Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

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travelesq
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Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby travelesq » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:50 pm

I need advice and comments on how to recruit top graduates that are interested in working in a small law firm in a non metropolitan city. the pay can be relatively competitive. The firm is very active in civil and criminal litigation ( including white collar). last year the firm argued a case before SCOTUS. New associate would be working on challenging legal principles, causes, and cases. The nuances make the law, and therefore the devil is in the details. This will present itself with a rare opportunity to work immedietly on cutting edge issues, and experience the courtroom.
Serious advice on the best way to break in would be greatly appreciated.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:51 pm

For serious?

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reasonable_man
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:52 pm

If you are serious, you can send me a private message. I am a practicing attorney and have had some experience with recruiting prospective employees at my firm...

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Tobias Funke
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Tobias Funke » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:07 pm

reasonable_man wrote:If you are serious, you can send me a private message. I am a practicing attorney and have had some experience with recruiting prospective employees at my firm...


Or you could just hire me. :wink:

travelesq
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby travelesq » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:19 pm

I am serious. This has not been an area that i have had experience in the past, but because of market conditions I find myself in need of greater talent. The location of our firm is not the most desirable, but it does offer a wide range of outdoor recreational activities with proximity to several major metro cities within a couple of hours. So any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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nealric
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby nealric » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:15 am

I think as long as you make the opportunity known to the top students, you will find people easily in this economy. Contact the schools you are interested in to get the job posted on Symplicity. That alone should get you a good number of resumes.

The best strategy might depend on how you define top talent. Do you place a big emphasis on school, class rank, or other intangible factors?

The location desirability may or may not be a factor depending on the specifics of your location. It's not just about big cities, but whether the place is thought of as interesting/cool. If you are talking about Amarillo Texas, you probably will have trouble. If you are talking about Santa Fe, New Mexico, I don't think you will have a problem.
Last edited by nealric on Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Matthies
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Matthies » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:19 am

nealric wrote:I think as long as you make the opportunity known to the top students, you will find people easily in this economy. Contact the schools you are interested in to get the job posted on Symplicity. That alone should get you a good number of resumes.


Yea too many. Also see if your local bar assn. has a job listsever put an ad there. Ask people you know in the field if they can recoemnd anyone.

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legalese_retard
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby legalese_retard » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:16 am

Try contacting BBLP (http://www.betterlegalprofession.org) and see if they could either give you some advice or forward your job listing. It is a grass-roots group from Stanford Law emphasizing job quality over salary for top law grads. Not sure how active they have been in this economy, but I'm sure they would love to forward a job listing to its members if the work is prestigious and the quality of life/salary is on par for the firms they support.

Anonymous User
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:05 pm

Making arrangements to do pre-screened interviews on campus at the top schools or going to the cities where they are located would be a start. You can do job postings through the schools' Symplicity sites and get a ton of resumes that way. But unless you are willing to pay for interview travel expenses or go to the schools to interview the students whose resumes you liked you may have trouble.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby solo_lawyer » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:27 pm

offer them a salary of zero dollars and zero cents:

.

Papa Bear
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Papa Bear » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:31 pm

The advice given so far on where/how to post the jobs is good. I have some ideas on how to structure compensation and formulate your message to attract candidates with an entrepreneurial bent. If that's what you're looking for, let me know.

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Corsair
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Corsair » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:15 pm

..

travelesq
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby travelesq » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:33 am

The responses have been very helpful. I will contact the schools directly, and I should set a time to travel to NY, and DC to do interviews. I think that those 2 cities can access a good applicant pool.
It seems that writing samples are not good indicators. Can anyone give me a few indicators on what not to overlook when interviewing. It has been a while, and I do not want to waste the applicants time.
Also, there have been several posts regarding the term "top student". Being old school, I have used the term as a student from a top tier school, that graduated in the top 10% , on law review. Based on that definition, has the term been redefined? Should it be expanded?
Are there grads that want to concentrate in the areas of criminal, appellate or general litigation?

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Corsair
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Corsair » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:30 am

..

travelesq
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby travelesq » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:35 am

Thanks Corsair.

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Jones, Dow
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Jones, Dow » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:08 am

$

aaaanaaand scene.

