At some point along the line of deciding career paths, many attorneys consider becoming legal recruiters. In fact, when I bring up recruiting to attorneys confused about whether to continue practicing law they almost all say “I’ve thought about that!”
I have written hundreds of articles for attorneys trying to decide what direction they should take in their careers, but none about whether they should become legal recruiters. You need to find the best audience for your skills. No career decision is more important than this.
Attorneys generally have to seriously consider their career options when they hate practicing law and find it unfulfilling. They also should take stock of options after they have five years of experience. Please see the following articles for more insight on considering career options:
When an attorney thinks he or she no longer wants to practice law inside of a law firm, the attorney generally chooses between:
- Buckling Down and Making the Most of It. Sometimes this is a good decision and other times it is not. See Top 20 Reasons Why There Is No Better Profession Than Practicing Law for more information.
- Quitting the Practice of Law. Sometimes this is a good decision and other times it is not. See Why You Should Quit Practicing Law and see also Why you Should (and Should Not) Quit the Practice of Law for more information.
- Going In House. Sometimes this is a good decision and other times it is not. See Why Going In-house Is Often the Worst Decision a Good Attorney Can Ever Make for more information.
- Starting His or Her Own Law Firm. Sometimes this is a good decision and other times it is not. See Should You Start Your Own Law Firm? Top 10 Reasons to Start or Not Start Your Own Firm for more information.
- Choosing an Alternative Career. Sometimes this is a good decision and other times it is not. There are 60 good alternative careers listed here: 60 Nontraditional Jobs You Can Do with a Law Degree (and Should Strongly Consider Doing)
What options would you consider doing if you were to quit practicing law? Let us know in the comments below!
Becoming a legal recruiter is one of the alternatives attorneys consider in contemplating an alternative career. Good legal recruiters are interested in topics like those above. Are you? This article is meant to hit you with everything I have got to see if you are a good fit for this profession – and if this is the right profession for you this article is going to change your life for the better. If this is the wrong profession for you, I will have saved you from failure and a disastrous decision that will screw up your career. I want to help you make the right decision because I am a legal recruiter and that is my job.
There is surprisingly little information out there about whether you should become a legal recruiter. The reason for this is because many legal recruiters do not even know or understand why they become legal recruiters. This may be no different from the reasons you became a practicing attorney, yet this makes no sense. You need to know what you are doing with your career because it is your life. You have come this far and better not screw up now.
The decision to become a legal recruiter is an incredibly serious decision that can have long-lasting repercussions if you choose wrongly, or not wisely. On the flip side, it may be the best decision you ever make and profoundly change your life and career for the better.
There are two aspects you need to consider in making the decision to possibly pursue the legal recruiting profession. First, you need to decide whether you should become a legal recruiter. Second, if you decide to become a legal recruiter, then you need to decide where you should become one.
A. Should You Become a Legal Recruiter?
How can you tell if being a legal recruiter is right for you? One of the most common professions that our recruiters have pursued in the past is to work in law school career services offices and in the recruiting offices of law firms. In fact, if you enjoy the profession, helping people along the process and everything this involves, these related professions are often good choices as well. They typically contain no commission component at all. In the law school environment, you are helping people get jobs, speaking with employers, giving pep talks, counseling students and even helping alumni. As a legal recruiter inside of a law firm you are reviewing scores of resumes, scheduling interviews, dealing with calls and emails from recruiters, discussing candidates individually with partners and more. Being a legal recruiter inside of a law firm is equally rewarding and a good option. Several of our former legal recruiters are employed inside of major law schools and law firms throughout the United States.
It is extremely important that you understand exactly what legal recruiters do. The following article provides some discussion of this. You should review it if you do not really know what legal recruiting is all about. It discusses what legal recruiting is like at BCG Attorney Search (from one recruiter’s perspective); however, every legal recruiting firm is different: Thinking about Becoming a Legal Search Consultant (a.k.a. a ''Headhunter'')? Here's the Inside Scoop.
What does a legal recruiter do? The chances are very good that you may not understand completely what legal recruiting is. It is not just people sitting in rooms making cold calls (but it can be). Legal recruiting is a lot of things. If you are considering it you better understand exactly what it is and what you would be doing.
What do you think legal recruiting involves and what would you like best about it?
People who become successful legal recruiters generally have watched what their own legal recruiter did, heard the enthusiasm in his or her voice, had discussions with their recruiter about the profession and felt a strong interest in the field that blossomed within them for some time. Other times the legal recruiter may have never worked with a legal recruiter but liked the idea of doing it instinctively. The profession appealed to them on many levels. Learn about 10 more reasons to become a legal recruiter below:
- Do You Want to Be in Control of Your Own Destiny?
