Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: The Video Interview, Pause-Rewind-Reset

Live or recorded, video interviewing has arrived.

In person and more so on video, you have got to prepare for your interviews. Hand movement gestures including, touching your hair and face and tapping your fingers or feet are not a good idea.

“We prepare our candidates for the in-person and video interview,” Shari Davidson – President of On Balance Search Consultants.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

Follow these steps to ace the video interview:

Dress appropriately. Treat the video interview like you would an in-person interview.

  • Do not wear white (shirts, blouses or jackets) as white way too bright and distracting.
  • Avoid wearing pure black as this can cause your face to wash out a bit due to overexposure. And super-bright colors (reds, yellows, pinks, etc.) can give your skin a slight reddish, unnatural tint on camera.
  • Men, do not wear pinstripes, hound’s-tooth, herringbone, or anything that has a busy pattern. As the camera tends to distort images.
  • Softer, solid colors will work great. A dark, deep blue is one of the best options. Avoid any high contrast between two colors, as it won’t do well on camera.
  • Make sure your nose and forehead are not too to shiny. Men can apply some cream and women apply makeup not to appear too pale.
  • And if you wear glasses, make sure they are glare-proof and that we can see your eyes. If you have contacts, this might be a good time to use them.

Some video interviews are Skyped live and some only give you one shot at the video recording. Make sure you prepare. “It is so important to get the video interview right. Remember, in this new digital world your video lives in perpetuity. Be sure you make it great,” says Shari Davidson.

Preparation

  • Find quiet place to record your video.
  • Set up a neutral backdrop (at least 2 feet behind you to limit back shadow).
  • Set up the camera so that the angle is eye-level and about one to two feet from you when recording.
  • Look into the camera – not the screen. Looking at the screen may distract you.
  • Have lights placed about 2.5 – 3.5 feet on either side of you and at least the same height as the camera while recording. This helps achieve even lighting across your face to diminish shadow and wrinkles.
  • When preparing, adjust the camera angle, sound and lighting as needed.

Practice

  • Practice in front of the camera by rehearsing your responses to interview questions. Don’t stammer, stutter, pause or start saying “uh-huh” or “like” or “um”.
  • Keep your answers short and get right to the point, you will have a limited amount of time to respond.

The Interview

  • Many people find being in front of the camera to be distracting. Make sure you are comfortable, calm, cool and convey confidence during the video.
  • Project a nice, smooth, natural gaze.
  • A good rule is to not sustain eye-contact for longer than 5 seconds at a time. Then break eye-contact, look away briefly, breathe, then reconnect.
  • Try having a friend sit behind the camera. Don’t to at the camera but to your friend. This will give your video that authentic personal touch. And help set you apart from the competition.
  • Smile, but not too much. Come across as friendly and personable. And don’t grin.
  • Posture conveys confidence. Sit upright in your chair and keep your back straight.
  • Face directly into the camera and don’t show too much of a side angle.
  • Find a comfortable balance between leaning far forward and reclining too farback. Also adjust your chair to make sure you’re not too low or high in the frame.

Final Thoughts

Before going live, schedule a test video interview with a friend. Then critique your performance. Be sure to have your resume, job description, and your notes handy so you can refer to them between questions. And have a water bottle close by should you need to stay hydrated.

Good luck on nailing your next video interview!

 

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 unique circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Succession Planning – When Do You Plan To Leave?

Some small law firms may have chosen a successor. Most have not. Nor have they written a succession plan. Partners spend the majority of their time growing their practice.

“It’s never easy to think about how an unforeseen event can impact the practice. Anticipating the future is challenging for most of us. Ask yourself, ‘when do you plan to leave?’”, says Shari Davidson – President of On Balance Search.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

“Many of us get stuck, doing the same stuff day after day. It’s Groundhog Day! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Many of the rainmakers of small firms don’t think about retiring. Now in their 60’s many rainmakers have created a strong legal practice. Suddenly, they wake up, and realize there is no one who can take over the firm. Don’t get me wrong in today’s business world being 60 is the new ‘middle age’. But, now what do you do?  Hire a young candidate to take over? It will take years to train your successor and there is no guarantee that it’s going to work out.  Okay why not merge the practice or simply close shop. Don’t wait until life circumstances make the decisions for you.”, says Shari Davidson.

