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Tips for Effective Attorney Networking

Job Opportunities Lacking

During this economic downfall, job opportunities are slim to none. Even attorneys with impressive academic achievement and professional experience may have difficulty publicizing their skills or gaining employment offers. The legal field is becoming increasingly competitive with fewer jobs per day.

When searching for potential workplaces, one must work endlessly to increase their chances. One particular method of widening your probability of finding employment is through networking. Networking can be defined as the cultivation of productive relationships for employment.


Do not be fooled. Networking is not always laborious and boring – it can be enjoyable and consist of numerous social activities. While networking does require time and effort, it does not always have to feel like a tedious chore. There are several activities that can help widen your pool of relationships including:

·         Stay connected with old friends. Reach out to old colleagues and professors and strengthen the relationships you already have. You may surprised by how many individuals are willing to act as a reference or offer helpful advice.

·         Take part in social media networking. Create accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook if you have not done so already. Stay active and engaged on the boards so that you may create connections and be informed about important events and seminars. Social media networking will also assist you in reconnecting with long lost colleagues.

·         Attend events that you are interested in and put yourself out there. Try to network and create lasting connections with people you would enjoy working with in the near future. When event networking, remember to look presentable, friendly, and have business cards ready. Aim for energetic conversations that engage the listener. Do not appear shy or uncomfortable as you want to create an upbeat and positive first impression.

Attorney Recruiting

While networking may be able to increase your chances of job opportunities, it may not be completely effective in landing you your dream job. One should consider the importance of a flawless resume and cover letter while being able to handle the interview process with absolute ease. Attorney recruiting can help you with all aspects of building a successful career.

If you are an attorney struggling to find employment possibilities, you should consider attorney recruiting. The attorney recruiters at Rifkin Consulting have 25 years of practice in working with attorneys and law firms. The consultants will be able to improve your resume, prepare you for interviews, and discover top tier law firms in critical need of applicants. With well established connections and years of experience, the Rifkin consultants will be able to provide you with the right career opportunities for a permanent and enriching career.

How Attorney Partner Placements Have Changed Since 2007

As an attorney search consultant, I believe that partner placements and legal recruiting have become increasingly difficult - and different - during the last five years.  The primary reason for this is that as the economy took a drastic turn, many partners' portable books of business did also.  As a result, they were faced with two very difficult and contradictory situations: (1) without significant business they may have gotten the "wink and the nod" that they should seek work elsewhere, and/or (2) making a lateral move was difficult because their portable business had diminished.  Firms are more reluctant over the last few years to take a "gamble" on partners who previously did well.

Additionally, they significantly raised the required book of "verifiable" business before considering adding them to the firm.  Whereas 1 million in portable business used to be a sought-after number, for many large firms that has been raised to 2 million in portable business.  Smaller firms generally tend to want to see candidates in at least the $400K-$500K range.

An additional change that I've seen, and continue to observe, is with attorneys who were previously "service partners".  These attorneys often did not do business development, nor were they encouraged to do so, because there was enough work from other partners.  Sometimes it was even discouraged.

Unfortunately, when the economy experienced a downturn and the work was no longer plentiful, these senior attorneys who were not self-supporting were often told to find other work.  Again, the lack of portable business was a harsh reality that has continued to plague many.  I have spoken with many attorneys in this situation - some have gone from making huge salaries to just getting by.  They have become a sad casualty of the economy – and the evolution of the law firm model - as a result of the recession.  My sense is that even when the economy rebounds, service partners will be less desirable than previously.  I always advise candidates to do whatever they can to be self-supporting - it's ultimately a matter of survival.

Ask a Recruiter – Part 3; Why Do You Ask Me So Many Questions?

I’ve noticed that the most informed and highly-regarded attorney recruiters want to obtain a lot of information from me.  What if I don’t want to tell them about my salary or why I want to leave my job?  Can’t they just tell me what jobs are available in the market?

Understanding several things about professional recruiters will not only answer these questions, but will also enhance your overall recruiting experience.

  • Recruiters are compensated by the law firm (client) – not the attorney candidate.
  • Reputation, integrity and information are an attorney recruiters’ most valuable assets.
  • Relationships should be established that are based on trust, candor and good communication.

Given that recruiters are compensated by the clients, it’s crucial that we carefully screen candidates for important information; examples of this would be salary, required compensation, ability to relocate, hours regularly billed, and about their evaluations.  In-depth screening helps us determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular job, a personality fit for a prospective employer, and helps us to assess whether a candidate will be communicative and forthcoming during the placement process.  This information should be kept in the strictest confidence (at Rifkin Consulting, we take this seriously and have a Privacy Statement on our website.  Read it here

The recruiting process frequently takes a good deal of time.  However, there are often times when we need a timely response from a candidate, such as when scheduling an interview.  If we are working with a candidate who is difficult to track down and does not show genuine interest in exploring opportunities, then it's better to know this early on so that we can direct our efforts on placements that are more likely to move forward and with candidates who are more willing.

