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John Jameson is the principal and founder of The Jameson Group (TJG), a legal search firm based in Beverly Hills, CA. TJG is dedicated to the placement of shareholders, partners, and groups of attorneys in law firms as well as law firm mergers and acquisitions. They primarily focus on the Los Angeles area, but also make placements throughout California. TJG has successfully placed a multitude of shareholders, partners, and partner-level attorneys. They also have moved millions of dollars in portable business. TJG is intimately familiar with the complex matters these experienced attorneys face in evaluating their exit strategies and strategic options and are specifically sensitive to their needs. They have consulted with and placed shareholders, partners, and partner-level attorneys for twenty-seven years, through prosperous and recessionary times. TJG believes the reason for their success is very simple-client satisfaction.
Mr. Jameson is recognized as one of the leading authorities on attorney compensation and legal recruiting. He provides honest insight and straightforward counsel to his clients. Mr. Jameson is highly regarded for his attention to details and interpersonal communication skills. As a former practicing attorney, he understands the requirements and needs of both the shareholder/partner candidate and the hiring firm. For more than two decades, Mr. Jameson has developed his recruiting expertise through his close and extensive working relationships with local, regional, and national law firms.
Prior to establishing TJG in 1987, Mr. Jameson was a practicing attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he specialized in real estate, corporate securities, financial institutions, and workout law in Los Angeles.
In addition to recruiting, he is very active in community and philanthropic activities. Among his many activities, Mr. Jameson currently serves on the Executive Committee and is the Chair of Development Committee of The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Beverly Hills Education Foundation; as Chair of the Legal Services Division of the United Jewish Fund; and as the President and the Chairman of Admissions of Hillcrest Country Club. He has coached children's basketball and soccer. Mr. Jameson was also a member of the Tech Coast Angels, which is comprised of successful businesspeople investing in new and emerging companies.
He was born and raised in Beverly Hills, CA. Mr. Jameson received his B.S. with honors in Business Administration from University California, Berkeley in 1978 and he earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from University of Southern California in 1981, where he was a part of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program.
Mr. Jameson and his wife are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary in April. He met his wife Kristin in law school at USC. Kristin was a litigator who specialized in white collar criminal litigation and now works with John at TJG. His daughter, Alissa, is twenty-six years old and she works at MCM, a high-end fashion company in New York. She works directly with the President of the U.S. division and handles social media and marketing as well. Alissa graduated from UC Boulder. His son, Matthew, is twenty-three years old and he is working at Shopzilla.com in Los Angeles. He graduated from New York University last year.
When asked about his hobbies and interests outside of work, Mr. Jameson said, "I am currently on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of The Maple Counseling Center which provides low cost mental health counseling in Los Angeles. I also enjoy traveling, skiing, reading, and golf." He loves to eat dinner at Beverly Hills' The Grill On The Alley and for breakfast at Champs Elysees. Mr. Jameson favorite authors are Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.
Mr. Jameson's Successful Career Path and Tips for Legal Recruiters
Does Mr. Jameson have a top memory from law school? "Meeting my wife Kristin at law school is my top memory. Also, my Torts Professor in our first class seemed like he had come straight out of the movie The Paper Chase and had one of the students crying before the first class was over!"
What does it take to become a successful legal recruiter? "Self-confidence and perseverance is essential. The ability to relate quickly to others and develop a relationship with them is also critical. Finally, compassion, a good attitude and the ability to shake off rejection are important."
How was Mr. Jameson's transition from practicing law to becoming a legal recruiter? "My transition was very smooth. My company received national recognition after our first year in business from The American Lawyer as a result of a national survey the magazine conducted. My company got the highest average rating in the country!"
What motivated him to work as a recruiter? "I like talking and I like people! I was very involved in recruiting and interviewing attorneys at the two law firms I practiced at as a young lawyer (one was a boutique in Los Angeles, the other was a national firm-Stroock & Stroock & Lavan). Also, if I fell flat on my face, I would know which firms were looking to hire associates!"
