An occasional look at how laid-off legal professionals cope with a crisis economy. Or sometimes we just tell you where the jobs are.
Government contracts work normally picks up in down times. But one McKenna Long & Aldridge partner tells us these are especially fruitful times. And that means the firm is hiring.
Tom Abbott, who chairs the group from Los Angeles, says the firm’s interviewing associates for two open positions in L.A., one in San Diego, two in Denver and two in Washington, D.C.
Just make sure you’ve got the experience, pal.
McKenna lists 475 attorneys and public policy advisors on its website. Its biggest government contracts group sits in D.C., but the other half is split between L.A. and Denver.
Abbott says the firm’s considering lawyers with three to six years of experience, which means they generally find candidates in the Air Force, the General Services Administration and other government gigs. Sometimes it plucks lawyers from other firms and LLM programs that focus on government contracts. “We still try to hire out of our summer program,” he said. “It’s so hard to find people with training.”
The firm represents eight of the country’s 10 largest government contractors, Abbott said, though he wouldn’t share names. There is post-wind-down work in Iraq, and build-up work in Afghanistan is coming online. There’s also the fallout of the Hurricane Katrina cleanup.
At the same time, the new administration is ushering in new programs and canceling others. There are costs, disputes and litigation tied to those types of changes, Abbott said.
It will be another six months or more before President Obama’s stimulus package begins to kick off work, though. “It’s too new.”
— Petra Pasternak