A greater number of law firms are hiring lateral partners (partners from another firm) and/or screening external candidates for top positions, The New York Times reports. This spike in hiring suggests a few things. First, firms are creating more jobs, and, second, legal establishments need lawyers and board members to fill these new positions. What are the top legal recruiters looking for?
Law Firms Value Experience Above All Else
Many law firms are looking for relevant experience first. Board member recruitment often focuses on candidates with years of experience only. In fact, more firms are hiring laterally to take advantage of partners’ detailed track records. “The most likely scenario is for smaller firms to hire from larger firms to get that person’s experience,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains.
Other Top Qualities Include Confidence and Transparency
Experience by itself, however, may not be enough. Lawyer and board member recruitment should also carefully consider communication skills. One of the first thing clients will do once they enlist the help of a lawyer from your firm is to ask them questions. According to Forbes, candidates should be able to confidently answer the following: “How many similar matters have you handled? What were the results of those cases? Which lawyer in the firm will be working on your case? Will there be any limitations on the scope of the representation? How will you be kept informed about the progress of the case? How quickly do you respond to phone calls and e-mails? How can I reach you after normal business hours?”
Moreover, pricing is one of clients’ top concerns. Legal recruitment firms seek out candidates who can talk about rates confidently and — most importantly — honestly. Being able to talk about difficult issues while remaining transparent and self-assured is a valuable trait in any candidate.
Finding qualified and experienced candidates to fill available lawyer and board member positions is no simple task. Consider hiring laterally for the most experienced candidates; always keep in mind that confidence — and maintaining that confidence during difficult discussions — are extremely important, too.