Sunday, December 13, 2015

Working with Attorney Recruiters Made Easy

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares tips for working with recruiters...

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Some people are confused by what it is an attorney recruiter does. Here are a few tips to make working with a recruiter easy:

  • Recruiters search for candidates.  They match candidates with available opportunities provided to them by their law firm or corporate in-house clients. Recruiters do not find attorneys jobs.
  • Working with a recruiter is not the end-all solution to your search. View it as a part of the bigger picture. Recruiters recommend that you maximize your individual job leads by utilizing other job seeking channels such as networking with other attorneys and individuals connected to the law profession.
  • Work together. You are on the same team. Its best to be open and honest from the get-go. Build an authentic relationship with your recruiter.
  • Above all, know that a recruiter does not work for you, a recruiter works with you. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

6 Steps for a Career Breakthrough

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares an article on 6 steps for a career breakthrough...

Photo Source featured an article written by author, Kathy Caprino who shares insight to get past constraints and limitations when in a career and life transition. 

Here are 6 essential steps for career breakthrough:
1. Understand what you truly want - Essence vs. Form
2. Research and commit to doing what it takes 
3. Stretch yourself beyond where you are
4. Power up
5. Develop a powerful money mindset
6. Manage to the constraints

Thursday, October 29, 2015

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Levitt & Associates shares a "10 Things Happy People do Differently" by author, Steven Covey...

  1. Express Gratitude
    • When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.
    • If we aren't thankful for what we already have, we will have a hard time ever being happy.
  2. Cultivate Optimism
    • People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid Over-Thinking and Social Comparison
    • Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. 
    • The only person you should compare to is yourself before now.
  4. Practice Acts of Kindness
    • Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.
  5. Nurture Social Relationships
    • The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. 
  6. Develop Strategies for Coping
    • It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call and in your arsenal at your disposal. 
  7. Learn to Forgive
    • Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being. 
  8. Increase Flow Experiences
    • Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. 
    • It's when you're so focused on what you're doing that you become one with the task.
    • Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor Life's Joys
    • Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.
  10. Commit to Your Goals
    • Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

9 Words You DON'T Want to Say in Your Interview

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares 9 words to avoid saying in your job interview...

Photo Source

  1.  "No." - Avoid one word answers (yes or no). If asked whether you are familiar with a specific case and your answer is no, demonstrate your willingness to research it with a follow-up statement.
  2. "Um..." - You may need a minute to think of your response. If you politely ask for a minute to gather your thoughts on the subject, interviewers will be courteous to your silence. However, if you fill that time with "Uh" and "Um," you may seem unprepared.
  3. "Sure, cool, kinda" - Steer clear of casual words and slang terms that may require an Urban Dictionary search. Your goal is to form the impression that you are polished and professional.
  4. "Leverage, synergy, ideation" - Avoid too much business jargon. When you are using the word correctly, it may leave the impression that you are pretentious. And if you use the word incorrectly, you might embarrass yourself.
  5. "Hit the ground running," "Circle back" - Avoid clich├ęs. They have come to be known as verbal fluff and do not add value to what you are saying.
  6. "Dedicated, motivated, team player" - Every resume your interviewer has seen uses these words. Instead of simply stating that you are, offer stories demonstrating that you are.
  7. "We" - While you may be a team player, use "I" in the interview. The interviewer is interested in the work that you were responsible for, not your team.
  8. "Hate" - Avoid this negative word at all costs. It is inappropriate to say you hate something in a job, especially someone and interviewers will only see your negativity.
  9. "Perfectionist" - Do shine an optimistic light on your "weakness." Don't answer that you are a perfectionist, that you work too hard or care too much. They've heard it all before. Be original and honest.  

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

California Lateral Placement

The Legal Recruiting Team at Levitt & Associates, Inc. is Here to Help You with Your Career Move...

The path from high school to college to law school to working at your first law firm is a linear one.  Once you have your first job as an associate, you discover that your future holds a lot more opportunities and that your choices become more complex.

Do you aspire to be a partner?  Do you enjoy working for a big firm or would you prefer a boutique?  What firm culture best suits your lifestyle?

