How to work with a legal recruiter…

 

I am a legal recruiter. I love what I do, and greatly enjoy working with both clients and candidates. I work with partners and associates throughout the country, and place candidates in a variety of positions in-house and at firms throughout the world. It is a very cool job, and I have fun doing it.
By now you should realize that working with a legal recruiter is more than likely the best way for you to proceed in securing your next position. So how is it best to work with someone like me?
1. Find a legal recruiter you like. I think I am pretty terrific, but I am not everyone’s cup of tea. We have other recruiters at our firm if personalities do not mesh, but it is important you have a comfort level with whom you are working.
2. When I or one of my recruiter colleagues call, remember this call may be the most important call in your career. Ok, so I may be exaggerating a bit, but perhaps not. One of my candidates, a former Cravathite paid me a wonderful compliment when he said my call changed his life.  Typically, we are calling for a reason. We have an opening that could be a good fit, want to hear what you’re thinking in terms of next steps….
3. If you are asked to send a copy of your resume for review, please send it, with the caveat that you absolutely tell the recruiter that it is solely for review and not distribution. My firm never submits your paperwork to any client without your express permission to do so. Sadly, this is not the case with many other recruitment companies (I am not naming names here, but many of you know who they are).
4. Assuming that you recognize the value that we as recruiters  bring to the table, if you’re going to work with us, I’d work with, at most, ONE of us at a time. Many people compare us to realtors, something I do not think is exactly on point, but I get the general gist. You speak with us, help us understand the priorities you are looking for in your next position and long-term career goals, and we help you to achieve them.

5. Be honest and open. Everything we discuss is confidential. We work hard to present you in your best light, but, remember, just as your reputation is important to you, mine is very important to me. I have worked hard over many years to establish and maintain ongoing relationships with most of the people to whom I’ll be presenting you. Please make sure I know EVERYTHING, good or bad, so we can know how to present you in your best possible light. Many law firms and in-house clients are savvy enough to understand when a recruiter says “we no longer represent this person.”

6. Meet with us in person, or do not meet with us. These days if possible, I prefer a skype meeting to an in-person meeting, It saves everyone time, and for any non-local placements, or even placements where partners in out-of-town locations will have to have a say in the hiring, videoconferencing is the norm. We recruit all over the country, and travel all over the country (and now the world…how cool is that?!?) in order to meet with clients and candidates, but it’s not always possible to meet personally with every single client OR candidate every single time. In my experience that has not affected our ability to zealously advocate on anyone’s behalf, and in many cases the time and cost-savings are appreciated. This one is up to you.
7. We are not a passing fad, and it seems as if our role is growing more important by the day. The practice of law has evolved. Whether it is for better or worse, that is an argument for another time, and probably falls along the lines of arguing whether gravity exists. The evolution is ongoing, and that is a reality. Non-equity or hybrid Partnerships, lengthy, extended associate terms, and all the other changes we have witnessed and are witnessing have made it clear to both associates and partners alike that there are no guarantees at many law firms anymore. Do your best to ensure that you’re always positioned to move, and constantly be prepared to do so.
8. Do not wait for our call. If you are interested, call or email us.  My cell is 609.933.1630, and email is htenenbaum@gmail.com

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