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California Young Lawyers Association

The Early Career Support Project

by Richard P. Carlton, Director, Lawyer Assistance Program

Having difficulty finding rewarding employment in a tight legal market creates tremendous stress for many early career lawyers.  To address these challenges, the Lawyer Assistance Program (“LAP”) of the State Bar of California, in conjunction with CYLA, is expanding its career counseling and career development services.  The LAP will continue to provide two free counseling sessions with a career counselor who specializes in assisting attorneys who wish to make a positive career change.  This assistance may take the form of clarifying career interests, learning effective networking and interviewing skills, polishing a resume, sending inquiries that produce results, and finding the market’s best employment and contracting prospects. 

Beginning in January 2016, CYLA and the LAP will launch the Early Career Support Project.  A new website for this project will provide a host of career development tips and resources.  Additionally, the website will become the hub for the formation of Career Development Teams throughout California.  These teams will be modeled after the job search work teams structure pioneered by the career services firm Lee Hecht Harrison.  Job search work teams provide knowledge about the search process, a constant source of encouragement, and much needed support.  One study found that compared to non-team job hunters, job search work team members:

  • Better understood the job search process;
  • Were more accountable for the ongoing search process;
  • Displayed a more positive attitude toward the process; and
  • Devoted double the weekly hours to job hunting.

More information about how job search work teams function and the associated benefits can be found at www.highlyeffectivejobsearch.com

The Career Development Teams will meet in major metropolitan areas in the evening twice a month and will be facilitated by experienced career counselors and career coaches.  The teams will generally be composed of six (6) to twelve (12) members.  Team members will pay the facilitator $20 each month to participate.  The balance of the cost of the facilitator’s services will be covered by the State Bar for up to six months. 

To find out more about these career development resources, please email LAP@calbar.ca.gov

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