The Lawyers Rising podcast features Founder and CEO of BCG Attorney Search, Harrison Barnes, in conversation with BCG Recruiting Manager, Brie Mills. In each episode, the two will share their expertise through in-depth discussions on issues affecting the law profession and those that work in it. Drawing from over 20 years as a legal recruiter and attorney, Barnes will explore the culture and character of law firms, how to move in and out of them, and how to rise, thrive, and sustain a career. Their discussions will offer advice for both Partners and those still on the path.
You've heard the stories. You may have even been a victim of it yourself. High junior associate salaries are destroying the legal industry and changing how law firms operate. The high salary, along with other benefits such as signing bonuses and guaranteed summer pay has created a "golden handcuff" that is preventing associates from leaving their firm to pursue something else if they are unhappy.
Not only does this make for disgruntled employees, but it also creates an unhealthy environment where workers don't feel motivated to put in their best work because they're being paid well regardless of performance or output. There are other reasons why high junior associate salaries are harming the legal industry, and in this podcast with Harrison Barnes, legal recruiter, you will learn how to protect yourself from the fallout caused by this industry-wide phenomenon.
Learn how to balance tactics and strategy when navigating your legal career in this podcast with Harrison Barnes, Legal Recruiter.
Two different attorneys approached me recently looking for jobs. Both were self-confident men who had every reason to be successful but will not be. Both attended top law schools and did extremely well there. Both got jobs in major law firms out of law school but had recently lost their jobs. One was fired and the other quit.
Both attorneys made the same fundamental career mistake but in different ways. The attorney who was fired approached his career tactically but not strategically, while the attorney who quit approached his career strategically but not tactically. You must be both strategic and tactical to be truly successful in your legal career.
Learn how to balance tactics and strategy when navigating your legal career in this podcast with Harrison Barnes, Legal Recruiter.
Many young job-seekers make the mistake of saying a lot about themselves in cover letters, resumes, and interviews. A cover letter serves an entirely different purpose than bragging and talking about yourself.
Your cover letter needs to make a connection with your audience and show you are interested in them. Your ability to make this connection and the strength of this connection will determine how well you do.
Learn how to make a connection with your cover letter in this podcast with Harrison Barnes, Legal Recruiter.
The 2020 legal market was the most unusual in the last 20 years—including the bumps of 2000, 2001, and 2008 through 2011. At no time in history has there been a market fraught both with dangers for the unprepared and opportunity for law firms and attorneys who understand its current rules. And there are rules in all markets. The ability of law firms to understand these rules helps them make more money. The power of candidates to understand these rules keeps them employed and earning as much money as possible.
Ultimately, these rules boil down to the ones described in this podcast.
Attorneys make the decision to switch jobs for a variety of reasons. However, many attorneys’ reasons for switching jobs are misguided. Out of every 10 attorneys, at least four of them are fine in their current situation—they should stay right where they are. The other six have solid grounds for making a switch.
Ultimately, their reasons boil down to the three described in this podcast.
Most smart law firms will not hire attorneys who are coming from practice settings other than law firms. Law firms will suspect that you may have left a law firm and went to another practice setting because you had performance issues inside the law firm. There are two categories of attorneys in different practice settings: those who have worked in a law firm and left and those who have never worked in a law firm.
Both are discussed in this podcast.
If someone does not make us feel important, we do not feel good about ourselves. It breaks our confidence. It hurts our self-esteem. We question if we are good at something. We are not always motivated to do our best. We often rebel against the people who made us feel unimportant. To be good at your job, you need to make others feel important and taken care of. You should seek first to advocate for others, then they will advocate for you.
Find out how this common weakness impacts a promising legal career in this podcast.
When people are in law school and even during their first few years out of law school, they tend to believe that the most important components of a successful law firm career involve (1) billing a lot of hours (meaning working hard) and (2) doing quality work. Very rapidly, however, young lawyers come to understand that just as important as doing first-rate work is their ability to generate business for the firm they work in. So, how do lawyers get clients? Better yet, how do clients find lawyers? Find out in this podcast.
