Are You Prepared to Change Firms?
The average U.S. worker will hold 10-20 different jobs in his or her lifetime, and as many as seven different careers. While attorneys are more likely to have only one “career”, there is a very good chance that you will change jobs/firms at least three times before you turn 40. Are you prepared for when that time comes? If you are a 21st century attorney, you need more than just a resume in your hand to stand out at an interview. (If you don’t have much legal experience, firms will look to your law school grades, especially if there is nothing else to find out about you. Half of graduating law students finish in the bottom of the class every year. If you are one of them, you want to make sure there is something else out there that demonstrates your abilities.)
In short, old or young, you need to make sure you have a strong Internet presence and protect your online reputation for when your potential employer Googles you. What needs to be done to accomplish this? (1) You need to maintain your legal social media profiles (like Martindale, Avvo, Lawyers, and any new legal review/directory sites that are created). Have you “claimed” your social media profiles on these sites? Do you monitor and update them regularly? (2) You need to showcase your expertise via publications. When was the last time you wrote a blog, article, or any kind of publication which showcases your knowledge or talents (or have you ever written one)? (3) You might want to consider having your own website or blog site, separate and apart from the firm for which you work. Does the firm you work for update their site regularly; do they have the right coding so the firm and you show up on search engine results?
If you answered “no” to more than one of the above questions, than you are not prepared for that time when you want to switch firms. Your internet presence cannot be shaped overnight, and there is no time like the present to start building and shaping your online presence and thereby protecting your legal reputation.