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Grilling the lawyer in the interview chair

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I asked Kate Neville, a career consultant who serves attorneys considering a professional transition, to share her advice on hiring a lawyer for a nonlegal job. She shared her advice in today’s and Tuesday’s posts.

What are the common problems that tend to crop up among former lawyers in new fields?

  • Being stereotyped as confrontational and stiff.
  • Frustration with being referred to as a “recovering lawyer.”
  • Lack of management training.
  • Need for business development/fundraising skills.
  • Expectation of shorter hours and more work-life balance (this may not be accurate in new field or position.)
  • Lack of a professional community with shared experience.
  • Lawyer jokes.

You’re hiring a manager. You don’t need a lawyer to do the job you’re hiring for, but one has applied. What should you ask in the interview?

  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What don’t you like about the practice of law?
  • What are you looking for in a change of professional direction?
  • What experience and skills do you bring to the table that will allow you to excel in this position?