In-House Finance Attorney Returns to AmLaw Firm: From Law to Business and Back to Law |

In-House Finance Attorney Returns to AmLaw Firm: From Law to Business and Back to Law

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Traditionally-speaking, we have not seen firms entertain lateral candidates who have worked as in-house counsel only, or who did practice at a firm and then went in-house. Firms tell us that the attorney left the firm setting for a reason, or was not attracted to one - or could not enter one – to begin with, and this is not the sort of attorney who is a promising candidate to be happy and succeed within a law firm setting for the long-term. This is what we have always heard from firms and I have often communicated to my candidates firms' reticence to consider someone who has been a generalist, "forgotten" how to account for every 15 minutes of billable time, etc. Because of all this, it was with some surprise - and a great deal of delight! - that I placed an attorney who had not only been in-house but, who has actually not been practicing but, rather, was on the business side of things for the past few years, back at a top regional AmLaw 200 firm. This tells me that Finance, predicted to be strong in this current climate, is indeed, in demand.
In-House Finance Attorney Returns to AmLaw Firm: From Law to Business and Back to Law

The candidate did have a very strong background. He went to a top law school in the region (and top 25 nationally), did very well there, and joined a strong AmLaw 100 firm, where he was for a few years. Here, he gained really strong experience with top practitioners. His firm is well known in Banking and Finance. The candidate was actually recruited away by one of his main clients, and a powerful client in Charlotte, the banking capital, and strongest Finance market outside of New York City. Additionally, when the candidate did go in-house, and not into the legal department, he went into a very niche and specific business practice and essentially became the client. As a Finance leader at his bank, the candidate was very hands on in the credit agreement creation, negotiating, and execution. He was able to see his previous client's full gamut of goals, challenges, parameters, and restrictions. The candidate also had the opportunity to assess outside counsel's work products and practices and it sharpened his own attorney skills. He told me he often made notes as to what he used to do, what he thought his counsel could have done better, and what he would do differently in the future practicing at a firm.

I submitted him to all the top Finance practices - national firms and more regional firms as well. In all, we reached out to about 25 firms, and we received interest from one firm for an interview. The firm met with the candidate twice, the second time soon after the first, and then made him an offer the very next day. This is quick in any market but, in the days of Covid-19, it is exceptionally swift action on the part of the firm.

This candidate is one of a few strong Finance candidates with whom I am working but, the others are in New York and the firms there are in still a bit of a wait-and-see holding pattern whereas in Charlotte, they moved quickly.

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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