Break the cycle and put an end to Groundhog Day. Unlock your potential with an accurate business valuation. Gain insights from industry experts on how valuation affects exit strategies, retirement, and the unique dynamics that your law firm faces.

An attorney who is 40 or 50 years old and plans to stay on the job for many more years may not see the need for a succession plan. Older partners may be reluctant to think about retirement. They may believe that grooming a successor makes them vulnerable to being replaced. Or that failure to plan for a successor provides job security.

Get started and put a succession plan in motion. Think of succession planning as an ongoing process.

  • Begin to start developing your firm’s future leaders.
  • Plan to replace departing staff members with minimal disruption.
  • Deepen your organization’s leadership capacity, positioning the firm for growth.
  • Require your team to formulate their future plans, knowing that they are not committing to specific dates.

Building a sustainable and growing succession plan can feel overwhelming, you may have feelings of being pushed out.  You’re not bowing out early, it is about building value. Building a foundation of success today that will provide the opportunity for the future generations. Done right, and you’ll have the retirement of your dreams.

Talk to a legal counselor to guide you. Work with a legal advisor who can give you a comprehensive understanding of the succession planning process and how you can increase the value of your practice and position yourself for success tomorrow.

  1. Set goals. Identify what you want to get out of the practice and what you want the business to be when you’re gone.
  2. Identify the critical issues that impact succession.
  3. Transition to your next path in your career. Read, Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Succession Planning for Solos and Small Firms.

Change is a fact of life — no matter how well you plan ahead there may be some unexpected challenges. Have a contingency plan for your primary succession plan.

 

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.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Don’t Go Around Me

Okay you’re putting yourself back on the market and you’re considering working with a legal recruiter. You need to work with a top legal recruiter who has an excellent reputation and a track record of placing candidates with firms that last.

Getting the most out of the relationship. “We place candidates with firms to ensure a good fit. Bringing on a new hire is costly, time consuming and impacts everyone’s reputation. We make sure to get it right,” – Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

Clients and candidates both have preferences that must be managed discretely. When working with a recruiter be honest. Read, Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Don’t Lie to me.

“Don’t go around your recruiter. Great care is given to ensure that the interests of all parties are a priority. Don’t go off and start talking to a firm or another recruiter in the middle of a placement. Doing so only derails the prospect of being considered, not to mention puts everyone’s credibility at risk”, says Shari Davidson.

There are several key considerations to look for when working with a legal recruiter:

Reputation
Most attorneys are by nature risk-averse. They are naturally skeptical. Work with a recruiter who you have a high level of confidence in. The top recruiters are engaged, they stay in constant contact with you and make things happen.

“My candidates become clients for the long haul. We keep in touch over the years to make sure things are going well and offer insights to help guide them through their career to make sure they stay on track”, says Shari Davidson.

Recruiters are guided by and disciplined by the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (“NALSC”) code of ethics (http://www.nalsc.org/about/ethics.cfm). Do your due diligence and research a recruiter’s reputation.

A good recruiter has your back and would never . . .

  • Place you with a firm where people leave all the time.
  • Present you to a firm that has a “bad reputation” on the street.
  • Or recommend you to a firm about which has poor morale.

Business Intelligence Network
Good recruiters stay on top of what’s going on in the industry and keep in constant communication with firms that they have strong relationships with and candidates they work with.

The best recruiters are nurturing and building new relationships to keep their candidates well advised. A good network produces opportunities that are not publicly posted.

Coaching, Positioning & Negotiating
One of the first questions a recruiter is going to ask you is why are you looking? Why do you want to leave now?

The best recruiter’s coach you before presenting the candidate to a firm. No one’s background is perfect, everyone can benefit from having their accomplishments reviewed to ensure they are a good fit for the right firm.

Putting together a compelling resume can make a big difference. The best recruiters work with you to ensure your resume reads well and doesn’t create any red flags.

Your recruiter should ask you for a Representative Matters or Transactional Deal Sheet. A deal sheet is an important tool to help quantify your value when you ask for a raise or want to put yourself back on the market. The Deal Sheet helps take stock of your experience and assess where you are, and where you are going.

