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How document review affects my chances of getting an attorney job?

I am in a relocation process, and have been unemployed for m lawless1802/26/18
One of my former supervisors did doc review briefly and tran purrito02/26/18
If you've done substantive legal work before, it won't affec phillydoucherocket02/26/18
I assume you are looking for an atty job using your previous wolfman02/26/18
Do it but just don't put it on your resume. isthisit02/26/18
Credited mrtor02/27/18
Maybe go to legal aid and take on a pro bono case and put th purrito02/26/18
The advice to leave Doc review off the resume is credited if williamdrayton02/26/18
If you are unemployed recruiters won’t touch you. If yo khazaddum02/26/18
You could also put Law Office of Lawless18, esq. on the resu isthisit02/26/18
Why are you struggling to find work? Is it your credentials? mrtor02/27/18
Spinning document review as project management role in a non khazaddum02/27/18
I had the same unreasonable fear of DR "tainting" my resume, pisces21302/27/18
You can mention doc review for some jobs. Staff attorney, re dieter02/27/18
lawless18 (Feb 26, 2018 - 8:06 pm)

I am in a relocation process, and have been unemployed for months. I’ve been thinking about doing document review, but im worried of how it will be seen by possible recruiters. I’m looking for advice from people who have been thru that. I want to know how difficult is that transition and if its worth trying. Thanks!

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purrito (Feb 26, 2018 - 8:23 pm)

One of my former supervisors did doc review briefly and transitioned into a Staff Attorney role at an immigration non-profit. I don't think it's a scarlet letter. I mean, what else are you going to do with your time/pay the bills?

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phillydoucherocket (Feb 26, 2018 - 9:46 pm)

If you've done substantive legal work before, it won't affect you. The taint comes from people who haven't done _anything_ but doc review.

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wolfman (Feb 26, 2018 - 8:28 pm)

I assume you are looking for an atty job using your previous credentials and not hiding the fact that you aren't working while relocating? So why not do DR and continue searching in the same way - i.e., not put it on your resume? What's the downside? At some point, you may need to decide whether a resume with a gap in it is better or worse than a resume with doc review on it, but that's not what you're asking... or is it?

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isthisit (Feb 26, 2018 - 9:23 pm)

Do it but just don't put it on your resume.

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mrtor (Feb 27, 2018 - 8:31 am)

Credited

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purrito (Feb 26, 2018 - 9:28 pm)

Maybe go to legal aid and take on a pro bono case and put that on your resume so as to avoid a gap while you're doing doc review.

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williamdrayton (Feb 26, 2018 - 9:42 pm)

The advice to leave Doc review off the resume is credited if it doesn't create a big gap. Having said that, we need to know your legal career up to this point and what kind of jobs are you trying to get? Unless you have biglaw, bigfed or boutique experience, going to "recruiters" is a total waste of time, with or without doc review

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khazaddum (Feb 26, 2018 - 10:22 pm)

If you are unemployed recruiters won’t touch you.

If you work document review recruiters may not touch you but you won’t be in eviction:housing court or hopelessly fighting a termination of unemployment benefits.

Up to 12-18 months of DR is just fine if you accept that your next job is entry level pay.

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isthisit (Feb 26, 2018 - 11:59 pm)

You could also put Law Office of Lawless18, esq. on the resume and just handle some pro or low bono stuff. And explain that you are doing some solo work but prefer joining an established firm over working on your own.

There are some operating concerns to keep in mind like whether your jurisdiction requires a bona fide office, malpractice insurance, attorney escrow account, etc.

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mrtor (Feb 27, 2018 - 8:40 am)

Why are you struggling to find work? Is it your credentials? Interview skills? How long have you been looking? Do you have a spouse who can financially support you?

If you are financially unstable, doc review may be your only option. However, it can do more harm than good longer term -- especially if you try to spin it as substantive experience in your next interviews. Right or wrong, there is a stigma against doc review. Most attorneys view it with an unparalleled repugnance or disdain. It is often easier to spin a period of unemployment than a period of doc review.

Have you looked outside of law? Relocations are challenging in law (especially small law) because there is such a strong preference for local candidates who attended familiar law schools. Businesses are not as picky. Look into compliance, government, insurance, risk management, etc. You are at the mercy of your move. Beggars cannot be choosers.

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khazaddum (Feb 27, 2018 - 8:59 am)

Spinning document review as project management role in a non-attorney job tends to work as it is rare to review for an actual law firm. A person in HR will look up Epic or the other outfits and have no idea what they actually do beyond being a large national company.

Keep in mind that if you succeed in getting a PM role, well you are an actual manager now. If you aren’t able to be baptized in fire, you aren’t lasting long.

DR lifers tend to be a very peculiar bunch. DR between jobs is quite normal—like a white collar guy working in data entry while interviewing after a lay off.

If the employer is aghast at this? You don’t want to work there, period. They will next outcast you for not being an existing country club member, etc. Ignore them.

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pisces213 (Feb 27, 2018 - 10:20 am)

I had the same unreasonable fear of DR "tainting" my resume, especially since some people called it the "kiss of death" and advised never to put it on my resume if I was applying for a respectable job.

But you can certainly still do it, since it will help pay the bills.

The only downside to doing DR, assuming you won't put it on your resume, is that it does take time away from networking and applying. In some markets, it pays off to schedule coffee with just about anyone willing, and volunteer as much as you can hoping you'll make an 'organic connection' to somebody who can pull your resume out of the pile and get you an interview.

Still, people will ask about what you did while you were not working, and I think it sounds better if you say you were doing doc review than saying that you were just "looking."

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dieter (Feb 27, 2018 - 1:08 pm)

You can mention doc review for some jobs. Staff attorney, researcher (AML, KYC, media coverage, etc.), non-legal gigs. For regular associate positions, no way. If you still aspire to one of those jobs, you need to maintain a side practice in something substantive, and make it credible.

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