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.

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.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Funny Money

The Emerging Global Demand for FinTech Law

The Emerging Global Demand for FinTech Law

Article appeared in the September 26th, 2018 issue of Above The Law.

 

The financial services industry is being transformed by new technologies. Very few of us, lawyers included understand how virtual cryptocurrencies, blockchain as well as frictionless mobile banking work. Or how to leverage this technology nor grasp its potential to change the way we do business.

For law firms, now is the time to offer up their expertise and bring on the top talent for the next big legal opportunity in financial technology (FinTech). Many of the Am Law 200 firms have all ramped up their financial technology practices.

Make no mistake, this is the new game, few have an appetite to dive in. But for those who do, you’ve got to get how cryptocurrency works. Cryptocurrencies deal with fractions of currency.

Many of the middle market firms are beginning to work with Hedge firms. In this emerging new digital economy, FinTech is certain to be the next big trend. The smart firms are already on board. Don’t get left behind. 

Countless businesses are implementing this new means of raising capital — The Initial Coin Offering or (ICO). These currencies are highly volatile, the valuations can move dramatically overnight.

Cryptocurrencies integrated with technologies such as blockchain, are generating a wave of innovation.   Blockchain technology is being called the “next evolution” of computing by many experts. Many industries are moving towards blockchain technology including: Real Estate, Banking, Small Business, Insurance Providers, and even some world Governments.

What is Blockchain, how does it work?

Blockchain technology is not new, but it time has now arrived.  As a transaction occurs, it’s encoded into a block of digital data and signed or identified. Each block connects to the one before and after it — creating an irreversible, immutable chain.

What makes blockchain so sexy is that every financial transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure. Blockchain represents an innovation in information registration and distribution. It eliminates the need for costly third parties, such as a bank, to verify the transaction or keep records of it.

With this explosive growth, new legal and regulatory issues in law are cropping up every day.

Initial Coin Offerings must follow all securities laws. Firms must file with the SEC regulations. All must provide investors with legal disclosure and compliance documentation. This is an exciting new field. Being on the cutting edge can prove to be profitable in the early stages and down the road.

“The demand for this new specialized field of law is rising all over the country” — Shari Davidson, CEO of OnBalance Search Consultants, “we can barely keep up with the needs for this new area of FinTech law.”

The lateral moves and cross industry practice groups have occurred amid a flood of headlines about virtual currency its value and future. Resulting in a flood of litigation and regulatory questions have risen.  The demand for law firms with FinTech expertise is expected to accelerate as the digital currency market matures.

For lawyers who want to get into this emerging new field of law. Top candidates must have expertise in emerging companies, venture capital and cybersecurity.

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: Smart Rainmakers Just Don’t Network at the Bar Association

Time is simply something none of us have. Therefore, you need to work smart.

Article originally ran in Above the Law, April 18, 2018.

Article originally ran in Above the Law, April 18, 2018.

 

Time is simply something none of us have. Therefore, you need to work smart. The sum total of your efforts must bring in new business. Make sure you are connecting with the right people, who can help you in business development. Constantly assess what is working, and what is not.

Organizations are a great way to build new relationships that can bring in new business. An obvious choice is the Bar Association. “As a legal recruiter this I cringe every time hear this is the only place you are networking.  Why you ask? Why would you put yourself in the mix with your peers to slug it out to win new business when you can find more fulfilling and better ways to make it rain?” — Shari Davidson, On Balance Search Consultants.

How do you choose a group? What is your practice area and who are your clients?  Ask yourself where and who you should network with before you join a group. Follow these steps to ensure you pick the right group.

I . Clearly define your business’ values.
A great place to start is your mission statement. Don’t have a business plan? Get one. Clarifying your mission will help you see the natural connection between your organization and a potential new partner.

II.  Determine the criteria for the potential new group.
Consider criteria such as the size of the organization, the age of the organization and whether the type of group:

Non-Compete Groups
Referral groups like BNI and Gotham offer non-compete exclusivity. Being the only lawyer in the group can be advantageous. But don’t just jump in, consider who is in the group first? If the group is a bunch of Mary Kay Representatives or Landscapers, this may not be a good source of new business for you.

