What springs to mind when you hear the phrase “legal recruiter”?

Do you think of someone a little pushy or dishonest — a “used car salesperson” type trying to shoehorn candidates into roles that aren’t a great match just because there’s an opening? 

Perhaps someone wastes your time by making you feel like you had a great meeting with them but doesn’t advocate for you with your best interests at heart.

Legal recruiters sometimes have a bad reputation for just trying to put butts in seats and meet quotas. Maybe you’ve even had a bad experience with a recruiter yourself, or you know someone who has. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Many lawyers struggle to find satisfaction in their work. In fact, many partners are downright miserable; often, this is because they are at the wrong firm. 

And the truth is that all firms are NOT created equal. You deserve a firm that truly supports your career development, respects and values you, and makes you excited to show up to the office. Finding this firm can be challenging, so you need the help of a legal recruiter who is genuinely interested in helping you find that exact right perfect fit rather than shoehorning you into the wrong place.  

That’s what we do.  

When should I consider talking to a recruiter?

Even the unhappiest partners can come up with a list. First reasons to put off making a change. It’s understandable — a lateral move takes time, and the process can be complex. If you’re spending all day, every day, on rainmaking activities, it’s hard to find a moment to evaluate your options, let alone determine actions you can take.

That’s why working with the right recruiter can be so advantageous. 

A good legal recruiter can be a true partner in your job search, leveraging their connections and market knowledge, handling logistics, helping preserve your confidentiality, and advocating on your behalf to find the firm that fulfills your wish list.

Here’s the catch: All recruiters are not created equal, either. 

Think about all those negative impressions some lawyers have about legal recruiters; those ideas didn’t come out of thin air.

Most recruiters are “firm-facing.” 

A firm hires them to fill a specific position, and the recruiter cold calls as many candidates as possible with the goal of filling the position. These recruiters do not consider whether or not the firm is the best possible fit for a given individual beyond the requisite skill set. 

On the other hand, a “candidate-facing” recruiter is meaningfully invested in matching you with a firm that meets your wants and needs. They put you first, they care about your happiness, and they will never try to convince you to join a firm that isn’t the best possible fit. 

Regardless of the recruiter you use, you shouldn’t pay the bill, the firm always pays.  

Bottom line: Finding your right-fit law firm also means finding your right-fit recruiter. 

How do I find the right legal recruiter?

If you’re a partner with a valuable skill set and a book of business, there is a firm out there that will be a perfect match for you. But to find it, you need a candidate-facing recruiter focused on you, not just on filling a slot and collecting a fee. 

At Gillman Strategic Group, we take a different approach. 

Rather than promoting every opportunity, we flip the script and start by putting individual rainmaker candidates (you) first. Even when firms do share their needs with us, we never recommend a candidate to a firm unless we think it is a good fit for the candidate.  

Our process starts with understanding what it is that’s distressing you about your current firm and what you’re looking for in a new platform. Whether you work with us or any other recruiting firm, the recruiter should always ask and be interested in the following: 

  • What are your career aspirations? 
  • In which areas of law and geographic regions will your dream firm practice? 
  • What kinds of resources and staffing will empower you to work more efficiently, so you can start saying “yes” to clients instead of “no”? 
  • How will a firm’s hourly rates and rate flexibility impact your responsiveness to your client’s needs? 
  • What kind of support will help you shape your career development? 
  • Are you looking for a specific type of culture? 
  • Do you want to feel respected, that your partners are listening to you and appreciating your expertise? 
  • Is your particular practice essential to the firm’s bottom line?

All these questions help a candidate-facing recruiter (like us) build a foundation that ensures your interests are represented as we seek the best match for your needs. 

Your recruiter should sell you, not the position. 

Once we fully understand everything you could wish for in a lateral move, we will assist you in developing a business plan. Then we sell you to the firms. Rather than cold calling candidates to get them into any position, we engage the right firms to sell you.  

Your recruiter should make the process easy for you. 

We take as much of the work off your plate as we can so that you can get back to doing what you do best — being a rainmaker. Through our concierge-level white-glove service, we handle the research, reach out to firms, schedule interviews, get feedback, negotiate offers, and maintain confidentiality. 

The only thing we can’t do? We can’t go to the interview in your place!

It’s true: legal recruiters get a bad rap.

But there are good recruiters out there.  

If your definition of a good recruiter is someone who acts in your best interest, then we are the best recruiter you can find. 

It’s not about arbitrarily filling a position for us. Our mission is lawyer happiness.  

We strive to find the right firm for you. The firm that turns out to be the best match may not have been planning to hire someone in your practice area, and you may never have heard of them, but we make opportunities happen. 

As a rainmaker, you make your opportunities by being a valuable source of revenue, and we help you take advantage of those opportunities.

At the end of the day, our only goal is to make it as efficient as possible for you to find your exact right perfect-fit law firm and not spend another year feeling overwhelmed and overworked at the wrong place. 

Shouldn’t practicing law be fun?

If you’re miserable at your current firm, it’s time to get back in touch with why you got into law in the first place…and to find the law firm that will reflect those reasons. 

After all, don’t we all deserve to find joy in our work?

I’ll tell you what brings me joy: Helping partners find their exact right perfect fit firm so they can live the life they want.

Ready to take control of your career? Let’s schedule a call to discuss your wants and needs.