How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

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How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:10 pm

For people who have used legal recruiters to obtain jobs, how did you select the legal recruiter? The couple I've spoken with so far have been very unimpressive, especially in their willingness to extend themselves. I have been told to tell them if I am interested in a job posting on their legal recruiting website....zero effort on their part, really.

I am a mid-level corporate associate with a well regarded firm, so I assumed legal recruiters would be willing to be helpful...maybe I am mistaken and mid-levels typically just respond to job postings?? Thoughts/anecdotes are much appreciated. I am willing to put in the work to find another job but expected recruiters to be more helpful. Is this par for the course?

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Not necessarily the best to use a legal recruiter to go inhouse (though I'm not 100% sure about that). If you're a midlevel, you should know other associates who exited in-house or to other firms. Ask them what they used.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:20 pm

My very rookie impression has always been that recruiters are best at placing people into other law firms. Very curious to hear what others have to say though, since it's not spoken about much on TLS from a perspective of experience.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not necessarily the best to use a legal recruiter to go inhouse (though I'm not 100% sure about that). If you're a midlevel, you should know other associates who exited in-house or to other firms. Ask them what they used.


+1. You might also want to look up a few of the bigger recruiters and ask them what they'll do for you (other than make you do all the work and then try to get a commission on it, which is absurd).

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:45 pm

OP any way I you can post this on xo so I can send you some recommendations anonymously? I would ask you to PM me, but don't want to reveal my handle.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Legal recruiters for associates make almost no sense if you want to lateral to another firm. They can be useful, and are sometimes necessary, to go in-house.

All large law firms have HR departments that focus on legal recruiting. Firms can trust their own staff to sift and sort associate resumes. Sure, they take resumes from headhunters, but they generally prefer for candidates to come in under their own cover. (The more specialized the firm need, the less they care about paying HH fees.)

In-house is a much more varied environment. The fewer attorneys in the legal department, the less experience the company has at looking at legal resumes, the more likely it is the company relies on HHs. Sometimes companies sign exclusives with HHs, which forces you through that pipeline. Even when there isn't an exclusive, it can be hard to figure out who is hiring, but for an HH getting wind of the job through connections.

It is still never a good idea to rely on HHs (let alone 1HH) in your job search. As suggested above, ask firm alumni and others who have jumped how they found their job and who they may have used (even if they ultimately didn't get a job through an HH they might have an informed opinion of who is good).

Expect to do most of your own legwork, though. Hit up the standard in-house job boards often. If you have a particular geographic region in mind, search business list of the area and then each company's career site. Set up alerts as appropriate. Check the major player HH websites often. See how many listings you can figure out on your own and inquire with the company directly if you can.

When you do talk to HHs, remember you should be interviewing them. You might be stuck with one for a particular job posting, but if you hit upon a good one, keep in contact. These relationships can become a valuable part of your network down the line.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:04 pm

Thank you all for the quick responses. These are all very helpful. I have been hesitant to reach out to alumni that I know from my firm, because they keep in touch with others at my firm (some went to clients, some are friends of the firm still, etc.). Maybe I am overly paranoid about my firm finding out. Am I? I actually am a bit in the dark as to what firms typically do if they find out. I'm sure its situation, but I'm not sure whether it would be customary for a firm to let you go because of it. I feel a bit silly that I am so in the dark on how my firm would view it. All other associates who have left have kept it completely silent until the move was final.

To the person who asked me to post on xo, let me know how you want me to handle. I don't typically go on xo, so I'm not sure what you are asking me to do, but I absolutely welcome all help/suggestions.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:07 pm

OP, also be very careful. A lot of recruiters call you to beg to submit you somewhere, but once you're submitted they don't really give a shit. The reason is that you're locked in with them for that firm for 6 months (i.e., you have to work through them with respect to that firm). Once the recruiter submits your materials, he has no incentive to follow through unless it's close to those 6 months expiring and he wants to renew the lock-up.

Not all recruiters do this, but the slimiest ones do.

When vetting a recruiter, your bullshit meter needs to be accurate as fuck. If a recruiter is just going to submit you to the recruiting departments of x, y, z, firm, there's not much value added by the recruiter and you might as well just work by yourself. If the recruiter, however, can get your materials to people who matter (i.e., partners) or has connections to firms that keep them apprised of openings before any other recruiter knows about them, then there's definitely an advantage. But this leads to my next point...

...any recruiter who's that good is not someone who will simply take your resume off a cold call. A recruiter who has the ears of decision-makers of firms also has their trust. He has their trust because, in the past, the recruiter has submitted good candidates who don't waste their time. A good recruiter should, IMO, *meet* you in person and interview you. Whenever I interact with a headhunter, I take it as an extremely good sign of competence that the require an in-person (or skype, at the very least) before proceeding with my materials.

Recruiters will act like they have the ears of important people at firms, but this is where you need to be smart. Sniff out names, sniff out details. Really get to the bottom of their stories. So many of them talk out of their asses.