It is common for people to go to excellent law schools and start in significant firms, then have lousy legal careers that go nowhere. You can have every advantage on a silver platter. But none of this will matter if you do not have the values and a perception of the world that supports your legal career. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcg-attorney-search Website: https://www.bcgsearch.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGAttorneyJobs
Any legal employer interviewing you essentially has three vital questions: (1) can you do the job? (2) can you be managed? and (3) will you do the job long term? The interviewers are also asking a fourth question: do we like you? Every question you ask during a law firm interview should be evaluated through these four questions and whether they beget positive answers. Getting even one of these wrong can be fatal. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcg-attorney-search Website: https://www.bcgsearch.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGAttorneyJobs
Many attorneys go into the practice of law with the idea of making a lot of money. The purpose of this podcast is to tell you how to think about making money when practicing law. In reality, it doesn't matter where you went to law school, how well you did in law school, or even if you want to be an attorney. If you want to make money practicing law, you can. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcg-attorney-search Website: https://www.bcgsearch.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGAttorneyJobs
There is nothing more important for law firms than appealing to the right sorts of attorneys to get them to go to work there. It needs to look like the best option for the kinds of attorneys the firm wants to hire. A law firm will do all sorts of things to appeal to attorneys to get them to work for it and stay at work billing hours. To do this, law firms need to portray themselves as different from the competition and better -- and speak to you in some method. They need to look like the best option among the thousands of firms out there in the market you can choose from. In reality, attorneys decide where to go to work for a limited number of reasons. Law firms need to figure this out when they are interviewing you and marketing themselves to prospective law students and laterals because the “best” marketing pitch is what gets most attorneys to go there. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcg-attorney-search Website: https://www.bcgsearch.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGAttorneyJobs
Giving up your search is the most serious mistake you can make. Many people are not reaching their potential and unhappy because they gave up. The purpose of this podcast is to motivate you to persist with your job search, and teach you where 95% of the business of law is going on - outside of the largest law firms and all over. Why? Because those 95% of law firms will hire you if you persist with your search.
Many attorneys believe that if they do well in law school, get a good job and work hard, they will have happy and successful law firm careers. Failure is far more likely than success. Most attorneys put a ton of work into becoming attorneys, working in law firms, and failing. But there are so many factors you will be unable to control that your odds of failure are much higher than your odds for success.
Something occurs in the minds of attorneys that prevents many from realizing their potential for success. They get hung up on whether they are being taken advantage of by their employers. In contrast, most successful lawyers trust the system to take care of them. They believe that if they do their best and give their best, the system will work out for them.
In most organizations, there is a conflict between advancing those who give their all and holding back those who do not. Too many people are held back because of their fear of exploitation. Paranoia about being exploited will hurt you in relationships, professional and personal, and in whatever else you do.
The happiest and most successful attorneys are often surprised when their success comes. You will do better when you stop prioritizing how things make you look and feel. When you remove yourself from the equation and just concentrate on what you can do, that feels right and makes you and others happy. Too many people base their lives and careers on others' opinions, withdraw when they do not get the feedback they want, or keep pushing to get more and more approval to their ultimate detriment.
Many attorneys feel angry or upset when employers offer them a job they believe is beneath their skillset or pays less than they think they should be making. Others get upset when they are not getting job offers at all. In this episode, you’ll learn why you shouldn’t get bitter. Here are some easy fixes to get your job search back on track.
Once someone invites you for an interview, they do not care about your resume. They care about five different issues entirely—and the better you understand these, the better off you will be. Your resume says most of what needs to be said. A legal employer may say after an interview that they are not hiring you because "your experience is not right," but that is rarely true. The reason legal employers do not hire you is almost always because you are disqualified by one of the five questions that every employer asks themselves about you. This podcast will reveal those 5 questions and how you can prepare for them.
Daily I receive calls from law firms and others, rejecting some candidates and expressing interest in others. I want to be clear—there are specific patterns in people who get the most interviews and jobs, and those that do not. This all comes through on their resumes. If you want to get a position, you can listen to my advice, or ignore it at your own peril.
