The second reason is because firms want their attorneys to be disciplined and show follow-through and work stability, and they thus want to see a track record of stability in their new lateral attorney hires. Even though there can be legitimate reasons to make an earlier lateral move (as in this case), in most cases firms will be skeptical about this and worry that they will bring you on board and invest in you, only to have you decide to leave after a relatively short time there. This case study is about a placement that involved a candidate who was the exception to the rule, as she made a lateral law firm move after just one year of law firm practice. She made this move for a good reason, as she was motivated by professional grow. She moved from a good but small firm to a larger multi-office regional firm that offered additional opportunities to work on a variety of sophisticated finance matters. One of the factors that made this unique lateral move possible was the very impressive deal sheet that the candidate had put together. Even though she had only one year of experience, her deal sheet conveyed substance and sophistication more consistent with a mid-level candidate.
This candidate had done well at good schools. She had always been interested in finance, and after she graduated from law school she took a quasi-legal position with a leading investment bank. She also had other finance experience from having spent one of her summers working for the inhouse legal department of another bank.
She did well at the investment bank, but after she had been there for a few years she decided that she wanted to return to traditional legal practice, in a law firm, where she could work on sophisticated financial deals. She secured a position with a small firm in major city. This firm did sophisticated finance work, and exposed her to a number of interesting deals including banking deals, asset securitization deals, and municipal finance deals. The issue was that the firm was quite small, almost a boutique, so even though she was exposed to a variety of interesting matters, there was a limit on what she would see over the long-term. She was committed to a robust finance practice and she wanted to move to a larger firm, with additional resources, and additional access to training opportunities and deals to work on.
I thought she was a strong candidate - I liked her serious demeanor and her dedication to finance law. She was personable, self-possessed, responsive, and had a firm grasp of her long-term career goals. My only hesitation in working with her was that she had only been at her current firm for one year, and I knew that she was junior to be making her initial lateral move. However, my hesitation evaporated when I saw her very impressive deal sheet. It detailed all the different finance and corporate deals she had worked on with a description of the matters and what her role was in each one. I work with many mid-level and senior candidates in the transactional space, and it is rare that I see a deal sheet prepared with this level of care and detail. It told me that she was committed to, and passionate about, finance law, and that from day one of work she had been digging into and mastering the details of her deals as well stepping back and appreciating the big picture of where those deals fit into the larger corporate space and her career trajectory.
We began working together and applied to firms with openings as well as firms that might be interested in bringing this candidate on opportunistically. It was not too long before she got an interview with exactly the kind of firm she was looking for - a larger firm where she could take her practice to the next level. She went through the interview process and was hired! This placement shows that sometimes there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to how soon in your career you can make your first lateral move, and if you are a candidate hoping to make a move, you can only help yourself by taking the time and care to prepare a stand-out deal sheet.
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.