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Douglas Bouton: From Law to Ice Cream

Halo_Top_Creamery_logoWe recently came across an interview with Douglas Bouton on the blog published by Hire An Esquire, a leading online staffing company.

In the interview, Douglas shares how he started off practicing law at Proskauer Rose LLP after graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law. But from the outset, Douglas says, "I didn’t enjoy my job and knew very quickly that it wasn’t for me."

In a stroke of luck, Douglas was playing in a pickup basketball league with some other lawyers in L.A. and that’s where he met his future business partner, Justin Woolverton (who had worked at Latham & Watkins). Justin had started a new ice cream company called Halo Top, and needed a partner. Douglas jumped at the opportunity and has never looked back.

To pay the bills while growing the company, Douglas worked as a contract attorney through Hire An Esquire.

Launched on June 15, 2012, in Los Angeles, by July 2017, Halo Top had become the best-selling ice cream pint at grocery stores in the United States, surpassing Ben & Jerry's and Haagen Dazs in popularity.

Click here to read the full interview.

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Practicing Law Not Great for Your Health

According to a recent study by PsychSafe principal consultant Dr. Rebecca Michalak, lawyers have the worst health and well-being of any white-collar professionals. The study involved more than 800 white-collar professionals including 370 lawyers from firms and the bar, and about 170 lawyers working in government or in-house counsel roles.

The study found that lawyers' strenuous workloads, overtime and high pressure, resulted in lower psychological and physical health than other professionals, including substance use and abuse twice the rate of other professionals.

The study recommended moving away from "reactive" solutions and implementing preventative measures that will improve lawyers' work environments.

Click here to read more.

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Interview: Michael Rothman: From Lawyer to High-End Private Investigator

Rothman Career opportunities often fall into a lawyer's lap when he or she least expects it. The key is to seize the opportunity.

A case in point is Michael Rothman who moved to New York and took a job in the global investigations department of a leading investigative consulting firm to secure an interim source of income while studying for the bar. The company's only in-house lawyer unexpectedly left, which presented Rothman with the opportunity to assume a bigger role on the business side of the company. Eventually, he became Senior Vice President of Investigations.

However, Rothman comes from a family of entrepreneurs (his father owned and operated a lumberyard for 25 years), and he decided he was more suited to being his own boss than being an employee. Starting at his kitchen table with $30,000 in savings, Rothman set his sights on providing due diligence and investigative services to high-end financial clients such as investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms.

His firm - Rothman Consulting - now services a growing roster of clients in the Wall Street community helping them identify potential "landmines" that could prove damaging or embarassing such as securities violations, criminal records, fraudulent credentials, factual misrepresentations, and character issues before the client proceeds with a major transaction such as a merger or acquisition, or makes a key hire such as a hedge fund manager.

Click below for a full interview with Michael.

Continue reading "Interview: Michael Rothman: From Lawyer to High-End Private Investigator" »

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Rob Sciglimpaglia: Moving from Law to Acting and Voice Overs

Sciglimpaglia Robert Sciglimpaglia's legal career came to an unexpected crossroads in May 2006. He could either continue practicing workers' compensation law full time, or accept a 13-day contract to perform as an extra in the Disney movie "Enchanted," co-starring Susan Sarandon. He chose the latter and seems to have found his true calling. "I'm an attorney by trade, but I'm doing less of that and more voice and acting now," Sciglimpaglia now says. "I'm living proof you can get into this business and succeed in it."

Sciglimpaglia already has his own bio on the Internet Movie Database.

He's also launched his own website listing recent projects and past acting credits.

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Patricia Lin: Environmental Lawyer Finds Joy in Scuba Diving

Flippers22798958 Professionally, Patricia Lin is an environmental lawyer for the Chevron Corporation who is also very involved in local Asian bar association activities. However, in her personal life, Lin is a devoted scuba diver who spends as much time as possible beneath the ocean’s waves exploring and photographing all manner of marine life from manta rays and whale sharks to coral.

In a profile in The Houston Lawyer, Lin says she loves both the peace and tranquility of diving, as well as the challenges posed by the sport in terms of negotiating the ocean's currents, waves, surges, and fluctuating temperature and visibility. Lin should know: she has dived in many of the world's most exotic locales, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Tuamotu Atolls in French Polynesia, and the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand.

Her ongoing training has enable her to obtain certification as a PADI Master Scuba Diver with additional certifications in night diving, underwater navigation, and rescue diving.

Kudos to Lin for finding time to balance her professional responsibilities with a personal passion.