Specific job information is rarely shared during a first call or email.  Our insider information is a valuable asset – and recruiters want to feel confident that a candidate will not utilize this information outside of the relationship for self-gain.  Sounds terrible – but it happens.  Therefore, it’s important that we first try to determine whether this job seeker is serious about a job search and willing to be loyal and work together once information is shared.  There are several ways this can be ascertained, such as if the candidate quickly sends a resume other requested materials and information that are crucial to the process.  Additionally, it’s very important for a candidate to provide a list of any submissions that have already been made, so that the recruiter can move forward in an informed manner and not duplicate efforts.  Once a candidate takes advantage of a recruiter or is dishonest, the relationship can rarely be repaired. 

We are your managers, your counselors... facilitating the process on your behalf from beginning to end.  With mutual respect,  the relationship can be rewarding, long-term and successful!

Ask a Recruiter – Part 2; Anybody There?

I have sent my resume to several attorney recruiters and none of them responded.  Couldn’t they have at least said “sorry, not a fit”, “we’ll keep it on file”, or “get lost!”?  Why does it seem like a black hole when I send my resume to inquire about a job?

At Rifkin Consulting, we truly understand your frustration about the general lack of response from many recruiters.  In our office, while we make a concerted effort to respond to every resume that we receive, it’s just not feasible to expect a personal phone call or response in all cases.  Let me explain why, from my perspective…..

Most resumes that recruiters receive are unsolicited.  While this is not unusual, it’s possible for a successful recruiter to receive dozens of resumes each day.  Sometimes, the resumes we receive aren’t even from lawyers (which make us wonder if they even understand where they are sending it!).  Many others are clearly not on point for the job about which they are inquiring.  In any business, time must be used most efficiently in order to be successful – and recruiting is no exception.  Trying to balance this hard cold fact with compassion is not always easy, and a recruiter’s time must necessarily be spent primarily with candidates who they can place. 

Responding to every resume that comes in would take a huge amount of time – and would take away from our efforts and obligations to our active candidates.  Think about your own work day; would you be able to add an extra hour daily to an effort that doesn’t produce business?  No matter how much you wish you could…it’s just not feasible.  Recruiters don’t mean to be rude or lacking in compassion – they just have to prioritize their work as anyone else does.

We review every resume that reaches our desk and screen it carefully for a possible job match now – or in the future.  We try to respond to each – even if to just acknowledge its receipt.  Try not to take it personally if you don’t receive an email or a phone call – we aim for excellence in our profession and are known for good communication with candidates and law firm clients – but there are just so many hours in a day!

3 Reasons Why You Didn't Get the Job

Rejection hurts. As a society, we inherently associate rejection with failure—but we need to learn that rejection is a chance for us to react, respond, and recommit to our goals. While it may not seem like the case yet, being turned down by a potential employer might be the best thing that happened to you. Here are three reasons why you didn’t get the position you were hoping for, and how to improve your job search efforts in the future.

Not A Good Fit

One of the biggest challenges for any attorney recruiter is finding the right employee for the right company. Not only do applicants have to have the basic skills to do a job, but they must also be a good culture fit for the company. Your personality needs to meet that of the company you’re interested in.

If you think you’ll be a great fit, it may be difficult to convey your interests on paper without seeming too forward or giving too much information. In order to show off your personality and prove to the recruiter that you are the perfect candidate, do your homework. Research the company’s culture and reputation, and write your cover letter and resume in response to what you find.

Didn't Follow Directions

If a recruiter asks for a short cover letter, write a short letter. If they request salary requirements, be honest. If they ask for samples of your work or a link to your portfolio, do so. Recruiters spend hours searching for the right candidate. The last thing they want to do is exchange multiple emails asking you for documents or information that you should have sent them in the first try. Some might just ignore you completely if you didn't follow directions.

While you’re at it, make sure that you pay attention to details. Search your resume and cover letter for typographical or grammatical errors.

Lack of Basic Requirements

Simply put, you don’t meet the basic requirements. Maybe they’re looking for someone who has five years of experience, but you only have four. It’s not any fault of your own. At the end of the day, you’ll find a company that is the right fit for you, no matter what the requirements or culture. You just have to keep looking.

10 Common Resume Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Your resume is the first impression you’ll have on your potential new employer, which is why it’s imperative that you make no mistakes. You don’t want to miss out on a perfect opportunity because of a small error that could have been prevented. Here are some of the most common mistakes that might break the deal.

Vague Descriptions

At a glance, your resume should already say three things: what you do, what you want to do, and what you’ve done in the past to get you where you are now. No one wants to spend precious time digging through the slush for information that could easily have been conveyed more directly. Be specific in your descriptions, work history, and what you hope to accomplish.

Irrelevant Work Experience

While your work history may be a versatile compilation of jobs, you might want to reconsider including all of them in your resume. Employers are only interested in your experience so long as it is relevant to what you’ll be doing in your new position. Only include experience that you feel are related to the job you’re interviewing for.


When your resume is littered with grammatical mistakes and typographical errors, it conveys that your work is sloppy. If you don’t have time to fix up your resume, what makes the employer think that you won’t carry the same mentality into your position? Double check and triple check your resume for little mistakes.

