At the outset: BCG’s “Secret Sauce” may be too much for you and may scare you away. We understand. Being different is always frightening. You may be used to applying to only a few law firms and think that is the best strategy. You may believe you know better and understand how law firms work (we've been in the market for over 25+ years and need help understanding the market).
BCG's "Secret Sauce" is based on the fact that over 100,000 law firms in the United States are moving targets we are trying to understand at different times. We cannot possibly understand what is happening in each firm at varying points in time because each firm has countless "moving targets" that are impossible to understand at other issues. Each firm:
- Pays more or less than you might expect.
- Has different opportunities to be a partner (or hire lateral partners).
- Has different expectations for you getting business.
- Has various human resources departments at other times.
- Has different management and hiring attorneys at other points in time.
- Has had people leave, they need to replace at different points in time.
- Has different practice areas growing at different points in time.
- Has more or fewer people interested in working there at other points in time (not getting enough applicants due to a blip in the firm's reputation, a lack of taking actions to recruit more attorneys, or other issues).
- Is interested in various sorts of people at points in time.
- May or may not be publicizing its needs at every point in time.
- May not realize it needs a new attorney until a suitable candidate appears.
- May or may not have someone reviewing resumes that is lazy and not paying attention at different points in time.
- May or may not have someone circulating resumes to various attorneys in specific practice areas at other points in time.
- May or may not have committees that review every resume periodically.
- May or may not have human resources departments trying to get openings from attorneys in the firm consistently.
- May or may not have people reviewing resumes that are protecting their turf or afraid of competition for work, prestige, and authority—who knows.
- May or may not be laying people off.
- May or may not be eliminating practice areas.
- May or may not be growing in specific practice areas.
- May or may not be having financial issues.
- May or may not be closing offices and moving people from the office you are applying to another.
- Might be trying to open another office in a different part of the city/market you are interested in.
- May or may not be opening new offices or expanding existing offices.
- May or may not have someone even reviewing resumes.
- May or may not have actors in different practice areas sabotaging or promoting hiring efforts.
- May or may not like people from your school, current firm, or other aspects of your background—who knows what.
- If a law firm has branch offices, then the decisions may come from the main office—or even another branch office (who knows).
- And 100,000+ other things you could never know—we could not possibly know either.
What I am going to explain in detail to you below is how we "attempt to know" this information. It is impossible to know this information perfectly. We do everything we can to try. We are wrong a lot of the time because no one can understand this. We must do our best and do countless different things to represent you effectively in our efforts to place you. The better we do this, the better results you get in your search (more interviews, more offers, and a better understanding of your marketability in the markets you search in, the type of firm that will interview you, and the marketability of attorneys in your practice area.
Most firms do not even know this information about themselves—it would be impossible to. We do our best to contend with the incredible uncertainty surrounding the hiring needs of over 100,000 law firms. Anyone who tells you they know what is happening in the market is lying and does not know what they are talking about. We have invested over 20 years and $100 million trying to understand this, and we are wrong a lot—no one could understand this unless they knew every attorney, finance person, and administrator within a given law firm and probably even its branch office.
Because of how we operate, you've never seen anything like BCG Attorney Search and probably never will again. There is nothing like it, and it is built on millions of submissions to law firms over decades, hundreds of millions of jobs over decades, every public source of information about law firms (rankings, "about us" sections on websites, practice areas on law firm websites, firms found online but not in directories, exclusive job postings on BCG by law firms, nonexclusive jobs on BCG, the history of firms having jobs, the number of times law firms review resumes and interview people like you and hire people like you, and much, much more.
Because of the commitment and the extraordinary effort we have put into our system, we are like an alien from a civilization thousands of years more advanced than our own, standing in the middle of a crowded space surrounded by people of below-average, average, and above-average human abilities. Compared to our competition, BCG's "secret sauce" gives us a much different level of intelligence and skills than most candidates, law firms, recruiters, and others cannot even begin to understand, much less want to.
We will try to make you understand below—it is not that complicated if you want to know. We are not claiming to be from another world; we are just stating that nothing compares to the work and investment we have put into our system and you. Our system makes us "aliens" in the legal placement and recruiting ecosystem because we are far beyond anything. Judge for yourself.
