Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Tips to Pass the 6 Second Test

The 6-Second Resume Test

Law firms are bombarded with hundreds of resumes from potential attorneys every day.

It’s easy to get overlooked. That’s why you need to structure your resume so that you immediately capture the recruiter’s attention.

The Ladders published a study reporting that, recruiters spend about six seconds reviewing a resume. If your resume doesn’t grab their attention, they move on.

Now that you’ve got their attention, you need to keep them engaged and interested enough to schedule an interview. Substance rules the day.

Not sure if your resume will pass the test? Give your resume to a colleague and ask them to review it. After about 10 seconds, take the resume away from them. Then ask them to tell you what stood out? If they can’t note anything of import, better take the six-second test.

Follow This Critical 6-Second Resume Checklist:

  1. Name & Contact Information
  2. Certifications
  3. Supporting Media
  4. Professional Title & Summary
  5. Core Competencies (buzz words relevant for the position)
  6. Highlighted Achievements

Now let’s break it down for you to make your resume stand out:

  1. Name & Contact Information
    Your name should be in a larger font and or bolded at the top of the page so it is easy to see. Also include key contact information such as your phone, email and mailing address. Set up a generic email account that details your first and last name. Don’t use an email from your existing employer.
  2. Bar Admissions/Certifications / Speaking Engagements / Published Papers
    List any relevant Bar Admissions, certifications, speaking engagements or relevant legal briefs you published that highlight the area of law you practice. Note: These achievements are the top-selling points that recruiters look for. If you don’t have them, get them.
  3. Supporting Media
    Add hyperlinks directly below the contact area to include links to websites such as LinkedIn or articles that showcase your skill-set as an attorney.
  4. Professional Title & Summary
    Brief summary no more than three to five sentences that are clear, concise and cover three critical points:
    Why are you qualified and what makes you an ideal candidate for this type of role?
    In addition to a summary detail the skills relevant for this position that highlighting your strengths and the area of law you practice.
  5. Core Competencies
    List your core competencies and the key buzzwords to summarize your expertise.
  6. Highlighted Achievements
    Highlight the cases and trials you’ve won, especially those significant and relevant to the position you are apply for.

Important Final Thoughts

  • Omit any references to your birthdate, marital status, or religion.
  • Improve readability by increasing line spacing by at least 120% of the font size.
  • Make it easy to read by adding divider lines between sections.

Your resume should tell a story about why you are the best fit for this firm. Mention specifically how you will improve the bottom line with your unique qualifications. Focus on yourself and how you will make it rain for the firm.

About On Balance Search
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

CLE October 6 | Labor & Employment Update: From A-Z, American Disability Act to Zoom Calls and everything in between

This seminar will consider updates and developments in labor and employment law, both New York State and Federal. Specific topics will include vaccination policies, COVID issues, the New York State Sick Leave Law, the NY Heroes Act, wage and hours updates, discrimination issues, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and other labor and employment issues, topics and strategies.

Speaker: Glen Franklin, Esq. of Franklin Gringer & Cohen P.C.

Location: Online Seminar (Complimentary, open to the public)
Time: October 6, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (Online Seminar)

R.S.V.P. www.ultimateabstract.com/events

CLE Credits: 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice – this program is transitional and on-transitional

Accreditation: National Academy of Continuing Legal Education

Sponsored by:

On Balance Search Consultants
Ultimate Abstract of New York
Pedersen & Sons Surety Bond Agency

Post COVID Interview Questions Attorneys Must Be Able To Answer

COVID-19 has transformed how attorneys are recruited and hired. Law firms are continuing to do business remotely. Some firms are going back to the office while others have fully embraced the virtual world.

Consequently, geographic barriers to recruiting top talent are breaking down. The good news is that law firms are drawing from a more diverse talent pool. Law firms can now attract talent from a diverse ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.

RULES OF THE ROAD

  1. Understand what questions to expect so you can prepare detailed answers to leave a lasting impression to increase your chances of getting the job.
  2. Understand that your answers should be conversational, not “scripted”. How you articulate and respond to the questions is key. You will be evaluated on your reasoning and how clearly you articulate your response.
  3. Never be apologetic, defensive, or nervous. Convey confidence and concisely answer questions with cogent responses.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ATTORNEYS MUST ANSWER

Carefully study these interview questions.

