Partners and Counsel

  • When is a change of positions advisable? Only you can decide when the time is right for you to explore other opportunities. However, here are some of the most common reasons given us by candidates who seek our assistance:

    1. I'm not given originations credit for work I know I control, and my compensation is too low as a result
    2. I am a non-equity partner, and my firm is eliminating that category
    3. I would prefer an in-house position so I have more control over my schedule
    4. I need a broader platform to service my clients/grow my practice
    5. I'm concerned about the future of my firm
    6. My counterparts at other firms are making a lot more money
    7. I don't get cross-marketing/networking support at my current firm
    8. I've been at my firm since I was a new associate, and they still treat me like one and don't include me in client development.

  • Why should I use a search firm?
  • You've heard the old adage "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client". A similar comment could be made concerning attorneys who try to negotiate the terms of a new position. A recruiter will advocate for you as strongly as possible when it would be awkward for you to self-promote at the same level. Having a placement firm represent you also allows the firms to ask questions and make comments more freely than if they were dealing directly with a candidate. Negotiating compensation can be an emotional and stressful process. It is best to have a third party handling this in an unemotional way. Firms also are more likely to pay attention to and trust submissions made by recruiters, as they know that the search firms perform due diligence before presenting the candidate.

  • Will using a search firm affect my compensation potential?
  • Not in a negative way. The major firms recognize the value added to them by recruiters. They fully expect their best candidates to come to them through search/placement firms and have standard contracts which they enter into with recruiting firms regarding search fees. Because we know the market, know each individual firm's method of calculating compensation, know how to present you and your financial projections in the manner most useful for any particular firm's evaluation and, perhaps most important, are not emotional in the negotiation process, we most likely will elicit a higher offer than you would have obtained for yourself.

  • What information do I need for our first meeting?
  • If you are serious about exploring other opportunities, we will need certain information from you so that we can propertly evaluate your situation, your potential and the most likely "matches" for you.

    1. Your resume, or the information necessary for us to put one together for you. We can pull very basic information from your website listing (e.g. your full name, a general description of your practice, educational information, court admissions) but we will need more detail such as names and dates of your prior firms, more detail about your practice, any articles written, memberships, community activities, law school and college activities and honors.
    2. Your financial information for at least the past two full fiscal years, including collections on originations, files for which you were responsible (even if you were not given originations credit) and collections on your own time, and total billable and non-billable hours.
    3. Information regarding your "portables" - the business you have a reasonable expectation of moving with you to another firm and the projected collections for each client over the next year. You do not have to reveal client names - a description of type of client and industry is adequate at this stage. NOTE, however, that before an offer can be made, most firms will require a conflict check and your clients will have to be disclosed at that time.
    4. Any other clients or contacts you think could develop into new clients over the next year and the anticipated dollar value associated with each.
    5. Information regarding any other partner, associate or staff you may expect to bring with you.You may NOT approach any associate or staff member until AFTER you have resigned from your current firm.

  • Who pays the recruiter?
  • All placement fees are paid by the law firm or other employer, not the candidate.

  • May I use more than one recruiter?
  • Yes, of course. This actually may be helpful if you are seeking in-house employment, as different recruiting firms may have "exclusives" with certain companies. However, in general, each recruiting firm has access to most law firms and can present you to all in which you have an interest. If you use more than one recruiter, it is vital that you instruct each to submit you ONLY as and when directed by you and keep careful records about where you have been submitted. It has been our experience that most candidates prefer to work only with one agency when exploring law firm options. Using only one recruiter simplifies procedure and stress in many ways.

    1. The candidate only has to compile and review information once;
    2. The recruiter will know the level of each firm's interests and whether offers are imminent, thus can more effectively negotiate with each firm on behalf of the candidate;
    3. The recruiter can assist the candidate in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each offer the candidate has received;
    4. The timing of offers can be controlled more effectively.