About Law Firm Staff
Setting The Nation's Standard in Law Firm Staffing
Welcome To Law Firm Staff
Law Firm Staff provides both temporary and direct hire placement solutions for law firms and corporations seeking the very best attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and other administrative personnel crucial to the running of a successful law practice. Our sole focus is to place experienced and highly skilled legal professionals in positions at the best law firms. We take extraordinary care to ensure the best match between candidate and employer, and we are highly committed and confident about the work that we do.
As an incomparable source of revenue, attorneys are ultimately the driving force behind any successful law firm. As such, our clients rely on our ability to find for them those individuals who, with the right combination of legal experience, academic background, and intelligence, will excel in the firm's environment and make an immediate and significant contribution to the legal team.
Experienced paralegal assistance is critical to the success of any law firm. We are dedicated to assisting our clients in their efforts to find and evaluate those legal professionals who exemplify talent and dedication and will deftly handle matters that require a keen intelligence, yet need not be billed to the client at attorney rates. With the shifts in the economy and the resulting client dissatisfaction with paying high attorney billing rates, the use of paralegals in the law firm has been forecasted to increase significantly in this decade. While availability of schools for paralegals has grown to meet this expected need, it is high-quality experience in a demanding legal environment that makes a paralegal most marketable to the best firms.
While any good legal secretary knows that it is they who truly make things happen in a firm, many attorneys do not understand how valuable a highly-skilled secretary can be for their practice. Every great legal secretary has a counterpart - a colleague who treats his or her position as though it were nothing more than a means of earning a salary. They answer the phone in a monotone, file papers haphazardly, and halfheartedly transcribe scribbles from the attorneys they are assigned to help. But the true stars? They go the extra distance. They know the clients by name, they ensure that they understand the documents involved in a transaction or a trial, they take their place as a full-fledged team member of any project to which they are assigned. Our job in recruiting and placing legal secretaries is to find those stars - legal secretaries who thrive on being an integral part of a winning legal team - and to place them with attorneys that can use (and appreciate) their help. Our clients tell us every day how happy they are that we made the effort to discover their particular skills and match those skills to the right opportunity.
The chief administrative officer (CAO) of a law firm serves as the nucleus of the business activity of the firm. At the largest and most successful firms in the United States, the CAO is often more business savvy than any other person in the firm, even (sometimes especially) including the firm's partners. Attorneys in the most prestigious firms recognize this and reward highly qualified administrative officers accordingly. Whereas CAOs historically were recruited up from the ranks within a law firm, there is an increasing trend to bring in new talent from outside the firm in order to provide a "fresh perspective." This is the point at which we become involved, as many of these top firms call upon us to find that unique individual capable of functioning as the firm's "nerve center."
Chief Financial Officers
With firm revenues peaking as high as $1 billion annually, it stands to reason that savvy financial management is critical. Firms deploy their assets in hedging transactions, foreign currency swaps, and numerous other complex market strategies on a daily basis. Law firm chief financial officers (CFOs) earn salaries in the high six figures, making them monetarily competitive with some of Wall Street's top investment bankers.
The successful CFO of a large law firm will have extensive experience overseeing international operations, financial consolidations, and identifying and mitigating foreign exchange risk, be intimately familiar with the process of acquisition, including valuation, due diligence, and integration. On a day-to-day basis, the CFO will plan, direct and control overall financial planning, accounting, forecasting, and cash management functions of the firm, handle the annual budgets and forecasting, evaluate the firm's practices and analyze cost, budgets, operating policies, trends and increased profit opportunities, and protect the firm's financial stability by ensuring that internal controls are adequate to safeguard assets and accounting systems are sufficient to generate accurate and timely financial reporting. With an eye to the firm's future, the CFO must possess strong skills in business planning, analyzing growth opportunities, and valuing potential acquisitions.
Since lawyers have worked long and hard on their own education, they prefer a CFO who has also obtained an advanced degree, such as an MBA, and being a CPA is extraordinarily helpful. If you are a sharp, educated financial professional who can manage the financial organization of multi-office, multi-national firms, and have the vision and the stamina to take our clients forward in their future growth, please contact us.
The controller assists the firm's CFO in day-to-day transactions involving firm payables, receivables, and general accounting: payroll, time and billing, financial reporting, cash management (such as AP/AR control, and maintaining relationships with the firm's banks), and be an integral advisor to the administrative management team, ensuring that decisions are made with full information and awareness of the bottom line. A top-notch law firm controller will be able to create financial management processes that work in a professional services environment, and display impeccable characteristics: a high-energy person with a strong executive presence, who can roll-up his/her sleeves and get the job done. As with any other position of strength within a law firm, the successful applicant will hold an MBA and/or a CPA degree, and have strong computer skills.