Listing Tasks Instead of Achievements

It’s easy to list every mundane detail of your job, but that’s not what your new boss will search for. They’re looking for someone who can accomplish and meet goals. Instead of listing your tasks, write down your accomplishments and what goals you were able to meet at your position.

Too Much Information

While you want to give as much information about yourself, you should avoid going on for too long. Even though it's not set in stone for how long a resume should be, the general rule of thumb is to keep it to one page. However, if you must go on at great length about your many accomplishments, there is no real reason you can’t. As long as the information that you include is relevant, descriptive, and straight-to the point.

Too Little Information

And yet, while you’re trying to include only relevant information, you might end up leaving out the important bits altogether. Keep in mind that as long as you are descriptive and specific about your work experience, and stay relevant to the position to which you are applying, you’ll have a solid resume.

A Fluffy Objective

Employers do look at your resume objective, but often, applicants put a fluff statement that has nothing to do with the company or position they are applying for. If you’re going to put an objective at all, then make it as descriptive as possible. List realistically what you want to accomplish at your new position.

Lack of Action

Action words convey that you will work proactively to meet your goals. For example, instead of phrases like “I was responsible for a team of legal staff,” indicate that you “managed a team of legal staff.” Using verbs displays the message that you are ready to take charge and act.

Visual Overload

Unless you are applying for an artistic position at a design company, keep your resume’s design simple and black and white. Space is limited when you’re trying to synopsize your life onto one sheet of paper. Make every inch count.

Out-of-Date Contact Information

What if the many interviewers you had all wanted to hire you, but couldn’t reach you because you included either wrong or out-of-date contact information? It’s one of those important details that you should check, and check again, or you could be missing out on many opportunities.

Ask a Recruiter - Part 1; Why Won't a Recruiter Work With Me?

"I am a new law school graduate, and I contacted a legal recruiter to help me get a job.  Why won't they work with me?"

Don’t take it personally!  Many recruiters want to be able to help new law school graduates; however, clients will only work with recruiters to hire attorneys with at least one year of post law school experience in a law firm setting.  Why?

There are several reasons that firm clients take this position. 

  • First, since clients compensate recruiters for successful placements (no charge to the attorney), they prefer associates who provide some immediate value given that they already have some training and experience (i.e., can provide even a modicum of immediate hands-on assistance). 
  • Second, it is very costly to train and support a young attorney. Therefore,  an associate with some level of proven ability gives the firm a stronger sense of confidence and reasonable anticipation that he/she will remain with the firm for awhile. 
  • Third, many law firms conduct on-campus interviews [OCI] pursuant to hiring new law school graduates.  This method is often an expedient and cost-efficient way to proactively screen and hire new graduates. 

Additionally, few law firms will use the services of recruiters to hire young attorneys with only clerking experience.  Often law firms and law clerks utilize internal connections to facilitate such hires.

It’s important to understand the aforementioned reasons why an attorney recruiter can’t assist you with your job search if you are a new graduate or Bar-admittee.   You’ll need to be very proactive on your own if you weren’t successful during OCI, or if your school does not participate in OCI recruiting.  Learning about the various venues for networking and research, such as your local Public Law Center, can provide valuable experience as well as leads.  Good luck!

Looking for a Job in Orange County, Trust an Attorney Recruiter!

The media says the job market is going to get better, but to many out of work attorneys in Orange County, the job market remains tough.  Where do you turn when you can't find the Associate position you desire?  Trust a skilled Orange County attorney recruiter to find you the position you desire. As Orange County attorney recruiters, we at Rifkin Consulting strive to offer you the best possible service.  We work with a variety of law firms in Orange County and across the United States.

The Benefits of Working with an Orange County Attorney Recruiter

When you work with an Orange County attorney recruiter, you're making a smart decision to achieve success. At Rifkin Consulting, we take pride in working hard on behalf of our attorney candidates. But what exactly can you expect from an Orange County attorney recruiter?  We can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Resume review and editing. As premiere Orange County attorney recruiters, we at Rifkin Consulting have seen thousands of resumes.  And we know what law firms in Orange County are looking for.  Trust in our ability to provide a thorough critical review of your resume with suggested edits to capture hiring managers' attention.
  • Access to non advertised positions. Many law firms don't advertise they are hiring.  So when you use an Orange County attorney recruiter like Rifkin Consulting, you gain access to a network of law firms that are hiring in Orange County.  While other attorney candidates waste their time applying for the same positions online, you will have access to positions they'll never see.
  • Preparation for your job interviews. When you go in to a law firm interview, it gets progressively difficult. Over the course of 3 interviews, you'll get questioned and pressed harder and harder. Can you answer difficult questions on the fly? Now you don't have to. With the aid of an Orange County attorney recruiter, you will gain help preparing for these difficult interviews.
  • Assistance negotiating your offer. When you are offered a position at your desired law firm, that's where we can step in yet again to help you.  As your Orange County attorney recruiter, we at Rifkin Consulting will step in and negotiate your offer.  With the benefit of our experience, we'll get you a great salary and great benefits. 

Rifkin Consulting Wants You to Succeed!

