The Wonderful World of NALP

I am waiting for my flight out of lovely Denver back to my hometown of San Francisco. I have at least another hour until my flight boards and my thoughts turn toward introspection. This week I and my colleagues at our recruiting firm (BCG Attorney Search) met here in the Mile-High City to attend the yearly NALP convention to swap stories and chat with our clients—law firm recruiting coordinators. It was a fun time, replete with an exciting giveaway (we gave away a Mini-Cooper to one of our clients), surprise snow storms (good thing our Boston recruiter was along to help drive!), and way too much rich food and, ahem, conviviality.

Well. My report back from speaking with scores of law firm insiders is that things are humming along at a consistent, brisk pace—one we have become accustomed to over the last few years. Firms are hungry for great talent, eager to discover how they can better attract that talent, and enthusiastic for the future in the near term (remember Uncle Friedman’s injunction: there is no long term!). At any rate, the good news is no “new” news. This is a wonderful time to spread one’s legal wings, find a new platform, and make a move up, or sideways.

As I am often want to remind my candidates, this does not mean it is a good time to just strum along and go with the flow. Rather, US attorneys are being given the gift of relative freedom and openness in the market to explore, grow their practices, and add new skills. In my view, this is given to us for a purposes, and there is little “karmic waste” out there. What does that mean? It means that the chance to grow is an opportunity we must grasp firmly in order to weather whatever storms come along down the path tomorrow.

On the other hand, it is also a good time to reflect, ponder and analyze professional and personal goals and strengths. If you haven’t done so yet this year, then take time out to make hay while the sun shines, and do yourself the favor of paying attention to number one: you! (Click on this link: for some thoughts on how to jump-start the creative process!).

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