My dad is a lawyer-turned-history-teacher who wants to go back to being a lawyer. His career change has been tumultuous, and at this point, he is distressed that his Harvard law degree doesn’t open doors like it used to. Forty years ago. So he did what everyone in my family does when there’s a career problem: He called me.

And I called Stephen Seckler, who is a recruiter for attorneys at BCG. I only know Stephen from his blog, Counsel to Counsel, which I really like, and from post he wrote here at Brazen Careerist titled 5 Myths About Going to Law School. I like Stephen because he understands that the legal profession is limited in terms of flexibility, but he has a lot of ideas for how to make that mesh with personal growth and common core values.

I explained to Stephen that my dad is really lost and needs someone to help him understand what his options are. I was nervous to have my dad talk with someone I knew only professionally. What if my dad sounded like a nutcase or something? (And speaking of nutcases, I reminded my dad ten times that on this phone call he must refer to me as Penelope.)

Stephen was so helpful to my dad. He showed my dad his strengths for the marketplace, he showed my dad alternative opportunities that most people wouldn’t think of for lawyers, and, most of all, he made my dad feel a little more in control of his destiny, and I think, in the end, that’s what we all want from our career plans.

Stephen is a very practical guy, and he’s great at seeing ways around problems that other people don’t see. For example, I once asked him how lawyers can get out of working long hours. He had five good ideas, but one of them really resonated because I can use it in my own life, right now – it’s the idea that the most exciting, in-the-fray work is usually also the most demanding of all your time, and we need to be conscious of that when we’re picking our specialty

So, this is a taste of the kind of advice Stephen gives. He is a legal recruiter, but in the past he has also been a career coach, and that combination makes him a uniquely useful resource.

So you can get 90 free minutes with Stephen. You can use it to make yourself more appealing as a candidate in the legal field, you can use it to get advice on how to slow down or ramp up. This is a good opportunity for a lawyer who needs to fine tune how things are going, or for someone who is trying to figure out if law school is a good decision.

Please send three sentences about how you’d like Stephen to help you, and he’ll pick someone to work with. Deadline is Sunday, July 22.

Need help realizing your career goals? Want to talk to Penelope directly? Penelope now offers 1 on 1 career coaching and can help you take the right path.

7 replies
  1. Quasar9
    Quasar9 says:

    lol, is he a divorce lawyer?

    sorry couldn’t resist after the last post.

    Did you see Boston Legal??? you must’ve done.

    What a role to give Captain kirk, a partner in a top law firm losing his marbles – another one of over 5 million with Alzheimer’s in the US?

    But before I digress. After fourty years your old man (as in father, rather than hubby) wants to go back to law. What does he want to deal with, nice things like Wills and Inheritance Tax. I would have thought that’s the way to go – never mind some large corporate firm with vast overheads and unreachable targets – a soft number for a close group of persinal friends, down the golf club, where he can take a leisurely stroll & exercise with his clients, sign papers on the 19th hole.

    You know like a ’boutique’ law firm, offering a specialised personal ‘touch’ – down the club by the pool or from home. Unless of course you are trying to get him to start a law firm that can motivate your hubby into a high powered job.

    Anyway trying to sort out hubby, trying to sort out dad. I can see you are not only good but keen at your job. I’m considering a career move I’d be interested in your ‘personal’ advice – what’s your commission or fee.

    Wishing you a fine weekend, and your dad all the best.

  2. Darren
    Darren says:

    I sympathize with a lawyer at any age who’s still trying to figure out what his career is. I’ll be sending an email for the advice from Stephen.

  3. Jillian
    Jillian says:

    I’ve been living in Morocco for over two years, and after seeing how many children are relegated to street life here, I’m dying to help. I’ve got a sociology, development, and teaching background. I want to go to law school but have no idea how to get there.

    * * * * * * *
    Jillian. There are lots of books that tell you about law school programs. Buy one of those books (you can find them on Amazon). When you figure out which schools are a good fit for you, then contact the admissions department at each school with specific questions.

    –Penelope

  4. Steve
    Steve says:

    I've been living in Morocco for over two years, and after seeing how many children are relegated to street life here, I'm dying to help. I've got a sociology, development, and teaching background. I want to go to law school but have no idea how to get there.

    You don’t need more school to help those kids.

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