Category Archives: bcg attorney search

BCG Attorney Search is dedicated exclusively to placing top associates and partners in premier law firms

Why Attorneys Who Do Not Make the Attorneys Who Give Them Work Feel Important Can Destroy Their Legal Careers

Attorneys work extremely hard in large law firms to achieve partner status. Even when they do become partners, there remain different lines of authority between partners which make some feel important and others quite insecure. When an associate is dealing with a partner, he or she is dealing with someone who is in a position to feel insecure because there are almost certainly going to be more important partners above him or her. The best thing you can do in the law firm environment is cater to a partner’s need to feel important. Conversely, one of the worst things you can do in a law firm environment is do things to make a partner feel insecure. When you make a partner feel insecure, the response of the partner is generally to stop giving you work or lobby for you to be fired or replaced.

Why Attorneys Who Do Not Make the Attorneys Who Give Them Work Feel Important Can Destroy Their Legal Careers

This article discusses two steps that generally occur in an associate’s relationship with partners that can make a partner feel insecure. First, the relationship will generally start out well but will progress to the point where an associate may take for granted a partner’s affections for him or her. Second, the associate may publicly outshine a partner he or she is working for. It is the latter mistake that is most often fatal to an associate’s career. Despite a consistently excellent work product, the associate will quickly find himself out of a job despite being a very good practitioner. Finally, this article concludes with some advice as to how to avoid inspiring insecurity in partners. It is also sometimes the case that partners do work for other partners, so this advice also applies to lower-level partners working for more senior partners.

  1. Do Not Take for Granted a Partner’s Affections for You

 All working situations require a distance between people. When you are hired by a law firm, it may be to work for a particular partner who may have hired you because he or she felt comfortable with you and had shared interests. Never mistake these shared interests of perceived affection for anything more than a professional relationship.

In the law firm environment, partners may share with you all sorts of details about their personal lives. You may get to know about a partner’s family, may discuss personal issues at lunch during business trips, and you may even go out and get drunk with a partner or group of partners on occasion. Because your superiors are people too, you may begin to feel that the partners you are working for are your friends. As the relationship develops and the level of familiarity increases, you may even be under the impression that mistakes in work can be handled as friends, as well. None of this could be further from the truth.

 It is a very typical pattern inside a law firm for an associate to begin doing work for a given partner and when the associate performs well, the partner increasingly gives the associate more and more work. At first, the partner is very unfamiliar to the associate and the associate is doing everything within their power to produce outstanding work product and impress the partner. In addition, the associate will be extremely dedicated and will do whatever he can to make the partner look good. He will ensure that the work he is doing for the partner and the advice he gives the partner is of the highest quality.

This article Why Attorneys Who Do Not Make the Attorneys Who Give Them Work Feel Important Can Destroy Their Legal Careers first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

Advertisements

Off-the-Record Interview Tips from Law Firm Interviewers

Practical, Real-World Job Interview Advice and Tips from Washington, D.C. Law Firm Attorneys and Recruiting Managers

Off-the-Record Interview Tips from Law Firm Interviewers

PRE-INTERVIEW PREPARATION

 “The most impressive interviewers are those who can clearly articulate why they are interested in our firm, with specific reasons that are based on research.”

“Have a good answer ready when asked why you are seeking to leave your current job.”

“Before your interview, look at your resume and think of questions you would ask if you were interviewing yourself. Then, have good answers ready for these interview questions.”

“The best attorneys are good researchers. You should research each attorney you are meeting. I will never forget a litigator who took the time to read a recent opinion on which I was listed as the attorney of record. I wanted him on my team.”

“Do not discount the importance of legal writing samples. Those that review your legal writing sample take it seriously. Make sure you are providing your best possible work and triple-check for typos and Bluebooking.”

“Make sure your writing sample for a legal position does not contain confidential or privileged information. Also, don’t unnecessarily redact information that is not confidential or privileged, as this shows you don’t know the rules. If in doubt, check the local rules.”