As your Orange County attorney recruiter, we want you to succeed.  We're here for you every step of the way so you have the support and assistance you need to get hired at the law firm you desire.  You can depend on our decades of experience as Orange County attorney recruiters.  When you work with Rifkin Consulting, you are guaranteed personal attention and committed Orange County attorney recruiters.

Rifkin Consulting Can Help You Find a Los Angeles In House Counsel Position

Los Angeles is home to thousands of unique businesses, many of which need in house counsel to represent them in a variety of legal issues.  If you're looking to join a corporation as in house counsel, hire a Los Angeles attorney recruiter to help you secure that position.  At Rifkin Consulting, we are premiere Los Angeles attorney recruiters.  With decades of experience and deep connections in Los Angeles, Rifkin Consulting is the attorney recruiter of choice. We work for attorney candidates for free and you reap all the benefits.

Do You Know How To Secure a Great In House Counsel Position

If you're scanning the want ads online and applying to jobs yourself, you're likely missing out on choice Los Angeles in house counsel positions.  Need some help? Hire a Los Angeles attorney recruiter to secure you an in house position.  When you work with Rifkin Consulting, your premiere Los Angeles attorney recruiters, you gain the following benefits:

  • Connections to top corporations in Los Angeles. Rifkin Consulting has been around for decades and as choice Los Angeles attorney recruiters, we've placed many candidates in top in house counsel positions.  Want to join those ranks? Trust in our connections and expertise.
  • Experienced interview preparation techniques. When you're interviewing for an in house counsel position, you are stepping into a very different interview from law firms.  As top Los Angeles attorney recruiters, we can help you to prepare for these interviews with hands on help and scenario based coaching.
  • Assistance putting together your portfolio. Typically, in house counsel positions want to see a portfolio of your legal work.  They want to see if you've got experience preparing legal documents for issues they often face.  Do you need help with your portfolio? Rifkin Consulting's Los Angeles attorney recruiters can help you to assemble a polished portfolio which represents your best work.
  • Skilled negotiation techniques. In many ways, your job offer is just the beginning.  Part of the appeal of a Los Angeles in house counsel position is the often creative benefits that are unavailable to law firm Associates.  Let our skilled Los Angeles attorney recruiters help you negotiate that top salary, enviable hours, and benefits that will keep you happy. 

You Need a Competitive Edge

When you work with a Los Angeles attorney recruiter, you gain a competitive edge over others.  In Los Angeles, there are approximately 11 million people, a large percentage of whom are attorneys.  How many people do you think will be competing with?  When you use a Los Angeles attorney recruiter like Rifkin Consulting, you're investing in yourself.

Skilled San Diego Attorney Recruiters Can Help You Make a Lateral Move

When you're ready to make a lateral move, it's in your best interest to call a skilled San Diego attorney recruiter.  At Rifkin Consulting, we are skilled San Diego attorney recruiters who place attorney candidates in top firms.  No matter what area you specialize in, we've got the right stuff to help you make a winning lateral move.

The attorney job market is fiercely competitive.  In a particularly turbulent economy, attorneys are fighting tooth and nail to get noticed.  Don't fight alone.  Contact a skilled San Diego attorney recruiter to work diligently for you to ensure you make a smooth lateral move.

San Diego Attorney Recruiters Can Help You With Your Necessary Materials

Do you have a stand out resume?  How about a portfolio of your best attorney work products?  Do you have a law school transcript on hand?  When you're looking to make a lateral move, these are all necessary items.  Your skilled San Diego attorney recruiter can help you assemble these items correctly. 

  • Resume. At Rifkin Consulting, our years of experience as San Diego attorney recruiters means we've seen a lot of resumes.  And we've written a lot of stand out resumes for our attorney candidates.  Trust our skilled San Diego attorney recruiters to boil your resume down to what's important and to highlight your best attributes. 
  • Transcript. As experienced San Diego attorney recruiters, we're sticklers for details.  Unfortunately, many attorney candidates are not.  We want you to be prepared to gain the position of your dreams.  So we insist upon you having your law firm transcript.  We'll even help you to obtain it if you need!
  • Attorney work products.  Would you hire an attorney candidate without a portfolio or samples of his or her work? Most firms want to see what you can do. And they want to know that you can handle the work in their industry.  That's where a great portfolio comes in.  Experienced San Diego attorney recruiters like Rifkin Consulting can help you to assemble this portfolio. Depending upon the position you seek, you should have your very best work product that makes your skill set shine. Working with a San Diego attorney recruiter will ensure that your portfolio represents you well and stands out from the competition.

When You Make a Lateral Move, You Need a Great San Diego Attorney Recruiter on Your Side

When you work with a San Diego attorney recruiter, you gain the inside track.  Employers pay us to find top talent, so it's in our best interest to ensure you represent well and land the job of your dreams.  Why try to do it alone?  Get the help you need and deserve by hiring a San Diego attorney recruiter.  Rifkin Consulting has an excellent reputation as an experienced San Diego attorney recruiter and we'd love to work with you.

