Transition from government to private practice — part two

More advice concerning planning for transition to the private sector from government...

  • Keep track of successes big and small.  This tip goes with the previous thought (in the first post) about writing everything down but it gets its own category because of its importance.  Employers want to see experience but in particular they are interested in how creative you are.  How many times did you solve the problem and how did you do it.
  • Find mentors that have made switch to private practice or worked in private practice.  Ask them questions, identify their effective work habits and mirror them.
  • Ask questions of every attorney you meet.  Odds are they worked in government or their partner did, etc.  Contact alumni that previously worked in your position (or even in your agency) who are now at big firms.   Ask for strategy and career guidance.  Most people will be happy to talk about themselves.
  • Make sure you are not overstaying.  If you are continually being challenged and developing a niche, that is one thing but you do not want to be labeled a government attorney if your attention is to move to private practice as a younger person.

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