One of the greatest appeals of being a legal recruiter is that it puts you in control of your own destiny. Inside of a law firm attorneys are controlled by whether or not higher ups are bringing in work and whether or not they are politically connected to get work from partners and bosses. In many law firms the billing rates are so high it can be nearly impossible to bring in clients—even for partners—which makes advancement difficult as well. This is frustrating for people who want to make their own paths, control their incomes and be in charge of their own lives. When you are a legal recruiter if you are hungry enough you can generally be successful. You do not need to rely on others for your success and are in 100% control.
I became a legal recruiter largely because I needed and wanted to be in control of my destiny. I could not believe that my ambition and desire to succeed was based on things like how many hours I billed and who I tried to impress.
- Do You Want Security?
When you are in a law firm, unless you have a lot of business you will never have security. Your ability to get business will also be dependent upon the type of law firm you are working for and where it is. If you are in a large law firm in New York you are going to need to bring in some pretty large clients to impress the firm. If you are in a smaller market, you may never be able to make a lot of money based on the size of the companies in the region. Your practice area will also determine the level of security you have. Corporate goes through all sorts of cycles (up and down) where there is very little work and people lose their jobs. If cases settle for litigators they do not have work. If there is a recession work dries up and so forth.
Another reason I became a legal recruiter was because I wanted security. I knew I could build relationships with attorneys who would eventually move firms in the future. I also knew that I could consistently work in good economies and bad economies. For example, when the economy is in recession, bankruptcy and litigation do well. When the economy is booming, corporate does well. When one area of the country (or world) is in recession, another is doing well. When law firms are laying off associates, they are desperate for partners with business. In fact, I felt that when I found legal recruiting I had found a “recession-proof business” and could not believe my luck. Please see the following articles for more information:
- Are You Interested in Others?
When I was practicing law, I was somewhat interested in the various legal procedural maneuvers my litigation clients were making—but not interested enough to justify doing it for the rest of my life. What really interested me then, and still interests me now, is people. That is why legal recruiting is the perfect profession for me. A good legal recruiter must be interested in the personalities of people, in their psychology and more. This is incredibly important to a legal recruiter. It is crucial because in the legal recruiting realm you are dealing with people and their problems all day. You need to understand what type of person you are. Good legal recruiters are generally motivated most by people. See the following articles on this point:
- Do You Want to Deal with a Massive Variety of People and Legal Employers?
When I worked in a law firm, for the most part I spent my days in an office surrounded by very smart, stressed out and uptight nerds. In court and with clients I always felt like I was walking on eggshells. I liked the people I was working with but the assignments were often full of boring details and involved very serious people. The whole experience lacked variety.
Have you had a similar experience with people?
When you are a legal recruiter you are always dealing with a variety of people and it is exciting. I am on the phone each day recruiting people. I am working with existing candidates, scheduling interviews, giving pep talks, doing coaching, writing letters, editing resumes, talking to law firms, texting candidates and more. It is a ton of fun. I get to the office when it is dark out and when I go home my car is generally one of a few left in the parking lot. There is so much excitement it is hard to believe. My wife says I look younger than I did 15 years ago. This is fun, exciting work and it energizes me.
- Do You Enjoy Seeing the Good and Not the Bad in People?
In a law firm I was primarily responsible for tearing others down. I made arguments about various details to get my client’s way. That was my job. This was all that I did and I did it day in and day out. It is depressing and stressful to always see the bad in others. It is neither fun nor rewarding to continually find fault, catch errors and tear others down. This wears on attorneys, makes them unhappy and often makes them quite unpleasant to be around.
In the legal recruiting realm, my job is largely to see the good in people and their potential. I get behind them as their supporter and advocate. This is very exciting and I love it! Talking positively about people and creating opportunities is much more exciting than dedicating my career to fighting. There is not a lot of conflict in legal recruiting and this is positive. See the following articles for more information:
- Do You Enjoy Sales?
Sitting in a law school class listening to a bunch of lectures, sitting in a judge’s dark chambers writing opinions, sitting in an office 40 floors up looking at a computer all day – none of these things were that fun or interesting to me. I wanted to be talking to people, getting things done and being persuasive in more than just brief writing. Being confined like this inside of a law firm was not enjoyable for me. Most people who are natural salespeople like persuasion and it comes naturally to them. Either this is you or it is not.
