Beginner FAQs About Working with a Legal Recruiter
Question: I’m a new lawyer and I’m looking for a new job. Although I am looking, currently, I have an offer from a small firm and I’m not sure the firm is the right fit for me. Should I work with a legal recruiter to find a new position?
Answer: To help answer that question, we have . . . more questions. Luckily, though, we also have answers with these beginner FAQs about working with a legal recruiter. In previous blog posts, we addressed what to expect when working with a recruiter. However, what about legal recruiters specifically? Below, with these Q&As, you will be able to get some guidance about whether you should work with a legal recruiter.
Q—What can a legal recruiter do for me?
A—One of the goals of any legal recruiter is to help candidates find permanent work within the legal industry. Furthermore, because they tend to have experience as attorneys and paralegals, legal recruiters have extensive knowledge about the industry. This means that a skilled and dedicated recruiter will be able to help you navigate your search with more confidence, ease, and knowledge.
Like any recruiter, legal recruiters work their hardest to please two parties: their clients (the firms seeking talent) and their candidate (job seekers). As a result, they will take on candidates whose qualifications and skills align with the needs of their clients.
Q—How should I go about choosing a legal recruiter?
A—Do your homework. In other words, conduct research regarding recruiters in the legal field. Be sure to check for signs of credibility, and also conduct a personal audit of what you’re looking for in a recruiter. Maybe you want someone who is more focused on placing the best and brightest in the right places, or maybe you’re looking for someone who would be willing to form a professional relationship and offer career advice. If possible, ask colleagues for references. Sometimes the best recruiters are found just through casual conversation—and the recruiter will certainly appreciate the reference!
Q—How long does the recruiting process take?
A—Each situation is unique. The duration of the recruiting process generally depends upon the candidate’s background, their credentials and experience, the interview, and the current state of the legal market. Therefore, it’s difficult to define the exact time frame of the whole process. However, it’s recommended that the sooner the candidate start the process, the better their chances for success.
Q—Is the search process confidential?
A—There are certain rules which recruiters are required to follow. Confidentiality is one of those rules. Therefore, the whole process is kept confidential. Recruiters are flooded with candidate profiles, so make sure that you check in with them at regular intervals to stay “on their radar.” You can also make a list of positions for which you believe you’re a strong fit and forward that list to your recruiter.
Q—Are legal recruiters helpful to recent law school graduates?
A—Typically, law firms do not pay legal recruiters to find candidates with less than one year of experience. However, there are always exceptions. Some clients are looking for very junior candidates and, in that case, a legal recruiter will work with a recent law school graduate. At the same time, because that situation is more unusual, legal recruiter will recommend to recent law school graduates that they also utilize their law school placement office, their network, job boards, and other referrals.
Next, we’ll tackle more advanced questions in working with a legal recruiter.