As the imminent demise of Heller Ehrman is wagging on everyone’s tongue, I can only wonder who will be man or woman enough at the firm to stand up and safely shepherd the good, and unfortunately loyal, staff into new positions?

Heller, however, is not the only firm in danger. As more companies (AKA “clients”) go under, as firms begin to lose their lines of credits, whose job is next?

As I sit in my office on the 47th floor, safely immune (for now) from the economic crisis at hand, I am so grateful. But what if …? I owe my career path to LMA. I owe my current job to my service role on the LMA-LA board of directors. I have always turned to LMA and LMA members when I have needed, or wanted, to make a job change.

Where are LMA, ALA, NALP, ACC, ABA, etc. on the issue? We all know that access to networking is key to finding a soft landing place. I challenge all of us to contact our professional associations and insist that they open up our national conferences and local meetings to anyone who is laid off due to the economy or a firm closure. Give them access to the networking opportunities available.

It need not come at a loss:

  • A headhunter can underwrite a sponsorship of registrations.
  • Attendees can have a check-in box on our registration forms to donate $10.00 towards a registration fund at a national conference or $5.00 for a local meeting.
  • Speakers, whose firms are willing to pay for their attendance at a conference or event, can donate their complimentary registrations back for someone else to use.

I commend the headhunters who are offering open houses in key markets. But there is more to be done. This morning I once again heard a definition of integrity: it is doing the right thing when no one is watching. I challenge all of us to do the right thing today.