Municipal, Education, Employment and Insurance Associate Transitions to Healthcare Litigation |

Municipal, Education, Employment and Insurance Associate Transitions to Healthcare Litigation


Print/Download PDF

Font Size


 from  Office 

Rate this Case Study

4 Reviews Average: 4.4 out of 5

Let me begin this case study by underlining the fact that it is very, very difficult for Associates to transition from one practice area to another, even at a junior level. I rarely, rarely see this done in my own practice. If a candidate is able to do this, usually it is because he or she is still very junior and 1) he or she applies through a friend at the firm (especially if the friend is in the practice area that he or she wants to transition to), 2) his or her practice area is closely related to the new practice area or 3) he or she has a demonstrated background and interest in the practice area that he or she is transitioning to, either in terms of law school classes, clubs, previous careers, etc.
Municipal, Education, Employment and Insurance Associate Transitions to Healthcare Litigation

The candidate that I just placed fell into the latter two of these buckets. She graduated from a top law school in Los Angeles in May 2017, with a GPA of 3.48 (a strong GPA, in my book). She also had obtained a BA in Neuroscience, a BS in Global Health and an MS in Global Medicine from the same school's medical school, thus demonstrating a very strong interest in and commitment to health and medicine. She had two health-related internships / externships from her time in law school, including one at a well-known hospital network, and the other at the California Department of Justice in the Health Quality Enforcement Section. In terms of her practice, it is mostly unrelated to health, but there is some overlap. She does 50% municipal, education (including special education) and Labor & Employment, and 50% litigation for health insurance companies. While this is not the same as health care litigation or health care generally, it is at least related, and she regularly handles arbitrations, mediations and claims for the health insurance companies.

I think that what really made her stand out to the health care boutique that ended up hiring her was her academics and her demonstrated interest in health and medicine. Her law school GPA is very good, especially considering the school that she went to, and it is very rare to find even a health care candidate with a BS in Global Health, let alone an MS in Global Medicine. I think it also helped that she regularly handles arbitrations and mediations, which are common in the health care world.
With a candidate whose practice is niche or who has an interest in a niche practice area, I will send to them for their approval and submit them to both current, active, open positions as well as firms with strong groups / practices in the niche practice area, that I know will consider our submissions opportunistically, especially for a niche candidate that is normally difficult to find. This approach does not always work, especially with larger firms, but I do have boutique firms regularly interview my candidates opportunistically because they like their background and experience, and are therefore willing to "find" an opening for them.
This candidate ended up getting one interview at a small boutique health care / managed care reimbursement firm in the OC that was searching for a health care litigation Associate with 3-7 years of litigation and dispute resolution experience, and ideally health plan or hospital operational experience as well. My candidate does have about two years of litigation and dispute resolution experience, but not much in the way of health plan or hospital operational experience, more an interest in these areas. As a side note, I always reach at least one or two years outside of the parameters listed in job descriptions when sending my candidates firms to review and approve, as firms will, for example, often hire a 1st or 2nd year candidate for a 3-7 year posting, as the firm did in this case.
The firm brought my candidate in for one full round interview with their CEO and their two practice group leaders. Their main concern was her commute from Hawthorne (the South Bay), where she lives, to the OC, but we were able to quell this fear by telling them that she was open to and interested in moving to the OC in the next couple of months. The truth is that this candidate would like to keep living in the South Bay, and so she will try the commute and if it becomes too cumbersome, she will move to the OC. I find it helpful to tell firms that the candidate is at least open to and is considering the relocation, just so that it doesn't become an unnecessary stumbling block to the candidate securing the offer, when he or she otherwise would have gotten it.
The firm offered my candidate $15K above the base that she currently makes, which she was happy with. Her main motivation is fully transitioning into health care / getting her foot in the door at a health care firm or in a health care practice, and this is exactly what she is going to do at this firm. She emailed me today saying, "Thank you for all your work and help! I'm very thankful I found your initial email!! I'm looking forward to this transition and the next step in my career!!!"

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
Download the BCG Attorney Search App for the Latest Articles

AGREE/DISAGREE? SHARE COMMENTS ANONYMOUSLY! We Want to Hear Your Thoughts! Tell Us What You Think!!

More Case Studies

View All
We've changed thousands of lives over the past 20 years, and yours could be next.

When you use BCG Attorney Search you will get an unfair advantage because you will use the best legal placement company in the world for finding permanent law firm positions.