Recently, in an interview with the Legal Executive Institute, Amy Sellars, Associate General Counsel at Walmart, revealed something that all lawyers striving for an in-house position should not ignore.
So how did Amy get an offer from the largest corporation in the United States?
When asked by LEI, here was her response:
The answer is community. The legal field is huge, and the country is large. Since entering the field, I set aside time each week to read blogs and cases, correspond with the authors, attend conferences, and benchmark with other e-discovery lawyers.
When the job at Walmart came up, my (now former) boss, Veronica Gromada, reached out to others in the community for recommendations. Were it not for my participation with other e-discovery attorneys across the nation, I would not be at Walmart.
Part of growing your client base is not only having the chance to make partner or have the practice you desire, it’s giving yourself the chance to take advantage of the next opportunity that sounds interesting. From Amy’s experience, we learn that even if particular activities don’t generate a client (and they might have…she just doesn’t say), they could generate a very appealing job offer.
Amy’s strategy serves multiple purposes because it is comprised of activities you should be engaging in as part of your business development framework:
- Blogging and/or engaging with authors of blogs
- Attending conferences with purpose
- Keeping up on relevant cases (even better to write about them)
- Connecting with others in your field of expertise
- Doing all of this consistently
Notice too that the requirement isn’t to have the most popular blog in the legal vertical, be the keynote at the biggest conferences, or be the foremost expert in your field. Participate, get out of your office, increase your knowledge, learn from others. Even if you don’t get an offer from a top Fortune legal department, you will be a better lawyer and have a community that makes you feel much more connected and proficient.