State Government Attorney Lands Back in Big Law in Seattle |

State Government Attorney Lands Back in Big Law in Seattle

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The vast majority of the attorneys that I work with (and certainly that I place) are currently at a firm, and are looking to lateral to another firm. It is quite difficult to place an attorney who has left the firm life for an in-house, government or other type of position back at a firm. Firms know that the firm and billable hours life is demanding, and that once an attorney leaves this life, it is a hard transition for the attorney to go back to it. However, there are always exceptions, especially for attorneys with niche experience in highly desirable practice areas.
State Government Attorney Lands Back in Big Law in Seattle

Such was the case with the candidate that I just placed at a top Am Law 100 firm in Seattle. She was at a top Am Law 100 firm in both NYC and SF doing antitrust litigation for several years before making the transition to state government in Seattle. She accepted the position with the state government because she thought that she'd gain great, substantive litigation experience there, and wanted to re-brand herself as a data privacy attorney (she is currently doing data privacy litigation, and indeed, data privacy is perhaps the hottest practice area right now). Her law school was in the top 50, and she didn't do exceptionally well there. Her real strengths were that she was at her Am Law 100 firm for so many years (showing a real commitment to and ability succeed in the Big Law life), her antitrust specialty (this is also a desirable and niche practice area), her current data privacy experience in government and her interviewing abilities. Interestingly enough, working for the state government is usually not nearly as prestigious as working for the federal government (for example, working for the DOJ or the USAO), but in this candidate's case, the experience that she has gained in data privacy I think helped to offset the fact that she is in state rather than federal government.

This candidate ended up getting interviews in both data privacy and antitrust! And what's more, she ended up getting an offer at a top, top law firm in SF for data privacy litigation, another offer at a top law firm in Seattle for antitrust litigation and yet another offer at a mid-market / mid-sized law firm in Seattle for data privacy compliance and counseling, so not litigation but more transactional! This is really a remarkable feat, and I think goes to show how marketable both antitrust and data privacy are, how important solid interviewing skills are and that connections can really help in some cases. For example, although this candidate didn't go to a top law school or do very well there, the hiring partner at the top law firm in SF that ended up giving her the offer used to work with her at her first Big Law firm, and knew that she did good work. He really pushed her through and was probably the reason that she got the offer! She also used to work with another of the partners at one of the top Seattle firms that interviewed her. So, this candidate proving herself for so many years at her Big Law firm really helped her in her job search even now, years later! Which just goes to show that it's always good to leave your Big Law firm or other law firm on good firms, as you never know how those connections and recommendations will help your career further down the road.

This candidate ended up accepting a Counsel (!) offer with a three-year track to partnership in Seattle, where she is currently located. She will be practicing antitrust again, and moving away from data privacy for now. She is very very excited to reenter Big Law at such a great firm, and I couldn't be happier for her!

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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