The top recruiters create a compelling story about how your unique skills will help the law firm succeed. And only then do they negotiate the best deal that is right for you now and for your future.

Communication
Good recruiters keep you informed about what is going on with your candidacy. They return your phone calls and look out for your best interests.

Conclusion
Good recruiters should make an effort to respond to all inquiries, even if they cannot ultimately work with you. Work with a recruiter we serve the interests of both their clients and their candidates.

Strong transparent communication helps to develop a strong, trusting relationship. Let your recruiter know up-front what your expectations are. Follow these tips and you’ll find exacting what you’re looking for.

 

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.

 

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: What Your Resume Must Do and Don’t

Recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds on a resume (Ladders Report, 2018)—that means you’ve got precious seconds to stand out from the crowd. Resumes that pop have several common elements that get the top law firm’s attention.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

Design a simple layout, that is easy to read. “Resumes are like a plate of food, I instantly decide whether it’s worth considering. If it hurts my eyes to read, I’m not going to bother,” says Shari Davidson—President of On Balance Search.

Make sure your resume covers the basics:

  • Focus on creating clearly-marked sections with job titles and descriptions that are concise, memorable and to the point.
  • Use bullet points to highlight your accomplishments.
  • Provide a detailed overview or mission statement at the top of the resume.
  • The top third of your resume is about as much as any recruiter will scan.
  • Quantify your results, provide statistics that add value to your experience.
  • The voice of your resume must always be in the 3rd Never use “I”.
  • Make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors.
  • Keep it to one page.

It’s all about clearly communicating your skills and accomplishments succinctly and cogently. “A great resume is easy to digest,” says Shari Davidson. 

Final Thoughts

  • Use a simple layout and font. Select a font that has ample white-space that reads well on both the computer screen and in print. There are several fonts that are considered the best to use. Consider any of the following fonts: Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Arial, Book Antiqua, and Trebuchet MS.
  • Don’t Clutter the resume with too much information. If you’ve got a lot of great experience, the second page better warrant reading on.
  • When using numbers, don’t spell the number out. Numerical data stands out, number are more memorable and significant to the reader.
  • Keywords do matter, just make sure you don’t use them excessively and that they read well within the context of the description.

And please note that the Summary is not an Objective. There are three key elements for the Summary Statement:

  • what you want,
  • your specific skill set
  • and your accomplishments.

Not sure about what to say and how to say it? Talk to a top recruiter. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

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.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Succession Planning for Solos and Small Firms

Most Solo Practitioners have spent years developing a growing and successful practice. Start planning your retirement now, take steps to create value. Establish benchmarks for revenue for future goals. Look for people internally and externally who fit the future image of the succession plan.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

In developing your succession plan, you’ll need to consider what you plan on doing with your practice or your book of business. Should you take on a younger partner? Sell the practice? Time is a critical factor, don’t wait.

Succession planning is a process. The most challenging task will be to Identify a successor or where to take your book of business. A clearly developed transition plan must address management responsibilities and an orderly plan for the transition of client relationships.

“You’d be surprised how many rainmakers put off planning their succession plan or wait till it’s too late to achieve this goal. Often many don’t groom a successor for the firm. As a strategic consultant I help attorneys monetize their book of business as they wind down from the daily practice into retirement,” – Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.

The success of a succession plan is based on how much time you have and how much time you’ll need. Decisions must be based on what is best for you and or your firm.

1. Start by establishing the firm’s identity and value. Assigning the firm’s successor is critical, the leadership must be a good fit for the existing client base and future growth of the practice.  A successful succession involves identifying or developing one or more effective leaders.

2. Transitioning clients can be a challenge. Relationships are built on trust, you cannot simply turn over a client’s business to another attorney. Make sure the client is happy with the new leadership or they will jump ship.

3. Compensation. Every practice has their unique circumstances that must be carefully crafted when establishing compensation. Get it right and everyone wins.

Running out time, follow these three options:

1. Shut the doors down. Understand you will be leaving money on the table.

2. Time is money. If time permits, groom a successor

3. Talk to a succession advisor to strategically create the retirement plan you desire.

The process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. It took years to build your business, and it will take time to successfully execute a succession plan. A transactional lawyer can successfully wind down a practice in three to six months. A trial lawyer may be tied into existing cases for two or three years.

