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SME, Senior, and Mid-Level Lawyers

I just got the call. I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!
— Mid-level litigation associate at Global 100 law firm

Are you marketing your technical legal skill set?

No corporate legal department, law firm, or agency can function without SMEs, senior, and mid-level lawyers. You’re the ones who get the work done.

If you’re a mid-level lawyer, then you’ve gotten your feet wet and you’ve had the chance to experience the practice of law. If you’re an SME or senior-level lawyer, you may have already practiced law in a variety of settings. Either way, you’re prioritizing long-term stability, work-life balance, and functional / technical expertise as an individual contributor—unlike executive-track or partnership-track lawyers who are focused on climbing the corporate or law firm ladder in business development, management, and supervisory roles.

You make up a varied group:

  • Senior attorneys: 8+ years of experience as an attorney

  • Mid-level attorneys: 3 to 7-ish years into your career

  • Subject matter experts (SMEs) and functional experts: Non-executive track lawyers committed a discrete practice area, like patent law, family law, criminal law, employment law, labor law, immigration law, or e-discovery project management

  • Academics: Law professors, aspiring law professors, and law professors moving back into practice

  • Service lawyers: Attorneys committed to a non-executive role in a particular type of setting, like career prosecutors or defense attorneys, counsel in legal services corporations, general practice attorneys in small firms, and sole practitioners

  • Lawyers in JD-Advantage Roles: Non-executive track attorneys leveraging their law degree in areas where bar passage may not always be required, like management consulting, contract management, corporate governance, compliance, public policy, privacy, and cybersecurity

If you’re in this stage of your legal career, you may have some sense of where you’d like your career to go or, at least, where you don’t want your career to go. We’ll help you get there.

Shauna C. Bryce speaking at Harvard Law School to alumni about mid-career options and decision-making, at the “Improving with Age: Making the Most of Your Legal Vintage” symposium.

Shauna C. Bryce speaking at Harvard Law School to alumni about mid-career options and decision-making, at the “Improving with Age: Making the Most of Your Legal Vintage” symposium.

Career Challenges

Many of today’s SMEs, senior-level, and mid-level attorneys entered the legal profession at a challenging time. 

Some landed attorney positions with law firms and are now contemplating whether to continue in a private law firm setting, to move in-house, or to consider other career options. But many of these attorneys graduated at the start of the Great Recession, in 2008 and 2009, when the legal sector was swiftly and painfully contracting. Others entered law school hoping to wait out the Great Recession, but after graduation found themselves in a buyers’ market that resulted in under-employment, feeling trapped in contract work or e-discovery projects, and derailed career dreams.

Other SMEs and senior-level lawyers—no matter how many years of experience they have—are simply looking for work that they enjoy in an environment where they can contribute and feel valued.

No matter which category they fit into, SMEs, senior, and mid-level attorneys are faced with a tremendous variety of potential course corrections, re-positionings, and adjustments…

A law firm senior associate wants to move in-house.

She’s confident she knows all the technical legal issues she’ll face. But even so, corporate legal departments have different needs than law firms. How can she position herself as a lawyer who understands the special demands of in-house counsel, including working within the greater corporate culture? How can she make herself an attractive candidate for employers in her target sector?

An insurance defense litigator never wanted to practice insurance defense law.

He had tremendous law school debt, and high volume insurance defense work was his only option for an attorney position when he graduated. He felt he had no choice but to take the job. But, after five years, the work is grueling and he wants to leave. How can he broaden out his experience and appeal for other types of legal work in another small law firm?

A career prosecutor with 20 years of experience wants to shift to a small criminal defense firm.

She’s a functional expert in criminal law and procedure. She doesn’t have a book business, nor does she want to develop one. She just wants to be a lawyer in an environment that pays better and doesn’t require her to run such a large caseload. How can she translate her experience to the new role?

A contract attorney has been doing document review and e-discovery projects for three years.

He’s done feeling stuck and is determined to embrace this growing area of law and litigation management. How can he turn his e-discovery experience into an asset and a career at a law firm, multinational company, or e-discovery / information governance vendor? What about pursuing compliance roles in data security, data privacy, and user privacy? What additional certifications might add value to his résumé?

A healthcare lawyer is re-entering the law after a six-year hiatus for family reasons.