Again, happy to make a specific recommendation if you're able to post somewhere else.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Absolutely available to post somewhere else. Let me know where works best for you.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:19 pm

Original poster here. I still welcome feedback from others. For the poster who wanted to make a recommendation, let me know what form of contact works for you.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:03 pm

I went in house from a firm (it's highly ranked on vault if that info is helpful for you) as a midlevel and found recruiters to be completely useless. There are just so few in house positions for midlevels compared to the supply that recruiters don't have much they can do. Every interview I got was from applying to listings on job boards.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:08 am

I'm about to go in house (putting in my notice today). I'm a 3rd year at a low v100 firm moving to market where my firm is unknown. Specialty transactional practice.

I didn't find any recruiters helpful. It was all my own legwork. The job I am going to was listed on the company website. A family friend who worked at the company was kind enough to forward my résumé to the hiring manager (so it didn't get lost in HR limbo).

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:28 am

Your firm wants you to go in-house to a client. Think about it.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:51 pm

Original poster here. Thanks for the input from the associates that just went in-house. Good to know that I need to do my own legwork and I will stop wasting my time with recruiters.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:52 pm

Should you do cover letters when applying for inhouse jobs?

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:40 am

Original poster. I would assume so, but I am interested as to whether the couple of posters who just went in-house used cover letters. This has been a gating item for me in submitting a couple applications.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:39 am

This is the Sept 12 poster who went in house. I submitted a cover letter with every resume unless the application website was just a resume drop. I applied to close to 100 positions (yep,  the in house market is tough here) so eventually I developed stock sentences for my cover letter to address certain aspects of the job listing,  e.g. IP, SEC filings,  contract negotiation,  etc. It helps to have a spreadsheet of where you applied so you can pull past cover letters if a listing for a similar company comes up.

However,  I think the position I got was from a resume drop.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is the Sept 12 poster who went in house. I submitted a cover letter with every resume unless the application website was just a resume drop. I applied to close to 100 positions (yep,  the in house market is tough here) so eventually I developed stock sentences for my cover letter to address certain aspects of the job listing,  e.g. IP, SEC filings,  contract negotiation,  etc. It helps to have a spreadsheet of where you applied so you can pull past cover letters if a listing for a similar company comes up.

However,  I think the position I got was from a resume drop.


I know this question is going to seem retarded or toolish, but any precedent you worked off of? I, and I think most biglawyers on this forum, haven't written a cover letter in years.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:37 pm

Anyone know how hard it is to go in-house starting from NYC V100 back to say... California? Or is this extremely difficult/a pipedream. (I imagine most of the NYC clients will be based in New York).

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know how hard it is to go in-house starting from NYC V100 back to say... California? Or is this extremely difficult/a pipedream. (I imagine most of the NYC clients will be based in New York).


From my experience in house positions care mostly about your actually ability to do the job, and less about your geography and network connections. Much less concerned about prestige elements of your application, though many still do care. Moving geographically shouldn't be a problem provided you can provide a compelling case that you're a value add in terms of doing the job and you're actually committed to the move.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know how hard it is to go in-house starting from NYC V100 back to say... California? Or is this extremely difficult/a pipedream. (I imagine most of the NYC clients will be based in New York).


From my experience in house positions care mostly about your actually ability to do the job, and less about your geography and network connections. Much less concerned about prestige elements of your application, though many still do care. Moving geographically shouldn't be a problem provided you can provide a compelling case that you're a value add in terms of doing the job and you're actually committed to the move.


The real value of your firm prestige is in its ability to convey that you are good at what you do. Any V100 should do the trick.

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know how hard it is to go in-house starting from NYC V100 back to say... California? Or is this extremely difficult/a pipedream. (I imagine most of the NYC clients will be based in New York).


From my experience in house positions care mostly about your actually ability to do the job, and less about your geography and network connections. Much less concerned about prestige elements of your application, though many still do care. Moving geographically shouldn't be a problem provided you can provide a compelling case that you're a value add in terms of doing the job and you're actually committed to the move.


Thanks for the response!

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:39 pm

I think CA has an in-house counsel registration requirement. So you probably don't need to take their bar, but you might need an additional C&F or CLE requirement. If you are serious about going in-house in CA you should make sure you meet the requirements.

(FWIW I had to go through this process to practice in-house in Pennsylvania and it was a royal pain. Took a long time, cost as much as applying to the bar regularly, and I still have to meet their CLE requirements in addition to my home state.)

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I know this question is going to seem retarded or toolish, but any precedent you worked off of? I, and I think most biglawyers on this forum, haven't written a cover letter in years.


This is the Sept 12 poster. I looked at my school's example cover letters but they weren't that helpful. I mostly just read the job listings carefully and tried to come up with an example for each important point. I got maybe one interview for every ten applications

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Re: How to decide upon a legal recruiter to go in-house?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:27 am

Original poster. How did you find the time to break away from work for so many interviews? Did you just keep taking days off? I'm concerned how this will logistically work without putting up red flags.




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