It is important to figure out what your short and/or long term goals are.  Use your intellect and drive to make the best choices and create the fulfilling life you desire.

Utilize your resources - work with an attorney recruiter should you choose to make a move.  If you desire to work in California, Alisa Levitt is your an exceptional resource. 

The following are a few testimonials provided by California legal professionals:

"I have known Alisa since I was a first year attorney.  She has always been supportive and understanding of my career needs and desire for growth.  Alisa's thoughtful and targeted search landed me with a nationally recognized employment law firm.  Alisa's guidance and advice was always on target and given with my best interests in mind.  As the Chair of the Employment Law Department of my current firm, I would not hesitate to call on Alisa to fill our attorney needs." - Nicole Minkow, Senior Employment Counsel at Pearlman, Borska & Wax

"I have worked with Alisa for over 13 years.  She has always been very professional, ethical, and responsive with respect to our attorney candidate searches.  Alisa is my "go to" recruiter and I look forward to a continued excellent working relationship with her.  I would definitely recommend Alisa’s services." -Timothy Menter, Partner at Menter & Witkin

"If you want a recruiter who is diligent, patient and treats you like an individual, look no further.  Alisa is second to none.  Over a two year period, she continually worked to find the perfect position for me.  Most importantly, she took the time to learn about my individual needs and goals in order to find opportunities for the best fit and long-term success.  I cannot thank her enough." - Tim S., Attorney at Orange County Law firm 

To get started, submit your resume to or call 949) 488-3310.

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's All About Timing

Attorney recruiting team at Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares the best day and time to set your interview...

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The law firm is interested in meeting you!  Now what?

There are two keys to keep in mind when scheduling the best time for your interview.  The first key is no secret, make sure you have enough time to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the interview.  The second is to strategically plan the optimum time slot that will keep you fresh in the interviewer's mind.  If you get this right, it will potentially give you a slight advantage over other candidates.

Often you will be given the option to choose an interview time from a few pre-assigned time slots.  If available, a good strategy is to select a day where a small number of candidates are being interviewed.  Another strategy is to choose a morning time slot toward the end of the interview cycle.

Harvard University conducted a study centered around the subject of “narrow bracketing.” Their results confirmed that many interviewers make an unconscious decision not to give too many positive recommendations in one particular day.  These findings suggest that when scheduling your interview, it is best to aim for a mid-morning interview or a day in which only a few other candidates will be interviewed to ensure you'll be more fresh in the minds of the interviewers. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Interview Question that has Candidates Stumped

Levitt & Associates, Inc. helps you answer the interview question that has candidates puzzled...

Photo Source

"Define your personal brand."

So simple, yet undefined.  It's brilliant.

Defining your brand means defining yourself as a professional.  It's an all-encompassing question that relates to your strengths, passions, values, past accomplishments, how others would describe you, and what makes you unique.

Your brand is your reputation - the perception of you by the external world.
Identify 3 words that best describe you and elaborate by touching on the subjects above.  

Create your brand messaging around keywords and content that will attract your interviewer. 

Your interviewer wants to know who you are as a person.  The objective is to define your personality and what you can bring to the table. 

Practice this interview question with your recruiter to better communicate the unique value you offer a potential employer.  

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tell Me About Yourself

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares an article on how to ace your interview...

More often than not, the first question in any interview is "Tell me about yourself." 

Such a basic and broad question may lead you to say something too short or leave you rambling.

If your answer is too short, you may seem unprepared. If your answer is too long, you may be at risk of talking your way out of the job.  Answer the question to the point and if the interviewer has further questions, they will ask. 

The team at Levitt & Associates, Inc. would like to share a segment from an article posted on The Muse by Lily Zhang on how to answer, "Tell me about yourself:"

"This completely open-ended opportunity to talk about yourself throws a lot of people off. Worse, it’s usually the first question interviewers ask! The confusing part about this question is that it actually isn’t an invitation to tell your life story. The interviewer really just wants to know why you’re interested in this position and what makes you qualified.
One way to structure this answer is to start with your present, go into your past, and finish off with your future. This approach covers all your bases by answering the question, giving you an opportunity to talk about your relevant skills, and getting to what the interviewer genuinely wants to know: How are you going to perform in this position? Remember to focus your experiences and accomplishments on what’s most relevant to the position and the employer."