Tell me about yourself. 
This should be a narrative, no more than two-minute summary of who you are and what’s important in your life. Reference your humble beginnings and then close with recent cases that will get the interviewer excited about brining you on to the firm.

Why do you want to work here?
Articulate why your experiences and specific skills are well suited for this position. Why this firm and not the competitors.

  • Clearly communicate who you are and why you are a good fit for the firm’s culture.
  • What do you bring to the table and how you will contribute to the firm’s success.
  • Talk about what are your expectations are of yourself and how you will excel in this new role at the firm.
  • Do your homework: bring up landmark cases that the firm worked on or high-profile deals that the firm closed recently. Align past experiences and values with these cases.

What are your strengths as an attorney?
Relate your strengths and unique skills with specific examples that apply to the position. you’re applying for and the tasks you expect to be responsible for. Use the STAR technique to prepare for this question.

STAR stands for: situation, task, action and result. This method will help you prepare clear and concise responses.

  • Situation or Task: Briefly provide context by citing a challenge you faced with details on how you solved the problem.
  • Action: Detail each step taken to address the problem, highlighting your strengths and skills that are critical for the post at the firm.
  • Result: Summarize the insights learned while addressing the issue.

Keep answers specific, focused, and succinct. Your responses should be as insightful as engaging to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the position.

What’s your greatest weakness?
Never come back with ‘I have no weaknesses’. Talk about a genuine shortcoming and then spin it. Show how you overcome this weakness and how you overcame this obstacle.

SUMMARY
Essentially all the answers to these questions are assessing your responses. You will be critiqued on your thought process as to how you approached solving each problem. Be prepared to be defend your approach and solutions. Prepare how you will frame your answers to these challenges.

Work with a legal recruiter to nail the interview. The best recruiters take a comprehensive assessment of your strengths, weaknesses and what firms are the best fit for your skill set.

About: On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Reciprocity: Guide to states where you can practice law

Reciprocity

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.

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 Agreements with New York State

NEW YORK: Has reciprocity with the following states: AK, CO, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

Below details the reciprocity for each state for attorneys who may relocate to the New York from other states.

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

ALABAMA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

ALASKA: The state has reciprocity agreements with the following other states: CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WY.

ARIZONA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

ARKANSAS: Admission by motion went into effect in October 2004.

CALIFORNIA: The state does not offer reciprocity, but offers a shorter bar examination for attorneys licensed in other states with good standing for at least four years prior to application.

COLORADO: Other states have to reciprocate for Colorado lawyers

CONNECTICUT: Other states have to reciprocate for Connecticut lawyers.

DELAWARE: The state does not offer reciprocity.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Lawyers who have been admitted for five years in another jurisdiction immediately preceding application for admission in DC can be admitted without examination; other lawyers can be admitted without examination if they graduated from an ABA accredited law school and obtained certain minimum scores on the Multi-state Bar Examination and the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination.

FLORIDA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

GEORGIA: Georgia offers a shorter bar examination for lawyers admitted by examination and in good standing in another state for at least twelve months prior to taking its Attorneys’ Examination. Also offers admission without examination for lawyers from reciprocal states who have practiced at least five years.

HAWAII: The state does not offer reciprocity.

IDAHO: Offers reciprocity only to certain lawyers licensed in Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. However, lawyers who have actively practiced law for at least five of the last seven years immediately preceding their applications for admission do not have to take and pass the Multi-state Bar Examination, but must take and pass the remainder of the Idaho bar examination.

ILLINOIS: Has reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, GU, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NMI, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, USVI, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

INDIANA: Has 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 Indiana bar examination.

IOWA: Lawyers who have practiced law for five full years of the seven years immediately preceding their applications for admission to practice law in Iowa can be admitted to practice without taking and passing the Iowa bar examination.

KANSAS: Does not have reciprocity.

KENTUCKY: Kentucky has reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IA, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI, WY.

LOUISIANA: Has no express reciprocity agreements, but provisionally admits certain lawyers from other jurisdictions under special criteria.

MAINE: As of January 2005, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont entered into a reciprocity agreement allowing attorneys to be admitted to one another’s bars without taking the bar examination for that state.

Shorter bar examination for lawyers in good standing in another state for at least three of the preceding five years prior to admission to practice law in Maine; shorter bar examination for lawyers in good standing in another state depending on passing score on MBE within sixty-one months of the current administration of the Maine bar examination.

