When A Law Firm Considers Who It Wants To Interview And Hire, Multiple People Ask: Do We Like This Attorney? | BCGSearch.com

When A Law Firm Considers Who It Wants To Interview And Hire, Multiple People Ask: Do We Like This Attorney?

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This question is dependent on the people reviewing the resumes, doing the interviewing, and numerous other factors. If a law firm is going to do well hiring and bringing people on board, they should understand that there may be weaknesses in evaluating and hiring attorneys each step of the way. These weaknesses will either make the attorney seem likable or not. Ultimately, most law firms will hire people they like.

In most hiring discussions I have been in and participated in, people are hired and brought in because someone likes them. That individual then becomes their advocate in the hiring process and convinces others that they are the best choice. You are most likely to hire people when someone—or multiple people—becomes an advocate for a given hire. A good advocate will often overlook an attorney's weaknesses, emphasize their strengths, and provide good, compelling reasons for hiring one person or another. I have seen this happen countless times. The reason this happens is that someone decides they like a particular attorney then advocates for them.
 
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  1. Someone Inside the Law Firm with Hiring Power Likes Someone Connected to the Attorney Applicant
 
Hiring is an intensely human business. Law firms are composed of people that have outside allegiances with others. They are friends, business acquaintances and have unique relationships with others that they value. These relationships often guide their behavior and control who is hired. If someone connected to the attorney recommended they hire another attorney, the law firm would often go out of their way to help the recommender employ that person.
 

From an evolutionary standpoint, humans are this way. They prefer to hire people recommended by others connected to them because they like having a connection to the background. Before phones, formal background checks, and similar tools, employers had no way to effectively check potential candidates' backgrounds other than a recommendation from someone they trusted. While things have changed, a similar sort of weight is given to these types of recommendations today. If we like and trust someone that recommends another person to us, we are more likely to be interested in those candidates.
 
When I was clerking for a federal judge, he interviewed multiple people for a clerkship, and at the time, I had been speaking with a group of Mormon missionaries. While I did not convert to the church and was uninterested in their conditions for doing so (I was unmarried and living with my fiancé—a big no, no), I thought they were very nice people. They had done all sorts of work for me for no compensation, and I was amazed by their earnestness, work ethic, honesty, and more.
 
When someone from Brigham Young University Law School decided to send their resume to the judge's chambers, I decided that this person would be a great addition to the judge's staff and made sure they were interviewed and hired. I lobbied for them to be interviewed ("Why would we interview someone who has never worked or lived outside of Utah?") and hired because I believed in this person's background. Despite much better academic fits for the judge, I made the juvenile and misplaced assumption that this person was "likable" and the best fit for him. I did whatever I could to influence him and other members of the chamber to hire him. I liked people like him.
 
This process is playing out in law firms all over the United States each day—and often with a surprising amount of inefficiency. People are hired because someone connected with the candidate through someone else likes them.
 
Early in my legal placement career, I had an unusual experience I have never forgotten. I had placed an attorney at a law firm in Los Angeles, and after six months or so there, he was unhappy.
 
He called me on the phone and asked to meet for lunch. I met him, and he told me that he was unhappy, did not have work to do because the partner he was hired to work for moved to another firm, and wanted to know if I would help him get a new position. I told him that I could not because I had placed him at the firm he was at, was grateful for their business, and moving him to another firm would be disloyal to them. The attorney was upset and started crying. He then told the firm what had happened and that he was upset I would not help them.
 
I did not expect to hear anything further about this. However, a few days later, the law firm called me. They had "resurrected" a few candidates that I had sent them several months previously and said they wanted to interview them. The recruiting coordinator told me I was "their new favorite recruiter," and they wanted to do everything they could to connect with me and help me grow. In rapid succession, they hired four candidates from me. The firm's recruiting coordinator told me they were "prioritizing" applicants from me because they knew they could trust me. In two cases, they said that the same attorneys I had submitted to them had previously applied weeks earlier "on their own," but they were going to honor my submission and not the candidates. In other cases, they hired people that were questionable if they would work out—or had the right qualifications to work in the firm.
 
