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.

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: 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.

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: How to Thrive in the Age of Disruption

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

How to Thrive in the Age of Disruption

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

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

Trends Shaping the Legal Industry

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

Work with the Best

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

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

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

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

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

 

Photo Cred. 

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection, By Shari Davidson

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

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


I. Introduction

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

II. Advice from Successful Women Attorneys

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

 

Leslie Berkoff, Partner, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP:

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

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

Kathleen Turland, Chief Compliance Officer, powered by GE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie Lefton, Esq. Principal, Lefton Consulting:

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

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

Tina B. Solis, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP:

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth D. Schrero, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP:

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

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

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

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

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

III. Conclusion

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

Shari Davidson is president of On Balance Search Consultants. Shari advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. Shari has facilitated programs for Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations, adult ed, colleges and universities, and publicly held programs, including Where Does All the Time Go When You’re Having Fun?, Take the Fear Out of Goal Setting, The Hidden Job Market and Interviewing & Job Interview Preparation. Her email is shari@onbalancesearch.com.

Photo Cred. 

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

What Legal Recruiters are Looking For: GRIT

Integrity. Perseverance. Passion. Long Term. Do you have Grit?

Grit, What it Takes

Law Recruiters are looking for more than just good lawyers these days. You won a few trials, so what? Do you really have what it takes to be a part of your dream firm? If you have that winning way, yeah you know it, you got Grit.

What is Grit?
Grit is integrity . Grit is passion. Grit is staying past the end of the workday to make sure you know every line of your opening. It is something that goes beyond your knowledge of law and your performance in it. Grit can be defined as the reliability and mindset of a lawyer. This mindset can be broken down into a few key characteristics.

Mastering the interview — let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

InteGRITy
Integrity is at the heart of Grit. Integrity means being honest, not only with yourself, but also with whom you work with and for. Sometimes it means working for little reward but knowing that you’ve done the right thing and the best you could.

Loyalty is another important part of integrity. This is why confidentiality is so important, not only for clients, but for other firms as well. Even if you have had a bad experience with a previous employer or a competitor in the past, a lawyer with integrity never speaks ill of another.

Passion
A Gritty lawyer shows passion. Passion not only in what you know, but also in what you don’t: in what you hope to learn. This passion should come across in your interviews. It will show your potential employer your Grit and willingness to learn and grow as an individual and a lawyer. Your passion is your work and you can display this by putting in your all at every point.

Perseverance
The field of law can be riddled with ups and downs. It is a Gritty lawyer that takes the downs, the mistakes and the failures in stride. You can show your Grit by learning from these mistakes and allowing them to point out where you may be able to improve. A lawyer with Grit will always finds room to grow.

Talk about your Grit during your interviews, demonstrate how your Grit turned the case around (reference, What not to say during an interview). Showing your inteGRITy will make you shine in the employer’s eyes.

The Ability to Lead
Leadership is not only being able to assemble people and results effectively. It can also be classified as a certain type of Grit. Your Grit makes you a natural born leader. You need to be able to take charge and responsibility. Do you draw upon your Grit to voice flaws in your partner’s case, knowing it may be a political risk.?

Grit is what all the top law recruiters are looking for. Give us a call at 516.731.3400 and we’ll coach you on how to profit from Grit.

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.

Sources:

Photo Cred.

Tracey, B. (n.d.) Top 7 Qualities Employers are Looking for in Candidates. Under Cover Recruiter. Retrieved from: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/top-7-qualities-employers-are-looking-candidates/

Hogan, M., Larkin-Wong, K. (2013). Grit and Mindset. Women Lawyer Jounral, 98 (3). 1-11. Retrieved from: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/marketing/women/grit_toolkit_nawl_article.authcheckdam.pdf

Big Law: Wage Caps, the New Wage Gap

The New Wage Gap

Changing compensation, what you should consider?

Becoming an attorney takes years, thousands of dollars, and a lot of stress. Every one of your colleagues has gone through that struggle, passed the bar and are applying at the same firms that you are. But not everyone is equal. They didn’t attend the same universities or get the same grades in their classes, so should you be paid the same amount for your effort?

How should associates be compensated? Most of Big Law is paying associates in lockstep compensation. Some of the largest firms, including Cravath, Swain & Moore, have increased starting salaries at $180k in the first year and increasing to $350K in the eighth year. These salaries are solely based upon graduation year and do not take into account merit. This does not mean, however bonuses are not available based on hard work and success.

Cooley and Associates has begun to break away from the lockstep compensation model, compensating top talent lawyers competitively and exceeding the pay scales set from the lockstep model. Cooley and Associates, “success in our profession is wholly dependent upon attracting and retaining the best and brightest attorneys.”

It’s damn competitive out there and it’s not going to get any easier, and yet most millennials share a common belief that they must achieve balance in their personal and professional careers. And law firms are becoming more open to the fact that when attorneys take paid time off, “they really want to unplug,” said Lacy Durham, the chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. In order to retain the best, firms are offering some perks like time off and a flexible work model in lieu of big bonuses.

In order to earn appropriate compensation, you will need to know if earning your salary based on a scale or merit based compensation will be better for you. Working with a reliable and knowledgeable legal recruiter will allow you to land a position at the firm that you both belong with and will compensate you appropriately to your knowledge and skill level.

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.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Sources:

Lat, D. (2016, June 6). Breaking: NY To $180K!!! Cravath Raises Associate Base Salaries!!! Retrieved July 9, 2016, from http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/breaking-ny-to-180k-cravath-raises-associate-base-salaries/?rf=1.

Lat, D. (2016, January 28). Associate Bonus Watch: ‘Very Satisfying’ Bonuses — Plus A Pay Scale Overhaul. Retrieved July 10, 2016, from http://abovethelaw.com/2016/01/associate-bonus-watch-very-satisfying-bonuses-plus-a-pay-scale-overhaul/?rf=1

Lockstep Compensation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockstep_compensation.

Rubino, K. (June 18, 2016). Biglaw Firm Bumps Salary To Attract And Retain The ‘Best And Brightest Attorneys’. Above the Law.

Zaretsky, S. (2016, June 13). The Final Countdown: Which Firms Have Raised Salaries? Retrieved July 9, 2016, from http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/salary-wars-scorecard-which-firms-have-announced-raises/?utm_campaign=ATL Bonus Alert

Wolf, A. (September 17, 2015). 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing BigLaw. Law360.

Photo Cred.