In terms of her marketability, this candidate was a decent junior litigator - not exceptional, but solid. She attended a Top 50 California-based law school, was in the Top 25% of her class there, participated in Moot Court, obtained a few scholarships, attended a UC school for her undergraduate studies, did well there and was the first in her family to attend college. She had also been at her firm since graduation, a 14-person, two-office firm with offices in small markets in California. Her practice centered around general commercial litigation and municipal law. I found it particularly impressive that she worked her way through college as a shuttle bus driver for her undergraduate school. Firms like to see experiences on a candidate's resume that demonstrate the candidate's commitment, resilience, perseverance and drive. Examples of this are playing a varsity sport in college, running marathons regularly, participating in triathlons regularly, past military experience, etc. But, this certainly can include socioeconomic diversity as well, which is why I highlighted on this particular candidate's cover letter that she was the first in her family to attend college and worked her way through college.
When we started working together, this candidate was a bit junior. She had a year and five months of post-graduate law school experience. While some really exceptional first year candidates can obtain interviews even within their first year at a firm (think, top law schools, great grades, top firms), decent candidates usually need to wait a bit longer to see the same traction. This candidate obtained an interview through me when we first started working together, at the Ontario office of a strong public entity-focused CA-based firm (with a DC office), but after a phone screen with her, the firm told us that they weren't sure about their needs and were putting her candidacy on hold. I told them multiple times that she would be interested in their OC office as well, but they didn't respond to my multiple emails. Interestingly enough, sometimes firms are interested in candidates for one of their offices but not another office. This is because perhaps this firm was receiving a lot of strong applications for junior litigators for their OC office (a larger market), but were having trouble attracting even decent litigators for their Ontario office. So, whereas this candidate was maybe not strong enough, or didn't stack up against the candidates that were applying in the OC, she was probably one of the only decent litigators applying for Ontario.
This candidate was very proactive about searching for firms and opportunities that we at BCG had posted on our website, and sending them to me to review and add to her list if I deemed them appropriate for her. Still, despite both of us staying on top of the market, we weren't able to get her traction until I resubmitted her to a batch of firms in September, six months after I had originally submitted her with no response. It's possible that her application slipped through the cracks the first time around, or that she was too junior when we first applied her, but now that she had two years of post-law school experience, the firm was interested. Regardless, it can be helpful for you or your Recruiter to resubmit to firms from which you never received an answer after six months have passed since your original submission.
The firm that was interested in interviewing her is a national, 12-office firm that does a lot of insurance coverage as well as local government work (she does a lot of the latter). Their Irvine office was interested in interviewing her, and the firm set up one callback interview with several Partners.
Clearly the candidate did very well in the interview, because the day after the interview, the firm was asking about her salary expectations and said that they were looking to get authority for the hire. My candidate was hoping for $120K-$125K, but the most we were able to get her was a base of $116K (which was what she had originally said that she was targeting). We were, however, able to get her a $3K relocation bonus, to help with the transition from Ontario to the OC.
In the end, this candidate is very excited to move from a small firm to a national, mid-sized, multi office firm, where she will be able to expand the breadth and sophistication of her practice. I think that the firm that she landed at is a great upwards lateral move for her, and I know that she will excel at her new firm home!