Summary: Learn about what recruiters do and how they impact the hiring process for those looking for positions and those doing the hiring.
Not many truly understand the role recruiting coordinators play in helping attorneys get jobs with law firms so Harrison Barnes dives into the topic in his article “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Legal Recruiting Coordinators and Their Role in the Attorney and Law Student Hiring Process.” As an attorney or law student looking for a job, understanding how to work with a recruiter is important. It is also for law firms to know how best to work with recruiters in order to get the most out of their hiring process.
To first understand what legal recruiting coordinators do, you have to know how the position came about to develop into what it is today. Law firms first had “hiring partners” not legal recruiting coordinators to assist them in finding talented attorneys. Large law firms started creating the position for a legal recruiting coordinator in the 80s. Before this time, lateral hires were rare since attorneys did not move firms. Attorneys tended to stick with the law firm they started with right out of law school. What little hiring was needed by law firms was done by the attorneys already working there.
As the legal industry continued to grow, law firms wanted to ensure they had the most talented attorneys. Making partner became harder so attorneys would shop around for better offers and places where they could become partner. Law firms found that the partners they had in charge of hiring were being “recruited away” by the legal recruiting coordinators at other law firms that they were in daily contact with. They realized they needed to put a barrier in front of their attorneys, thus the need for legal recruiting coordinators came about.
As the compensation systems changed within law firms, attorneys did not want to spend any time away from things that help them bring in money. Dealing with countless inquiries from attorneys, law students, and legal recruiting coordinators was no longer something attorneys were willing to handle.
With the changes to the legal industry, the need for a full-time professional became a real need. Those tasked with handling the hiring at a law firm developed specialized expertise and knowledge that was desired by large law firms.
Legal recruiting coordinators work with a law firm and its attorneys to find out what their need is. They have to sift through the business needs of the firm to meet those needs. With their expertise, they are able to see when a candidate with rare and difficult skills comes along that is worth picking up even if they don’t meet the needs of the law firm at that time. They are able to advocate for that candidate or other candidates that they happen to like, making them an important or damaging asset for attorneys looking for a job.
Since legal recruiting coordinators have such power over which candidates stand a chance with the law firm, it is important for those hoping for a job to win them over. An attorney must be able to show they have talent, experience, and are a good cultural fit for the firm. Legal recruiting coordinators handle just about all of the hiring process. They write the job descriptions, post the listing, and talk with recruiters. They then review the applications, deciding who to pass along for interviews and who to toss. They work closely with law schools and their top students, planning visits to the firm and recruiting-related events
On top of all of these responsibilities, legal recruiting coordinators also deal with the public relations of the firm. They have to maintain a positive external image of the law firm. A law firm’s brand will determine how attorneys approach the firm.
Do you think legal recruiting coordinators are important professionals? Tell us your thoughts about the position in the comments below.
To learn more about how to get a job at a law firm, read these articles:
- Top Mistakes Holding Attorneys Back from Jobs at Top Law Firms
- Attorneys Cannot Leave Their Job If They Want a Future in a Law Firm Again
- IP Law Firm Gives Job Applicants Personality Quizzes