What is legal outplacement?
Legal outplacement is an employer-funded, personalized service that addresses the career needs of attorneys moving out of their positions. While this service does not provide jobs for out-of-work lawyers, it does provide assistance, support and education in securing a new position and/or exploring alternative careers.
What are the benefits of legal outplacement?
To facilitate the process of termination, many law firms and corporate legal departments have taken advantage of preserving the good will of their attorneys by offering them the benefit of legal outplacement services. Whether it is an attorney's decision to leave, or the firm's decision to terminate an individual, the service provides the necessary bridge to maintaining good relationships within the firm and in the legal community.
Outplacment services can serve both the firm and employee preserving good will for the former and enabling the latter to quickly move on to new opportunities. The reputations of firms and attorneys alike are common knowledge. Forward-thinking managers recognize that their former employee may someday be in a position to either refer work back to the firm or even become a client. So treating an unpleasant situation as respectfully as possible may pay dividends later.
Offering outplacement services can also foster good will, helping to maintain good relationships with those leaving the firm and, in turn, across the broader legal community. Employees who remain with the firm get the message that leadership cares for and respects everyone in the workplace. Word like that gets around and can have a positive impact on retaining talent as well as recruiting talent in the future and becoming an employer of choice.
How does legal outplacement work?
The first step is to help the attorney adjust to the shock of job loss and the resulting fears around job transition. This step is necessary to help the individual move past negative feelings that, if not identified and dealt with, can interfere with the rest of the process and possibly derail the job search.
The next step is to assess the attorney's transferable skills, experience and education. The assessment helps to crystallize thinking and generate ideas for targeting specific practice areas and employers. Then, a personalized marketing plan is developed, complete with potential contacts, marketing strategies and network-building techniques. Outplacement coaching provides advice and assistance in implementing the plan and with interviewing and negotiation strategy. Resume and targeted letter writing assistance is also provided.
Coaching is available throughout the process, providing ongoing support and helping to handle motivational barriers if they develop.
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