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: Collaborate With Powerful Professionals To Grow Your Book Of Business

In our previous article, we discussed how Smart Rainmakers Just Don’t Network At the Bar Association.  You’ve got to network with the right group of people who can help grow your business. Once you’ve selected the right groups to network with, you’ve got to make the most of your time.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

Now that you’ve decided on the organizations you will network with, let’s talk about how to best leverage these powerful new connections. “Be honest about your skill set. You’ve have got to bring it when you’re out there networking. Better be prepared. Here are a few books I highly recommend you read to make it rain,”, said Legal Recruiter Shari Davidson of On Balance Search Consultants.

Consistently work on improving your skill set and at the same time get out there to further new relationships:

  1. Actively listen to your network by being more emotionally intelligent. 
  2. Measure up. Understand who is your audience and what moves them. 
  3. Follow the money. Assess the relationship’s potential for success. Will this connection lead to new leads or help you achieve your business goals? If not, move on! And be polite. You never know if that relationship may one day turn into a big payday.
  4. Nurture the relationship. How can you help them with their business or on a personal level?
  5. Prioritize. Determine which relationships have the potential to yield more business. Spend more time with those who will bring in the most business. Reciprocal relationships tend to the most profitable. Continuously look for new ways look for ways to further existing relationships that make money.

“There is nothing better than face-to-face networking. Having said that, integrating social media networking into your game plan helps save time and can make meetings so much more successful,” said Shari Davidson. LinkedIn is a great digital channel to    research and connect with other professionals. 

  • Establish yourself as an authority in your chosen field and create credibility as a leader in the category by regularly blogging through this powerful social media network. 
  • Research new business prospects and your competition.
  • Follow companies and industry leaders. 
  • Join powerful LinkedIn groups and start nurturing new relationships. 

Mind Your Manners 

Think about what you’re saying. Never post anything that you cannot defend or that may be potentially damaging to your reputation. And don’t just post about things that no one gives a hoot about. 

Substance and style. Less is typically more. On or off-line, carefully craft and curate your content. It’s not how much you post or share. It’s all about creating a substantive conversation with your core stakeholders. Be smart, savvy and strategic about what you say and who you talk to. 

Actions speak louder than words. 

There are ways that things get done, and there are simply things one should never say or do. Know the do’s and don’ts  . . . 

  • Arrive on time.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • While networking never eat or drink alone and don’t order before your guest arrives. 
  • Provide your mobile phone to keep in contact leading up to meet-ups.  
  • Remember to thank people for taking the time, for offering their insights and for returning your phone calls.  
  • Never “slam” your competitors, instead keep the conversation positive and focused on furthering the relationship. 
  • Let them do the talking, listen and thoughtfully contribute to the conversation. Less is more. 

And never, never, never have more than two drinks. Many professionals don’t drink at all. Eat before you go to a party or networking event. Most of the time the food is either detrimental to your diet plan, or you’ll be spending precious time waiting to get some food. 

Make the most of your time and start building that powerful network that will bring in more business. Make it rain!

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

In our next article, we will talk about, Creating a Powerful Mastermind Group to Make it Rain. 

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.

Making It Rain: Law Firm Business Development Strategic Plan

Take control of your practice. Put yourself in a position to attract and retain clients you admire and find challenging and interesting. Become less dependent on others to feed your pipeline.

Create a three-pronged approach [ Purpose, Strategy & Participation ] that leverages your transactional skills and business contacts to grow your client base.

Take control of your practice. Put yourself in a position to attract and retain clients you admire and find challenging and interesting. Become less dependent on others to feed your pipeline. Create a three-pronged approach [ Purpose, Strategy & Participation ] that leverages your transactional skills and business contacts to grow your client base.

Purpose 

Commit to marketing activities and prospects that are consistent with your area of expertise and best fit for bringing in new billings. Take the time to identify what your areas are opportunity markets and how to best acquire clients.

Your plan must establish you as a leader in your area of law. Become a leading authority on the policies and procedures that matter to the future direction of the firms you represent and plan on securing.

Strategy

It’s a known fact that 80% of all business comes from existing clients. Visit your top clients at their places of business each quarter or at least annually. Regularly set up a breakfast, lunch or dinner with clients, prospects or a referral sources. Be actively involved in a well-chosen organization and write articles, join committees of important interest to your client base.  Hold events for your client base; lectures, networking, community-based events etc.

Start networking and continually create authority and trust: 

WHERE TO NETWORK:

  • Focus on trade or industry organizations
  • Community or political alliances
  • Social or alumni groups
  • Client breakfasts, lunches, dinners and functions

CREATE AUTHORITY & TRUST

  • Regularly contribute to legal articles in leading publications.
  • Speaking engagement to industry groups.
  • Client seminars.
  • Teach at local university or college.
  • Sponsor (CLEs, Charity Events, Community Relations, etc.).
  • Publish monthly newsletter and or write a book.
  • Pro bono work.
  • Provide and or acquire ongoing training and professional development.

