I called this student and invited him in anyway. I rewrote his resume for him and helped him write a cover letter. Then I allowed him to send his documents out to the 300 or so law firms in the BCG Attorney Search database that were in Los Angeles. Prior to this point, this student had simply applied to the law firms in the NALP guide and also had applied to the occasional listing in his law school's career services office. All that had ever resulted from this was an interview with a two-person law firm.
Out of the 300 applications he sent out, this student got several interviews and secured a position with a mid-sized law firm where he made close to $100,000 in his first year. I am sure his salary was among the highest of any student in his graduating class. He is enjoying an excellent career today.
Around this same time, the economy was beginning to go into a tailspin. Many of the corporate attorneys I had placed during the boom began to get laid off and, remembering the lesson of the law student, I started inviting them into my office and helping them redo their resumes and cover letters as well. Because there were so few corporate openings (and law firms simply would not pay recruiting fees for corporate attorneys), I helped these same attorneys send out their documents to the firms in the BCG database at no cost.
All of these attorneys got jobs.
Word soon spread that I was helping corporate attorneys do this and corporate attorneys and others sought out my service to such an extent that I soon had no time for legal recruiting. We ran a ''war room'' of sorts out of BCG's Los Angeles offices and attorneys came in and assisted each other in building a massive database of every legal employer in California. Things were really crazy and we were operating 24 hours a day out of that office helping attorneys get jobs. The printers were going like crazy all the time.
What ended up happening, though, was that it all became too much, a lot of it due to the overwhelming costs involved. Soon, this mailing service was getting calls for help even though no formal business had been organized. In fact, I was spending thousands of dollars each week out of my own pocket to support this effort.
Unlike job boards or legal recruiters, Legal Authority helps attorneys find both open positions and jobs where none may exist. Firms often actually create jobs for attorneys once the attorney has expressed interest in potential employment by simply sending a resume and well crafted letter. Legal Authority is truly an outstanding service and if there is one thing I have done in my life to ''make a difference,'' this is it. The success stories from this business are nothing less than remarkable.
In order to run a business like Legal Authority, you need a lot of people. There are currently over 40 people working here, updating our data literally 24 hours a day. Legal Authority has contact information (we know exactly who is in charge of hiring) for virtually every American legal employer.
While personal stories may not have a role in my discussion of Legal Authority, I can tell you that starting this business almost destroyed me financially and personally. For over the first year Legal Authority was in existence, I worked 15+ hours a day on it virtually every day of the week. My wife divorced me and I came very close to going out of business for financial reasons several times. The debt I accumulated to start the business was nothing short of astonishing. In the first year of running Legal Authority, I was often losing in excess of $20,000 per week in order to do something I believed was a higher calling.
I do not resent starting Legal Authority at all. Everything that is good in this world and every positive change is not easy. Each new challenge with Legal Authority has only motivated me further. I know that there are numerous, numerous lives of people everywhere that have been bettered through our efforts. I am sure you can say the same for your work. This is something that gives both of us lives of substance and meaning.
I gave Legal Authority everything I had because I knew I was doing something meaningful for the world.
The problem with Legal Authority, though, is that the cost is expensive; and it is therefore quite exclusive and high end. While the attorneys who counsel people on their job search consider their work to be like public interest work (and are paid similarly), the costs of gathering data, rewriting resumes and cover letters, printing, shipping, and so forth are substantial. Accordingly, from an attorney and law student's perspective, the cost of Legal Authority can be expensive. In most cases, attorneys spend over $500 (often more) to get a position through the service. It is not a lot of money to get several jobs; however, it is still a lot of money to most people.