[TRANSCRIPT] Seven Proven Strategies for Attorneys to Secure, Retain, and Advance in Legal Jobs | BCGSearch.com

[TRANSCRIPT] Seven Proven Strategies for Attorneys to Secure, Retain, and Advance in Legal Jobs


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Today, I'm discussing seven different things that the most successful attorneys use to secure positions, attract business, and build very successful careers from the time they are in law school until they become more senior. This webinar is crucial because it will reveal what I have observed over 25 years about attorneys who excel and those who don't in their legal careers. This includes getting jobs, advancing, and thriving at all levels, from law students to mid-level attorneys, and beyond. This topic is essential for everyone in the legal profession seeking a position. It will help you get jobs, understand why you may not be succeeding, and improve your career overall.

I want to share a few relevant points: I've seen attorneys fail miserably, do moderately well, and excel. I've observed these patterns for 25 years, understanding why they happen. Today, I'll discuss a mindset and approach that the best, like top legal recruiters, use. If you grasp everything I'll discuss and take notes, it could dramatically improve both your job search and career in law.

Many in the legal profession don't know why they're not succeeding. They think there are no jobs or that their qualifications aren't good enough. The mindset I'm discussing today can transform your life and career, based on 25 years of observation. I've also been in the self-improvement industry and written books on this topic, so I hope this webinar will be very helpful to you.

Using a service differs significantly from buying a product because you often don't know what to expect from the service. For instance, when you hire a doctor or lawyer, you don't know the quality you'll get. It can be pretty scary because the outcome can greatly impact your life. I've experienced poor service from doctors, accountants, and attorneys, which had serious repercussions. Conversely, using good services has led to great outcomes. When using a service, especially legal services, you want the best possible provider.
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Imagine being accused of a crime and needing the best attorney you can afford. The quality of the service can make a significant difference. Using a poor service can be like throwing money away and making a financial mistake. People often judge service providers based on their awards, certifications, or the firms they come from, but these don't always guarantee quality. There is no perfect system for ranking lawyers, making it hard to judge their competence. The same applies to doctors and other professionals.

Let me share an example about poor medical service. Understanding this can help you relate to the legal profession and the importance of choosing the right professionals. Years ago, I had a lymph node on my neck swell up to the size of a fist. It was alarming, and after visiting several doctors, none could diagnose the issue. They speculated it was an infection, asked irrelevant questions, and referred me to various specialists who also couldn't figure it out. This ordeal went on for a year, affecting my ability to work and causing significant stress.

Eventually, while with my wife at a dermatologist's appointment, a young and curious dermatologist took an interest in my case. She ordered tests and consulted with other doctors. She discovered that my practice of Bikram yoga, a strenuous 90-minute high-heat exercise, was stressing my immune system and causing the problem. By simply stopping the yoga, the issue resolved completely. This doctor figured it out by taking a genuine interest and asking the right questions.

The first of the seven things that can make you a successful attorney and help you get jobs and clients is very simple but crucial: take a genuine interest in your work and clients. This alone can transform your career. Understanding and implementing this can lead to more job opportunities and clients than you ever imagined. So, if you're here today, you're about to learn something that will help you tremendously in your legal career.

If you think about this, I was meeting with all sorts of experts. I was going to the hospital for treatment, but no one found out what was wrong because no one asked enough questions or tried to figure things out. I saw 10 doctors over the course of a year, was hospitalized, and was unable to work for certain periods of time.

This happened because the people doing the work didn't ask enough questions, didn't do enough research, and didn't take the time to do a good job. They looked at things through a narrow lens, assuming I was involved in sex and drugs or had cancer. They didn't care about asking more questions to figure out what could be done. Every specialist I saw had biases. The doctor in Malibu thought it could be AIDS or drugs because she was new to Los Angeles and assumed the people there must be doing bad things. The cancer doctors assumed it might be cancer and ordered a bunch of cancer tests. The neurologist assumed it could be neurological, so I underwent CAT scans and other tests. The blood doctor did numerous blood tests. I even went to an arthritis doctor who assumed it could be arthritis. The emergency room doctors had no idea what it was and just gave me morphine.

