White Collar Litigator Who Went In-House for Several Years and Wants to Return to a Large Law Firm | BCGSearch.com

White Collar Litigator Who Went In-House for Several Years and Wants to Return to a Large Law Firm


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Attorneys often leave law firms to work in-house. The problem with an attorney leaving a law firm to go in-house is that once they do this, it raises suspicions about whether or not that attorney wants to work inside a law firm. Attorneys that take positions in-house often have a very difficult time returning to law firms.
White Collar Litigator Who Went In-House for Several Years and Wants to Return to a Large Law Firm

A white-collar litigator who had been in-house for several years, contacted me. Before going in-house, he had been a nonequity partner in a large law firm. White-collar litigation is a very difficult practice area for attorneys to get jobs in laterally. One of the reasons it so difficult is that there’s a lot of demand for these positions and not a lot of them. Most of the jobs are filled by attorneys coming from the US attorney’s office, or with existing practices in large law firms. Here, the attorney comes from an in-house environment that wasn’t government related nor had he had experience with existing practices. Moreover, this attorney did not have any business and was trying to get a position in one of the most difficult and largest markets in the country.

A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
The attorney told me he missed the challenges of working in a large law firm and hoped to go back. He also enjoyed litigating and felt that working in-house and a job that had zero to do with white-collar litigation was not making use of his skills.
I knew this would be a difficult placement because large law firms are likely to be turned off by attorneys who have gone in-house. They would also be likely turned off by the fact that the attorney did not have any recent experience over the past several years doing white-collar related litigation. To place this attorney, I needed to cut a wide swath into the market and put my credibility with law firms on the line that I needed to find a law firm that was new and booming and potentially could feed this attorney work.
New law firms are good sources of opportunity for attorneys in unconventional situations. For one thing, they typically are led by one or more charismatic individuals that can bring in business and are very enthusiastic. Second, those newer law firms seek credibility in the market which means employing attorneys who have been partners in large law firms and have excellent educational qualifications and pedigrees is very attractive to them. Newer law firms use the pedigrees of their attorneys to bring in more business and give them legitimacy in the market. Moreover, law firms tend to have the ability to overlook weaknesses in a candidate’s background that large law firms would never tolerate.
I identified a few younger growing law firms that appeared to be dabbling in white-collar related work as well as more significant other matters. Despite the fact that I had never worked with these firms before, I contacted them to see if they might have interest in meeting someone with my candidate's qualifications. Because his background was so unusual, I was not able to get a lot of interest in him, though one firm did agree to meet with my candidate. The meeting went well, and within a few weeks after the initial meeting, the candidate received an offer.
Finding the firm I did for the candidate and also “pitching” the candidate to the firm was something that is not easy. It was difficult because very few people leave law for as many years as this candidate. Even the new law firm that I pitched the candidate to was initially quite skeptical; however, after they met him they were enthusiastic and ended up making him an offer.
Something that many people do not understand about recruiting and placement is that it is much more than simply matching people up to openings. Instead, the process involves figuring out the strengths of the candidate and also the potential needs of a law firm. The more I do this work, the more rewarding it is and the more fun I have. I am very confident that there is very little chance that this candidate would’ve been placed had I not been able to understand the market the way I do.

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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, 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.
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