What advice would Mr. Jameson give to someone who's brand-new to his position? "Expect this job to be much harder than it looks and harder than what people tell you. You need a lot of confidence. You are working in a very competitive industry with a very smart clientele."
What information does he wish he had when starting out? "I wish I better understood how individuals in this business function and how difficult it is to build a larger company."
What's one of the things that Mr. Jameson finds most challenging about his job? "Making cold calls is not something that anyone really looks forward to. Doing them is easy-thinking about them is hard. Also, I very much am a consultant to the partners I work with. They typically do need advice and counseling, but aren't always open to really listening to or thinking about that advice."
What would he say is the most important thing he learned as a legal recruiter? "You have to be true to yourself and your own ethical standards."
What is Mr. Jameson known for professionally? "It sounds like a cliché, but I am known for honesty, ethics, very strong knowledge of the legal industry and excellent contacts at the highest levels with the law firms I work with."
What does he look for to find the right fit? "I have been in this business since 1987 (27 years) and I just know the right fit when I see it."
In regards to what makes a great candidate, Mr. Jameson noted, "Since I work only on the partner level, having a transportable book of business is absolutely critical. Also, excellent experience and credentials and realistic goals about the type of firm that will best help a partner service and grow his client base."
Does he have a recipe for a perfect match? "No."
What are Mr. Jameson's strengths as a recruiter? "I am excellent at digging deep with candidates to understand what their real motivation to move is (it is often not what they think it is) and then helping them find a firm that will best solve their issue and hopefully make them happier for the next stage of their career."
How does the businessman process fear? "I try to think through what I am scared of and how to deal with it."
How does he tackle obstacles? "Straight on unless you need to take a less direct route for political reasons to achieve your goal."
Considering his twenty-seven years of experience in the legal recruiting industry, many readers may want to know where Mr. Jameson sees the legal field in the next five years. "I see more mergers, new areas of law and a focus on developing as technology moves forward. But I think we will continue to see smaller and mid-size firms do well since many partners represent clients unwilling to pay the hourly rates of larger firms."
Where does he see the legal recruiting field in the next five years? "It will continue to ebb and flow with the market and the economy."
What motivates Mr. Jameson to be a legal recruiter every day? "I love making deals and helping people find jobs where they are happier. However, it is a job, and it is most important to me that I provide for my family."
Has he learned something of value from his mistakes? "Always. And when I think I have seen just about everything, something new comes up."
Where does Mr. Jameson derive his confidence? "I was very introverted when I was very young, but I became much more outgoing and confident as a freshman in high school. I think this was a direct result of my involvement in sports, particularly tennis."
Mr. Jameson's Passions, Mentoring Others and the People that Inspire Him
What causes is Mr. Jameson passionate about? He asserted:
"Right now I am very involved with The Maple Counseling Center helping to provide mental health services to those in need. Mental health is critical to our society, but with all the budget cuts over the past 25 years, there are not many places people can turn to. Mental disorders are still not talked about openly like other diseases such as cancer or autism, but I think everyone knows a friend or someone in their own family who has suffered from mental illness or depression. I very much enjoy my work with TMCC because we are really making a difference in the organization and for the people it helps."
Does he consider himself a mentor? "Yes. I have always been a mentor to my employees and sometimes to competitors I am friends with. Hopefully, I am a mentor to my kids."
Who inspires Mr. Jameson? "My father and grandfather and some of my very successful friends. They taught me that you have to find the balance in your life that is critical to you between success in business and success with your family."
A Rewarding Position, Favorite Quote and Mr. Jameson's Goals
Does Mr. Jameson find his work rewarding? "Yes. I like it. I'm good at it and I like making deals and helping people."
Does he have a favorite quote? "We can all get in ruts. When I do, I think of the following quote: 'If you do the same thing in the same way with the same people, you will get the same result.'"
Does the Californian have goals? "To be happy at what I do."
LawCrossing has the most listings of any job board I have used. It's actually a great site. The website had a lot of detail. It’s nice that you don't have to go through a recruiter if you don't want to. You can actually contact the law firm directly for the positions listed. LawCrossing had a ton of great features.