What I'm going to talk to you about now is the difference between people who get good results in their career, the difference between those who clients want to hire, and the difference between those who law firms want to keep. This is a very important point because very few people are like this. Regardless of what you do with your career, whether you decide to leave the legal profession and open an ice cream store, a bike store, become a consultant, or whatever you want to do, you need to understand this.

The main thing separating the doctor from the others was that she cared. She cared about the result she was going to get and took an interest in what she was doing. She didn't just give up and stop looking; she took an interest and did whatever she could to show she cared. I think about this every day. It's a powerful concept, and it almost makes me cry because it's incredible that people can do this. There are average people who only do the minimum and look at things through one set of eyes without pushing further.

Think about this: if you were going to a doctor and had something unusual wrong with you, what would you do? Would you want someone who cared about the result you were getting? Would you want someone who took an interest? Would you want someone who would solve your problem? Would you want someone who would do their absolute best?
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I'll tell you a quick story about an attorney I worked for. He was the last attorney I worked for in my career. He was a smart guy who went to Columbia Law School. By the time I worked for him, he was in his mid to late 50s and had been working quietly in this law firm for 20 years as a litigator. He had incredibly successful clients like the Sultan of Brunei and other important clients. When the Catholic Church got sued, he defended them. He charged an incredible amount of money, and his billing rate was very high. Despite this, he had never lost a case and was very discreet in getting things solved.

I had a case with him involving a mass tort case about Proposition 65. All these places were getting sued for not having warnings that cigars cause cancer. The Hotel Bel-Air got sued, and instead of settling for the $10,000 being asked, he was going to pay whatever it took to get a good result. He cared about the result. So, he had me do extensive research on every little topic, from service and process to the actual law to how the law got enacted. We even investigated the people suing the hotel, discovering they weren't a legitimate 501(c)(3) corporation. Quietly, he approached the person who sued us and pointed out their wrongdoing. The case was immediately dropped, saving his client an incredible amount of money. Meanwhile, other law firms continued fighting the case for years.

This attorney cared deeply and went to great lengths to win. He always did this, caring so much that he quietly settled things and avoided court or trial. I want you to think about this: when you care about something, you get better results. This is a rare characteristic that most attorneys don't have.

I talked to a patent attorney in Utah who had an interview with a firm. He went into the interview talking about what he wanted, not about how he could help them. He didn't show he cared about the job or the work. Of course, the firm rejected him. You need to show that you care about the work, the job, and doing a good job for clients. This mindset is crucial.

If you go into interviews talking about money, vacation time, or working remotely, you miss the point. You have to care about what your employer wants, regardless of whether you're an associate or partner. I've seen many attorneys who don't care about their clients, and they don't do well. You won't succeed unless you truly care about your clients and the people you work for. In a law firm, the partners are your clients, and this is your chance to show how you would be with clients.

If you're a partner, you will get more clients if you show you care about them and their problems. This makes you a much better attorney and professional. This is what the best doctors, lawyers, and professionals do. A good doctor can save your life, and a good attorney can make a significant difference.

I want you to think about yourself, what's important to you in your life, what makes you happy, what drives you, and what you need. We all need people to care about us. We like it when people remember our preferences at restaurants, when they remember our birthdays. My dad told me one of his favorite people is someone who calls him every year on his birthday, even though they haven't spoken in years. We want people to care about us—our significant others, our children, our families. Some of the most painful experiences are when that care stops, like during a divorce, breakups, or alienation from children or families. These situations create issues because we want recognition and to be seen positively in our communities and families.

Think about how you feel when someone says something negative to you or disapproves of you. It's important to everyone to feel successful and be seen positively by peers and bosses. If you don't feel successful or don't think people look at you positively, it's very hurtful. People get upset when others say bad things about them. Some can't handle it. Most people seek out those who care about them and form relationships with significant others and friends because it's a fundamental human need.