Long Beach Attorney Recruiters Rifkin Consulting Help You to Market Yourself

When you're seeking a position as an Associate or as In House Counsel, you need to know how to market yourself for the job you want.  Do you know how to stand out of the crowd and market yourself as the right choice?  Maybe it's time you called a Long Beach attorney recruiter.  When you call a Long Beach attorney recruiter like Rifkin Consulting, you gain experts in the field of marketing yourself for the job you want.

As attorneys, it's not a natural skill to be able to sell yourself or your skills.  You likely got into this business to argue the finer points of law, not to sell.  But when you're looking for a job, you must be able to market yourself in this manner.  That's where we come in.  Hire a Long Beach attorney recruiter to take on the role of marketing you to law firms and corporations.

How Long Beach Attorney Recruiters Market You

When you submit your resume to Rifkin Consulting, you gain knowledgeable and skilled Long Beach attorney recruiters who will aggressively market you to potential employers across Long Beach and the United States.  We've got the experience that you need to gain the position you want.  How do we do it?  We use the following techniques to your advantage:

  • We review and edit your resume free of charge. We have over 2 decades of experience reading and writing reviews that make our attorney candidates stand out from the crowd.  Trust in Rifkin Consulting as your preferred Long Beach attorney recruiters to edit your resume to sell your unique skill set.  Hiring managers are looking for specific skills and experience. If you don't know how to sell your skill set as an exact fit, you may not make the cut.  That's why you can trust our experienced Long Beach attorney recruiters to make your resume sparkle.
  • We leverage our connections to law firms and corporations in your favor. We've worked with many of these hiring law firms and corporations for years.  And after years, we know exactly what they want and who to call to pitch an attorney candidate just like you.  Employers trust our experience as Long Beach attorney recruiters will identify and match the perfect candidate.  As your Long Beach attorney recruiter, we go to bat for you. 
  • We teach you how to sell employers on your skill set. When you're going in for an interview, you're really going in to sell yourself and market yourself to the potential employer.  Your Long Beach attorney recruiters teach you what to say to market yourself, highlighting your attributes. As Long Beach attorney recruiters, we've prepared thousands of candidates for interviews and know a thing or two about winning personal marketing strategies. Sit down with us and let us help you to sell yourself.

You need an advocate on your side.  That's why you should call a Long Beach attorney recruiter today.  Gain the help you need for free.  Yes, free. We are paid by your eventual employer, so it is in our interest to work hard to market you well.

Experienced San Francisco Attorney Recruiters Rifkin Consulting Get Results

San Francisco is a competitive town.  And given the current somewhat shaky state of the attorney job market, the competition has gotten fierce.  That's why you need an experienced and assertive San Francisco attorney recruiter on your side.  At Rifkin Consulting, our decades of experience make us the best San Francisco attorney recruiters.  Don't just take our word for it, take a look at our track record.  We place more people into satisfying San Francisco attorney positions than our competitors do.  Our San Francisco attorney recruiters get the results you need.

What an Experienced San Francisco Attorney Recruiter Can Do For You

You've got the experience and the desire to get hired at a great law firm.  But do you have the skills to catch that law firm's eye and beat out your competition?  Do you know what it takes to make a lateral move? Trust Rifkin Consulting, your experienced San Francisco attorney recruiters to help you out.  We offer the following services to our attorney candidates to help them get hired:

  • Thorough review of your resume and portfolio. When you make a lateral move, you'll need not only a great professional resume, but a portfolio that represents your best work.  Ideally, this work will be persuasive enough to encourage a law firm to hire you.  If your resume and your portfolio could use a review, let our San Francisco attorney recruiters take a look.  We can suggest edits to show off your accomplishments and skills.  And we can suggest what items you may want to include in your portfolio to grab the attention of that law firm's hiring manager.
  • In depth interview preparation and coaching. Interviews are scary and can be quite nerve wracking.  We know, we've been there too.  As experienced San Francisco attorney recruiters, we've prepared thousands of candidates for this big moment, and we've achieved great success.  We can help you prepare for your big interview, too. Trust in our experienced San Francisco attorney recruiters to give you the help you need to excel.
  • Inside tips and tricks. We've been working with many of our clients for years, some of them for decades.  By now, we know a thing or two about these law firms' corporate environments, their realistic expectations, and what will cause them to run for the hills.  Let us offer you the benefit of our experience as San Francisco attorney recruiters to get you hired in a satisfying environment.
  • Salary negotiations. You want to maximize your salary and benefits and we want to help you to achieve that! Rifkin Consulting's experienced San Francisco attorney recruiters have successfully negotiated salaries with these same law firms many a time before.  We know exactly how to achieve the best for you!

When you're looking for a competitive edge, trust in a San Francisco attorney recruiter to provide it for you.  We'll be your secret weapon in a highly competitive law firm job market.

21 Ways to Increase Your Work Productivity

Procrastination is a pit we all fall into during the work day. Everyone needs a moment to unwind, but there is still work that needs to get finished. Here are twenty five ways you can avoid procrastination and increase productivity to get more out of your time.

Develop Healthy Habits

Humans, by nature, are creatures of routine. Pick a healthy habit, like completing a task before checking your email or creating a to-do list, and stick to it for at least a month.

