Publications & Public Speaking

Law School Notes, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 23, 2013 profiled my project for:

Training the next crop of lawyers
Students take classes to prepare for the LSAT and then the bar exam, but when they start practicing law, they aren’t always fully prepared for life at a law firm. That’s why Kathy M. Morris is creating a curriculum for her “Legal Profession Practice Readiness Project for Chicago-area Law School Students” — or Legal PREP CLASS.

If you subscribe to the Law Bulletin, here is your link to the item on the Legal Profession PREP CLASS.

The Legal Profession PREP Class project presented 4 all-new practice-readiness programs in March and April, 2014 on: Communicating Effectively Orally and in Writing; Dealing Well With People and Projects; Developing Business/Understanding Client Needs; and the Job Search Workshop for law Students and New Lawyers.

Objection Overruled
ISBN-10: 1570739099 | ISBN-13: 978-1570739095

Direct Examination
ISBN-10: 1590310527 | ISBN-13: 978-1590310526

Ask the Career Counselors
ISBN-10: 1590311388 | ISBN-13: 978-1590311387

Take Note… Tip-A-Page Notepads
ISBN-10: 1590310535 | ISBN-13: 978-1590310533

Greatest Mistakes Lawyers Make When Looking for Jobs


Ms. Morris is also a recognized participant in the dialogue between the legal profession and law schools on readying graduates to be more valuable in the workplace. Here is an article published in The Law Teacher in Its May, 2013 issue, pages 21-22.
Imparting the Intangibles of Practice Readiness

Ms. Morris ponders, however, whether patience is really a virtue in the practice of law in her article in the May, 2013 issue of ABA Law Practice Today, the monthly webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, in its professional development issue.

The ABA published another article by Ms. Morris, entitled Judging Your Job Search in its Litigation Section Trial Practice Newsletter, Spring, 2013.

Her article on Playing to Your Strengths, introducing the ABA CareerAdvice Live series, can be accessed here.

A series of articles by Ms. Morris, written for the Chicago Bar Association, entitled Really??, is featured here. These articles quickly explore whether time-honored maxims really apply in the practice of law.

Another article by Kathy Morris, entitled Litigators find challenges and rewards, was published in the Lawyers’ Forum of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, page 4, Tuesday, November 6, 2012.


Ms. Morris was a featured speaker at the annual 1L Success Strategies Boot Camp at Hofstra Law School on January 7, 2013. Her presentation, entitled 20 Interviewing Tips in 40 Minutes, included workshop exercises on answering traditional and behavioral interview questions, with feedback provided by participating upperclass students as well as by Ms. Morris.

Ms. Morris moderated a panel discussion on Professional and Ethical Marketing for Appellate Lawyers on April 22, 2013 for the Appellate Lawyers Association’s Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar.

Ms. Morris presented a program on May 7, 2013 for the Chicago Bar Association during its Membership Appreciation Week on How To… Enliven Your Job Search.

On May 8, 2013, Ms. Morris ran an Under Advisement Career Desk, at which she conducted speed counseling for members of the Chicago Bar Association.

On July 11, 2013, Ms. Morris presented a Ted Talk at the Boston Professional Development Consortium Summer Conference entitled Thinking Bigger, Thinking Newer, Thinking Fearless.CareerAdvice LIVE! program, offering new lawyers lessons of the legal world that were not taught in law school and providing attendees with advice on the ways to become practice-ready, professionally confident attorneys who are positioned to achieve important work-life goals.

Before this event, Ms. Morris answered questions about her background and about what is most important for new lawyers to do in order to be content and successful with their career track.

You have been an attorney since 1975. Can you tell us what your experience was like early in your career?

Early in my career, I practiced law, first in a law firm in Honolulu and then as both an appellate defender and a federal defender in Chicago. I knew it was important for me to represent clients in their high-stakes criminal cases early in my career, while I had the zeal of a young lawyer.

How has your career advice changed since you started advising?

I started advising law students and alumni at Northwestern Law School in 1985 as the director of placement and career services, and proceeded to open my legal career counseling practice, Under Advisement, in 1988. Since those early years, I am probably more direct in style, but my advice, as then, is optimistic and supportive. I have branched out to advise law students and lawyers not only about how to get jobs, but how to start them well, leaving bad habits behind and comporting with the confidence to succeed. I also now advise law firms as to stemming unwanted attrition and developing their lawyers’ highest performance.

What is the most common inquiry you receive from young lawyers asking for your advice?

Most young lawyers ask about how to fashion a résumé that will serve them well in a job search and whether it needs to remain in the format they were instructed to use while in law school. I call those the “law school look” résumés, and I advise young lawyers to move toward a format that is more individualized and thus more compelling.

What question do young lawyers neglect to ask you about that you think they should?

What a great question! If they don’t ask me about it, I ask them the difference between how much money they actually need to make and how much money they think they want to make. Often, young lawyers look past jobs they would really like to do in favor of finding the most lucrative opportunity they can. They overlook the high cost of doing a job they’re not really interested in and often need encouragement to build a career they really want, starting as soon as possible.

What should young lawyers keep in mind when they are thinking about the future of their careers?

Careers evolve in unpredictable ways. As lawyers, we like to know exactly where our careers are headed and how to get there. But legal careers are not always linear, and most involve a good number of job changes. I advise young lawyers that the long run is made up of a series of short runs, so what they need to do is make the best decision they can about their next role and about each one thereafter. It’s hard not to feel in control of your whole career at the outset, but going where life takes you is also part of the exciting ride of a JD.

For people who were unable to attend the program in person, the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA hosted a live chat online featuring Ms. Morris immediately following the 8/8 event.

You can click on:
to read about the 8/8/13 event or to see a short video of the tips presented.

The video is also featured on the ABA webpage dedicated to the follow-on monthly series, also called CareerAdvice Live, which is an audio web offering hosted and moderated by Ms. Morris. Read more about the series and access corresponding materials.

And see information about the Chicago Bar Association Series also featuring Ms. Morris, called the Career Advancement Program.