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Peter J. Redgrove is the founder and principal of Redgrove Legal Search (RLS), a boutique attorney recruiting and placement firm based in Los Angeles, CA. For more than thirty years, he has focused his recruiting and placement career in the in-house sector. RLS places attorneys nationally in law firms, as well as in corporate law departments, but primarily places attorneys in Southern California, Northern California, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the entire West Coast. Mr. Redgrove's clients have come to depend on his exceptional expertise; he has placed corporate counsel and general counsel at all levels and in all industries. His diverse clients range from Fortune 500 and NYSE/NASDAQ listed companies to start-up ventures.
Mr. Redgrove has served the legal community for more than thirty years as a principal founding member of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC). For more than twenty-five years, he served as a principal of Kass/Abell and Associates, a leading attorney search firm which served Southern and Northern California. Mr. Redgrove's reputation for matching successful candidates with the right positions gives him an excellent advantage when he finds their dream job.
Mr. Redgrove brings to the legal community an appreciation of adventurous pursuit bound by ethical restraint. He is a leader in the legal recruiting community and directs candidates, many who become future clients, as he's displayed an even-keeled knowledge of both sides of the negotiating table. Mr. Redgrove brings to his work a high level of perception, which has resulted in many long-lasting and successful placements.
Born, raised, and educated in England, Mr. Redgrove is an accomplished chef who trained in Europe for six years. He successfully developed and marketed educational audio-visual materials for primary and secondary schools, in the language arts and Social Studies curriculum. Mr. Redgrove also has a strong personal interest in the paranormal/metaphysics field, which has resulted in his appearances on popular television shows that include Biography, The Unexplained, and The Oprah Show. He was also interviewed by CNBC.
Mr. Redgrove has volunteered much of his free time, helping numerous hospice facilities and organizations such as Project Angel Food, where he has delivered and prepared meals for indigent people inflicted with AIDS.
Mr. Redgrove is also an avid reader. His favorite book is Brian L. Weiss' Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives. He is currently reading Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning.
Mr. Redgrove's Successful Career Path and Tips for Legal Recruiters
What does it take to become a successful legal recruiter? "I believe there are several traits needed to become a successful legal recruiter… persistence, sensitivity, and altruism."
What motivated Mr. Redgrove to work as a legal recruiter? Though he loved being a successful chef, after he completed his training, he searched for another career. Mr. Redgrove was hired to be the sales manager of Spoken Arts, a New York-based educational publisher of spoken-word recordings of renowned American poets and literary giants. During his eight-year tenure with Spoken Arts, he helped establish the company as a highly-respected industry leader, and while doing so developed a strong interest in childrens' education. After leaving New York, he was offered an opportunity to establish his own audio-visual company in Los Angeles, which he ran several years and eventually sold. After its sale and while he was considering embarking on a new career path, a good friend encouraged him to explore legal recruiting, as his personality, tenacity, and business acumen would dovetail well with the recruiting profession. Mr. Redgrove was then hired by a Beverly Hills executive search firm, where he met Preston Keith (a former west-coast manager for Wells Legal Search, which was, at the time, the largest legal search firm in the US). Mr. Redgrove credits Mr. Keith for introducing him to the legal search field.
What was his impression of Oprah when he appeared on her show? Mr. Redgrove noted that he appeared on The Oprah Show with James Van Praagh, an American author, producer and television personality who describes himself as a clairvoyant and spiritual medium. He continued to say that Oprah was very pleasant, but she was preoccupied with a lawsuit surrounding the Texas version of a food libel law known as the False Disparagement of Perishable Food Products Act of 1995. Oprah was being sued for a 1996 episode of her show in which she made critical comments about beef in relation to mad cow disease.
What advice would Mr. Redgrove give to someone who's new to this profession? "I would advise new legal recruiters to persevere and to be patient-after all, we are in the business of change, and change can sometimes take a long while. Most lawyers will appreciate a call from a recruiter who has researched the market and is well-informed about current career opportunities. It is critical that before making a cold-call to any candidate, a recruiter performs the appropriate research to ensure success. When there are bumps in the road, one must be patient with a candidate and with a client. I've found that patience and keeping communication lines open will always get you through.
What information does Mr. Redgrove wish he had when he started out? "I wish I had various computerized candidate lists that exist today due to the Internet. When I started out, I only had the printed Martindale-Hubbell Ratings list...how the world has changed Today, I can source candidates with just a few key strokes."
What's one of the things that Mr. Redgrove finds most challenging about his job? "I work with candidates who sometimes are afraid of change. I feel empathy for candidates contemplating change. The story of my own life is one of change. It's absolutely natural to worry about changing your job because you, as a candidate, will be in a new environment and a new culture, and you will have to work with new people. You will be under a magnifying glass and will have to prove yourself all over again. That can be stressful."
What would Mr. Redgrove say is the most important thing he has learned as a legal recruiter? "Patience, empathy, and research. Listening to a candidate's needs is a critical skill a successful recruiter needs to continually hone."