Professional Groups
Consider partnering with other trusted providers such as Attorney Accountant Networking Groups (AANG). These groups, as well as CPA and Insurance firms, Architects, Engineers, and yes, Bar Associations may have sub committees that don’t only have attorneys in them. Like, WE CARE Fund, (the nationally recognized charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association) may also prove to generate a steady stream of new clients.

Industry Associations
What are the new trends in legal work? Get creative, research associations that match up with your practice area of law. Consider women’s groups or new burgeoning fields such as cybersecurity. Consider verticals that require your expertise. Build-outs in construction need attorneys well versed in mapping out the legal commercial legalese for everything from airports, dams and tunnels. Other verticals to consider are hotels, restaurants, strip malls or sports complexes. Your competitors are not going to be working these niche industries. Stand out and become the leading authority in these fields of law.

Personal Social Groups
Let your interests and passions guide you. Perhaps you are an avid bowler, cyclist or runner. Do you have a passion for art, history, or horses? These networks may prove to be a major new source of business. Political organizations can be a good place, just remember this can also backfire. Let’s face it, everything is political. Steer clear of politics.

Charitable Organizations
Shari Davidson, ” As a member of the American Heart Association Charitable Estates Committee I routinely interface with attorneys, CPA’s, insurance agents and many other trusted advisors on the council. Groups like this are a great place to align your brand or firm and can be a fulfilling experience leading to forging new friendships and new business.”

There are so many reasons why you should put yourself within a powerful network that has, “the resources, tools, and experience to help the professional community … creating an impactful win-win for all.” said Ed Rodbro, Sr. Advisor Charitable Estate Planning for the American Heart Association.

Start building strong relationships and establish yourself as an expert in your field of law. Working with a charity can become a fulfilling way to further the mission of your organization while helping your community.

III.  Select an organization whose values are consistent with your own.
Ask yourself if you like the organization’s board members? Do you feel comfortable working with them? If an organization makes you feel uneasy, then trust your gut. Move on.

Don’t waste time and money getting to know a group that can’t help you. Look at the metrics, trends, and risk mitigation when assessing where to source new business. There is more to networking than securing the mailing list from the business chamber.

Nurturing relationships takes time, set yourself up for success. Get to know one or two contacts at an event. Don’t try and get everyone’s business card. Take an interest in who you meet, learn more about what they do, what’s important to them and make sure you remember them. Invariably you’re going to meet up with that person again. Leverage these new relationships.

Keep a small notepad with you or use an app on your smartphone to take notes. Ideas will pop into your head when chatting with a friend or networking at an event. Write it down, that way you won’t forget. You are a resource and expert in your field, you often are asked for your assessment and opinion on an issue.  Make a note. You are now well on your way to penning that new article or writing a that book you’ve been talking about.

Once you’ve selected the right groups to network with, you’ve got to make the most of your time to bring in the business. In our next article we will help you leverage these powerful new connections.

Want to learn more ways to make it rain? Subscribe to our blog https://www.onbalancesearch.com/category/blog-page/.

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: Are You in a Career Coma?

Do you find yourself unresponsive to the world around you? Nothing seems to phase you, and you are numb to the painful reality that you’re stuck in a dead-end job. There is no secret recipe for a curing a  career coma. What you can do is start taking charge of your situation.

Article originally ran in Above the Law, January 31, 2018.

Article originally ran in Above the Law, January 31, 2018.

 

“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” — Broadcast TV Weatherman Phil Connors is assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA. Played by actor / comedian Bill Murray. Phil finds himself caught in an infinite time loop, repeating the same day over and over again.

Okay, campers. Rise and shine. It’s Groundhog Day! 
Do you find yourself just going through the motions at work? Clocking in and clocking out, without truly investing your time? Author and Executive Coach Anne Marie Segal, “Given the risk-averse tendencies of most lawyers, coupled with demanding workloads, the concept of proactively creating a career path can be difficult to entertain. Yet if we do not drive our own careers, we are often driven down backroads and dead-ends that lead nowhere we wanted to go.”

Do you find yourself unresponsive to the world around you? Nothing seems to phase you, and you are numb to the painful reality that you’re stuck in a dead-end job. “Without a proactive strategy you very well may lose sight of your goals and find that your job is no longer fulfilling. Suddenly you realize that your career is way off track”  — Shari Davidson, Top Legal Recruiter.

Know the warning signs.

