Please Join us for the 6th Annual Long Island Trusts & Estates Conference

Please join us for the 6th Annual Long Island Trusts & Estates Conference on May 18th

American Heart Association, Stroke Association

6th Annual Long Island Invitational Conference on Estate Planning and Administration

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

8:00 am – 11:00 am
Nassau County Bar Association
15th & West Streets
Mineola, NY 11501

This program is approved for the following credit hours:

2.0 CLE for Attorneys     1.0 CPE for CPAs & EAs 

Pending:     1.0 CE for Insurance

REGISTER at  www.heart.org/longislandestateconference

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Why Talent Firms are Worth It

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Why Talent Firms are Worth It

This the second installment in an ongoing series from On Balance Search Consultants.

Why Hire a Talent FirmWhy Work with a Legal Recruiter? 

The ability to attract, extract and deliver talent is – and always will be a high touch recruiter. No in-house staff recruiter or data algorithm will ever replace a head hunter. Sourcing the best lawyers can be challenging, the top candidates have options, opinions and time constraints.

Speed. Time is money. No one knows the employment marketplace better than a good head hunter/recruiter. The placement process takes time. The recruiter’s fee is more than off-set from the drain on billable hours at the firm. The best legal recruiters leverage connections and scan social media channels to source the top talent efficiently. 

Experience. Most recruiting firms work with many candidates at different levels, the vetting is extensive and ongoing throughout the process “During discovery we pull the Band-Aid off and get to the good, the bad and the ugly. All things being equal, we protect all parties, strategically considering how the firm’s services best compliment the skills the candidates bring to the table”, Shari Davidson, On Balance Search Consultants. 

The sum of the whole is greater than the individual pieces, a great recruiter considers the law firm’s platform – geography, practice areas, talent within the firm, marketing team, strategic services, the verticals they specialize in, and the firm’s culture. “A candidate that compliments the firm’s current book of business can produce the next superstar. We have helped candidates move to a stronger platform – doubling their book of business within 18-24 months and continue to grow,” Shari Davidson.

Confidentiality. A multi-channel strategy across media channels and several search firms may do more harm than good. Internal and external forces may very well conspire to complicate the process. Internally some may feel slighted, that they have been overlooked for this position. Additionally, advertising tips off the competition as to the strategic direction of your firm. 

Negotiation. The best recruiters provide an in-depth professional level of expertise to advise on all aspects of the placement process, acting as a buffer to carefully consider all parties involved. Good recruiters facilitate mutually beneficial arrangements, minimizing potentially polarizing roadblocks that may arise from face-to-face dealings.

The placement process takes time and often difficult. Successful outcomes lead to earning trust and credibility with candidates and firms, and from this is strong lasting relationships are formed.

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.3400 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

5 Signs Your Firm Will Pass You Over For Partner

Signs You'll Be Passed Over for Partner

Photo Source

The road to partnership

A partnership at a law firm can seem daunting.  Several requisites must be met before one can even be considered, including your billable hours, proper mentorship and the ability to bring in new business.  You want to make sure you’re properly qualified so your firm doesn’t pass you over for partner.

So you’re at your firm, working hard and learning a ton.  The partnership may seem so close, however, you are competing with fellow colleagues and want to keep your eye on the prize.  Don’t lose focus and slip up.  To help you get your partnership, here are a five signs you want to steer clear from that will pass you over for partner.

  1. Staying at the same firm you started at.

You may be thinking that staying at the firm you started at throughout all these years demonstrates loyalty.  While that may be true, you started there as a young lawyer, most likely straight out of college.  The unfortunate scenario here is that your firm will have a preconceived view of you as the kid that started at the firm and may have a very difficult time getting the image of you being the new guy out of their head.  No matter how much time you have spent there, you may never rise in the ranks solely because people could never see the old you in the new position. 

Back in the days of early law, the Cravath had a philosophy called ‘up or out,’ meaning if you never got promoted or made partner you were forced out of the firm.  Modern day philosophy follows an ‘over and up’ model.  This means that when you have gained enough experience and confidence in your career, you switch to a different law firm.  This new law firm will not have a preconceived view of you as the kid straight out of college but the already successful and skilled lawyer. 

I’m not ruling out that the firm you started out at will make you partner, however, “switching while you are hot will make you a much more valuable candidate in the eyes of unbiased partners.” –Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants

2. Being a good lawyer but not bringing in business

Being a good lawyer these days is not enough to become partner at your firm.  For example, at an equity partnership, you own a small part of the firm when you become partner.  The amount you make is part of a bigger pie that all the partners share.  If everyone is bringing in a bunch of new business and you are not, then you are selfishly taking your share of your partners’ hard work and not contributing any profit of your own.