MARYLAND: Has no formal reciprocity agreements, but offers shorter bar examination for lawyers in good standing in another state for at least five years of the ten years prior to application for admission in Maryland.

MASSACHUSETTS: To gain license in this state, an applicant must have been admitted to practice in another state, district or territory for at least five years prior to application for admission and be in good standing in each such state, district and territory.

An applicant must be a graduate of a law school which at the time of graduation was approved by the American Bar Association or was authorized by a state statute to grant the degree of bachelor of laws or juris doctor.

MICHIGAN: Lawyers who have actively practiced law for three of the five years preceding their applications for admission can be admitted to practice in Michigan without taking and passing the Michigan bar examination.

MINNESOTA: Lawyers who are 18 years of age or older in good character and fitness who have either;

(i) Graduation with a J.D. or LL.B. degree from a law school that is provisionally or fully approved by the American Bar Association;
(ii) a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or foreign equivalent;
(iii) a J.D. degree or equivalent from a law school attended following completion of undergraduate studies;
(iv) the applicant has been licensed to practice law in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia in 60 of the previous 84 months; and
(v) the applicant has been engaged, as principal occupation, in the practice of law for 60 of the previous 84 months and has either:
(a) been licensed to practice law in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia for at least 10 years.
(b) Passing score on the written examination under or a scaled score of 85 or higher on the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE); and
(c) Not currently suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in another jurisdiction or any foreign jurisdiction.

An applicant may be eligible for admission without examination if the applicant provides documentary evidence showing that for at least 36 of the 60 months immediately preceding the application, the applicant:

(a) Held a license to practice law in active status;
(b) Was in good standing before the highest court of all jurisdictions where admitted; and
(c) Was engaged in the lawful practice of law for at least 1000 hours per year as a:

i. Lawyer representing one or more clients, including on a pro bono basis;
ii. Lawyer in a law firm, professional corporation, or association;
iii. Judge in a court of law;
iv. Lawyer for any local or state governmental entity;
v. House counsel for a corporation, agency, association, or trust department;
vi. Lawyer with the federal government or a federal governmental agency including service as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Department of one of the military branches of the United States;
vii. Full-time faculty member in any approved law school; and/or
viii. Judicial law clerk whose primary responsibility is legal research and writing.

Jurisdiction. The lawful practice of law must have been performed in a jurisdiction in which the applicant is admitted, or performed in a jurisdiction that permits the practice of law by a lawyer not admitted in that jurisdiction.

Eligibility for Admission by MBE Score. An applicant may be eligible for admission without examination if the applicant has received a scaled score of 145 or higher on the MBE taken as a part of and at the same time as the essay or other part of a written bar examination given by another jurisdiction, was successful on that bar examination, and was subsequently admitted in that jurisdiction. The applicant shall submit evidence of the score and a completed application to the Board within 36 months of the date of the qualifying examination being used as the basis for the admission.

Eligibility for Admission by UBE Score. An applicant may be eligible for admission without examination if the applicant has received a scaled score of 260 or higher earned in another jurisdiction on the UBE and the score is certified as a UBE score by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Application Deadline. The applicant shall submit evidence of the score and a complete application for admission to the Board within 36 months of the date of the qualifying examination being used as the basis for the admission.

Concurrent Application. An applicant may submit the application prior to obtaining the qualifying UBE score by enclosing with the application evidence that the applicant is registered for the next administration of the UBE or is awaiting examination results in a UBE jurisdiction. An applicant who has applied under this rule must submit evidence of a qualifying UBE score within 12 months of the date the application is received or the applicant will be deemed ineligible and the file closed.

Transfer of MBE or UBE Score. An applicant seeking to transfer a MBE or UBE score achieved in another jurisdiction to Minnesota shall submit a written request for transfer to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

MBE Score Advisory. Upon written request, the director will advise an applicant or potential applicant who took and passed a bar examination in another jurisdiction whether or not his or her MBE score satisfies the requirements.

Requests for score advisory shall include the following:

(1) Complete name and social security number of the examinee; and
(2) Month, year, and jurisdiction of test administration.

No Waiver of Time Requirements. The minimum time requirements and the timely filing requirements of this Rule shall be strictly enforced.

Eligibility After Unsuccessful Examination. An applicant may be eligible for admission without examination under this Rule notwithstanding a prior failure on the Minnesota Bar Examination.

MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi has a very limited reciprocity admission rule with states who will offer similar reciprocity to Mississippi lawyers. Lawyers from other states who have practiced at least five years may be admitted after taking and passing an attorney’s examination.

MISSOURI: Will admit lawyers from states that have similar reciprocity for Missouri lawyers.

MONTANA: The state does not offer reciprocity.

NEBRASKA: Lawyers who have graduated from an ABA accredited law school and who have passed a bar examination comparable to Nebraska’s, including the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination, or who have graduated from an ABA accredited law school and who have actively and substantially practiced law for five of the last seven years prior to application for admission can be admitted to the practice of law in Nebraska without having to take and pass a written bar examination.

NEVADA: Does not have formal reciprocity agreements with any states.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: As of January 2005, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont entered into a reciprocity agreement allowing attorneys to be admitted to one another’s bars without taking the bar examination for that state. This state also has reciprocity with the following states: AK, CO, DC, GA, KY, MA, MN, MO, NB, NY, NC, ND, OK, PA, TX, UT, WA;

NEW JERSEY: The state does not offer reciprocity.

NEW MEXICO: The state does not offer reciprocity.

NEW YORK: Has reciprocity with the following states: AK, CO, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

NORTH CAROLINA: Has reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY.

NORTH DAKOTA: Does not have formal reciprocity, but lawyers who have been admitted to the bar of another state or the District of Columbia for at least five years and who have been actively engaged in the practice of law for at least four of the last five years immediately preceding their applications for admission can be admitted on motion without examination.

Applicants receiving particular scores on the Multi-state Bar Examination and Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination may also be admitted on motion if their applications are received by the North Dakota Bar Board within two years of the date of the MBE examination if they were admitted in the jurisdiction in which they took that test.

OHIO: This state does not have formal reciprocity agreements with other states. However, it provisionally admits (without examination) applicants who have taken and passed a bar examination and been admitted as a lawyer in the highest court of another state or in the District of Columbia, and who have practiced law, as defined in the rule, subsequent to that admission for at least five full years of the ten years prior to filing an application. Applicants also must demonstrate that they intend to engage in the practice of law in Ohio actively on a continuing basis.

OKLAHOMA: This state has formal reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

OREGON: This state has formal reciprocity agreements with the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IO, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NB, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

PENNSYLVANIA: This state has reciprocity with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

RHODE ISLAND: This state will provisionally admit persons admitted to the practice of law in another state, district or territory of the United States who have actively engaged in the practice law (including teaching law) there for at least five years of the last ten years immediately preceding application for admission to Rhode Island, and after taking and passing the essay portion of the Rhode Island bar examination.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Does not have formal reciprocity agreements with any states.

SOUTH DAKOTA: This state has a reciprocity agreement that went into effect in 2004. Applicants must show five years prior practice in prescribed areas.

TENNESSEE: This state will provisionally admit applicants who meet the educational requirements applicable to Tennessee bar examination applicants and have actively engaged in the practice of law in another jurisdiction for at least five years immediately preceding their applications for admission in Tennessee

TEXAS: This state has limited admission for certain lawyers to be admitted without examination and after passage of the full student examination.

UTAH: Has reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WY.

VERMONT: As of January 2005, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont entered into a reciprocity agreement allowing attorneys to be admitted to one another’s bars without taking the bar examination for that state.

Otherwise, lawyers who have been admitted to the practice of law in another jurisdiction of the United States may be admitted upon motion and without examination provided that at the time of application they have been actively engaged in the practice of law for five of the preceding ten years in one or more jurisdictions of the United States, are currently licensed to practice in at least one such jurisdiction, and are not under suspension or revocation in any jurisdiction.

Any or all of the five-year admission requirement may be waived in certain circumstances. Additionally, each applicant who at the time of application has been admitted in another state and has engaged in the practice of law for less than five of the preceding ten years, and who is currently licensed to practice in at least one such jurisdiction, and is not under suspension or revocation in any jurisdiction may be admitted after examination as described in Vermont Admission Rule 6(a)-(e).

VIRGINIA: Virginia will provisionally admit lawyers from other states who reciprocate for Virginia lawyers.

WASHINGTON: This state has formal reciprocity agreements with the following states: AK, CO, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WV, WI, WY.

