What Separates Our Candidates from Other Attorneys
Being a professional search consultant at its very highest level is serious business. We believe that the mechanisms we employ to screen and identify outstanding candidates are among the best of any search firm anywhere.
As much as we enjoy our jobs as professional search consultants, there is a downside to our work. We must regularly tell many candidates that we cannot help them. The upside to this reality is that when we do choose to work with a candidate, we will do everything within our power to get our candidates a job. For candidates relocating to a given market, who made the decision to work with us exclusively, there are very few instances in our recent memory when we did not find that candidate a position. In many instances this has meant helping the candidate refocus after unsuccessful interviews. We take a passion and interest in the candidates who put their trust in us. It should go without saying that we do not place every candidate we work with. In some instances, there simply are not enough jobs in a given city for individuals from very focused practice areas. Nevertheless, we do feel we are good at what we do.
The fact is we most frequently chose to represent the most highly qualified candidates, unlike the majority of search firms. Each year we turn down the opportunity to work with hundreds of candidates that the more "traditional" recruiters would "snap up" in a second. We have turned down candidates from virtually every top law firm in the United States who went to top law schools and have good experience but, for whatever reason, do not impress us as being individuals committed to the practice of law who are likely to make our clients look favorably on candidates we refer them in the future.
Given our commitment to what we do, each year we manage to place a number of non-traditional candidates in some rather outstanding positions (including partnerships in major international law firms). As many as twenty other recruiters had already rejected some of these same individuals before they approached us. Simply stated, we believe we know what we're doing. If we believe that you are likely to become a highly valued, long-term member of one of the legal hiring organizations in a market that we serve, we will do everything we can to help you find the position you deserve. We take pride in helping those who are high quality "LFS Material."
The following list contains some of the most common reasons why our firm, as well as many of the other top legal hiring organizations, will refuse to hire you.
- The potential LFS Candidate has unreasonable salary demands for the part of the country she prefers to work in or for the firm she hopes will offer her a position.
- The potential LFS Candidate communicates to us that he has significant problems in his current position or had serious conflicts while holding down past jobs due to (a) an inability to get along with supervisors or other attorneys, or (b) the quality of the potential LFS Candidate's work. If we encounter this situation, we will ask many questions. Should we decide that you've done good work, we may still choose to work with you. This will depend on whether or not we have a legal hiring organization that shares your particular outlook and set of values.
- The potential LFS Candidate did not attend a top law school and has never worked in a top firm. This combination is not insurmountable--each year we place numerous candidates who do not have these basic credentials in top positions. These candidates usually have an "extra spark" to them.
- The potential LFS Associate Candidate is too senior in experience. Associates are generally most marketable after their first year and on up until their fifth year.
- The potential LFS Partner Candidate does not have enough business to take with her to the next place of employment. Regardless of the part of the country the partner has been practicing in, most of our partner candidates must be able to take a significant amount of business to a new organization before seriously contemplating a move. For example, in New York and Los Angeles, top firms generally require in excess of $1,000,000 in portable business. (However, we have managed to place partners in top firms in those cities when they've had significantly less than $1,000,000 in portable business.)
- The potential LFS Candidate is currently out of work. While this is not an insurmountable situation, you should have good reasons for being unemployed. LFS Consulting only works with outstanding attorneys.
- The potential LFS Candidate wants to move for the "wrong reasons." We do not simply "move lawyers around." We only move outstanding lawyers who have what we deem to be the "right" reasons for moving.
- The potential LFS Candidate is not truly "committed" to the practice of law. This is a rather subtle attribute. However, we can usually pick up on this since we were once practicing attorneys.
- The potential LFS Candidate has held several jobs during a rather short period of time. While this situation is not always an insurmountable one, it can indicate that you've been having certain types of problems that may cause us to decide we're not interested in working with you.
- The potential LFS Candidate fails to tell us the truth about some aspect of his background.
- The potential LFS Candidate has experience in a practice area that currently has very few (if any) opportunities in the part of the country she prefers.
- The potential LFS Candidate performed below average in law school (This is generally less important for partner-level candidates.)
- The potential LFS Candidate doesn't have any noticeable "spark."
- The potential LFS Candidate is from "out of state" and is not firmly committed to moving to the market where he has asked us to set up interviews.
- The potential LFS Candidate isn't sure she wants to make a move.
The list of factors set forth above includes most of the information that organizations will consider when deciding whether or not to hire you. These are the same factors that we will consider when deciding whether or not to work with you. We think you'll appreciate the fact that we take our jobs very seriously. Since you cannot know for sure whether or not we will choose to work with you until you contact us, we hope we'll be hearing from you soon. We can guarantee you one thing: We will carefully review all of your qualifications and achievements before making our decision.
We take great pride in every candidate we place. We like to stay in touch with them throughout their legal careers. We consider each candidate we place to be part of a "fraternity" of sorts since our candidates share a unique combination of skills, talent, spark and motivation. They have distinguished themselves from the remaining 95 percent of the country's practicing attorneys. You will find that we will continue to offer our services to you after we place you. In addition to staying in touch with holiday cards at the end of each year, we will also be available to counsel you throughout your legal career. Whether you're an associate trying to develop new business (we're here to help you learn how to do that), or a partner trying to negotiate a distribution fifteen years after we have placed you as a junior associate, we will be here to provide you with our best advice.
However, please be aware that we will never counsel you to leave a firm we have placed you in or assist you if you choose to leave that firm behind. Our job is to get it right the first time; we offer a high degree of loyalty to the legal hiring organizations we serve. Nevertheless, we'll be here with our advice, encouragement and candor about how you might like to approach your legal career - even if we placed you many years ago. We will remind you of the reasons you chose your existing legal organization and make every effort to ensure that your career continues as smoothly as possible in that organization.
Based on the records we keep, we've found that we are choosing to work with fewer than 5 percent of all of the candidates who contact us (or are found by our firm). We believe these statistics speak for themselves. Becoming a Law Firm Staff Candidate is less likely than gaining admission to Yale Law School or any institution of higher learning in the United States. Why are we so selective? There is one simple reason why we have chosen to do business this way: Our professional search consultants want the candidates we work with to find good jobs and actually want to stay in their new positions. By being highly selective, we are also able to ensure that the candidates we choose to represent will have a special "entree" to the legal hiring organizations we serve.
Should we decide against letting you become a LFS Candidate, we will usually be able to point you toward a search firm that would be more than happy to work with you. Please bear in mind that we often advise many people who contact us to stay with their current search firm once we've carefully reviewed their qualifications. What that means for you is that you are truly receiving objective advice. We never make a placement for mere short-term rewards. Our loyalty is to the legal profession as a whole. Since you are an attorney, that loyalty extends to you as well.
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