Do recruiters just mass mail resumes?

Many people believe that recruiters simply mass mail resumes all day long. This is something that I once believed when I was a practicing attorney. In fact, before I started recruiting, I was under the impression that legal recruiting was one of the easiest-sounding professions in the world. "You mean that someone simply mails out your resume and earns a huge commission?"
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
The fact is that legal recruiting is an extremely difficult business, and most people who go into the business fail. Most recruiting firms are very small because the work is so highly specialized that most people cannot do it. For the most part, the business is not conducive to the sort of growth law firms experience. While there are hundreds of national law firms, there are only a few national legal-recruiting firms. Moreover, the skills to be a good legal recruiter are fundamentally different from those required to be an attorney.
While just about anyone who graduates from college with a decent grade point average can get into an accredited law school, I would estimate that less than 1-2% of all practicing attorneys could ever become successful legal recruiters. There are several reasons for this that would take me pages to explain. The largest reason, though, is that recruiters do not operate under a defined set of rules. The legal market changes on a daily basis, and good recruiters must manipulate that market to get the best results for their candidates and clients. While an attorney can do the same work for years, a recruiter's job is fundamentally different every few months. It takes a lot of intuition and skill to adapt to this and thrive in all markets.