A. Harrison Barnes - Best Legal Recruiter - BCGSearch.com

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Harrison Barnes Managing Director
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23410 Civic Center Way, Suite E-10, Malibu, CA, 90265
p 213-895-7300  |  f 213-895-7306  |  toll-free 800-298-6440

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Juris Doctor, University of Virginia Law School
Bachelor of Arts, University of Chicago

Harrison Barnes is one of the world’s most successful, respected and sought-after legal recruiters. With thousands of placements under his belt, contacts in every echelon of the legal world, an uncanny ability to draw out the best in his candidates, and a tireless drive to not quit, Mr. Barnes is the guy you go to when you need a legal job. He truly is an example of what an outstanding legal recruiter should be.

He founded BCG Attorney Search in 2000 after his own experience with recruiters left him disillusioned. Fifteen years later, BCG is a leader in the industry with offices throughout the country. BCG’s number one core value is “We Must Get Attorneys Jobs” and the company averages more than one placement a day. Mr. Barnes and his BCG team place more attorneys in law firm jobs than any other recruiting firm in the world.

Mr. Barnes is so devoted to his mission that along with BCG Attorney Search he has created a network of over 500 technologically-advanced and research-based companies and websites geared toward helping lawyers and professionals find jobs. His companies collectively comprise the largest legal career company in the world and include LawCrossing, a job board that has been twice-listed on the Inc. 500; Hound, a job site that aggregates employer listings and was recognized by PC Magazine as one of the world’s top 20 job sites; and Legal Authority, a career marketing firm for attorneys.

A prolific author on everything related to getting a job as an attorney and succeeding in the legal profession, Mr. Barnes writes a daily career-advice blog that circulates to 800,000 readers. He and his companies also publish a host of books, including BCG's Guide to America's Top 50 Law Schools; BCG’s Comprehensive Guide for Law Firm Partners; BCG’s Guide to Practice Areas; Attorney Resume Secrets Revealed; and The Perfect Legal Job Search Book.

Mr. Barnes went to college at the University of Chicago, where he earned his B.A. in Public Policy Studies and was awarded multiple academic honors. He attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review and managing editor of the Journal of Law and Politics. At Chicago, Mr. Barnes co-taught a college-level class on race and society.

After law school, Mr. Barnes clerked for United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland in Bay City, Michigan. Then he headed to Los Angeles and worked as a litigation associate at both Quinn Emanuel Urquart Oliver & Sullivan and Dewey Ballantine. He also taught professional responsibility at Whittier Law School, an experience that ultimately inspired him to elevate the ethical standards of the recruiting profession by implementing BCG’s Code of Conduct.

While at Dewey, Mr. Barnes found himself at a career crossroads. He turned to several legal recruiting firms to help him consider career options and find a new job. But he was dismayed to realize that these firms did not seem to care about him or his future, could not identify even a fraction of the leads Mr. Barnes found on his own, and would not return phone calls. They also sent out letters and candidate materials riddled with typos and inaccurate information. Mr. Barnes felt he – and other attorneys who had worked so hard and had so much to offer – deserved better. So he founded Barrister Consulting Group (now called BCG Attorney Search) and found his calling as a legal recruiter.

Mr. Barnes has true passion for helping attorneys get jobs. Even more, he genuinely wants to help his candidates find fulfillment in every aspect of their lives. He spends a great deal of time helping clients figure out what career path makes the most sense for them from both a professional and personal standpoint. Mr. Barnes believes that his job is to advocate for his attorney-clients with the same zeal and tenacity that his clients advocate for their clients. He works tirelessly – leaving no stone unturned or angle unconsidered – until each and every candidate secures the job that best matches his or her unique skills, experiences and mindset.

Through Mr. Barnes’ leadership, BCG has set itself apart from other recruiting firms. For one thing, BCG specializes in law firm placements and does not handle in-house or contract assignments. BCG recruiters devote all their energy to mastering law firms and have unparalleled expertise in, and connections with, law firms of all kinds and sizes throughout the world. There is simply no other recruiting firm anywhere that knows law firms like BCG.

