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.

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.

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.

Seal The Deal, Get To What’s Really Important

A great recruiter get’s to what is most important to the candidate and then seals the deal.

During negotiations many top prospects are lost by not providing the right incentives to seal the deal. There are lots of qualified candidates out there, you need to get the deal done before someone sneaks in and steals the position out from under you.

Seal The Deal

Most law firms make the mistake of looking for a specific set of skills and experience, turning a blind eye to any profiles that fall outside the lines of a pre-determined list of qualifications. Just because everything looks good on paper, doesn’t necessarily equate to a good fit. Work with a recruiter who can read between the lines. A savvy recruiter realizes that important information about the position such as the firm’s culture and the critical requirement must be properly communicated.

A law firm’s best talent can’t always be found in its backyard. Firms are faced with the challenge of finding talent with specialized skills and experience. That’s why today, more and more law firms are looking to broaden their searches.  

Law firms want the best talent and looking for creative ways to bring on the right candidate. It’s important to have all the tools necessary to secure the very best. That’s why legal recruiters and law firms strategies for sourcing top talent needs to be innovative. Relocating a rainmaker from outside the area is one such solution.  

A strong relocating benefit allows recruiters to search for talent outside of the law firm’s region to bring in new blood, that can take the firm to the next level. Relocation is a win-win for high profile candidates and the law firm. (See States That Have Reciprocity)

Recruiting is a creative and intuitive process. A good recruiter spends time getting to know what is important from the candidate’s point-of-view and the law firm’s perspective.  You’ve got to get it right, to seal the deal.

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.

Making the Lateral Partner Move: Looking Back, Getting Ahead

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

LOOK BACK
Here is what you need to make the lateral move:

  1. Partners, read your agreement now.
  2. Align yourself with a reputable recruiter.
    The best recruiter’s find the perfect fit, aligning your specialized skill-set with the firm’s strategic goals.
  3. Have a clear idea what the next career move will be and why. For example:A firm with robust marketing support.
    Offices located through-out the U.S.
    A culture that allows you to be home for your family.
    Full service law firm that offers specialized services to serve your client’s needs.
  4. Make sure you have a current CV, Business plan and Representative Matters available.

Look Back at your financials for the past three (3) years as well as where you will end up at the end of this year. Know your:

originations
billings
hourly rates
hours billed
realization rates, etc.

Snap-shot of of your practice area.
Breakdown of your practice areas for the past year, realizing that your focus may vary year to year.
i.e. If you are T&E Partner —

50% Planning
30% Administration
20% T&E Litigation

Review two or three success stories, look back.

GETTING AHEAD
Once the above is done . . .  work closely with your recruiter to help manage the process to:

  • Set-up meetings
  • Prepping and debriefing on each meeting
  • Streamlining any materials –

(LPQ) Lateral Partner Questionnaire
Compensation discussion and offer
Prepping for resignation

  • Be a sounding board for all concerns
  • Keep communication lines open, on both ends of the table

GET GRITTY
A job search is a full time endeavor. Hold steadfast to your goals, double down when it gets rough and don’t give up. ‘The grittiest’ people have developed their passions from personal interests.

ALSO KEEP IN MIND

Law Firms Hire Most of Their Staff From Mid-February to April
Most law firms fiscal years are the same as the calendar year, their budgets are planned for January and thus the budgets are planned in November.  The end of the year brings bonus checks to the rainmakers and pink slips for the rest.  Hiring begins with The New Year, many start looking for new positions.

During the summer large law firms take on a significant number of associates that start in the late spring to early summer. Lawyers are in the office less traveling during June, July and August. 

Late August to Mid-October is the second busiest hiring time of the year.
During these months, law firms and their recruiting staff have more time to turn to lateral hiring because they are not dealing with summer associate programs.

Start your job search in November and December instead of waiting until January.

FINAL NOTE
Placements are made all year long, every year law firms have differing criteria for candidates and every market has needs for varying skill-sets.

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.

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.

Grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom!

Grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom!

Don’t make the move to another law firm without a good recruiter, it’s just too scary to go it alone.

Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood . . . Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand, and whoever shall be found without the soul for getting down . . . must stand and face the hounds of hell, and rot inside a corpse’s shell — Vincent Price, The Thriller.

Recruiters know where all the best houses are, and which ones have the best treats. Let your head hunter find the right house for you. No one knows the ins and outs of who is looking for the perfect new partner, it’s just too important to not work with a pro who knows their way around the neighborhood.

One thing you can do to make the whole process a little less scary is to do your research on the law firm you are looking into or interviewing for. Check out their website and see if they are worth sending your resume into.

Just like looking out for houses with the lights on while trick or treating, work with your recruiter to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t get lead down some dark deserted alley with no lights on.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of blood sucking firms that will bleed you dry. Who better to protect you from the spooky firms that will send you to an early grave. Work with a highly skilled recruiter to find the firms that give out the full bars (or law firms with the best chances of getting an interview).

The foulest stench is in the air, the funk of forty thousand years and grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom . . . and though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver, for no mere mortal can resist, the evil of the thriller. Can you dig it?!  — Michael Jackson, The Thriller.

So, you’ve been invited to come interview, here are a few tips to keep you from frightening the interviewer away:

  • Don’t Act Like a Zombie
    One of the worst things you can do is show up to the interview without the right energy. Acting sort of removed or giving off negative energy is a killer. Good eye contact is essential, make sure you don’t have egg on your tie or on your face. Dress for success, make sure you get a good nights rest the night prior to your interview. Your going to need every advantage, it’s a jungle out there. Let’s murder ‘em.
  • Don’t Stink Like The Walking Dead
    It’s a good idea to bring an extra shirt, tie and breath mints with you. You started to sweat on the way to the interview, okay change your shirt and freshen up your breath. Your not dead yet. And don’t get too crazy with the cologne and perfume. Be cool, maintain your calm and bring your ‘A’ game.
  • Try not to sound or act too robotic like Frankenstein
    Your nervous, get over it. Do not to speak from the back of your throat or groan and grunt ‘cause the question caught you off guard. Practice a few days before the interview and be relaxed. You’ll never hit the curve ball if your scared and uptight.
  • Always Treat, Never Trick
    Be honest with your recruiter and your interviewer. A recruiter can’t help you if you don’t tell them what you want and what you’re looking for in a position. Tell them exactly what you’ve taken from your experiences and they can help you to don your costume for your big interview.

Likewise, lying in an interview or on your resume can have serious consequences. Don’t make the mistake of egging houses. You certainly won’t be allowed back next year!

Interviewing doesn’t have to be as scary as All Hallows Eve! Give us a call at 516.731.3400 so we can make the process a little less frightening.

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.

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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.

The Kiss of Death Question: For Lawyers

The Kiss of Death Question: Tell me about yourself

The Kiss of Death Question: For Lawyers

Definitely do not say these four answers while vying for a senior executive position.

The First.
You’ll hear this at almost every interview you go to in your life. It should be an easy question. Are you sure? Maybe you haven’t interviewed in a while. It’s more of a statement than a question, though.

Question/Statement: Tell me about yourself.

Do not answer: Well, after work, I go home and I play with my five cats until sundown.

Nothing against cats, but the interview does not want to hear about your conglomerate of cats and cat toys.

The Second.
This is another pretty popular question.  A skilled recruiter is going to ask this one for sure.

Question: What is your biggest weakness?

Do not answer: Pecan pie. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

Although humor can be a good way to show you’re a good person to have in the office, the recruiter does not care about your eating habits, let alone your cats.

The Third.
This question is bound to come up, so make sure you know your stuff front and back. Like most other interview questions it is less about what you really do and more about what you can bring to the table.

Question: What can you tell me about your past experience at so and so?

Do not answer: I really liked my job at so and so, but the people were just so boring and the boss came in with crocs on every day.

You may not have liked the people that you worked with, but your boss’s fashion sense is definitely not a professional reason for your departure.

The Fourth.
The last question is not unlike the others, but may take a little bit more thought and research into the industry, the company, and your own experience to find the right answer.

Question: What kind of salary are you looking for?

Do not answer: Whatever will help me keep up my mysterious lifestyle.

