Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Reputation Is Everything

You are NOT a team player, you are disruptive and people find that you have a toxic influence on the firm.   

Your colleagues say tell me your one of the top performers at the firm. They also tell me you are a brilliant jerk. Most attest that you are highly capable, productive and in the same breath they say you are difficult to work with. They say you are an arrogant, a prima donna and they wish they could work for someone else.

They resent the way you deal with your clients, that you always need to have the last word. You are loud, and abusive and take your frustrations out on the staff. You are not a team player and your attitude is infecting the law firm’s reputation.

Do the ends justify the means?
Machiavelli, “Thus when fortune turns against them, you will be prepared to resist it. A man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done moves toward self-destruction rather than self-preservation.” Being a successful attorney is difficult, agreed. Its cut throat, it’s highly competitive and it’s adversarial. You’re a fighter, a winner and a top litigator, but at the end of the day your reputation is truly all you got. Means and ends of course are intimately related. The end determines the array of relevant means. But that is not the end of the story. Consider the collateral damage to your firm’s reputation:

  • Revolving door. From the legal secretaries, to the associates, all the way to the top, the best and the brightest partners will begin to leave the firm.
  • Lost business. A law firm with a bad reputation simply won’t get referrals.
  • Recruiting. No one is going to want to work at a firm that has a poor reputation.
  • How you are perceived in the industry. Your professionalism needs to be at the highest standards at the firm, in the courtroom and when you are out socially.

Play nice.
“I play nice, it’s not always easy but that’s how I’ve forged deep lasting connections with law firms and attorneys over the years. Niceness, however, does not need to mean weakness. You’ve got to be strong to be nice. I’m also known for being tough.” – Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants. 

Nice people play well with others. Nice people genuinely care about others, listen to their needs, and instinctively want to meet those needs, which, in turn, forms the foundation of trust for successful business relationships.

“I’m constantly opening doors, my advice significantly benefits my candidate’s. I cannot begin to tell how many opportunities come my way. Why? Because I never deceive or mislead my clients. I’m committed to my clients’ success. It’s about respect. My clients trust my judgement, my integrity.” – Shari Davidson. 

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 516.731.4300 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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

 

Photo Cred. 

Source:
Kathryn Kerns, K. (August 13, 2015). Nice Women Win: Why Being Nice Is a Business Strength. Forbes.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Don’t lie to me.

If you NOT going to be transparent when making the lateral move, don’t bother.

This is the third installment in an ongoing series, Confessions of a Legal Recruiter, Shari Davidson – On Balance Search Consultants. 

Don’t Lie to Me.
Give yourself the best chance of landing a position you want. When several important issues come up that you did not disclose from the on-set, it’s a red flag. What other issues did you not come clean with? Your credibility is important, right? Don’t waste your time, or everyone else’s, be honest. Get it right. Good recruiters have all parties’ best interests covered. Let’s get off to a good start.

I can’t work with you.
You have sent your resume to practically every law firm in the area, big mistake. You’ve watered down your value in the marketplace. The perception is that there is something wrong with this candidate. Why did you send your resume for a position that you are not even qualified to be considered?

Why are you looking?
Never make the lateral move for more money. The best recruiters separate the wheat from the chaff, strategically aligning the interests of the candidate with the right firm.

Work with me.
Good recruiters have solid, strong relationships built over many years of protecting both the interests of the firms as well as the candidates placed. Shari Davidson, President — On Balance Search Consultants, “When working with a potential candidate I strategically align myself with the candidate to find a new home that matches the candidate’s goals. This could include a larger platform of practice areas, or geographic locations or even a better work environment. I continually keep in touch with my candidates to:

1. Help them grow their business;
2. Share trends in the legal profession;
3. Share professional networking opportunities and CLE programs.”

Integrity, credibility, honesty.
The best recruiters are on the pulse of what’s going on, head hunters are on the phone with 50 to 200 firms a week and are mixing it up with the movers and shakers who open doors. Find a well-regarded legal recruiter who has a solid reputation for protecting their candidates and firms.

 

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 516.731.4300 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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

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Should I stay or should I go? The Pros and Cons of working for Big Law

Should I stay or should I go? The Pros and Cons of working for Big Law

SOLOPRENEUR
Who doesn’t like to be their own boss? When you work for yourself you make all the rules,you gotta love that. As a small law firm there aren’t layers and layers of management to approve changes. Small firms usually have a good work-life balance which means their office has a more relaxed atmosphere.

Being the boss is a twenty-four / seven  365 days a year job. Health insurance, self-employment tax, and income tax will eat you alive. You become a slave to your business, you wear all the hats.  Sure you can outsource some of the work, but if anything goes wrong, you own it.  Being a small firm means you have a limited budget, as such most of the administrative work and research is done by you.