Because Mr. Barnes demands excellence in everything he does, he hires recruiters who have similar expectations of themselves and their work product. Most BCG recruiters are attorneys with degrees from top-tier schools and either worked as lawyers or recruiters in premiere firms such as SNR Denton, Baker & McKenzie, Goodwin Procter, Paul Hastings, Latham & Watkins, Skadden Arps, Kirkland & Ellis, King & Spalding, and others.

The BCG culture is marked by collegiality and a sense of purpose. The common goal is getting attorneys jobs and Mr. Barnes personally mentors each new hire. Recruiters participate in weekly roundtables to exchange information and benefit from frequent coaching and evaluation sessions. They stay active in the legal community by writing articles, meeting with law firms and attending networking events. Each year, the recruiters reconnect, brainstorm, and hone skills at the week long BCG College.

But not even the most dedicated recruiter can do it alone, and that’s why the company employs hundreds of professional researchers, writers, designers and proofreaders who work behind the scenes to make sure BCG candidates have the competitive edge when it comes to their job searches. BCG has a data scientist on staff whose job it is to follow legal market trends. The company has over 100 researchers who comb through every law firm employment possibility in every market across the globe. Staff writers, designers and proofreaders ensure that each cover letter and candidate package lands on the hiring partner’s desk in the most thorough, compelling, and flawless manner possible.

Thanks to Mr. Barnes’ high expectations and commitment to creating the infrastructure necessary for world-class job searches, as a BCG client you will never worry that your recruiter will miss an opportunity, fail to return your phone call promptly, treat you with disrespect, or send out your materials with typos.

In addition to his other professional activities, Mr. Barnes is a frequent lecturer on recruiting issues and has been retained as an expert witness in court cases involving the legal market. Many law schools use Mr. Barnes’ writings in classes for their students. For example, Professor William Henderson, the Indiana University School of Law professor who was named National Jurist Magazine’s 2015 most influential person, has used Mr. Barnes’ articles about law firms as part of the curriculum for his law school classes.

Mr. Barnes has always had a knack for helping people assimilate into different environments, overcome obstacles and achieve success. He had to do it himself as the son of a single, working mother growing up in the Detroit area. Though far from wealthy or privileged, Mr. Barnes attended the Cranbrook Schools, an elite preparatory school in Michigan. In the summers, he paved asphalt to pay for college, and he learned how to fit in and excel in that environment too.

Mr. Barnes’ mother spent her career as an investigator for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. He watched her fight for people that were discriminated against, fired and unemployable due to their race, sexual orientation, gender, handicaps, social class and other handicaps. Seeing first-hand the ways people were held back in society by others preconceptions of them, but how fighting for them could make a difference, this instilled in a desire in Mr. Barnes to fight for the underdog.

Whether it is a partner with $3-million in business trying to move into a firm that requires $5-million, or someone without the “right” law school or other credentials trying to move into a better firm, Mr. Barnes has an innate desire to fight for people who are trying to better themselves and become something more. He understands the social dynamics entailed with “not quite” being good enough—because he has witnessed this and grew up surrounded by and part of this—and he fights tirelessly for people trying to better themselves.

When you become part of BCG Attorney Search, you quickly see how Mr. Barnes will try instill in you the need to become something more, not be held back and be the person you were meant to be. BCG Attorney Search is a different type of attorney recruiting firm. It is one of substance and one that wants you to be everything that you are capable of being. It is about awakening the power that is within you so that the good and power inside of you can come out and make you everything you were meant to be.

Eventually, Mr. Barnes started a paving contracting business and hired his workers from the inner city and from drug rehabilitation centers. He enjoyed mentoring these men who sought to “repave their lives” as much as he enjoyed running the company. Still today, a highpoint of Mr. Barnes’ recruiting work is helping people get back on their feet and negotiate the complex and daunting world of law firms. Nothing brings a smile to Mr. Barnes’ face like watching a candidate succeed in law and in life!