This sort of thing I constantly saw when I was recruiting. The first recruiter I ever hired in my firm asked me if I could pay him a commission for attorneys hired at a particular firm (regardless of whether they came through him or not) because he had a contact there. When I asked him who the connection was, he told me matter-of-factly that it was the "hiring partner" and that the hiring partner was his significant other, and they lived together. I did not think much would amount from it, but I started responding to job orders at the firm every time there was one and agreed to pay him a small commission to refer jobs.
 
This ended up being an excellent business decision. The firm hired numerous candidates of mine for every job they had. I became their preferred recruiter, and they hired and found reasons to hire my candidates instead of those applying directly or through other recruiters—for years. This was a long time ago, and that relationship no longer exists. Still, it was exciting and taught me a lot about the fact that if someone else likes someone connected to the attorney, they are likely to get hired.
 
What made this so unusual was that once the firm interviewed someone, they almost always hired them. There were many things wrong with many of the attorneys they hired through me. One attorney, for example, had never worked in a law firm and did not have the skills and training to work there. Other attorneys had been out of work for often years and were not committed to practicing law. Notwithstanding, the law firm hired every one of these people despite being an excellent firm in all respects that could do better.
 
Law firms also need to be aware of the converse as well. When this sort of thing is going on, it is sabotaging people that may be better applicants for your firm. Also, you may have someone in there playing games with applicants and ignoring better ones to advance their interests.
 
For years, I dealt with a law firm in the Midwest that seemingly would never interview and hire candidates I was sending them. After a few years of this, I called up the hiring partner and asked him why. He told me that he was "friends with" a recruiter who sent him all of his candidates and hired people. None of this made any sense, and I did not like it because I felt it was harming many otherwise qualified people who could work there. This sort of favoritism seemed quite harmful, in my opinion, to the law firm operating effectively and capable people being hired at the firm. I started asking around about this hiring attorney. I found out that he was a cocaine addict and had been slowly spiraling out of control for a few years. I was then introduced to the law firm's head and started speaking with him about getting people hired there. It eventually worked for one candidate.
 
Nevertheless, whatever was going on there was not good and hurting the firm. The law firm was holding itself back from growth based on favoritism—and this sort of thing had happened with me as well in the past. The law firm could have hired people that may have been much better for it instead of having favorites.
 
The favoritism that law firms show towards individual recruiters, people connected to those inside the law firms, and others in the hiring process is well-known—but it is not as prevalent today as it was in the past. This sort of connection is beneficial for law firms when hiring people because a bond presumably increases the trust between the parties and people involved in making hiring decisions.
 
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The Problem With Law Firms Hiring People Due to Liking the Recommender
 
Often, liking the recommender penalizes people who might otherwise be outstanding applicants to the firm. While one person's opinion may carry a lot of weight, ignoring and not paying attention to otherwise highly-qualified applicants is never a good decision because the wrong people can be hired. These "wrong" people can continue to promote a lack of diverse people and opinions and may not be the firm's correct hiring choices. By putting all their eggs in one basket, the law firm may be effectively weakening itself to further the ends of one person with hiring power.
 
For this reason, I recommend that most law firms have committees of people and more than one person involved in hiring. They should also try and get a variety of resumes coming in and make their positions well known. Not making people aware of their jobs and placing hiring authority in one person's hands can weaken the entire hiring process.
 
I regularly come across significant law firms hiring people way beneath the sort of people they could be hiring. In most instances, I will find that there is something fishy (or likely fishy) going on when I probe beneath the surface. Incestuous relationships and other stuff are going on that make no sense. There are people recommending people and making decisions that should not be doing so and are holding the entire institution back.
 
At the beginning of my career, I worked with a well-known Los Angeles law firm that only had officers in Los Angeles. Over six months, I had sent them numerous people who they did not interview or even try to connect to in response to their job openings. They never interviewed anyone. These same candidates ended up getting positions with much better law firms, which I found a little concerning. I did not understand it.
 
One day I called the person in charge of hiring in the law firm to chat with them. I asked them how they were doing, and they told me they had just gotten back from vacation. I spoke with them for several minutes. To my astonishment, they told me that they had been taken on that vacation by a legal recruiter I knew in Los Angeles (who is long since retired). Suddenly, the whole thing made perfect sense to me. Something was going on with the other recruiter and this person in charge of hiring, and it was holding all sorts of people that would otherwise get jobs in the firm back. They were the only persons making placements in the firm, and the law firm continued to shrink and lose prestige over the next decade. It was allowing one person in the role to control the quality of the attorney coming to their attention.
 