Giving a vague answer is often times a good response to this question but certainly not this one.

These answers may seem silly, but the questions are no joke.  In order to be successful at any job interview you need to be able to formulate the correct answers to these and many other questions.

Give us a call at 516.731.3400 and we’ll coach you on the right responses to these questions. Fill out our brief questionnaire and we’ll get started.

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.

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Are You A Leader or A Follower?

Are You A Leader or A Follower?

Are You A Leader or A Follower?

Top Interview Questions from a Legal Recruiter. 

What makes you the best for the job? A list of the top 10 not only the frequent, but also the toughest questions asked in a legal recruiting interview.

It is always important to know what questions you may be asked in an interview, but it is often times best to know yourself as well. Knowing what makes you the best fit for any law firm increases your chances of finding the right fit. Below are the ten toughest and most thoughtful questions to keep in mind while vying for a spot for partner and how to your answers are interpreted.

1. Are you a leader or a follower?
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

Now, be careful, don’t jump jump the gun. There are lots of generals out there, not too many soldiers to win the day. Carefully craft you response demonstrating how critical being a team player is to any successful firm from your leadership that proved necessary to overcome and win the case.

2. How have you changed in the last five years?

This is where the “knowing yourself” part comes in. This can be thought of more as a “how have you improved?” question. For instance, perhaps you lost a case. There is no shame in admitting a loss. It won’t harm you, rather, if you can bend the loss into a situation that you learned from, making you a better lawyer or legal worker, speak bounds about it.

3. Tell me about a time when you felt that you dealt with a situation inadequately, and how has that changed how you would approach the same situation?

This is a tough one, who can honestly say they have won every case? Present your evidence to the jury, what was brought up during discovery. Evidence was not admitted, testimonies were found not credible. It’s more about how the outcome changed you and what drives you as a person. Articulate your philosophical and fundamental over reaching principals that you bring to the table.

4. If offered the position, how long do you plan to stay at this firm?

Why should I hire you? Tell me why you want to work here? Why this firm is a perfect fit for me. Do your homework and prove to me that feel this firm is where you want to be, that this is you new home and you’re in for better or worse.

5. If you did not have to work what would you do?

How you spend your time speaks volumes about what type of person you are. Be honest, it’s all about how you approach your day at the golf course. What you do on the course reveals what kind of person you are, what drives you and what’s important to you. Increase your value proposition here.

6. What do you think about the principle of Legal Aid? Should clients have to pay for services they use in all circumstances?

Does the firm do any pro bono work? Why not? Isn’t corporate social responsibility the new norm? Tell me a story about how you changed someone’s life, how you made a difference and how the firm profited from your efforts.

7. What are the three main attributes for a successful partner?

What are your strengths, what has got you to where you are today. Perhaps it’s your ability to pick a jury well. Settling out of court, or how you treat your clients and associates. That winning way that has served you so well. Speak on what you know and how it has helped you succeed.

8. Would you be willing to branch out into any other area of law, if the firm priorities changed?

What this question is getting at is how you adapt to change. Tell me about how you turned a crisis into an opportunity. Offer up success stories where you worked with legal specialists outside of your area of law. Give me something that makes me feel confident that you always get the job done, whatever it takes.

9. In your view, what are the major problems/opportunities facing the legal industry?

Nobody likes a downer, think about challenges the legal profession is up against. Embrace the hard realities of your industry, then tell me how you turned these obstacles into opportunities.

10. What sort of activities are you interested in outside of work?

In other words, tell me about who you are and what type of a person are you? 

  • Shared meals: What does this say about you? Are you selfish or just social?
  • Volunteering: Why is this cause important to you?
  • Physical fitness? Are you more relaxed at work? Does being healthy translate into a better lawyer?

Prepare for unexpected questions knowing full well that there is going to be a question you never hear of before. Don’t just react, take a moment to compose your response. Buy yourself some time, ask a few questions to formulate your answer. Don’t compromise, let’s find you a firm that shares your values and where you will excel.

Click here for a complete list of the top 50 interview questions.

 

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.  Opt in for tips and updates from On Balance Search consultants.

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.

 

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