Ultimately it gets down to what strategy best meets your needs. Nothing is ever routine, recognize that this process takes time. Be realistic. Understand what the value of the firm is today and what you can reasonably expect in the future. Is your client base of value to another practice?

“Perhaps your priorities have changed, or you’re being forced into retirement. You’ve got options, take your active book and work with a succession planner to set the stage for the next move in your career. My firm helps identify the best solution in the marketplace. We evaluate your options based on your practice area as well as the market trends, and then align the needs and desires to the best solution,” Shari Davidson, succession advisor.

Succession planning is not an event, it’s a process. A well-planned succession works towards grow-ing the firm’s worth and at the same time developing an exit strategy that will allow your clients to continue to be well represented.

 

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.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: It’s Not Just Your CV That Gets You In The Door

Creating the Representative Matters / Transactional Deal Sheets

The Emerging Global Demand for FinTech Law

Representative Matters / Transactional Deal Sheets are important tools to help quantify your value to your firm. And to position yourself in the marketplace. Take stock of your experience and assess where you are, and where you are going …

To list cases, litigators use the term Representative Matters and transactional attorneys refer to this document as the Transactional Deal Sheet. For the purposes of this article we will call it, the Deal Sheet.

It makes no difference if you plan on making the lateral move or simply wanting to move to a new firm. Start keeping a running list of cases you have worked on — it makes no difference if you are looking to jump to another firm. A Deal Sheet helps to assess where your experience may be lacking. And it’s a must to for client development.

The bottom line is that you must have an up-to-date list of cases you have worked on and deals you have closed. The Deal Sheet clearly defines your professional accomplishments in a way that a resume alone cannot.

There is no set length or format for organizing The Deal Sheet. Deal Sheets have no page limits. The Deal Sheet provides clients and prospective employers with a deeper understanding of your career experience with concrete examples in a clear, cogent and crisp manner. Be as concise as possible.

The key is to come up with a structure that meets the objective. Make the list easy to digest at a glance by highlighting your major accomplishments.

  1. List high profile or high value cases and deals first.
  2. Group information by kinds of cases or deals and by firms chronologically.
  3. Always be cognizant that you accurately portray your role in the matters and deals you describe.
  4. Be mindful of confidentiality issues. Be tactful and strategic, often times subtly stating the details works well.
  5. Include citations to be safe or use more generic language without naming specific people or entities.
  6. Include the dates (month and year) of each deal to show how recent your experience in various sub-practice areas has been.
  7. For instances where you have worked on a number of nearly identical deals for the same client, condense these transactions into one entry.
  8. You can include deals that did not close, if the details add something substantive to your skill set.

The important thing is to create a Deal Sheet that succinctly details your cases that can be scanned instantly and with ease.

Create several versions:

  • Create a chronological Deal Sheet and also create one that lists deals in a logical format.
  • When prospecting, create a Deal Sheet that is specific to a that industry or a sheet that lists only high-profile cases.
  • You may want to create unique Deal Sheets for Commercial Litigations, Bankruptcy Litigations, M&A Cases, IPOs, Capital Offerings, SEC Cases and arbitrations separately.
  • It might make sense to group deals where you represented the issuer under one heading and deals where you represented the underwriters under a different heading or sub-heading.

Carefully review your Deal Sheet and consider being challenged on everything listed. Be fully prepared to talk intelligently about anything and everything you include in your Deal Sheet.

  • Make sure you can recite extemporaneously any detail listed.
  • Be prepared to address questions about any key issues that arose during a case and how they were resolved.
  • Also discuss any challenges you in particular faced, during this deal and how you solved them.
  • If you really were not involved in the substance of a deal or if elaborating on the issues presents potential concerns about your skill set, err on the side of caution. Delete it.

Put pen to paper and detail your accomplishments. Your resume should be concise, that’s why the Deal Sheet is so valuable.

 

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.

Play your cards right. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.

The economy is strong. Law firms are desperatefor talent and there has never been a tighter job market. You never know when someone may ask you if you would like to work for them.

Play your cards right. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.

