In-house attorney

“Thank you for giving me the structure to think about the direction I really wanted, and the confidence to set out on the road I followed to achieve my goal.”

Senior Associate in law firm

“I began talking to Stephen Rosen and Celia Paul when I was getting truly frustrated with my career. I had left a big law firm and spent almost two years at a smaller firm that had more or less everything I was looking for as a lawyer, and I was still dissatisfied. I felt like I wasn’t learning or growing, professionally or personally, was sure that I needed a change, but was not certain what I wanted or what changes I could afford.

“They helped me think in different ways about myself, my stage in life, my abilities, and what I really wanted to do with my life. They helped me see myself anew, separate from my passing career issues, and imagine a job and career in their words, ‘worthy of the best parts of yourself.’ Although there's no secret to what they did, I have met no one else able to re-direct my thoughts and spirits so quickly and successfully.

“I am also confident that they helped me to learn and understand the art of career transitions, not just for me at this stage in my life, but for the next few decades. That is invaluable and not something I think I could have done on my own.

“Learning the skills of an advocate, coach, comedian, grandfather, psychiatrist, and rabbi, I got a new job, learned about life transitions, had a little fun in the process, and maybe became a little wiser.”


“Your process delivered exactly what I wanted. You introduced me to innumerable techniques that are far from intuitive. These not only enhanced my professional presentation—but more importantly boosted my self-confidence during a period when self-confidence was critical.”

Senior Associate

“A job search is difficult and stressful under the best of circumstances. But working with you helped me focus less on the stress—and more on the task at hand. Your job search strategies gave structure and direction to the process, and your intensive interview preparation was indispensable. There can be no doubt that your approach—and the persistent effort it demands—gave me (and no doubt other job candidates) an important advantage in a tight legal job market.”

Attorney for Non-Profit

“I have enjoyed and appreciated everything you have given me—the training, the support, the advice, the editing, the incredible responsiveness to my pleas for help at all hours—and the sense of humor to make a tough process so much easier. You’ve seen me through a few disappointments, and I was able to make the best possible case each time with your assistance.”

Small-firm lawyer

“As I had little job search experience, and due to my unique problems, your advice and support were invaluable. You substantially enhanced my interviewing skills, enabling me to communicate my qualifications in a polished and astute manner.”

Corporate Practice Lawyer re-entering job market

“Re-entering the job market was extremely difficult. I was seeking a job in a legal environment but did not plan to go back to the type of transactional law firm practice that I had left. I needed more control over my hours. That, along with job satisfaction, were my biggest priorities.

“My options were ‘in-house’ legal, or something completely different.

“Having practiced for 12 years in a specialty, I seemed to be ‘over-qualified’ for practicing in my specialty and ‘under-qualifed’ for anything else. It was necessary to break down my job search into a set of skills and inter-personal dynamics where there was a fit, rather than focus on specific work experience. The hardest things about the search for me were:

“(i) Difficulty figuring out who I was and what was I selling? Maybe more to the point and as Stephen Rosen [of Celia Paul Associates] clarified, I needed to figure out the overlap between who I was and what I was selling.

“(ii) Difficulty maintaining the confidence and optimism that I was worth hiring, in light of the fact that I was searching in areas where I hadn’t had the 12 years experience;

“It was crucial to find the right people for support—both professionally and personally. I found that my husband turned out to be the worst person to turn to for advice—when he gave suggestions or asked about my search, I simply heard it as pressure. I turned to a close friend who had good business instincts and who gave me support and good advice without the emotional overtones.

“I also worked with a professional to give me some career counseling and to explore what would be a good fit for me outside of law firm practice. A professional career counselor was important for me since I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for—it is often easier to know what you are NOT looking for (particularly lawyers) than what you are. I also needed the career counselor to help me strategize my search, give me feedback when opportunities presented and last, but not least, to pressure me to aggressively search—after all, I was paying for it.

“Coincidentally, my career counselor was Celia Paul. So the key is to find the right people to be your partners in the process. It took two years and several part-time jobs, but I did end up in a job that I love.”

TESTIMONIAL FROM FORMER CLIENT who transitioned from law firm to in-house
with career management assistance from Celia Paul Associates

Q: How did you actually decide to transition over to in-house?
A: Well, there are two things. One is that I always liked to learn a lot about the businesses I was advising. The second issue for me was a desire for a change in lifestyle. Because I had been doing corporate for a while and as I had a new son, it was difficult to be away so much. The nature of my work in capital markets and the law firm involved extensive travel.

Q: Was there anything that stood out as being particularly helpful to you when making this career transition?
A: My intellectual curiosity about business, the effect and implications of legal aspects on the business, and how I could make it grow…were all prominent in this transition. For example, I was really curious to learn how financial money markets worked. And from that perspective, I had an interest in knowing how I could help as an international counsel.

Q: At what point did you come to the career counseling firm Celia Paul Associates?
A: That was the time when I was making a decision whether it would be wise for me to leave my firm as my Partnership bets were off. But I was ready to leave and I was lucky to get to know Celia and her partner Steve at that very crucial moment, and they were able to give me great guidance. We worked through the pros and cons of leaving. They also gave me some very useful recommendations and tips on how to approach the job search in terms of putting feelers out. I wasn’t being forced to leave the firm and so I had the luxury of time in making this decision. But at the same time, I made up my mind I wanted to leave. And I wanted someone who was experienced in the career change environment to advise me. So they were very helpful.

Q: Was there any portion of the career counseling program that stood out as being particularly helpful to you?
A: Just talking was very helpful. It was therapeutic. In career counseling, you are helped to identify the pros and cons of your situation and options on your transition—unlike headhunters who have a particular agenda for you. And the counselors get to know you and act as a support mechanism during the process. And this is important; transitioning into a new career is a stressful time that involves a lot of thinking and working.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add for those that are currently thinking about making the move from a firm to an in-house position?
A: Good luck with discovering the skills that help you survive, make a meaningful contribution and add value in the field. After all, an in-house business environment is all about adding value. If a lawyer can add value, that is success. So whatever skills you have that could be used towards achieving that goal, you should develop, rely on, and amplify them. That is a skill in itself to be able to show business people from the start that you are a player, ready to learn and work hard, and make yourself very useful to the business.####