Limit Your Inbox Addiction

While email has become the primary method for communication in the office, the inbox might become a source of distraction. Try to check your email only at certain times of the day so you can stay focused on the more important tasks at hand.

Stay Away from the Snooze Button

Waking up just a little bit earlier every day will help you get more out of your morning. Those nine minutes after the snooze button aren’t going to do you much good anyway, so why not get out of bed and start the day off right.

Keep a To-Do List

Keep this list simple, and break tasks down into small chunks. Each item should take no more than five to thirty minutes, so that you feel accomplished every time you can place a check next to your goal.

While You’re At it, Keep a To-Don’t List

It takes the average person three weeks to develop a habit—and not necessarily good ones. Therefore, avoid procrastination triggers by making a to-don’t list; include things like Facebook, Tumblr, emails, cell phones, etc.

Avoid Multitasking

Your brain isn’t geared to take on too many things at once. By tackling one task at a time, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and accurately.

Take Breaks

This may sound counterproductive, but taking breaks actually increases your work productivity. You should take a moment to stretch your legs, make a quick stop at the kitchen for some water, or de-clutter your work space. Do anything as long as it gives you fresh perspective from the task at hand.

Stay Active

While you’re on your break, you might want to consider going for a walk or jog. Being active does wonders for your body, mind, and emotional health.

Keep Away from the Phone

Most offices have a strict no-cell-phone policy, but even if yours doesn’t, try to avoid checking your phone every few minutes. Unless you are expecting an emergency, you should try to avoid this distraction.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Get rid of the more important items on your to-do list. Not only will this help you organize your work duties, but you will be making the virtual decision to get more things done throughout the day.

Complete the Task You Hate First

While you should concentrate on the most important task for the majority of your day, if your to-do list isn’t growing any smaller, perhaps it’s because you just need to get started. The best way to get over a dreaded fear is to face it head on. So get the task you’re looking least forward to out of the way first, and you’ll move down the list in no time.

Clean Out Your Space

This includes your desk space as well as your inbox. Try to keep your inbox at zero by organizing emails into respective folders. Keep your work area clear of mess and clutter.

Avoid Social Media

Unless you are in charge of public relations and social media, stay off Facebook and Twitter. These socializing tools will not only be distracting, but they may become a source of depression when you’re in an office, expected to do work.


Every creative person will have some sort of brainstorming method to turn to. If you’re stuck on an idea, take a few minutes to write them down without any distractions.

Always Have a Pen in Hand

This is the writer’s mantra, but it’s a useful adage for anyone. You may say you have a photographic memory, but let’s not test that theory. Keep a pen and notebook on you at all times so that you can jot down notes whenever you come across an idea you think is worth saving.

Find Your Happy Place

When coworkers are busy socializing and distracting you from your job, the best way to avoid joining the crowd is to plug into some music or find your happy place so that you can concentrate on work.

Say No

If your coworker is asking you to do busy work that will take time away from your own tasks, learn that it's okay to decline. You have your own to-do list to stick to.

Leave Reminders for Yourself

Out of sight, out of mind isn’t exactly true when you have a deadline looming above you like a dark storm cloud. Leave reminders for yourself to avoid missing important dates.


If you’re going to tackle that task, then tackle that task. Don’t bounce around, or go looking for distractions. Commit to a task and don’t stop until you get it done.

Track Your Time

In order to better invest time into the tasks that matter, keep a record of how much time you spend reading blogs, chatting with coworkers, checking your email, and other distractions. You will be surprised with how much of your day you’re wasting.

Pat Yourself on the Back

To boost confidence and encourage yourself, one trick is to keep a journal of your accomplishments. Even if they’re small tasks that you managed to get done, reading about what you were able to achieve throughout the day can give you that boost of confidence to get through the rest of the hours.

We've Been Featured on The Vault!

If you're a frequent reader of the Vault, as we are, you might have already seen this, but we've been featured on their blog today.  We've been so fortunate to be able to contribute the benefit of our experience to influencers within the legal community.

If you haven't yet read the article, you can read Diane Rifkin's tips for marketing yourself as an overqualified attorney here on the Vault.

Feel free to leave a comment, say hi, and start a thoughtful discussion.  We are always open to sharing our experience with others.

Revamp Your Resume to Land the Job

According to the Huffington Post, the average recruiter will look at your resume for all of six seconds before deciding whether or not you’re right for the team. And while the legal recruiters at Rifkin Consulting guarantee that we spend much more time than that on our candidates, we can’t speak for potential employers who are judging you from the look of your resume. Essentially, you are trying to condense your life experiences and qualifications onto one sheet of paper—if you’re lucky, maybe two. We understand that it can be difficult, but not impossible.

This year, instead of making resolutions you know you’ll never keep, resolve to make a better impact and get the job you want. After all, your resume is the first impression you'll have on the law firm, so why not make it the best one? Here are some tips on assuring that your resume is the one that stands out.