I started selling things at age seven, peddling Christmas cards door-to-door. Most people who become legal recruiters really enjoy sales and have an affinity for sales. Selling is about a lot of things and not just what you think.
- You sell yourself during interviews.
- You sell yourself when you give a speech.
- You sell yourself when you make a new friend.
- Movie stars sell themselves when they flash their smiles on the red carpet.
I have written extensively about sales and its importance elsewhere, such as in the following article: You Need to Sell, Sell, Sell.
Either you are interested in sales or you are not. But if you are interested in it and believe you have some natural skills for it, then the chances are you would be a good legal recruiter.
Have you ever sold anything? How successful were you?
- Do You Enjoy Writing and Research?
One of the things that I loved about the practice of law was writing and research. This generally took up the majority of my days and I enjoyed this aspect of the job. If research and writing comes naturally to you then you might be an excellent legal recruiter.
In my job I am writing all the time. I write to law firms and to attorneys. I write articles and books and guides of all sorts. When I am not writing I am doing research and uncovering openings for candidates. I love it! The research that I do makes a huge difference for my candidates because it gets them jobs and it also helps law firms because it ensures that they get the best lawyers for their open positions. Every legal recruiter needs to enjoy and be outstanding at research and writing to be good at the job.
Click to View a List of My Books on Amazon.
- Can You Cope with Rejection?
Recruiters get rejected each day by law firms, candidates and others. There is a lot of rejection in the job, and when it comes you are largely on your own. You do not have the safety of the group like you have inside of a law firm. When you are rejected after a cold call, or when your candidate gets rejected and is upset, it is all on your shoulders.
To be a good legal recruiter you need to position yourself for rejection and be used to being rejected daily. Your ego should have nothing to do with anything and it should never be about you. You are a conduit for other peoples’ hopes, dreams and aspirations. See the following articles for more information:
- Do You Enjoy Giving Advice about Career Issues?
If you have read this far, you may have quickly discovered that I love giving advice about legal career issues. In fact, I am obsessed with it. To be a good legal recruiter you need to enjoy this subject matter and feel a strong affinity for it. Being an outstanding legal recruiter means you have to want to help others and you need to enjoy this and feel motivated by it. See the following articles:
- Do You Enjoy Creating Opportunities Where There Are None?
The best legal recruiters have the ability to see potential opportunities and create them where there are none. In fact, the most effective legal recruiters have the ability to create openings where there are no openings listed and get attorneys inside of employers even where no openings exist.
Being a legal recruiter is not as simple as matching people up to jobs. It requires far more skill. You need to be excited by the prospect of creating new opportunities where they do not exist. See the following articles for more information:
One thing that I have not addressed above is the fact that so many people become legal recruiters for the wrong reasons. You should never become a legal recruiter because you do not know what else to do. You should only become a legal recruiter if the sort of information I have been discussing is meaningful to you and gets you excited. If you are interested in what you have read so far and think recruiting might be the profession for you, then you should keep reading. Want to learn how to become a legal recruiter? There is a lot of more to learn if you are seriously considering becoming a legal recruiter.
B. What Legal Recruiting Firm Should You Join?
If you really want to become a legal recruiter, the most important question you should ask is which legal recruiting firm you should join. This decision is arguably as important as the decision about whether or not to become a legal recruiter in the first place.
When a legal recruiter is considering which recruiting firm to be part of, the natural question he or she should have is: “Why should I join this recruiting firm?” There is not a lot of information out there about this and new (and even existing) legal recruiters often
- Join firms where they are given few resources to succeed;
- Join firms for the wrong reasons;
- Stay in their firms for the wrong reasons;
- Start their own small recruiting firms for the wrong reasons;
- Believe certain things are important in deciding whether to join a firm even though those things are not important; and,
- Join recruiting firms without knowing if the firms are good or not.
Like the practice of law that many legal recruiters come out of, there are multiple “hidden minefields” that characterize the decision about which recruiting firm to join. Due to a lack of knowledge about how to choose a recruiting firm, many new recruiters make serious mistakes along the way and make decisions that limit their career options to a huge extent.
What minefields are you worried about the most when it comes to being a recruiter?
- Some people join legal recruiting firms based on the sort of people they would be working with because they believe that recruiters who went to good schools must be good legal recruiters (COMPLETELY WRONG).
- Other people join legal recruiting firms because of financial reasons and they assume the highest salary or commissions will translate into how much money they will make. (COMPLETELY WRONG). (How much do legal recruiters make? See FAQ about Legal Recruiting to find out.)
