I graduated from a top 5 law school and was recently laid off from a prestigious AmLaw firm on the West coast. Given my credentials, my friends and colleagues are telling me I should network on my own to find my next job. I'd prefer to let a recruiter help me but wonder if this will hurt my chances. Is it true that recruiters can be an impediment to a job search since the firm has to pay a fee for the service? Don't recruiters just find jobs for associates who have good enough credentials to find jobs on their own?
This is an excellent (and very common) question. The truth is that a good recruiter does more than just work with the best and brightest, submitting multiple candidates' resumes to a number of firms in the hopes of making placements. The best recruiters are advocates, plain and simple, and leverage their skills in ways that traditional job seekers do not have the capacity to do. First, recruiters have the ability to get your resume in front of the people who have the power to hire you. This includes law firm recruiters, supervising attorneys, practice heads, and managing partners. Recruiters who are well established generally have spent years cultivating relationships in law firms that serve their candidates in many beneficial ways. In addition, and just as important, recruiters provide a valuable screening service for law firms, answering multiple questions in advance of their being asked by potential employers--and they can do it in much more thorough detail than would be appropriate in a traditional cover letter. This is especially useful when there are "sticky" details that need to be fully explained: gaps in employment; layoff situations; summer associateships that did not result in offers; not having the Bar in the state in which you are applying; reasons for leaving current and previous positions; and a host of other details that would not be generally discussed by a traditional applicant. So advocacy takes on many important forms in this instance.
- See A Comprehensive Guide to Working with a Legal Recruiter for more information.
And, yes, there are those candidates who simply cannot be helped by recruiters and should subsequently network on their own. Candidates who attended unranked law schools and had poor academic performance and/or have never worked in a law firm traditionally are not the best candidates for working with recruiters. Even the best advocates cannot get past a law firm's requirements for good schools, good grades, and/or prior experience. In many of these instances, the new position for these candidates will come through personal connections. But generally speaking, using a recruiter is the best route for strong candidates, as recruiters can open doors that candidates could never open working alone.
See the following articles for more information:
- What Characteristics Should I Look for in a Legal Recruiter?
- Interview yourself first - questions to ask before starting your lateral search
- How to Choose a Good Attorney Recruiter
- Why You Should Be Talking to a Legal Recruiter Right Now
- Choosing a Legal Recruiter
- Your Legal Career as a Small Business
- Should I Use a Legal Recruiter? Top 10 Reasons to Use a Legal Recruiter
- How to Select the Best Legal Recruiter and Maximize the Effectiveness of Working with One
- What makes a world class recruiter
- 10 Things That Most Legal Recruiters Will Not Tell You
Learn how to become a legal recruiter in this related article.
|BCG Attorney Search is looking for driven recruiters to join our team. BCG Attorney Search covers the entire United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. We offer first-rate training and coaching, pay top of market commissions, pay our recruiters as employees and not independent contractors, and offer medical insurance and other benefits. Additionally, BCG is the best known brand in the industry and is part of a 200+ employee legal employment company. We offer a supportive cooperative atmosphere and provide you with everything you need to be the most effective recruiter possible (continually updated internal job database, massive advertising support, incredible back office support, and many other perks designed to ensure you match every possible candidate with every available position).|
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.
With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.
Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.
Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.
One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.
One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.
Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.
In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.
In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.