This comprehensive guide to working with a legal recruiter covers all aspects of legal recruiting from an attorney's perspective. It contains articles written by experienced legal recruiters that discuss what a legal recruiter is and what one can do for you. It also has a selection of articles dedicated to helping you select a legal recruiter that is right for you. The next section features articles written specifically about getting the most from the recruiter you select, followed by articles discussing whether you should work with more than one recruiter. The final section covers questions that legal recruiters are often asked by attorneys and their responses.
What a Legal Recruiter Is and What One Can Do for You
- Summary of Law Firm Recruiting Process
Recruiters generally follow ten steps to get you working for a major law firm. The first step lets the recruiter evaluate if you have the qualifications to be placed with a major law firm. Assuming you are qualified, you will move on to the next three steps. The fifth step only happens if the law firm likes your application and wants to schedule an interview. The next five steps happen if the law firm is still interested and wants to keep the interview process going.
- How a Good Legal Recruiter Finds the Best in You and Communicates It to Employers: How to Define Your Unique Selling Proposition
A good recruiter is able to make their candidate look more appealing to law firms. An effective Unique Selling Proposition or USP will set the candidate apart by addressing the need that the law firm has that the candidate can fill. A clear and concise USP sentence is used multiple times in the cover letter by the recruiter to the law firm and by the candidate during interviews.
- Do I Really Need a Recruiter?
A recruiter is an advocate that has the ability to get your resume in front of the right people. The best recruiters have spent years developing relationships with law firms for the benefit of their candidates. A recruiter also acts as a screening tool for law firms by gaining more details that a cover letter can't explain such as gaps in employment and leaving current employment. Recruiters are the most effective for strong candidates since they are the type that law firms want.
- How We Make a Living
Recruiters collect their fees from law firms, usually larger ones with 20 or more attorneys that end up employing a candidate. Many attorneys use a recruiting service since the legwork required for finding positions requires more time and effort than most attorneys have in a day. Recruiters know what talents a law firm wants and needs, acting as a kind of talent agent for the legal profession.
- The Costs of Running a Recruiting Business
Recruiting businesses are like most other businesses and have expenses for advertising, payroll, and office overhead. BCG Attorney Search has expenses for several offices, stationery and all the many forms of technology they use. This technology includes vast databases that are built by programmers and designers, website software to keep personal accounts for clients, and the maintenance for these programs.
- Behind the Scenes of How the Most Effective Recruiters Work
The best recruiters stay current on the happenings of the industry. They study the hiring trends and their candidates. A recruiter will spend a lot of time really getting to know their candidates so they can find the best law firm to fit them. Then they do the same with each law firm they work with to really discover the truth about what it is like. Recruiters find their candidates by referrals, calling them at their current employment, or by the candidate seeking them out.
- Three Types of Recruiting
The three types of recruiting are the market penetrator, the cougar, and the database lover. The market penetrator studies the entire industry, and through force and aggressiveness will find placements for candidates no matter what. The cougar gets to know the firms first and then waits or searches for the perfect candidate for that firm.The database lover studies the active openings in the recruiting firm's database to find positions that match their candidates.
- Conducting a Professional Legal Search, A Personal Approach
The recruiting profession is one of education, in that they know more about several practice areas than a typical practicing attorney does. Each recruiter prepares differently. One method is to thoroughly analyze the candidate's resume, challenge the candidate to write an "I love me" email, compare their credentials, package and market the candidates' qualifications, match the candidate to firms, communicate with the firms, and then help place the candidate.
- Why Do It Yourself?
Finding a job yourself is possible, since a recruiter cannot help every lawyer. First year associates generally find a job while still in school and do not have the preferred qualifications to make them strong applicants for the type of positions that recruiters work to fill. There are always exceptions to this, however, and a recruiter will often give an associate a better chance of successfully finding a position.
- Should I Use a Legal Recruiter? Top 10 Reasons to Use a Legal Recruiter
The 10 reasons to use a recruiter are that they diligently research available opportunities, match you with the right job, get you in the door, help prepare your resume, respect confidentiality, move your career forward, prepare you for interviews, assist in salary negotiations, take care of the details, and provide moral support.
- What Makes a World Class Recruiter
The best recruiter never gives up, even when the job placement may be a challenge. They will do all they can to find current and future candidates the job they want. The best legal recruiters are experts at what they do and know the ins and outs of the legal market. They develop genuine relationships with their candidates and law firms.
- Why You Should Be Talking to a Legal Recruiter Right Now
A legal recruiter can help you every step of the way, even when you are not seriously thinking of looking for a new job. Finding the right fit for a candidate can take up to a year, so starting now will help you get prepared for when that dream position opens up.
- FAQ about Legal Recruiting
The best legal recruiters are busy, so while they try to answer all calls or have a colleague respond, there sometimes is not enough time in a day to accomplish what they want. Law firms pay legal recruiters, so that means they don't get paid until you get hired. Those that are looking for their first legal job or lack strong academics and large law firm experience will have better luck finding a position on their own until they become a better qualified lawyer. Conduct research, just like you would for any service provider, to find one you trust and can get along with.
- Beyond the Listings: Why Use a Search Firm?
A recruiting firm helps those that are relocating and don't have the time to research new law firms on their own. Law firms use recruiters because they need the most qualified candidates to ensure they can keep taking cases that bring in revenue. Not all recruiters are trustworthy or care about finding a good fit for their candidates. Recruiting firms offer more than just job listings.
- 10 Things That Most Legal Recruiters Will Not Tell You
Not all recruiters are the same or offer the same quality of service. Most are small operations that aren't able to give the most help available, and are not in the business for the service, but only the paycheck. Some recruiters will also help paralegals and legal secretaries, taking their focus away from knowing everything and helping only attorneys. Some recruiting businesses make their recruiters cater to only a couple firms, even when a candidate would work better at a different one, while others only have good relationships with a few firms, which limits their ability to make placements.
- Non-attorneys as Legal Recruiters
The pedigree of a legal recruiter should not matter as long as they are delivering the best results for their clients. Some recruiters that were lawyers feel like they are entitled to help you find a job without actually caring and putting in all their effort to find that job because they have amazing credentials. Recruiters without law degrees are often better at thinking outside the box to help their clients.
- Do Recruiters Just Mass Mail Resumes?
Recruiters do a lot more than just sending out resumes. While they must send out resumes to law firms, they are also talking to attorneys and law firms all day, scheduling interviews, preparing candidates for the interviews, reviewing job openings, preparing resumes, attending conferences, and writing articles. All of these things help prepare the recruiter to send out the resumes.
- Why You Should Never Use a Legal Recruiter
Your career and livelihood depend on your understanding the difference between legal recruiters and legal placement professionals. What happens to you could very well be determined by whether you choose a recruiter or a placement professional to assist you in your legal job search. Countless legal careers have failed and gone nowhere simply because the attorney had the misfortune of working with a recruiter instead of a placement professional.