Firms Take Recruiting In-House and Other Am Law Job Observations

I love updating the Am Law job listings. You can really see the industry through the eyes of how its recruiting.  I will publish the list in my next post but I’d like to note some brief observations here. (Remember, the list is accessible by members-only whereas this post is public.)

Observation #1Firms Get Smart About If/When to Use Search Firm

Although I don’t note it on the list, many of the firms explicitly state that they are not accepting resumes from search firms for XYZ position. Sometimes it’s a firm-wide decision, sometimes it depends on the position.

Those are just a few examples. Personally, I think this type of information is great.  It helps everyone involved – the firm, the potential laterals, and the search firms.

I left my job at a contingency search firm in the beginning of 2009.  By that time, explicit announcements like these were pretty much non-existent.  This meant that candidates and recruiters didn’t know if a firm was working with outside agencies when filling a position.  Based on my conversations with candidates, they were hesitant to apply on their own if they thought they should be working with a recruiter.  (Perhaps the recruiter had a special relationship, had inside knowledge, or other advantages the recruiter may bring….).  Even stellar candidates – smart, friendly, high achievers, perfect matches – would question whether they could find a position without a recruiter.

On the other hand, as a recruiter, I spent countless hours trying to get in touch with firms about advertised positions only to find out – after plenty of phone tag – that the firm was not using recruiters to fill that position.  Or, worse, I spent countless hours – at the firm’s request – trying to find candidates to fill advertised positions that the firm knew they would be filling internally or through a referral.  Not only did the firm play me, it played all of those stellar candidates who may end up opposing counsel or co-counsel.  I had to tell those candidates, “Hey, it’s not you.  Here’s what happened….”

Recruiting fees are expensive.  However, they’re well-worth the money if a recruiter finds that perfect candidate who would never have applied on their own.  It’s about time that firms used recruiters for their true potential.

Observation #2Observation #1 Applies to Staff Attorney/Contract Attorney Positions as Well

More and more, I see advertised positions for staff attorneys, part-time attorneys, and other non-partner track positions.  (E.g., Staff Attorney, Staff Associate, Contract Attorney(!), Career Associate, Part-Time/Hourly Attorney, Staff Attorney, etc.)  This also makes me really happy.  A lot of these positions – and, therefore, the attorneys who work in these positions – do not get the respect they deserve.  By advertising these positions, the firms show that they’re open to candidates who need/want alternative work schedules.  In addition, they are including these attorneys as employees of the firm.  Regardless of the legal significance, the cultural significance is tremendous.

Observation #3… Those Non-Legal “Legal” Careers

Usually, I limit my list to attorney positions or something similar.  (I’ve been known to throw a few patent agent positions in there.)  I’m not sure if I’m simply looking harder nowadays but I’m seeing firms advertise many “alternative” careers – law firm management careers – that are J.D. preferred.  When one of these positions pops out at me, I’ve included it on the list.

There are a few positions I’d like to highlight:

netLaw 101: Web Development at BigLaw

In the next series of posts, we’ll dissect how the world’s top law firms manipulate the web to facilitate the practice of law. ¹

Following the chart described in last week’s webisode of “netTools 101: netTools Every Legal Professional Should Know,” we’ll start by defining BigLaw’s current web presence.

A firm will score 1 point for each category it fills in.  All firms will start off with three (3) points because the top row – phone, e-mail, and home page – are all a given for BigLaw.

In addition, a firm may receive five (+5) points for ease of navigation, accessibility, and/or advanced web savvy.

A firm may receive two (+2 ) points for creativity and/or engagement potential.

We’ll be looking for BigLaw Facebook profiles, LinkedIn profiles or groups, and Twitter accounts.


We’ll also search for blogs and podcasts (podcasts, again,  meaning any multipedia files: podcasts, video podcasts, webcasts, webinars, etc.)

To the extent possible, we’ll also determine how BigLaw interacts with the web and/or how it creates content, interprets data, and/or hosts any media files.

We’ll then compile and analyze our data.

BigLaw Tech Score Card

¹ “BigLaw” will include the top 100 firms who have physical offices in the United States as found on the most up-to-date Global100 and AMLAW100 lists (minus any firms that dissolved).

The List:

1.    Akerman Senterfitt
2.    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
3.    Allen & Overy
4.    Alston & Bird
5.    Arnold & Porter
6.    Baker & McKenzie
7.    Baker Hostetler
8.    Baker Botts
9.    Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll
10.    Bingham McCutchen
11.    Bracewell & Giuliani
12.    Bryan Cave
13.    Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
14.    Cahill Gordon & Reindel
15.    Chadbourne & Parke
16.    Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
17.    Clifford Chance
18.    Cooley Godward Kronish
19.    Covington
20.    Cravath Swaine & Moore
21.    Crowell & Moring
22.    Davis Polk & Wardwell
23.    Debevoise
24.    Dechert
25.    Dewey & LeBoeuf
26.    DLA Piper
27.    Dorsey & Whitney
28.    Drinker Biddle & Reath
29.    Duane Morris
30.    Faegre & Benson
31.    Fish & Richardson
32.    Foley &  Lardner
33.    Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
34.    Freshfields
35.    Fried Frank
36.    Fulbright & Jaworski
37.    Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
38.    Goodwin Procter
39.    Greenberg Traurig
40.    Hogan & Hartson
41.    Holland & Knight
42.    Howrey
43.    Hughes Hubbard & Reed
44.    Hunton & Williams
45.    Jackson Lewis
46.    Jenner & Block
47.    Jones Day
48.    K&L Gates
49.    Katten Muchin Rosenman
50.    Kaye Scholer
51.    Kilpatrick Stockton
52.    King & Spalding
53.    Kirkland & Ellis
54.    Latham & Watkins
55.    Linklaters
56.    Littler Mendelson
57.    Lovells
58.    Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
59.    Mayer Brown
60.    McDermott Will & Emery
61.    McGuire Woods
62.    McKenna Long & Aldridge
63.    Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
64.    Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
65.    Morrison & Foerster
66.    Nixon Peabody
67.    O’Melveny & Myers
68.    Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
69.    Paul Hastings
70.    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
71.    Perkins Coie
72.    Pepper Hamilton
73.    Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
74.    Proskauer Rose
75.    Quinn Emanuel Urquardt Oliver & Hedges
76.    Reed Smith
77.    Ropes & Gray
78.    Schulte Roth & Zabel
79.    Seyfarth Shaw
80.    Shearman & Sterling
81.    Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
82.    Shook Hardy & Bacon
83.    Sidley Austin
84.    Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
85.    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
86.    Snell & Wilmer
87.    Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
88.    Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
89.    Steptoe & Johnson
90.    Stroock & Stroock
91.    Sullivan & Cromwell
92.    Troutman Sanders
93.    Vinson & Elkins
94.    Wachtell
95.    Weil, Gotshal & Manges
96.    White & Case
97.    Willkie Farr & Gallagher
98.    Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
99.    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
100.    Winston & Strawn