In his free time, Mr. Barnes surrounds himself with positive activities, energies and influences. He practices Kundalini yoga and has studied yoga with masters in India. He has been business associates with world-renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins and was the former Chief Technology Officer at Business Breakthroughs International (BBI). BBI was a business consulting and strategy firm founded by Tony Robbins and Mr. Barnes' late friend and mentor Chet Holmes. Holmes and Robbins are considered two of the most influential business coaches in the world. BBI offered a full range of business services for owners and executives at every level. In addition, Mr. Barnes has spoken at Tony Robbins events and written business books.

A dedicated athlete, Mr. Barnes runs eight miles a day and also swims in his pool and the ocean. He enjoys traveling and reading business and history books.

Mr. Barnes is married to Claudia Barnes, an intellectual property attorney he met when she came to BCG as a candidate. Mrs. Barnes is now BCG’s manager and a dedicated legal recruiter in her own right. The couple has three daughters, a Labrador retriever, a hyacinth macaw parrot and a tortoise. They live in Malibu, California.

Articles Contributed

Legal Career Advice

Legal Job Interviews/Offers

Getting a Legal Job

Being the Best Attorney

About Legal Recruiters

About BCG Attorney Search

Employer Resources

Sales and Goal Setting

General Career Advice Articles


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  • I enjoyed your recent article on the only three reasons to work at a law firm.

    Fermeen F.
  • Harrison,

    Thank you for all the articles. I placed my resume on your website, but at this time I have decided to start my own law firm. The articles you have written have and will continue to be useful in my new journey.

    Ashby Underhill
  • Mr. Barnes,

    I want to thank you for your terrific articles and the resources your website(s) provide. They were a huge help in my job search. I'll be starting a new position at a large law firm in metro-Detroit in two weeks! Thanks for everything!

  • Harrison is very thorough, on top of it, proactive and hard working. It took a lot of pressure off me for you to do the work. The word that comes to mind when I think of BCG is connected. I haven't worked with many recruiters, but BCG is the best one so far. I would definitely recommend you guys. Working with you was a very good experience and was very helpful. I would tell someone else that working with you could only be a good thing.

    Stacey Bradford
  • Harrison,

    Thank you! I am grateful for all that you and your team have done for me. While I did not receive a direct placement from BCG, I read every article on your site and adhered to the advice. I believe your insights and encouragement contributed to my success. I will absolutely recommend my peers contact you for potential opportunities.

    Michael Thicksten
  • My most favorite thing is that I got a job through BCG. I liked that I had a good introductory call with Harrison. We had a good discussion about my background and interests which I thought was helpful. I had mock interviews that were informal with Harrison and some other people too. I thought that was good as well.

  • Very responsive, obviously successful, and Harrison really listened to what was looking for as well.

    Tayanah Thomas
  • Harrison,

    Thank you very much for your assistance. I have learned 10 years' worth of information in a matter of days reading your publications.

  • I am not an attorney nor do I work in a law firm. I am an instructor who recently began my own tutoring center. I currently have four students and I know it will grow.

    I want to thank you for your articles. These articles do not help only attorneys in law firms. The reader can easily substitute "lawyer" for employee, "law firm" for place of employment and greatly benefit from the intended teaching. That is what I do and it is beneficial.

    I most especially liked this most recent article that addressed "One Simple Rule." I wish I had read this article earlier in my life. I recently lost responsibilities at my former workplace due to associating with a Negative Nellie out of what I perceived to be kindness. It hurt my chances of advancement greatly and made it easier for the employer to lessen my hours to the point I needed to leave. Your writing clearly demonstrated (from the employer's perspective) why this must happen. However, that same article encourages a positive focus and I take that with me too.

    Thank you again for your articles and teachings.
  • I hadn't heard about any of this stuff with Albert (Robert Kinney), but for whatever it's worth it wouldn't have mattered to me. I have worked for a large law firm since 2003 and been on BCG's mailing list for years.

    I have quietly read and shared many of your articles within my firm, including "Why Going In-House Is Often the Worst Decision a Good Attorney Can Make", which is permanently saved in my email. To me your character always comes through your writing. You are honest, encouraging and uplifting. I look forward to reading your insights and they make me feel better about decisions I've made and my career in general. You have sometimes challenged me to work harder or to rekindle my love of the law.

