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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Contact us today. Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

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

 

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

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

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

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

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

Promises, Promises, Promises.

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

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

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

Here are some red flags to watch out for….

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Contact us today. Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

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

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.

Trends in Law: Seeking Truth In The Era of Distortion

As we get ready to begin the final stretch to end the year, it is critical to get a clear picture of what the legal landscape will look like for 2019. In this new era of distortion, the truth has become more elusive, technology continues to give businesses a competitive advantage to stay on the cutting edge.

The insights that follow provide lawyer with the top trends that are shaping the legal profession. Keep your eye on the ball, make sure you’re still bankable.

LATERAL MOVES BY PRACTICE AREA

OnBalance Search Trends 2018 - 2019.001

As was the case in 2017 Litigation and Corporate continue to dominate the legal field with Labor & Employment and Intellectual Property rounding out the slices in the pie.

The issue of pay equity between women and men has been garnering a growing amount of attention making litigation from class actions to individual cases—an increasingly common occurrence.

The top markets in Litigation are New York City (13%), The District of Columbia (10%), Los Angeles (8%), San Francisco (7%) and Chicago (6%).

Corporate Law is still done primarily in New York City (25%), that’s not going to change any time soon.

The top Labor & Employment markets are San Francisco (12%), Los Angeles (12%), New York City (11%), The District of Columbia (7%) and Minneapolis (6%).

At the mid-level, L&E practices will continue to be highly coveted, but it is not certain what these very interesting times will tell in 2019. The senior level lawyers can find it difficult to make partner in the L&E services due to rate competition.

The number of associates (5%) and counsel level attorneys lathering into partner posts (15%) this past year. There is no skew  in terms of the moves regardless of the size of the firm. Big, small and mid-sized firms have experienced movements along these lines.
Lateral Moves By Title

 

 

Law firms continue to expand to meet the need for tech transactions to handle high-end M&A support. Intellectual Property also is in demand for licensing, joint ventures and other IP-related agreements.  No field is more rife with cyber threats to protect businesses intellectual property.

Data privacy is a good practice to consider. The market has been expanding for senior tech transactions associates as of late, with several high-end firms with senior lateral needs.

The top markets for IP are The District of Columbia (19%) and New York City (17%).

 

Locations Laterals Moved From
Location Laterals Moved To
Firms Attorneys Lateralled From.
Firms Attorneys Lateralled To

The market was unprepared for the real estate boom back in 2013.  There are few markets in the country that are better suited for launching a real estate career than California. The top markets for Real Estate are New York City (17%), Los Angeles (10%), The District of Columbia (8%), North Carolina (7%) and Minneapolis (6%).

Not surprisingly in the world of Banking New York City (25%) and The District of Columbia (24%) dominate legal transactions. New emerging practice areas to consider are cannabis and cryptocurrency.

 

Ready to make the lateral partner move? You’ll need to clearly detail how you got to where you are and why the you’re the best. 

Not sure you are being compensated equitably for your efforts? Have you valued your book of business? Detail how much revenue each client contributes and what verticals have historically been most profitable.

Working with a local legal recruiter can benefit your job search in several ways. Let’s schedule a time to sit down and assess your worth and value in the marketplace.

 

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.

 

Sharpen Your Pencil: The Lateral Partner Questionnaire (LPQ)

The LPQ or the lateral partner questionnaire is the most daunting step in the due diligence process for a partner moving to a new law firm. It’s an arduous task, don’t delay. Get it done.

Sharpen Your Pencil: The Lateral Partner Questionnaire (LPQ)

Be Honest & Thorough

Do not skip any sections. Do not be vague. Accurately detail any late taxes, bankruptcy, bar discipline, criminal history, malpractice, discrimination claims, and investigations. It’s very important to begin your relationship with your future partnership with integrity and open transparency. 

