Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Secrets to Success

Secrets to Landing a Successful Partnership

Law firms are looking for attorneys who can hit the ground running. The best legal recruiters are seeking for top candidates who can bring a book of business to the table, immediately. Work with your legal recruiter to identify the law firms that are a good fit for you.

Define Your Value Proposition

  • What is your mission?
  • Who are your clients?
  • Clearly communicate your abilities.
  • What do you need to continue to develop your book of business? (i.e. platform, practice niches, geographic locations,  marketing etc.)

Identify with your recruiter firms that will support and grow your practice. 

  • First and foremost, when considering and being considered by a law firm, think about how compatible you are?  Beyond revenue.
  • Learn about the law firm’s culture, will you be happy here?
  • How will your skills and niche further the goals of the firm? And vice versa.
  • Develop a one-sheet — what you can bring to the company and why?
  • Work closely with your legal recruiter to come up with creative solutions to securing the best offer from the law firm.

Understand the Needs of your Future Law Firm

Often times a law firm is looking for a specific skill-set, a specialist who will complement their footing in that particular practice of law.

  • How do you plan on making or saving money for the firm?
  • Leverage your worth. Learn as much as you can about the interested firm — before and during the process.
  • Understand how far a law firm is prepared to go to acquire your area of expertise.
  • Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, and flexibility in work hours, opportunities for partnership and perks.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Final Thoughts

Rainmaking is all about building relationships, and lawyers should keep in mind that developing a solid network and book is never ending.  Attorney’s need to strategically nurture business relationships:

  • From inside their firm
  • Past and current clients
  • Personal and professional contacts
  • And focus on an industry or geographic location

Invest time in your future,  participate in industry conferences and other networking events. Put yourself in a better position to learn and be considered for new opportunities.

This is the first installment of an ongoing series of insider tips on growing your law practice. See you here same time, same channel, same station. 


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

Contact us today call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at


Sources —

Photo Cred:

Gallo, A. (March 9, 2015). Setting the Record Straight on Negotiating Your Salary. Harvard Business Review.

Coe, E. (February 25, 2014). Female Attorneys: Here’s How To Make It Rain. Law360.

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.

Photo Cred.

What Makes A Recruiter Great? 

Recruiting For Legal Firms

Legal Recruiting

Recruiting can be hard for every industry. You may find yourself in need of new staff and administrators, but have no idea where to look or how to attract the right crowd. You may be deploying your job offers online, but nothing is coming back. The workload is mounting for your current employees and you need to find a solution fast. As a LAW FIRM you are essentially attempting to sell yourself, as a business and a potential culture and work environment, to a potential CLIENTS. As a candidate you are looking to find a A LAW FIRM that will not only pay you well, but also be an enjoyable experience.

Make sure your find a recruiter who has a track record of placing people at the best firms. Go with the most respected legal recruiters. If they take you on, you’re in luck. 

Work with the best, it is common knowledge in the legal profession that candidates who work with one recruiter have an overwhelmingly higher rate of success than those that use several recruiters.

Be honest with your recruiter, be as transparent as you feel comfortable about the interviews you’ve had, this information may be useful in identifying what firms desires your skill set. Recruiters have relationships with many of the firms, by disclosing who you’ve been in conversation with helps to get you in front of the senior partners of those firms who may of overlooked you.

A thoroughly screened candidate reveals their strength, which the best recruiters use to selectively place you in the firms for a perfect fit. Every lawyer knows that any seemingly un-important information omitted if discover and deemed significant will be viewed as deceitful and will most likely sabotage your chances of being considered.  A rigorous vetting helps to hash out any potential flags a prospective firm might otherwise reject the prospect for. Often the answers ally any concern, but that’s why the screening is so necessary.

Here are the top questions you need to be prepared to answer . . .

  • Why you are considering a move?
  • Your interest in the specific firm.
  • Your academic achievements.
  • An expansive description of your work experience (detailed narratives discussing cases and outcomes).
  • Why you have made certain job changes in the past, with thoughtful explanations.
  • Any special awards and or values that may set you apart from your colleagues.
  • Other relevant personal information.

