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Law director of employer relations co-authors 'Small Firms, Big Opportunity'


January 31, 2013

Samantha Williams, director of Employer Relations at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, has published a book, "Small Firms, Big Opportunity: How to Get Hired (and Succeed) in the New Legal Economy (The New Lawyer's Survival Guide)." It was co-authored by Linda Calvert Hanson, director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, and chair of The Florida Bar’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section.

Geared toward law students, new graduates and junior associates, "Small Firms, Big Opportunity" provides readers with practical steps to identify and find jobs, get hired, and succeed in the new legal economy. Law graduates and junior associates continue to face a tight job market with an interesting emerging phenomenon: the percentage of those being hired at small firms is rising at a significant rate. The effect of this trend on a lawyer’s job search is the subject of this career guide.

“This useful guide for law students exemplifies our efforts to create one of the nation’s premier career centers,” said Douglas Sylvester, dean of the College of Law. “Securing employment for our graduates is one of our school’s utmost responsibilities, and we continue to invest heavily in human capital and other job-placement resources, including the recent creation of a full-time, in-house recruiter to augment our substantial career services team. Working at a small firm is just one of many employment avenues for our recent graduates and this book provides practical insights to help give our graduates a leg up on the competition.”

Williams said there are very few resources available to help navigate the waters of small-firm hiring and practice.

“This book helps fill a void in terms of educating job-seekers and new associates on what they should think about as they approach, and begin to work in, small firms," Williams said. "Many people don’t realize that employment in that area is on the rise. In fact, almost 60 percent of graduates who found jobs in private practice in 2011 did so at firms of between two and 50 attorneys."

"Small Firms, Big Opportunity" provides a framework for students and attorneys to take charge of their careers in a small firm. It outlines the pros and cons of small-firm practice, where the small firm jobs are, and what steps attorneys need to take to succeed in their new positions. It is also one of the few publications to address core competencies (business skills, associate skills, personal and professional development, and lawyering skills) in the small-firm context. Published by Lawyer Avenue Press, the book retails for $30 on Amazon.com, and is also available on NALP.com.

About the Authors

Samantha Williams is director of Employer Relations at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, where she focuses primarily on smal-firm outreach and employer development. Previously, she was assistant director and associate director of career services at ASU, providing student counseling services and program development.

Linda Calvert Hanson is director of The Florida Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, and chair of The Florida Bar’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section. She is a former assistant dean for Bar Success and Professionalism, and assistant dean for Career Development, at the University of Florida College of Law.