Highlight relevant experience

The brutal truth: an employer will skip your fluff and cut to the meat of the matter. They want to get down to business and see if you can do the job that they need you to do. If the answer is buried between irrelevant job experience at Burger King and Starbucks, chances are you’re going to go to the bottom of the pile. (In fact, if you’re still including Burger King and Starbucks in your resume, we think it best that you rethink your options.) Use bullets and bold font to instantly show the employer that you meet their qualifications. Make your resume as easily and quickly to digest as possible. But make sure the employer likes what he tastes.

Quantify experience

When speaking about your abilities, it’s important to cite situations that prove them.  Relevant experience will speak for itself, so include them in your resume.  Don’t be afraid to brag, but don’t go over the top. Quantify your experience and be specific about the challenges you’ve overcome. For example, if you’ve had trial experience or won cases, list them. Be detailed and get to the point.

Education vs. Experience

A resume is like real estate. Higher value properties should be located at the top of a listing. Similarly, your more applicable experiences should be listed first on your resume. Experience takes precedence over education, but if you’re still only starting out and don’t have much experience of which to boast, place education at the top. Otherwise, what’s more important and relevant to the position should have higher priority.

Limit to one page

No matter your qualifications, a prospective employer wants an easily digestible synopsis on your work history and experience.  For this reason, it’s standard to limit resumes to just one page.  If you happen to be particularly accomplished, don’t get too granular about the details. Stick to the basics to allow room for other accomplishments.  Another option is to include a second page of Representative Matters or Representative Clients.

Keep it professional

Unless you are applying for a position at a marketing agency or a design company, it is always best to keep your resume simple in terms of style. Recruiters and employers read dozens of resumes every day. The bottom line is they want something basic and straightforward, something that will tell them in a matter of seconds whether or not you are a good fit. No one wants to waste hours on someone unqualified. There’s no need for crazy colors and busy designs. Black and white does the trick just fine when your experience speaks for itself.

Personal Information

Too often, the personal section of a resume will include random, irrelevant information.  In a cheap trick to make themselves stand out, candidates include personal information, hobbies, and interests—and why they think the interviewer would care is beyond us. If you want to impress the firm, there’s no need to include irrelevant information about your personal life. Your work history and abilities should say it all.

It's always best to keep your resume fresh and up to date. As you start out the new year, give your professional profile a makeover to ensure that you'll get the job you want. Keep these tips in mind when you're revamping your resume, and you'll get that interview in no time.

Tags: Preparing

4 Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

We’ve all been there, that awkward moment, the one wherein the interviewer asks you the question and you have no answer, the one you were sure you were prepared for, but it turns out you weren’t. The dreaded question of: “Do you have any questions for me?”

Don’t let yourself be caught without a response. As the interview progresses, you should already be gathering these questions to ask toward the end. But here are four essential queries you should ask the interviewer at the end of every interview.

If I were hired, how can I exceed your expectations?

This question shows that you’re eager and confident and ready to learn. Not only that, but it conveys the message that you are there to please the company and impress your employer, not the other way around. Too many times, potential hires assume that they are God’s gift to the firm, but needless to say, that’s hardly the case. By asking this question, you will be proving to your potentially new employee that you are ready and eager to help their business.

How can I help you meet your goals?

When law firms hire, they are doing so in order to achieve the goals they set out to achieve. They’re not there for you—you’re there for them. So by asking this question, you are showing that you understand this and that you are ready to help them further their business. It also shows confidence in your abilities, and reflects on your future work ethic as an employee.

Why wouldn’t you hire me?

This question has two purposes. 1) To get the interviewer realizing that you are the perfect fit and there really isn’t a reason not to hire you. And 2) if there is a reason, then you’ll get some free feedback from a professional who got to see you in action. You know those practice interviews you did with your friend, after which they gave you sweetened feedback when all you wanted was someone to tell you how you can improve? Well, here’s your chance to get real feedback, which you'll be able to apply during the next interview.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Showing a personal interest in the interviewer can work in your favor, especially if he or she will be your supervisor at the company. You can also learn a lot about the company by hearing this answer. If the firm is a great place to work, obviously there will be many things the interviewer is excited about, but if there isn’t, then the answer might be short and not very enthusiastic. The bottom line is that you’re showing an interest, and that’s always a good thing.

How can you help them achieve their goals?

Just keep in mind that employers are always looking for someone who can help them get to their goals faster and efficiently. As long as you show that you’re eager to learn, enthusiastic about the position and company, and confident in your work, they won’t be able to turn you away.

Taking up the Gauntlet: How to Answer the Most Common--and Dreaded--Interview Questions

So your resume got your foot in the door.  Take a moment to pat yourself on the back—but only a moment.  You’ve still got that interview to get through. As you rev up for the upcoming meeting that has suddenly become the source of all your tension and nerves, we hope you've done your research on the company and planned your outfit for the day.

Now it’s time to take a look at some of the most dreaded and commonly asked questions—and how to best answer them.

What do you know about our company?

This is possibly one of the easiest interview questions since the beginning of time because there is no wrong answer—except for no answer at all. Conducting research on a company is easier, especially now that we have access to this brilliant thing called the Internet. Unless a company is hiding under a rock (which wouldn’t boast well for its business), it will have a website. Don’t just stop there. Browse the forums, look for articles, and think—you knew it was coming—outside the box. Do your homework so that when the interviewer asks you this question, you already know what services the firm offers, the key strategies and mission statement, commitments, and other information about the firm. When you prove to the potential employer that you’re committed to becoming a part of their company, they might actually make you part of the company. Fathom that.

