Unemployed 7th Year Attorney with no Portable Business Finds Firm he can Call Home | BCGSearch.com

Unemployed 7th Year Attorney with no Portable Business Finds Firm he can Call Home

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When this candidate first came to me looking for help with his job search it was in response to an email I had sent him regarding a bankruptcy position in a small market outside of the DC area. I sent him this email because he had indicated that he was a bankruptcy attorney. In fact, he was not a bankruptcy attorney but had peripherally worked on a matter related to bankruptcy and told me he wanted to work on bankruptcy matters. Truth be told, he most likely only said he wanted to do bankruptcy work because he thought that with the pandemic bankruptcy was going to be a hot practice area.

After speaking to him it was clear he was not marketable as a bankruptcy attorney considering that he had little to no experience in the field and that all of his prior experience was mostly working on civil litigation matters. He had also been unemployed since before COVID since he left his firm due to personal reasons. He had left his firm thinking that he would find another job easily, unaware that COVID was about to hit and that finding a job in the COVID economy would prove to be much harder than anyone had anticipated. I had several firms ask why he was unemployed before COVID hit and all I could say was that it was due to personal reasons but that this candidate was happy to share those reasons if they wanted to speak with him. This was an immediate red flag, despite the fact that my candidate's reasons for leaving his prior firm were all one hundred percent valid. Firms did not care what his reasons were and simply saw this as a sign to steer clear.

At first this attorney did not seem to be concerned that he was unemployed and always seemed incredibly calm when we spoke or communicated about job opportunities or lack thereof. Out of all my unemployed candidates he never expressed frustration by the lack of interest on behalf of firms or that, even after many months of working together, firms just did not seem to want to interview him. I never gave up on him and he never gave up on me.

The one thing this candidate had expressed to me on our first screening call was that he absolutely loved writing and that if this is all he could do for a living he would be content. What was more interesting was that he loved legal writing, which many attorneys I know struggle with, and that he loved appellate work precisely because it entailed copious amount of writing. All of this information I conveyed in a cover letter for this candidate. Moreover, this candidate was incredibly smart, had excellent grades and knew what he liked and disliked about being a practicing attorney.

We started working together in Mid-May and no firms wanted to interview him until finally one firm expressed interest at the end of December 2020. He interviewed with the firm the first week of January 2021 and was given an offer a week later without having to go through any second round interviews. The firm was a small personal injury firm but one of the best in Maryland. I was overjoyed for this candidate. Not only did I get him a job after being unemployed for over a year but they were paying him 20k more than his last job! This felt so good, I had really helped someone. Moreover I had helped someone that many recruiters wouldn't have worked with because he wouldn't have been considered marketable/placeable. And I had managed to get him a much higher salary. I was also really happy to get someone back to work. Having been out of work for a while myself at one point in my career, I know how important it is to get back to the workforce and how good it feels to work again.

The one thing that the recruiting coordinator at the firm pointed out was that one of the main reasons the firm had initially been interested in my candidate was because they liked that in my cover letter I emphasized his love of writing. The firm was looking precisely for someone with superior writing skills who enjoyed writing. Moreover the firm was looking for someone who would want eighty percent of their job to be writing with courtroom time to follow as they advanced at the firm. My candidate was an ideal fit.

A week after my candidate received his offer, another firm contacted me expressing interest in this same unemployed candidate. As the old adage goes, when it rains it pours. I couldn't believe that after over eight months of no interest, this candidate now had two firms vying for him. I quickly called my candidate to tell him the news before he accepted the first firm's offer since this second firm had a more general litigation practice and might potentially offer him an even higher salary. My candidate thanked me but told me, I really think this firm is a great fit for me, I want to give this job a good shot, I think I will be happy there. I couldn't have been happier with his response. He made me feel proud to be a recruiter. I had found him a firm where he could see himself be happy and succeed.

I learned a lot from this candidate. First, there is no such thing as an un-placeable candidate. Second, never give up on a candidate. Third, candidates who don't give up on me and show patience will be placed. Fourth, firms do read cover letters and they can be instrumental to getting a candidate an interview. And finally, just as every candidate is different, every firm is different and every firm's needs are different. What one firm may view as a weakness in a candidate may be another firm's most coveted trait in a candidate.

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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