There are also a lot of “secrets” that legal recruiters will not tell you that will have a major bearing on your success.
- If you have decided to become a legal recruiter I highly recommend you review this article first: 10 Things That Most Legal Recruiters Will Not Tell You. This article discusses the way many legal recruiting firms operate and the dangers many of them pose for both candidates and recruiters. Many law firms will not touch attorneys who start out in small law firms and pick up poor habits, and similarly, many reputable legal recruiting firms will not touch legal recruiters who have been improperly trained and have bad habits. Presumably if you have made the decision to become a legal recruiter, this is something you are planning on doing for the rest of your career, so you better choose wisely when going into it.
- You need to understand what makes an outstanding legal recruiter as opposed to an average one. If you do not understand this, I recommend you review this article: What Makes a World Class Recruiter. Presumably you are interested in becoming a legal recruiter because you want to be good at the job, so you should understand what it takes to be a good legal recruiter.
When you are deciding which recruiting firm to be part of, your decision should not be much different than if you were deciding whether to buy a franchise with McDonald’s, open up your own hamburger restaurant, or invest your money, time and resources in joining a lesser-known, or not as successful chain. People pay over $1,000,000 to purchase a McDonald’s and you can start your own hamburger restaurant relatively cheaply. Alternatively, you could simply join a local hamburger restaurant that is doing its best to get by.
Here are some of the topics you should consider in making the decision about which recruiting firm to join:
- The Strength of the Legal Recruiting Firm’s Brand.
A recruiting firm is as strong as the brand it represents. Some legal recruiting firms have no brands and others have very strong brands. When you are working with a legal recruiting firm with a strong brand behind you then it makes things easier for you. People know who are you are when you are calling, and this is critical, because if law firms and companies take your calls it is easier to get your candidates in the door. Brands generally become quite strong because they have been investing in their organization and believe in what they are doing.
At BCG Attorney Search we have an extremely strong brand and there are few attorneys in the United States who do not know who we are. We have more web traffic than any legal recruiter in the world and spend a ton of time and money publicizing our jobs and getting our company and information out there to the world. We understand how to be a legal recruiter in today's legal market. Moreover, we have been doing what we do for a long time and we are a major presence at all levels of the market.
Click here to learn more about the history of BCG Attorney Search.
- The Amount of Money Made by the Recruiters at the Recruiting Firm.
When you join a legal recruiting firm, you want to make a good living – and this is expected. Many legal recruiting firms will hire just about anyone and give that person a phone and encourage that person to give recruiting a try. Most people fail. Other legal recruiting firms will give their legal recruiters a small salary and low commissions. Others will give their recruiters more of a salary but cap the amount of money they can make in commissions. In fact, there are so many ways that legal recruiting firms compensate people it boggles the mind.
What would be your ideal or preferred means of compensation? How much are you hoping to get from your job in the long run?
All of the legal recruiters at BCG Attorney Search have past experience working in law firms and law firm environments and the substantial majority of these recruiters make far more money at BCG than they did when they were practicing law or working inside of law firms. In addition, we have never laid off a single legal recruiter in the history of our company. Most of our legal recruiters do very well financially.
- The Support the Legal Recruiting Firm Gives Its Legal Recruiters.
The work required to make placements as a recruiter can also vary from legal recruiting firm to legal recruiting firm. Some companies require their recruiters to find candidates, find jobs, write letters, send candidates out to jobs, post jobs, make cold calls, monitor social media accounts and more. The majority of BCG Attorney Search recruiters work in offices in the cities in which they work and are not “virtual.” We believe that it is more effective for recruiters to work in offices, work normal business hours and exchange information than it is for them all to work remotely.
At BCG Attorney Search our recruiters spend their time recruiting. Our company gets the jobs for the recruiters, has a readily available database of candidates and opportunities, updates its jobs seven days a week, does submissions for its recruiters, answers phones, proofs all letters that go out, posts jobs for all of our recruiters, has researchers available to help recruiters, assists our recruiters with cold calling and more.
Our objective is to make it as easy as possible for our legal recruiters to make placements. We make it so that our legal recruiters spend their time working with candidates and not doing clerical and other busy work. This is better for everyone.
- How Comfortable You Feel You Will Be with the People You Are Working with.
The culture of many legal recruiting firms could be akin to a sales organization with competitive colleagues all trying to get ahead. This competitive atmosphere makes for an environment where people are competitive for jobs, candidates and more. It can be stressful. Other legal recruiting firms are nice places to work and may be “mom and pop” operations with a few recruiters working together, as long as everyone gets along with each other.
