There are quite a few reasons for this. First, this candidate was very impressive. She obtained her J.D. from a Top 10 law school, spent two years as a Litigation Associate at an AmLaw 50 firm, and, despite being a magistrate clerk, was clerking in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a very (if not the most) prestigious district in the country.
Unfortunately, this candidate's offer to return to her previous firm was rescinded due to Covid-19, so she reached out to us. When I first spoke with this candidate, she told me that she wanted to end up at an AmLaw 50 firm as similar to the one that had recently rescinded her offer to return as possible. That was what she knew and, therefore, that was what she was most comfortable with.
Given Covid-19, the government shutdowns that had completely shut down the economy, and how little hiring was occurring in New York City at the time, I strongly encouraged this candidate to expand her horizons a little bit and consider applying to firms outside of the AmLaw 50. Luckily, she heeded my advice!
This candidate had applied to numerous firms before speaking with me and received an interview with an AmLaw 200 firm on her own. Shortly thereafter, she received an interview request from an extremely prestigious national bankruptcy boutique firm through me. Her first interview was a phone interview with one of the named partners, which went extremely well!
She then had phone interviews with every attorney in the firm's New York office, and a quite a few phone interviews with attorneys in other offices. All of these phone interviews seemed like overkill to this candidate who was only familiar with BigLaw firms. However, it is extremely common for boutique firms to have every attorney in the firm speak with a candidate before giving them an offer. This is because fit is extremely important in a boutique. In a large group in a BigLaw firm, if two lawyers do not get along, they can avoid each other and work with other people they click with better. This is not always possible in a boutique. If there is a major clash of personalities, an attorney is likely to have no choice but to leave the firm altogether. There is also much less turnover at boutique firms compared to BigLaw firms and there is significantly less up or out pressure. Attorneys tend to stay at boutiques for a longer time than they stay at BigLaw firms, so boutiques have more of an incentive to ensure that each hire is a great one.
In the end, this candidate received two offers of a $220,000 base salary plus a $75,000 clerkship bonus - one from the AmLaw 200 firm and one from my boutique.
This candidate had a very difficult time deciding between the two firms! She was drawn to the boutique for numerous reason (she naturally got along better with their attorneys, had a great chance of making partner there, was less likely to get laid off there, would get better experience there, etc.). However, it had all happened very quickly and this firm was not at all what she had envisioned for herself. It took her a while to simply wrap her head around such a different work environment. Luckily, both firms were quite patient and gave her space to make the decision that was best for her. In the meantime, the candidate and I had numerous calls in which I explained the pros and cons of BigLaw versus a fancy boutique firm.
In the end, I believe this candidate 100% made the right call by choosing this extremely sophisticated bankruptcy boutique! It was clearly the best fit for her and I am very confident that she will be extremely successful 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.