I reached out to the candidate in early March 2019, by emailing her directly at her firm email address. I told her that I had recently placed another Associate from her firm at a great national mid-sized firm (Bowman & Brooke), and would be happy to do the same for her. She responded and we set up a time to chat on the phone. She explained over the phone that she wanted to move to a larger market than the one that she was currently based out of (LA or the OC rather than Ontario). She was also looking to search because one of the founding Partners of her firm had recently left to become a Judge, and the other Partners were forced to buy him out, so her salary would be frozen until 2021 (for almost two years). She was in the low 100's as a second year, which is quite low for a Class of 2017 litigator, and she was hoping for 115-120 to make a move. I knew that I would be able to do this for her.
In terms of her marketability, this candidate was a decent junior litigator - not exceptional, but solid. She attended a Top 50 California-based law school, was in the Top 25% of her class there, participated in Moot Court, obtained a few scholarships, attended a UC school for her undergraduate studies, did well there and was the first in her family to attend college. She had also been at her firm since graduation, a 14-person, two-office firm with offices in small markets in California. Her practice centered around general commercial litigation and municipal law. I found it particularly impressive that she worked her way through college as a shuttle bus driver for her undergraduate school. Firms like to see experiences on a candidate's resume that demonstrate the candidate's commitment, resilience, perseverance and drive. Examples of this are playing a varsity sport in college, running marathons regularly, participating in triathlons regularly, past military experience, etc. But, this certainly can include socioeconomic diversity as well, which is why I highlighted on this particular candidate's cover letter that she was the first in her family to attend college and worked her way through college.
When we started working together, this candidate was a bit junior. She had a year and five months of post-graduate law school experience. While some really exceptional first year candidates can obtain interviews even within their first year at a firm (think, top law schools, great grades, top firms), decent candidates usually need to wait a bit longer to see the same traction. This candidate obtained an interview through me when we first started working together, at the Ontario office of a strong public entity-focused CA-based firm (with a DC office), but after a phone screen with her, the firm told us that they weren't sure about their needs and were putting her candidacy on hold. I told them multiple times that she would be interested in their OC office as well, but they didn't respond to my multiple emails. Interestingly enough, sometimes firms are interested in candidates for one of their offices but not another office. This is because perhaps this firm was receiving a lot of strong applications for junior litigators for their OC office (a larger market), but were having trouble attracting even decent litigators for their Ontario office. So, whereas this candidate was maybe not strong enough, or didn't stack up against the candidates that were applying in the OC, she was probably one of the only decent litigators applying for Ontario.
This candidate was very proactive about searching for firms and opportunities that we at BCG had posted on our website, and sending them to me to review and add to her list if I deemed them appropriate for her. Still, despite both of us staying on top of the market, we weren't able to get her traction until I resubmitted her to a batch of firms in September, six months after I had originally submitted her with no response. It's possible that her application slipped through the cracks the first time around, or that she was too junior when we first applied her, but now that she had two years of post-law school experience, the firm was interested. Regardless, it can be helpful for you or your Recruiter to resubmit to firms from which you never received an answer after six months have passed since your original submission.
The firm that was interested in interviewing her is a national, 12-office firm that does a lot of insurance coverage as well as local government work (she does a lot of the latter). Their Irvine office was interested in interviewing her, and the firm set up one callback interview with several Partners.
Clearly the candidate did very well in the interview, because the day after the interview, the firm was asking about her salary expectations and said that they were looking to get authority for the hire. My candidate was hoping for $120K-$125K, but the most we were able to get her was a base of $116K (which was what she had originally said that she was targeting). We were, however, able to get her a $3K relocation bonus, to help with the transition from Ontario to the OC.
In the end, this candidate is very excited to move from a small firm to a national, mid-sized, multi office firm, where she will be able to expand the breadth and sophistication of her practice. I think that the firm that she landed at is a great upwards lateral move for her, and I know that she will excel at her new firm home!
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.