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  1. The Presumed Scarcity of the Attorney and Need for Them
 
Nothing makes a law firm like an attorney more than believing the attorney is scarce. The firm fears it will not have the opportunity to hire another attorney like this in the future. This is a simple business rule of supply and demand. If a law firm does not see a specific type of attorney very often, they will likely respond and be interested when the right person does come along.

Certain attorneys that are pretty rare will make law firms ignore obvious warning signs and hire them right away.
 
  • It could be someone with outstanding credentials in small markets that the law firm cannot easily find. I frequently work with attorneys from major markets and top law firms, and other credentials who are relocating to smaller markets. There is often a feeding frenzy for these attorneys because law firms in these smaller markets do not often see them.
  • It could be an attorney with a lot of business—or important clients. If an attorney has a large book of business—for the size market they are in—there is often a lot of interest in these attorneys at the lateral level. They have unusual experiences.
  • It could be attorneys in niche practice areas and have niche skills rare in the market. There are certain practice areas and types of attorneys that are simply not common in various markets. If a law firm needs someone with a niche skill, they will often hire different attorneys' sight unseen.
 
There have been countless times in my career when I have placed attorneys that law firms have not even met. There have been occasions when after just a brief phone conversation, the firms quickly made offers—so quickly that some of the potential hires got "spooked" and did not take the offer. Many times when law firms do this, it is because they have pressing client needs and want to fill them immediately. Other times, law firms will hire quickly like this because the attorney is someone they believe they need and could use.
 
Not too long ago, I had an opening for someone with IP litigation experience in a small town in the rural South. Because of the uniqueness of the location and the position, the law firm could have found countless people to move there and do the work. A few hours after starting the search, I spoke with a few of my existing candidates and sent them to the firm. The firm immediately called one and hired them on the spot over the phone. They assumed that this sort of attorney (who was coming from a major law firm) would be difficult to find because they were in the rural South. Nothing was further from the truth. Instead of waiting a few days for me to get them more candidates, they hired the first person who came along. They had been trying to fill the position for months but had primarily been doing so locally and not using the proper channels.
 
The attorney was not scarce.
 
The problem with law firms liking attorneys they believe are "scarce."


When law firms hired based on presumed scarcity in the market, what they believe is scarce is not that scarce at all. Instead of finding the right attorney and waiting it out, the law firm "jumps" at the first opportunity to hire someone they believe is scarce and will be difficult for them to find otherwise. The reason the attorney is "scarce" is because the law firm has not looked hard enough. The law firm may not have spoken to the right recruiters, may not have advertised sufficiently, may not have networked enough to find the right people, and more.
 
When a law firm does not correctly promote its openings and positions, it tends to have recruiting issues. They end up with attorneys they should otherwise not be hiring. There are all sorts of forces operating in the market to make various law firms believe certain types of attorneys may be scarce:
 
  • Recruiters may lead a law firm to believe a given attorney is scarce and hard to find.
  • Job sites may lead the law firm to believe an attorney is difficult to find if they are not getting many applicants.
  • The law firm may believe a given attorney is difficult to find if they are not storing all of the applicants that come into the firm in a sound applicant tracking system.
  • The law firm may believe that a specific type of attorney is difficult to find if they do not know of similar attorneys in the market.
 
Many knowledge holes in the recruitment process can lead law firms to mistakenly conclude that they should chase a specific type of attorney that is, in fact, not that difficult to find in the market.
 
  1. Partners Interviewing Lateral Partners and Associates Often Like Different Types of People
 
Depending on the dynamics of an individual law firm, partners may like different types of people.
 
Partners Interviewing Other Partners

When partners are interviewing other partners, they are interested in partners who have business and will grow their firm as a general rule. They will bring in people they like and advance people they believe can advance the firm's interest in attracting people with business to grow the firm.
 
Some partners are often so eager to grow their firms that they will interview partners without business whom they believe may generate business in the future. They will interview people laterally that show no history of business generation.
 
