23410 Civic Center Way, Suite E-10,
Malibu, CA, 90265
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 late 1999. Today, 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 and several others.
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 have either worked as lawyers or recruiters in premiere firms.
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 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.
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 both witnessed this and grew up around it—and he fights tirelessly for people trying to better themselves.
When you become part of BCG Attorney Search, you will quickly see how Mr. Barnes instills 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.
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 lives in Malibu, California.
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I just received your very thoughtful bottle of champagne and wanted to reach out to you both to say thank you, both for the gift and for all of our help in the recruiting process. You were both class acts, and I've already started singing the praises of BCG to my other friends looking to relocate. Thank you for the time and attention you took to help me get to Jones Day!
I liked that BCG assigned me a personal recruiter who I had a conversation with. That was really nice and I liked the direct contact with Harrison Barnes, that made me feel appreciated. I feel really appreciated with one on one time. I had really great conversations with the recruiters that I worked with and I thought that they were excellent. They didn't make any mistakes and were excellent.
[My favorite thing about BCG was] the responsiveness. Generally speaking, the person I worked with was always responsive to my emails; there were [also] pretty regular texts about new employment opportunities. [The word that comes to mind when I think of BCG is] relief that there is someone else to help you. I have only worked with one other [recruiting firm] and I would put you ahead of [them]. I just gave BCG's information to a colleague of mine who is interested in changing firms. I told her you guys were responsive, you guys have a lot of different opportunities, and that you kept in pretty regular contact.
I thought your online system and being able to see everything was very helpful. A lot of other people don't have that. You certainly had the most opportunities and had them the quickest. There were things you would send to me that another recruiter would send to me two weeks later. [BCG Attorney Search is] efficient, proactive, and organized. [You are] certainly in the top tier. You would be my go to recommend for anyone. If you need the company that has the most breadth and is going to send you the most options then I would go with you.
[My favorite thing about BCG Attorney Search was] the weekly emails. I didn't have to go searching for open positions, you did that. It was a good experience [working with BCG]. I have already referred other people. I had a good experience.
[The best part of working with BCG is] the interface in terms of selecting or looking for jobs. It's easy to deal with and it's convenient. I could keep working while it was going on; I think that was the biggest thing. It made juggling looking for a job and continuing to work a job workable. [BCG is] very helpful and proactive. Definitely use them for your job search.
[BCG] made it easy to review potential employers, [and it was an] easy process. I got interviews with employers I wouldn't have otherwise considered or known about. [BCG is] simple and efficient. [BCG ranks] first [compared to other search firms]. [BCG is] simple and effective.
Hi Harrison, I am gainfully employed at the moment. I am not looking for a new job. Thank you and I enjoyed working with your recruiters previously.
It was really easy to work with [BCG Attorney Search]. I was able to get a wide variety of options that I may not have found otherwise. [BCG is] helpful [and] results oriented. It would definitely be worth reaching out and seeing if they could help you.
I remember that Harrison Barnes called me pretty soon after I reached out to him, or pretty soon after we agreed to work together and talked to me over the phone. That was good. [You have] all the resources and connections that are required to put you into the circle of firms that I would expect to be shopped to. That was definitely a positive thing.
I got a job. You presented me with law firms I didn't think about previously. [The first things that come to mind when I think of BCG Attorney Search are] good follow up, and you were pretty thorough in providing law firms, [as well as] looking through all the law firms that are out and about. [I would rank your firm] at the top. I thought you did a good job. I would recommend you guys.
I thought that the people that I worked with were very supportive. I worked primarily with Carleen Trapp and I really appreciated that she was in constant contact. It was very accommodating to my schedule, which at times could be kind of difficult. She was pretty encouraging yet realistic along the way. It basically made my job search. I really didn't have to do anything else other than just provide some necessary information about myself, including my resume. Basically Carleen handled it from there and she was great. [BCG was] helpful and encouraging. I would say you got the job done. This is a very professional organization. They basically facilitated the entire process so I would recommend them.