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Chinwe Enu: Pursuing an Opera Career

Chinwe Enu, a lawyer in Riverdale Park, Maryland, recently received the African Jewel Award.  The award is sponsored by African Focus, Inc., a nonprofit organization in California that focuses on the well-being and growth of African people around the world.  AFI honored Enu for "being an inspiration to young people."

What did Enu do to deserve the award?  She has been pursuing her dream of becoming an opera singer.  She recently left her job as a lawyer to attend school full time at the University of Maryland, College Park School of music. 

At 28, Enu is following a dream she has held since she was a teenager.  She began taking voice lessons when she moved permanently to the United States from Nigeria.  During the last year, her performances have included singing at the African Goodwill Awards ceremony in Los Angeles in April when she received the AFI award, a Christmas concert at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Silver Spring, Maryland, and a large performance in Nigeria in June 2007.

Although Enu is still doing some contract legal work, she seems focused on her path to the opera stage.  She says, "Definitely, though, in the long term I’m trying to do this full time and professionally.  I hope to get a job with an opera company in the States or in Europe."

Brava Ms. Enu, and best wishes for happiness and much success as you pursue your new career.

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

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Guy Kawasaki Shares 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

In a recent blog post, startup guru Guy Kawasaki explained how to use LinkedIn to find a job (please also check out LinkedIn for Lawyers 101 for a short LinkedIn tutorial tailored to attorneys).

Below, in summary form, are Kawaski's ten tips (see Kawasaki's full blog post referenced at the link above for further details for each point). While Kawasaki's tips are tailored to a general job search, one can modify the tips to apply to a law firm job search.


  1. Get the word out (that is, tell all of your LinkedIn connections that you are looking for a job).
  2. Get LinkedIn recommendations from your connections
  3. Find companies where people with your background and skills are working
  4. If you are interested in a particular company, find out where people at a company came from to give you some idea what kind of "pedigree" the company is looking for.
  5. Find out where people from a company go next (to see what kind of career path the company might open up for you).
  6. Check if the company is still hiring.
  7. Get to the hiring manager.
  8. Alternatively, find a connection who can get your resume to the right HR person.
  9. Find a connection who can help you learn more about the job requirements.
  10. If you'd prefer to try joining a startup, you can also search LinkedIn for startups to join.

One extra tip: start building your network on LinkedIn today so you'll have one available when you need to tap it.


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In Challenging Economy, U.S. Lawyers Increase Pro Bono Service

What do lawyers do during an economic downturn, when there is less work available?  A lot of them are doing more pro bono work in their spare time.

ALB Legal News reports that many attorneys in the United States are increasing the time they dedicate to handling pro bono matters.  Those volunteer lawyers work at such firms as Dechert LLP; Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft; Akin Gump; and Paul Hastings, to cite a few examples.

Continue reading "In Challenging Economy, U.S. Lawyers Increase Pro Bono Service" »

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Careers Are Like Marriages: Find the One You Want -- or Fix the One You Have!

By Olga Artman, Celia Paul, and Stephen Rosen

Careers are like marriages in the sense that we spend a significant amount of time with both and put years into making them work. So what can you do if your marriage—or your career—is in trouble? As the old proverb states, you can either find the one you want or fix the one you have. How do you choose which approach to take? One answer to this question lies in careful evaluation of your compatibility.

Like a couple experiencing marital problems, lawyers experiencing career difficulties can turn to professional counselors for help. And just as modern psychologists have developed a wide variety of tests to assess “marriage health”, professional career counselors can evaluate career compatibility thorough well-designed questionnaires and other assessment tools. In our practice, we use a “Career Well-Being Inventory,” a diagnostic tool that we developed to measure ”career health.” This instrument measures your career attitudes and behavior patterns against “career-change champions,” people who have changed careers successfully and easily and are highly compatible with their chosen professions. The closer your inventory results are to 100 percent, the closer your attitudes and behaviors resemble those who possess career health or career well-being.

As in romantic relationships, there are some career relationships where separation is the best option, whereas others are worth saving and trying to work on. We generally observe two types of career relationships.

Continue reading "Careers Are Like Marriages: Find the One You Want -- or Fix the One You Have!" »

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Women Lawyers Transition to More Satisfying Careers

Even in the best of times, the law can make for a difficult career.  These days, a combination of various economic conditions and lifestyle factors are prompting many women lawyers to make changes in their careers and to find better opportunities for themselves.

This article, by Christy Burke, profiles five women lawyers who have made successful and satisfying career changes:

Continue reading "Women Lawyers Transition to More Satisfying Careers" »

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