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Reasons Why a Legal Recruiter Gives You the Silent Treatment
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silent treatment

Summary: Legal recruiters may stop giving updates or talking to you, which is a concern when you are depending on them to find you a new position.

Legal recruiters are there to help qualified candidates find the best possible position for their needs. There are a variety of reasons as to why a recruiter does not work with a candidate or stops working with one after initially helping them. Harrison Barnes article, “Why Do Some Legal Recruiters Lose Interest in Their Candidates?” delves into these reasons.


First off, not all legal recruiters are the same. There are some in the industry that are concentrated on their personal gain instead of truly helping those in the legal industry improve. When an attorney comes to a legal recruiter to be placed with a law firm, they are assuming they are a qualified attorney that law firms want. Sadly, the truth is that many attorneys are not competitive enough to have law firms banging down their door. A bad legal recruiter may take on the attorney even though they know they don’t have a good shot at getting an offer from a major law firm and pitch them to law firms for a while just in case they get lucky.

In just about every instance where a legal recruiter stops contacting the attorney, it is because the recruiter is not good enough at their job to understand how to play the game. An attorney with negative marks on their resume would generally never be given a chance by a recruiter. A recruiter that is not in touch with the current market demands may also take on any attorney not realizing that their practice area is not being sought after by law firms.

Good recruiters are aware of the current market so they will know what law firms are looking for in lateral hires. BCG Attorney Search recruiters send their candidates weekly updates so they can see where they stand at each firm. Candidates are also able to log into their account to view the status of their application with each law firm. This gives them direct access to their own status without having to rely on the recruiter to get updates.

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Generally, recruiters will send their candidates out to law firms in waves but just because the first wave didn’t produce hits does not mean the attorney won’t get any interest at another time. There are constantly new positions that open up at large law firms down to small law firms. Good recruiters understand this so they are constantly working to find the right fit for their candidate.

Results are not instant and may take weeks, months, even a year until an attorney finds a position but good recruiters do not give up on their clients. They keep trying and putting submissions out there to find the attorney opportunities. Bad recruiters are interested in “easy leads” with the least amount of work required to get an attorney placed. Many recruiters are also only partially invested in their job so they are not putting forth as much effort towards finding positions for their attorney as is required.

The best recruiters have developed relationships with law firms to make their job easier. Law firms will often contact recruiters directly when they have a position opening up so they can find out what the recruiter has to pitch to them. Good recruiters also understand that references mean everything to success. They don’t want to burn bridges because those attorneys that they work with are able to refer others to them or away from them.

As an attorney, it is crucial to do some homework on the recruiter before placing all your trust in their ability to find you a job. Make sure they have systems set up that will keep you in the loop on your submission statuses so that you don’t have to rely on and wait on the recruiter to contact you.

Do you have any suggestions about working with a recruiter? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about legal recruiters, read these articles:




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