Browsing Category 'lateral attorney moves’ RSS

Nailing the Job Interview

Date March 19, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Nailing the Job Interview

My colleague Amy Levine has some great tips for nailing your next job interview. In the program notes, I also mention my own interviewing tips which can be found here.

Episode 2-In-House With Walt Pollard

Date February 12, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Episode 2-In-House With Walt Pollard

Thinking about leaving private practice and going in-house?  In this episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, I interview Walt Pollard, Associate General Counsel of Brown Brothers Harriman. Walt offers some great insights about what it takes to be successful in a corporate law department and how to get there.

Flexibility and Urgency in Hiring

Date August 10, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Flexibility and Urgency in Hiring

Flexibility and Urgency in Hiring

It’s no longer 2009.  With unemployment rates hovering close to 4%, employers need to change their approach to recruiting talent.Workplace flexibility concept on the gearwheels

In the legal search business, we are seeing candidates who are being much more discriminating about what jobs they are willing to consider.  In certain areas of practice, notably corporate, real estate and IP, the attorneys and paralegals we are trying to recruit are commanding higher salaries than ever.

More importantly, some of the best talent we approach already have flexibility in their hours and they are not willing to give that up.  In 2017, the best talent wants and demands flexibility.  This is true for the attorneys and paralegals that we work with.

While most employers are not eager to have their employees coming and going, the reality is that our workforce is connected through smart phones and email.  In order to compete for the “best” talent, smart employers should be prepared to permit professional staff (and to the extent that it is consistent with the needs of the business, support staff) to spend a portion of their time working remotely.

I speak all the time to lawyers and paralegals who already have these arrangements.  If you thought hiring the “best and the brightest” was a challenge a couple of years ago, right now, it’s harder than ever to convince top talent to consider other opportunities.

Similarly, we are seeing that adding a sense of urgency to the hiring process is important in the war for talent.  When our law firm and corporate clients move quickly, they greatly increase their chances of getting the candidates they want.

While this has always been true, this seems more true than ever.  The Catch-22 is that most employers hire because they are too busy.  In the short run, the hiring process can exacerbate that problem.  But until the economy turns again, employers beware!  A long and drawn out hiring process may mean losing out on the chance to get the best talent.

Career Happiness Comes through Trial and Error

Date January 20, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Career Happiness Comes through Trial and Error

"The only thing to fear is fear itself"

“The only thing to fear is fear itself”

It is no secret that lawyers as a group are an unhappy lot.  I could give my own explanation for this but today, after we have just sworn in a President who is starting a new career, I thought I would share a few thoughts about career changes and career happiness (I’ll save my political comments for Facebook).

Once upon a time (i.e. back in the 1980’s when I was coming into the workforce), career professionals were quick to tell college students to follow their passions.  The idea was to identify a career that inspired you and that was consistent with your skills and vocational interests.  If you followed this path, career success was sure to follow.

Read more…

Just Say “Not Right Now”

Date January 3, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Just Say “Not Right Now”

justsaynoIt’s the New Year and if you are like many successful professionals, expect the headhunter calls to increase in the coming weeks.  Simply put, we in the recruiting business know that this is a good time of year to connect with talent.  Many people take stock in their careers around January 1. Read more…

Speak the Truth and Nothing But the Truth-But it doesn’t have to be the “whole” truth

Date December 5, 2016 Comment Comments Off on Speak the Truth and Nothing But the Truth-But it doesn’t have to be the “whole” truth

Speak the Truth and Nothing But the Truth-But it doesn’t have to be the “whole” truth

What does “integrity” mean in an interview situation?  Certainly, you have the obligation to tell the truth during a job interview.  But having an obligation to tell the truth does not imply an obligation to to share every sordid detail of your past with prospective employers.

The current election has reaffirmed my belief that integrity matters alot in our personal and professional lives.  So where should you draw the line?  Click here to read an article from my archives.

Getting Beyond Industry Barriers-Part II (law firm edition)

Date November 21, 2016 Comment Comments Off on Getting Beyond Industry Barriers-Part II (law firm edition)

Getting Beyond Industry Barriers-Part II (law firm edition)

In my last post, I suggested that changing industries is easier said than done for many professionals.  I also suggested 2 ways to overcome industry bias:  1) find opportunities through networking and 2) when it is feasible, accept positions on a contract basis.

For attorneys who work in a law firm environment, there are several additional options to consider.

If you have established yourself as one of the “keepers”, then it may be possible to shift your work assignments within your firm.  If you are more interested in biotechnology than financial services, for example, see if you can be proactive about getting work from partners who service those clients.  If your firm serves both industries and partners serving the biotechnology clients are busy, your firm may let you make an internal move rather than lose you.

I’ve even seen law firm associates make complete practice area changes (i.e. not just a change in the industries that the associate is serving).  During the dot.com boom, for example, I counseled an environmental associate to ask to be moved into the corporate department at his firm.  The firm was happy to keep this individual and he was able to retool, despite his lack of corporate experience.

If making a change internally is not feasible (either because your firm is not busy enough in that department or the firm doesn’t have clients in the industry that interests you, then it may be time to consider a lateral move.  Mid-level  corporate and real estate associates with large law firm experience are in great demand right now so take advantage of the market conditions to get your career moving in the direction you want.  It will only get harder as you get more senior.

For partners with portable business, this may be a good time to shop your practice. There are many hungry buyers out there; but be aware that the bar is being raised at most firms. A legal recruiter asserts that firms which wanted 500K now want 750K in portable business and firms that wanted a million now want 1.5 million. In addition, firms are looking closer at the portability of the business to make sure that a lateral partner can deliver and that the work is current.

Will the ABA Rule Change Fuel Lateral Movement?

Date February 17, 2009 Comment Comments Off on Will the ABA Rule Change Fuel Lateral Movement?

The ABA has adopted a new rule which seems to create more opportunities for partners to move laterally. In lowering the ethics hurdle with respect to conflicts of interest, is the ABA encouraging lateral movement or simply acknowledging what is already happening in the legal profession?

Keep Asking Questions

Date November 25, 2008 Comment Comments Off on Keep Asking Questions

In my latest article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (In Making a Lateral Move, Look Before You Leap ), I have addressed some of the important questions that you should be asking yourself before contemplating a lateral move.

As it turns out, asking a lot of questions (at least about firm finances), is not something that most partners have done in the past; but that seems to be changing as more firms are failing.