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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I graduated from a low-tier law school in California and moved to Chicago after graduation. After being unemployed for a year, I currently have a low-paying, part-time position at a boutique 4-person law firm specializing in corporate law for small businesses. After 9 months of experience, I seem to have no prospects and don’t know how to break into the legal field.

Dear Breaking In: Well, here’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that you do have some money coming in, even if it is from a part-time check. And more good news, they have continued to employ you for nine months, allowing you to have at least some degree of corporate law experience, which in the scheme of things has to be better than being unemployed and getting no experience whatsoever.

And again, on the good news side of things, if the job is part-time then that means that you should have some time during the work week to look for a full-time job.

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