Monday May 27, 2024

Choose Your References Wisely

Ever wondered how many candidates miss out on a job opportunity because their references provided less than stellar information? One research firm conducted more than 1,000 telephone interviews with senior managers of companies that employed at least twenty people and the results of those interviews revealed 20% of candidates are disqualified due to a reference check. That’s remarkable since all of us are sure our references can only help our efforts of landing a position. Turns out, those references might not be as solid as we think. founder A. Harrison Barnes says this reiterates the importance of carefully choosing those you wish to include as a reference. Keep reading for more information on what your references are being asked as well as tips on choosing the right ones.

By far, the one piece of information a potential employer is looking for is how well a candidate performed in the past. The founder says the study revealed 36% of those interviewed say that is top priority. Following that, managers wanted to know the reference’s opinions on a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as well as confirmation that the information, such as job title and employment dates, are accurate on the resume. A. Harrison Barnes says the extremely competitive job market means more hiring managers are relying on reference checks to help them determine the best person to fill a position.

So how do you know who to include as a professional reference? Barnes has a few suggestions that will serve your purposes. “It’s absolutely crucial that you don’t assume it’s OK to use someone as a reference. Never use anyone as a reference without asking beforehand.” Also, it’s important to carefully consider who you’re going to approach. You want your references to have a true knowledge of your skills, your work habits and your work ethics. Also, just as you don’t want to misrepresent yourself on your resume, don’t misrepresent your references, either. No need to sugarcoat a job title of your reference. It could easily backfire and put you in a less than ideal light. Also, don’t forget that an interviewer isn’t limited to the references you supply. He can easily make a phone call to a acquaintance who you both know or even take a look at your Linkedin profile, Facebook page or even your Twitter feed.  When it comes to landing a new job, it’s best to assume nothing.

Finally, before your references can be of any help to you, there must be an exceptional resume for a potential employer to work from. This is where’s team of resume experts can step in and create a flawless resume that will get you noticed. Already have a resume put together? Our team can review it for you, point out the strengths and weaknesses so that it can perfected to highlight the best of what you have to offer.

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Is There a Place for Legal Nurses in the Legal Sector?

Lawyers have always counted on the expert testimony of medical professionals.  From coroners, psychiatrists and physicians, there is a definitive place for the medical professional in a courtroom.  A new trend, however, is taking a new slant on combining the importance of testimony from experts.  Legal nurse consultants are in demand these days.

We asked our own brilliant legal mind, A. Harrison Barnes, who is also the founder of, whether he feels this new trend is here to stay or if it was a passing phase that will be out before we can say “medical malpractice suits”.  Here’s what he had to say:

Legal nursing consultants absolutely have a place in the legal field.  They are very valuable to a legal team and offer advice on any number of medical issues.  Their education is important and since this is a relatively new career path, these who fill the roles now will pave the way for future nursing consultants and their careers.  It requires, of course, extensive knowledge in the medical field and most firms will use registered nurses or nurse practitioners.  That said,  a working knowledge of the legal field is a big benefit, as well.

Legal nurse consultants provide assistance in any number of ways, including product recalls (such as drugs the FDA has pulled form the shelves), worker’s compensation cases, rape and sexual assault, medical malpractice cases and any others that affect the medical profession.  They may be asked to provide insight into posing the proper questions, their advice will be considered very important and they will often be relied upon to catch certain nuances that anyone outside the medical field might not be privy to.

While law firms have routinely partnered with physicians and others in the medical fields, nursing consultants are generally more often available for consultations and meetings with clients, making them a good choice for medical cases.  Ideally, a nursing consultant will have at least several years, and some firms require a decade, of experience.  They must have flawless records and usually will be required to pass an extensive background check.  This protects the firm and the consultant since an opposing team could “dig up the dirt” on the consultant and jeopardize a case.  Further, more colleges and junior colleges are adding legal/nursing combinations in terms of courses and most consultants will be required to have some level of educational background.