    Sometimes you have encouraged me or even said exactly what I needed to hear at the time that I needed to hear it.
    You are being attacked because you are making a positive difference in this world. Take encouragement from those of us you are helping and keep doing what you do.

    Leanna Anderson
  • My name is Vladislav Arkhipov, and I am an of counsel of IT / IP practice of Dentons in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    I have just found and read with a great pleasure a number of your articles, including "Top 9 Ways for Any Attorney to Generate a Ton of Business" and "Why Attorneys with 5+ Years of Law Firm Experience Are in Serious Trouble...".

    I would like just to say thank you very much for the quality material which came right in time for me, as I have very little business currently. Your articles are very relevant and inspiring.

    Thank you!
    Vladislav Arkhipov
  • I found your articles about life, work and the legal profession extremely interesting and insightful.

    Chris Payne
  • I read many of your blog posts. You have unique knowledge of the legal industry.

    Justin Cain
  • Thank you for your articles. I enjoy reading them!

    Natalia Lantonio
  • I'm a fully recovered attorney - ok, I never really practiced much - and will never be looking for an attorney job but I am really enjoying your brutally honest articles for attorneys seeking jobs. Well said!

  • I've been reading your articles on LawCrossing and I love all of them!

    Henry Duong
  • Harrison,

    I've been practicing law for 40 years, including mostly patent prosecution, but also employment discrimination litigation and environmental. I'm winding down, and NOT looking for work, but I find your articles both interesting and well written. Your insights are right on.

    Jay Drouillard.
  • Thank you for your profound research and insights. Always finding time to read your articles.

    Karl Weitz
  • I wanted to congratulate you on your outstanding knowledge of legal recruiting and ease in writing about it. Your articles are one of the best I have ever read, combining experience and knowledge from many disciplines. Reading your articles is like sitting in a mind of a recruiting attorney. Thank you a lot for publishing them on your company's website for free for people like me. They really motivate and make me feel I will succeed. Thank you a lot and I wish you all the best.

    Kind regards,
  • Mr. Barnes, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading the articles you post on LinkedIn. They're not only well written but are also interesting. So, thank you for writing!

    Gurneet Singh
  • Great post! (You Will Succeed in Your Job and Job Search When You Are Concerned with Giving and Not Taking)

    Carol Fine
  • Thank you. Very insightful.

    (Ensure Your Lateral Move Is a Success)

    Jacqueline Hodes
  • Thank you Harrison, your articles were very helpful and inspiring to make a decision to join a new firm!

    Karol Lewandowski
  • Dear Mr. Barnes,

    In all sincerity, realizing you must be engulfed by innumerous submissions from the like of me who seek your unparalleled expertise, writing to you took quite a bit of courage; and certainly, a "decisive moment." Yet, I reached out to you, particularly, because I recognize that my case calls for guidance and advice, not just from any good -or even great- recruiter, but exclusively from someone of your mastery, art, and facility.

    Before taking the liberty of taking your time to divulge any details, please find a summary of my history here: http://www.cohengresser.com/attorneys/mina-s-reiman. My resume is also attached for you review.

    My personal email address and phone number are listed on my resume. I would be grateful for an opportunity to speak with you. Please let me know if you would like more information.

    Thank you in advance for you time and consideration.

