Providing Insight and Strategic Advice about Legal Recruiting
THE BIGGEST MISTAKES STUDENTS MAKE; THE SHORT LIST
REMEMBER - You are smart and have the technological savvy – but THEY have the jobs. Educate yourself about these differences, and show respect for them.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE PRESENTATION
1. What are small and medium sized law firms looking for in applicants? Applicants who have the experience in the job description, and with a personality that will mesh in a smaller firm environment.
2. What is the hiring process like for small and mid-size law firms when they hire associates or law students? Typically 1-3 interviews, where you’ll meet main partners and associates. If the firm extends an offer, you will typically have 48 hours to 1 week to accept.
3. How can a student stand out from the rest? Personal presence and message, consistency of brand, impressively-drafted resume, LinkedIn profile, quality of developed relationships (references).
4. If grades are not your strongest asset, what can you do to make yourself competitive? See above, plus a professional Blog can prove valuable in many ways.
5. While in law school, what are some things I can do now that will help me later in my career? Develop an online presence, and start laying groundwork with individuals and at events. See networking tips, above.
6. What areas of law are growing and employing more lawyers? Labor and employment, IP Patent litigation (particularly with an EE or CS degree), some corporate and real estate positions are opening up. What areas of the law are tightening and hiring less? Litigation, Bankruptcy.
6. How did networking influence the job you have (or any jobs that you've had)? I was introduced to attorney recruiting by my brother – who had used a recruiter years before. During law school, we were not educated about the services of recruiters, so I was unfamiliar with the benefits of working with one. We had a good synergy and I joined her business. In 2005, I incorporated Rifkin Consulting.
Another example is that a professional colleague introduced to a journalist at a renowned legal publication. We get together regularly, have developed a really positive personal and professional relationship, and I’ve had significant opportunities to get meaningful PR exposure as a result.
7. After meeting someone at a networking event, what is the best way to cultivate that relationship? Pay attention to that person’s business card, and comment on it when possible. Too often people just discard business cards, but in Asian culture this is considered disrespectful. Send a nice note afterwards to people with whom you wish to remain in contact – calendar follow ups. Show value.
8. What is the #1 thing you should and should not do at a networking event? Ask for a job.
9. Any general tips for anyone that has not been to a networking event?
I hope this information has been helpful. Please check back for additions and modifications, and visit our Professional Resources page at www.rifkinconsulting.com .
If you are having trouble getting attorney recruiters to work on your behalf to find a job, there could be a variety of reasons. It is important to identify the reasons and take steps to correct them. Rifkin Consulting often works with those attorneys who are having trouble getting a job and can give sound advice on making yourself more attractive to employers.
What Can I Do To Get A Recruiter's Attention?
Attorney recruiters are like any other professionals; they want the most employable attorneys on their books. They have the best chance of placing these attorneys to big law firms and therefore making larger commissions. Recruiters often have parameters, i.e., some attorney recruiters do not accept attorneys who are looking for jobs in small firms, who are unemployed, or seeking employment in certain practice areas.
However, that does not mean that all recruiters feel this way or that there are no recruiters who will work with you. It may be that you are looking in the wrong places.
Sit down and make two lists: one of your experience and skills in a short, condensed form and one of your career preferences. Type these up in a concise, one-page letter that you can include with your resume. This will help you talk to recruiters about your skills and your career goals quickly and weed out recruiters that simply cannot help you.
Now is also a good time to see if there may be glaring problems with your CV. Were you disciplined by a bar association or denied licensure for some reason? If so, you may find that recruiters are shying away but could promote your resume to a law firm with a good explanation of what happened. Never be afraid to tell the truth; most recruiters have seen various problems with attorneys and may have unique ways of handling your issues.
The Keys To Finding a Good Recruiter
It is very possible that recruiters simply do not know that you are looking for a job, especially if you are unemployed. Contacting a recruiter with your resume may be the easiest way to get your name and face out to potential employers, particularly the decision-makers in the firm. Finding a good recruiter can be difficult; you could rely on the recommendations of those who have successfully worked with recruiters or research the web to review recruiting firms' web sites and reviews.
A good attorney recruiter will help you find employment by matching you with existing law firm jobs. Many recruiters have access to information about jobs that are not necessarily available through normal channels. By helping aspiring attorneys find jobs with top firms as well as "boutique" law practices, attorney recruiters can be a valuable resource, especially for attorneys who are just beginning a job search and are not sure where to look for the right type of employment.
Rifkin Consulting is proud to work with attorneys who face many types of challenges in finding the perfect jobs. For many years, Rifkin Consulting has helped California attorneys find the right jobs with the best law firms and has helped employers identify legal talent. Rifkin Consulting also works with attorneys who are currently employed in order to help them make lateral moves and improve their career prospects.
