Junior BigLaw IP Associate Moves to a Better Firm to Focus on Chosen Niche Practice Area | BCGSearch.com

Junior BigLaw IP Associate Moves to a Better Firm to Focus on Chosen Niche Practice Area

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This placement illustrates how (pre Covid-19) any bit of substantial technology transactions experience, performed at a high level, is attractive to firms. Over the past couple years or so, I have had many IP or corporate candidates with no actual technology transactions experience express a desire to move into the technology transactions space but, no matter how strong the credentials of the candidate, firms have not been willing to entertain their candidacy.
Junior BigLaw IP Associate Moves to a Better Firm to Focus on Chosen Niche Practice Area

This candidate in particular had a hybrid practice of sorts - roughly half of his practice was IP Litigation and the other half consisted of technology transactions work. He really wanted to focus primarily on the technology transactions work but he did not think this would be possible at his firm given that the deal work projected to be coming in would not be enough to fill anyone's practice full-time.

The candidate was at a strong AmLaw 100 firm and had good credentials. He was looking in Boston (only). He was extremely picky about where he would apply to, and he seemed to have very strong impressions of what one firm was like and what each place offered. Additionally, there were only five firms with openings and he insisted on applying to openings only rather than proactively reaching out to any firms in addition to the ones with stated needs. Four of the five firms were stronger than his current firm in terms of rank and reputation, especially within the technology transactions arena.
The one firm that did express interest in an interview was arguably the best of the five. The only problem was, the candidate had met with the partner in charge at events in town twice before and had a less-than-favorable impression of the partner. This partner was not only the head of the office but also was the head of the practice in the office so the candidate would be working directly and frequently with him. The candidate assumed other interviews would be coming in as well and wanted to wait to meet with the firm initially showing interest. In speaking further with the candidate, we talked through his goals and what he was really seeking and whether it made sense to let one impression, formed in a social setting a few years ago, stand in the way of his ability to begin to discover what opportunities may be present for him at one of the best firms in the practice area he wanted to focus on. Ultimately, he agreed to take the interview and we discussed going in with an open mind and allowing himself a fresh evaluation, keeping in mind the knowledge that he knows what he can get at his present firm with a hybrid practice.
The candidate came out of the first round of interviews with a changed and positive impression of the partner and he also really liked the associate he met with and he thanked me for sort of opening his eyes to new and present possibilities rather than having him hold onto an old impression that would have prematurely and superficially closed the door to what he really wanted. This positive impression was only stronger after the second round of interviews and when the firm took some time internally to try to get an offer approved, it was the candidate who then became anxious and wanted to have his offer today before tomorrow. This was May 2020 and it seemed few, if any, firms were hiring during Covid-19. The firm came back and had the candidate speak with a partner in a different office in the FDA practice as a way to be able to make him an offer - if he agreed to come in and initially assist with the FDA group, he could then transition fully into a technology transactions practice once all the transactional practice was all there, and the FDA practice was less busy. (The candidate had had some FDA experience from his current firm and from a summer at the FDA.) The firm also had the offer come through from a completely different department - it was from litigation. This gave the candidate some pause but I had to remind him that the firm was doing everything they could to be able to make him an offer now and that if they really wanted a litigator, they would hire one. I also pointed out that there were no - and had not been - litigation openings.
The candidate joined the firm and reports that what he wanted is what he found there.

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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