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The Standard in Attorney Search and Placement
Regardless of who you are, everyone needs encouragement—and attorneys are no exception.
Since you (presumably) spend the majority of your time at work, encouragement at work is even more important. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of encouragement in the law firm world. Any encouragement that does exist only comes when an attorney bills a lot of hours, which may lead to a higher bonus and being told they are doing well. An attorney who brings in a lot of business may also be encouraged. READ MORE >
If you are reading this, you are probably an average attorney.
Do not despair—most attorneys are average. If you are not an average attorney now, the odds are that you will be a mediocre attorney in the future. If you are an average attorney now, it is likely that you will always be an average attorney. You may start out as someone who seems destined to be an exceptional attorney, but end up an average one. Alternatively, you may begin your career with expectations that you will be an average attorney and end up an exceptional one. READ MORE >
Boutique firms love candidates with hands on litigation experience. Small firms often take cases to trial, as opposed to big law firms that aim to settle cases they are defending for large clients. Boutiques are a great option for attorneys who want real courtroom experience early in their career. Many provide hands on experience, allowing their associates to do as much trial work as they want and forgoing mock exercises that some larger firms use as a substitute for real experience. Many also provide a collegial work environment and market pay. They are should not be overlooked in a job search. READ MORE >
Career anxiety—and how you react to it—can define your legal career. Some types of career anxiety are fixable, while others aren’t. Understanding the causes of career anxiety, knowing how to protect yourself, and avoiding common mistakes can help keep you on the right path. READ MORE >
This candidate had always been interested in the business world, and earned an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Thereafter and prior to attending law school, he worked in various finance- and tax-related jobs in the Midwestern city in which he grew up. Ultimately desiring to attend graduate school, he decided to pursue both a J.D. and M.B.A. jointly, and was admitted at a top 20 law school which also had a top 20 part-time M.B.A. program. Working hard in both arenas, he was particularly involved in entrepreneurial/ startup-focused coursework on the business side, and also performed well academically in his law school classes. He loved the ability to apply his experience in business school to his legal coursework, and vice versa. READ MORE >
From my most recent placement, we can glean that both Tech Transactions and Data Privacy continue to be very hot nationwide, and that strong tech transactions and data privacy candidates who are applying to firms don't necessarily need the bar license of the states to which they are applying to still be very marketable. READ MORE >
The first summer after I graduated from law school, I was a summer clerk in the Justice Department in Washington, DC. I was young, overly confident, and thought very highly of myself. I figured that because of my academic success—and the fact that I was the only first-year law student hired into this particular Justice Department program—I must be special and I knew everything I was doing. READ MORE >
Data Privacy is one of a handful of "new" practice areas for which we are seeing a lot of activity, especially for candidate with relevant experience. It is difficult to find candidates with more than two or three years of data privacy experience, because the modern-day data privacy statutes passed around two to three years ago. Another example of a "new" field that is getting a lot of traction lately is cannabis, although I would argue that data privacy is even hotter as it has never had a negative stigma attached to it. READ MORE >
Labor & Employment continues to be a very hot practice area throughout California. Even small-firm candidates with somewhat "clunky" backgrounds but with strong and substantive defense-side Labor & Employment experience may have success moving up to a midsized or larger firm. READ MORE >
Every candidate placement can teach us something about the market and about the marketability of similarly-situated candidates. In the case of the candidate that I just placed, I learned that Labor & Employment continues to be a very hot practice area throughout California, and even senior Labor & Employment attorneys are placeable (even though, for example, senior General Litigators are very hard to place). I also learned that it is important for the Recruiter and for the candidate not to give up, and for the Recruiter to continue to apply the candidate to firms and new opportunities, even to the same firm multiple times if the new opening that pops up is a closer fit to the candidate's practice area, experience and specialty than the original opening that the candidate was applied for. READ MORE >
All attorneys strive for success in their law firms and want more responsibility, complex work, and greater recognition. However, there is a price to pay for accomplishing your goals. The stress of law firm life may cause many health problems, including premature aging, disease, or even early death. This article discusses several ways the well-being of attorneys suffers from the constant demands of law firm life. READ MORE >
