I recently worked with and placed a Las Vegas candidate with an unusual background. He attended a Top 20 law school, earning a JD and an LLM in Tax. He also attended a well-regarded undergraduate university, graduating with a B.A. in Economics and International Studies (Economics is known to be a difficult major). He summered at the Las Vegas office of a multi-office, well-respected national firm, and ended up joining the firm post-graduation from law school as a real estate, construction (transactional), finance and general corporate associate. He was with the firm for a year before he was let go for failing the NV bar two times. At that point, he joined a small firm, at which his practice focused on criminal defense and civil litigation, and he was at the firm for a year before lateraling to another well-regarded local Las Vegas firm, at which his practice focused exclusively on insurance defense. He was at that firm for slightly less than a year, before lateraling to his current firm, a multi-office insurance defense firm, at which his practice centers around premises liability and products liability.
This candidate, at first blush, looks like a candidate that a Recruiter couldn't possibly place. He 1) failed the NV bar twice, only passing on his third attempt, 2) has been at four different firms in only three years, and was looking to lateral to his fifth and 3) he has a very mixed practice, including real estate and general transactional, criminal defense, civil litigation and insurance defense. I believe that I would have had difficulty getting traction for this candidate in a major market, where there are many highly-qualified candidates applying for most elite boutique, mid-sized and Big Law firm positions. However, Las Vegas is a small market, and it is difficult for firms in this market to find qualified candidates. I think that his strong points are and were his academic credentials (the schools that he went to), his LLM in Taxation (this is a unique and desirable skill set) and his summer and year spent at a well-regarded national firm doing sophisticated transactional work.
Interestingly enough, I ended up getting this candidate interviews in very different practice areas, despite marketing and submitting him as a litigation associate candidate.
This candidate ended up getting two interviews. One was with a local, one-office firm, which interestingly enough was interested in him for transactional and seemed like they wanted him to build out their transactional practice, despite the fact that he's been doing litigation for the past several years. The other interview was with a multi-office firm that has an office in Las Vegas and has a strong general commercial litigation practice. The candidate was interested in either switching from insurance defense to general commercial litigation, or in getting back to a general transactional practice. Initially, we thought that the interview was for a general commercial litigation position with the firm, but in his interview, the candidate brought up that he was also interested in doing transactional work. Usually, when a candidate expresses an interest in a mixed practice, or in a practice area different than the one for which he or she is interviewing, this does not go over well with the firm. The firm wants to hear that you're interested in the practice area and position for which they have a need, nothing more and nothing less. However, I think that this is one of those candidates that has a gift for interviewing, and he was able to convey to the firm that he was very interested in general commercial litigation, but that if there was some chance of gaining more transactional experience as well, he would be very open to that.
Amazingly enough, the candidate ended up getting the offer, despite having made many lateral firm moves already in just a couple of years, having switched firms within the last six months and having and wanting a mixed practice! Sometimes, candidates defy all of my expectations, and I really think that it comes down to personality, interviewing abilities and being able to sell it in the interview. The firm is very excited for the candidate to join, and the candidate is very excited to be getting back to general commercial litigation as well as a mixed transactional practice!
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.