Question: I am a partner-level attorney with over 10 years of experience and approximately $250,000 in portable business in Southern California. Over the years of my career, I have made many contacts at other firms. Should I reach out to them on my own to see if they’d be interested in my candidacy?
- See A Comprehensive Guide to Working with a Legal Recruiter for more information.
Answer: We get several iterations of this same question every week and I know the answer may seem counter-intuitive. However, typically, it is best to have your introduction come from a recruiter and then tap into your personal contacts down the line. There are a few reasons for this:
- You don't know the reputation of that contact within the firm. Though you may hold them in the highest regard, I've heard many stories of attorneys who don't have a good reputation for bringing in other attorneys because they don't vet them well or those recruits underperform. Additionally, the type of person your contact is at work could be very different than the person you know in your personal life. Recruiters have individual relationships at each firm they work with and that relationship is purely based on bringing in quality candidates.
- You need an advocate who will be relentless in representing you! Your contact may pass along your resume to the hiring partner or another person in the firm, but are you prepared to call your contact multiple times to check the status, follow up and make sure it is still moving in the right direction? Most people are not comfortable with that scenario.
- Having multiple advocates, e.g. your recruiter and your personal contact, can only increase your chances of success! The more the merrier in this case, but the recruiters have to make first contact in order to speak with firms going forward.
So, in sum, work with your recruiter to form a targeted list of firms and then have her/him reach out on your behalf. Once your recruiter confirms that your materials have been submitted, get in touch with your contacts to let them know that you've been submitted for consideration and ask them to put in a good word for you!
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
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