Human Resources Managers
The best law firm HR managers are dynamic "people persons" who can multitask like no other, as the duties are many: managing the secretarial staff, handling non-legal staff recruiting, overseeing and conducting new employee orientations, handling employee relations issues, administering and communication of the benefit plans of the firm, managing the compensation system and coordinating the annual performance evaluation process, developing training initiatives for the staff, and overseeing maintenance of the firm's HR databases. This person will have responsibility for handling sensitive issues of employee relations within the firm, recruiting from outside, and supervising and training a staff to be able to respond to the needs of some of the most demanding employees there are. The HR manager should be as well-versed in Federal and local labor and employment law as the firm's Labor attorneys are, since decisions often need to be made quickly, without time to get an opinion from an attorney.
From the outset, it must be understood that a recruiting coordinator at a law firm spends a lot of time on the phone, and generally undertakes significant travel responsibilities. If you aren't prepared to spend 50% or more of your time talking to candidates and hiring partners, spend much of your summer organizing and attending summer associate events, be away much of the fall season on law-school recruiting junkets, and give up many nights and weekends in between for various seminars, cocktail parties, and other networking events, then this is not the ideal career for you. On the other hand, if all of that sounds like fun, and you possess strong communication skills, the ability to listen effectively, and relish the idea of convincing exceptional law students that your firm is the only logical choice for them, then you are on the right track and should contact us to discuss our client firms' needs.
Unlike recruiters at agencies and in-house recruiters in many other industries, the law firm recruiting coordinator needn't spend any time cold-calling candidates. The legal job market is such that prospective hires will generally be beating down the door with their resumes, and the recruiting coordinator must be able to efficiently discern those who have merit and pass only those resumes along to the Hiring Committee.
The receptionist is, quite literally, the front line of a firm's public relations campaign and has the ability to make or break the firm's image during that crucial initial telephone or walk-in contact. A top-flight law firm receptionist possesses the same skill set and performs largely the same duties as do receptionists in most other industries, and are similarly as difficult to find. A star receptionist must be able to do more than regurgitate a string of last names followed by the ubiquitous "Hold, please," or "I'll put you through," (or worse, simply transferring without acknowledgment!) followed by punching a button and turning back to a book/magazine/computer game. In order to present the firm in the best light requires the skill of a stage actor in enunciation and diction, the composure of a tightrope walker, and the patience of a saint! The firms with which we work are in constant need of these elusive star receptionists. If you are a "people person" with ambassador-like diplomacy who takes pride in making a good impression, we would be delighted to hear from you (but please - don't put us on hold!).
Nearly every firm could use skilled library personnel, even those with smaller collections. Our clients constantly need librarians experienced with the numerous treatises, case reporters, and information binders that are the staples of legal research, as well as being extremely well versed in and comfortable with the paperless media that are swiftly replacing the more traditional information mining methods. Our clients are willing to pay top salaries to knowledgeable law librarians with information science backgrounds and generally afford them the opportunity to do much more than replace binder pages with update sheets and toss out old pocket parts. Law librarians in the 21st century need to be on top of the latest in legal computing technology. The need to migrate vast amounts of data in most large firms into a management system that permits its full exploitation has driven an increasing search for skilled library scientists. If you are the sort of person who relishes the challenge of administrating a dynamic information system and has interest in managing the design and build of efficient systems for the cataloging and retrieval of the vast array of integral firm information, we generally have opportunities for you.
Information Technology Managers and Assistants
While attorneys typically do not push the limits of their individual workstation capacity, no type of organization relies more on the persons responsible for keeping its computing technology in shape than law firms. With hundreds of attorneys producing dozens of documents each day, and an increasing reliance on email technology, there is never a dull moment in any firm for its information technology managers and their assistants. Unlike traditional career paths, a career in information technology management in a law firm offers better pay and a faster rise to the top of the IT ranks within a large organization.
The Law Firm Staff Difference
At Law Firm Staff we make only law firm placements so as not to dilute our strength by focusing on many markets at once. We believe we are the best at placing legal professionals in the law firm market because of our consistent focus. Our clients believe that we are the best because we provide them with precisely what they are looking for. We actually take the time to get to know the law firms we are serving. We put all our efforts into being the absolute best at working within the law firm market as possible, and our goals are focused and constant. Understanding various firms' cultures, their hiring needs, and why a particular firm is a good fit for our candidates is our unwavering focus, to the exclusion of pursuing other, even lucrative, directions. For example, we do not make in-house placement of legal staff. Representing candidates for in-house positions is simply inconsistent with our mission - to remain the preeminent legal search and placement firm in the nation.