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

3 Ways to Alter Your Resume for a Position

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares an article on how to alter your resume for various associate positions...

The information you present in your resume should reflect the job description of the position available.

Save your core resume to your computer.  This version will be a basic resume including your background, accomplishments, education, skills, etc.  This document will include everything, but will not be submitted.  

Here are 3 ways to alter your resume for a position:

1. Read and re-read the description.
Many candidates read through the description once and forget about what the firm is truly looking for once they've begun the submission process. It's best to print the description and refer back to it often to know what they are looking for.This will enable you to tailor your resume for the specific position. The hiring partner will be impressed that you not only understand the job requirements but also that you already have the experience and will be sure to have a smooth transition.  

2. List your relevant accomplishments, skills, etc.
Read through the description and take note of any and all applicable required degrees, experience and/or skills listed.

3. Mix & Match
Customize your resume to include your experience, accomplishments, and skills using key words relevant to the law firm's search. By doing so, the hiring partner will be able to see that you are taking the opportunity seriously and that you pay attention to detail.

At Levitt & Associates, your recruiter will work with you in revising your resume to increase your chances of landing the interview. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares an article... answered what you can do in big-law to get ready for small-law in a recent article.

"Last week, we established that you want to unchain yourself from Biglaw and start your own practice. While in my opinion it’s better to go too early than too late, maybe your firm hasn’t paid bonuses yet, or maybe you’re still holding out hope that one day that comely associate down the hall will acknowledge you. Whatever the reason is you want to hang on a bit longer, here are some things you can do while still in Biglaw to prepare for the future life leap..."

Click HERE to read the article...

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What Interviewers Wish They Could Tell Every Job Candidate

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares the Do's and Don'ts of interviewing...

  • Be likable. Seems simple enough but the nerves that often come with the interview process can throw common sense out the window. Smile, make eye contact, sit straight and lean a bit forward (indicating that you are interested in the conversation), and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
  • Don't say you want the job before you know everything about it. Of course you want the position, that's why you are there. You may have read the job description but its best not to jump in with both feet before you know what the full details of what the job entails. You may be required to travel more than you were prepared for, work 60+ hour weeks, or report to someone with less experience than yourself. Ask questions.
  • Stand out. Use first impressions to your advantage. Interviewers often meet with numerous candidates and it is hard to distinguish who did what, if they remember you at all. Slip in tidbits of impressive information like you enjoy triathlons, share that your achievements include completing a project in half the time expected, or add a subtle yet unique touch to your wardrobe.
  • Keep negativity in check. Negative remarks create a larger impression than positive remarks. If you don't have something nice to say about your current employer, your coworkers or your clients, don't say anything at all.
  • Ask questions. Make sure this position is the right fit for you. Find out what will be expected of you in the first 6 months, what qualities make their top performers stand out, how you will be evaluated, etc. 
  • Sum up why you would be a good fit. Throughout the interview, you covered a lot of information. Now that you've reached the end, express your interest in the position and let them know why you want the job; perhaps you love working with multiple teams or you enjoy frequent travel. Share it.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Is There Alternative Life Inside and Outside of Big Law?

Gone are the days where a new lawyer can predict a career trajectory that includes becoming a summer associate, then an associate, and then making partner at the firm. Many law firms have creatively adapted to stay ahead of economic challenges, client realities, and attorney needs, while others have struggled to keep up. Attorneys today have many more career options than they did just five years ago, primarily due to drastic and sudden changes in technology, and they are less afraid of exercising their option to embark upon a non-traditional career path.