Then there is malpractice, there is no safety net.

BIG LAW
Leverage the expansive network a big law firm offers. Keep your client’s dealings within the firm, often aspects of a case may require specialized legal expertise. Big firms retain specialists for that very reason.

Big firm’s today don’t focus on training or mentoring, it’s all about billable hours. All things being equal, there is ample opportunity to align yourself with colleagues who will help make you a better lawyer.

SOLO or PARTNER
Either track demands hours and hours of your time, it’s stressful. Big firms do offer paid vacation. Face it, if you’re not bringing in new business you can’t afford to take the time off anyway. Lawyers at the larger firms earn a respectable salary, and with that wage are high expectations. Measure up or you’re out the door.

Just because you’re billing hours means you’re safe, when you work for yourself or for a large firm, it can get nasty out there. Often your boss will take credit for your work. Solopreneurs face large firms trying to lure away your biggest account that keeps your boutique firm afloat.

Working for a big law means you report to several partners, it’s often difficult to discern the every changing, policies and procedures. Every boss wants things done a certain way, it can get damn confusing. Those who discern the bull from the business thrive, the world is your oyster.

Don’t get comfortable, it’s a highly competitive, demanding field.

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 516.731.4300 or visit our website athttps://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.

Source:

Tobak, S. (August 19, 2014). 10 Pitfalls of Being Your Own Boss. Self-Employment, Entrepreneur.

MacMillan, K. (February 25, 2014). A Lawyer’s Guide to Working for Small vs. Large Law Firms – 36 Tips. R. Johnson Legal Recruitment.

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Women Making the Lateral Partner Move

Women Making the Lateral Partner Move

Women Making The Lateral Move

Making a lateral move is a big decision, it’s important for any one making the career more does it for the right reasons. Women, specially need to consider all the options before moving forward.  Men still dominate lateral equity partners within law firms.  If you are overlooked for partner, you may think about taking your portfolio of business down the street to another firm.

“It’s scary, it’s messy, and it’s a process. You’ve got to prepare, really get serious and objective about what you bring to the table. It’s the only way to ensure you find a firm that’s right for you,” Shari Davidson, President, On Balance Search Consultants.

Lateral Partner Process

  • If you are a partner at current firm. Read your agreement now.
  • Align yourself with a reputable recruiter.
  • Have a clear idea what the next career move will be and why.

For example:
Your next firm must have a robust marketing group to support you;
Offices located through-out the U.S. to service your clients;
A culture that allows you to be home for your children;
Or have specialized practice areas that will service your clients etc.

  • Research firms that are a good fit, your specialized skill-set must align with the firms strategic goals.
  • Make sure you have a current CV, Business plan and Representative Matters available.
  • Make sure you have accurate billing information for the past (3) three years (originations, billings, hourly rates, hours billed, realization rates, etc.).
  • Carefully have your recruiter query the interest level without releasing prospective lateral name or firm. If there is mutual interest. Set up meetings and keep the conversations going.
  • Once the above is done…allow the recruiter do their magic. A recruiter should be able to help you manage the process.  Setting up meetings, prepping and debriefing on each meeting, streamlining any materials – such as LPQ, compensation discussion and offer, prepping for resignation and most importantly be a sounding board for all concerns.

You may have to relocate, but thankfully there are some great law firms for women to work for. Here are some of the best firms for women to work for:

  1. Adelson Testan
  2. Fragomen Del Rey
  3. Fredrikson & Byron
  4. Hanson Bridgett
  5. Lewis Brisbois
  6. Pomerantz
  7. Cohen Milstein
  8. Best Best
  9. Ford & Harrison
  10. Shipman & Goodwin
  11. Verrill Dana
  12. Quarles & Brady
  13. Jackson Lewis
  14. Kutak Rock
  15. SmithAmundsen
  16. Nilan Johnson
  17. Ogletree Deakins
  18. Atkinson Andelson
  19. Wilson Elser
  20. Conrad O’Brien
  21. Shook Hardy
  22. Fennemore Craig
  23. McDermott Will
  24. Thacker Martinsek
  25. Bowman and Brooke

Know the early warning signs, if your firm starts laying staff off or there is an increase in attrition, it may be time to start looking. Making a lateral move will have impact your career, resist the initial temptation to make a move based solely on compensation. Consider all the factors, then don’t be shy, make it happen.

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 516.731.4300 or visit our website athttps://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.

 

Sources:

Zaretsky, S. (February 27, 2014).  New Study Reveals Women Earn Much More Than Men In Biglaw (Just Kidding!). Above the Law.
Simpson, J. (April 19, 2015). The 100 Best Law Firms For Female Attorneys. Law360.
Deanarms. (June 9, 2015). Law Firms and Women Partners: Keeping Your Eye on the Prize. DailyKos.com.
Retrieved on May 11, 2016 from Attorney Search Group.com/Lateral Partner Process.