Think this is something that you could flourish in?  Check with your state’s licensing board and then be sure to visit to see what positions are available.  Founded by A. Harrison Barnes, it’s a comprehensive site that brings together legal jobs from across the country and makes them available in an easy to use site.

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The Legalities of Oil

The current crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is shaping up to become one of the most costly, but more importantly, one of the most devastating events in our lifetimes.  Those of us who live along the Gulf of Mexico are struggling to make sense of how things could have gotten so bad so fast.  Suddenly, walks along the beaches are nearly impossible due to the bitter odor in the air; odors that are so sharp, you can practically taste them.  Those same beaches that as recently as one month ago were being visited by sunbathers and others wanting to be in the outdoors are now off limits, not by any official, but simply because it’s no longer the same and in fact, could very well be dangerous.  Clearly, there is no end in sight and odds are, the days of watching the sun set while also watching mullet jump in the shallow waters are over if not forever, then for many years.

Most of the coastal residents along Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have careers that do not include the fishing and other seafood industries; however, few can say they don’t currently have or have had in the past family members who earned their livings on those rich Gulf waters.  It’s for these reasons, and many more, that lawmakers are working to bypass the 2008 Supreme Court decision that limits punitive damages for maritime law.  A. Harrison Barnes, a brilliant attorney and founder of, says the 1:1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages that were first used in a suit involving Exxon Shipping is where the focus is for attorneys and lawmakers.

Known as “The Big Oil Polluter Pays Act”, this law limits civil actions that come from maritime tort cases in that the punitive damages must be assessed with no regard to the amount of compensatory numbers assessed in the suits.  This, of course, was borne of the tragedy in 1989 that involved the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.  Many lawyers say there was no way of knowing a worse tragedy could eventually happen; after all, lessons were supposed to have been learned that would have prevented what we, as a collective nation, are now facing, says A. Harrison Barnes.

The founder takes it a step further and says these most recent events will likely be the inspiration for many soon to be law grads to go into maritime law.  Anyone who has built their lives on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic or Pacific oceans knows all too well how the salt air affects them.  It’s not surprising then that so many would want to make a difference and put into place those safeguards that will forever prevent another tragedy from happening.  Frankly, anyone who has followed this case knows the grieving so many are going through.  Most importantly, there are eleven families who lost a loved one during the April 20 explosion and now, as the country grieves with them, we are also bombarded with dead dolphins washing ashore, thousands of fish floating in the marshes and the once beautiful birds exclusively found along the gulf coast that are now struggling to even survive.  This, says Barnes, is enough to inspire many to choose maritime law.

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When You’re Defending Those No One Believes

You paid your dues, worked hard in law school and came out near the top of your class.  You’re anything but jaded, ready to take on your first client, right?  If you’ve gone into criminal law, as prepared as you are, there are those cases that leave you scratching your head and wondering why you chose this particular legal sector as your career.  A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder of says it’s almost a rite of passage for many young lawyers who enter criminal law.  Even when you know the evidence will prove your client’s innocence, it can be a difficult journey getting there.

Then, there are those clients who are guilty.  This is a true test of your fortitude, says the founder.  Still, it’s important to approach every case as though it’s the most important in your life.  Your client’s own family doesn’t believe him?  Be the sole stander for him, then.  Think you can get your client off with just probation?  Prepare your case as though you’re defending the client in the case of the century.  A. Harrison Barnes reminds young lawyers that clients will likely only seen one major case in their lives, if of course, they’re not career criminals.  You, on the other hand, will become so accustomed to the process, the players and even the smells of the courtrooms that you’ll soon forget how intimidating just the sight of a courtroom can be.  You want to be sure you represent your client not only in front of a judge, jury and prosecutor, but you want to represent him to the extent he has faith in your abilities and is secure in knowing that while it might be new for him, you know your job and you know how to do it well.

