients have gone into corporations, non-profits and universities. We have had clients go into sports and entertainment, travel, hi tech, publishing, and many other areas, some of which they often never even thought possible. If your quality of life stinks. If you are sick of billing 2400 hours a year. If you feel the work you are doing is no longer challenging or rewarding… then call us.

If you are unappreciated by your partners or clients (or both!) … if you want to feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your career … then you owe it to yourself to get in touch. Attorney or executive — We can help you find what’s right for you, then help you get it. If any of this sounds good and you’d like to find out more, give us a call today.


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Career Paths For Our Clients

Career Strategies clients have moved into a variety of alternative legal careers.
Other than having JDs and certain shared characteristics resulting from law school
training and the facts-of-life in the legal profession, each client is different and has
his or her own muse. Career Strategies “graduates” have gone into such diverse
areas as those shown below.

Public Relations, Telecommunications Operations, Construction Management,
Travel Writer/Photographer, Entrepreneurs, TV Station Management, Fund-Raising,
Non-Profit Agency Management, Legal & Business Affairs, Strategic Planning,
Employee Relations, Financial Services Operations, Investment Sales,
Real Estate Development, Management Consulting, Sporting Goods – Exec. Mgt.,
International Affairs, Technology Procurement, University Administration,
Sales and Sales Management, Sports Promotion, Healthcare Administration,
Risk Management, Government Agency Administration, Event Planning,
Conference Management, Retail Operations, Government Relations, Public Affairs,
Compliance/Ethics, Investment Banking, International Corp. Finance, Marketing,
General Counsel, Project Management, Chief Operating Officer, Broadcasting,
Labor Relations, Environmental Affairs, Bank – Trust Officer, Private Law Practice,
Law Practice but new area of Law, Recruiting, Author, Chef, Restauranteur,
Educational Outreach, Community Affairs, Finance & Administration, Affiliate Relations,
Key Accounts, Business Management, Talent Agent, Teaching, Relationship Management,
Film Production

Fields include: Banking, Broadcasting, Aerospace, Healthcare, Non-Profit Agencies
and/or Associations, Construction, Real Estate, Financial Services, Universities and
Colleges, Manufacturing, Insurance, Government, Military, Computers,
Telecommunications, Advertising and Promotion Agencies, Sporting Goods Companies,
Human Resource Consulting firms, Publishers, Defense Contractors, Merchant Banks,
Hotel & Leisure and many, many more

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Regardless of their backgrounds, our clients share a desire to explore alternative careers
that are either far removed from their current professions, or their experience is applied
in new and more rewarding ways.

We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and career options, and then
our career coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques,
job search strategies, life coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve
your career objective and land a great new attorney job or executive position.

career strategies group

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Got a difficult problem in your job or your job/career search?
Do you have a lack of networking contacts?
Trouble answering interview questions?

Good news: You can solve your job search problems today,
simply by contacting Career Strategies Group.

Watch the video, then email us or give us a call.


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11 Ideas for Job Searching During the Holidays

Here are some specific strategies you can use in your holiday job search.

Accept all invitations you receive for holiday parties and get-togethers

Whether it’s a social or charity event, dinner party, spouse’s Christmas party, or professional association event, use these opportunities to reacquaint yourself with people who might be useful in your job search, and make new connections. Be sure to follow-up

Re-connect with old friends and colleagues

Your network can be a great source of information, job leads, and referrals. Get back in touch with previous co-workers and supervisors, high school and college people, former neighbors, etc.

Host your own holiday party

It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate. Hosting your own holiday open house, dinner party,
or get-together can help jumpstart your job search (but that shouldn’t be the focus of your party, of course!). However, extending an invitation is a great excuse to reach out and talk with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while!

Ask for specific information or help

For example, ask if the person knows anyone who works at “x” company instead of asking if they know of anyone hiring. During the holidays, your contacts might have more time to be of assistance, and they might be in a mood to be generous at this time of the year!


There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities and organizations. Some of these opportunities might also help you build your network, make new connections, and bolster your résumé.