Unadilla Kayaker
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Unadilla Kayaker » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:20 am

Craigslist is an idea. Going to certain schools to recruit is another. However, depending on where you are you may not want to hit the NYC or DC schools. Being from a small town and watching my father run a 2-3 partner practice, I think fit is key. First, people who would self-select not being in a city and be HAPPIER doing so is vital. You don't want to invest in someone who will leave your firm (even if they do make you money in the short time they are there). Your firm is probably very relationship based (in a smaller market) and having a revolving door (or even a semi-revolving door) of lawyers isn't gonna be good.

I'd check out grads at schools like UVA, Cornell, and other schools far from cities. If people go through 3 years in the sticks and are willing to seriously interview for jobs in the sticks, they'll probably stay. Those who are really itching to get to a city won't be that interested.

Again, I think fit is going to be more important than degree pedigree. Of course you want someone who is going to do excellent work, but I'd say any school in the top 100 CAN produce graduates who will do excellent work. Plus, many of the lower ranked schools try to incorporate clinics and and experience into legal education. Not saying the top schools do not, but at top schools there is also an emphasis on academic knowledge of the law. You want someone who you don't have to monitor, who doesn't need a support system, and who can ask for help when they are in over their head.

Your search will depend on how much time and effort you are willing to put in. I'd also consult other lawyers in your area who either have hired young associates or young associates who have been hired and ask their stories.

My $.02. Good luck!

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:10 am

Corsair wrote:Part 3: There are plenty of jobless recent grads. Try this experiment. Put an ad on Craigslist promising $40k a year for 60 hour work weeks. See how many responses you get within 72 hours. You'll get inundated, I assure you.


Hell just tell them that it is an unpaid position for experience for a year and then the pay will be $30K if you decide they are worth it. You will probably still get your email box flooded with resumes. However, it won't be with students at t14 schools.

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Corsair
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Corsair » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:44 am

..

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Matthies
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Matthies » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:19 am

I would chekc with the schools, some school charge you to be part of OCI, some do not. It may not be worth the charge if your only looking for 1-2 people. Laso ask about symplicty

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blue16
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby blue16 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:29 am

Is it just me, or does it seem to all of you that hiring a recent top law school grad for a job that pays competitively, if that means anywhere north of say 110k, at a small firm with instant access to litigation experience that you normally have to wait years for in a location far away from the rat race wouldn't be that difficult?????

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Matthies
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Matthies » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:53 am

blue16 wrote:Is it just me, or does it seem to all of you that hiring a recent top law school grad for a job that pays competitively, if that means anywhere north of say 110k, at a small firm with instant access to litigation experience that you normally have to wait years for in a location far away from the rat race wouldn't be that difficult?????


Maybe, not saying the OP is one of these people, but I know of some local firms that pay pretty good, teach you to do a lot of stuff, yet have a real hard time keeping talent and getting talent. The partners have a real rep of being a-holes, I know several like that and students know not to apply there. Not saying this is the case here, but it happens.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:08 pm

Corsair wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:However, it won't be with students at t14 schools.


Considering he wants top grads, that isn't as useful of an experiment.


True, but I doubt many t14 students would be willing to work 60 hours a week for $40K a year (it isn't that bad out there yet). Although if he does manage to pull in some t14 resumes he should definitely out those people by full name here :lol:

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Corsair
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby Corsair » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:52 pm

..

06072010
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Re: Need advice on how to recruit top grads for small firm

Postby 06072010 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:41 pm

travelesq wrote:The responses have been very helpful. I will contact the schools directly, and I should set a time to travel to NY, and DC to do interviews. I think that those 2 cities can access a good applicant pool.
It seems that writing samples are not good indicators. Can anyone give me a few indicators on what not to overlook when interviewing. It has been a while, and I do not want to waste the applicants time.
Also, there have been several posts regarding the term "top student". Being old school, I have used the term as a student from a top tier school, that graduated in the top 10% , on law review. Based on that definition, has the term been redefined? Should it be expanded?
Are there grads that want to concentrate in the areas of criminal, appellate or general litigation?


I think writing samples are excellent indicators of talent. I've seen so much bad writing in law school I'd certainly review them. It can't hurt to ask. Contacting the schools directly even for a resume drop will get you bombed with resumes, and there are certainly top performing students willing to go to secondary markets for more substantial experience early on.

What types of lawyers do you think are successful in your firm? Those with pure smarts? Those who have a passion for you area? If you had to choose between either, which would you choose?




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