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Use of Secretaries and Receptionists in Law Job Hunt

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Secretaries and receptionists are very useful during the law job hunt. They can also serve as enormous obstacles. Luck and some skill will aid in distinguishing among the secretaries and receptionists that can forward or bury your cause.

In dealing with secretaries when scheduling interviews, pump for information concerning the lawyers) you will see, regarding their personalities, interviewing techniques, age, tenure at the firm, and areas of practice. Some of the information appears in Martindale-Hubble, but a personal perspective embellishes the picture. Some secretaries naturally will not freely discuss the lawyers with whom they work, and some secretaries are not familiar enough with the lawyers' work to provide educated advice.


Secretaries can provide information concerning other applicants - their numbers, their schools and their competitiveness in general. Certainly obtain definite information about the length of your interviewing day and the possibility of lunch.

Receptionists and secretaries can aid your approach of particular lawyers at the firm. It is often difficult to pin down lawyers who, because of heavy workloads or disinterest, fail to return your telephone calls. Receptionists and secretaries can often suggest convenient times to telephone, or, minimally, can explain soothingly reasons for the lawyer's neglect. You need advice concerning the wisdom of "badgering" certain lawyers about responses and reactions to interviews. The staff can name the lawyers who are receptive to that contact.

Secretaries and receptionists can further your interests and be founts of useful information. Especially at government agencies and legislative offices, the support staffers will recognize you from perhaps frequent visits and inquiries, and, if cajoled properly, can be strong allies in the hunt. Judicious handling of the allies is necessary, because often they are trained to deflect exactly this type of activity and because repetition begets annoyance. Tread carefully, and be aware of this special reservoir of aid.


About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.


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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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