Also, Barnes reiterates that law school simply does not prepare young attorneys for what they face on a daily basis.  You gain your education, learn the legal system in all its glory and then you’re let loose to discover the entirely unseen side of that same justice system.  Even as you’re preparing your resume, interviewing with partners and attempting to plot your course, there will be few times throughout your career that you’re not caught speechless or off guard by some unexpected turn of events.  Life is like that…but life as a lawyer is an entirely different animal.

So as you prepare yourself to move forward, and as you eagerly set out to change the world, keep in mind there are real clients who need your energy, your knowledge and your faith – even when you’re the only one who has it to give to him.  Guilty or innocent, the American justice system is consistent and definitive, says the founder.  Your job is to play the role of the superb attorney you know you are.

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Scheduling Makes Work at Home Easier

There are a number of people out there who do not realize the importance of creating a daily schedule, especially when working from home. As you may already know, there are tons of work-at-home jobs and careers to choose from. But regardless of what it is that you do, there is still work to be done.

The first and most important thing to realize when having a job from home is to be realistic about how much you are going to get done each day. If you are working for someone else, such as for a home telemarketing firm or customer service industry where communication over the telephone is a main factor in your career, then you will need to make 100% sure that there is no background noise. If you have children, it would be best to hire a nanny or leave them at a relative’s house until you have completed your work for the day.

Having your own designated work area is also another very important aspect when working from home. All careers that involve working at home call for concentration. There is no way that anyone can get their job done if they are constantly taking calls from friends and family members, watching television, and listening to the radio all day. Keep your distractions to a minimum by setting up your office in a relatively quiet area of your home. If there are other people present in the home during your work hours, then it is imperative that you inform them not to disturb you during work hours.

Work-at-home employment can be difficult if you are not properly organized. Make sure that you always jot down deadlines and important numbers, email addresses, etc. on a place where you can see them. Do your best to minimize visual clutter, as it also has a tendency to add to distraction when trying to focus. Give yourself a set schedule that involves daily work hours and focus on your job during that time. Notify all friends and family not to call, email, or text unless it is an emergency.

There are various work-from-home careers that allow you to be your own boss. When that is the case, it can be even more difficult to accomplish anything, especially when one is disorganized. Set goals for yourself either by the day or the week. Don’t just wake up and say that you are going to try to do what you can, create a realistic schedule with realistic goals and stick to it. If you don’t take your career seriously, then you will not be successful.

Obviously, there is a lot more freedom when you obtain employment from home, but remember that no matter how much freedom you have, there is still a job to do. The potential to be successful in careers that involve working at home is huge. The bottom line is that you get what you give. As long as you create a structured daily schedule, a designated work area, and do your best to be productive with your time, working from home won’t be that bad.

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Job Searches that Work

Are you someone who is interested in moving forward with your employment search and you are not sure where to go? Do you need to think about how your job and career prospects are moving and how you are going to need to move with them? Jobs are something that many people think about and in many cases stress out over. When you are looking for the right one, the search can be quite hard. Take a moment and think about how you are going to get the job that you are after and what measures that you are going to need to take.

When you are on the career hunt, make sure that you know what you want to end up. There are far too many people out there who think that they are chasing something that will make them happy. When you are thinking about how you are going to move forward and how you are going to meet your goals, you will find that you yourself need to be absolutely clear about what you are doing. For instance, why do you want to be in the field that you are in and how do you feel about it? There are many different things that can affect this, ranging from your need for security to your desire to be adventurous, so take a moment and see what you are up to.

When you are thinking about how you are going to get the employment that suits you, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are many people who simply stay silent all their lives and never ask the questions that it takes to make them happy. Find the people to who are working in your field or who have worked on it and ask them about what their lives are like. This is another thing that you can work towards using when you are thinking about moving forward and getting the right job and it can also help you network. The more that you know, the more you will be able to create a knowledge base for yourself that you can draw on in the years to come.