1. THE FIRST TYPE OF FIRMS WE SEND YOU ARE “PREFERRED FIRMS” - RECENT INTERVIEW/HIRE FIRMS THROUGH BCG IN YOUR PRACTICE AREA, SENIORITY, AND LOCATION THAT WE BELIEVE THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY THEY MAY BE INTERESTED IN YOU, EVEN THOUGH THEY DO NOT HAVE OPEN JOB OPENINGS. We send these firms to you third because we do not want to scare you by just sending firm names. We want to send them first or second because this is how most attorneys are placed—there is often too much competition for job openings; however, we do not do so because it scares attorneys off who need help understanding what we do. If the firm has no active jobs, these will be displayed first in your account.
These firms typically hire many people through BCG and trust our recommendations. Many firms do not want their opportunities publicly advertised because they do not want to solicit unqualified applications. This creates tremendous work for their human resources departments, which need to respond to applications—almost all unqualified and make too much work for them. Over 85% of our placements are with these firms, and that is why we send you a lot of them—this strategy works wonders, and it is something no other recruiting firm will or can do. Our database has decades of exclusive information developed at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Beyond using artificial intelligence and machine learning developed by in-house data scientists, we do not pretend to have a "Godlike Ability" to forecast if this strategy will always work. Sometimes it does not work for a year or longer with some firms when the firm is suddenly not busy or hiring in a practice area—but then it works when work picks up, people resign or are fired, and when the firm hires lateral partners, for example. Sometimes it works with firms on every excellent candidate because the firm has ongoing openings. Most times, it works better if your practice area and qualifications are rare in the market at a time when there is a lot of work now in the firm or forecast for the future (so the firm may opportunistically).
Remember that we have worked with over 100,000 law firms for over two decades. We also track the openings that law firms have had on our sites—as well as their consistent openings and activity on their firm websites, job postings with us, job postings on LawCrossing, and every single job site and association (bar and practice area associations) they have ever posted a job on. We know who is hungry for candidates, the results they are getting (or lack thereof), and how often they search for candidates in the market (and how long it takes them to find candidates).
Even if they do not understand what we do, most BCG candidates approve these recommendations because they trust our judgment. Other candidates do not trust our judgment and make up reasons in their heads not to trust it (we do not know what we are doing, we are over-marketing them, and so forth). You should be approving these recommendations more aggressively because there is so much thought that goes into these. This is fine with us, and we understand: These firms are then removed from your account and sent to candidates not as good a fit as you (but active with us).
While this may be hard for you to comprehend why we are sending you firms without jobs, getting behind this and approving specific firms without jobs gives you the best results. It does not always work—but it works more often than not. New firms (without jobs) will be added as our database recommends them (based on candidates' results of other candidates similar to you who had recent interviews—they may not have gotten positions with firms or not accepted offers, so we make the firm recommendations available to you). It may take a week, several weeks, or longer for this strategy to work—but it generally always does the longer we do it. When you approve these firms, we follow up with each firm (just as you receive weekly candidate reports) to see if they need them. We continue doing this as long as you proactively approve the jobs and the firms we send you regularly—we need you to be an active candidate. Firms will also keep your resume on file and often contact us later (days, weeks, or longer) when they are ready to interview people again.
2. THE SECOND TYPE OF OPPORTUNITY WE SEND YOU ARE FORMER (NONACTIVE) EXCLUSIVE JOB ORDERS. These firms may have an ongoing need for you because numerous firms hire people from BCG from our inactive job orders each week. Your account will not display these until you review the existing open positions and "Preferred BCG Firms." This strategy is also part of BCG's "Secret Sauce" and, with other nonactive job and firm recruitment methods, results in over 85% of our candidates getting placed compared to just sending jobs.
This strategy works because firms that have had exclusive job orders in the past have a compelling need. They sought us out exclusively to fill it and will likely have it in the future. Approving these inactive former exclusive job orders is a tremendously effective strategy because law firms with needs only sometimes recontact us because they have other priorities (summer associate programs, legal staff hiring, such as paralegals and secretaries). Other things take precedence, and when we submit candidates, they are reminded of their former needs and do not have to proactively go out and contact us (or other recruiters) and review lots of resumes. It is much less work to interview and hire a "bird in the hand" than go through the time-consuming and resource-absorbing task of seeking candidates in the marketplace.
