Five Tips for Working Successfully with Legal Recruiters

Diversity recruiting

Experienced attorneys are frequently contacted by legal recruiters offering assistance with job searches and transitions. These legal recruitment companies can assist lawyers with their first job searches, later firm changes, or returns to the legal career. Though work with legal recruitment firms doesn’t guarantee job placement, it can simplify the job search process, making it easier for attorneys to find work at qualified law firms.

Before launching into relationships with legal recruiters, it’s important for current and prospective attorneys to give some thought to the process. Here, we’ve collected five suggestions for attorneys considering work with a legal recruiter.

  1. Keep your job search diverse. Don’t let your recruiter be the only one looking for jobs. It’s up to you to keep an eye out as well. Just because you’ve begun working with a professional doesn’t mean that you should stop networking and searching. Think of yourself as part of a job search team.
  2. Be selective. Not all legal recruiters are created equal. Interview a few different potential teammates to find one with whom you feel comfortable. It’s also important that your recruiter have a positive track record and some experience in the legal field. A recruiter who is a JD or who has practiced law is more aware of what it takes to be a great attorney.
  3. Don’t think of yourself as an employer. Legal recruiters don’t work for you. They work for the firms and companies they are trying to staff. Those firms and companies pay the finder’s fees, not you.
  4. Be forthcoming. There’s no use in speaking to your recruiter like he or she is a prospective employer. Be totally honest about your likes and dislikes so that you can be matched with a firm or company that will meet your needs.
  5. Have some flexibility. Though legal recruiters will try to match you with the niches or practice areas you find interesting, there is a chance that you might have to try out something different. It’s hard to know how many opportunities are out there, so be willing to try out something you haven’t considered before.

Recruiters and headhunters might not always get the best press, but they really can be major assets in your job search. If you’re stalled in your process, think about getting help from a legal recruiter. Whether you find a job or not, they’ll provide important insight into the legal job hunt.