When people care about us, it makes us very happy. For example, my dentist spends 20 minutes just talking to me during appointments, and I wouldn't go anywhere else. We want people in all professions—lawyers, doctors, accountants—to care about us. It's rare, but it's the most fundamental human need. In business, we also want people to care about us. Finding service providers who care makes us feel good. For instance, I used to bank with First Republic, which had a dedicated banker who knew my business and responded quickly. After they were taken over by Chase, it became an impersonal experience with long wait times, which was very disappointing.

Businesses need people to care about them, to take time with them, and not treat them impersonally. When people care about you, they believe in you and never stop working on your behalf. Think about who in your life cares about you and how that affects your relationship with them. People often pay more for services from those they have a connection with because that relationship is important to them.

If you're working for someone, you need to show you care. Associates at big firms often think about big salaries and work, but they don't always truly care about their firm or making it happy. They may leave if things don't go well. This lack of care can affect their relationships and job satisfaction. For example, a partner at a litigation firm in Chicago shared that despite giving substantial bonuses, employees were often unhappy, which was upsetting because he wanted them to care about him and the firm.

The best professionals—lawyers, accountants, recruiters—show they care about their clients and go above and beyond. A good legal recruiter, for example, doesn't just send a few job opportunities; they continue researching and finding the best fits for their candidates. At BCG, we take extra steps to ensure candidates are matched with the right employers because we care. This level of care can be overwhelming for some, but it shows our commitment.

In your profession, you need to show you care. Are you writing articles about issues relevant to your practice area? Are you meeting with partners and clients, putting in extra work? Are you attending conferences, joining associations, and doing everything you can to show your dedication? Very few people do this, but it's crucial. Caring about your work and clients sets you apart.

I remember when I was practicing law, a partner took the time to leave a detailed voicemail late at night explaining how to take a deposition. His dedication was inspiring, and he became very successful. Would you go above and beyond to help someone like that? Showing you care can have lasting positive effects on your career and relationships.

Caring about others and showing it in your actions is essential in all aspects of life. It's what makes us happy and successful. Very few people do it, but it's incredibly important.

I had an experience when I was in college. This person, again, I'm not trying to offend anybody, but I was in his fraternity, and I was the president of this fraternity. The previous year, or a couple of years prior, there was this guy in the fraternity. He was from Chicago, getting horrible grades, drinking too much, smoking, and not doing well. He had low self-esteem, but he had written this article about why he wanted to join this fraternity when he was a freshman. It was a very moving piece.

I was leading a meeting, and it showed how much he wanted to join the fraternity and how much he cared. I read it to everyone without saying who it was from. I just said, "This person is a remarkable representative of us. This is what our culture is like." The guy was very nice to me. There were some issues I had with bringing my girlfriend to the fraternity house too much, and he stepped in, defended me, and diffused the situation.

Years later, I would see him at different events. He came up and said how meaningful it was that I did that, and he felt good because I showed him I cared. In response, he helped me and appreciated it for a long time because he wasn't getting any positive feedback from school or anything, but this was meaningful to him. Think about that. Think about what happens when you're nice to people or show you care about them. He even came to my wedding—a very nice guy.

In legal recruiting, think about that. Many people go into the business, and I'm saying this to give you an understanding of why people become lawyers. People become lawyers because they want to make money, but after practicing law, many decide they don't like it. They don't like the hours, the billable hours are too stressful, or whatever the reason. Many of these people become recruiters, thinking they can use their law degrees to do something else. When they went into practicing law, some liked it, but many didn't. They weren't passionate about practicing law and didn't care about it.

A lot of these recruiters didn't have a passion for being good attorneys and then become recruiters without a passion for helping people. If you pick up the phone to talk to them, you often can't get them, and you'll just hear they're not here or be directed to an answering service. If someone's not picking up the phone, responding to emails, or texts, it shows they don't care, and you don't feel good about yourself.

Many recruiters, regardless of their prestigious backgrounds, didn't care about practicing law and thus didn't care about their new roles. They want to make money without the stress of practicing law. You need to think deeply about this because it's extremely important for your career. Understanding the power of caring and what it's going to do for your life and career is crucial. Caring about friends, potential clients, and the work you do is vital.

