There are three things that law firms and lawyers need to know about legal recruiting.
- Recruiting is about building relationships.
- Listening is the most important skill.
- A little bit of luck always helps.*
Legal recruiting is about building relationships with colleagues who share the same passion about work. For law firms, these relationships build a specific brand of professional services. For lawyers, these relationships build professional networks.
Lucky for us, we build relationships every day. We decide which relationships we want to nurture, who we keep in our lives and the new personalities we want to meet.
Building relationships with lawyers starts in law school, maybe before (especially if your parents are lawyers!). But, definitely in law school. A good number of people who sit through a 1L contracts or torts class will become lawyers. Whatever they do in life, they’ll know other lawyers, at least.
In short, all lawyers can put a check mark next to this skill. The trick is to continue to do this everyday with an eye towards creating a satisfying career.
When we converse with people, we can talk or listen.
When we talk, we share things about ourselves. We gripe about problems, we confide, we advise, we gush.
When we listen, we see new perspectives and learn about others. We also learn how to react and empathize. We hear what other people want and need.
In terms of recruiting, we also need to listen our work flow.
For law firms, this means listening to lawyers, legal professionals and other employees to see how well they are managing their time and resources. Should one team considering adding someone new now to score a new client or once they sign the new client? How busy are they now?
For lawyers, this also means taking note of colleagues and what’s going on in their lives.
Again, another skill lawyers already have and merely need to practice.
There’s an expression: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
That’s what recruiting comes down to.
Both job seekers and employers know that you can prepare as much as you want and have all your ducks in line to make or accept an offer, but there is an element of recruiting that is out of your control.
Which is life, I guess.