Another thing that you need to think about is the ability to move forward and to make sure that you are thoroughly networked into the community that you are interested in. The more that you can integrate yourself into the community of your chosen vocation, the more you will find yourself able to connect with others. There’s an old saying that states that it is all about who you know, but the truth is that it is far easier to get to know people than you might think. Take a moment and concentrate on what your social skills are like and how you can get the networking done that you need.

When you are looking through the careers and jobs that might appeal to you, remember that quality employment is something that takes time and effort. Find the right career and you will be set; it is all a matter of how you choose to get there.

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Legal Jobs: How Can I Get One?

Law schools and colleges are churning fresh graduates every year and they are looking for legal jobs. A Harrison Barnes’ web site is here to help with a vast database comprising more than 7,50,000 LegalAuthority legal job opportunities allowing legal job seekers access to the legal companies, colleges, universities, law firms, companies and corporations. In case you are planning to come across a good opening in terms of a career in law, make sure that you are prepared for it. The first consideration is to get richer in terms of work experience as this is an important aspect that is sought after by a lot of legal companies.

Gaining experience may be tough as at times, as often there are more applicants applying for work experience instead of for positions as trainees. Instead of being put off by the high level of competition in the legal industry, A Harrison Barnes advises you to apply to several law firms at the same time or expand your search options to businesses that are similar to law and legal practice. Legal Authority is your gateway to help you through with legal job searches, as this is America’s largest portal of legal jobs. It helps you look into your local entertainment company, estate agent or local law council as well as other businesses that are looking for candidates with a high quality of experience for assisting you in your legal career.

What can you do to broaden your Legal Job Search?

Specify the area of your specialization. In case you have not yet decided on the field of expertise, make it a point to show your progress through the legal course that you are after. Get a clear notion of all that you would prefer to do post university as it helps refine your legal job search. Register for societies that employ law professionals. In fact these days, it is not paying to have a good law degree as there is step competition in the market. Getting involved in clubs, extra curricular activities and societies helps shape your personality as an all round individual and hone the skills that make you a stronger applicant. A Harrison Barnes asks you to join Legal Authority for the best options.

Maintaining a good CV is an important element that is not strictly followed by many students. A lot of them don’t pay attention to the way their CV looks until graduation. This can be a little pressurizing for getting your document correct once you are out there in the legal market. With LPOs hiring people selectively and the economic slump worst affecting the legal sector, Legal Authority advises you to work on your CV when you are at the university. A Harrison Barnes’ web site makes sure that if you have the right CV, you get the right job. Updating the document is also required whenever something new is achieved. Working on your CV a few minutes a month will go on to ensure that by the time graduation is complete, you will be ready with a comprehensive professional file for forwarding potential employers.

A Harrison Barnes recommends his portal for the best legal job search advice to succeed in the legal job market. Going through the legal industry press will guarantee that you know all there is about legal firms that will be recruiting in future. Press knowledge also keeps you updated with industry specific news that helps you stay in touch with any job interviews or work experience. Drop in to the career service site Legal Authority that is qualified with excellent career services too help you with interview techniques. You also gain contact with lots of local companies that are willing to contact starters for work experience.

Improve your communication skills by working for a radio station or student newspaper. These are skills that are highly valued by potential employers in every industry instead of just law. A Harrison Barnes of Legal Authority also recommends you to visit local courts. This is something that you will be required to do as part of your course, although previous exposure will acquaint you with the courthouse ambience as also build potential contacts.

You may even learn a second language which may set you apart from other applicants. In fact, as long as there is Legal Authority, you don’t have to worry about getting a legal job. A Harrison Barnes offers all his helpful counsel in helping you locate the appropriate legal vocation. Add to this all your hard work that can effectively be combined with a good grade. This can work like nothing else and act as a helpful determinant when you are looking for a legal job.