At BCG Attorney Search we hire people who are highly credentialed, intelligent, and driven, but generally not competitive with their peers. Instead, we are looking for people who share information with each other and who are interested in the subject of legal recruiting and not just making lots of money. This sort of personality provides a supportive atmosphere where people can exchange ideas with each other and grow.
- Whether the Legal Recruiting Company Is “Above Board” or Not.
Many legal recruiting companies pay their legal recruiters as independent contractors – which appears to be illegal according to our consultations with tax accountants and other professionals. Many do not register themselves in the states where they do business or pay taxes there. This is something we have also found is illegal. Other legal recruiting companies do other things that are questionable as well. Some recruiters even “bribe” candidates to work with them. See this article for more information:
BCG Attorney Search is operated as it should be. All of our legal recruiters are employees and not independent contractors. All of our offices pay taxes in the states in which they do business and are registered to do business in the states where they operate. We pay workers compensation for all of our legal recruiters and the recruiters are paid through a major payroll service.
- Whether the Legal Recruiting Company Offers Benefits.
Many legal recruiting firms do not offer benefits or other assistance to their legal recruiters. They also do not contribute to these benefits or do anything else to assist their employees. You are a “hired sales gun” and that is it.
At BCG Attorney Search we have always contributed generously to and offered our legal recruiters and employees healthcare benefits. In addition, we offer a 401K plan that our recruiters can contribute to as well. We expect that recruiters who join us will be with us for their entire careers (many have been) and we want to support them in every way we can.
Would you like to work at BCG Attorney Search? Why or why not?
- Whether the Legal Recruiting Company Is Constantly Improving.
Many legal recruiting companies have been operating in the same way since they started. They may have started legal recruiting in one manner and operated under that same (often stale) paradigm for a long time. Other legal recruiting companies may be good at one aspect of legal recruiting and not another.
At BCG Attorney Search we are incredibly focused on constantly improving at what we do – all the time and every day. Each morning at 8:00 am our executive team has a meeting that generally lasts 45 to 90 minutes where we go over an aspect of the business. Each day, our recruiters receive suggestions from me (I am the CEO and am also a legal recruiter) about ways to improve their recruiting. All of our recruiters have weekly calls with a manager and once a week all of the recruiters get on a call and discuss changes that we can all make to become better at what we do. Change and improvement are built into the DNA of what we do at BCG Attorney Search.
- The Flexibility the Legal Recruiting Company Offers.
Some legal recruiting companies expect their recruiters to be there all day, every day. Other legal recruiters offer their legal recruiters a certain degree of flexibility – whether it is one day off a week, or other types of flexibility.
At BCG Attorney Search we offer legal recruiters a great deal of flexibility. Whether it is time off for maternity or paternity leave, or time to pursue a new interest—we are happy to allow our recruiters to have flexibility. We have made BCG Attorney Search the sort of place that people can be who they are and live their lives in a way that works for them. Our goal is to service our candidates as effectively as possible. We have found that a happy legal recruiter provides the best service.
The focus of the legal recruiting company you join is important. The legal market is complex and it is changing daily. Some legal recruiting companies focus on law firms, some focus on companies, some focus on both, some focus on placing attorneys in law firms, some focus on placing attorneys and legal staff in law firms, some focus on placing contract attorneys and some focus on placing anyone (attorney or non-attorney).
At BCG Attorney Search the focus of what we do is permanent law firm placements. We care very deeply about this and we do not do contract attorney placements, we do not place people in other professions and we focus on placing attorneys in full-time positions inside of law firms. This level of focus makes us strong and it enables us to excel at what we do.
- The Firm’s Leader and Involvement in the Firm.
Many legal recruiting companies are led by non-attorneys, some are led by people trying to make a lot of money, some are led by people who do not care, some are led by people interested in building up their egos, some are led by people dedicated to the work, some are led by private equity firms and others are led by public corporations. There are a huge variety of people who lead legal recruiting firms. The type of person that leads your legal recruiting firm will set the tone for how the recruiting firm operates, whether or not the firm will succeed over the long term and how successful you are likely to be operating there. Experienced managers will run a company differently than inexperienced managers. People who are seeing the business for the first time will run the business differently from those who are not and people who are interested in the subject matter will set a tone for the business that is different from those who are not.
