Through detailed market analysis, BCG Attorney Search has pinpointed trends in how law firms' flexibility around experience requirements can vary widely depending on several key factors:
Situations Where Firms Are the Most Flexible with Experience Requirements:
- Small Markets: Firms in smaller markets may show more flexibility, as the pool of lateral candidates is often limited, prompting them to consider broader experience levels.
- Niche Practice Areas: Specialized practice areas with fewer candidates, such as Employee Benefits or Health Care, may necessitate a more open approach to experience to fill essential roles.
- Lower Paid Positions at Smaller Firms: These roles can be challenging to fill, leading smaller firms to be more accommodating in terms of experience to attract suitable candidates.
- Senior Roles: Firms might demonstrate flexibility for roles requiring 7+ years of experience, as such candidates' expertise and leadership qualities can outweigh the exact number of years in practice.
- Experience Ranges: When listings indicate a range, such as 8 to 12 years of experience, firms may have some leeway to secure a candidate who fits well with the team and the firm's culture, even if they are slightly outside the specified range.
- Title-Based Roles: For positions with titles like partner attorney, firms may prioritize the quality and fit of a candidate's background over the precise alignment with the stated experience level.
Situations Where Law Firms Are the Least Flexible with Experience Requirements:
- Larger Markets: With a larger candidate pool matching the required experience, firms in significant markets can afford to be more exacting and are less likely to deviate from their listed requirements.
- Common Practice Areas: In fields such as Corporate M&A and Commercial Litigation, the surplus of qualified candidates means that firms can strictly adhere to the experience they seek.
- Highly Competitive, Well-Paid Positions: Top-tier law firms offering competitive salaries typically maintain firm boundaries around experience expectations due to the high volume of interest from qualified candidates.
- Exact Experience Listings: For jobs that specify a precise amount of experience, such as 2 years, firms are often rigid, seeking candidates at a specific stage in their professional development.
See Related Articles:
- A Guide to Understanding When Practicing Attorneys Can and Cannot Relocate to Different Markets
- Why Relocating to a Different Market Is the Greatest (But Little Known) Way for a Law Firm Attorney to Get Ahead in the Legal Profession
- How Attorneys Can Relocate and Practice Law Internationally and Overseas: The Best Practice Areas and Locations to Practice Law Overseas
Jobs Calling for an Exact Level of Experience:
1. 1 Year of Experience:
- Minimum Accepted: 1 year
- Maximum Accepted: 3 years