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Know When to Go Before Your Law Firm Forces You Out

When You Are Being Forced Out Of The Firm

Know When to Go Before Your Law Firm Forces You Out

Lawyers are let go for their inability to develop and cultivate new clients and sustain a book of business. Three of every four partners who have been pushed out reported hearing about their performance problems for the first time when asked to leave (ALM Legal Intelligence, November 2013). ”Firm’s business priorities change, if your firm is moving away from your technical specialty, that’s a wake-up call and you had better start looking,” Shari Davidson, On Balance Search Consultants. Most law firms don’t provide coaching and training to help transition partners who are no longer relevant at the firm.

The legal business profit structure is changing, law firms no longer need nor can afford a large staff as billable hours for clients for discovery have been absorbed by technology.  Advanced software programs now save firms time and expenses to perform the time consuming work of research for case discovery and evidence. Leaner, cost-conscious law firms now outsource many routine base-level services to cheaper contractors outside the U.S.   

Lateral partner hiring, sometimes seen as “buying a book of business”, is one way firms are strengthening their balance sheets. on the rise. Equity and non-equity partners alike who underperform or are no longer aligned with the core business plan are being shown the door without warning.

Churning out long-term partners and bringing in lateral hires creates resentment among the firm’s staff, sapping morale often scaring off legal talent. To attract talent, law firms need and must maintain internal morale. “You can’t bring in a new hired gun who after a short time is a disappointment. The best legal recruiters work very hard to source the right candidates who are a good fit for the firm. Lateral partners must be able to bring a book of business, but that not enough. Candidates must be carefully screened to ensure their skill-set is structurally aligned with the firm’s strategic initiatives and company culture ensuring they’ll thrive and be there for the long-term,” Shari Davidson.

Start developing your personal network, that is where you’ll source new business or at the very least find your next job. A drop in production may come for no apparent reason, don’t make excuses for a lack of performance. Plan your next move, consider that nearly a third of exiting partners source their new assignment with a head-hunter (ALM Legal Intelligence, November 2013).

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 516.731.4300 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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Sources:

ALM Legal Intelligence. (November 2013). Up or Out: When Partners Have to Go. Retrieved on April 30, 2016 from http://www.almlegalintel.com/rptTemp/2013_SJL_Lateral_Transitioning.pdf.

The Economist. (May 5th 2011) A less gilded future. Retrieved on April 30, 2016 from http://www.economist.com/node/18651114.

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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 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.

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5 Signs Your Firm Will Pass You Over For Partner

Pass You Over For Partner

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.

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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.

How to Make It Rain: 
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

Making it Rain for Lawyers using Social Media Marketing

 How to Make It Rain: Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

Leveraging Social Media

 Gone are the days of attending endless events every week. Now let’s be clear, nothing beats nor will ever replace face-to-face networking. Social media extends your message to your prime prospects, amplifies what your firm specializes in, making the process of business development more efficient and effective.

If you want to make it rain, the best way is to optimize your social networks and leverage them properly.  “

You may have heard that in order to be ahead of your competition, you must be able to accept change.  A common assumption held many law firms is that social media is just a fad, soon to die out.  It has been almost 10 years since the inception of Facebook and it is bigger now than it has ever been. Major social channels such Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus reach and engage with millions of people world-wide. And new channels are being embraced by people all the time — Snapchat, Vine and Periscope are bursting onto the scene and companies are investing increasing larger percentages of their marketing efforts behind social media.

In order to remain competitive, your law firm needs to accept that the ways business gets done is changing. Embrace the change, or get left behind.

Download the entire white paper, it’s free. Enjoy!

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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.

Reciprocity: What States Can You Practice Law?

Reciprocity: What States Can You Practice Law?

Legal recruiters explore every best option when searching for a new firm for our attorneys. Looking out-of-state gives your search an edge, and opens up additional financial, lifestyle and several intangibles that are a good fit for you.  There are several states where you may be able to practice law without having to retake the bar exam.

The bar admission process is complicated and varies from state to state.  For those taking the bar, the Uniform Bar Exam gives lawyers the “portability” to practice in several states.

Uniform Bar Exam
Many states are unifying the process of bar admission through the use of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). New York is the latest state to adopt at least part of the UBE and joins Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Missouri and North Dakota were the first states to administer the UBE in February 2011 followed by Alabama in July 2011. New York, Iowa, Kansas and New Mexico will begin administering the UBE in 2016.

The UBE is a set of three testing devices prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The UBE concentrates on general legal concepts as opposed to intricacies of any particular state’s laws in an effort to provide a uniform way to measure performance across the country.

