When baseball season starts, I cannot wait to take in a game – smell the peanuts roasting, see the hot dogs sizzling on the grill, and hear the crack of a wood bat.  This was not always the case.  In fact, there was a time when I loathed the game.  As an Attorney Search Recruiting Manager that organized the Summer Associate events, when it came to the annual baseball outing, I would position myself next to a chatty colleague that helped the time pass.  After all, the game is usually incredibly slow playing, low scoring, and uneventful.  That was what I thought until one summer I spent a great deal of time watching a high school Varsity team.  I learned the slight nuances that go into every inning’s moves and foreign lingo – it’s a “run” not a “point” scored.  If you don’t watch closely, you’ll miss the quick hand signals that the catcher gives the pitcher and the slight glances that a base runner gives his coach to assess the climate to steal a base.  These slight nuances are what make the game exciting.  Carefully measured plays and studying the opponent’s moves typically leads to a win or at the very least, an extremely well played game.  

Lateral Job Recruitment Market

Much like the strategy of baseball, a law firm that understands the competition strategically positions themselves for success in the lateral attorney recruitment market.  It is key to know what makes your firm’s culture unique, identify the traits that will succeed in your environment and hiring those types of candidates in order for your firm’s long-range success. Legal Recruitment Managers need to navigate the challenges of Law Partners breathing down your neck to find and hire the superstar, while conveying the realities of the job market (i.e. entry-level Real Estate Associates were not hired three years ago, so why do you think mid-level Real Estate associate exists today?).  Sifting through unqualified resumes and spending money on advertising that does not guarantee a quality hire is often the approach to filling a position.  Sure, a stellar candidate occasionally falls into your lap, however often traditional recruiting methods are ineffective use of precious resources.

The best talent is IN the market, not ON the market!

I recently read that phrase in an article and thought that is sums up the necessity for attorney search firms.  

Are Attorney Search Firms Worth the Cost?

Someone once asked me how do you justify the cost of an attorney search firm?  I simply said, how can we not?  Now that I’m on the other side of the desk, I definitely see that is the case.  A good example of this was recently when I recruited a mid-level Associate attorney from a prominent boutique law firm.  He was not familiar with my client and initially was not interested in making a move – however the more I discussed the opportunity with him; he became intrigued and open to considering a new law firm.  I submitted his resume and the firm immediately wanted to interview him.  He interviewed with over 10 attorneys and they unanimously agreed he should be hired.  It is very unlikely that this firm would have ever have met this candidate through any other avenue.  

Stating the obvious – attorneys are a law firm’s commodity.  In order for firms to remain competitive and grow their profit margin, they need to hire the best attorneys money can buy.  Quite honestly, the majority of those attorneys are not looking for their next move.  They are busy being productive for the competitor.  At one point I had heard a statistic that every time a junior level attorney walked out the door, the cost to the firm was one and half times their salary.  Focus on not only keeping your best attorneys, but search out other lateral attorneys that would be an outstanding fit for your firm. Need help? Contact us today!

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