4 things you must do before applying to the cool job at the end of this post

 July 29, 2014

By  Casey Berman


Today, I want to introduce you to a job. It is a legal job as an attorney for a cool startup called Hire an Esquire. The description and hiring manager Jules Miller’s contact info is at the end of this post.

For some of us, this could be the legal job we’ve always wanted that is in line with our Unique Genius. For others, this could serve as a way to leave the firm as an interim measure to one day leaving the law altogether.

But before we email our resume to Jules at Hire Esquire, there are four things we should do first:

1. Explore our Unique Genius. First and foremost, we need to take the time to explore our strengths, skills and enjoyments … so we can then see if our skill set is even a fit for this job.

Let’s feel confident about what we are good at, and also be honest about what we don’t really excel at. We must understand where we add value, and be honest about where we add less to the conversation. We must really highlight what we enjoy doing and be honest about those things that we find boring or frustrating.

This is an essential part of the work I do with clients, and the main three questions (to ask yourself as well as friends, family, colleagues and others in your life) that are the basis of exploring the one’s Unique Genius are:

a. What compliments do people consistently provide you?

b. For what type of advice do people come to you?

c. What would you do for free?


2. See if the responsibilities of this job align with our Unique Genius. Instead of applying to a job and hoping they like us and pick us, let’s flip this dynamic on its head. Instead of us trying to fit ourselves to a job, let’s be patient and confident and let the right job align itself to us.

So, once we have a good idea of the traits, skills and strengths that make up our Unique Genius, then reconcile it to the Hire an Esquire job description below. Does working on a contract basis fit what you are looking for?  Does the fast paced life of working with a start-up align with what we are good at? Are we good at contract review? Do you think we’d enjoy working in the tech space? Do we enjoy corporate m&a? If we haven’t yet “founded and operated a business”, what have we done entrepreneurially at our firm that might be its equivalent? If our knowledge of “venture capital investments, angel investments, convertible notes” is light, what else have we focused on that could be of interest?

Let’s apply to this job because there is no reason not to. Let’s apply to this job because not doing so would be to miss a solid opportunity. Let’s apply to this job because it is in perfect (or close to perfect) alignment with our skills and strengths. Let’s apply to this job because the requirements of the job are essentially begging us to apply to it. Otherwise … let’s not apply.


3. Reposition our resume. If we see a fit between our skills and strengths, and this job description, then let’s make sure our resume reflects this.

While this is an attorney role (and not a full-on non-legal marketing or tech or account management or product management or operations job), it’s not a traditional legal job, and its description is asking for a broader skill set, so we still should consider repositioning our resume.

Really probe as to what this job is looking for. I see the words “exceptional” and “hybrid” and “innovative” sprinkled throughout the description.

I sense the themes of “consigliere” and “entrepreneurism” and “just-get-things-done” throughout the description.

Let’s spend the time to position our resume so our current skill set and experience speaks to what this job requires and really needs. We of course may want to talk about the deposition strategy we utilize, or the extensive research we have done for a case or how we have minimized litigation risks for our clients or how we have analyzed litigation exposure.

And let’s also get creative. We may also want to show how we think quickly on our feet. We may want to show how we get-things-done. We may want to show how we bring in new business (i.e. business development). We may want to show how we meet deadlines. We may also want to show how we are trusted.


4. Practice our narrative. We all have a story. We all have an arc to our life. We all are actors in our own movie.

Let’s return to our narrative. Tell your story. For Hire an Esquire as well as other non-legal companies, they want to ensure the people they hire have the required skills and experience. But they also want to hire people who are confident, relatable, authentic, trustworthy and dependable.

And we need to believe our story and who we are before anyone can believe us.

At first, maybe keep this narrative private so we can work on it and really believe it. We could say I am a closet entrepreneur stuck in a BigLaw attorney’s body and so my first step to “show up” and create a new reality for myself is to explore and apply to jobs like this one that enable me to utilize my legal skills while also possibly exposing me to other (non-legal) responsibilities that I feel very confident I could be proficient at with the right amount of training and exposure.