BCG Attorney Search founder Harrison Barnes has led BCG since its beginning and continues to be actively involved in every aspect of the business each and every day. He is passionate about legal recruiting and is a full time legal recruiter. See:
The company reflects the recruiting style of its founder and his profound interest in the subject matter of legal recruiting. The company is also led by several people who have been with the company since it was less than a few years old. At all levels, there is a high level of understanding of what it takes to improve in the business and to run the company successfully for the benefit of everyone there. Claudia Barnes is also a manager of the company, and has been with the company almost since its inception as well.
- The Backgrounds of the Legal Recruiters You Will Be Working With.
Some legal recruiting firms are composed of non-attorney “sales types” and some are composed of people who have a strong interest in the subject matter and experience in the industry. Other recruiting firms are composed of whomever the legal recruiting firm believes it can hire who looks good on paper. Still others are composed of attorneys with fancy degrees, or former law firm legal recruiters. The backgrounds of the legal recruiters in the firm you join will have a profound impact on whether or not you like coming to work, whether or not you enjoy the people you are working with, and whether or not you trust other people inside the company.
At BCG Attorney Search, all of our legal recruiters have experience working inside of top American law firms as attorneys, or in a recruiting capacity. In addition to these qualifications, however, the most important thing that we look for in our recruiters is an interest in the subject matter of legal recruiting, an interest in people, a demonstrated interest in helping other people, a willingness to grow, and a demonstrated interest in connecting with their colleagues. You should be careful of legal recruiters who are just interested in making money and may be salesy. You should also be careful of legal recruiters who go into the profession for the wrong reasons. You should be equally careful of legal recruiters who have good pedigrees and rely on that as the reason they should be legal recruiters. Recruiters who come to BCG Attorney Search are set up for success. We are extremely selective because we believe that we provide a rare platform that we are proud of and that elevates us all.
Do you have an interest in people and a willingness to grow?
- The Support the Legal Recruiting Firm Gives Law Firms.
Legal recruiting firms work for legal employers. When a legal recruiting firm contacts a law firm, the most important and crucial thing that the legal recruiter needs to do is support the law firm with candidates and make sure that the law firm gets what it needs. In addition, the legal recruiter needs to make sure he or she is constantly in tune with the needs of law firms or the legal recruiter will become irrelevant and the law firm will use someone else. Law firms work with legal recruiters who support them. Some legal recruiting firms are opportunistic and work with law firms occasionally and only if they have a strong candidate. Other legal recruiting firms are “partners” with law firms and have long-standing, ongoing relationships with them.
At BCG Attorney Search we are extremely responsive to every law firm. Almost every single business day law firms reach out to us with various “exclusive” openings that we aggressively go after and fill. We make sure that we send qualified candidates for every opening a law firm provides. This makes us continually relevant to the law firms that we deal with. We also make sure that we are constantly doing everything we can to strengthen our relationships with law firms at all levels of the search process.
- The History of the Legal Recruiting Company.
The history of the recruiting firm you join will have an impact on its core values and whether or not the company is likely to survive and grow in all economic environments. How deeply is the history of the Company ingrained in the people who work there? Does the company have a history of success, or has it had its ups and downs? Is the history of the company based on something positive and making a change in the market, or is it based on something else?
Here is an excerpt from an article by me about the founding of BCG Attorney Search:
Finding a job in the legal field can tend to be quite a challenge. As an attorney, I found myself going through the process several years ago. My job search, like that of many professionals seeking a new position, included perusing job boards to find out who was hiring. As anyone who has ever undertaken a job search involving job boards would probably know, I quickly found myself searching multiple job boards for positions. This was by no means an easy task. I soon caught on that law firms and corporations also posted their openings on their websites. Accordingly, my job search very quickly became a task of epic proportions, and I started keeping a spreadsheet with all of the positions on it that I had applied to on the various job boards.
In addition, I was also using a recruiter for my job search at the time. Since I was using a recruiter, he knew of positions that were not advertised on job boards as well. With so many different sources of positions out there, I very quickly became somewhat exasperated. My exasperation ran on several levels, but it boiled down to the fact that I was frustrated with the legal hiring industry. There was no central source, no unifying theme in the way that legal professionals could go about finding a position. What is so surprising about this is that there are so many highly intelligent people in the legal industry. Why hadn’t any of these people found a way to efficiently centralize all the positions?