  • Churning out large amounts of work, with little thought. You are not working on deals, cases or projects that make a difference to the bottom line.
  • You have become immune to what’s going on at the office and suddenly are not invited to important meetings.
  • This self-induced coma has made you complacent, and you seldom take initiative to learn new skills. Your skill set is no longer relevant, and you now have limited options for advancement.
  • Your appetite for challenging work has waned, and you have little to no motivation to grow or change for the better. You’ve become risk adverse. You’ve lost your edge and fear change.
  • You no longer see opportunities, and you are leaving money on the table. You are lost and cannot see the way out.

Wake up! Try something new and get some professional help.

Lawyer Coach Anne Marie Segal, “You cannot get out of a career coma just by ‘thinking yourself’ out of it. Highly intelligent people tend to rely too much on their intellectual abilities to solve problems. This is not a problem that cannot be solved through brain power alone. In fact, that approach creates the same blind spots that led to a career coma in the first place.”

On Balance Legal Search, CEO Shari Davidson —  “There is no secret recipe for a curing a career coma. Every case is different. What you can do is start taking charge of your situation, which takes guts, expansive thinking and powerful contacts:

  • Guts — First, you need to find the courage to recognize and admit to the problems that are plaguing your career. Then you need to make the commitment to addressing the problems head on and following it through to completion.
  • Expansive Thinking — Second, accept that resolve and a commitment are not going to be enough. You’ve hit a wall and need to make some changes.  You no longer share the firm’s interests, values or career priorities.
    Instead, take time to understand who you are and what you want. Start thinking expansively, challenge yourself to re-engage and strategically find new solutions to reach the success you seek.
  • Contacts and Networking — Lastly, you need to associate yourself with others who can help you get out of your rut. Go outside your comfort zone and put yourself into new centers of influence to widen your circle of friends. Get new perspectives from your new social networks.”

“Take the time to figure out what you think of you.” — Michael F. Melcher, Author, The Creative Lawyer. Get out from behind your desk and out of your comfort zone. Join an exercise group or gym. Take on some pro bono cases in areas of interest. Join the board or a committee of a non-profit organization. Go on informational interviews. Finding out what legal recruiters or other career professionals can offer.

Talk to a professional to get some honest feedback and support. Make those powerful connections that will get your career back on track.

Download Anne Marie Segal’s Personal Value Proposition Worksheets from her book, Know Yourself, Grow Your Career: The Personal Value Proposition Workbook.And sign up for On Balance Search’s newsletter.

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: Negotiating The Best Deal

New Regulation Makes Disclosure Of Compensation Unlawful Discrimination.
Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

The new labor law is to go into effect the 1st of November here in New York City.  Similar laws have passed in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California to name a few. The law’s intent is to eliminate inequitable compensation based on gender, age or other biases. This new law amends Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, making it unlawful to base offers on past compensation.

No longer can an employer ask about a candidate’s past salary, income or compensation.

Hire a recruiter to negotiate the best deal. It’s really a no brainer. You really want a top recruiter to get in there and negotiate the best terms. Here’s why:

Time & Energy

If you are open and forthright about your salary and compensation goals with your recruiter from the onset, you will save you time and energy. Disclosing your compensation and realistic expectations will help ensure the candidate’s and client’s salary expectations are in alignment.

Marketplace Intelligence

Recruiters know the market and what competing firm’s offerings. They have an extensive network to get inside information on what firms are looking for. Knowing the marketplace helps recruiters steer you clear of the firms that are merging or going under.

Create A Compelling Case

Be prepared. Work with a recruiter to strategically best present you. A good recruiter helps define the true value of your skill set and how uniquely qualified you are. Let them create a compelling narrative of how your past wins and successes contributed to the bottom line of the firm. And how you will help increase the overall profitability of the firm.

“On Balance Search Consultants has successfully put clients and candidates together. The new partnership produce added revenue streams and elevated positions in securing new business.” — Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.

Calculate the risk. Try not to disclose your past compensation. There may be times that your back will be up against the wall and you will have to disclose your past salary and future expectations. As in the courtroom you’ve got to assess your case. Is this the best deal? Do we to press for more money or pass on the deal? Let’s make sure you don’t miss out on a real career opportunity.

