I began conducting research using the BCG database on all the Dallas and Houston firms and began emailing the firms to the candidate to approve. She was terrific because she reviewed her emails each day and approved the list of firms each day. That enabled me to submit her to multiple firms each day. This was one of the keys to her success and she understood that the more firms she was submitted to, the more chance she had of being placed at a firm.
It is important to note that this candidate was a 2018 law school graduate who had been clerking for two years in her federal clerkship. She had no law firm experience other than a Summer Associate position at an AmLaw 100 firm. Many of the larger law firms look highly upon a federal clerkship. However, some firms would rather have law firm experience. It completely depends on the firm and the best way to find out is to submit the candidates to as many firms as possible.
This candidate received an interview request from a reputable Houston firm and she was able to conduct the interview via Zoom. I held an interview preparation session with this candidate before the interview. This was helpful because I was able to guide her on appropriate questions to ask during the interview. She had mentioned that in her previous interviews that she asked about clerkship bonuses, benefits, billable hour requirements, and bar exam review classes. I advised waiting until the second or third round interviews to bring up specifics on benefits, salary, and billable hours. I also gave her interview tips, and we practiced answering some mock questions. She had a great interview with the firm and they had her meet with several attorneys back to back. It was several hours of interviews in a row instead of having a second or third round interview. This firm took several weeks to make a decision. I received news that an offer letter was forthcoming and was delighted to share the great news with this candidate.
This candidate is a great example of how it is possible to place a candidate moving to a new state. I know many firms are wary of hiring attorneys who do not have ties to an area but I would recommend trying nonetheless. There are some firms that are willing to take a chance and hire someone who is new to the area. This candidate was even able to negotiate a moving stipend to help with the moving costs.
This candidate was easy to work with. It is always easier to place a candidate who reviews and approves firms quickly so the recruiter can make more submissions. It is also great to have a candidate who is willing to hear advice on how to handle interviews. Lastly, it was helpful that this candidate was open to several major job markets. This increased her chances of getting placed. I would recommend that if you are able, you should expand your job search to as many different cities as possible. I have seen candidates get more interviews when they include multiple cities in their job searches.
Also, many attorneys who have full-time jobs do not have time to scour the job listings in multiple job markets for openings. That is when a recruiter is incredibly useful to have at your disposal. The recruiters at BCG have amazing resources and the ability to look at openings and firms in many cities. BCG also has contacts at firms that do not advertise their openings that candidates would not know about otherwise. The BCG recruiters save the candidates multiple hours each week. It definitely makes sense to use a recruiter when applying to jobs in multiple cities.