The UBE is comprised of the Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE), which is a set of 200 multiple-choice questions on Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Federal Civil Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts; the Multi-state Essay Examination; and the Multi-state Performance Test. States can utilize some or all portions of the UBE and set their own scoring criteria. Every state except Louisiana currently administers the MBE portion of the UBE. Some states, like California, administer the MBE together with state specific essay and performance test features.

In theory, the UBE fosters portability of law licenses, especially with respect to states like Minnesota and Idaho that accept passing UBE scores from any state within a certain window of time (between two to five years). But this practice is limited to a select group of states, and even in those states you will need to sit for the bar exam or find another way to get admitted if you apply outside the window of time wherein your UBE score still counts. Moreover, other states that administer or plan to administer the UBE (like New York) require applicants to take a separate course and test on state subjects for admittance.

Reciprocity By State —

Never assume that because a state has reciprocity means you should not contact that state to ensure you are qualified to practice law in that state. The information provided here is to be used directionally.

Please Note: The listing detailed below is up to date, however states may have changed their policies since this chart was last updated. Check with the reciprocity state bar to make sure you are licensed to practice law in any state.

Reciprocity by state

Multiple State Admissions
In order to maximize employability and have the ability to take clients in different states, many attorneys opt to take multiple bar exams right away after law school. This is particularly useful for attorneys who live in metropolitan areas that sprawl into different states (such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

Federal Courts Bar Admissions
Still more varied are rules that govern whether someone can practice federal law in one of the 94 federal district courts spread across the country and U.S. territories. Admission requirements differ from district court to district court, but admission generally involves at the very least paying a fee and taking an oath. Many district courts require an attorney to be admitted to practice before the state courts of the state in which the federal court sits.

reciprocity

Reciprocity by State
By no means uniform, the following details what the states positions are regarding practicing law in their jurisdiction:

Arkansas — Admission by motion went into effect in October 2004.

States that presently do not offer reciprocity: 

  • ALABAMA
  • ARIZONA
  • California — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after four years
  • DELAWARE
  • FLORIDA
  • Georgia — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after twelve months
  • Idaho — shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions five of last seven
  • KANSAS
  • Louisiana — admits lawyers from other jurisdictions under special criteria
  • Maine — shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions three of last five
  • Maryland —  shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions five of last ten
  • Mississippi — bar examination practicing in jurisdictions least five years
  • MONTANA
  • NEW JERSEY
  • NEW MEXICO
  • NEVADA
  • Rhode Island — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after five of last ten years
  • SOUTH CAROLINA
  • Texas — admits lawyers from other jurisdictions under special criteria and bar examination

The following states have no formal reciprocity but provisionally admits lawyers who have practiced law for five years of the seven years immediately preceding their applications for admission without taking and passing the base State’s bar examination:

  • Indiana
  • Iowa

States who admit lawyers without examination if from an accredited ABA law school and obtained certain minimum scores on the Multi-state Bar Examination and the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination:

  • District of Columbia
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota

States that have to reciprocate with base States lawyers provisionally without examination:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia — from reciprocal states after five years of practice
  • Georgia — from reciprocal states after five years of practice
  • New Hampshire — reciprocates with ME and VT
  • Massachusetts — after five years of practice from ABA law school or authorized by statute
  • Maine — reciprocates with NH and VT
  • Missouri
  • Michigan — actively practiced law for three of the five years preceding
  • Minnesota  — actively practiced law for least five of the seven years
  • North Dakota — actively practiced law for least four of the last five years
  • Ohio — actively practiced law for least five full years of the ten years prior
  • Oregon — reciprocates with ID, UT, WA and WY
  • South Dakota — actively practiced law for least five full years
  • Tennessee — actively practiced law for least five full years
  • Utah — reciprocates with ID, OR, WA and WY
  • Vermont — reciprocates with NH and ME and practiced least five of the preceding ten years
  • Virginia
  • Washington — reciprocates with ID, OR, UT and WY
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming — reciprocates with ID, OR, UT and WA

 

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Sources:

Swenson, T. (December 2010 / January 2011). Career Transitions: How to Avoid Taking Another Bar Exam When Relocating. The Young Lawyer, Volume 15, Number 3. American Bar Association.

Retrieved on February 24, 2016 from http://attorneys.uslegal.com/licensing-of-attorneys/reciprocity/.

Barnes, H. A Comprehensive Guide to Bar Reciprocity, What States Have Reciprocity for Lawyers and Allow Yo to Waive the Bar. retrieved on February 24, 2016 from http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/900046195/A-Comprehensive-Guide-to-Bar-Reciprocity-What-States-Have-Reciprocity-for-Lawyers-and-Allow-You-to-Waive-into-the-Bar/.

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