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Law Profession: How Important are Law School Grades

Grades influence the hiring decisions in law firms. Institutions primarily decide the grades as also the different levels in the law schools. The levels are a junior associate or a student of law, mid level to senior attorney and then to a partner.

A. Harrison Barnes, the creator and the owner of suggests that some elite institutions like that of Latham & Watkins, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Munger Tolles & Olsen always gives priority to your school grades above every thing. There are various reasons behind this practice:

The main reason for emphasizing on grades is that it provides its clients with the assurance that the particular firm deals with the best and the most competent lawyers. If you intend to capture the highest rungs of the law firms, your grades will continue to be an important determining factor.

The Significance of Grades for Law Students

The junior associates who have experienced campus interviews are aware of the importance of grades. The firms while making hiring decisions emphasize mainly on your school grades and the various activities in which you have taken part, for they actually have nothing else to look for since the candidate would have no experience. Apart from the grades, the hiring firms also look for your qualities and your passion for law practice says A. Harrison Barnes, the creator and the owner of Employment Crossing. Practicing law needs dedication and patience and such qualities will be tested during interviews.

The elite and prestigious law schools have set high standards in terms of grades of students seeking admission in law schools. Importance of grades further multiplies as you go down the law school grading hierarchy. A. Harrison Barnes points out that the several researches undertaken reveal that LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score is the best indicator of one’s academic performance as it is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for prospective law school candidates. This test is designed to assess the logical and verbal reasoning skills of potential future lawyers. Studies conducted further reveal that the law school performance in the first year is the best indicator that predicts whether you will clear the state’s bar exam at the first attempt.

A. Harrison Barnes points out that the expectations of the different firms vary. There are many firms which do not give importance to on campus recruitment. Some prefer only through internal references of their associates. However, importance to grades is an essential factor. There are some small firms that do not attach much importance on grades as compared to experience but the biggest and the best law firms around the United States look at grades as a benchmark for the lawyer.

The Significance of Grades for the Junior Associates

Junior associates with one to three years of work experience tend to bother more about their work experience than their academic grades. As you progress in your career, there is a tendency of work experience taking precedence and grades are relegated to the secondary position says A. Harrison Barnes, the creator and the owner of Employment Crossing.

The most important factor that determines the demand and supply of the junior associates is the fact that most of them avoid getting into bigger firms. This helps them to work harder and get noticed faster. Most of the associates are found to be working with smaller firms that put more emphasis on grades says A. Harrison Barnes. Grades are very essential for a junior associate for the first couple of years of his work experience.

After gaining work experience it is likely that you will specialize in a branch in law. In this way the number of competitors also gets reduced as compared to lawyers with no specialization. Once this happens, there are chances that firms may even seek for such individuals who are more skilled, instead of having high grades, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Surveys conducted revealed that many of the elite national law firms recruit associates even from small law firms. These very firms employed such associates with higher grades. This is the importance of grades to a junior associate.

The Significance of Grades for a Mid Level Attorney and Senior Associate

Potential and skills are the most important parameters while judging a mid level associate. Firms while recruiting a mid level associates or senior associate not only look for grades but also his work experience, his potentials, the field in which he specializes, the firms from where you received training and so on says A. Harrison Barnes. For a mid level and a senior level associate, work experience and grades both make a difference.

The Significance of Grades for the Partner

For partners, the importance of grades is the least. However elite firms continue to emphasize on grades together with their ability to work. A. Harrison Barnes points out however that there are firms that recruit seven out of ten partners without checking their grades. This is primarily because at the partner level, they have secured a lot of work experience. At such times, this experience helps them perform better and this is looked at by law firms which recruiting for a partner level.