Leverage net worth. Don’t risk undervaluing or overestimating your worth. Every firm has a top and bottom line. Know what you can ask for and what’s unreasonable. Never commit yourself to a specific figure before you have a better understanding of the position requirements and the firm’s expectations.

Weigh The Intangibles

Remember the negotiation is not just about compensation. There are benefits and other intangibles that can be desirable. There are many forms of remuneration. For some the best offer may be having the flexibility to strike more balance between their personal and professional lives.

Think About It

Consider the offer carefully. Cover all the angles, then talk to your recruiter to decide whether you want to accept or make a reasonable counteroffer. Trust that when your recruiter tells you. It’s a good deal. Then sign on. When they tell you to pass, turn the deal down.

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 who you know and how you work it.

A poor referral source can have personal consequences. The person at the firm, may not be that well regarded. The recommendation may not be taken very seriously at all.

Article published in Above The Law, October 26th, 2017.

Article published in Above The Law, October 26th, 2017.

Have you ever asked your good friend to put in a good word for you? “You work with the Partner, don’t you? Would you mind passing along my resume?”  Your friend may have good intentions, however this may not be the best for your career.

Tell me who you know, how you know them. When the time comes, we’ll use your internal connections to your best advantage.” — Shari Davidson President On Balance Search legal recruit services.  A poor referral source can have personal consequences. The person at the firm, may not be that well regarded. “You don’t really know. The recommendation may not be taken very seriously at all.”— Shari Davidson.

Perception versus reality, how do you know if your friend is actually well regarded within their firm? Do you have all the facts about your friend? Are you really going to put your reputation on the line? Are you 100% sure, your friend is well aligned with the firm? Just because they are a friend, doesn’t mean you know anything about their professional skill set. Maybe you really don’t want their recommendation?

Play it safe. Here are the several reasons you do not want to ask for a referral:

  1. Even with the best intentions, there is no guarantee your friend will pass along your resume along, or follow up with their current employer.
  2. What if your friend feels threatened by you? Truth of the matter is, they may not even pass your resume along. They may sabotage your submittal in subtle ways.
  3. Don’t put your friends in an awkward situation. Don’t ask them to put in a good word for you or bring your resume to their boss. This is totally uncomfortable for both of you. This makes you look desperate. When you don’t get the call, you’re going to question your friendship.
  4. Is your friend in good standing at the firm? If you don’t know you may be doing more harm than good. What if your friend is on the way out? Your resume will likely end up in the trash.
  5. Is your friend the best representative to negotiate terms for hire? You don’t talk about money with friends. Why would you ask them to negotiate for you? No way, you’ve got to be kidding me.
  6. Consider the cost to your friendship!

The best recruiters understand what firms are looking for. The best recruiters navigate the labyrinth of complex hiring process, policies and procedures. The good ones are expert negotiators. They know how to use their extensive network within and outside the firm to leverage the best terms. That are right for you. A good recruiter will identify the right position and law firm whose culture is best aligned with your career goals.

Remember, most of the best career opportunities are never posted. Work with a top legal recruiter, they will help you strategize your next career move.  And when it is appropriate to use your friends name in landing the prefect position.

There are also risks for you to recommend a friend.  Do you really want to refer your friend?

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.

 

Photo Source.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Do you really want to refer your friend?

The truth is that people don’t make recommendations any more.  When was the last time you ever made a recommendation for a good hair dresser, a restaurant or a doctor?  Or anything, for that matter? 

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

If you want to do a good deed, refer your friend to a trusted recruiter. A recruiter has as much at stake as you do. The recruiter’s reputation is on the line, every time they present a candidate. Work with a legal recruiter who is highly regarded with a track record of successfully placing candidates in firms where all parties are served.

“Your friend may not be the ‘best fit’ for the position. Think about what could go wrong? Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.”— Shari Davidson President On Balance Search legal recruit services.

Do you really know why your friend wants to make a move? Why are they looking in the first place?  Is your friend’s motivation because their current firm has a toxic work environment? Are they being asked to leave by their current firm? Do you know what your friend’s track record is at work? Do you have and know all the facts?  Believe me, I doubt it.

Referring a friend may present a potential conflict of interest at the firm. “Referrals can get messy, it’s not the best way to help your current firm.” — Shari Davidson. What if it all backfires and things go terribly wrong? A poor referral could leave others to begin questioning your judgment. Or commitment to the firm.