As a legal recruiter, I’ve seen many lawyers continue to lateral to new firms, mostly looking for the perfect combination between career growth and lifestyle balance. I have also observed an increasing trend towards lawyers leaving law firms altogether in favor of alternative legal practices. Many former law firm lawyers are starting their own solo or small firms, while others are joining virtual law firms or freelance networks that provide practice alternatives to the typical law firm model. Some former law firm lawyers look for happiness on a non-traditional path. Others, however, are taking advantage of changes and alternative arrangements within Big Law, as these large and prestigious firms adapt to changing needs, technology, and client demands. This article discusses the options that exist for lawyers seeking to make a change, and outlines the various trends in alternative ways to practice law.

Solo or Small Firm Practice
Many lawyers trained in full-service law firms are choosing to start their own solo or small firms. These lawyers were trained in the law firm setting, and can often handle sophisticated work for sophisticated clients, but at a reduced rate. Former big law firm lawyers most often choose to open their own firms when they already have a client base, but are not interested in sharing their hourly rate with partners and high law firm overhead. They often value the flexibility and entrepreneurship involved in running their own businesses. Many cost-conscious businesses seek out these law firm spin-offs, attracted by reduced rates and lean billing.
Amir Kahana worked at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Paul Hastings, and Manatt Phelps. In 2006, he left Big Law to service small and mid-sized business clients that were quickly being priced out of the big firm legal market. Amir’s goal was to provide the same level of service as the big firms, but at a fraction of the cost. This worked, and in 2008, Amir obtained one of the largest jury verdicts in Orange County history. Now his practice has grown and loyal clients are sending all of their work to Amir. “I view this as the modern full-service law firm, with case-by-case staffing, affordable rates, and none of the pretension of big firms. The goal is to provide services at affordable rates, and to create value for my clients, and I am confident that this is the best way to do that.”
Running a solo practice, however, is not for everyone. Many solos return to law firms after learning the realities of solo practice, including business development and other business tasks that can take them away from actual legal practice. Prior to hanging up your own shingle as a solo, lawyers might consider seeking help from bar associations and websites like My Shingle (

Staffing Agencies/Document Review
Staffing agencies have existed for decades. These agencies frequently hire young lawyers or lawyers seeking temporary positions to handle projects like reviewing documents for law firms. The contract work is usually full-time at a law firm or other on-site location during a particular project, but it usually ends after a few weeks or months. Large law firms rely on these staffing agencies to manage document review projects, enabling these law firms to provide a lower rate to their clients.
Staffing agencies and document review firms play an important and often necessary role for law firms involved in large scale discovery, but document review can be a difficult practice for some attorneys. Many staffing agencies are trying to shift their business models to include substantive work by experienced attorneys while also continuing to offer large-scale document review services.

Alternative and Virtual Law Firms
Alternative law firms have become increasingly popular, and new ones start up almost daily. Some of these “alternative firms” are virtual firms where the lawyers do not work from a brick and mortar office, and others are firms that unbundle costs by offering alternative billing arrangements like flat fee pricing. These alternative law firms represent small start-up companies, or are retained by in-house companies. Just like any law firm, these alternative firms work for the end clients on an hourly basis. These firms are frequently virtual firms that staff their cases with contract attorneys, who only work when there is a project.
Axiom, founded over a decade ago in New York City, is an alternative law firm and is well-known for its legal innovation. Axiom hires only lawyers with exceptional credentials into this exclusive 1000 person firm, and Axiom lawyers are able to achieve the work-life balance that many lawyers try so desperately to find. Axiom lawyers usually work directly for General Counsels at Fortune-500 companies, who want big law firm lawyers without having to pay big law firm prices. When Axiom is retained by a company, Axiom can provide the company with a lawyer to go “on secondment,” discussed in more detail below, or it can serve the company by outsourcing managed functions or by managing projects.