We feel that recruiting at its pinnacle is a research-driven business. Firms are looking for the best available candidates, and candidates are looking for the perfect job - the one that best matches their intellectual interests and lifestyle desires. One of the most professionally rewarding aspects of our work is bringing people together in partnerships that work for them, sometimes to their own surprise. We have often made placements and were later told by the candidate, "I wasn't sure when you first told me about "X" firm, but I can't believe how much I love my job!" We take pride in being confident that such a match would not have happened were it not for our involvement. Our reward comes from a growing base of satisfied clients. We have experienced dramatic growth, not due to an aggressive expansion strategy, but because our consistent focus on research has made such growth virtually unavoidable through repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
Delivering The Best Results Possible In The Law Firm Staffing Market
With offices in Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Miami, we are well suited to represent legal professionals in the most active national markets. As a consequence, Our staffing consultants in each of these regions understand the unique cultures and needs of the law firms they serve and strive to be "on top of the market" at all times. Additionally, our regional staffing consultants generally are on a first-name basis with the hiring authorities in their geographic markets. We are focused for a reason: When we do one thing, and do it well, the ultimate payoff is a better law firm environment and better delivery of legal services. That's a reason to be proud of, and our pride shows in all that we do.
The Select Few
We put a lot of thought into our work. Because of our reputation for representing only the best of candidates, when firms see one of our candidates' resumes, they know that significant consideration has gone into the decision to represent that candidate; that the candidate meets our high standards. With some leading American law firms, with exceptionally high hiring standards, we may try to place a candidate with them only once or twice a year. Nevertheless, when we do present a candidate to them, they know that we have put as much thought into representing the candidate as they will into the hiring process. Accordingly, we believe our candidates receive more careful consideration at the threshold and thus get more interviews.
Law Firm Staff was built on the belief that superior administrative staff will seek out the search firm that best represents their interests. Because of our in-depth knowledge of their target markets, candidates choose us over our competition because they know we've got it covered.
Covering the market is only a means to the end with regard to our main objective, however -- to serve the candidates with whom we work in the most effective way possible. For example, by spending time with each candidate and with the firms they are interested in, we simply make more placements - and more suitable placements - than our competitors. We have built our business on the value of initiating relationships and of cultivating them for the mutual benefit of all.
Because of our staunch belief in the value of research, and because we are professional advocates, we expect each of our candidates to understand us, and our role in the legal job search process, before the first contact. We are not here to convince you to switch firms or to employ pressuring sales tactics. We are here to be a resource for you when, and if, you desire our services.
Make no mistake about it. There are some recruiting firms that make more placements than us. There are also search firms that bring in more revenue because they spend less time - a cursory review of a candidate's qualification before "papering" any firm with a listed opening. This scattershot approach will make money; however, it does nothing for building successful long-term relationships. In terms of taking care of our candidates, knowing the market, and excelling at what we do, we believe that the results we are able to achieve are unparalleled. Developing the necessary skills to provide the most effective assistance to the busiest, most demanding lawyers is no easy task. Switching jobs is no easy task either, so we do our best to make it easier for you. We realize the importance of our work and take each placement very seriously. In fact, given the significance of our role, and because we are experienced search consultants specialized in the law firm market, we look upon ourselves as your attorneys when you need us.
First Rate Staffing Consultants
We firmly believe that there is no other group of staffing consultants anywhere that can consistently get the results we do for our candidates in the law firm market. Law Firm Staff's staffing consultants are all first-rate attorneys who have practiced law with major United States law firms and approach their work with a level of passion, insight and thoroughness that we believe is unsurpassed in the legal recruiting industry. We truly believe that we are accomplishing something for the candidates we represent, and we are guided by core values that are dominated by selflessness, constant improvement, tenaciousness and the realization that the course of our candidates' lives will be affected by how well we do our jobs.
Make no mistake about it. There are staffing consultants that make more placements than us. There are also search firms that are far more profitable because they do not spend as much money and put as much effort into research as us. However, in terms of taking care of our candidates, knowing the market and excelling at what we do, we believe that the results we are able to achieve are unparalleled. Developing the skills necessary to be extremely important to a busy group of law firm professionals is no easy task. Switching jobs is no easy task either. We realize the importance of the work we do and take our work extremely seriously. In fact, given the importance of our role, and because we are experienced law firm search consultants, we look upon ourselves as your advocates when you need us.
Whether you are a client or a candidate, we invite you to contact us so that you can learn even more about what makes Law Firm Staff, Inc. such a truly different and effective legal staffing firm.