The candidate that I placed late last week is an example of the latter. In terms of his background, he is Class of 2019, attended a Top 20 law school, was summa cum laude there and received a 4.0 GPA (this is very rare and impressive, especially at a Top 20 law school), attended a low-level state school for his undergraduate studies and is currently at a very prestigious litigation boutique in the OC, whose lawyers are mostly graduates of top law schools. I would say that this candidate is rather exceptional, despite his undergraduate school. The only problem was that he was Class of 2019, and it is difficult to get traction for first years, even in a good market.
I started working with this candidate in February, when he had only been at his top litigation boutique for five months. I think that he was already starting to get burned out on the pace of the firm and the number of hours that he was regularly billing. Initially, he was looking to go to a large, ideally AmLaw 100 firm in the OC or SD, or potentially another high-level boutique that paid market.
To be honest, I'm not sure that he knew exactly what he wanted. An AmLaw 100 firm or another high-level boutique would have likely had the same sorts of demands as his current firm. I started applying him broadly, and he got quick traction from a national, multi-office litigation boutique that is headquartered in Cleveland but has an office in SD. He moved through the process quickly and was given an offer, but for a base of $135K (which is actually quite good for San Diego!). However, at the time, he really only wanted to move to San Diego if the base were significantly higher, and at the very least $150K. He was also turned off by some of the comments of one of his interviewers, a senior litigation Associate who I think made the firm and pace sound very intense. He of course already had this at his current firm, and wasn't looking to go to a firm with a similar feel. Long story short, he ended up turning down the offer at the end of February or in early March.
The candidate then asked me to apply him to a specific mid-sized, multi-office, California-based firm that has offices in both the OC and the Inland Empire, where he's from. Now, the firm didn't have an opening at the time, but he is such an exceptional candidate that I applied him opportunistically, as a feeler. The Inland Empire office of the firm was very interested, and went through the phone interview and callback process with him rather quickly. It seemed that they were going to give him an offer.
But then, Covid-19 hit, and hiring ground to a halt, especially at mid-sized and larger firms. This particular mid-sized firm kept reiterating how interested they were in my candidate, but said that their hiring was frozen and that they wouldn't resume hiring until they had a better sense of when they'd be back in the office. A lot of firms have been on-boarding candidates remotely, as of course they don't know when they'll be back in the office, but this particular firm decided not to. We waited for this firm for months and months and they did not move. Then, interestingly enough, my candidate's lease was up for renewal in the OC, but he had decided that he really wanted to be in the Inland Empire (where he is from), and so he moved to the Inland Empire while continuing to work remotely from the OC. This of course put even more pressure and urgency on his job search, and made it so that we needed to find him a law firm home in the Inland Empire ASAP.
Fortunately, there was a small firm in the Inland Empire that had interviewed him back in February and that he had decided not to move forward with, because he was a lot more interested in the midsized firm at the time. However, now that the mid-sized firm's hiring was all but dead, he asked if I could reach out to the small firm again and see if they were still interested. Usually, if you turn down a firm, they won't be interested in resuming the conversation with you later, as they don't want to feel like second choice and will worry about your long-term commitment to staying at the firm. However, it has probably been very difficult for this small firm to attract strong candidates, given their regional location and small size, and this candidate is truly exceptional for them. They decided to give him another shot!
I emailed the firm on a Tuesday, they responded and asked to interview him the next day, they conducted a video interview the next day and gave him an offer the same day! The offer was a significant pay-cut for him, but very reasonable for the Inland Empire, and he accepted the next day, on Thursday! The firm is very excited to have him join them, and he is also relieved and happy to have landed at a firm in the Inland Empire so soon after moving there. So a very happy ending for all parties involved!
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.