Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

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Olive83
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:46 am

Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby Olive83 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:47 pm

What are some thoughts and experiences on using legal recruiters to lateral?

I know there are standard warnings and horror stories out there (some "blasting" your resume out to their entire contact list, some trying to push you into taking a job you don't want so they can collect, some actually preventing an offer you would have otherwise gotten by asking the firm for too large a fee, etc.). But IRL, what has everyone's experiences honestly been like with using a recruiter to explore the lateral market?

Would someone looking to lateral be better off doing the networking and legwork themselves, or are recruiters the way to go?

TYIA.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby anon168 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:00 pm

Olive83 wrote:What are some thoughts and experiences on using legal recruiters to lateral?

I know there are standard warnings and horror stories out there (some "blasting" your resume out to their entire contact list, some trying to push you into taking a job you don't want so they can collect, some actually preventing an offer you would have otherwise gotten by asking the firm for too large a fee, etc.). But IRL, what has everyone's experiences honestly been like with using a recruiter to explore the lateral market?

Would someone looking to lateral be better off doing the networking and legwork themselves, or are recruiters the way to go?

TYIA.


It depends.

If you are targeting a market that you are familiar with, then there's no need to use a HH.

However, if you are moving (say, from east coast to west coast), and have no real ties to that area -- either professionally or personally -- it's nice to talk to a few HH just to get a feel of the firms that are out there that might fit your profile. If you are a midlevel (or even senior type) associate, you're not necessarily looking to target just a V100 firm, esp. if you have a practice area or niche that you've developed. At a minimum they can help you identify boutiques that might fit what you what to do.

A HH, in many ways, is almost crucial for a partner-type laterals. Not so much for trying to figure what firms to join, but just to figure out which firms are even open to someone of your level.

The bottom line is that the more familiar you are with a region or market, the less there is a need for a HH. And vice versa.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:19 pm

Lateral to a firm, of lateral in house? If you can figure out the employer on your own, it is generally better to come in without a headhunter. It is best if you can figure out employer and have your own contact there.

Sometimes, though, the employer has an exclusive with a headhunter and doesn't want to bother with low level screening. In that case, you have to go through the headhunter. And as you get more senior and more specialized, you might have to go through a headhunter, since the types of jobs you are seeking become harder to find.

It won't generally kill a good applicant if a headhunter brings in the resume for a junior firm position, but it is generally optimal to come in under your own cover for these types of positions. Sometimes finding he time to job search just int there, though.

Lateral2013
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 10:21 am

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby Lateral2013 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:46 pm

I think it depends on the market and how senior you are. In NYC I had a lot of luck using recruiters. There are so many firms and I think it's more the norm. However, in my most recent lateral move, I am moving to a secondary market, but a very popular secondary market. In this case, I targeted firms specifically. I'm more senior, I do something very specific, and there are less than 5 firms that have a group that does what I do. I first went through any contacts at the firm and had them submit my resume. Firms that I didn't have contacts at I emailed the firms themselves. Most of the firms in this particular market explicitly say they don't work with recruiters, so submitting through the recruiter would hurt your chances.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273376
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:25 pm

I will say that one of the most satisfying feelings in the world is the email I sent to the head hunter I had been in contact with who said I should be targeting crappy non-partner-track jobs. (Despite a top 5 law school, Article III clerkship, successful V20 stint, successful government stint, etc.). Yeah, national firm X is hiring me of counsel, I'm up for partner in 18 months, they're paying top of market. Go f** k yourself!

badaboom61
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby badaboom61 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will say that one of the most satisfying feelings in the world is the email I sent to the head hunter I had been in contact with who said I should be targeting crappy non-partner-track jobs. (Despite a top 5 law school, Article III clerkship, successful V20 stint, successful government stint, etc.). Yeah, national firm X is hiring me of counsel, I'm up for partner in 18 months, they're paying top of market. Go f** k yourself!


Humblebrag without the humble part. Nice.

Olive83
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:46 am

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby Olive83 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:12 pm

Yeah, I can see how it would be preferable to come in on your own to a junior associate position. In my market, though, it seems like lateral positions are heard of either by word of mouth or through a recruiter. What kind of networking does one have to do to hear about open lateral positions without a recruiter?

That said, given that a recruiter can save one a lot of time by essentially doing the job search for you, that can be invaluable too.

I'm just having trouble weighing the effort-saving aspects with the fact that recruiters can also "kill" an offer.

Has anyone had any very negative experiences? E.g., a recruiter somehow killing an offer that would have otherwise come through by quibbling over a fee or by being overly aggressive with HR or anything like that?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby itbdvorm » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:17 pm

Olive83 wrote:Yeah, I can see how it would be preferable to come in on your own to a junior associate position. In my market, though, it seems like lateral positions are heard of either by word of mouth or through a recruiter. What kind of networking does one have to do to hear about open lateral positions without a recruiter?

That said, given that a recruiter can save one a lot of time by essentially doing the job search for you, that can be invaluable too.

I'm just having trouble weighing the effort-saving aspects with the fact that recruiters can also "kill" an offer.

Has anyone had any very negative experiences? E.g., a recruiter somehow killing an offer that would have otherwise come through by quibbling over a fee or by being overly aggressive with HR or anything like that?


I'll say this - all else being equal, a firm will hire the candidate who came in directly over a candidate submitted by a recruiter every time.

Try a friend at a firm first...

lolwat
Posts: 604
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Using Legal Recruiters to Lateral?

Postby lolwat » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:09 am

I'm not necessarily lateraling per se (trying to find a job from a clerkship), but doing the legwork yourself is almost always better. I've been talking to recruiters, but I've already personally applied to a good % of the bigger/more well-known firms in my target markets. The recruiters are a great resource for helping me get my resume out to firms and jobs that I otherwise wouldn't have found easily--smaller markets, biglaw firms that just had an opening pop up since the last time I checked, litigation boutiques that aren't quite as famous as Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. And they seem to occasionally have "openings" that aren't listed on the firm's website or anything.




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