Think before you refer your friend where you work:

  1. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your career. Your reputation is everything. It’s all you got.
  2. Why would you gamble on anyone other than yourself? Even the best, don’t always measure up!
  3. What if they wind up out performing you? Did you see that coming? Do they have your back?
  4. Are you part of the strategic planning process of the firm? Do you really know what is going on? Could the partners be downsizing, is your job on the line? Simply, there is no upside to this.
  5. Last but not least, do you want to jeopardize your friendship?

You are taking on unnecessary risk when you refer someone?  You cannot afford to put ‘your reputation’ on the line. It’s complicated. See things from your friend’s point of view. It’s who you know and how you work it.

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.

Photo Source.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: How to Thrive in the Age of Disruption

If the election has taught us anything, it is to question expectations. Media plays into unforeseeable future of fear and uncertainty. In many ways, nothing has changed. The unknown and fear of change create chaos for many of us. All we can control is our actions.

How to Thrive in the Age of Disruption

The reality is that there’s more and more disruption. Is your law firm sinking? And are you going down with the ship? “You reap what you sow” your past behavior shapes your future possibilities. Actions have consequences, burn a bridge today and it may cost you down the road.

You are not just the job you have now or the job you had. You are a compilation of skills and assets, with new possibilities you need to invent. You have options, if you are open to the possibility and resilient you’ll do fine. Work with a legal recruiter who has a track record of success, who protects, matches and places you in a law firm that is a good fit for you and the firm with a bright future.

Trends Shaping the Legal Industry

  • Law firms and corporations alike are opting to “rent” rather than hire legal talent.
  • Firms are beginning to hire back “boomerang” employees. Know what they are getting — proven talent they can rely on.
  • Today, social media channels provide transparency and the opportunity to drill down deep into a prospects profile. Your Facebook profile will be vetted to determine whether to begin negotiation process.
  • Money still is the top consideration to lure the top talent but many candidates opt for flexibility that affords time with family and other intangibles.
  • Law firms are beginning to brand their shops to attract the best.

Work with the Best

There is a common misconception that recruiters are transactional and money hungry. The best recruiters out have a solid reputation of integrity and trust. The most respected and desired recruiters tell you the cold hard truth. Some law firms have a bad rap on the street, a good recruiter gives it to you straight and spells it out for you. They are not going to place you with a firm with poor morale and low retention rate. A good recruiter will never offend you by compromising your integrity.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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.

To contact Shari Davidson: info@OnBalanceSearch.com  or 516-731-3400.

 

Photo Cred. 

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection, By Shari Davidson

Reprinted with permission from: Inside, Fall 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.

Reprinted with permission from: Inside, Fall 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.


I. Introduction

Law is a male-dominated profession. There are more doors open to women today, but women have not achieved economic parity with men. There has been tremendous progress, but the earning power of women is still considerably lower than that of men. Women are increasingly represented in many top leadership roles here and around the world, as women advance professionally, they have begun to redefine themselves.

II. Advice from Successful Women Attorneys

What qualities do women possess who break through the glass ceiling? I asked several successful women attorneys: “How they got to where they are today and what advice they have for women attorneys who are just starting out?”

 

Leslie Berkoff, Partner, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP:

My path as somewhat unconventional: after clerking for a federal judge for the job market was not doing well, I decided to take another clerkship in the Bankruptcy Courts. I fell in love with bankruptcy and when I “hit” the job market I decided to avoid the big firm game and pick a smaller, more collegial place where I saw great growth opportunity and the ability to balance work/life.

Women today don’t have to follow the lock-step path of your colleagues; don’t be afraid to explore other opportunities.

Kathleen Turland, Chief Compliance Officer, powered by GE:

Work closely with people who you admire and respect. Develop good relationships with your colleagues, understand the roles they play, the demands and pressures of the firm, and what made them successful. Be smart, volunteer assignments others may not want. It worked well for me, might work for you too.

Be open to advice from many, look at what they are doing and think whether that works for you, be willing to move, accept change as it comes and go with it.

Elizabeth J. Shampnoi, Esq. Director, Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services, Stout Risius Ross, Inc.:

I got to where I am today by building a strong network of colleagues, mentors and sponsors while gaining experience and developing skills to excel in my dispute resolution practice.