I've talked to at least ten attorneys this year alone with major books of business. All of them, without question, have gotten business by developing relationships and showing they're there for people, even if they haven't given them business before. They care. I was talking to a guy the other day with a small local business. He made friends with them because he surfed with them in El Salvador and calls them weekly to see how they're doing, developing a relationship and showing he cares. He has their business even though he doesn't do the kind of work they need.

People get business by developing relationships and showing they care. This is what people who succeed do differently. They have the ability to show they care. You can become a partner in a law firm by finding someone with business and doing everything you can to show you care. This is incredibly important, and many careers are ruined because people don't show they care.

Some people are motivated by helping and caring for people, and some are driven by things that may not involve people. In professions like law, you have to care about other people and the work you do. You need to be motivated by that.

I had an experience years ago with a lawsuit involving a former recruiter from our company. Recruiters are always suing each other. I hired a law firm with highly qualified attorneys, but they didn't care. They were smart but not involved, and their firm eventually imploded because they didn't care. This is what happens when you don't care.

If you start your own law firm and don't care, this will happen. If you try to get clients and don't care, this will happen. Not caring is huge. The more you help people, the better your career will be. The best legal recruiters care about others, and it's the same in practicing law. If you're using a recruiter or any professional, make sure they care about you.

You need to do the best you can and care about people. If your goal is to make money, then practicing law may not be for you. You can make a lot of money if you care, but those who don't enjoy practicing law or need more flexibility typically won't be the best recruiters. The best recruiters care about others, and the same goes for practicing law.

Choosing the right people who care about you and your career is crucial. If you don't do the best you can and care about people, your career will suffer. This lesson is about the importance of caring in your career. There are many other aspects to consider, but this is fundamental for success.

Okay, so I hope that the last topic about caring, along with the first one, can help you understand its importance. Caring is one of the most crucial things you can do to have a successful career. Everyone desires a good career, and this particular quality can make a significant difference. When people care about the firm they work for, and the firm knows they care, it creates a positive impact. Caring about others, regardless of who you're working with, is vital. When you show genuine concern for people, even those you don't know, it can bring you business and help you succeed.

This topic revolves around the human way of relating to others and demonstrating care. It's rare, and very few people do it. If you genuinely care, your career will stay on track. I've been in business for a quarter of a century, and I have employees who started with me 24 years ago and are still here, despite the company going through hundreds of employees in that time. The reason these long-term employees remain is because they care about what they do. They put in the effort and show they care.

In contrast, many others were let go because they didn't care enough. They might be highly educated, but if their heart isn't in their work, they won't last. If you truly care about your work, you'll always be valuable and never lose a job. Caring leads to career growth and success. I've seen people start at $15 an hour and significantly increase their earnings because they cared. Caring is the most valuable trait you can bring to an employer and is essential for getting business.

I'm emphasizing this point because it's incredibly crucial. If you don't show care in your career and personal life, you'll face problems. Very few people do this, but those who do have the best lives and careers. I encourage you to understand the importance of caring about your clients, your firm, and people in your personal life. When you show care, people will like you, and you'll build positive relationships.

Next, let's talk about what a good legal recruiter does. This is similar to what you need to do to succeed in your career. A good recruiter gathers as much personal information about you as possible. They don't just see you transactionally; they view you as a unique person with a story. You're not just your education and experience; you have unique attributes and experiences that make you stand out. For instance, I had a candidate who had a national cooking show, which she didn't mention on her resume. After learning this, I advised her to include it, and she went from getting no interviews to multiple offers.

A good recruiter personalizes you to law firms and tells your story. This helps because people relate better when they see your unique qualities. Similarly, when you're seeking a job, try to make a personal connection with your interviewers. For example, I had a candidate during a tough job market who bonded with an interviewer over their shared love of snowboarding. This personal connection helped him secure the job despite the competitive market.

When you're in an interview, don't just list your qualifications. Try to connect with the interviewers personally. Law firms want to hire people they like and can relate to. If an interview is very formal and focused solely on experience, it might be a red flag about the firm's work culture.

Recruiters will draw out your personal information to present you in the best light to employers. Similarly, when working at a law firm, try to connect personally with colleagues and clients. Ask questions and show genuine interest in their lives.

