December 01, 2016 Career Advisors

Counseling and Coaching Advice for Lawyers: Who does what?

By Kathy Morris

By Kathy Morris, Under Advisement, Ltd., Founding Chair of the ABA Career Center Board.

Let’s say you don’t like your job, but don’t know where to turn for lawyer-specific advice. Or you have to develop business at your firm but feel at odds with how to do it. Or you lack confidence and are tired of feeling that way. Where can you turn?

A good starting place is with the ABA’s Career Center' website https://www.americanbar.org/careercenter/.  There, you will find programming and information about your career and how to enhance it. But you can also turn to its Board members who counsel and coach lawyers or can point you toward others who can help, sometimes for a fee and also without charge.

For starters, take a look at the websites of lawyers who are private, generalist legal career counselors, including myself and Carol Kanarek. There are also niche counselors on the Board, such as Casey Bermanwho helps lawyers look at careers beyond the law. Betsy Munnell guides lawyers in developing business and gaining financial literacy. Avery Blank focuses on helping women maximize their careers.  Search firm consultant Liz Stone places lawyers and coaches them about turning opportunities into offers.  And law firm partner Bob Young is a leader in law practice management.

Law school counselors, who also help their alumni or those with reciprocity from another law school, also serve on the ABA Career Center Board. The Board Chair, Mark Weber, is a veteran advisor, as are Marcia Shannon(careers), Susan Fine (professional development), and Derek Davis (the changing legal profession). Those interested in not only law school but university administration could look to Skip Horne, who also has a background in legal career counseling on campus, with a focus on diversity and LGBT hiring.  And Tom Schoenherr is a law school professional for the public interest sector.

Plus, our ABA staff, Emily Roschek, also a lawyer, can offer information on jobs and volunteer roles with national, state, and local bar associations.

This wealth of lawyers and leaders are just some of the counselors,  coaches and knowledgeable colleagues available to help guide you. Never feel at odds or alone. The profession stands ready to help.