“If you have friends at our firm, call them to find out the inside scoop. They can give you helpful information.”

“Read the recent press releases on our website.”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS/ETIQUETTE

“One of the most important interview tips is that being late is the kiss of death. Assume the interview is going to begin 30 minutes before the actual time, and grab a cup of coffee if you arrive early.”

“Be polite and courteous to support staff such as secretaries, front desk receptionist, etc. They often have the ear of decision makers and will not hesitate to provide informal feedback on you, especially if you are not respectful.”

“Turn off your cell phone. Get a haircut. For men, wear a dark suit, a white/blue shirt and red/blue tie. Take off that strange-looking high school ring. No one will appreciate your unique fashion sense. Don’t give people something weird to remember you by two months later when they’re trying to remember who you are and whether you deserve an offer..”

This article Off-the-Record Interview Tips from Law Firm Interviewers first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

The Best Attorneys Want Information

Introduction

As a legal recruiter, I am often quite surprised by the differences among attorneys in their receptiveness of information presented to them. When associates are called by a recruiter out of the blue, they are often extremely suspicious, declare they are not interested in speaking with the recruiter at all, brag about how happy they are, and then get off the phone as quickly as possible. Successful partners and associates tend to do the opposite. An event of a couple of weeks ago comes to mind.

The Best Attorneys Want Information

A recruiter of ours called an associate at a law firm. The associate told the recruiter in no uncertain terms that he/she was extremely happy where he/she was and would never consider another opportunity under any circumstances. The associate also warned the recruiter that he “had better be careful” because the associate worked directly with the hiring partner of this law firm. The recruiter (who is used to recruiting high-level partners) was amused by this. About 10 minutes later, the recruiter called the hiring partner at the same firm. The partner told the recruiter that for the right opportunity, he and “some of his associates” would be interested in moving. The partner questioned the recruiter for about 60 minutes about opportunities in the market, and the recruiter eventually had to get the partner off the phone to get home for dinner. The partner told the recruiter he wanted him to come down and speak with him when he had some time.

What many attorneys do not realize, but should, is that information about the job market can be one of the most important resources for the advancement of their careers. Because I am a legal recruiter, I know that top associates and partners inside law firms often keep a dialogue going with recruiters for years. They do this not because they are unhappy, bored, or underpaid, but because they want to know information about the market. As an attorney, there are few things you can do with your time that are more productive than learning about what is going on in the market: You and your career are both commodities, and you want to make the best use of these commodities.

While many of these partners and associates may not move for years (if ever), they are always keeping an open dialogue. It is much more common for better attorneys to keep an ongoing dialogue with a recruiter than it is for lesser attorneys. The reason, I believe, is that an excellent attorney realizes his/her career is a commodity that needs a market to thrive. A recruiter offers the attorney knowledge about the market for his/her skills, as well as other general information about the job market. Regardless of how you get this information, it can be extremely useful.

This article analyzes the importance of information to your legal career. Regardless of whether you are happy or unhappy with your current employment situation, you should know that good information can make all the difference. Information is useful (indeed essential) to your legal career because it (1) lets you know if you are on the right track, (2) gives you options, and (3) can improve your life and career.

This article The Best Attorneys Want Information first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

Writing Samples Top 12 Frequently Asked Questions

What is typically given the least amount of attention by candidates, but has the highest likelihood of undermining one’s chances of getting a job? Yes, writing samples. When it comes to the importance of writing samples, I will never forget the following email, which came from a recruiting manager at a large firm:

Writing Samples Top 12 Frequently Asked Questions

This illustrates how a writing sample has the potential to sabotage one’s candidacy.

 Interestingly, writing samples are seen by some attorneys who are in the market as a mere after-the-fact formality that warrant only minimal attention. This seems to be for several reasons. First, many people find it draining to search for the best writing sample, consider redactions/privilege issues, and review it with a fine-tooth comb for any mistakes, context, etc. There is a fear of finding errors and having to spend substantial time reworking the sample. Second, because most interviewers typically don’t focus on writing samples (though some do, even more so during law school), people are often under the false impression that writing samples are secondary to the contents of the resume and how well they connect with the interviewers. What candidates don’t see is how writing samples are scrutinized after the interviews.

