Graduate of a Top Law School With No Law Firm Experience Who Went the Government Route Out of Law School |

Graduate of a Top Law School With No Law Firm Experience Who Went the Government Route Out of Law School


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I was contacted by a top law school graduate who had never worked in a law firm. This candidate was several years out of school. Not only had this attorney not worked in a law firm, the position they had out of law school was in government offices located in a small town hundreds of miles from a major city. According to the attorney, they never wanted to work in a law firm, and believed public service was the best route. Despite this fact, after several years of working in public service, they decided it might be time for them to get experience working in a large law firm. I was upfront with the candidate telling them this would be very difficult since the candidate was several years out of law school, had never worked in a law firm and did not have the requisite training—and possibly the motivation— to work in a major law firm.
Graduate of a Top Law School With No Law Firm Experience Who Went the Government Route Out of Law School

Despite this, the attorney expressed an interest to work in one of the most competitive markets within a major US city that there was. I wanted to help the attorney because their law school was so impressive and I understood the importance of the attorney getting trained in a major law firm. The training an attorney gets inside a major law firm is much different than the training most attorneys get with the government. Attorneys are trained to be thorough, spend a lot of time on matters so they don’t make mistakes. Lastly, working for law firms entails more hours than most government offices. This sort of training develops a lot of skills and the work ethic many government attorneys never have. This is not to say that all government attorneys are bad—or anything of the sort. Something else to keep in mind is most government offices are not as demanding on their attorneys as the largest law firms are on their attorneys.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

When I decided to represent the attorney, I told him that we would need to cut a wide swath in the market they were interested in and look at several firms, and they had to give me the option to call and speak with as many as was possible. I also explained to the attorney that they would compete with attorneys who were currently working in law firms for the same jobs, and that this was something that would invariably make a major law firm difficult. Why would a major law firm take a risk on someone who has never worked in a law firm, especially as there are plenty of people with law firm experience who can choose from. That was a dilemma the attorney was facing.

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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,, and, 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
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