However, this is not always the case; there are apparent exceptions to these rules. Some partners are attempting to create fiefdom where they are the ones in power and often resist hiring who they believe are threats—they undermine the best people who come along. Other partners may be in specific administrative roles and view lateral hires as competitive to them as well. Many branch offices of national law firms do not grow or experience consistent growing pains because there are partners there that undermine growth.
 
Partners Interviewing Associates

Partners interviewing associates often want different things than those interviewing partners. The typical partner interviewing an associate wants to hire someone they believe will work hard, follow directions, respect them and get the work done. They want to hire hard workers who are more concerned with doing work for the partner's clients than getting ahead and bringing in business in many cases (especially at the largest law firms). Partners who need work done will hire associates and like people who seem hard-working, committed, and capable of following directions.
 
In contrast, partners trying to grow the firm and its revenues (and not just get their work done) are often more partial to hiring attorneys who are likely to bring in business in the future. They will be looking for a different type of attorney to interview and hire. They may be less concerned about the person's ability to be a worker bee and more concerned with their ability to bring potential business to the firm.
 
The Problem with Many Types of Partner Interviews and the Types of Partners Other Partners Like

When partners are interviewing partners, there is always tension between certain partners who want to take shortcuts out of desperation (i.e., hiring attorneys with minimal business but the "prospect" of it.) On the other hand, some partners undermine good hires who have business because they are protecting their "turf" or bureaucratic position in the firm. Some partners consistently over-hire, while other partners push their hiring, and both situations often undermine the hiring process.
 
Another thing that often happens is law firms are so eager for business and work that they hire partners with business who are unlikely to stick around if hired. There are attorneys like this all over the country who move firms every few years and create all sorts of issues after employed because they fight about compensation and habitually move firms. Hiring them and liking them is a problem that undermines the fabric of many firms that are not careful.
 
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  1. Associates Interviewing Associates Often Like Different Types of People
 
Most associates interviewing associates will like people that they feel they can identify with on some level. They want to hire and bring in people who have similar qualifications to themselves (most associates get their identity from the quality of people they work with) and are not threatening them. For an associate to want to hire another associate, the associate being interviewed should not come across as threatening and someone who might ultimately take away power from that associate—in terms of getting work or advancement.
 
This is one of the most challenging issues related to the lateral hiring of associates because most associates will give positive recommendations to the sorts of attorneys they are most comfortable with and whom they feel will not undermine them in any way. This means that there is often a bias in some firms to hiring lateral associates that are not as strong as they could otherwise be in the absence of this.
 
I regularly saw "gung-ho" and very hungry-to-get-ahead attorneys routinely given poor recommendations by other associates when working in law firms. When senior associates are interviewing other senior associates at the senior associate level, they are also threatened because they know they are competitors for partner roles as well.
 
When a specific associate does not have enough work, they may be threatened when they interview another associate because they believe this person will compete with them for jobs.
 
Other associates may expect the people they work with to have the same pedigrees in schools and law firm backgrounds. They will want those attorneys to be like them. They will automatically disqualify people if they do not like their pedigrees for one reason or another.
 
The problem with associates only recommending and supporting the hiring of associates they like

The bias of associates in favor of lower-performing, less-threatening peers may often come out. Also, associates may undermine otherwise good hires that the law firm needs because they do not have the pedigree or background the associate thinks they should have. Associates may prevent attorneys from being hired when the associate does not have enough work or believe the associate is there to challenge them somehow. Therefore, the associate may create a situation where the attorneys who get hired are not the most suitable for the position. I have seen cases where law firms are trying to hire for various practice areas for months or years. When I get to the bottom of it, I see that associates have been blocking the hiring because they are given input in the process.
 
  1. Most Law Firms Like and Hire Like Soldiers and Not Generals (People Willing to Follow Orders and be Managed) Instead of People they Believe they Cannot Control
 
Most law firms will hire people who do not come across as too confident and, instead, have some vulnerability associated with them. They hire attorneys who are likable and look like they can follow orders and get stuff done. Most law firms want to believe that the people they are hiring are ultimately controllable and able to be managed. Attorneys want to see weakness and vulnerability in their lateral hires to some extent. When an attorney looks vulnerable, they can let down their guard and look like they can be controlled—the law firms like them more.
 