Why are you leaving your current occupation?

One of the best ways to answer this question is to lock up your inner Negative Nancy and resist the automatic instinct to complain. Sure, your supervisor subjected you to years of menial tasks and busy work. Every position will have its ups and downs. But keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect job—only positive attitudes. Instead, keep a professional outlook, mention how your last job was challenging (and while you’re at it, throw in a line about how you overcame those challenges), and convey that you’re looking for a different challenge, which you hope to find at this new position.

What are your central strengths?  Your weaknesses?

Let’s face it, every interview boils down to bragging about yourself and marketing yourself as the perfect fit for the position. How do you do that in a mere fifteen to sixty minutes? When someone asks you about your strengths, don’t tell them something completely irrelevant, like how you just beat Angry Birds Level 3-5. Be sure to mention keywords that the firm is known for. As for weaknesses, no one is perfect. Don’t say that you don’t have any because that. Is. A. Lie. Instead, be honest about your weaknesses, but also say that you are working hard or have already overcome challenges you’ve faced at your last positions. Instead of saying “I’m a perfectionist,” say “It used to be harder for me to manage my time, but I have since learned the value of prioritizing and making schedules.”

Why are you right for the job?

When an interviewer asks this question, you should hear it as “What can you do for our company?” Reiterate your central strengths and elaborate, not just what you have to offer as a person, but as an employee as well. What is it about you that will ultimately bring these guys success?  Applicable experience is gold, here.  It proves you’ve got the skill to do the job, which is the ultimate goal of the interview. Choose your answer carefully, and always keep in mind that you want to make the interviewer happy. Not the other way around.

Those are just some of the most commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them. We’ll be looking at more in the future, so stay tuned and don’t forget to check back with us for more advice.

Tags: Interview

Season's Greetings!

The holidays are just around the bend, and we hope everyone is ready to take on this year's festivities.

Please take a moment to enjoy the upcoming holidays and pat yourself on the back. The team here certainly appreciate every candidate and client we've had the pleasure to work with. 

Meanwhile, don't forget to check out Diane's latest article on LocalAreaLawyers on the financial benefits of working with an attorney recruiter

Until next time!

3 Reasons Why Companies Should Incorporate Casual Dress

Our attire says a lot about us. We can pretty much anticipate what type of day we'll have by how far up we button our shirt.  One from the top says we’re ready for anything. Two from the top might indicate that we’re ready for our caffeine fix. But while it’s important to appear and act professional, there are days where the perfectly ironed suit-and-tie simply isn’t going to cut it.

The argument between whether or not to dress casually at work has been a common dispute for many companies. At Rifkin Consulting, we love the polished appearance, the buttoned up, perfectly poised, ready-to-take-on-the-world look. But even the geniuses at our office are dying to dress down once in awhile. If your company is on the fence about whether or not to incorporate casual-dress days, here are three reasons why you should consider it.

1) People are Friendlier

According to a study by the Business Communication Quarterly, casual clothing creates a feeling of friendliness.  There are several logical reasons as to why this could be.  Without the iron-pressed threads, we don’t feel as much pressure to perform, the extra button isn’t riding our Adam’s apple, and people look normal, which makes us behave normally. Dressing casually helps us feel more comfortable. As a result, we are less concerned about how we look, and more focused on how we work.

2) Bosses are More Approachable

A study by the Society for the Advancement of Management reveals that bosses are more frequently approached when they dress casually, and thus appear less intimidating.  It probably has something to do with how when we aren't sweating a deadline, we can look at the boss’s cuffed sleeves without imagining the Vader death grip over our necks.  The comforting look of t-shirts, by extension, says, “Want to come to my barbeque?” more loudly than the suit's “I’ll eat you alongside my grape nuts."

3) People Feel Free

Casual attire incites a feeling of freedom within employees.  This feeling of freedom prompts creativity by removing the stifling pressure to succeed.  Obviously, we don’t want to completely remove the desire to do well in the office (the plot of only every movie involving cubicles). However, the ability to relieve pressure on any project enables us to try things we wouldn’t have otherwise than if we only considered what would be passable in the boss’ eyes.

Should You Hire an Attorney Recruiter?

If you've been on the fence about contacting a legal recruiter, here's a tip that might push you in the right direction. Diane Rifkin explains the pros and cons of reaching out to a recruiter and landing your dream job over on Local Area Lawyers. 

Here are some key points from her article:

  • Candidates reaching out to a recruiter don't pay a dime, since law firms where you are placed will pay a percentage fee to the recruiter
  • A recruiter can help spruce up your resume to make you stand out
  • Interview preparation and practice will help perfect your skills and show you how to market yourself as the right candidate
  • Recruiters will negotiate your skills for you with your potential new employer so that you avoid the awkward discussion about finances
  • You get a leg up over the rest of your competitors when a recruiter has your back

Read the rest of the article here.