Lastly, the best legal recruiters put a lot of thought into their work. They produce high-quality, flawless applications that make you stand out. Similarly, as an attorney, you should ensure your work is the best it can be. Think through your tasks, update your knowledge, and produce high-quality work. Caring about the quality of your work will make you stand out and succeed.

Caring deeply about your work, clients, and colleagues is the most valuable trait you can have. It leads to career growth, job security, and personal satisfaction. The best legal recruiters and attorneys show this level of care, and it’s what you need to do to succeed in your career.

You know what? I just want to make a quick point, and then I will finish this particular slide. When you make errors in your work, such as punctuation errors or other mistakes, clients will believe that you haven't thought through things well. This perception can make you look bad. The same applies to partners you're working with in a law firm. If you submit work that's not well-thought-out or flawless in terms of punctuation and citations, no one in the law firm will trust you. Clients won't trust you either if your work isn't the absolute best.

The quality of your work product is crucial. Attorneys who don't pay attention to their resumes don't get interviews, and those who don't deliver high-quality work get fired. Your job is to ensure that you produce the best quality work when working for people. If you don't, someone else will overtake you.

Let me share a quick story. When I was working for a federal judge in my first job, he called me into his office one week and closed the double doors. He was extremely upset because I had made a mistake on a habeas corpus petition, accidentally granting it instead of denying it. This error could have had catastrophic consequences. He emphasized that I could never make such mistakes again. Later, I made a small error like using "there" instead of "their," and he reiterated the importance of perfection. His belief was that if your work wasn't perfect, the reader would think you weren't a good attorney.

The best attorneys produce flawless work. The better the law firm, the tighter the language and higher the quality of work. At my second law firm, I marked up a document for a colleague, and the partners were impressed by the improvements. This attention to detail helped me stand out.

Good work product is essential. The difference between average attorneys and successful ones often lies in the quality of their work. Exceptional work product requires time and effort. For instance, I might spend 30 minutes writing a letter and then another hour and a half proofing it to ensure perfection. In fields like patent law, attorneys get fired for reasoning errors, as mistakes can be costly. Good attorneys and recruiters need to care about their work product to advance.

If your work is sloppy, people will notice, and you won't get ahead. Clients and colleagues need to believe that your work is good, and this means putting in the effort to ensure it is exceptional. I've seen attorneys make simple mistakes in their resumes or cover letters, which can hinder their chances of getting hired. The quality of your work is vital, and you must strive to do your best in whatever practice area you're in.

If you're not naturally good at something, you need to learn and improve. Some people have natural skills in specific areas, and it's important to align your work with your strengths. Doing so will help your work quality improve over time. You should be doing something where you have a natural skill and where your work can constantly improve. If you're not interested in your work, it will reflect in the quality.

Successful attorneys often have resumes filled with papers they've written, presentations they've given, and important matters they've worked on. This shows the thought and effort they've put into their work. You need to be doing something that interests you and where you can consistently put your best effort.

If you're not doing something you like, it's probably not a good idea to continue. Your work quality won't improve if you're not interested in it. I've seen people fail the bar exam multiple times or struggle to find employment because they weren't genuinely interested in practicing law. They went to law school for the potential earnings but ended up unemployed or losing their jobs at great firms.

The quality of your work product is crucial. It affects how clients and colleagues perceive you and can impact your career significantly. Always strive to produce the best work possible and align your work with your natural skills and interests.

I saw a girl from Yale. I talked to her not too long ago, and she had failed the California bar four times. She was a white woman from my childhood who went to great boarding schools. People uninterested in their work often produce poor results. You should do something where your work constantly improves. You need to be passionate and dedicated, or you'll face difficulties in your career. I'm sorry for dwelling on this, but it's crucial to find work that allows you to invest your energy and see natural improvement.

Now, this isn't just about legal recruiting but many other fields. A good legal recruiter sees your potential and envisions your growth. They believe in who you can become, not just who you are now. If you're unemployed, they see you as employed. If you're at a small firm, they see you moving to a larger firm. They see your potential.