WEST VIRGINIA: This state has reciprocity agreements with the following states: CO, CT, DC, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NY, NC, ND, OK, PA, TX, VT, VA, WA, WI.

WISCONSIN: Wisconsin will offer provisional admission to practicing lawyers from states that reciprocate for Wisconsin lawyers.

WYOMING: Wisconsin will offer provisional admission to practicing lawyers from states that reciprocate for Wyoming lawyer

About: On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.


Important Questions To Ask Before Working with a Legal Recruiter

Tough Questions to Ask Your Legal Recruiter

Not all legal recruiters are created equal. The best recruiters have long standing relationships with law firms who trust the recruiter’s assessment of candidates. Placing a candidate is a time-consuming undertaking, both the candidate and the firm want a successful long-term relationship. 

  1. First and foremost, find out what your colleagues say about the recruiter. Research testimonials and recommendations from attorneys who were placed by the recruiting firm.

    Work with a recruiter who is known for their integrity. 
  2. Recruiters match each attorney with the best firm that meets their skill set and experience. Confidentiality is critical, when reviewing your resume, they help re-work your experiences to put your best work forward.

    The resume needs to highlight your strengths and experiences that are an exact fit for what that firm is looking for. 
  3. Being a trusted advisor gives candidates the edge when preparing for an interview. Recruiters are savvy negotiators. They how to get you the best offer for the job. Top recruiters find ways to put deals together and will push back when the deal is not in your best interest.
  4. Work with a search firm that steers you away from law firms that are having retention problems. Many recruiters continue to advise candidates well beyond placing them with a firm. Work with someone who is there for you throughout your career. 
  5. Top legal advisors should always ask you the most important question before taking you on as a client. Why are you looking to make the move? If you can’t be honest and forthcoming, you’re wasting everyone’s time. 

Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants — “Don’t lie to me. If you’re NOT going to be transparent when making the lateral move, don’t bother.”

About: On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

New Normal: Know When to Go Before Your Firm Forces You Out

Lawyers are being 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 and often scaring off legal talent. To attract talent, law firms need and must maintain internal morale.

On boarding new partners (and groups) is a very important step in the hiring process. Bringing in a top performer and integrating within the firm is critical.

Having a top performer and their team being disappointment within a short amount of time is costly to the law firm and to the new lateral partner (and team). The best legal recruiters work very hard to find the right firm for the candidate and well as source the right candidates for that particular firm’s needs.

“Lateral partners must be able to bring a book of business, but that’s 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.

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 experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Rainmakers: Are you being properly compensated at the firm?

Legal Marketplace: Make sense as to the what you are worth.

Every successful negotiation is a with more than the sum of its parts. Compensation packages can be structured very simply or tiered with several incentives that get to your number. Your base salary should be a third of the annual billings for a senior associate.

Compensation is then negotiated based upon your book of business and considerations such as health insurance, travel expenses and other intangibles such as how the firm supports your practice with sales and marketing. All these factors can bring your final offering up or down accordingly.

Every proposal takes into account the attorney’s needs, practices and personal preferences. No two offers are alike. That said, all offers take into account several basic factors:

  • An originating attorney, billing attorney, working attorney or a relationship lawyer?
  • Realization rates impact the offering.
  • Collections.
  • Firm contributions and bonus pools.

Some firms have formulaic compensation packages that assign weight to the above factors while other practices take a more subjective approach. Many firms are transparent with their compensation structures. That said, there are law firms that do not disclose nor discuss what the senior partners make.

Don’t even consider putting your self on the market until you ask yourself what is your standing in the firm is? What is important to you and what are your strengths?. It’s all about what you bring to the table.

Clearly understand what type of compensation structures best reward you for how you practice law. Don’t start talking with a firm until you’ve worked out what will maximize your bottom line and where you would be leaving money on the table.

Know what you are capable of delivering and what aspects of compensation don’t work well for you. Consider how you are currently compensated and where you can gain advantage when you negotiate your new agreement.

Not all firm’s offer flexible terms, nor is every firm a good fit for you. It’s always about the money, Find a firm that is a good fit for you professionally and offer you the best compensation package.

