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Career Change Pays Off for Techie Turned Solo and Author

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, September 21, 2005

TechnoLawyer member Diana Brodman Summers was earning a good living as a database administrator, but yearned for a career change so she used her retirement savings to invest in herself and pursue a law degree at night. A few days before the bar exam, her employer downsized her out of her job.

Fortunately, Diana still managed to pass the bar exam despite this bad news. Unfortunately, she could not find a job as a lawyer. "Out of 685 resumes I got three interviews, two of whom told me to my face I was too old [at 40] to be an associate."

Instead, she started contracting herself out to law firms on a per case or per month basis. Eventually, she earned enough money and developed enough of a reputation to open her own solo practice in Lisle, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Diana primarily represents employees in employment discrimination matters, and also serves as an arbitrator for Cook County and DuPage County's Mandatory Arbitration Program.

Diana is also a best-selling author. Her current book How to Buy Your First Home has become the top-seller in its category. She recently spoke about the book on her local ABC TV station. Her other books include Illinois Landlord's Legal Guide, How to Write an Illinois Will, and How to File for Divorce in Illinois. Her next book, How to Start a Home Based Business will hit bookshelves in a few months.

As for her favorite technology tools, Diana lists Word and WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat, Netscape, and especially "It enables me to print postage whenever I want, and it keeps a records of when I printed the postage and a file of names and addresses."

You can contact Diana at (630) 955-3735.

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