The best attorneys approach their clients with a vision of success. They don't just handle transactions or litigation; they look at how their work will benefit the client. They're not just going through the motions; they genuinely believe in their clients and are excited about helping them succeed. Attorneys with significant business are deeply invested in their clients' success.

A good recruiter also sees you as someone who can succeed and move to other markets if necessary. In my business, it's interesting to note that candidates who meet me personally almost always get a job. Those who don't engage personally and only fill out questionnaires almost never succeed. When a recruiter believes in a candidate, it makes a huge difference. You need to show the same commitment to your clients.

To be a good attorney, it's not about your success but about your clients'. The best attorneys are more interested in getting good results for their clients than in their own success. This mindset is crucial for success. You need to be naturally drawn to helping clients and getting the best results for them.

Another important aspect is maintaining consistent communication. A good recruiter is always present, providing updates, and suggesting new opportunities. In my business, I stay in touch with candidates, constantly updating them and suggesting new job possibilities. This presence makes a significant difference.

In your career, being seen and heard is vital. Successful attorneys maintain relationships and are in constant touch with their clients. They send updates, articles, and maintain visibility. This is essential for getting business and building a reputation. People need to see and hear from you.

Even in branch offices, visibility is crucial. People in the main office need to see and hear from you for you to advance. This principle applies to getting clients and building a successful career. Consistent communication and visibility are key.

Following up is another critical aspect. Many recruiters introduce you to a law firm and then disappear. Consistent follow-up, even after the initial contact, is essential. This shows that you care and helps ensure nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Following up makes a huge difference and can lead to successful placements.

Learning from your mistakes is also crucial. Everyone makes mistakes in their career, and it's essential to learn from them. Bad things will happen, but how you handle them and learn from them matters. Most attorneys get fired at some point for various reasons, and it's important to understand that it's often not your fault. The key is to learn and grow from these experiences.

Law firms, by the way, are very difficult workplaces. You can get fired for all sorts of reasons. That's one of the reasons why you need to learn personal things about the people you're working for, so they feel there's a connection. Without that, it's easier for them to fire you. If you're not seen by the people in charge, it's easier to get fired. Almost all attorneys get fired; I see it all the time. I talk to attorneys who have been fired almost every single day. They're shell-shocked, upset, blame themselves, or they're angry. They decide they’ll never work in another law firm again.

I'm going to tell you right now that I don't know what level of attorney you are, but most attorneys lose their jobs or have big problems. Something goes wrong, they could be brought up on charges by the state bar, or worse. I've seen attorneys become alcoholics and get fired from major law firms. I've seen people do all sorts of things that create major problems. If you're an attorney, you're going to face lots of bad things and learn from these mistakes. A recruiter sees these issues and can offer valuable lessons.

With things happening, there are many lessons to learn, but you're going to have to learn from your own mistakes. Most people do. Some continually do well, but most make mistakes. When you make mistakes, they will hurt you. Let me tell you something else. Not only will you make mistakes, but almost everyone does. They make crazy mistakes. I've certainly made mistakes in my career and investing, and it's devastating when you make mistakes.

When you're interviewing for a law firm, if you're unemployed or have made a mistake, it will be very difficult. I remember placing an attorney at a big law firm in Madison, Wisconsin. He was there for a week, and another firm saw him on the website and called up the firm. As a patent attorney, he had made a horrible patent mistake two years ago. The firm fired him for his old mistake. Mistakes can follow you.

You will make mistakes. People will go on interviews and make mistakes. People will do all sorts of things. Mistakes are very serious for a lot of people. It's upsetting to them. You may have gotten a bad grade in a class. My fiancée was at Harvard, took a difficult economics class, and got a D on it. It made it impossible to go to law school. Some people make mistakes, and it's very hard.

When you make mistakes, you see people every day that made mistakes. You probably think you made a mistake where you went to law school, at a law firm, or in an interview. Everybody has these mistakes, and they haunt them. Every attorney is haunted by their mistakes. Recruiters help candidates overcome their mistakes. A good recruiter, like a lawyer, packages their candidates in a way that makes them more likely to get hired.