    Mina Reiman
  • The BCG Attorney Search site and especially the articles written by Harrison Barnes are consistently thought-provoking and informative. Mr. Barnes addresses various topics of interest, not merely superficially, but always in depth, offering a lot of insight. I habitually return to browse his articles, finding, as expected, another well-written article to read in my downtime. - Tina Hopper
  • Thank you Harrison, your articles were very helpful and inspiring to make a decision to join a new firm! - Karol Lewandowski
  • Why Most Attorneys Are Unhappy. Awesome article - David Plante
  • It made it easy in that I really didn't have to look at postings on my own and I also didn't have to do the cover letter, which was super helpful. The firm that I got placed at, the HR rep, he used to work for BCG so there's already some sort of familiarity and something that was helpful going in and starting the process. - Melissa Shimizu
  • The responsiveness, whether it was by email or by phone call. And then keeping on track of the schedule of the interviews I had. I would always get text messages beforehand. The responsiveness was very good. - Keerthika Subramanian
  • My favorite thing overall was that it streamlined the process for me…no way I would be able to devote the time required to gather materials and put together cover letters and mass mail… It allowed me to work at my prior job and allowed the process to move forward even though I couldn't devote all my day to it.- David Rodriguez
  • The #1 Attorney Career Killer That Attorneys Are Never Taught, I found that this article extremely helpful. I really wish that I had this information 20 years ago when I was asking these questions. You give a great voice to what it means to practice law. Not harsh, at least not unfairly harsh, but you nail it. - Marc Sommers
  • I liked how many resumes BCG sent out for me. I felt my resume was always going out and there was consideration put into what kinds of firms and locations I wanted to concentrate on. There was constant communication and updating on whether you were or weren't hearing back on my resume and the possibility of interviews getting scheduled… so that was really nice- the level of communication. - Jessie Kempf
  • Production Assistants - and Assessing Your Employer's Needs, I thought this was a really good article. It has some good points about looking at a job from both the person who is seeking the job as well as the employer. - Denise Hedrick
  • Dear Mr. Barnes: Your website and articles have been like a favorite movie over the years. I don't watch them every day, but when I do, they always seem to reveal something new and worthwhile. So thank you. - Joseph Simpson
  • Harrison, The Power of Gratitude in Your Job Search was a great article! - Nancy M. Valent, NMV STRATEGIES
  • I enjoyed your recent article on not undervaluing yourself. I can attest from experience - U Chicago degree, federal clerkship, former Baker Botts lawyer--that when I moved to Florida, worked in recruiting (family business), and then accepted a job at a less prestigious firm, it took many years to claw myself back to a respectable level. I'm back in the saddle, but it was a lot of hard work. I would have been better off in retrospect taking bar immediately and getting back into law game right away. - Chris Roach
  • Harrison,

    I have been very impressed with your recruiting firm, and with Christina's work. As she may have told you, I was previously working with a recruiter from another firm, and was not happy with the progress there. In the few short days I've been working with your firm and with Christina, she has already done much more than the other recruiter had done in several weeks' time.

    And, yes, having a phone interview set up so quickly is magnificent news!

    Thank you so much for the attachments you have sent. I plan to study them this weekend in great detail. I will take any advantage I can, as I know it is a competitive market, and my lack of direct experience with law firms is my biggest weakness. Your books and attachments will give me the insight into a law firm environment that I need to be my best for the interview.

    I am very pleased and excited to be working with your firm. I feel listened to and taken care of. I am excited to be interviewing and look forward to my future in Seattle.

    Again, thank you for the message, the attachments, and all of the help you both have been giving me.

    - Jonathan L. Tolstedt
  • Harrison,

    ''I really appreciate your daily columns. After being stressed out about being unemployed since February, I just accepted a wonderful offer that I am really excited about by following your advice. Thank you so much, and I want you to know that your efforts have a concrete effect on people's lives.''

    - S. A.
  • Dear Harrison,

    Thank you for your email below, which is extremely helpful.

    I didn't expect that you can be so kind as to show me the right path for the start of my career. This attests to the high ethinical standard and professionalism of you and your firm. I will try to spread the good words about your firm among my peers in my future career and hopefully we can cooperate somewhere down the road.

    Thank you again.


  • Good information for these in uncertain times you might need when the unthinkable happens and you are now unemployed. Respect the process, it matters. In law school the professors called "the process" "…learning to think like a lawyer…"

  • Your essays show a rare level of maturity, insight and professionalism that is missing too often from the business of law. Thanks for sharing them.

    -Shelley Ewalt
  • Exceedingly good life information for everyone.

    -Thomas J. Kesoilts
  • You've got great stories. Thank you for sharing them, they're really helpful, not just for my law search, but for life and dealing with people.


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