When I was at the top of my legal career and the word was spreading that Jenkens & Gilchrist was in trouble, I received more than one call a week from legal recruiters. I’m sad to say that I was pretty turned off by those calls.
- They were cold calls
- The recruiter didn’t know me.
- The recruiter didn’t ask me questions to get to know me.
The legal recruiters may have looked at my website bio, and someone must have told them I had lots of business, but they didn’t know anything else about me,…and they didn’t ask to learn more about me.
So, you might ask, why did I decide to become a recruiter? I would ask that same question, so I get it.
To me recruiting is an extension of the work I did coaching lawyers. When I coached lawyers before our first meeting I sent out questions as a starting point to get to know the lawyer. When we met for the first time, I started by asking questions about the lawyer’s family, his or her interests outside of practicing law and what the lawyer hoped to achieve in our work together.
I loved practicing law. I enjoyed my clients and my work. But, I only worked for a few clients. I coached over 1500 lawyers. While my compensation was a fraction of what I made practicing law, my joy in personally witnessing the lawyers succeeding made up for it.
A few weeks ago I received an email from a lawyer I coached over 10 years ago. When we first started working together she was generating $200,000 in originations. In her email, she shared with me that in her firm’s last fiscal year she had generated over $4 million in originations.
She gave me too much of the credit in her email. She was a superstar before I ever met her. I think I just helped her realize that.
So, what does this have to do with my current work recruiting lawyers for law firms?
I am working for a great, well-known firm, Lateral Link. I’m surrounded by talented people who genuinely care about the lawyers who are candidates and the law firms with whom they work. They take the time the recruiters who recruited me did not take.
When I coached lawyers in the US and Canada I worked with some really great firms. I know the culture of those firms. I worked with some really outstanding lawyers. I got to know what they wanted in their career. Recruiting for me is putting together law firms with lawyers who will succeed and help the firm succeed.