A. Harrison Barnes points out that a lawyer’s grades are definitely indispensable at the initial levels of his career. However after reaching a particular level, your ability to work and your experience is what becomes more relevant. The preferences vary from firm to firm. With different opportunities out there in the market, your grades however will definitely open up many avenues in your legal career

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Addressing Workplace Blues

We live in stressful times. It seems like there is never enough time or money to get through the week. In fact, in our current economic climate you are considered lucky if you have a job at all. However, simply having steady employment does not mean that you are happy in your circumstances. In fact, studies have shown that workplace stress has drastically increased. Suddenly, Monday morning is harder to face and Friday seems too far away. Why is this?

All of the external stress may be taking a toll on you, but you also need to spend some time thinking about your actual job. You must think about all of the aspects of your employment. Are you satisfied with your actual responsibilities? How are your interpersonal relationships in the office? What is the climate of your office? The first step towards taking care of the workplace blues is to determine what exactly is making you blue.

The best thing for you to do is to increase your awareness of when your stress level starts to rise. Try to take note of when your attitude starts to shift from happy to sad. You must first recognize that shift in your emotional state. Be sure to check in with yourself both mentally and physically throughout the day. Often stress can manifest in your body so you will want to pay attention to persistent aches and pains thorough out your work day.

Once you have recognized what on the job stress feels like you need to pinpoint the cause of the stress. Spend some time determining whether the stressors are things that are within your control or if they are out of your control. It may help you to actually keep a written record of the things that stress you out. This will help you to realize what you have the power to change versus what you have to learn to adapt to.

Once you have discovered the root of your stress you need to discover some tactics that will help you to deal with it. Under no circumstances do you want your employment to be at risk. Developing coping techniques is what you must do to protect yourself and your financial stability. One of the best ways that you can take care of those stressors that are out of your control is to simply choose your attitude. Decide that you are not going to let them throw you, and instead you are going to deal with them in a positive and productive manner. It may sound simple, but by deciding your mood you are taking some of the control back into your own hands.

For on the job stress that are within your control try to incorporate some other coping methods. Often simply taking a deep breath can help you to keep your calm. It is also okay for you to take a break from the situation. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed it is perfectly acceptable to leave your job for a couple of minutes to get a breath of fresh air.

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Why You Need a Career Mentor

re you someone who is looking for a job that will suit you, or do you know what job you want but find that you do not know how to break in? The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of fields out there that you are not going to be able to get into without a certain amount of work and a certain amount of information and unless you are guided along that path, you might find that it will take you forever to get to where you want to go. This is where finding a good career mentor can come in and when you are looking at how to get the employment that you want, a career mentor can give you a good place to start.

First, think about what a career mentor is. A career mentor is essentially a person who has stood in your shoes before. They know what it is like to arrive to an industry that may be competitive to the point of being cutthroat, and they might remember needing to scrape together the funds to get their fledgling business or company off the ground. They know what it means to feel as though they are taking a risk that will not pay off and they know how you might be feeling about investing your money into something that might be a decision that is fraught with consequences. In other words, they are a person who can guide you.

No matter what field or employment you are seeking, you will realize that the path is not necessarily easy. There are many people out there who find that they stumble and fall and then cannot get back up. They might be paralyzed with indecision or they might think that falling down once means that they will keep doing it. A career mentor is someone who can show you what falls you can recover from and which ones might point to you being in a field that is not suited for you. Having the voice of experience on your side can be essential when you are thinking about moving ahead and this is one resource that can be extremely helpful for you.

Another reason that you might want to take advantage of the services that a career mentor can offer is the fact that they are easy to get to. There are a number of places online that can help you make contact with the people that you need to meet and you will discover that there is a wealth of information out there. Remember to ask questions and to make sure that you are getting good answers. Asking questions is one of the most important parts of learning and you will discover that it is something that proves that you are engaging the material and learning it. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification and remember that when it comes to getting your dream job, the one that you will stay with, there might be a rather steep learning curve.

No matter what position you are currently in and no matter what your dream is, remember that someone who has been there before can be a huge help for you. Take a moment and consider how you are going to move forward with your dream and how you can get the aid that you need.

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