Talented Diverse Junior Finance Lawyer Makes Rare Early-Career Move Up | BCGSearch.com

Talented Diverse Junior Finance Lawyer Makes Rare Early-Career Move Up

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Generally speaking, it is better to wait until you have been at a firm for at least two years before you try and make an initial lateral move. There are a few reasons for this. That amount of time helps you begin to develop expertise in a particular practice area, which is important in the lateral hiring process, as law firms want to bring experts (or at least emerging experts) on board as opposed to people they have to train from the ground up. It also shows that you have the tenacity to withstand whatever it is that is motivating you to move. Whether it is you do not like the culture, or the hours are too much, or you do not like the work or people you work with. Within reason, future firms want to see that you can withstand whatever is thrown at you for a significant amount of time as a testament to your character and suitability for firm life.

This case, however, involved the exception to the rule. This super talented but junior lawyer had only been with her firm for a year when she wanted to make a move. After talking with her at length about her unique situation and goals, as well as her prospects for making such an unusual early career move, I agreed to work with her.

This was a very talented attorney. She had gone to a top college and law school and had done very well academically at each. She was a scholarship recipient, an Articles Editor of a Journal, and participated in valuable public interest clinics. She had a very strong work ethic and this had been demonstrated in everything she had done for her entire life. I also saw it manifested in her dealings with me, as she was extremely responsive and made sure I promptly had anything I needed from her in terms of documents or anything else to help facilitate the application process. She was at the time working for an AmLaw 100 firm in a regional market, where she had been doing everything possible to get her career off the ground as a budding finance lawyer who could one day do very sophisticated deals and transactions.
The problem was that her long-term goal was not likely to work out, given her current situation. Not only was she in a very niche practice area that was not among the most sophisticated of finance practice areas, but she was in a city that itself was not the center of high finance work. Moreover, the city itself did not offer much in the way of diversity and she wanted to be in market that was more auspicious in that regard.
I believed strongly in this candidate! We talked for hours on our first call and it became clear to me that she had so much to offer and needed to move into a new situation as soon as possible so that she could really blossom into a high-level finance attorney. I knew that at least some of the basic transactional skills she had learned at her current firm would be transferable to other finance practice areas, and because I also trusted her intellect and work ethic I felt certain that if given the chance she would be able to thrive in a more competitive firm, practice area, and market. So I agreed to work with her, even though she was very junior.
We got to work and I submitted her to firms with excellent finance departments in various markets across the country. I knew we had to cast our search broadly because although she was a terrific candidate she was quite junior and also would be relocating for the opportunity, which in her case would involve taking and passing a new bar exam. When a lateral job search involves hurdles - and most all do - it is generally the best idea to apply to as many conceivably appropriate firms and markets as possible. It is basic math, and when you do this the odds increase that one of those possibilities will work out.
Within the first few months of the search, an AmLaw 25 firm saw her promise and took an interest. This was for a finance position in a major urban market that offered exposure not only to high finance but also was a very diverse city. As a junior associate coming into the firm, she would be exposed to a broad array of finance deals, from basic credit agreements to complex asset securitization transactions. We had been able to successfully show how her work at her current firm, though niche, was transferable in many ways to a more complex finance practice.
She did an initial screening call and then flew to the firm for a full-day of interviews. Soon thereafter, she got an offer. Within a month, she was able to start work at her new firm. Now that she was headed to this new practice group and firm, in a new vibrant and diverse city, she was on her way to a more fulfilling career and life!

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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