All of the above aforementioned questions help you the candidate define your value proposition. Why hire you? Why you are a stand-out? Also of import is a comprehensive cover letter that is specific to a firm, typically several pages. Never underestimate a well thought out value statement. Lawyers are great in the court room, especially when representing themselves. When it gets down to any firm weighing in on your qualification, they will vet all of your documents, including your value proposition.  The more ammunition you provide the better your chances. Simply blasting your resume out there will do more harm than good.

Lastly, your recruiter should ask you for a deal sheet or significant transactions sheet if you are a Corporate, securities, real estate, or attorneys should provide a deal sheet or significant transactions sheet to your recruiter. Litigators should provide the recruiter with a couple of recent writing samples of mostly your own work. The recruiter should have examples of deal sheets, depending on your practice area, to assist with your detailed transaction list.  Let your recruiter review these pages, another set of eyes is always a good idea, plus there may ways to improve your deal sheet. This also helps the recruiter to formulate a strategy on how to proceed.

WHEN EVER POSSIBLE IT ITS GOOD TO meet your recruiter in person, it’s much more conducive to developing a stronger, more trusting, and overall more successful outcome.

Keep in constant contact with your recruiter. This is important, give your recruiter your full attention. Make yourself available should there be a need. Take control of your search, give direction and pick up the phone and make sure your expectations are being met.

The primary objective of the recruiter is to match the skills of potential job seekers to the firms that value those skills. 


About On Balance Search Consultant
On Balance Search Consultants LLC specializes in recruiting for legal firms, specifically the partner search process. One of On Balance’s President Shari Davidson, has had almost a decade of expertise. She has been able to assist with recruiting programs for Fortune 500 companies and has had a success rate of about 99% in the last five years. Looking for work in NYC, On Balance has extensive contacts in Manhattan successfully placed top attorneys at the best firms. On Balance is able to evade useless expenses that companies so often waste on recruiting.



Photo credit

Retrieved on January 18, 2016 from Payback Wednesday – Professional Recruiting: 5 Factors of Time and Practice. Swig Group Recruiting.

Retrieved on January 20, 2016 from How to Select the Best Legal Recruiter. BCG Search.

Give your Law Firm that Competitive Edge

Finding that Competitive Edge

Finding that Partner who brings a successful track record and integrity to take your firm to the next level — starts with finding a great recruiter. What does your firm do that sets you apart from the pack? What’s the culture of your firm? Why do your best stay on with you?

That’s your firm’s competitive advantage. That is how you will land the right candidate who meets the criteria that you and your recruiter carefully map out. Partnering with a recruiter is a strategic step to lateral recruiting.  The recruiter should be communicating your story.

Strategy first, last and always. There are several strategies and tactics that can help you to find the best fit for your firm:

1. Your Story.
The story must be authentic, important and compelling. Your message must connect potential partners in a way that get’s them to sign on with your firm.

2. The Value Proposition.
At your next company retreat ask your partners to identify the firm’s core points of differentiation. Define your value in human terms, not in business terms. Don’t discount the little things. You want to retain your best lawyers while attracting new talent.

Here are a few powerful points for consideration:

  • What is your retention rate of Partners? Associates?  Staff?
  • Is your firm committed to marketing?  Who is on your marketing team?  How does this team assist in publishing articles, coordinate speaking engagements,  create strategic partnerships with associations etc.?
  • How do you integrate new Partners to the firm?
  • Do you have ongoing leadership development training to improve Partners skills?

Prepare simple communication tools that make it easy for your recruiter to tell your story. Follow the rule of Cs: Clear, Concise, Concrete, Correct, Coherent and Courteous.

Create 4 one page summaries:

  1. Create a Talking Point Sheet.  A Talking Point Sheet is a one page summary sheet of the firms highlights ( Firm’s Rankings, PPP, Awards, Value Proposition, History of Firm and anything else of import ).
  2. FAQ sheet that answers the top questions of prospective partners.
  3. Summary-Sheet for each practice group critical to the firms strategic goals ( hyperlink to key partners biography pages and recent hires ).
  4. Finally, share two or three success story’s of one of your top partners that joined the firm.

Make 2016 a great year, get busy identifying what makes your firm great.  Strategically share the information to attract new talent.

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

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


Love, S. (April 19th, 2015). Getting the Edge in Recruiting Partners. Retrieved on January 18, 2016 from

Photo Cred.