You finally found a position that you thought would be your "dream job." The partners liked you and promised to put you right to work in litigation, an area in which you are desperate to gain experience. However, it has been six months and you have yet to touch your first case. Instead, they have you in the corporate department, spending your days up to your elbows in mind-numbing paperwork and boring meetings.
This scenario is not as uncommon as you might think. The only way to "compel" a law firm to allow you to do the work you want to do is to have in hand a written contract specifying that you will be allowed to perform certain tasks, and most law firms are simply not going to give you this when you are hired. Far more firms rely on a "gentlemen's" (or ladies') agreement and a handshake to specify your job duties.
Do you have any recourse when you find that your dream job is not what you thought it would be? There is, of course, the possibility of quitting, but most lawyers these days are just glad they have found work and are reluctant to give up their jobs. Should you suffer in silence? Actually, there are ways you may change practice areas, but they require you to understand a few basic rules about working in a law firm.
While it is important to get experience in the areas in which you want to specialize, it is also important to maintain your integrity while job seeking. If you do decide to leave, be sure to give plenty of notice and finish the cases to which you are assigned.
Rifkin Consulting can help you when the time comes to change jobs by finding the right law firm and position to match your skills and preferences.
Hiring an attorney recruiter is a process, in some ways, similar to a job interview. You must be sure that the attorney recruiter is a good match for your needs, and the recruiter must be sure that you are the type of candidate he or she wants to represent. The process of “interviewing” a legal recruiter should be taken every bit as seriously as your job interviews and may well have even more lasting ramifications.
An attorney recruiter in CA such as Rifkin Consulting serves a very important purpose. Finding the right attorney jobs in CA is not a simple task, and hiring an attorney recruiter is one of the best ways to weed through the hundreds of law jobs in CA and find the one that best suits your goals and talents.
Therefore, there are several things you should ask your attorney recruiter before agreeing to representation. Here are a few questions you should ask to learn the important information you need to make the right choice in legal recruiting firms from among those available.
How long have you been working as an attorney recruiter? Ask to see the credentials of the person you are hiring to represent you to law firms throughout the state. A professional attorney recruiting firm has usually been in business for years, offering you a chance to review their success stories and see their development as a key player in the legal field.
How do you go about choosing the right jobs for me? This is a crucial question and is really the key to the success or failure of an attorney recruiter in terms of finding the right positions for you. The attorney recruiter should use a verifiable method of weeding out job possibilities so that he or she focuses only on those that will fit your demands. You do not want a recruiter who simply passes your resume to any law firm that is hiring.
Do you offer support services? An attorney recruiter should offer other services such as resume editing, interview preparation and advice on choosing the right job. Simply brokering your resume to law firms is not enough.
Do you have references to whom I can speak? The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” can also be applied to references. No matter how good a firm tells you it is, hearing it from someone who has used the firm successfully means much more. You should also search the Internet for possible bad references; while one or two do not mean much, a number of bad reviews may signal trouble.
How do you calculate your fees? An attorney recruiting firm is paid by the employer when a candidate is hired and begins employment.
It is also important to consider the necessity of maintaining confidentiality and discretion in this process. You may have other questions to ask a potential attorney recruiter. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification or information; after all, this may be one of the most important relationships of your life.
You may have heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This also applies to a well-written follow-up to an interview. Our attorney recruiters often advise attorney candidates that while once considered unique, a follow up is now just good manners. These days, it is expected that attorney candidates can and will follow up with interviewers to show a deeper understanding of items mentioned and an appreciation for meeting the busy members of the firm.
Even experts sometimes neglect the crucial time just after an interview, but this is a time when, psychologically, many things may hang in the balance of choosing a candidate for hire. The more you can do to make yourself stand out to the partners or hiring committee, the better your chances of securing the job. Our legal recruitment firm has compiled some great tips to follow up well after a good interview.
With the economy in recession, it may be difficult to find career opportunities that match your criteria, experience, and academic achievement. The economic crisis has left few jobs on the market and even lawyers are having difficulty trying to find employment that matches their requirements. You may have considered working with an attorney recruiter, but are still uncertain whether or not you should. Here are several reasons why an attorney recruiter can assist you in building an enriching and successful career as an attorney:
Appearance and Presentation:
Often, applicants do not hear back from potential employers because their cover letters and resumes are unsuccessful and ineffective. Most attorneys are so busy applying to numerous jobs that they do not research each law firm’s background and goals. Ultimately, many attorneys make the awful mistake of sending out generic and plain cover letters and resumes. This usually leads to fruitless results.
