Sheila Nielsen is a leader in the field of career counseling for attorneys.
She is both a social worker and an attorney. She received her masters of social science degree from Bryn Mawr in 1973, and her J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1977. After law school she worked as a criminal prosecutor for six years, first in state court as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, and then in federal court as a U.S. Attorney in Chicago. She served on the hiring team of the US Attorney's office.
In 1983 Ms. Nielsen became one of the founders of the Part-Time Lawyer's Network of the Chicago Bar Association. She chaired that organization from 1984 to 1987 and became the project co-ordinator of that group in 1988. From 1988-1990 she was the Executive Director of the national association, Lawyers for Alternative Work Schedules (LAWS).
In 1990 Ms. Nielsen developed her own counseling and executive coaching business for attorneys, Nielsen Consulting. Ms. Nielsen assists lawyers to assess careerpath options both inside and outside the legal field, to conduct effective job searches, to develop alternative work-time options, and to enhance career development within the law. A number of large law firms in Chicago rely on Ms. Nielsen for outplacement services for their attorneys. One of Ms. Nielsen's particular areas of expertise is helping lawyers who have been "stuck for years" to overcome their ambivalence. She also has expertise helping lawyers who face difficult situations or decisions at work, problematic bosses, or other politcally complex situations to make strategic, career-enhancing decisions.
Her articles appear on numerous internet sites including LawyerAvenue.com. She has been an invited speaker at law schools and bar associations across the country as well as the National Association for Law Placement, National Association of Women Lawyers, American Bar Association, the Institute for Psychoanalysis and other organizations. She has written over fifty articles on career issues for lawyers that have appeared in legal trade journals nationwide. Most recently in January 2010 she presented a webcast for the ABA on the topic of job search in a tough economy that attracted over 360 listeners from across the country and around the world.