Lawyers, like most people, will often turn to the Internet when seeking better employment opportunities. So, they Google legal recruiters near me. Or maybe even attorney recruiting near me. Hmmm, what could possibly go wrong with this approach?

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Not all legal recruiters are equal. Some only focus on finding in-house counsel positions. Others are better suited for associate searches. And others will do anything as long as they get their commission and get it fast. Lastly, I know of at least one legal recruiter, Gillman Strategic Group, that is candidate-facing, working only with established partners looking for a better opportunity. Anyway, at least by searching legal recruiters near me, the results should yield people with experience with lawyers and the legal industry. I suppose that is a good first step.

Does “Near You” Matter?

Your legal recruiter should know your marketplace and jurisdiction. Their knowledge base must include the local legal landscape, the firms and players, compensation, hot practice areas, and other trends. You may not be best served without this knowledge. That said, do they really need to be near you?  Google searches such as this are often hyper-local based on your physical location. For example, if I search from my office, I get results around Westfield, New Jersey. While I love Westfield, it certainly is not the legal hub of New Jersey.  And, many lawyers who live in New Jersey, practice in New York. The point is that searching “near” is an unnecessary limitation. Plus are you going to meet with your recruiter in person? The most effective recruiting is going to be done by the team that is right for you – not necessarily the ones around the corner.

Do Your Homework

Changing jobs creates stress. Heck, stress comes with just about any change in our lives. A good legal recruiter should take a lot of the stress away. We like to say, we do almost everything but go on the interviews for you. Visit legal recruiter websites – do they have testimonials from happy clients? Is their value-proposition clear? Are they accessible? Do they have references? Ask around – of course, do so quietly if confidentiality is a concern.

 4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Legal Recruiter

Does the recruiter know your marketplace? Do they know your practice area? Do they have a large network of firms that may be a good fit for you?

  1. If the recruiter does not ask what your goals are – revenue goals, firm culture, necessary support of a law firm, geographic needs, etc. – run for the hills. They should not kick off the meeting telling you about a great opportunity for you without knowing you, your goals, and your needs. Without discussing these items with you, you can be assured their priority is to simply fill an open slot for a law firm. And collecting a commission without regard to your long-term success.
  2. Are they collaborative and available? Does the recruiter listen to you and actually hear you? Are they pushing the daily special on you when you really just want a salad? Are they showing you homes out of your price range in a town with crappy schools? Obviously, the last two questions are not for legal recruiters. But the wrong recruiter is much like the wrong waiter or realtor. Related, is the recruiter proactive with you? Do they call you and keep you up to date? Ask what their process is before agreeing to work with him or her.
  3. Do they offer tailored services? Are they willing to negotiate on your behalf? Do they know how to negotiate non-traditional compensation items such as bonuses, flexible schedules, marketing budgets, etc.? Every law firm and lawyer is different. You should be receiving tailored services, not a one-size-fits-all recruiting plan.

Getting the right legal recruiter to help you is an important business and personal decision. Find the legal recruiter that respects that. Do not simply rely on legal recruiters near me. We follow a clear, open process with each partner looking for the “perfect fit firm” in many jurisdictions. Call me to learn more about us. We would love to learn more about YOU!