4 Tips for Law School Graduates

ImageAs spring is upon us and law schools are coming to a close, another crop of young lawyers are celebrating graduating and the beginning of their law careers. While there will almost never be a shortage of attorneys, there is however a shortage of jobs. Milwaukee has become a saturated market that is full of talented attorneys, with more and more entering the bar each year. With that in mind, attorneys Matthew Meyer and Ben Van Severen, shed some light on what it takes to land that first job out of law school. Matthew and Ben are both graduates of Marquette University Law school and attorneys at Birdsall Law Offices, S.C.

  1. First and foremost, it is important to build a solid network. Not only will this help you find that first job but it will pay dividends in the future. Focus on both relationships with experienced lawyers and your peers. “It’s the main reason I had a job as soon as I was licensed,” adds Matthew Meyer. 

  2. Cast a wide net when looking for a job. The idea is to get your name out there and taking every opportunity to do that will help you find success.

  3. It is also important to stay focused on the search. It is easy to get discouraged when sending out multiple resumes without any responses. Stay true to the job search and the right fit will come.

  4. Make sure you put in the work. Whether it is preparing for an interview or designing your resume, make sure you put some time into it. Being fully prepared is always a good look. “I think that this also extends out to working your first job.  Unfortunately the six-figure jobs we all hope to have aren’t as prevalent anymore. Sometimes you’ve got to work hard and make only a tiny bit of money the first few years before you start to see successes,” says Matthew Meyer.




Early Success for Young Defense Attorneys



Attorneys Matthew Meyer and Ben Van Severen are seeing early success here at Birdsall Law Offices. Both attorneys focus their practice primarily on criminal defense, including OWI defense. Matthew Meyer was recently nominated to the National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Trail Attorneys in Wisconsin.


Defense Attorney Matthew Meyer

The National Trial Lawyers’ mission is to promote excellence in the legal profession through advocacy training, networking, and education of trial lawyers. Membership to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Attorneys is through invitation only and is offered to attorneys that have shown leadership, influence, and reputation as a trial lawyer.


Defense Attorney Ben Van Severen

Matthew is not the only one at Birdsall Law Offices experiencing success as Attorney Ben Van Severen had his first ever trial in February, which resulted in a victory. Birdsall Law Offices is proud of their successes and achievement so far in their careers.

Relevant Evidence: A Bigger Issue Than You Think


It seems intuitive that all evidence for a case should be considered during a criminal trial. But in many cases, deciding what evidence is relevant and what evidence is not can be a major issue. Many state laws call for DNA evidence to be preserved forever, but what about certain video, audio, or image evidence 

The destruction of these materials, in most cases, is up to the judge’s discretion, according to this case article from In this particular case based in Columbus, OH, the judge backed the destruction of some pieces of evidence in a rape and murder case, based on the nature of the evidence. The evidence was deemed obscene and did not serve any real purpose to the case.

Attorney John A. Birdsall agrees that most items should be preserved, especially when you look at the amount of exonerations since DNA was first implemented. “While this isn’t involving DNA, any pertinent evidence in a serious conviction, even a guilty plea, should have a presumption of retention,” continued Birdsall. Cases like this serve as a great reminder of exactly how complicated criminal trials can become and how critical quality representation can be for a case.

Is it right to have evidence retention up to the discretion of the judge, what do you think?

Check out the case article here for more information.

Milwaukee Attorney John A. Birdsall Joins the Rotary Club of Milwaukee


In October 2013, Attorney John A. Birdsall was inducted into the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. Founded in 1913, the Rotary Club of Milwaukee is an organization made up of some of the city’s most influential and successful leaders. Their mission is to better the Milwaukee community through addressing issues of poverty, illiteracy, clean water, environmental improvement, hunger, disease, and many more. “Over the past 100 years, we’ve made Milwaukee and the world a better place to be, with a history of service that is unmated in the community,” said President Rick White

Each Tuesday Milwaukee business and community leaders come together at the War Memorial Center for lunch to listen and learn about the key issues affecting the Milwaukee community. John was officially introduced at a Tuesday lunch meeting as he was recognized for his contributions as a leader in Milwaukee law. The Milwaukee Rotary club is part of a worldwide network of over 1.2 million men and women who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people in their communities and the world.

John was drawn to the Rotary Club when he discovered it was a service organization dedicated to improving the Milwaukee community that he loves. The Rotary Club fits perfectly with his personal tradition of volunteerism. In addition to contributing at their weekly meetings John is volunteering his time as a mentor for children of the Milwaukee Public School system.

Attorney John A. Birdsall Admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court


On Nov. 4, 2013, Attorney John A. Birdsall traveled to Washington D.C. to be admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Admittance to the bar of the United States Supreme Court is a great honor for any lawyer. John is particularly proud of this accomplishment. While it is rare for a case to reach the United States Supreme Court, this honor is a validation of John’s experience and dedication which has made him one of Wisconsin’s best criminal defense lawyers. In order to receive this honor, a current member of the Supreme Court Bar must file a motion of nomination and then that motion must be granted by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.