The candidate's background is extremely impressive. He has strong credentials; he graduated from a Top 10 law school with solid grades. He also went to a top college and majored in Finance.
The candidate spent his entire career with Am Law 100 firms in New York, where he gained in depth experience in a niche practice area, specifically finance, leveraged finance, and commercial lending transactions. He spent the last 7 years with a top firm, where he eventually earned a spot as income partner. As a general rule, New York trained attorneys do very well when moving to smaller job markets.
The candidate was a loyal employee who received superior reviews from the partners he worked with. He joined his firm when most of his practice group moved from his first firm. He worked with some of the partners for his entire career and was able to secure outstanding references from them when he interviewed.
The candidate had a compelling reason for relocating. He wished to leave New York for another city with a better cost of living. He was looking in several geographic areas and had strong ties to Atlanta. He has family in the area and close friends in the city. A strong connection to a city is essential when relocating; otherwise firms may question your commitment to the move and suspect you may leave again if things do not work out the way you want.
The candidate left his firm voluntarily, in excellent standing, and had a great relationship with the firm. He left his firm before starting his job search because he wanted to travel before settling down long term. He knew he wanted to leave the New York area, so he decided to travel before his move. He was ready to start his search in earnest once he returned from his travels.
The candidate had an open mind. He was flexible regarding title because he did not have a book of business to bring to his next firm. He was also willing to take a salary cut for the right firm, especially if his new city has a better cost of living than New York. His main focus was finding the right position that would allow him to work toward partnership at some point.
So we began his search. We spoke at great length about his experience, and what he was looking for in his next position and new firm. We drafted his resume to focus on his niche experience, starting with a summary of his practice focus, types of clients, examples of work, and industry experience, and then listing firms, educational background, and other legal activities. We also included a separate deal sheet that included three pages of examples of each type of work he did. The resume and deal sheet demonstrated that the candidate is an expert in his field.
We then targeted firms that had strong practice groups in the candidate's field. We looked at firm openings, searched for firms that have looked for similar candidates in the past, and researched firms with strong practice groups in the field. While Atlanta is a smaller market than New York, there are great opportunities for finance attorneys. We submitted the candidate directly to several firms, and sent feelers to others who we thought might be looking for someone like our candidate.
Our candidate immediately received interest from an Am Law 25 firm in Atlanta who was looking for an attorney just like our candidate. They had a job posting for a more junior corporate associate. However, they also happened to be looking for an experienced finance attorney to support several partners in the firm. It was a perfect match!
After speaking with the head of the practice group in Atlanta, several other partners in the Atlanta office and other offices in the firm, and a couple of associates, the candidate received an offer to join the firm as counsel, with the possibility of partnership sometime in the next few years. The offer was exactly what the candidate was looking for. It allowed him to continue practicing in his field with a major, multinational firm, while working toward partnership with a great group of attorneys.
The search demonstrates experienced candidates in niche practice areas can make lateral moves later in their career. It is also always smart to target firms with a strong practice group in your field and reach out to as many firms as possible, even if they do not have an active posting. The candidate had great, specialized experience, which firms often look for opportunistically. The candidate was open regarding title and flexible on salary. Ultimately, his focus was finding the perfect fit and we did just that.