Introduction

As a legal recruiter, I am often quite surprised by the differences among attorneys in their receptiveness of information presented to them. When associates are called by a recruiter out of the blue, they are often extremely suspicious, declare they are not interested in speaking with the recruiter at all, brag about how happy they are, and then get off the phone as quickly as possible. Successful partners and associates tend to do the opposite. An event of a couple of weeks ago comes to mind.

The One Characteristic that Separates Average Attorneys from Exceptional Attorneys: The Best Attorneys are Hungry for Information

 
 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

A recruiter of ours called an associate at a law firm. The associate told the recruiter in no uncertain terms that he/she was extremely happy where he/she was and would never consider another opportunity under any circumstances. The associate also warned the recruiter that he "had better be careful" because the associate worked directly with the hiring partner of this law firm. The recruiter (who is used to recruiting high-level partners) was amused by this. About 10 minutes later, the recruiter called the hiring partner at the same firm. The partner told the recruiter that for the right opportunity, he and "some of his associates" would be interested in moving. The partner questioned the recruiter for about 60 minutes about opportunities in the market, and the recruiter eventually had to get the partner off the phone to get home for dinner. The partner told the recruiter he wanted him to come down and speak with him when he had some time.