As I investigated all this it occurred to me that I actually enjoyed looking for a job, searching job boards and speaking with law firms and recruiters. I spent several months investigating the recruiting industry and eventually quit my job at a large law firm to become a legal recruiter. This was not an easy decision to make. I had recently purchased a home, had a large car payment and gotten married. To make matters worse, I had no savings. My new wife, to say the least, was not happy. I was making close to $200,000 a year as an attorney, had gone to a top college and law school, clerked for a federal judge and was even teaching law school a couple of evenings a week. Making a decision to become a legal recruiter meant leaving most of these externalities behind and becoming someone completely different. Anyone who has ever changed their focus like this can relate to the difficulty of starting anew. I am sure you too can relate from some of your own life experiences.
What similar life experiences have you had? Have you ever started a new job and gone through a difficult period?
Instead of joining an established recruiting firm, I decided to start my own. One of the main reasons I did this was because I was unhappy with the existing state of the legal recruiting industry and knew that I could make a difference there. Having worked with legal recruiters when I was practicing law, I was very unimpressed with the business practices of the majority of them. The one driving force that made me so interested in the legal recruiting business, however, was the fact that all the legal recruiters seemed to have different leads. It seemed like no two recruiters were able to give you access to the same jobs. It was my firm belief that in order for a legal recruiting firm to be really good and fully able to represent their candidates, they would need to have access to all of the jobs. This may not sound all that significant to you. To me, though, the fact that some legal recruiters had certain jobs and others did not was something that was quite fascinating.
When I started my solo recruiting firm, before I worked with a single candidate I spent several months gathering jobs. I started a database on a primitive software program and just kept working on it. When I started working with candidates, I am confident I had more positions than any other legal recruiting outfit in my hometown of Los Angeles.
The research involved to get positions in a legal recruiting firm, if it is done right, is profound. Shortly after making my first placement, I began hiring people to work on my database and get more jobs. Soon the commercial database application I had developed was not good enough and I began hiring programmers to develop my own database for me. Then, I started bringing programmers in house. These programmers are here to this day.
The legal recruiting firm I founded was BCG Attorney Search. We are, in my opinion, are the best in the world at getting positions. The largest reason this search firm expanded, in my opinion, was due to the research we do. At BCG Attorney Search we have made research our biggest objective and consistently have more positions than any other American legal recruiting firm. In order to make sure that our research is as well focused as possible, we only do law firm placements.
- The Training the Legal Recruiting Company Provides.
The training you receive in a legal recruiting firm is extremely important and will have a long-term impact on whether or not you succeed there. Becoming a legal recruiter is a profession and requires not only that you are trained when you start, but that you are trained consistently after you start. Training is one of the most important components of legal recruiting. In order to stay effective, every legal recruiter needs to be trained consistently. Some legal recruiting firms do not train, some train when you start and some are always training.
At BCG Attorney Search we are always training our recruiters. New recruiters all start training with the founder of BCG Attorney Search, Harrison Barnes, in our offices in Malibu, California, where they stay and work close by the office. They are then trained in weekly group meetings and also in an individual one-on-one meeting with Claudia Barnes, the BCG Attorney Search General Manager, each week. The level of support that BCG Attorney Search provides its recruiters in terms of training is extremely high and our objective is to make our recruiters as effective as possible.
- The Technology of the Legal Recruiting Company.
Some legal recruiting companies do not even use a database, others use commercial databases for recruiting that are not customized for the legal market, others have customized databases that are not updated frequently, and other legal recruiting companies have sophisticated databases that are updated frequently.
BCG Attorney Search is a sophisticated technology company that operates at an extremely high level in all respects. In addition to having had customized databases since our inception, we are continually updating our databases and making a variety of changes that benefit our recruiters immensely. This sort of work is something that makes a major difference in the levels of success our legal recruiters experience and we believe the work that we do far exceeds any other legal recruiting company in the world.
- How Passionate the Legal Recruiting Company Is about Legal Recruiting
Many recruiting companies exist simply to make money, others do recruiting because they have an interest in it and others are simply skating along. Whatever legal recruiting company you join, you need to understand that this is a profession and because it is a profession the company and its recruiters should treat it as such. The company needs to care deeply about legal recruiting and the industry.
Do you care deeply about recruiting industries? What motivates you to care?
At BCG Attorney Search we firmly we believe that we are the best in the world at what we do – better than anyone. We take what we do incredibly seriously and we love what we do and are constantly trying to improve. We feel that we are stewards over the lives of our candidates. We want to change and better the industry and we are on a mission to do so. This mission is meaningful, palpable and something that everyone at BCG is committed to.
You can watch a 30-minute presentation of our core values at BCG Attorney Search here: http://www.veoh.com/watch/v7042039mJKg6SWY.