Get it right, be prepared to answer the question, “What are your salary requirements?” When valuing your worth know this. It is not about your experience or your previous salary. What it’s really all about what you bring to the table.

The top law firms are competing for the top talent and the candidates know it.

“My job as a recruiter is a balancing act. I have to find the right talent for my client and negotiate the right salary for the candidate as well. It has to work for both sides,” Shari Davidson – President of On Balance Search Consultants. It really gets down to finding the perfect fit for both the candidate and the law firm.

Don’t think that you’re immune to the new laws regarding disclosing your salary history. Think again. Invariably it gets down to what your number is.

When asked about your salary expectations, have a well-thought-out answer. Learn as much as possible about the position. Know your value in your market and work with a legal recruiter who has insider information about the firms and practices you would like to work for.

Do your research.
When coming up with a salary range, qualify the low-end number with other compensation. Such as benefits, path to partnership at the firm and a flexible work schedule. If that is important. Always give your high number first. Justify your worth based on your experience, education and skill set. Your base number should be what you are willing to take.

Time is money. 
Law firms and recruiters use smart technology and data to weed out candidates. When the offer is on the table, don’t dilly dally. Be respectful and get your answer quickly to the firm. You don’t want to burn bridges at the offer level.

Be true to thy self.
If you don’t feel the firm is right for you. Just say no. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em , know when to fold ’em  . . .

Play your cards right and you are off to a good start to negotiating the best offer.

 

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.

 

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.

Associates
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?

Partners
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 516.731.4300 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 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.

Business Etiquette: Boardroom to Ballroom, Know Your P’s & Q’s

Beyond your book of business, believe it or not landing the next big gig or finally being made partner has much to do with your manners. Attorneys meeting with clients must know proper form for not only the courtroom but also in a formal social setting.

Business Etiquette: Boardroom to Ballroom, Know Your P’s & Q’s

Just because you are outside the office doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Never reveal things about yourself that might leave a negative impression. Much of proper etiquette is common sense, but it never hurts to brush up on your P’s and Q’s.

Proper etiquette helps to present yourself in positive light.

  • Be on time.
  • Turn off your mobile phone and do not use it at all during the event.
  • If you have a Bluetooth, take it out of your ear.
  • If you do get an urgent call, politely excuse yourself and leave the table and find a private place to talk.

Appearance
When people meet you at an event. An interview, networking, or dinner they will think you are wearing your Sundays best. Always, make sure you feel great in your clothes. This will help you have the confidence to hold your own in the crowd. In the movie, Pretty Woman, Edward (played by Richard Gere) told Vivian (played by Julia Roberts) to stop fidgeting. From that point on Vivian held her own throughout the movie.

  • Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly.
  • Avoid extremes of style and color. Navy, dark gray, black — are safe.
  • Wool, wool blends, or other good quality natural and synthetic fibers, are generally the best fabrics in all seasons.
  • No missing buttons, no lint. Don’t forget to remove external tags and tacking stitches from new clothes. “I actually saw this at a networking event. A man wore the tags on his new suit. No one told him to cut it off before he wears it. It was like he was showing a sticker on his new car,” — Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.
  • Wear a conservative watch. Keep your jewelry choices simple and leaning toward conservative.
  • Men – Shoes should be polished. Make sure heels are not worn.
  • Women – Choose closed-toe pumps. Regardless of what is in style, avoid extremes. No stilettos or chunky platforms.
  • Women – Keep the purse small and simple, especially if you also carry a briefcase. Purse color should coordinate with your shoes. Leather is the best choice for briefcases.
  • Women – Keep makeup conservative and avoid extremes of nail length and polish color. Don’t show cleavage.
  • Men – Practice good grooming, shave. Nails should be clean and well groomed.
  • Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all. No odors in clothes. Don’t smell like a smoke-house.
  • Hair should be clean and neat.

Introductions
Introducing people is one of the most important acts in business life, yet few people know how to do it.