I would advise new attorneys to network, build relationships, follow up and do what you say you are going to do. To be successful in the long term, attorneys must build a brand and it’s never too early to start.

Phyllis Weiss Haserot, President, Practice Development Counsel and author of, The Rainmaking Machine: Marketing Planning, Strategy and Management for Law Firms:

Some of the things women think are their issues also are issues for many men. So they need to address them together. The biggest obstacles vary from firm to firm or company depending on the cultures and personalities. So many things have to change for all genders in firm cultures and policies that motivate behaviors. Often lip service exists for good and fair things that is counter to what actually exists in the culture and unwritten rules.

Women need to be more aware of the intersection of gender and generational attitudes. Different generational attitudes inform and influence attitudes and behaviors affecting all aspects of diversity. If the same messages are going out to everyone, be aware that they are being received and interpreted in different ways. I believe this is one reason more progress has not been made. I advocate cross-generational conversation and conversations with men.

Marie Lefton, Esq. Principal, Lefton Consulting:

In terms of strategies for getting around the glass ceiling, there is nothing wrong with taking an in-house position for shorter hours and accepting lower pay. Not everyone wants to be an equity partner.

Women Partners with books of business, build them organically, whereas most men inherit their books from other men. This observation comes from my consulting practice as well as from my research in this field. In light of this, what advice would I offer to younger women seeking to build a book of business? Don’t allow others (men) to make decisions for you, e.g., if you have a trial in another state, . . . don’t allow the lead partner to decide that you should stay at home for your family. If you are second-chair on the case and want to be there at trial, speak up in a firm-but-nice-way.

Tina B. Solis, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP:

Many attorneys, both men and women, have struggled and continue to struggle with work / life balance. Fortunately, many law firms have recognized this issue and have put mechanisms in place that allow its attorneys to help achieve that balance such as a reduced hour schedule, flexible hours or working remotely. This has allowed law firms to retain the best talent in the long run.

In order to break through the glass ceiling, you need to be proactive. It’s your career, so you need to advance it. In addition to developing a solid book of business, you need to volunteer for administrative projects to demonstrate your leadership skills and a commitment to the firm.

J. Joan Hon, Partner, FisherBroyles LLP, LAW FIRM 2.0®:

I have not yet faced the usual “women’s issues” of motherhood, marriage, and running a traditional household, but I did go through with caring for my parent and handling a plethora of issues after she died very early on in my career. I took a break after my third year for these reasons (and not some of the more traditional), so I would say I do have experience with re-entering the workforce and juggling work life balance even without being a mother.

Women who are fed up will turn to an alternative firm, (like mine and succeed incredibly), set up their own practices or look for non-traditional legal roles. So much can happen with persistence and positivity.

Elizabeth D. Schrero, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP:

Women have come a long way but still have a long way to go to achieve parity. I see movement towards the goal of parity tied to increased business development of women which in turn is tied to women’s initiatives and sponsorship and critically, rising numbers of women in positions of authority in business, who will send work to women attorneys.

Some younger women and men are choosing not to reach to the glass ceiling, they want flexible work arrangements and some just opt out of the law firm partnership track.

Marci Goldstein Kokalas, Partner, Lazare Potter & Giacovas LLP:

I got to my current position by focus and hard work – and maintaining relationships. If you are just starting out, take time to think about what you want to do – both in work and your personal life. Be upfront about your goals with your superiors.

Seek out work – it will not just come to you. And don’t lose sight of what you have outside of work – I think balancing work and personal life is very difficult and ever-changing, but very important for your ultimate happiness.

III. Conclusion

Is it possible to thin you can have it all? Absolutely. No one says it is going to be easy, but yes these women are at the top of their game. It comes down to what is important for you, for many it is about balance between their personal lives and their careers. This is really a personal decision, and thankfully there are enormous opportunities for women in law. With talent and hard work, you can achieve whatever you want.

Shari Davidson is president of On Balance Search Consultants. Shari 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. Shari has facilitated programs for Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations, adult ed, colleges and universities, and publicly held programs, including Where Does All the Time Go When You’re Having Fun?, Take the Fear Out of Goal Setting, The Hidden Job Market and Interviewing & Job Interview Preparation. Her email is shari@onbalancesearch.com.

Photo Cred. 

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.