- How Passionate the Legal Recruiting Firm Is about Its Candidates
Above all, the most important aspect of a legal recruiting firm is how passionate the firm is about its candidates and how well the firm does for them. There is really no more important measuring stick of a recruiting firm’s success than how well it treats its candidates and the quality of work that it does for all of them. The entire purpose of the job is to help candidates.
BCG Attorney Search has a profound dedication to its candidates and this includes servicing them, educating them and getting them jobs. We provide our candidates weekly reports about the status of their applications, update them on new jobs immediately, follow up consistently with all employers and have an incredible array of methods for making sure our candidates are serviced as effectively as possible. Not only do our candidates have access to more law firm jobs than any other legal recruiting firm in the world can provide, our candidates also work with recruiters who have a support system that is unrivaled anywhere. In fact, there are generally at least five support staff in our company per legal recruiter. See:
- The Strength of the Legal Recruiting Firm’s Marketing
A legal recruiting firm needs to bring in legal employers as clients and it also needs to be able to attract candidates to jobs. Some legal recruiting firms are able to bring in lots of jobs and candidates and others are not. Some are visible and you have heard of them. Others are not. The strength of the marketing of the legal recruiting firm that you join will largely determine your level of success.
The odds are almost 100% that you and just about every other attorney you know have heard of BCG Attorney Search. We have a large marketing department supporting our recruiters and always have. We are a major marketing force in the American and international legal landscape.
Have you heard of BCG Attorney Search? How did you hear about us?
- We own and started the largest job board in the world for attorneys (LawCrossing).
- Over 60% of practicing American attorneys have contacted us for job assistance and subscribe to our emails.
- We own and started one of the most popular online legal news magazines, JD Journal.
- We own a major attorney directory, Law.net.
In fact, at all levels of any attorney’s career we are marketing to them. There is nothing like BCG Attorney Search anywhere and never has been. We deliver for our legal recruiters.
- The Number and Diversity of Placements the Legal Recruiting Firm Has Made
Some legal recruiting firms make a few placements in local markets and that is it. Other legal recruiting firms make placements only in large law firms and some only in small law firms. The number and diversity of placements that a legal recruiting firm makes is relevant to how successful you will be. Placements are what make legal recruiting firms what they are. If a legal recruiting firm knows what it is doing it should be making placements consistently and the recruiters there should do well.
At BCG Attorney Search we have made thousands of placements. We have made placements in large law firms, with solo practitioners and everything in between. We have made placements in major markets and in smaller markets. In fact, we are so prolific that in the average day our company makes a placement and has candidates interviewing in every major American city.
- See our list of recent placements here: https://www.bcgsearch.com/pdf/bcgplacements.pdf
- See some recent BCG Attorney Search testimonials here: https://www.bcgsearch.com/testimonials.php
In case you have not figured it out yet, this has been a legal recruiting piece from BCG Attorney Search and you have just gone through the rigorous self-examination that we put all of our candidates through.
- We gave you reasons to stay where you are.
- We told you about your options.
- We told you the sort of person you need to be to succeed as a legal recruiter.
- Without criticizing anyone directly, we told you about the competition.
- We showed you we know what we are talking about.
- We told you things about us that we believe are positive.
- Now we are recruiting you – but only after you listened and only after we realized you are interested.
This is all recruiting.
We want good legal recruiters and we want good candidates who are centered, understand their reasons for doing what they are doing and go into their jobs ready to perform. The secret to developing people, making good placements and making a difference lies in how information is used. Persuasion is important as well. We want candidates who go into new jobs convinced they belong where they are going and knowing what they are doing. We want employers who are happy with our service. We make so many placements and have been doing this for so long so successfully because of our unique approach to recruiting and placement.
Were you persuaded? Would you like to become a persuader?
BCG Attorney Search is no ordinary legal recruiting firm by any stretch of the imagination. If you like what you hear and it gets you excited about your possibilities and a potential future with us, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Your life and career could change in immeasurable ways if you become part of our family. And we are a family here. We take care of our own, develop and enrich people, care for our employees and their families and make people successful.
If you think you are the sort of person we are looking for, please contact Harrison Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send him your resume and the reasons why you are interested in legal recruiting and BCG Attorney Search. We sincerely hope you are the sort of person with depth, substance and character who can be a positive influence on the legal community and attorneys through your efforts. We need you.
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).
Click here to view a PDF version of the 18 topics you should consider when deciding which recruiting firm to join.