Before starting a search, quantify what you bring to the table. Work with a strategic advisor or recruiter who can help you pull all the necessary documentation together. Here’s what you need:

  1. Business Plan: A comprehensive narrative of your past and current clients with revenues and areas of law practiced.
  2. Client & Non Client Referrals: Testimonials that site your skill set and success stories.
  3. Additional organizations, boards, etc. that showcase qualities such as leadership, community support, and associations that add credibility and integrity to your profile. Detail positions held as well as tenure.
  4. Compensation Verification: W2 an K1 Compensation Report for last three years minimum.
  5. Tax Compliance: IRS forms for last three years minimum.
  6. Office of Court Administration: Confirmation of present good standing as a registered member of state(s) bar and current compliance(s) with CLE requirements.
  7. Ethics Disclosure: Any complaints must be disclosed concerning malpractice or any professional ethics body. Be sure to include any pending cases or sanctions filed against you. As well as any complaints or letters of caution,, admonition or reprimand. Also any hearing from an ethics disciplinary council or panel.

Again, be transparent. Any or all of the sensitive issues that are not disclosed upfront can and will undermine efforts to get you the best offer. Work with an advisor to clarify the circumstances and present a sound response to potentially damaging issues.

Not sure you’re ready to make the move? There will never be a better time to take advantage of the current marketplace. Work with a trusted recruiter who will advise you as to whether you should stay put or make that move.

About: On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

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

The Art of the Deal: know when to hold and when to fold.

Law firms are desperate for talent and there has never been a tighter job market, even after COVID. You never know when someone may ask you if you would like to work for them.

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.

Dont think that youre 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 experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 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. “It’s truly about doing what’ right. 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. 

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 the 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. 

The 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 experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Billable Hours are Your Best Friend When Negotiating A New Deal

There is nothing so central to a lawyer’s daily life, as the billable hour. This metric wasn’t created for big brother looking over you. Use the billable hour as a powerful tool, remember billing is not the enemy. It’s your salvation.

Billable hours helps improve your time management skills. Focusing on what you are spending your time helps determine where the focus needs to be down the road.

If you aren’t happy with your client base, it may be time to start changing the way you do business. Spending too much time doing pro bono work? You may need to start devoting more time working on client business to generate more billable hours.

Examining your billable hours helps assess your overall profitability. Do the math: if you’re billing out 1900 hours and only getting paid for 1200 hours, you are discounting too much. Firms like a high realization rate, meaning what ever you bill out, you get paid for.

Apply the “One Third Rule” to your billing.

The One Third Rule is a general guideline (each law firm is slightly different) to determine your salary and profitability. The rule states that one third (1/3 ) of the attorney’s gross profit goes to salary; one third (1/3) of the attorney’s book goes to overhead costs; and one third (1/3) of the attorney’s book goes to firm’s profit.

Use this model directionally and make adjustments for your unique situation. By using the one third rule, will determine what your base salary needs to be as well as your compensation.

Technology & Time Management

During the COVID pandemic, many law firms have invested in technology. Beyond remote meetings, technology provides efficiency for attorneys to track billable hours, managing and assembling documents, organizing contracts and legal matters and calendaring.

Technology can also help reduce administrative costs. But most importantly, technology can help better manage time. The investment in technology is well worth the cost. Time saved can easily be devoted to creating more billable work.

Implement Strategies That Maximize Billable Hours
Ways to maximize your law firm’s billable hours.

Breakdown Time In Increments: Ensure that all time spent on legal matters is billed and compensated for. Break it down by five-minute increments.

Record Tasks As You Complete Them: There are several time tracking mobile apps that make it easy to track billable hours. Services must be descriptive and justified. Don’t submit an invoice that doesn’t justify the invoice.

Make Time Tracking Policy: Create a culture that makes tracking billable hours a part of doing business for every member of the firm.

Maximize Productivity: Time spent on nonproductive tasks takes away from billable hours. Purposefully spend time on tasks that are billable.

Limit time each day spent on efforts that are not billable. Delegate less profitable tasks to paralegals or support staff to better manage your time.

Track Billable & Non-Billable Hours: Assess where and how much time each member of the firm devotes on servicing clients. Make necessary changes to maximize efficiencies and tasks for each member of the firm. This will improve time management and at the same time increase profitability.

When the time comes to negotiate a new compensation package, you will be in a better position having restructured how you spend your time. Your earnings will be considerably more, putting in an excellent position to ask for more money when the opportunity presents itself.

About: On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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 and any legal restrictions regarding the law.