Cover letters should be tailored to the law firm and used to create a connection with the firm's recruiting department. If you are not referencing your knowledge of the firm or engaging the reader within the first paragraph, your cover letter will likely be tossed.
Additionally, if your resume and cover letter contain typographical errors, you will most likely not hear back from them. Your first impression, even though on paper, needs to be completely flawless. Fortunately, an attorney recruiter can edit your resume and draft an impressive cover letter while also providing background on the law firm to ensure that your presentation catches the reader's attention.
Interview and Impression:
Numerous applicants find the interview process utterly challenging with multiple phone and in person interviews. The process can be stressful, nerve-wracking, and brutal. It is of the utmost importance that you appear to be the right candidate for the position, but most often interviewees become nervous and fail to create the right impression. An attorney recruiter can help you with the interview process by providing effective tips to guide you in selling your skills and experience.
Ever heard the expression: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well the statement rings completely true in searching for the right career opportunities. It is absolutely crucial to establish long-lasting connections and relationships in order to generate the best career opportunities. This may be a daunting task for a new or young attorney. At Rifkin Consulting, we offer the benefit of more than 25 years of experience with the legal industry and have many well established relations with successful law firms and exceptional attorneys.
Contact Rifkin Consulting
Whether you are a young associate or longtime partner, we can help provide you with employment opportunities for a permanent and successful career. Our attorney recruiters have your best interest in mind and will search for top tier law firms that exceed your requirements. Contact one of our consultants today so we can assist in achieving your long-term goals as an attorney.
As an attorney search consultant, I believe that partner placements and legal recruiting have become increasingly difficult - and different - during the last five years. The primary reason for this is that as the economy took a drastic turn, many partners' portable books of business did also. As a result, they were faced with two very difficult and contradictory situations: (1) without significant business they may have gotten the "wink and the nod" that they should seek work elsewhere, and/or (2) making a lateral move was difficult because their portable business had diminished. Firms are more reluctant over the last few years to take a "gamble" on partners who previously did well.
Additionally, they significantly raised the required book of "verifiable" business before considering adding them to the firm. Whereas 1 million in portable business used to be a sought-after number, for many large firms that has been raised to 2 million in portable business. Smaller firms generally tend to want to see candidates in at least the $400K-$500K range.
An additional change that I've seen, and continue to observe, is with attorneys who were previously "service partners". These attorneys often did not do business development, nor were they encouraged to do so, because there was enough work from other partners. Sometimes it was even discouraged.
Unfortunately, when the economy experienced a downturn and the work was no longer plentiful, these senior attorneys who were not self-supporting were often told to find other work. Again, the lack of portable business was a harsh reality that has continued to plague many. I have spoken with many attorneys in this situation - some have gone from making huge salaries to just getting by. They have become a sad casualty of the economy – and the evolution of the law firm model - as a result of the recession. My sense is that even when the economy rebounds, service partners will be less desirable than previously. I always advise candidates to do whatever they can to be self-supporting - it's ultimately a matter of survival.
I’ve noticed that the most informed and highly-regarded attorney recruiters want to obtain a lot of information from me. What if I don’t want to tell them about my salary or why I want to leave my job? Can’t they just tell me what jobs are available in the market?
Understanding several things about professional recruiters will not only answer these questions, but will also enhance your overall recruiting experience.
Given that recruiters are compensated by the clients, it’s crucial that we carefully screen candidates for important information; examples of this would be salary, required compensation, ability to relocate, hours regularly billed, and about their evaluations. In-depth screening helps us determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular job, a personality fit for a prospective employer, and helps us to assess whether a candidate will be communicative and forthcoming during the placement process. This information should be kept in the strictest confidence (at Rifkin Consulting, we take this seriously and have a Privacy Statement on our website. Read it here
The recruiting process frequently takes a good deal of time. However, there are often times when we need a timely response from a candidate, such as when scheduling an interview. If we are working with a candidate who is difficult to track down and does not show genuine interest in exploring opportunities, then it's better to know this early on so that we can direct our efforts on placements that are more likely to move forward and with candidates who are more willing.
Specific job information is rarely shared during a first call or email. Our insider information is a valuable asset – and recruiters want to feel confident that a candidate will not utilize this information outside of the relationship for self-gain. Sounds terrible – but it happens. Therefore, it’s important that we first try to determine whether this job seeker is serious about a job search and willing to be loyal and work together once information is shared. There are several ways this can be ascertained, such as if the candidate quickly sends a resume other requested materials and information that are crucial to the process. Additionally, it’s very important for a candidate to provide a list of any submissions that have already been made, so that the recruiter can move forward in an informed manner and not duplicate efforts. Once a candidate takes advantage of a recruiter or is dishonest, the relationship can rarely be repaired.