Secondment Firms
Secondment firms are another alternative firm model that is gaining momentum nationwide. Secondment firms are essentially just a type of an alternative law firm, but they staff lawyers on temporary assignments for in-house companies. Like most traditional law firms, they work directly for in-house companies. Lawyers “on secondment” frequently work on-site at companies instead of from home, and the assignments – while limited in duration – are usually from 9-5 so they require a lawyer who can devote full-time hours while the work is ongoing. Lawyers with a transactional or corporate based practice are the best suited for secondment firms since many large companies still outsource their litigation work to law firms.
San Francisco based Paragon Legal Group is a secondment firm that was started in 2006 by former Morrison & Foerster lawyer, Mae O’Malley. Like Axiom, Paragon is a temporary legal staffing firm that matches former in-house lawyers with Silicon Valley technology companies. O’Malley has received accolades for creating an alternative way to practice law, and many lawyers across the United States are attempting to duplicate Paragon’s lucrative model.
Secondment firms have the ability to steer companies away from traditional law firms with their unique business models and lower rates. For that reason, secondment firms, like all non-traditional firms, compete with law firms of all sizes.

Freelance Attorney Networks
A freelance attorney network is a newer model that has gained popularity nationwide over the last five years. Freelance attorney networks usually consist of former large law firm lawyers who handle high-level, substantive legal work for law firms. Freelance lawyers typically work exclusively from home, so these networks appeal to women with young children or lawyers who have other career interests beyond substantive legal practice. Freelance lawyers are “contract attorneys” in the traditional sense of that word, but instead of focusing on document review, they help law firms with substantive overflow projects and high-level research, and sometimes provide substantive expertise for law firms in specialty areas.
Freelance networks are often confused with law firms, staffing agencies and secondment firms, but are actually quite different. Freelance networks are not law firms. Unlike alternative law firms, the “clients” of freelance networks are law firms, not companies or businesses. Freelance lawyers work directly for law firms on projects, and are not retained by the ultimate end-client. Furthermore, unlike staffing companies and secondment firms that staff lawyers on projects that frequently require full-time hours while the project is ongoing, freelance lawyers handle project-based work completed under deadline but according to the freelance attorney’s schedule. Freelance lawyers also work remotely rather than on-site at a company, providing more flexibility for lawyers who desire a practice more similar to a consultant than a traditional associate.
Small law firms are increasingly using freelance lawyers to assist their traditional associates and to grow their practices by allowing small firms to accept more clients and matters. This model appeals to law firms that need help with overflow, but do not want to hire potential competitors that also work for in-house companies or directly represent end clients.
A local freelance attorney network, Montage Legal Group, was founded in 2009 by Laurie Rowen and Erin Giglia, and was one of the first freelance networks in California with this specific business model. The group consists of former partners and associates from large law firms, many of whom are mothers of young children. Many credit the success of their group to their strong desire to help law firms thrive in this current economic climate. Laurie Rowen explains, “Our ultimate goal has always been to help law firms, not compete with them. When we get requests to work directly with a company or in-house legal department, we generally refer those matters to our law firm clients.”

Flexible Arrangements at Traditional Law Firms
For some lawyers, the best way to find life balance and ensure career continuity is work out an alternative practice arrangement within their current law firms. Many law firms have embraced flex-time and part-time arrangements. For flex-time, the hour requirements stay the same but the lawyer can work on his or her own schedule and from their chosen location. For part-time arrangements, the firm reduces the lawyer’s annual billable hour requirement. Additionally, law firms are hiring staff attorneys, who are lawyers working off the partnership track during set hours, for lower salaries.
Law firms are also working with the General Counsels of companies they represent and facilitating secondments by paying their own associates to work directly for these companies at the client’s location. These arrangements can be a win-win for all parties, allowing law firms to keep their clients happy, providing associates with excellent learning opportunities and giving clients great value for the cost.

What’s in Store for the Future?
The trend towards alternative legal practices is not likely to end anytime soon. Rather, more alternative legal practice models will appear as lawyer entrepreneurs continue to create unique ways to practice law. Associates should never feel stuck in their law firm positions, but instead should research whether an alternative way to practice law may be better suited for their life. Reaching out to a legal recruiter at a search firm can be the first step towards making a change. Many search firms like mine have expanded their client base by developing relationships with Big Law spin-offs and companies, so lawyers have other options from which to choose. Reputable search firms offer highly personal services, enabling them to use their wealth of resources and knowledge of the legal community to place lawyers in those types of positions.