 If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting the job, you must take the time to ensure that your writing sample is as close to perfect as it can be. This article provides some tips (based on frequently asked questions) to consider when selecting and preparing your writing sample and demonstrates how you can ensure that it helps, rather than jeopardizes, your candidacy.

  1. Proofread Your Sample Multiple Times:

“I looked over my sample on my computer screen, and it looks okay. Is this enough?”

I cannot emphasize the importance of proofreading your sample several times. Remember, most of what you have worked on has likely been written under duress or looming deadlines. Thus, if you are thinking of using a winning brief that you finished at 2:30 a.m. the night before it was due, you can assume that there may be a few typos, etc., and that you could make it better if you spend a little more time polishing it up. Your writing sample should show your writing at its best. There are a few things to consider when reviewing your sample:

  • Check for typos and any extra spaces between words or sentences.
  • Check for any errors in your Bluebooking.
  • Are your citations and parentheticals substantive?
  • Are you sure that the cases you cite actually support the propositions you are making? (I know law firms that have paralegals check the cases that are cited in the writing samples to ensure that the candidate has accurately cited them.)
  • Make sure your formatting is consistent among all the headings and that all the indentations are consistent.
  • Make sure your font is the same size and style.
  • Check your spelling.

To ensure that you catch all of your errors/mistakes, print out your sample and review the hard copy. Proofreading is much more effective when you review the actual document on hard copy as opposed to the computer screen. Another good tip is to read the document from the end to the beginning, sentence by sentence. By doing this, your brain will be forced to slow down a bit and will therefore catch more errors.


This article Writing Samples Top 12 Frequently Asked Questions first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow
.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

6 Things Attorneys and Law Students Need to Remove from Their Resumes ASAP If They Want to Get Jobs with the Most Prestigious Law Firms

I have seen many attorneys screw up their futures with resume mistakes that could easily be avoided. Most recruiters do not even understand the rules I am about to share with you.

6 Things Attorneys and Law Students Need to Remove from Their Resumes

You are about to get an inside view of how I and the most prestigious law firms review and think about your resume. I have reviewed over 500,000 resumes throughout the past two decades from attorneys trying to get jobs in the largest law firms. I’ve been responsible for placing thousands of attorneys in the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world. You are about to learn what I know.

    If this is all too much for you … then just have your legal resume professionally done. See Attorney Resume.

    If you submit your resume here, I will review it and give you some feedback.

Overview

With a resume, you are applying to be a firm’s employee and go to work for them.

Your resume is essentially an application.

The only things your resume needs to communicate are that you are (1) the most ready and (2) the most capable of doing the job. Every legal employer expects you to come to work, fit in and put in a lot of hours.

The partners you are working for as an associate want soldiers and not dilettantes. The more you talk about your needs and interests, the worse off you will be.

If you are applying for a job in a large law firm, your record, for the most part, speaks for itself.

    Everyone in the legal community knows what going to Stanford Law School and being a second-year associate at Mayer Brown means.

    Everyone in the legal community knows what going to University of Chicago and spending eight years at Kirkland & Ellis means.

    If you are in law school and looking for your first job, everyone knows what going to Duke for college and being in the top half of your class at Columbia Law School means.

 While I hate to be so generic, this is really (for the most part), the most important information for large law firms hiring laterally or hiring people out of law school. Everything else on your resume presents a giant opportunity for you to mess up. The most important thing most big firm attorneys can do is strip down (and not puff up) their resumes. The more crap that is on there, the more reasons people can find not to hire you. If you take one thing from this article, you need to understand that.

What do you think are the most important things attorneys and law students should remove from their resumes to get top law firm jobs?

