I recently worked with an income partner from a major New York law firm who was interested in relocating to a smaller market. Here are a couple of reasons why this move was possible:
The candidate's background is extremely impressive. He has strong credentials; he graduated from a Top 10 law school with solid grades. He also went to a top college and majored in Finance.
The candidate spent his entire career with Am Law 100 firms in New York, where he gained in depth experience in a niche practice area, specifically finance, leveraged finance, and commercial lending transactions. He spent the last 7 years with a top firm, where he eventually earned a spot as income partner. As a general rule, New York trained attorneys do very well when moving to smaller job markets.
The candidate was a loyal employee who received superior reviews from the partners he worked with. He joined his firm when most of his practice group moved from his first firm. He worked with some of the partners for his entire career and was able to secure outstanding references from them when he interviewed.
The candidate had a compelling reason for relocating. He wished to leave New York for another city with a better cost of living. He was looking in several geographic areas and had strong ties to Atlanta. He has family in the area and close friends in the city. A strong connection to a city is essential when relocating; otherwise firms may question your commitment to the move and suspect you may leave again if things do not work out the way you want.
The candidate left his firm voluntarily, in excellent standing, and had a great relationship with the firm. He left his firm before starting his job search because he wanted to travel before settling down long term. He knew he wanted to leave the New York area, so he decided to travel before his move. He was ready to start his search in earnest once he returned from his travels.
The candidate had an open mind. He was flexible regarding title because he did not have a book of business to bring to his next firm. He was also willing to take a salary cut for the right firm, especially if his new city has a better cost of living than New York. His main focus was finding the right position that would allow him to work toward partnership at some point.
So we began his search. We spoke at great length about his experience, and what he was looking for in his next position and new firm. We drafted his resume to focus on his niche experience, starting with a summary of his practice focus, types of clients, examples of work, and industry experience, and then listing firms, educational background, and other legal activities. We also included a separate deal sheet that included three pages of examples of each type of work he did. The resume and deal sheet demonstrated that the candidate is an expert in his field.
We then targeted firms that had strong practice groups in the candidate's field. We looked at firm openings, searched for firms that have looked for similar candidates in the past, and researched firms with strong practice groups in the field. While Atlanta is a smaller market than New York, there are great opportunities for finance attorneys. We submitted the candidate directly to several firms, and sent feelers to others who we thought might be looking for someone like our candidate.
Our candidate immediately received interest from an Am Law 25 firm in Atlanta who was looking for an attorney just like our candidate. They had a job posting for a more junior corporate associate. However, they also happened to be looking for an experienced finance attorney to support several partners in the firm. It was a perfect match!
After speaking with the head of the practice group in Atlanta, several other partners in the Atlanta office and other offices in the firm, and a couple of associates, the candidate received an offer to join the firm as counsel, with the possibility of partnership sometime in the next few years. The offer was exactly what the candidate was looking for. It allowed him to continue practicing in his field with a major, multinational firm, while working toward partnership with a great group of attorneys.
The search demonstrates experienced candidates in niche practice areas can make lateral moves later in their career. It is also always smart to target firms with a strong practice group in your field and reach out to as many firms as possible, even if they do not have an active posting. The candidate had great, specialized experience, which firms often look for opportunistically. The candidate was open regarding title and flexible on salary. Ultimately, his focus was finding the perfect fit and we did just that.
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.