[My favorite thing about working with BCG Attorney Search was] that there was a level of contact every week. I have worked with other recruiters where basically you talk with them once and then you don't hear from them. So it was very nice that the recruiter that I worked with, Carleen, reached out to me at least once a week. I didn't have to do anything, it was great. She sent me the firms, I elected whether or not to put my hat in the ring and she drafted the cover letter. I was really able to sit back relax and wait and see what happened. [The first three words that come to mind when I think of BCG Attorney Search are] helpful, professional, and successful. As of right now, [you are the] best [legal recruiting firm] I have worked with. [I would tell someone] that if they are looking for a legal job and if they would like to work with a recruiter I highly recommend they get in touch with you.
I thought you were very responsive. I spoke with Harrison and he listened to my needs and found opportunities that I thought were available. I was looking at Albany, [which is] a fairly small market. He found me the opportunity I wanted. It turned out that I left that firm and went back to my old firm after realizing that I am better suited as a capital markets lawyer at a large law firm. I thought that you did a great job. [Working with you made my job easier because] you found me the opportunity that I eventually accepted. You presented me with a host of options. I was a little bit limited in my desired geography. I always knew there were going to be limited opportunities; I think you found the maximum number of opportunities that were out there. It was extremely helpful. I would recommend you. I think you do listen to what each candidate is looking for and I think you are fairly aggressive in going out and find out what's available and trying to make a proper match. I would definitely recommend you.
[Working with BCG Attorney Search] was real easy. It was very simple for me. [One of my favorite things was the] ease of communication. It opened a door to an opportunity that wouldn't have otherwise been open. [Working with BCG made my job search easier because of the] ease of communication, available opportunities, and success, because we found a placement. I [was] successful in [my] job search using BCG.
I liked that you had updates as to application views, whether you were under consideration and stuff like that. I liked the fact that you were very transparent with who was looking at the applications, what firms [were] considering [you, and] whether they passed on you or not. I think having that made it a lot easier. Also, the fact that you could just click what firms you wanted to be applied to and which ones you didn't [was helpful]. I liked everything [about working with BCG]. You guys did everything [to make my job search easier]. [Working with BCG] made [my job search] seem significantly easier and you guys also had really good ins to a lot of firms. The firm I ended up with, that position was not [listed] online. I don't know how you guys made the connection, but I know you made it. So definitely that was a big part for sure. [I would describe BCG as] responsive, transparent, and helpful. [BCG is] way better [than other recruiting firms]. I had one that actually just randomly dropped me because she realized I was a federal law clerk. You guys were definitely more personal and professional. I would strongly recommend you guys, for sure. And make sure Carleen gets really good reviews because she's fantastic.
Hi Harrison, I wanted to thank you for reaching out by text this afternoon. Status quo for the most part on my end at the moment, but I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and your team keeping me up to date about new opportunities. I've spoken with other recruiters who essentially have disappeared after an initial conversation, so the attentiveness and organized approach that you and your colleagues have shown has meant a lot to me. I look forward to the status report emails and notifications of new listings, and I'm really pleased to be working with your firm. I will definitely recommend you to any friends and colleagues who are searching or thinking about searching.All the best,
I think that in particular Carleen was very responsive. She would communicate to me almost on a daily basis any developments. If I had concerns she would usually respond within a few minutes. It was also helpful to me that we did some on the phone interview practice and counseling. I think that made a difference in my interview that ultimately led to me getting the job that I have now.[Working with BCG] certainly cut out a lot of the leg work that I would have had to do on my own. I think it also helped to have a sort of professional middle person or institution communicating with the HR department in various firms which I think have their own industry wide way of communicating.I would describe BCG Attorney Search as aggressive and receptive.I would recommend what your firm has to offer.
[BCG] essentially handled everything, so it was really low stress on my end.I don't think I would have been able to find the opportunity on my own, honestly. So I think that was the most invaluable part, just becoming aware [of that].[BCG is] helpful and professional.I have already recommended [BCG Attorney Search] to friends. I [would say you are] highly recommendable and helpful.
