Unemployed Bankruptcy Attorney in Chicago Seeking a New Position | BCGSearch.com

Unemployed Bankruptcy Attorney in Chicago Seeking a New Position


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An unemployed bankruptcy attorney in Chicago contacted me seeking a new position in Chicago. The attorney had gone to a top law school in college and lost their position after approximately a year and a half practice. In addition, the attorney had somewhat of an unusual background because they had never gotten a position as a summer associate either. They had run into trouble getting their first job out of law school and had worked in a public interest job for a year before getting their first position.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
There are many students from top law schools for whom getting a position in a law firm during law school is easy and others for whom it is not. Every year, there are several attorneys in major law schools around the country—including the most prestigious— who are unable to get summer associate jobs during law school and who also do not get jobs with law firms after law school. There is nothing wrong with this for people who want to do other things but when someone does want to work in a major law firm and is unable to get a position this is often a sign that they may be doing something wrong. Here, this attorney was simply maturing into the law firm environment at a different rate than his peers. For many, getting a position in a law firm is something that is easy and for others it is not. Law firms require people to have a certain level of professionalism and act a certain way in order to get jobs there and that everyone has this right away.
Unemployed Bankruptcy Attorney in Chicago Seeking a New Position

This attorney also was dealing with an issue that was somewhat serious because they were not employed at the moment. Not being employed is something that tends to send alarm signals to future employers because it means that the attorney may have quit their job without one lined up— something that shows an inability to persevere, or that the attorney may have been fired. Law firms prefer attorneys that are employed and have a demonstrated commitment to practicing with a law firm. Here, this attorney had never been in the summer associate job and also was unemployed and this was concerning for many law firms.
Despite these negative issues, this attorney had many attractive characteristics that I knew would sell well to law firms. They had experience with a top law firm and had outstanding educational credentials. In addition, the attorney appeared to have learned a lesson from the difficulty of getting a summer associate position, an initial position with a law firm after law school and from the current unemployment. Once an attorney has had a few difficult lessons, they are often much better for and will be much more attractive to future law firms. In this case, I believe that this attorney was going to excel in their next job and it simply matured into a law firm echo system at a slower rate than many of his peers.
There is always a law firm for everyone and a talent a legal recruiter can find these firms. Here, major law firms shied away from this turning because they believed that he might be problematical in his next position. However, I was able to find a couple of very prestigious smaller firms—including one that had just opened an office in Chicago— that were interested in the candidate. These law firms needed someone with his background and experience in were also attracted to his excellent educational pedigree. A short while after interviewing with one of the law firms, the law firm was excited to make the attorney and offer and did. The attorney was hired a short while after in the law firm appeared to be a good fit for the attorney in all respects. It was a successful placement and a good result for an attorney that was just slower to acclimate the law firm environment that many of their peers.
One thing I will say, is that the attorneys that have a more difficult time adjusting to the law firm environment initially are often the ones that appreciate their position in the law firm environment and end up persevering and staying the longest in the end. I’m hoping that is the result that will happen for this attorney.


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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