We are your managers, your counselors... facilitating the process on your behalf from beginning to end. With mutual respect, the relationship can be rewarding, long-term and successful!
"I am a new law school graduate, and I contacted a legal recruiter to help me get a job. Why won't they work with me?"
Don’t take it personally! Many recruiters want to be able to help new law school graduates; however, clients will only work with recruiters to hire attorneys with at least one year of post law school experience in a law firm setting. Why?
There are several reasons that firm clients take this position.
Additionally, few law firms will use the services of recruiters to hire young attorneys with only clerking experience. Often law firms and law clerks utilize internal connections to facilitate such hires.
It’s important to understand the aforementioned reasons why an attorney recruiter can’t assist you with your job search if you are a new graduate or Bar-admittee. You’ll need to be very proactive on your own if you weren’t successful during OCI, or if your school does not participate in OCI recruiting. Learning about the various venues for networking and research, such as your local Public Law Center, can provide valuable experience as well as leads. Good luck!
When you're ready to make a lateral move, it's in your best interest to call a skilled San Diego attorney recruiter. At Rifkin Consulting, we are skilled San Diego attorney recruiters who place attorney candidates in top firms. No matter what area you specialize in, we've got the right stuff to help you make a winning lateral move.
The attorney job market is fiercely competitive. In a particularly turbulent economy, attorneys are fighting tooth and nail to get noticed. Don't fight alone. Contact a skilled San Diego attorney recruiter to work diligently for you to ensure you make a smooth lateral move.
San Diego Attorney Recruiters Can Help You With Your Necessary Materials
Do you have a stand out resume? How about a portfolio of your best attorney work products? Do you have a law school transcript on hand? When you're looking to make a lateral move, these are all necessary items. Your skilled San Diego attorney recruiter can help you assemble these items correctly.
When You Make a Lateral Move, You Need a Great San Diego Attorney Recruiter on Your Side
When you work with a San Diego attorney recruiter, you gain the inside track. Employers pay us to find top talent, so it's in our best interest to ensure you represent well and land the job of your dreams. Why try to do it alone? Get the help you need and deserve by hiring a San Diego attorney recruiter. Rifkin Consulting has an excellent reputation as an experienced San Diego attorney recruiter and we'd love to work with you.
San Francisco is a competitive town. And given the current somewhat shaky state of the attorney job market, the competition has gotten fierce. That's why you need an experienced and assertive San Francisco attorney recruiter on your side. At Rifkin Consulting, our decades of experience make us the best San Francisco attorney recruiters. Don't just take our word for it, take a look at our track record. We place more people into satisfying San Francisco attorney positions than our competitors do. Our San Francisco attorney recruiters get the results you need.
What an Experienced San Francisco Attorney Recruiter Can Do For You
You've got the experience and the desire to get hired at a great law firm. But do you have the skills to catch that law firm's eye and beat out your competition? Do you know what it takes to make a lateral move? Trust Rifkin Consulting, your experienced San Francisco attorney recruiters to help you out. We offer the following services to our attorney candidates to help them get hired:
When you're looking for a competitive edge, trust in a San Francisco attorney recruiter to provide it for you. We'll be your secret weapon in a highly competitive law firm job market.
The business of legal recruiting is always evolving. Today, Facebook announced a new job board and on its first morning, recruiters have already posted 1.7 million jobs from 5 different internet recruiting portals. These portals include:
• DirectEmployers Association
This new application was initially developed to offer job seekers one central location to look for work and interact. As a social recruitment site for legal professionals, the jury may still be out. What appears to be lacking is the caliber of professionalism that legal recruiting targets.
Facebook Lacks the Professionalism that LinkedIn is Known For
What’s missing in Facebook’s job board is the community of professionals that LinkedIn attracts. As an aggregate of current job postings around the net, it’s great. But as a legal recruiter, the level of professionalism inherent to a site like LinkedIn may be more appropriate. Many Facebook users treat their pages like a fun zone. That profile picture of someone downing shots on their last vacation doesn’t scream hire me.
The reason legal professionals keep coming back to LinkedIn is the professional community. In this forum, you can network, share tips and tricks, peruse articles about topics relevant to your career and gain support from a community of professionals. Legal professionals are comfortable in this setting and have embraced the forum as a professional space in which to interact. As a legal recruiter, you need to hang out in the spaces where your clients gather. And LinkedIn appears to dominate this space.
Until Facebook embraces a more professional atmosphere, its value may simply be as an advertisement space. As a legal recruiting space, the jury is still out.