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"The most common means of obtaining a job was a letter or other "self-initiated contact" with the employer..."
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Origins of an Altruistic Endeavor


By Jennifer Jeffries

Legal Authority was started some years ago by a law professor who saw how difficult it was for some of his brightest students to find legal positions. One student in particular had graduated at the top of his class, but was never even able to secure an interview, let alone obtain a job offer. When the student contacted the professor and explained his predicament, the law professor decided to take action.

The professor knew that the biggest obstacle for this and other qualified candidates to obtaining the legal job of their dreams was simply their tendency to market themselves incorrectly. According to Bob Gerber, the author of An Easier Way to Change Jobs, "[j]ob hunting success depends 70% on marketing and interviews and 30% on background and ability." Essentially, effective marketing consists of having a stellar cover letter and resume, knowing where to direct your mailing, and mailing a sufficient volume to achieve your desired results.

With these principles in mind, the professor invited the student into his office and questioned him in depth about his education and employment history. The professor used this information to revise the student's resume and cover letter so that the documents would better showcase the student's skill and experience. The professor then printed the student's resumes, cover letters, and envelopes; and he sent them to more than 250 law firms in the area. Put simply, the professor achieved what the student had not been able to accomplish on his own—effective marketing. And just as you may have guessed, the student finally found the job he was looking for.

When word got out about how successful the professor's help had been, other students wanted to work with the professor, as well. Before long, multiple attorneys and law students visited the professor's office each day to tap into the professor's knowledge of the legal job market. To keep up with this demand, the professor employed several attorneys, who were charged with building a database filled with the contact information of the hiring partners at every law firm in the area.

After a few months, word had spread throughout parts of California about the service; and attorneys started arriving from different regions of the state to work with the professor. As the professor had never charged for his service, he soon was going broke financing the operation. It was then that he realized he was not going to be able to continue to provide this much-needed service and fund it out of his own pocket. Over the course of the weeks that followed, the professor mortgaged his house, trained a number of people to start inputting the contact data from across the United States, and trained still more people to write legal resumes. He also hired more attorneys like himself to start talking with the people looking for jobs and advising them on job-search strategies. Legal Authority soon opened its doors, and those doors remain open today.

True, Legal Authority arose from humble beginnings, but they shaped Legal Authority into the viable business it is today. In fact, Legal Authority is the largest portal of legal employment opportunities in the world, seamlessly bringing attorneys and employers together. Legal Authority has the largest database of legal employers anywhere, consisting of contacts for more than 2,000,000 legal employers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Legal Authority was able to flourish so rapidly because the professor understood that when law firms hire attorneys, they are essentially doing business. From a business perspective, these companies are seeking individuals who will enable them to increase revenue. That being said, every application an employer receives serves as an opportunity to either save money or make money, or both. Many employers do not even have job openings until they are presented with a candidate that is attractive to them. Even the National Association of Law Placement, a nonprofit legal research organization, clearly states that most attorneys obtain jobs by directly contacting employers that are not soliciting applications. And it is Legal Authority's dedication to creating high-impact resumes and personalized cover letters to maximize a candidate's marketability that continues to fuel the company's growth.

Nevertheless, as much as Legal Authority has grown, it continues to find great success because it still operates on the same principles and sensitivity that it was founded upon: providing a service at a cost where the company can pay its expenses and not lose money. Today, Legal Authority's staff remains devoted to helping attorneys find jobs, not making a lot of money in the process.

Since the professor helped that first law student, Legal Authority has helped tens of thousands of attorneys with their job searches. The company's success is owed the innovative approach to legal marketing that it employs. As a result, as long as there are employers in the market for attorneys, Legal Authority will remain a success.




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