I see attorneys all the time who get into trouble and have a difficult time getting a position because they come across as overconfident, protect their weaknesses too much, and are not likable to the people interviewing them.
 
Not too long ago, I was working with an attorney in a very marketable practice area. He had all sorts of stuff on his resume about how he had been a Super Lawyer at his previous law firm (where he worked less than two years). He also referred to himself as a "Rainmaker," although he had no business and had never been a partner anywhere. Furthermore, he complained that he did not like his previous position (where he was let go—ostensibly because they ran out of work) because they made him create PowerPoints and do other things he felt were beneath him.
 
This attorney has also been unemployed for two years and will likely stay unemployed.
 
The reason this attorney will stay unemployed is that he is not willing to be a soldier. He thinks too highly of himself and his skills. When confronted with any vulnerability, his instinct is to attack his "accuser." When evaluating lateral opportunities, he is quick to eliminate those he believes are beneath him. Meanwhile, he has been unemployed for over a year. Law firms do not like him because they sense and pick up on his arrogance, feelings of entitlement, and belief that he is better than them. In reality, this attorney is frightened. He does not think he is better than the firms he is speaking with—he is trying to defend a shallow ego and believes that anything that gets in the way of this is a threat.
 
The best attorneys are likable and able to transmit a sense of vulnerability to clients, juries, and other attorneys. These attorneys can look like the salt of the earth and do not feel the need to be superior and look better than other attorneys. These attorneys want others to like them. They often drive unassuming cars and live in modest homes. They blend in and look normal to others. Law firms hire attorneys like this and often avoid attorneys who need to prove something to others.
 
The Problem With Only Hiring People Who Look Like Other Attorneys Can manage them

There are countless law firms with no real "generals" and "alpha dogs" in them. If a law firm hopes to expand, grow, and take risks, having generals leading it and part of the firm can be a good thing. Nevertheless, most law firms are conservative and reject standouts.
 
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  1. When Hiring, Many People in Charge of Hiring Like the First People Who Apply and Come in the Door the Best
 
It is a lot of work hiring. Hiring takes a lot of effort and human resources time reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and bringing people in for meetings. It can be a nightmare—especially where there are multiple positions to fill. When jobs are not being filled, the law firm is losing money; clients may be unhappy, partners needing help may be unhappy, and more. It is challenging for all concerned.
 
Consequently, there is a lot of pressure to fill positions as quickly as possible. The hiring personnel try and bond with and like the first applicants. Therefore, the subsequent ones after offers may be rejected to speed up the hiring process. From a human resources perspective, there is a great hope that everything will work out so more positions can be filled as quickly as possible.
 
In our company, for example, we currently have several openings. However, I know it is a lot of work to go through resumes. It can take hours to review the resumes, schedule interviews, and hope the right person applies. Then you need to make and negotiate offers. All the while, all sorts of new people are likely applying for the same position, and you need to keep the entire process going. I hate hiring for my jobs.
 
For example, I am currently hiring an assistant and a chief operating officer. I have over 500 applications for an assistant and 300 applications for a chief operating officer that I received in less than a week. It will take me at least an hour or two to review the assistant applications and another hour or two to review the Chief Operating Officer applications. This is a lot of work. Because this is so much work, what I am likely to do is the following:
 
  • I will review the first batch of resumes that come in and schedule a few interviews (two or three) with each person from each opening.
  • I will then interview these people and hope there is someone I like.
  • All the while, I will be losing money because work will not be getting done, and I will be frustrated.
  • I will try and justify hiring someone who may not be perfect after I have interviewed several people.
  • I will likely not pay as much attention (or any attention at all) to the resumes that come after the first batch I review (too much work).
  • I may hire someone I should not so I can fill the position immediately.
  • My human resources assistant will be relieved when I hire someone to move on to other jobs.
 
Law firms are no different. They will often hire people they should not because they want to take the pressure off. They will like the first applicants who come in the door because they want to get back to work.
 
Law firms like people they believe will help them fix problems immediately and get back to work.
 