A good recruiter works with a candidate to make their background look like a good fit for a law firm. This skill took my company from one person working in my garage to 850 people at one point. Understanding how to package people helped me grow and succeed.

So, what does that mean if you're an attorney? As an attorney, your clients will make mistakes. Representing someone getting sued means they made a mistake. Representing a company in a transaction means someone made a past mistake. If a company goes bankrupt, you have to help them out of a mistake or prevent a mistake. You have to learn from your mistakes and help the people you're representing learn from theirs.

What do you do if you’ve made mistakes? I was talking to an incredibly talented attorney yesterday. He went to Harvard for college and Columbia for law school, worked at an incredible firm for seven years, then lost his job. He knew he lost his job because he made mistakes, maybe in choosing the firm or not getting business. This guy reviewed almost everything I’d written to position himself better. Your ability to learn from mistakes is crucial.

The best people in almost every profession put themselves in positions to learn. Watching things like this is learning from mistakes. People get coaches and mentors to help them learn. This is something recruiters do. I've been doing this for 20 years, finding different firms and places where candidates can apply. The legal market is large and requires a lot of resources to monitor and understand it. Our company has over 100 researchers and recruiters constantly monitoring the market and finding new firms.

What does this mean for you? In your career, you need to draw on many resources to be as strong as possible. Get information from the best people. Use research to benefit your clients in the best way. When searching for a job, don’t just rely on LinkedIn, LawCrossing, or Indeed. Use a variety of resources to find a job.

When people search for jobs, they often do it poorly. You may be looking for a job and think it's hard to get interviews. You might think there's something wrong with the legal market. If you're searching for a job, don’t just look on LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, LawCrossing, and Indeed. Those are some resources, but what about others? Research law firm websites, send your resume with a write-up, and research different associations. People often don't use these methods. There are many opportunities in every market.

To be successful as a recruiter or attorney, you must know how to use resources effectively. Caring about clients and your work will make you more successful. We'll take a quick break and return to answer questions.


So again, any questions that you have, I'm happy to answer. Just a quick note that questions are anonymous. I hear your name here as well. Put it on if you're quiet, I won't put your name. Her name is shown in the Zoom, but that's all. Getting lost in the sea of resumes and applications is common, but successful legal recruiters can help you stand out. They effectively showcase unique skills and expertise, grab the attention of hiring managers, and ensure your application doesn't get lost among others.

The quality of the presentation is important, meaning our presentations include colored pictures. Additionally, the way an application is received matters. Sometimes resumes get mixed with others, so we take extra steps to ensure follow-up. When you submit a resume online, it just sits there, and you hope something happens. When we submit a resume to a law firm, we send them a weekly newsletter with links to all submitted resumes. I also send inspirational articles to the law firms. For instance, I recently wrote about the importance of attorneys staying long-term in their positions.

Every week, I stay in touch with law firms, reminding them of all the candidates with links for review. We also conduct webinars for law firms, keeping in touch consistently. At BCG, we send a comprehensive report every two weeks with all the resumes and submissions. This is our process. When you're trying to get a position, it often appears annoying to law firms if you follow up too much. Law firms want to be in charge of the decision-making process. If they see you sending constant messages, they might view you as a less desirable candidate.

One effective way to get a law firm's attention is by personally dropping off your resume. Delivering it in a manila envelope can make you stand out. I used to run a company called Legal Authority, which printed and sent resumes and cover letters to law firms in different geographic areas. Sending a letter instead of an email can make a massive difference because it's rare and impactful.

For example, I remember when I had a law firm in Malibu, and only two people walked in to hand me their resume over ten years. One of them got hired. Walking into an office can make a significant impression.

Next question: Is it beneficial to work exclusively with one recruiter or engage with multiple recruiters simultaneously? What are the pros and cons of each approach? Working with multiple recruiters means you can leverage their different contacts and relationships with firms. Hiring is based on qualifications and relationships. A recruiter with strong relationships at certain firms might be more effective. However, most recruiters won’t get offended if you work with others, as their job is to present as many opportunities as possible.