Use holiday cards to connect

If Christmas cards, holiday letters, and e-greetings are part of your end-of-the-year tradition, mentioning your job search (if you’re currently unemployed, or your position is ending) can be a useful strategy. Let people know you’re looking!

Create a business networking card

Develop a business card that lists your contact information and social media links — especially to your LinkedIn profile. You can use this in lieu of your normal business card — or instead of it, if you’re unemployed

Update your social media presence

If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create yours. If you have one, give it a fresh look. Is it time to update it? Can you increase your number of Connections — or solicit additional Recommendations?

Look for opportunities to get your foot in the door

If you’re currently unemployed, look for temporary or seasonal jobs that may lead to full-time positions.

Connect with recruiters

Many are trying to reach year-end recruiting goals at this time of the year, and you may have just the skills they are looking for.

Set a specific goal for your job search

Instead of setting a goal to get a new job, your goal might be to make a certain number of new connections or to schedule a certain number of informational interviews. Making progress on this type of goal will ultimately help you achieve your goal of a new job.

Make sure you’re reachable

You might be asked to interview at unusual times — for example, the day before Christmas. Keep your phone on — and make sure you’re checking your voice mail and email regularly!

5 Ways to Give Your Resume a Makeover

career strategies groupThis is from an article just published by and MSN.

(We were among the resume experts from around the U.S. who were interviewed.)

Fashion and what’s in style change over time—and so should your résumé. What may have been a trendy way to format five or 10 years ago could now be considered outdated. And with technology changing how jobs are found and applied for, being current is more crucial to your job search than ever. Whether you’re just putting together your résumé or feel like your job search is in a rut, take the time to update your résumé’s look with these five tips.

Swap out-dated categories for modern information

Résumés used to serve as a very different form of introduction than today. While hiring managers used to wonder who you were and what you were looking for, as well as if anybody could vouch for you, today’s hiring process is much more streamlined. “Today, like the understanding of the unspoken objective, everyone knows that a job candidate will provide references when and if they advance to the next stage of the hiring
process,” says Karen Southall Watts, business coach, consultant and author.

Instead, find a way to use your résumé’s valuable space more wisely. “The top third of your résumé is prime real estate and should not be home to something as obvious and outdated as an objective statement,” says Watts. “The reader already knows you are looking for a job like the one advertised. It’s better to put a personal branding statement or skills summary in this key area.” Below your contact information, write a short summary of your achievements, years of experience and highlight your skills.

Use the latest technology to your advantage

When designing your résumé, keep in mind both who and what will be receiving it. Bruce Blackwell, managing partner of Career Strategies Group in White Plains, NY, says, “Rule number one is to keep your design simple! Make sure it is compatible with the résumé database programs used by employers and recruiters. Called applicant tracking systems, these programs electronically ‘read’ incoming résumés, parse their keywords and slot them into a database file. Résumés with headers on the name and address lines, with bullet points in the contact area, with fancy lines and other graphic effects, often cannot be read and end up in the garbage.”

Having more than one format of your résumé is crucial to your search. Watts says, “There should be a résumé that works no matter where you need it to go: A printed paper version for traditional employers, a PDF version that can be scanned and a hyperlinked version that ties to samples of your work or your social media links.”

Skip the buzzwords and instead give specific results

Instead of describing yourself as the most hard-working, creative, talented team-player, quantify your success and include achievements in your work experience section. Michelle Proehl, president of Slate Advisers in Sunnyvale, CA, says, “Emphasize specific actions and the results achieved. For instance, saying that you ‘Identified $1M in administrative cost savings that enabled the sales team to add headcount’ is far
more powerful than ‘Conducted analysis of division financial plan and budget.’”

Abby Kohut, human resources executive, recruiter and author of “Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets,” says, “Avoid buzzwords designed to sweeten your résumé, but don’t really hold any meaning. With more companies relying on computers to vet résumés before sending to hiring managers, it’s crucial to weave the appropriate keywords into your résumé and professional online profiles. Learn the difference between a buzzword
and a keyword, and your résumé will rise to the top on the stack.”