When you are looking for a position, the greatest danger you face is others controlling the flow of information available to you. Because others control the information, most attorneys, law students, and legal staff only apply to a limited number of places limiting their opportunities. In this episode learn about all the places you should be looking for work.
It's not magic or parlor tricks that have helped struggling attorneys to secure incredible opportunities. Harrison has helped place many attorneys in prestigious law firms that, on paper, had a small probability of being hired. However, the attorneys who got these positions followed his guidelines and were able to achieve what seemed to be impossible.
The most common method of getting a position is through networking. You are better off using networking to get defined positions than just applying on your own. You can also find positions in the emerging marketplace through networking. If you are not networking to find a position, you are making a huge mistake.
You do not know of all of the legal jobs out there—nor will you ever know about all of the jobs. The more job search methods you employ in searching for a legal position, the more jobs you are likely to find. In this podcast learn about all the places you should be searching to find the best job possible!
The law school you went to matters surprisingly little the longer you are out of law school. Do not get me wrong, the law school you went to matters – but it does not matter forever. The law school is simply a way to distinguish you from the tens of thousands of people graduating from law school each year. After that, no one cares for the most part. There are far more important factors law firms look at if you want to practice law for a long period of time. Today you will learn what those are. LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/bcg-attorney-search Website: https://www.bcgsearch.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGAttorneyJobs
Getting fired, or experiencing the disapproval of a law firm, is very difficult for most attorneys. I have seen many attorneys go off the rails after losing their job or having a negative experience in a law firm, and it never ends well. At work and in life, it is always important to react in a positive way when something negative happens to you. This episode will show you how.
Attorneys who limit their search to the market they are in severely hamper their career. Whether you are unemployed, underemployed, underappreciated, or need a new position, the smartest thing you can do is look at other markets.
We are in for a different kind of legal job market recession that will be meaner, longer, and more devastating than anything we have ever seen. The coronavirus recession is going to destroy countless legal careers and prevent tens of thousands of them from ever starting. This podcast will help you survive this recession.
Most of the news about practicing law is consistently negative-in fact, there is so much negative news about practicing law it is difficult to speak to an attorney or read a legal publication without hearing or seeing something negative about it.
However, practicing law is not really all that bad. In fact, it can be about the clearest path to security, wealth and prestige there is. The complaints related to practicing law tend to follow the ups and downs of the economy and the demands that are placed on attorneys at the very high end of the profession.
In this podcast, Harrison Barnes, Legal Recruiter explains why practicing law is one of, if not the best profession, in spite of the negative news that often surrounds it. While it's definitely not for everyone, within the practice of law there are so many specialties, each with their own unique requirements, that nearly anyone can find a practice area that suits their personality.
The hottest practice areas of 2019, as a percentage of the total interviews and placements of our candidates, were
3) Labor and Employment
4) Intellectual Property
5) Real Estate
In this podcast, Harrison Barnes, Legal Recruiter discusses the reasons why these practice areas have been so popular in the past year and how you can take advantage of their popularity to advance your own legal career.
This yearly report from BCG Attorney Search summarizes our placement of hundreds of attorneys in law firms throughout the country. By closely observing this process and the trends that reveal themselves, we get a profound understanding of the legal market and what is in demand in markets and practice areas across the nation. In this podcast, we share the insights gleaned from our deep understanding of the legal market obtained through this process.
If you commit yourself to the practice of law and follow the rules, finding work should never be a problem. However, if you are having a difficult time finding a job or finding work, then one of three things is probably wrong:
(1) You are doing something wrong in your job search;
(2) You have been doing something wrong in your career;
(3) You are sending off the wrong signals to the world-or you are simply in the wrong profession.
In this podcast, we discuss the various reasons why lawyers might have problems finding work and what you can do if you are in this situation.
A law license is essentially a business license. Once you pass the state bar you are granted a license to practice law in that state. You are now able to go into the market and charge a fee for legal services. The true value of passing the bar is not necessarily that you can go to work for someone else-it is also that you can go to work for yourself in a business that not everyone can do. Today we discuss the top reasons why you should consider opening your own practice. We also reveal why that might be a bad idea.
