Legal Career Resources

Harrison Barnes Uses Case Studies to Drive Points Home
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Summary: Taking case studies and applying them to the career advice Harrison Barnes gives is one way attorneys can learn why his advice is so important.

Teaching from case studies is something that BCG Attorney Search CEO and founder Harrison Barnes does a lot. He has been collecting examples of the placements he makes on a regular basis that further demonstrate how important it is for attorneys to take care of their career. Legal markets and employment circumstances can change instantly, leaving attorneys stranded when they thought their job was secure. The attorneys that Barnes works with often have spent months or years on their own trying to find a better position, but only see success once they get help from legal recruitment experts.


One case study that Barnes highlighted shows why preparedness is essential. A senior ERISA attorney was left without a job after the partner they worked for died unexpectedly. Even though the attorney had strong qualifications, strong experience, and their own business, they found themselves suddenly unemployed because they did not have enough business to support their job at a national law firm. The attorney was forced to start their own practice, using the clients they already had to support themselves. However, this attorney was interested in working in a larger law firm in the South.

Many law firms were apprehensive about the fact that attorney was a solo practitioner and the attorney’s clients were paying a much lower billing rate than they would pay at their law firms. With the help of Barnes and BCG Attorney Search, the attorney was able to get an offer a mid-sized law firm in the South within four months. This was possible because the attorney had a great personality and was flexible. Go here to read the full case study.

Senior attorneys can be some of the harder ones to place if they do not have the right credentials or work in strong practice areas. Barnes details one such instance with a senior patent attorney. The senior attorney in a Mountain State found himself without a future job with his law firm. The attorney worked in patent prosecution, which the firm was phasing out. The attorney was bitter at first about losing his position, assuming that no other law firm would be interested in him. However, Barnes saw that this attorney had a special skill dealing with a type of electrical component.

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The law firms that Barnes was able to find that dealt with this niche skill were very interested in the attorney. The attorney received two offers and took one in a smaller market in the South with a boutique intellectual property firm that uses patent prosecution. Go here to read the full case study.

Attorneys that have a history of changing positions are a struggle to place. Law firms see their history as a sign that they are not committed and will likely leave soon after being hired. Barnes worked with an attorney in the Palo Alto area that had developed this reputation. The practice area the attorney worked in had also taken a downturn, so almost all law firms in the Bay area were not looking for anyone in the practice area. Only with the help of Barnes was the attorney able to find a position again in a law firm. Go here to read the full case study.

Do you think using legal recruiters is the best way for an attorney to receive interest from large law firms? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about what attorneys should be doing to protect their career, read these articles:



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