[The] status update was helpful to have, and you were pretty accessible over the phone. Carleen was really easy to work with which was great. You guys did most of it [my job search] for me so that was helpful. [I also] like[d] the constant updates with firms and not having to look too much at positions. I would describe you guys as provid[ing] a pretty broad search for us ... you guys are connected with a lot of different firms.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Exceedingly good life information for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
Very responsive, obviously successful, and Harrison really listened to what was looking for as well.
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.
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.BCG Attorney Search made it easier because I didn't have to send my resume out to a bunch of firms. I just sent it to BCG and through you I was able to make contact with some firms. So that was very helpful.Thinking about BCG brings back happy memories of getting the job I wanted.I would say you are very helpful, and that you are different than some other search firms in that you try to find out what the best fit is for each person. You don't seem like the type of firm that just send out someone's resume to one hundred different firms and hoping that something sticks. You see what would be the best fit on both ends. You try to cater to the individual circumstances of each person.
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.
You guys had a lot of institutional knowledge regarding the field of law, especially big law, and making a lateral move. Kind of how to make yourself more marketable and things like that. A lot of that was actually really on point and really useful and helpful. I didn't really have a great mentor or contact kind in the location I was trying to move to, as I was trying to make a move to Houston. I didn't have anyone to bounce things of off and get feedback from. So you guys were really, really helpful on that.You guys really did take everything off of my plate, in terms of coordinating everything. I've worked with recruiters in the past who really didn't handle everything. In terms of getting my resume out there, facilitating interviews, and coordinating things you guys did all that for me and I really appreciated that. It allowed me to focus on my job.I would describe BCG as capable, efficient, and professional. I would rank BCG as number one. You guys were honest with me and Harrison was as well. I appreciated that he took the time to work with me.I think one of the biggest things I found out was how Harrison was. That was a big thing for me, because so many recruiters are just constantly out there trying to generate candidates. And while they are all very complimentary of me, all they have seen is my file on the firm website. Harrison was complimentary of me once when he reviewed my bio, but then after he had reviewed my resume and we had spoked a couple of times, I actually thought he was giving me honest feedback about things that I said, what the reality of me getting a job was in the market, and what my options were in the market. He also talked about what mattered and what didn't, kind of where I fit in based on the law school I went to, things like that. And that is really valuable, because you get so many calls and so many emails as an attorney at a large law firm about this stuff. Most of it's just fishing. So to have somebody that actually paid attention, once I gave him my information, and thought about it and gave me honest feedback was really valuable.
My favorite things about working with BCG were promptness, attention to detail, and personal interaction.I felt like reputation was a factor. I know for a fact that the job I have now was someone that had actually reached out to you guys. If I hadn't contacted you, this opportunity probably wouldn't have been available.The words that come to mind when I think of BCG are professional, personal, and realistic.I would rank BCG Attorney Search at the top when it comes to recruiting firms.You guys have a lot of opportunities available that might not be publicly listed.
"I really appreciated the daily follow up and where things stand email every day. I thought..." Read moreKimberly Reed
University of Virginia School of Law, Class Of 1989
Placed at Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker, PA
"[Working with BCG] was very easy. I worked with Lorie because I had responded to some..." Read more
Columbia University Law School, Class Of 2006
Placed at Feldman & Feldman Associates, APC
"My favorite thing about working with BCG was locating positions that I wasn't aware of. The..." Read more
Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Class Of 2006
Placed at Dykema Gossett PLLC
"I got your gift in the mail. Thank you so much! That's very thoughtful of you.
Things at..." Read moreTinh Nguyen
Franklin Pierce Law Center, Class Of 2011
Placed at Vedder Price, P.C.
"I think that BCG helped me, it depends on the people generally, but I like that the..." Read more
University of Michigan Law School, Class Of 2013
Placed at Holland & Hart LLP
"A lot of times when you work with others it's just a series of emails back and forth but,..." Read more
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class Of 1996
Placed at Frantz Ward LLP.