And while the Hire an Esquire job is for a legal position, it’s uniqueness could be a stepping stone to something outside of the law. So as we continue to explore non-legal jobs, our narrative could then continue with something like I don’t want to practice law because after three years of law school, after a number of years practicing as a lawyer, and after a thorough and patient and dedicated and fairly comprehensive exercise exploring my professional skills and strengths and identifying what I’m really good at, I feel very confident that my skill set is not in alignment with what is called for to practice law. To put it simply, being a lawyer is just not a fit for me. I feel very confident in saying this.

And then to go even further, to anticipate sitting in the chair across from that hiring manager at this future non-legal job, we could then further elaborate on our narrative, feeling so confident in all of the work we have done to get to this point, feeling so authentic in who we are and what we want, feeling so empowered in our tool kit of skills and strengths, that maybe we could go on with a narrative something like But in life, it is often times as valuable to find out what you don’t want as much as it is to find out what you do want. In that spirit, my assessment has empowered me to feel very confident that what is a fit for me is this potential opportunity at your company. Let me tell you why. While at first glance my resume may not place me as the most conventional pick for this role, I have done a solid audit of my strengths, I have comprehensively detailed a large number of skills I posses that are transferable and a real good fit for this role, I have met over coffee with a large number of professionals in this space and picked their brain, learned about their day-to-day, understood their best practices and have gained a deep understanding of what this job requires. Through all of this personal auditing and industry research, I feel very confident in not continuing to practice the law and rather pursuing this role as a next step in my career.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. Tell Jules that Casey sent you …


Lawyerpreneur – Attorney with startup experience (San Francisco)

Hire an Esquire – San Francisco, CA

Job Description: 
Hire an Esquire (https://hireanesquire.com) is building a small team of exceptional Associate-level attorneys to work with startups in San Francisco. Our innovative hybrid model gives you the flexibility of working as a solo practitioner, blended with the oversight and resources of an AM Law 25 firm.

You will be working directly with startups in a popular coworking space to provide legal services such as company incorporation, seed financing, contracts, and in-house counsel on demand. This will be in partnership with a top tier law firm, so you are able to tap into their document templates, Partner knowledge and mentorship, specialist attorneys and paralegals.

Work will be done on a contract basis, so you will have the opportunity to work as many or as few hours are you want.

Required Experience:

  • At least 2 years working as an associate at an AM Law 200 firm (preferably working with technology startups or on M&A / Private Equity transactional work during that time)
  • Have founded and operated a business, or have been an early employee of a venture-backed tech startup
  • Knowledge of company incorporation, start IP needs, venture capital investments, angel investments, convertible notes, term sheet negotiation, and/or start up employee benefits and compensation
  • Degree from a top 30 law school
  • Must be personable and able to interact directly with start up executives

Preferred Experience:

  • Performed legal work related to angel or venture capital financings
  • Business development

About Hire an Esquire: 
Hire an Esquire is a fast-growing venture-backed technology startup, with law firm clients across the US ranging from solo practitioners to AM Law 50 firms. We offer the first Software as a Service (SaaS) product that lets law firms and in-house legal teams find, manage, and pay contract-based attorneys online. Hire an Esquire saves clients at least 50% on both agency fees and admin time compared to traditional staffing firms, while paying attorneys a higher hourly rate.

Indeed Posting:


How to Apply:  

Email jules@hireanesquire.com with resume and short cover letter.



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  1. pretty specific “associate-level” person she is looking for that has both top-200 law firm experience and has started a business (i’m assuming she wants some legitimate operational experience, not just a “i started this business but it didn’t go anywhere in 3 months so i went to law school” type startup experience).

    in my experience (and this viewpoint comes from having already left the law), someone who has legitimate startup operating experience wouldn’t be going back to an “associate level” legal position…

    1. Hi Jason

      Thanks for the comment. You could be right … or maybe this is a fit for someone who has started a business, and now wants a more flexible lifestyle and really enjoys advising new startups based on his/her experience.

      Also, with jobs like these, I think there is room for interpretation. I would guess approaching Jules with other interesting ideas or angles would impress Jules.


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