Why You Should Use a Good Legal Recruiter (Part I – The Need for Expert Assistance)

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When one of your clients has a major legal issue, who do they call for help? They call you, of course. Why? Because your clients know that you, as an experienced lawyer, are best qualified to assist them in your area of legal expertise. So when you have a major career issue, such as a potential need to change jobs, what should you do? You should do as your clients do and consult an experienced expert on your particular issue, or a legal recruiter.
Why You Should Use a Good Legal Recruiter Part I

This is the first of three essays that will explore the reasons why attorneys seeking a job should retain a legal recruiter. This series will be followed by a fourth essay, in which I will explain how to determine whether a potential recruiter is sufficiently "good" (that is, competent and experienced) for you to use them. This series also assumes that the searching attorneys are in a situation in which using a recruiter would be both appropriate and advantageous. As will be explained further in the fourth essay, this is not the case for all attorneys.

The primary reason you should use a good recruiter is the need for expert assistance. In my former career as a lawyer, I found that that the practice of law was highly complex and that it took a long time to master. When I later became a recruiter, I discovered that the legal market was also so complex that it would again take me several years to become a true expert. Yet, I sometimes meet attorneys who tell me that they do not need a recruiter because they already know everything about the legal market. This is like a law student claiming to know everything regarding the law without ever actually practicing it. Attorneys are way too busy to put in the time needed to truly understand the complexity of the market. Seeking the expert advice of good recruiter who already has that knowledge and expertise makes a lot more sense.

Nevertheless, I sometimes see attorneys who "go it alone" or use "friends" in firms (most often just casual acquaintances). There are times where either of these approaches can make sense, such when you are in a situation in which recruiters are not going to be able to assist you. Otherwise, using "friends "can work to your disadvantage. Unlike these "friends," recruiters can provide you with unbiased information and objective advice about the firm, as well as offer you many valuable services that your "friends" cannot provide. Moreover, what if the "friend" is currently in poor standing at the firm? Or what if the "friend" is aware of negative information about you? Will they tell the firm? What if they know of negative information about their firm? Will they tell you? How far is your "friend" willing to stick their neck out for you? In short, the only helpful assistance that a "friend" might be able to offer you is to be a "cheerleader." By using both your recruiter and your "friend" as allies, you can gain the best of both worlds.

Finally, a good recruiter usually costs you nothing. Moreover, their expertise will greatly enhance your chances of finding the best opportunity for you. Of course, you may well be able to find an opportunity or even multiple opportunities on your own, but you will lack the expertise and experience to effectively determine which is the "right" or "best" opportunity. Good legal recruiters provide you with that critical expertise and experience.

Summary: When you have a major career issue, such as a potential need to change jobs, what should you do? You should consult a good legal recruiter.

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