  • Say your name when you introduce yourself to someone, and shake hands.
  • You may even have met someone once before, doesn’t matter: state your entire name. Never assume they remember your name, remind them so no one is embarrassed.
  • A good handshake is important—it should be firm and held for three to four seconds with strong eye contact.
  • When meeting someone, rise if you are seated, smile, extend your hand and repeat the other person’s name in when greeting. Maintain eye contact.
  • When introducing people, be sure to state what people do and use their full names.
  • Be sure to greet or introduce yourself to the host / hostess.
  • As a general rule of thumb: Do not assume that everyone wants to be called by his or her first name—unless you are told to use their first name.
  • Name tags should be on your left shoulder. That way when to shake hands with your right, people can read your name tag.

Networking, Reception, Social Hour and / or Mingling
Take in the layout of the room: is everyone standing or cocktail rounds or tables for seating?

  • If no tables are available, you should only have a drink or your food in your hand—never both. Be pre-pared to greet and shake hands with individuals.
  • If having a drink hold it in your left hand, keep your right hand dry and ready to shake hands.
  • If eating hold your plate on the right hand and eat with the left hand. When someone approaches, switch the plate to your left hand and shake with your right hand.

Conversation

  • Never talk about: religion, politics, relationships, recent parties or sex. If the topic comes up, discreetly change the subject.
  • Maintain a conservative approach while chatting and avoid controversial remarks. Never let your guard down and keep a professional attitude and demeanor.
  • Be an active listener and let the conversation flow.
  • Don’t dominate the conversation. Avoid bragging and being judgmental.
  • Watch your body language.
  • When initiating a conversation, ask the person something about themselves or their job. Dale Carnegie recommends that you ask people to talk about themselves. As most people enjoy talking about themselves and this is a good way to begin conversation.
  • Spend a few minutes conversing with them on topics that relate to the event or to their business.
  • Do not interrupt people—wait until they include you or there is a break in the conversation so you can introduce yourself.
  • Never look around the room for your next contact, stay focused on who you are talking to.
  • To move on— politely excuse yourself to talk with other guests.

Final Thoughts
Never, ever blow your nose in public. It’s rude. Don’t badmouth anyone, including competitors—the walls have ears. Always smile, act pleasantly—be willing to learn.

Common sense is your best guide—in our next article we will talk about how break bread in a formal setting such as a meeting, an interview or landing the big client.


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.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Ghosting Is No Trick, Things Can Get Spooky

Never compromise your integrity, it’s always about being transparent and credible. 

The Emerging Global Demand for FinTech Law

People suddenly walk off the job, and just don’t come back. No notice, no warning, no sign that anything was wrong. ‘Ghosting’ is happening across all industries and occupations. Lower paying jobs have historically had no shows, but it’s now happening in the white-collar workplace. And it’s becoming commonplace. 

It’s been pretty rough out there and many feel that they have not been treated fairly. The workplace has become a toxic, chaotic work environment with no job security. Now that the job market is improving, candidates are now ‘ghosting’ job interviews.

The legal profession is a small community.  Yes, if you google how many attorneys there are in the NY Metro area the numbers are staggering.  Somehow, everyone still knows everyone. 

Time is valuable. Law firms need to stop calling in a candidate to satisfy the firm’s hiring policy. That goes both ways. “I had one candidate who wanted to interview with one of my clients, meanwhile they accepted a position with another in the same building. Somehow it got back to me, and well neither my firm or my client will work with this attorney ever again. Ghosting is not cool,” — said Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.  

Communication is critical. Give immediate feedback to your recruiter. Don’t keep candidates in the dark. Take the initiative and stay in constant communication to update candidates on their status. Remember it’s a people business, firms and candidates alike can ill afford a bad reputation for poor professionalism. 

“Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ’em. Trust your gut! Not every law firm deserves you nor is a good fit. Rejection is hard but being left out there waiting is intolerable. Don’t take it personally. Move on,” said Shari Davison. 

Know the three rules of business: 1. Cover your ass; 2. Cover your ass; and 3. Cover your ass. Believe it or not, every industry is a tight-knit community. Best not to burn bridges that can come back to haunt you down the road. 

“Ghosting recruiters and hiring managers is a really bad idea, but I understand the thinking behind it. Sure it feels good, but resist the temptation. Always leave a good impression, at the very least shoot off an email. Let them know that you’ve decided to pursue other options and thank them for considering you. You’ll be glad you did,” said 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.

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.