Give context to your experience

While you may know what your past places of employment did or believe a company name is big enough to be recognized, hiring managers may not. Jon Mazzocchi, partner and general manager in the accounting and finance search division at Winter Wyman, a recruitment firm in Waltham, MA, says it’s crucial to give context
to your past employment and what the business did. “Even if the hiring manager is familiar with your past employers, it is a good idea to point out the similarities between those companies and the one you hope to join. Similarities in size, culture, and industry definitely help.”

Give every detail a professional polish

To avoid quickly being discarded, triple-check your résumé for errors and be sure you’re presenting yourself as a professional. When it comes to getting in touch with you, Watts says it’s important to give multiple contact methods. “It’s highly unlikely that HR is going to send you a letter in the mail. Your résumé should include a phone number, an email, your social media links if you use them professionally and your website if you have one.” Laurie Morse-Dell, personal branding coach in Bismarck, ND, adds, “Make sure you have a professional email address. If your email is or could be perceived as vulgar, cutesy, juvenile or cheesy, get a new one.”

Most importantly, your résumé and all content included should recommend you as a qualified candidate for the job who exudes professionalism and capability. By taking the time to put your best résumé forward, you’re sure to create a great first impression.

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    Training and Management Development Programs

    career strategies group business solutionsHelping your Business Grow

    We offer a variety of training and management development programs for law firms, corporations, academic institutions and non-profits. Programs are available for groups and for individuals.

    A selection of our programs includes:

    How to generate more revenue for your law practice or business
    Improving operational procedures to maximize profits
    Team building in a competitive practice
    Business planning to improve cash flow

    For over 20 years, our team of business consultants has been helping individuals and organizations achieve more than they thought was ever possible.  Our advisors use their experience as attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs to help legal professionals, entrepreneurs and business executives create and follow their roadmap to success.

    We help attorneys and business owners design and execute strategies to so that:

    The Practice grows. This is about finding new clients and adding more matters from the existing client base. We teach strategies and tactics that help clients “make it rain.”

    Billings turn into profits. Adding clients and billing hours doesn’t ensure a profit. We help clients run effective operations and turn top-line cash into bottom-line profits.

    There is value beyond the billable hour. Sometimes attorneys and other professionals want to move beyond their practice into other pursuits. This is about turning the business into something that can be transferred or just run effectively beyond the owners’ individual efforts.

    We custom design a unique roadmap for each client – focusing on the things they don’t teach you in law, business or medical school. Program elements can include:

    • Strategy & Planning. We help professionals develop their strategic vision and translate that to the daily tasks that can then be implemented. This is useful to all attorneys and professionals – from new associates who need to learn how to make it rain, to more senior attorneys or entrepreneurs who are thinking about buying or selling a business.
    • Marketing & Business Development. Attorneys and professionals need marketing and sales strategies tailored to their specific businesses. We use a “solutions approach” to make “good” referrals happen and increase your close rate. As a result of this program, our clients will understand (and practice) how to capture the unique aspects of their practice to secure the “right” clients.
    • Client Service & Retention: The bottom line is that most professions — law, medicine, dentistry, public relations, insurance or any other field — are service businesses. We help owners turn their clients into “Fans” who will refer more matters and become one of their “Promoters.”
    • Personal & Team Development: We help improve the business skills that are not taught in school but are essential to running a successful business. It is about developing the business owner and the team to work most effectively together.
    • Practice Development: Even the most effective sales and marketing won’t result in a profitable practice if the “Operations” side is leaking cash. We review of your operations to identify areas for improvement and gaps that need filling. Owners gain a fresh, outsiders’ perspective and learn how to plan to make change happen.

    A Personal Trainer for your Practice

    Coaching is like having a personal trainer to help you reach your potential. Your coach helps you learn how to run a better practice by applying proven business principles to the unique nature of your profession.

    A good coach helps clients:
    Set clear and achievable business goals
    Develop a simple plan to get started
    Stay on–track and on-time
    Unlock and apply the business skills needed to succeed.

    Professional athletes use coaches and trainers to win on the field of competition. Today, more and more professionals and executives are using coaching to help them achieve their dreams.

    Contact us today for a free consultation.