I have made quick and rash hiring decisions in the past because I wanted to fill specific positions quickly. I quickly decided that I liked the first people who walked in the door—instead of finding others later. These were often disastrous hires that led to firings, lawsuits, lost productivity, and other issues. I made some incredibly dumb mistakes. Law firms must do whatever they can to avoid liking and bonding with the first people who apply.
 
The Problem With Hiring and Jumping at the First People Who Apply

When law firms act quickly, they end up harming themselves in the long run by bringing in people who often are problematical and cannot do the work. These bad hires will create far more trouble than they are worth and end up harming the law firm in the long run. Law firms need to avoid bonding with early applicants when they are not, in fact, perfect fits. There are usually plenty of suitable applicants that come later.
 
  1. Most Law Firms and the People in them Hire People Like them.
 
Attorneys in law firms hire people that are most like them. They tend to avoid hiring people that are different from them. This is one reason why things like diversity are so hard to get inside of many law firms. There is a self-reinforcing system that creates a cycle that strengthens itself repeatedly.
 
In terms of hiring people like themselves, law firms do this because they are simply following a script laid down by our human ancestor's generations ago. We hire people like ourselves to feel safe. When we see ourselves in others, we also like them more. When we see our strengths and weaknesses reflected in others, we want to hire them. This is something that all law firms do, and they tend to hire the same personalities and types repeatedly.
 
When I meet certain attorneys, I can often tell quite quickly that particular firms would like them. Law firms just seem to like certain types of attorneys more than others. Some law firms gravitate towards attorneys without a lot of personality, others with more personality. Law firms hire around class, race, attractiveness, and other features. Some law firms hire attorneys that are not afraid to cut corners and bend the truth, and others only employ straight shooters. Some law firms hire attorneys who look and act very conservative. Other firms frequently hire attorneys to reflect the overall culture of law firms more than others.
 
I have had countless instances throughout my legal placement career where law firms have hired people that have something in common with their interviewers. People are hired because they share the same hobbies, went to the same schools, have the same friends—you name it. These sorts of hiring decisions are unbelievably common and occur all the time.
 
The Problem With Law Firms Hiring People Like them

The largest problem with law firms hiring people like them is that it often prevents them from hiring the people who may be the best fit for the job. Instead of hiring the most qualified people, they hire people who may not always be the best fit. When a law firm is experiencing issues, this can create a self-reinforcing system of issues where the law firm hires the wrong people repeatedly. Because law firms hire people like them regularly, it reinforces ways of doing business, relating to clients, and may ultimately hold their firms back.
 
  1. Most Law Firms Hire People they Believe they Should Like
 
Nothing is more common than a law firm that believes it can only hire people with specific backgrounds and pedigrees. I know of numerous midsized law firms in Los Angeles that always try to hire people from the same big firms with the same sorts of law school pedigrees. They hire the same kinds of people again and again, and these people never work out. This pattern has played itself out with these firms longer than I can remember. They believe they should be impressed with certain types of people, so they hire them almost regardless of the warning signs.
 
There are plenty of attorneys out there that are not good fits for your law firm and should not be hired. These attorneys may have moved too much, not have good reasons for being interested in your firm, and countless other warning signs. They should be avoided and not hired even if you think you should like them. The most considerable risk for firms is when they have a bias toward certain pedigrees and believe they should automatically like these attorneys. This mistaken bias has cost law firms untold sums of money by following a script that does not work all the time.
 
The Problem with Law Firms Hiring People They Believe They Should Like
 
Having a bias towards certain backgrounds is fine, but being blind can create a self-reinforcing loop where the wrong people are hired again and again. Attorneys should not be hired just for their qualifications but also for markers in their backgrounds that show they are likely to stick around and remain at the firm.
 
Conclusions
 
Law firms should hire the sorts of people they would want representing them if they have legal issues—and not just follow a blind script when hiring. To know the correct people they should be hiring and bringing on, law firms should recognize that the people they are immediately attracted to are not always the best prospects to be hired; making easy and quick decisions can be dangerous. Their attorneys are often sabotaging their hiring processes to protect themselves. The people law firms like when interviewing are not always the best people to hire.
 
See also:
 

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter. He is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in job searches and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.


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