Bar Resources

Resources for Navigating Through Hard Times

From Wall Street to Main Street, the ripple effect of the financial collapse remains palpable. As the economy is slowly trudging its way to back normalcy, the legal profession is also reexamining and reshaping its business blueprint. In the aftermath of the crisis, what are the prospects of a newly minted lawyer? Is it time for experienced practitioners to go solo? Where do senior lawyers fit in this scenario?

The D.C. Bar has a wide range of resources to assist legal professionals to navigate an increasingly challenging job market, search for mentoring and networking opportunities, find pro bono or volunteer work, improve their skill sets, or transition to a new career. What is your next move?

LAND YOUR NEXT JOB
While today’s economy does not provide the best job–hunting climate, lawyers will be best served exploring multiple channels for their next career move.

  • The D.C. Bar has recently partnered with Job Target, the world’s largest third–party operator of niche job boards, to give Bar members access to an expansive network of potential employers, giving them an edge in today’s intensely competitive market. Explore the Bar’s newly revamped Career Center today and find your perfect job match!
  • USAJOBS, the official job site of the federal government, is the one–stop source for federal jobs and employment information.

STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The recession has dealt a hard blow to the legal industry—and waiting is not an option. Stay on top of your game by pursuing training to develop your skills or to learn new ones. Whatever your field of expertise, whether you are a seasoned or new practitioner, the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education Program’s comprehensive course offerings will help you stay up to date with the law and other legal developments. For added convenience, the CLE Program uses quick response (QR) codes in its course catalogue, making online registration faster and easier.

NETWORK
It is time to ramp up your networking skills! Now more than ever, legal professionals are connecting with their peers to get their names out and forge long–term professional relationships. A great start would be to join one of the D.C. Bar Sections, tailored to specialized fields of interest, to enjoy the benefits of their wide selection of professional activities, including networking.

CONSIDER MENTORING
While the D.C. Bar does not have a formal or structured mentoring program, our Practice Management Advisory Service has put together a comprehensive Mentoring Resource, which serves as a guide for Bar members who are either seeking a mentor or thinking of becoming a mentor to a colleague in the profession.

Several voluntary bars in the Washington, D.C., area also provide various avenues for new and senior lawyers to come together in a mentoring environment.

VOLUNTEER
You’ve faithfully scoured online job postings. You’ve networked and trained. You’re waiting to hit the ground running again. So why not turn the recession into an opportunity to serve? The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, one of the largest facilitators of pro bono legal services in the District, touches the lives of thousands of D.C. residents every year through its continuously expanding programs. We invite you to make a difference today. 

GO SOLO
Thinking of starting your own firm but don’t know where to start? With more and more lawyers striking out on their own, bar associations and other legal organizations have developed programs to guide attorneys as they take an alternate route in their careers.

  • Sign up for our free and interactive course “Basic Training and Beyond” to learn the basics of getting a solo or small firm up and running in the District of Columbia, and how to effectively market and manage the firm. More than 2,000 lawyers have attended this highly popular course since it was first offered in November 2008 by the D.C. Bar Practice Management Advisory Service (PMAS).

Attendees of the session know the value of networking and Daniel Mills, assistant director, PMAS, leads a networking group that meets for dinner the second Tuesday of each month at a local restaurant. For more information, contact Mills at 202–626–1312 or dmills@dcbar.org.

  • As proof of the growing community of solo and small firm practitioners, the American Bar Association’s SoloSez e–mail listserv has more than 3,500 subscribers worldwide. Solosez includes lawyers from almost every U.S. jurisdiction and from countries around the world, representing “virtually every practice niche known to man.”