Finding a trustworthy legal recruiter is essential to your reputation and viability as a new attorney. It does not matter if you want to change firms now or years from now. An attorney may need to change firms at any time for a myriad of reasons. You may want to relocate, you may have children or loved ones to take care of or the money may be better somewhere else. It is hard to plan exactly when you will want to make a move.
Legal recruiting is a competitive business and when you begin hunting around for a legal recruiter you are certain to get plenty of people contacting you and telling you why they are the best. There are a few things you should keep in mind when selecting a recruiter.
Talk to at Least Five Recruiters
You have a lot of options when you are looking for a recruiter, so you should take your time in selecting one. Ask about their success rate as far as getting attorneys jobs. Ask them how long lawyers they have placed in firms have stayed at that firm. Make sure they ask you questions about your wants, needs and experience level.
Be sure to ask your recruiter about the process they use for matching an attorney with a law firm. What kind of experience and characteristics do they seek? Ask how they can tell if a person is right for one firm, but not another.
References are Important
When you are thinking of patronizing any business, it has become par for the course to Google them and check out their online reputation. However, online reviews are often not trustworthy. Unscrupulous recruiters will often buy good reviews to improve their image. Be sure to ask the recruiter for past clients who are willing to give them a good recommendation.
Be Honest with Yourself
A professional recruiter will never work with law students or attorneys who are in their first year of practice. They also tend to look for the cream of the crop when selecting lawyers to represent. A legal recruiter is a bit like a talent agent. If there is nothing extraordinary about you and if you do not practice a particularly esoteric area of law, you may want to ask yourself and the recruiter why they are interested in you?
Look for a Recruiter in your Area and Area of Practice
The recruiter that you select should be well-versed in the type of law that you practice and have relationships with firms that practice in the same area of law that you do. Given the competitive nature of the business, it is critical that your recruiter has viable relationships with some of the law firms in the area where you are seeking work. Loyalty and trust can go a long way in determining a recruiter’s ability to place you in the best firm for your situation.
You have worked hard to become an attorney and you deserve a legal recruiter who will find you the best jobs possible. Climbing the corporate ladder is easier when you get a hand up, but you want to make sure that hand won’t let go of yours along the way.