You want to give the other partners a reason, other than being good at law, to make you a partner.  If you can really make it rain and bring in clients, then the partners won’t be able to resist offering you a partnership position.  You also do not need to be a partner to bring it.  Although bringing it in as an associate may be a bit more difficult, it will show drive, initiative, and ambition

3. Billable hours

It’s not that complicated, it’s all about making it rain. Don’t’ just show up for work, listen, learn make it happen. Show me the money! 

4. Working exclusively for one partner, or mentor

In this case, you should think of it as a, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” approach.  When working for a partner and trying to meet your billable hours, it may seem easier to just pick one partner to work for.  However, think of the scenario which may be ‘worst-case,’ but isn’t too far out there either.  Imagine you’re well into your years at a firm and you’re confident the partner you’re working for will help you get chosen as a new partner, then suddenly, that partner leaves the firm.  You are now left with nobody to vouch for you and a lot of hours that need to be filled with work.

Having a second partner you do work for can prevent this from happening.  Try not to choose only one partner to develop a good relationship with because an unfortunate departure of you partner can significantly hurt your chances at succeeding in your path to partner.  If, for some unfortunate reason, you are stuck in this situation, remember the ‘over and up’ philosophy we spoke about above.  If you think getting a new mentor at your firm may not happen, you can always bring your expertise to another firm where you could possibly be viewed as a stronger candidate.

5. Not being involved in professional panels or professional groups

Some lawyers will tell you that being on a professional panel or group is a waste of time.  Although there is no right or wrong answer whether you should or should not be involved, they are much more important if you want to bring prestige and recognition to your firm.  It makes your more valuable to your firm and raises your firm’s value in the legal community and to your clients.

Taking advantage of professional panels and groups can also be a great resource of new clients.  This can also help your path to partner – as we mentioned in a previous point.  Getting exposure to more people and being able to add value to your existing position at your firm can help generate new clients and shine a light on you.

Take these signs as a precaution so that you can steer away from them as quickly as possible and turn them into something positive.  Becoming partner may seem daunting but it is definitely not impossible.  Just by reading this article you are demonstrating initiative and preparation.  Good luck in your path to partner.

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law

Source:

Shinners, M. (June 7, 2012). How to Become a Law Firm Partner. Litigation, American Bar Association.

 

Making it Rain: How to build a successful book of business

Making it Rain

Making it rain, building a successful book of business

The highest paid attorneys focus on practice areas that are in demand, year after year. Prodigious rainmakers build a big book of business logging endless billable hours.  Corporate attorneys typically do a lot of private equity deals and mergers and acquisitions. That feeds a lot of lawyers at the firm, no firm is going to want to lose you, and that is reflected in your compensation.

Job titles at law firms may not necessarily lead to higher compensation. Law firms reward results, an attorney’s book of business is the most significant factor when considering compensation or adding on a new partner.

“As a legal recruiter, I’ve placed many big dogs with the top law firms. — Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants. Going In-House is not the panacea, create your own destiny by building a powerful book of business.”

How to build a successful book of business

Building a book of business takes time, here are some great tips on how the best make it rain:

Quality not Quantity
Develop several long-term relationships, that you are in personal contact with all the time. The relationships must be mutually beneficial so that you send legal work to your connection and they put you in contact with people who can send work to you. Five to ten close relationships are worth much more that 500 LinkedIn connections.

Take Care of Existing Clients

About 80 percent of lawyers’ business comes from their existing client base. Current clients account for the majority of your business, don’t neglect your existing relationships. Make sure you promptly return calls and emails. Think about your client’s business, what affects them, and how you can help them today and tomorrow. Regularly exceed expectations. Lawyers are leaving money on the table by not building relationships.  A valued and trusted adviser brings in more business from your existing clients.

Improve your Value Proposition
Develop a strategic business plan that highlights your strengthsBill for value added, not time spent. Clients want to know you care about their business, that they are not just a number. Strong relationships last, they bring in more business and strengthen your reputation. Be good to your referral sources,  some of whom will be your own law firm. Take special care of clients who were referred to you, future referral sources are based on the success of how well they feel they were served.

Hone your Skill-set
Professional development never ends —  digital marketing is a great resource for gaining new clients. Work with a public relations firm to build trust and authority to establish your firm as a leader in the field of law you specialize in. Hone your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills beyond the practice of law.

Attorneys aren’t going to become the best-paid at their firm without working hard for it, that’s not enough. Look for ways to think outside of the box for that next big client. Keep your eye on what’s important —  focus on being a team player who has the best interests of the law firm. Build your book of business and understand your firm’s corporate culture, just don’t get caught up in the politics.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson is president of On Balance Search Consultants, she advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal council for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.
 

Sources:

Coe, E. How to Become The Highest Paid Partner At Your Firm. Retrived on March 24, 2016 from http://www.law360.com/articles/680150/how-to-become-the-highest-paid-partner-at-your-firm. Law 360.
Quinn, J., Baresh, B. How you can build a better book of business. Retrieved on March 24, 2016 from http://www.law360.com/articles/742196/how-you-can-build-a-better-book-of-business. Law 360.