Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Should I Stay, or Should I Go

Many candidates are waiting to see what happens in December. This is the time to start accessing your strengths, and your career goals.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Waiting for December / January puts you behind the eight ball…

The economic forecast for 2019 is bullish and many law firms will be bringing on more lawyers. For many law firms updated budgets and forecasts have been completed and as the new year approaches firms have a bet-ter idea of what they need and who they can afford to hire. When evaluating whether you should stay or go, there are strong indicators that you should not ignore.

Promises, Promises, Promises.

Have you been promised to be made partner? What makes you think if they haven’t made you partner yet, they are going to now?

  • Firm culture: Does the life work style, fit with your future goals?
  • Clarity: Is it clear how to make partner? What targets do you have to hit to achieve partner status?
  • Support: Is law firm leadership, helping you get to the next level? Are there mentors there to help you get to next level?

Is the firms direction going in the same direction as you are? Or is there a fork in the road. Which way do you want to go? Right or left?

Here are some red flags to watch out for….

  • The current firm no longer supports your practice area? Has the firm changed strategic direction? Are they moving away from working with middle market business to Fortune 500 companies?
  • Your current firm decided to raise its billing rates.
  • The partner next store has a larger book and he / she determines which clients you can work with. Are there recurring client conflicts?
  • Dissatisfaction over your current compensation, pension not being funded or facing forced retirement
  • Dissatisfaction over the firm’s leadership?
  • Red tape: taking too long to get everything approved. From getting pens to changing billable hours / lack of alternative fee structures. Is it costing you money?
  • Lack of cross-selling opportunities? Your firm doesn’t have a platform to service your clients in other practice areas?
  • Not able to fully service clients needs, in national or international markets?

If you not happy at your firm, move on. An oppressive work environment does not breed a wining track record. Consider what your worth will be if you stay or make the move now.

“I am speaking with several candidates and groups looking toward the horizon. Now is the time to start strate-gizing and taking next steps. December is only a few weeks away. New Year’s resolutions can be made early and kept by those who are proactive,” said Shari Davidson.

Talk to a top recruiter, understand what the market’s appetitive is for a lawyer with your skill set. Assess and account for any external factors that can affect your prospects. Partnering with a recruiter can help you reach your goals.

All the old clichés work here. Time is money. You snooze you lose.

Top Takeaway: Many of the best opportunities are up for grabs in January, so start talking to a recruiter now so that you are positioned to get the job before your competitors put themselves on the market.


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 516.731.3400 or visit our website at

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