The latest candidate that I placed, a junior general litigator based out of Ontario, CA (a small market to the east of Los Angeles), is a great example of the fact that persistence, both on the part of the Recruiter and on the part of the candidate, can really pay off when it comes to a lateral firm search. READ MORE >
Every candidate is different, and every candidate placement can teach us something about the marketability of certain candidates and / or what a candidate can do in order to maximize his or her chances of getting a great offer. READ MORE >
My company often helps candidates at different times and sometimes several times throughout their careers. For the candidate that I just placed, my company started working with her on a firm search in Boston in early 2015 and through early 2016. She then decided to put her job search on hold and to stay at her then-current employer, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration in Boston, for the time being. However, she reached out to us again several years later, in early 2019, and was interested in looking at firm options again in Boston, where she is still located, but also in SF / the Bay Area, where she is from and where her family lives. At that point, I looped in one of my fellow East Coast Recruiters to help her out with her Boston search, and I submitted her to firms in SF, Silicon Valley and the East Bay from the end of February through the end of March. She then put her job search on hold yet again, until the end of July, when she reached out to me for a final time. This time, she only wanted to focus on her SF / Bay Area search, as her husband and she had decided that they definitely wanted to move back to SF. READ MORE >
I recently placed a mid-level litigator at a national, eleven-office firm. This doesn't sound like anything to write home about, but it is actually quite difficult to place general litigators at large national firms. There is an abundance of litigators - in fact, I've heard a statistic that 90% of attorneys are litigators and 10% are corporate attorneys. General litigators (at the higher end of the spectrum, general commercial litigators, but at the lower end, PI attorneys, plaintiff's side Labor & Employment attorneys, etc.) are the most common types of litigators, so you can imagine that the competition is stiff for these attorneys when it comes to the lateral firm market, especially when these attorneys are attempting to lateral between or to large national firms. READ MORE >
Let me start by saying that it is, unfortunately, very, very difficult for a Recruiter to place an unemployed Associate or Partner candidate at a law firm. Whether the candidate was laid off, fired or left the firm on his or her own accord, sometimes for a very good reason, future potential employers will assume the worst. The employer is much likelier to give the candidate's previous firm the benefit of the doubt rather than the candidate, and will think that the candidate doesn't play well with others, is a quitter, produces low quality work product, etc. Candidates who are unemployed will often do better applying directly to firms, or applying through internal referrals at firms, rather than going through a Recruiter. READ MORE >
Let me begin this case study by underlining the fact that it is very, very difficult for Associates to transition from one practice area to another, even at a junior level. I rarely, rarely see this done in my own practice. If a candidate is able to do this, usually it is because he or she is still very junior and 1) he or she applies through a friend at the firm (especially if the friend is in the practice area that he or she wants to transition to), 2) his or her practice area is closely related to the new practice area or 3) he or she has a demonstrated background and interest in the practice area that he or she is transitioning to, either in terms of law school classes, clubs, previous careers, etc. READ MORE >
I should mention right off the bat that I rarely work with Plaintiff-side Labor & Employment candidates. This is for several reasons: 1) these candidates usually apply on their own and get very quick traction on their own, 2) most of the openings in P-side Labor & Employment are at very small firms that often do not want to pay Recruiter fees and 3) even if a firm is willing to pay a Recruiter fee, I find that there is usually very high turnover at P-side Labor & Employment firms, and it is hard to find one with a good culture that I feel good sending my candidates to. READ MORE >
Recent law school graduates who are coming off of a clerkship can be a tough proposition for a Legal Recruiter. It is a lot easier for us to place candidates who left their firm, did a clerkship and are now looking to go back to a firm, than a candidate who went straight to a clerkship after law school and are now looking to land at their first firm. Another element of difficulty is added when the candidate is coming off of a Bankruptcy clerkship. Ideally, these candidates would land in a Bankruptcy position or at a Bankruptcy boutique firm, but these positions and firms are very few and far between, especially in this stronger economy (however, Bankruptcy will probably see a resurgence if the economy experiences a slowdown or recession). READ MORE >