No one has more expired and inactive job orders than BCG—hundreds of thousands. We draw from the past several years alone. These former openings are an excellent guide to what is marketable, and that informs our recommendations. This strategy is compelling as well.
3. THE THIRD TYPE OF OPPORTUNITY WE SEND YOU ARE FORMER OPEN POSITIONS WHERE WE MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE EXCLUSIVE RECRUITER. These firms may have an ongoing need for you because firms hire people from inactive jobs where we were not the exclusive recruiter each week. Your account will display these once you review the existing open positions. This strategy is also part of BCG's "Secret Sauce," with other methods of not sending jobs to you; it results in over 85% of our candidates getting placed compared to just sending jobs.
This strategy works because firms that have had job orders in the past had a compelling need they went to the market to fill, and the odds are they will do so again in the future (people leave, needs increase). Law firms that have required attorneys only sometimes get around to recontacting us. Other things take priority; human resources departments and hiring partners change. When we submit candidates, these firms are reminded of their former needs and do not have to proactively go out and contact us (or other recruiters). It is a lot of work reviewing resumes—most of which are not good fits. It is much less work to interview and hire a qualified "bird in the hand" than go through the time-consuming and resource-absorbing task of seeking candidates in the marketplace.
Again, we have been monitoring the openings of tens of thousands of law firms for over two decades. We own LawCrossing and get these openings from everywhere. We recognize patterns and draw from these to make recommendations. For example, we will not recommend a past job opening from 25 years ago. But it does interest us when we see law firms having the same opening year after year. That is like seeing a "bullseye” and highly effective in getting you positions. No one else can do this because no one has created and can access this data type.
4. THE FOURTH TYPE OF FIRMS WE SEND YOU ARE FIRMS IN YOUR PRACTICE AREA AND LOCATION THAT WE RESEARCH AND DO “BLIND SUBMISSIONS” TO FOR YOU. There are instances where you are in a niche practice area (where there are not a lot of candidates), or niche location (where there are not a lot of former or current jobs or "Preferred Firms"), or otherwise have an unusual background, where we will research firms and contact them with a general profile that does not identify you.
We use our custom database of over 100,000 firms to find this information. We also use other sources to classify this data better (public best firm rankings from regional and national publications, for example) and practice areas firms list on their sites.
This means we contact these firms with general statements about your background (type of work you do, seniority level, for example) and do not send your resume. We ask these firms if they want to see the resume and a write-up of someone with your background. They often call us, respond through their candidate portal, or email us if interested.
We show these firms as "submissions" in your account because these firms often request your resume later—but not always. Again, in coordination with other actions we take on your behalf, this results in over 85% of our placements. We would not, under any circumstances, go through these tremendous efforts trying to help you and with firms if it did not work with them.
What You May Not Like About BCG's "Special Sauce" and BCG in General
Because it is so complex, we do not tell you what we are doing or why we are making the recommendations we are making—but you can guess it from the order we send job openings and recommend firms in your account (exclusive jobs first, other jobs in the market next, and so forth). Our system gives you a lack of control, and you may need lots of control to feel safe. The need to feel secure may mean you do nothing or do very little with your account. In addition, because we are also dealing with artificial intelligence and data science, explaining lots of our recommendations to you would be close to impossible for you to understand without showing you pages and pages of code, analysis of that code, and the tens of thousands of firms analyzed and reviewed for each recommendation we make. I am the founder and CEO of BCG Attorney Search, and I have hired experts and others with the best degrees and experience; it takes hours for them to explain even discrete parts of our algorithms and data analysis and artificial intelligence they have used.
It is not in our best interests to have you start second-guessing us and the firms we send you. If you start trying to “be the recruiter” (just as you would not like a client of yours "playing the lawyer" and making all of the decisions), it ultimately will make it much harder for you to get a position. This is your decision.
If you believe in our system, you can always check your account and approve what we are sending. If not, then you are on your own (possibly you have always been on your own, and that has worked and, quite honestly, may continue working). If you take this path, however, you will never find the best opportunity in the market (which we try to do at BCG).
We want to improve your career and most likely can if you believe in us as much as we believe in you. Whether you follow our advice or not, we do wish you the best and hope you will return when you are ready.