Senior Real Estate Attorney Doing a Nationwide Search Finds a Great Job in California |

Senior Real Estate Attorney Doing a Nationwide Search Finds a Great Job in California


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A senior real estate attorney unemployed for the past five years contacted me looking for a position anywhere in the country. The attorney formally worked in a major city on the East Coast in the real estate practice area for several years for a major law firm. While the attorney enjoyed being involved in real estate, they worked excessive hours, which finally burned out their desire to practice law. The attorney took several years off during which they traveled extensively, wrote and took advantage of many outside interests — including volunteering. Nevertheless, having relaxed and experienced outside interests, the attorney decided they were interested in returning to the practice of law.
Senior Real Estate Attorney Doing a Nationwide Search Finds a Great Job in California

It is rare once an attorney leaves the practice of law for them to return to law, particularly within an established law firm. This is especially true when an attorney has worked in a demanding market. Attorneys that have worked in very demanding markets typically do not have interest in returning to the practice of law after they receive a taste of what it is like to not work in a major law firm for an extended period of time. They realize there are other things to life than working long hours in an office, and with that, their values often quickly change. This is one reason why many attorneys learned early in their career that a person can never not be practicing for too long of a time if they want to stay in the game. Law firms, for their part, are also aware that once an attorney has not been working in a law firm for an extended period of time they are unlikely to be very enthusiastic about returning and, when they do often do not fit well within a law firm or the law practice in general. The attorneys that do go back to practicing law after having taken time off will frequently leave the law firms they join after a short period of time.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

In the case of this attorney, I explained to them that returning to the practice of law would be quite difficult because of the time off that had. I further explained that their odds of returning to a large law firm and earning a big firm salary were also something that was going to be difficult. The attorney had so much down time; the odds of a law firm taking their return to a law seriously were quite slim. It is one thing if someone has taken time off to have children, even though that can be difficult. It is another thing when the attorney has simply left because they did not appreciate the long hours and stress associated with their practice.
In the case of this attorney, things were a bit different. This attorney was so good at their job that the law firm literally overwhelmed them with work to the point of spending 70+ hours in the office week after week, year after year. The attorney at one point worked so hard that one of their blood vessels in their eyes exploded. When this attorney went to the emergency room, another attorney that they worked with called the attorney’s emergency contact— who happened to be their parents— and told them that if the attorney did not come back into the office, they risked losing their job. Large law firms can be brutal places and this was one of the more brutal stories that I’ve heard in my career.
Because the attorney was in a nationwide search, the last place in the world that I thought they would be able to get an interview was with a good law firm in California. California is a very difficult market for attorneys to lateral into because all attorneys need to take the bar exam before they come to California and it is difficult to get positions when an outside attorney is competing with local attorneys. Here, I was working with a firm where I held an exclusive search agreement. Additionally, the law firm did not advertise their open position, which gave me an advantage of knowing the types of candidates that would be attractive to this firm. Just as advantageous was the firm’s hiring attorney who listened to my recommendation of who they should hire.
I made a strong case that this attorney would be an excellent hire. First, the attorney had an excellent background and a lot of the reason for their absence was due to the fact that they were so good at their work. Second, I felt that the time off the attorney took was something that was more likely to be beneficial to the law firm than not. The attorney actually wanted to go back in to practicing law and was newly committed where attorneys from other sorts of backgrounds might not be. When I spoke with the attorney about my candidate, I was able to make a very clear case that under no circumstance should the attorney not hire this particular candidate.
The attorney met with the firm and did very well in their interviews. The law firm was very enthusiastic about the attorney and the attorney was likewise quite enthusiastic. Shortly after the meeting, the law firm extended the attorney an offer and the placement ended up going through. After the attorney had been at the law firm for a few months, they took and passed the California bar. This attorney was able to get an excellent position due to their ability to be geographically flexible, my development of a good rapport with the hiring attorney, and my advocacy on the attorney’s behalf due to their being quite extraordinary.

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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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