On this podcast, BCG Attorney Search Recruiting Manager Brie Mills and Founder/CEO Harrison Barnes discuss how any attorney can take control of their destiny by generating a large amount of business for themselves. So many attorneys rely on partners and others at their law firm to give them work, which puts them at a disadvantage later in their career. Once you learn how to generate business for yourself, you are in control of your career and can take that business with you anywhere you go.
And take note: You need to learn how successful people act and think in order to be like them. The quality of your life is directly related to what you know and the people you surround yourself with. Your career and life can be anything you want them to be if you take the right actions and surround yourself with the right people.
On this podcast, BCG Attorney Search Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, Recruiter Jennifer McNeil, and Founder/CEO Harrison Barnes discuss how you can be happier and have a better quality of life as an average attorney. So many attorneys strive to be the very best at the expense of their mental and physical health. Once you learn to accept that there is nothing wrong with being average, you can begin to relax and enjoy your life and career more than ever before.
And take note: The large majority of attorneys are average. Only a small handful can be exceptional, and the price for exceptional status is extraordinarily high. It’s OK to be average, and accepting this can be hugely beneficial to your health and happiness.
On this podcast, BCG Attorney Search Recruiting Manager Brie Mills and Founder/CEO Harrison Barnes discuss the two primary sources of career anxiety when practicing law. Career anxiety can easily get in the way of having a happy, successful career, and the first step to overcoming it is identifying where it comes from. They explain how to overcome your anxiety once you identify the source.
And take note: The good news is that most cases of career anxiety are 100% fixable. Once you are able to identify the cause you can make a small, simple change that will make you much happier in your life and career.
Law firms are rife with office politics and can be difficult for associates to navigate. Partners and senior associates may exhibit bad behavior, bad habits, and produce bad work that is capable of staining, damaging, or worse, ending careers—including those for the people that work under them. How does the smart attorney navigate this potential office minefield?
Our BCG Attorney Search team of Founder and CEO Harrison Barnes, Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, Recruiter Romina Filippou, and host Danny Rindeau discuss the secrets, general rules, and strategies for building and maintaining your best career.
Your law firm just kicked you to the curb. Should you have seen it coming?
This isn’t about your quality as an attorney, that’s another discussion; this is about those circumstances beyond your control—not just at your firm, but in the legal industry and the economy at large.
Host Daniel “Danny” Rindeau speaks with the BCG Attorney Search team of Recruiting Manager Brie Mills and Recruiter Nadeen Weybrecht about the importance of looking up while your keeping your head-down in the work. Looking beyond your billables; the economy may be strong today but what about tomorrow? Are the businesses of your corporate clients struggling? Is the work across the firm slowing or only the work that’s coming to you? Do you have a specialty that makes you valuable to the firm? Is the industry or the economy heading toward a downturn?
What practice areas do better in a recession? Where will you find the best information to gauge the health of your profession? Are you seeing signs that you need to make a lateral move, quickly? Do you have a Plan B or C?
If you don’t, get one now. Our team tells you how.
On this podcast our BCG Attorney Search team of Recruiting Manager Brie Mills and Recruiter Karen Wenzel discuss the role of receiving and accepting criticism in a legal career. It can be painful, no doubt, but everyone will be on the receiving end of it in their legal careers from time to time—especially young associates. But it’s professional, not personal. They explain why this criticism should be considered an opportunity for growth.
And take note: When senior associates and partners criticize you they’re also testing you. Are you a good prospect? Are you teachable? So while you may feel it in your gut, also take it to heart. But whatever you do, learn to take it: How you take it may determine the future of your legal career.
You’re a senior attorney, 7 years of experience or more—or maybe a lot more, and you don’t know where or how to find a new position. Your search is only piling up the rejections. Surrender?
Listen as BCG Attorney Search CEO and Managing Director Harrison Barnes and Recruiting Manager Brie Mills explain why you’re marketable and why you’re having trouble convincing hiring law firms of that fact.
And, no, going in-house isn’t the only option.
• Where you should target (probably not Big Law)
• Important resources you may not know about
• How to expand your search (including geographically)
• Who’s better off, the specialist or the generalist?