Another question: Is it normal for a recruiter to ask personal questions during the initial conversation? A recruiter's job is to connect with you, but excessive personal questions are unnecessary. Most recruiters focus on professional qualifications. If you feel uncomfortable with the questions, you shouldn't work with that recruiter.

This question is about identifying recruiters who prioritize quality over quantity. Some recruiters need to create a market for you, contacting many firms to find opportunities. This approach can be very effective. High-quality recruiters who are passionate about their work can significantly impact your job search. If you find a recruiter who produces detailed, personalized materials, that's beneficial.

Why do you focus exclusively on big law attorneys, even though they represent about 5% of all attorneys, and not smaller law firms? Actually, I don’t focus exclusively on big law attorneys. At BCG, we have around 25,000 active candidates from various backgrounds, not just big law attorneys.

Whether you work with one or multiple recruiters, focus on their relationships with firms and the quality of their work. Personalized, high-quality presentations and consistent follow-up can make a significant difference in your job search.

Big law attorneys represent a very small percentage of what we handle because most of the activity is in smaller firms. It's in insurance defense, personal injury, and trust and estate law. That's where most of the activity is. I don't focus on big law attorneys because I think it's incredibly pompous that many recruiting firms do nothing but that. They target larger firms for higher commissions, but we don't focus exclusively on big law attorneys. It's the exact opposite. It's much better for us to focus on smaller law firms.

Next question. I'm glad you asked that because it's just not true. In the current economic climate, what specialties of law are least affected for new hires and which are the most resilient?

The most active practice areas are always litigation, including commercial or insurance. Other areas doing well include personal injury, trust and estates, and immigration, depending on the economic climate. For example, under certain political administrations, the demand for immigration services may vary. Let me pull up a database to show you different practice areas. This is a good question, so I'll go over some practice areas for you, focusing on Los Angeles.

When trying to enter a niche practice area, it's always risky. For example, antitrust and bankruptcy can be risky because they are very niche. However, construction is a very good practice area. There is always a demand for construction litigation for plaintiffs, defendants, and construction defects. Construction is always a great practice area, regardless of the economic climate, and it’s especially good in LA and Orange County. Corporate law is not a good practice area when the economy is not doing well. Sometimes M&A can do okay, but securities and general corporate are always bad when the economy is slow. Corporate attorneys are in high demand when the economy is good, but it's a very risky area to go into if you're a law student or new attorney.

Data privacy is not a good practice area anymore. Education law is always good, but it’s very niche with limited opportunities. Entertainment and new media are very difficult with low pay. Environmental law is good, family law is very good, and finance is difficult like corporate law. Health care law is always very good due to its importance in the economy. Immigration and insurance law are always good. Insurance coverage and defense are great practice areas. Intellectual property is not good, except for trademark which is in demand now. Labor and employment law is always good, both for plaintiffs and wage and hour cases.

Litigation, in general, does well, including workers' compensation, white-collar crime, trust and estates, securities, real estate, product liability, mass torts, health care, and criminal law. All these areas are good to be in. For commercial litigation in big firms, you need very good qualifications from top law schools. Municipal law is good but not widely practiced. Real estate can do well but is dependent on the economy. Tax law is very risky, especially for transactional tax attorneys. State and local tax can be good, but generally, it's difficult for tax attorneys to get jobs without an LLM.

Trust and estates is an excellent practice area right now, with high demand and multiple job offers for candidates. Workers' compensation is also a great practice area, though the pay is not as high.

In your past job search, if you made mistakes that may have affected your chances with certain firms, a lead recruiter can assist you by helping you learn from those mistakes and positioning yourself better for future opportunities. Recruiters are salespeople looking for the best product. If they don't see you as a good product, they won't help you much. However, if you present yourself well, they can help you find the best opportunities.

Thank you for the questions. I hope this webinar has been informative. The main message is that to succeed in representing clients and working for people, you must genuinely care about what you're doing. If you don't see yourself caring about being a lawyer and representing people, you won't do as well as you could. My hope for you is that you learn from this and do much better in your career. Thank you, everyone, and I will be back next week.

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

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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