Participation & Accountability

Evaluate what is working, areas for opportunity and efforts that have not yielded results must be reworked or eliminated from the action plan. Review your progress every three months.

Here are a few guidelines to help you develop your individual marketing plan:

  • Play to Your Strengths and Personality.
  • Be Consistent with Firm Goals and Objectives.
  • Focus Your Attention – strategically in activities that will enhance your credentials and allow you to build relationships with key individuals. A plan helps you be more proactive and eliminates distractions.
  • Be Simple and Realistic And Achievable.
  • Be as Specific as Possible.
  • Motivate Yourself – do the things you need to do in order to achieve long-term success.
  • Change Over Time – Make adjustments as needed. 

Business development takes time, and it’s a necessary, ongoing process to create a continuous, constant flow of new business.

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.

Making It Rain: Top Ten Books Lawyers Must Read

After decades of advising and coaching some of the top rainmakers in law, legal recruiter Shari Davidson shares her top ten books every lawyer needs to read to make it in law. These must read books have paved the way to new opportunities, broken glass ceilings, revealed how to create an ideal career, rewrite the rules of the road, and helped rethink the way the world works in law today.

After decades of advising and coaching some of the top rainmakers in law, legal recruiter Shari Davidson shares her top ten books every lawyer needs to read to make it in law. These must read books have paved the way to new opportunities, broken glass ceilings, revealed how to create an ideal career, rewrite the rules of the road, and helped rethink the way the world works in law today.

  1. Influence, By Robert B. Cialdini – Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
  2. Solution Selling, By Michael Bosworth – Solution Selling is the most comprehensive sales and sales management process available today. Mike Bosworth has the best understanding of sales process in corporate America.
  3. Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi – The youngest partner in Deloitte Consulting’s history and founder of the consulting company, Keith Ferrazzi shares his networking techniques from generic handshakes to tossing business cards like confetti.
  4. Spin Selling, By Neil Rackham – Developed from 12 years of research into 35,000 sales calls, SPIN–Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff–is already in use by many of the world’s top sales forces.
  5. How To Win Friends And Influence People, By Dale Carnegie – Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett credits Dale Carnegie’s teachings with transforming his life. The book’s main principles focus on persuading people through charm and confidence rather than aggression.
  6. The Art of The Business Lunch, Jay Robin – Learn the secret art of successful dining! What’s the one entree you should never order at a business lunch? Is it ever okay to order alcohol? When should you bring up the subject of business? The Art Of The Business Lunch takes you through every aspect of the business lunch.
  7. Start With Why, By Simon Sinek – Simon started a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Millions of people now understand the concept of the Golden Circle.
  8. Breaking The Bias, By Andrea Kramer and Alton B. Harris – Breaking Through Bias explains that it is the stereotypes about women, men, work, leadership, and family that hold women back, and it presents an integrated set of communication techniques that women can use to avoid or overcome the discriminatory consequences of these stereotypes.
  9. How The Best Get Better, By Dan Sullivan – The most successful entrepreneurs are taking advantage of new capabilities to create greater wealth and autonomy for themselves, while providing new income and employment opportunities for millions of others.
  10. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill – Napoleon Hill teaches what called the thirteen steps to riches. Those thirteen steps, he claimed, were the secret to building wealth.

Don’t buy the Kindle or iPad version, buy the book. These books are meant to be referenced throughout your career. They belong in your library along with all the other books you cherish and refer to often.

Top rainmakers are constantly learning new skills and reading about new ways to take their game tot the next level. Got any good books to add to my must read list? Shoot me a note on our website: https://www.onbalancesearch.com. Thanks.

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: 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.

The effects of hiring the wrong people are appreciable and costly.

The effects of hiring the wrong people are appreciable and costly.

Lasting relationships are tied to a shared sense of competitiveness, purpose, and culture. Many top lawyers are looking to make the move. Why, because they just don’t fit in anymore.

Culture embodies everything from the way people get on, to the core values the firm was founded on. It’s difficult to put your finger on it, but you know when something isn’t right. When the culture and the values match-up, everyone wins. When it becomes fractured, it get’s messy.

Every firm has their corporate culture, one day you’re at the top, the next day you’re not a team player. The culture within the firm may have shifted during the last merger or acquisition, and now you’re being rejected because you don’t share that passion.

Values are threaded throughout all aspects of the practice, woven into the relationship system as a whole, and reflective of these values.

Hire the wrong candidate, and you’ll likely know within a few weeks.  When you get down to hammering out a deal, it becomes much more than what the firm is offering. Work with your recruiter to find a firm whose culture mirrors your values. The best recruiters:

  • Are creative problem solvers. They find solutions.
  • Trustworthy and have an excellent reputation.
  • Connected to the players and knows what the word on the street is.

Tell me what you bring to the table, I’ll place you with the right firm. Patience. It may take a few weeks or months to find the right firm, timing is everything. Not a problem. You’ll be back at the top of your game, bringing in better clients and getting bigger settlements.

______________________________________________

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. 

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. 

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.

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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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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.