• How to manage expectations
• Why a good recruiter is so much better at this than you are
Are you telling your story right? This podcast will help you tell a better one.
Both practice areas have their pros and cons. Which is better for you will depend on your personality and interests. Do you find drama and attacking an opponent sexy? Or are you less confrontational and more cerebral? Do you write well but find the minutiae of contracts insanely tedious?
Join our BCG Attorney Search team of CEO Harrison Barnes, Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, and Legal Recruiter Jessica Portela as they discuss what thrills and what kills on both paths. Learn which practice is far more competitive, which has better job security, which is “economy-proof ,” and which more highly values specialty.
And, of course: Which path will make you the most money?
If you’ve an interest in either field, listen and decide if your legal career is on the path it needs to be on.
Ever heard the stories of horrid attorneys with worse habits and yet somehow still have great jobs? How do they do it?
It’s called a Big Book of Business.
As an attorney at a law firm, you’ll be expected to start building yours ASAP. Otherwise, you’re costing the firm money—you’ll be seen as an unprofitable liability. A Book of Business is your best chance for job security.
But what if you can’t? What if you don’t have connections, a network, the background, or the necessary schmoozy character?
Or this: What if you do have all of the above and it’s still not happening fast enough?
Join the BCG Attorney Search team of CEO Harrison Barnes, Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, and Legal Recruiter Karen Wenzel as they offer a variety of options and actionable advice. Digging into Harrison’s list of seven general strategies, the team also offers a range of other career suggestions for associates of five to seven or more years of experience. They’ll help you get your law career on track or to get you to a place where you may not need the track at all.
Quitting your associate’s job? First piece of advice—Don’t!
Remember this: After the bar, there are no other skills test but one: your career history and what the people you worked with think of you. It’s the test of character and skill a future employer will have. Done wrong, your patterns and gaps can make you look sketchy; learn how to better tell your story.
But if you must quit, the BCG Attorney Search team of CEO Harrison Barnes, Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, and Legal Recruiter Jennifer McNeil have advice to offer:
Take whatever good you can with you.
Can you snag a great partner reference? Can you keep your firm profile active for a while? Make whatever you’ve done look as pretty as you can. In this podcast our team will help: advice on how to stay (even if you don’t want to), how to leave and what take with you, good and bad reasons for leaving—and best of all—how to find your best prospects going forward.
Making a lateral move? So then, how good of a storyteller are you? Because to convince a prestigious law firm that you’re the one they’re looking for you’ll need to be a good one. In this episode of the podcast, BCG Attorney Search CEO Harrison Barnes and Recruiting Manager Brie Mills explain that the ways of success for a lateral attorney are knowing that law is a skill AND a business AND a culture. They’ll also discuss questions a candidate will be asked in interviews, what are the good and bad answers, and why you need to act more like a soldier and less like a general.
Ever heard of work-life balance? For an attorney this means lots of work, not much life. Such is the deal that comes with those big salaries. And how are those salaries paid? Through ever-increasing billable hours and the sacrifices of the dedicated attorneys who work them. In this episode, the BCG team of CEO Harrison Barnes, Recruiting Manager Brie Mills, and Recruiter Romina Filippou will discuss the realities of law careers that often surprise those that enter them. The Team explains the BigLaw commitment, why it is what it is, and the consequences and alternatives for those who choose to opt out.
In this introductory episode, expert Legal Recruiter Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search and Recruiting Manager Brie Mills dig into why going in-house may be your ticket to career death. Barnes explains how the company's problems will become your problems, why having no clients to call your own is a losing proposition, why going in-house is like going underground and more. In their discussion, Barnes and Mills will guide you through the many ways you can generate value for your firm by generating value for yourself and building the dream of every attorney-the Path to Partner.
You know those attorneys, there's a few in every firm: The first to be hired and the last to be fired. How do you get to become one of those? In our second episode, Legal Recruiter Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search and Recruiting Manager Brie Mills discuss ways attorneys, both young and experienced; can build muscular and indispensable careers. From specialization, lateral moves, alliances, to mentoring and more. They go over ways you can strengthen your skills to make yourself the go-to asset no firm live do without: Suggestions to make your position with any firm straight up solid.