I very recently placed an LLM candidate at a top Am Law 100 firm in Silicon Valley. I really didn't think that I would be able to place her. It is very, very hard to place LLM candidates. This candidate had reached out to me on LinkedIn, asking for help with her search. I found her profile in my company's database from a previous contact with my company, and saw that she had been rejected as a candidate that we didn't think that we could work with or place. I was, as a result, initially very on the fence about working with her. I hadn't previously had success with LLM candidates, and she currently worked at the Silicon Valley office of a Chinese law firm (a law firm that probably would be unrecognizable to most firms). However, she had several things going for her: 1) she is Chinese and speaks Mandarin fluently, 2) she was at one of the best Chinese law firms (and we could say so in her cover letter), 3) she is an American citizen and therefore has her green card, 4) she has sophisticated and high-level General Corporate and cross-border M&A /Venture Capital experience and 5) perhaps most importantly, she had previously worked at a top American Am Law 100 firm in Shanghai for a couple of years before lateraling to her current firm (she had wanted to move to the Bay Area to be with her American husband, but wasn't able to land at an American law firm at that time). I think that what really saved this candidate was that she speaks fluent Mandarin, regularly works in Mandarin and with Chinese clients, and that she worked at a top American Am Law 100 firm in the past. If she had only had experience at the Chinese law firm, I think that her search would have been a lot more difficult. READ MORE >
I recently worked with a candidate who was different from any other candidate that I had previously worked with. To her credit, she had great academic credentials – she graduated from a top five law school and a solid undergraduate school with top grades from the latter. However, she was currently in a policy fellowship at the headquarters of a renowned tech company in Washington, DC, had no law firm experience, either post-graduation or during her law school summers, and her resume was heavily public-interest focused (which can raise a red flag in law firms' minds about a candidate's commitment to going to a firm and staying there long-term). During her 2L summer, she did serve as a Legal Intern at a renowned government agency, and obtained some antitrust-related legal research and writing experience there, but otherwise her experience was mostly in international human rights and international justice. READ MORE >
One of the many advantages to using a Recruiter, in particular BCG, for your lateral law firm is that we have honed some very close relationships with and connections to our client firms, and these firms therefore take our candidates seriously, even preferencing them over other candidates that may apply on their own. We have relationships with all different sizes of firms boutique, mid-sized and Big Law firm. Whereas a lot of Recruiting companies only work with Am Law 100 and 200 firms, we work with everything from mom and pop solo practices all the way up to Big Law firms. This placement was with a tiny plaintiff-side Labor & Employment / consumer class action firm (I have spoken with Recruiters at other companies, and they do not work with Plaintiff-side Labor & Employment firms). READ MORE >
I first met this candidate in February 2019, when she reached out to us about a litigation opening we had posted on the BCG website. This candidate was very junior, law school class of 2018, and had attended a regional law school. She had, however, excelled in law school, graduating ranked second in her class and serving on the executive board of her school's law review. After reviewing her resume, I reached out to the candidate via text message and set up an introductory phone call for the next day. READ MORE >
Every time that I place a candidate at a law firm, I try to take away some lesson, or some rule that I can apply to other candidates. Of course, it is hard to do this, as every candidate is different in his or her own unique way (his or her "unique value proposition", as my CEO calls it). But there are always some general overarching themes that I take away from each candidate, and the same is true for the candidate that I just placed. READ MORE >
"I like BCG because I felt like, well I am going to direct my comments toward Romina because..." Read more
Katherine ThorntonVanderbilt University Law School, Class Of 2011Placed at Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne, A Law Corporation.
"My recruiter helped me achieve my life-long goal of working in a big law firm. When every..." Read moreMarnie KudonVermont Law School, Class Of 2005Placed at Locke Lord LLP
"A lot of times when you work with others it's just a series of emails back and forth but,..." Read more
Michael KowsariThe Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class Of 1996Placed at Frantz Ward LLP.
"I had a really good experience. My recruiter was great, she was very responsive. I loved..." Read moreFrank SciremammanoSyracuse University College of Law, Class of 2012
"Lorie was very attentive and very much aware of what I wanted, what I didn't want, she was..." Read more
Farah AlkayedIndiana University Maurer School of Law, Class Of 2016Placed at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A.
"Karen really helped streamline what can be a very overwhelming process and made it very..." Read more
Elizabeth CummingsLoyola University New Orleans School of Law, Class Of 2008Placed at Tucker Ellis LLP