When I asked what the issue was, the attorney told me that they were not as careful with their work product as they should be and made careless mistakes such as forgetting commas, and other similar things that were non-consequential in nature— but were not something that made the attorney necessarily a good fit for big firm practice. At the time, the legal market for litigation attorneys in Washington DC was not strong. Moreover, this attorney also did not have the best credentials, yet had nonetheless managed to be hired by a large law firm.
One of the things that made this attorney very easy to work with was that they put their faith in the placement process and would carefully review every position they were sent. The attorney was sent every new position that I could find in the areas they were interested in and constantly would review these positions and approve them each day they were sent. Approving positions that the recruiter sends is a very important part of being a successful candidate. Attorneys that do not approve positions put themselves at a disadvantage because they do not have access to as many opportunities. This attorney was initially able to get an interview with a couple of large law firms, but he still was not a fit. The attorney was not comfortable with the way the large law firms interacted with him. He was clearly suitable for a much different sort of practice—and interested in this sort of practice.
The attorney and I spoke for some time about what would be the best route for his career. Large law firms were very similar; however, they also paid a great deal of money. The attorney was willing to accept a salary of more than half of what he was receiving at the large law firm and told me that he would much prefer a salary that was lower than to work in a large law firm. Understanding work-life balance is a complicated calculation when working with attorneys. In some cases, an attorney may be seeking fewer hours—but that is often not something they will get when they go to a smaller firm. In other cases, the reasons for seeking a smaller firm can be cultural, they can be related to work style and they could also be related to the sorts of clients the attorney wants to represent. Here, this attorney was not as concerned with the hours as they were working in an environment that did not strike them as uptight, extremely detail oriented and which would allow them to interact with smaller clients and in court, and spend less time in front of the computer.
While these may sound like difficult goals, in reality, what this attorney sought was to work in a law firm similar to most law firms in the United States. We need to remember that the largest law firms are typically only a small subsection of where attorneys around the United States work. In contrast, most attorneys work in smaller law firms where the work style is much different, they are able to get a lot of client contact and people are not as paranoid about things like a missing comma. This was what this attorney wanted and I respected that.
I got to work, making sure I was the only person able to locate opportunities within smaller law firms for this attorney. We worked together for several months and I was able to find several great opportunities for the attorney. The problem was not the attorney approving the jobs, the problem was that law firms did not understand why he would want to take more than a 50% pay cut to work in a less prestigious firm without the sort of support that he was receiving in his current position. It took a lot of convincing for me to explain to the smaller law firms his interests and the reasons that he would like to interview with them. After hitting several dead ends, I was able to get some firms interested in speaking with the attorney and after interviewing he hit it off and felt very comfortable with one of the law firms. The attorney had not felt comfortable with many of the other firms because he felt the same sort of rigid personalities and culture that he’d experienced within his previous law firm.
The attorney ultimately took a position paying just over half of what he was making at the major law firm. He was very excited about the firm and quickly accepted an offer once it was extended. After starting at the firm, he contacted us and was extremely thankful for us having found him the opportunity. While most attorneys are interested in making more money. We have found attorneys are increasingly interested in the culture and lifestyle of the firms that they are joining.
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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.