If you are about to be downsized from your corporate legal department, all traditional bets are off. The in-house market is grim, as the latest Altman Weil survey data suggests that almost one-third of legal departments will shed headcount in 2009. Finding an acceptable lateral in-house position may be impossible this year.
While moving to a law firm may not be your first (or second, or third) choice, I encourage you to focus on this option immediately. The challenge, of course, is that law firms are not exactly in hiring mode either. If you only offer your talents and experience, then landing softly at a firm may be even harder than finding an in-house job.