Most LPQs require a minimum of 2 years prior history, and some as much as 5 years. Pulling this information together can be a challenge. Here is a quick list of subjects you will likely address in written or verbal form:

Education

  • Bar Admissions
  • Courts
  • CLE’s

Compensation History & Future Expectations

  • Your current employer
  • Billable Hours Recorded
  • Standard Billing Rate
  • Average Billed Rate
  • Amount Billed
  • Amount Collected
  • Tax Returns
  • Bankruptcy
  • Portability of Clients

 

Previous Employer History

  • References and Reason(s) for Leaving
  • Discipline and Sanctions
  • Claims and Litigation
  • Criminal history
  • Malpractice Claims
  • Discrimination Claims
  • Government Investigations


Business Relationships

  • Professional Organizations
  • Board or Officer Positions
  • Pro Bono
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Client Financial Situations
  • Restrictions / Limitations Based on Partnership Agreements


Value Proposition: Business Plan

Detail your business development plan addressing prospective clients and estimated revenues as well as non-client referral sources, unique skills sets and existing client base. Be sure to include any other information that is relevant or of value to the new partner candidacy.

Hire a Top Legal Recruiter

Don’t lie to me. Don’t inflate or overestimate your book of business. This is the quickest way to sour your new partnership. During due diligence or after being hired, more times than often any inaccuracies in your qualifications and past performance will come up. When time comes to cut back, you’ll be at the top of that list.  

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.

The Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Is Remote Work the Right Choice for You? by Sylvia Dahlby with permission from SmartSearch.com

Is Remote Work the Right Choice for You? by Sylvia Dahlby with permission from SmartSearch.com

 

Selecting to work remotely versus onsite at your employer should not be a decision made in haste. It takes a bit of introspection along with consideration of your lifestyle and workstyle. At first blush, working remotely may seem like a no-brainer, but there are, potentially, as many cons as there are pros.

Q: What factors do I need to consider?

Not everyone is self-motivated enough to work from home, or you may not feel comfortable working alone with little or no supervision. While the Internet, office intranets, and technology like teleconferencing support interaction and collaboration with remote coworkers, you may need in-person mentoring, or on-the-job training, or simply prefer the inter-office comradery and on-site visibility necessary to learn the business and foster career advancement opportunities. You may also need to be physically present if you manage others. There are many factors like these where you might want to consider working from home only part of the time, perhaps just one or two days a week, and spend more time in the office to better build and nurture professional relationships.

Q: What skills do I need to work from home?

You must be good at your job and already possess whatever skills are needed in your profession to succeed. You’ll need to be comfortable with technology to work remotely and communicate effectively with your associates, whether they’re in the next town or halfway around the World. In addition to proficiency in your job, working from home requires a lot of “soft skills” like dependability, responsibility, and ability to inspire confidence and trustworthiness in your management and co-workers.

Q: What else should I know about working from home?

Don’t try telework if you think working from home will enable you to look after your children or elderly parents/grandparents. While working from home can provide more flexibility and work/life balance, you will likely have regular hours that require you to be at your desk and available for coworkers, vendors or clients via email, phone or online. It takes discipline to stay focused on the job, a lot more so than when you’re physically in an office environment. It’s advisable to have a dedicated office space in your home, preferably with its own door so you can shut out the background noise, interruptions from family members, and focus on your job. Not everyone can limit the distractions that often happen when you work at home.

If possible, ask around. Find people who have a similar job to yours and get their insight on what it’s like to be a remote worker. Ask about the pros and cons, then determine if these align with your natural work style or if there will be potential obstacles to impede your performance.

Remote work is not a choice for everyone. Some people are very social and are more productive in an onsite workplace environment versus working remotely from home. So, before you jump to make the decision, please consider the points in this article and think objectively about your workstyle and what motivates you about your job.

Originally posted March 1, 2018 on smartsearchonline.com 

BYLINE: Sylvia Dahlby, Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Hawaii Chapter), an early adopter of working from home, and Rainmaker at SmartSearch applicant tracking software.

About SmartSearch

Since 1986, Advanced Personnel Systems, Inc. leads the way in the development and deployment of quality talent management and recruiting solutions. For over three decades APS, Inc., makers of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software, has been creating applicant tracking systems to streamline sourcing, recruiting and hiring in one easy-to-use solution. We help our clients recruit at the speed of life and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-changing recruitment landscape. www.smartsearchonline.com

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.

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.

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