What is Mr. Redgrove known for professionally? He acknowledged:
"My candidates and clients enjoy working with me because I am knowledgeable and ethical. I have trained many recruiters in this business and I train them to not be motivated solely by money. I teach them to not pressure their candidates for a position just to earn a commission. With this type of work comes a moral obligation to always do right. I care about each candidate and I care about the fit for the company/firm. I have placed 42 attorneys for one of my clients and 90 percent of those attorneys are still working for the company, which speaks to my dedication to finding the right fit for the right position."
In regard to what makes a great candidate, Mr. Redgrove says, "A great candidate is willing to explore new opportunities and he/she should be willing to be advised and directed by my expertise. A great candidate is someone who listens well and understands my role in helping them make an informed and smart decision about their future."
Does he have a recipe for a perfect match? "No, not really. It's a very subjective process; the nuances between the paper resume and the actual person and personality behind it are vital, sometimes even key in the placement process. It is my business to make sure that those differences are explained and favorably reconciled."
Where does Mr. Redgrove see the legal recruiting field in the next five years? He stated:
"I believe that boutique legal recruiting firms like my own will continue to flourish. Client law firms and companies appreciate working with local recruiters who have in depth knowledge and understanding of their respective markets. There are real differences in the regional legal landscapes, both substantively and culturally. My previous experience with a large national search firm, which failed to recognize these regional differences, confirms my belief that a strong, informed local force, like Redgrove Legal Search, is often preferred. I believe that the legal recruiting industry will remain a valued commodity-Client firms and companies have come to value that expertise. 'I remember, once upon a time, that the advent of the internet prompted some of my colleagues to despair - we will be replaced by lines of code!' I was quick and certain to remind them that, in the immortal sentiments of Oscar Wilde, the news of our death 'may by greatly exaggerated.'
How does the businessman process fear? "I respect fear and I understand it. There are two primary driving forces in life: love and fear. There are those who will argue which is the more powerful. I won't allow fear get a choke-hold on me."
Does Mr. Redgrove learn something of value from his mistakes? "Oh yes. Absolutely. Looking back I can laugh at some of my mistakes. They are what they are…mistakes, nothing more. It's my mistakes that give me good stories. If I had a dollar for every mistake I've made, I'd be driving a Rolls-Royce."
What motivates him to be a legal recruiter every day? Mr. Redgrove asserted:
"I just like the work that I do…if someone had told me that I could make a living counseling lawyers, and that I could guide them to a better future, I'd tell them that they were nuts. Lawyers give advice, they don't always take it. But it has been my experience that when it comes to crafting their careers from their present to their next, best step forward, well, that's where my experience has helped many. The thing that gets me to do what I do is that my work affects people in a positive way. I'm fortunate enough to work with great clients and with great candidates."
From where does Mr. Redgrove derive his confidence? He candidly said:
"I don't know where it comes from, but I have always had great expectations for myself. Even when I was a child, I was determined to live a different kind of life. But, unfortunately, nothing was planned for me. I've always had aspirations, and I always sensed an innate quality that I can't define, but I am very grateful for it. I suppose it is a gift from the beyond, one for which I am also grateful."
Mentoring Recruiters, People Who Inspired Mr. Redgrove, A Rewarding Position, Favorite Quote and His Goals
Does Mr. Redgrove consider himself a mentor? "Yes. I have trained many recruiters who run their own firms today. It is a natural thing for me to nurture and mentor."
Who inspires him? He said he learned from the late Dr. Arthur Klein who inspired and pushed him to be the best he could be. But, in the legal search field, Mr. Redgrove stated that no one else has been more influential than Mr. Keith. Mr. Redgrove adds, "He pointed me in the right direction."
Does Mr. Redgrove find his work rewarding? "Yes. I like helping people realize their dreams. Open new doors for them and help them to live better professional and personal lives."
Mr. Redgrove's favorite quote is by Franklin D. Roosevelt: "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Mr. Redgrove said the quote resonates with him because it reminds him to never give up, and that one should endure to the end.
Does Mr. Redgrove have goals? "Professionally, my goal is to continue to do the right thing for my candidates and clients. Personally, I am happy and grateful for what I have. I've lived a charmed life in many respects."
What to Expect When Working with Mr. Redgrove
J.D., senior associate at a large Los Angeles firm noted:
"Redgrove Legal Search and my recruiter found my dream job for me. At the time I was looking, there were virtually no firms actively looking for an associate in my area of expertise. Redgrove Legal Search worked with me to put together a list of firms to target that had my practice area and would meet my needs. They were extremely professional and diligent and were able to arrange four interviews for me. Within a month, I had three offers and I turned down the fourth firm."
C.A., senior associate at a top-tier New York firm asserted:
"I was in solo practice, managing a full litigation caseload, at the time I initiated my search with RLS. With the right combination of professionalism and genuine enthusiasm, they gave me constructive feedback regarding my resume and spent a good deal of time answering my questions. Once we had targeted firms that met all of my criteria, they effectively marketed me to the firms I chose, and I accepted an offer with a fantastic firm."
A.M., senior associate at a Fortune 500 corporation acknowledged:
"I have been with my company for one week now, and as you indicated, it is truly a wonderful place to work and be part of. Thank you for presenting me with this opportunity. My husband and I are sincerely grateful to Redgrove Legal Search and Peter Redgrove - you have changed our lives!"
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