She’s afraid her legal career is over and worries she’s done nothing during that time employers would value. How can she demonstrate to employers she’s committed to re-entry and her knowledge and skills are current? How can she explain her hiatus on her résumé in a way makes sense to employers, but also protects her privacy?

*Samples are composites designed to protect the identities of individual clients.

Career Services

Just a few of the areas we can help you with are:

Writing and Branding

  • Résumés and CVs

  • Cover letters and correspondence

  • Deal sheets, representative matters, and sample projects

  • Listings of presentations, speaking engagements, and media mentions

  • Leadership bios

  • LinkedIn profiles

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Recruiter questionnaires

  • Marketing and website copy

  • Business plans

  • 30-60-90 day plans

  • Flexible work proposals

  • Creation and articulation of a clear professional brand

  • Identification of value and impact

Immediate Career Decision-Making

  • Working with retained legal and executive search consultants

  • Moving in-house from a law firm

  • Developing an area of expertise

  • Demonstrating industry-specific or problem-specific track records

  • Getting hired as a lateral associate or lateral attorney

  • Building career narratives around non-linear work experience

  • Discussing employment, underemployment, and layoffs

  • Developing a potential book of business

  • Getting sponsors and mentors

  • Leveraging early career or military experience

  • Getting credit for language and cultural fluencies

  • Repositioning contract and e-discovery work as an asset

  • Returning to workforce after sabbatical (on-ramping)

  • Shifting to partnership-track or executive-track

  • Improving on-the-job performance

  • Navigating office politics and personalities

  • Moving in-house from a law firm

  • Changing job markets

  • Deciding among job offers

  • Negotiating salary

  • Downshifting

Long-Term Career Planning

  • Networking and relationship building

  • Building and showcasing thought leadership

  • Positioning for corporate or nonprofit boards

  • Identifying your best fit roles and employers

  • Identifying technical or experiential soft spots, as well as building plans to beef them up

  • Creating and moving toward end-goals

  • Interview prep

  • Lateral moves

Career Coaching

Get the help you want, when you want, at an affordable price. Our career coaching for lawyers is simple: just tell us the issues you’d like to discuss, and send us your current résumé (Don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be in great shape) so that we have some context. The more we know about your situation, the better we can assist. We can talk about interviewing, job search, networking—whatever you need.

I just got the offer and accepted!!!! I absolutely could not have done this without you – thank you for everything 🙂
— Hedge fund attorney

On-Demand Résumé Writing

We understand that cost and timeframe can be major factors. After all, not everyone needs—or can wait for—for a $1,000+ bespoke résumé incorporating deep dives into career history and career coaching. But you shouldn’t have to settle for a second-rate (or worse) résumé writing service either. 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was something in-between bespoke and cheap-o? 

We thought so too. Over years of talking to SMEs, senior, and mid-level lawyers searching for high-quality, professional help that was faster and more affordable than our bespoke projects, we’ve pioneered real-time, on-demand career services that save you time and money. Today, Bryce Legal offers two tracks for services: on-demand and bespoke. The Résumé Cram with Live Edit is our real-time, on-demand résumé writing for SMEs, senior, and mid-level lawyers—it’s a fast and affordable on-demand résumé writing saves you 50% to 75% the cost of traditional résumé writing. 

We recommend the 90-Min or 120-Min Résumé Cram with Live Edit for SMEs, senior, and mid-level lawyers.

Bespoke Résumé Writing

If you need an intensive, deep dive into your career or a more holistic approach to your career narrative / branding, then the bespoke track may be a better option. Our multi-step bespoke process gives us more time to position you for the future. 

I applied on Wednesday and the law firm responded Thursday with appointment times. I interviewed on Monday with the founding partner, who said the résumé was one of the best he’d seen.
— Real estate lawyer

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

LinkedIn is a great place to be found. It is now one of top recruiting tools for retained, contingency, and internal recruiters. Therefore, we recommend all lawyers have a strong, polished presence on LinkedIn—even those who are not actively looking for a new job.

Sample Testimonials from In-House Counsel, Law Firm Associates, Other Senior / Mid-Level Lawyers

Why work with Bryce Legal? How can you choose the best lawyer career coach and legal résumé writer for you? Here’s what just a few our clients say. To read hundreds of client reviews and testimonials from attorneys, please see Our Client Testimonials.