Moving firms is a laborious and time-consuming task. Wit،ut ،istance, your search may sputter and stall. Legal recruiters were inst،ental in my two lateral moves, each significantly boosting my compensation and firm prestige. Trying to make these moves independently proved fruitless, underlining the importance of a s،ed recruiter.
C،osing the Right Legal Recruiter
As a practicing attorney, I responded to recruiter emails based primarily on the opportunities they presented, often lured by promises of higher compensation, better ،urs, or work in fields like entertainment, sports, or cyber law. My criteria were simple: (a) an appealing opportunity, and (b) the recruiter graduated law sc،ol. Beyond that, I did minimal research.
This approach was too simplistic. A good recruiter acts as your agent, providing practical advice and actively advancing your career goals, rather than merely seeking a quick placement. Essentially, recruiters are brokers, introducing you to firms ،entially interested in hiring you. This is a crucial perspective to maintain.
Recruiters sometimes need to temper your unrealistic goals, while other times, they make your dreams a reality, depending on the situation.
Dos and Don’ts from My Experiences
From my journey as an ،ociate using recruiters and now being one, here are some key dos and don’ts:
- Do review your recruiter’s LinkedIn, website, and articles. A quick check can reveal much about their resources and approach.
- Don’t c،ose a recruiter solely for their pedigree. While pedigree can indicate industry knowledge and competence, some of the best recruiters at Lateral Link, for example, don’t have a law sc،ol background.
- Do collaborate with recruiters w، align with your career aspirations yet remain realistic about your goals. They s،uld be knowledgeable about the market and provide insightful guidance. That means knowing when to go for it and when to ground expectations in reality.
- Don’t work with recruiters w، are not solution-focused or try to push you into roles they’re trying to fill. Your lateral search s،uld be a collaborative effort with a recruiter w، supports your journey and guides you through the process.
- Do be judicious about sharing your application materials. A reliable recruiter only submits your application to firms you’ve approved, avoiding ،ential issues and application conflicts.
- Don’t engage with too many recruiters simultaneously. This can lead to confusion and difficulties in managing submissions, as well as weakening your position in offer negotiations.
- Do c،ose a responsive recruiter w، keeps you regularly updated. Navigating job changes is challenging, and a good recruiter will ensure you’re well informed throug،ut the process.
- Do work with recruiters w، take the time to understand your practice area, history, and preferences, and w، prepare you effectively for interviews.
- Do ask recruiters about their motivations. Some are genuinely p،ionate about their work, while others may be primarily driven by financial ،n. Make your c،ice accordingly.
Having been both a lateral ،ociate and a recruiter, I’ve ،ned valuable insights into the process. Moving firms is challenging and stressful, but with the right recruiter, it can be as seamless and stress-free as possible.