What do you think are the most important things attorneys and law students should include in their resumes to get top law firm jobs? 

Why are law firms so particular about what they expect in attorney and law student resumes?


This article
6 Things Attorneys and Law Students Need to Remove from Their Resumes ASAP If They Want to Get Jobs with the Most Prestigious Law Firms first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

How Important Is Having a Representative Transactions or Representative Matters List When Making a Move?

Q: I am an attorney trying to make a lateral law firm move. How important is it for me to have a Representative Transactions or Representative Matters list besides my resume?

How Important Is Having a Representative Transactions

A: Very important!

 Representative Transactions lists (for transactional attorneys) and Representative Matters lists (for litigators) are an extremely important part of a candidate’s application package. This is especially true for mid-level and senior-level attorneys who have more than a few years of practical experience working within law firms.

 

The reason why these documents are so critical is because they convey the substance of an attorney’s experience in a way that resumes do not. Some resumes are more substantive than others (which is good), but in general, resumes provide an overview of an attorney’s background while Representative Transactions and Matters lists provide an in-depth elucidation of an attorney’s actual experience and capabilities.

 

Transactional or deal lawyers prepare Representative Transactions lists (also called “Deal Sheets”), while litigators prepare Representative Matters lists. For example, banking attorneys list out all the deals they have closed and litigators list out all the litigation matters they have handled.

 

By giving concrete details about the transactions and matters an attorney has spent his or her time working on over the course of a career – whether that has been three years or ten years –Deal Sheets and Representative Matters lists give law firm recruiting coordinators and hiring partners far more information about what an attorney actually knows and has accomplished than the typical resume. Hiring people within firms can quickly see that a candidate has the right skill-set to do the job. These are the candidates who will move on in the hiring process.

 

Additionally, attorneys who take the time to carefully craft a Representative Transactions or Matters list demonstrate to potential employers that they are professional, organized, detail-oriented, and go the extra mile. These are exactly the kinds of lateral attorneys that law firms want to hire.


This article How Important Is Having a Representative Transactions or Representative Matters List When Making a Move? first appeared on BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.

 

What Law Firm Titles Mean: Of Counsel, Non-Equity Partner, Equity Partner Explained

One of the questions that many law students—and even attorneys have—is the pecking order of people working inside of law firms. For example:

What-Law-Firm-Titles-Mean-Of-Counsel-Non-Equity-Partner-Equity-Partner-Explained

  • What does of counsel mean?
  • What is a non-equity partner?
  • What is a partner/shareholder?

These distinctions (and what you have to look forward to if you are ever made one) are discussed below.

 

This is what awaits all associates if you are not asked to leave or are fired from your law firm after several years of service.

It is important to know what awaits you because it gives you the ability to make decisions about your future. It is also important to understand whether you want to accept one of these positions.

1. What Does Of Counsel Mean: The Types of Attorneys That Are Of Counsel

Of counsel is a role that is traditionally given to attorneys that the partnership of the law firm and others like and want to have around; however, it is reserved for the attorneys who traditionally do not have much business and are also not interested in working extremely hard. This depends on the caliber of firm, however. Someone who is “of counsel” at Skadden Arps would likely be a partner at a firm like Dechert. The quality of the law firm (and competitiveness of the law firm) often determines what types of attorneys are of counsel.

Of counsel is by definition an interesting role. It is not a partner and it is not an associate. The role has a “permanence” about it, unlike an associate. Someone who is “of counsel” in a law firm is generally someone who has been around awhile and will also stay around. In contrast, the shelf life of most associates is quite limited – clients and partners in the firm know that the associate is likely to be gone at any time.


This article What Law Firm Titles Mean: Of Counsel, Non-Equity Partner, Equity Partner Explained first appeared on
BCG Attorney Search also on Powershow.

Welcome to BCG Attorney Search — a legal recruitment firm that has built its reputation on maintaining high standards across the board. BCG Attorney Search is the America’s Premier Legal Placement Firm For Law Firm Attorneys.