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Tips for Using a Third Party to Help With Your Job Search

If you're looking for an attorney job, maybe you should stay away from the headhunters because you'll need that head in the future. I speak from personal experience because my head was hunted once by a job recruiter and I barely got out alive.

To be serious, job recruiters surely provide a valuable service to law firms and companies looking for specific lawyers. That's why they get the big bucks, which headhunters apparently charge for finding those attorneys. It's typically a 30 percent contingency fee of the new hire's salary.

Carol Kanarek, a lawyer, psychotherapist, and author, explains that search firms are used only by those law firms and companies that are seeking lawyers with very specific expertise. "Consequently, if you are seeking a change in practice focus, or are looking for a non-legal job, a search firm won't be able to help you."

You have an opening at your firm. You've listed the position, received dozens of applications, and focused in on a few qualified candidates.

Now, should you track them down on social media?

The heads of the heads of America's law firms are getting grayer by the day, as more and more firm leadership hits retirement age (and beyond). Nearly half of the partners in Am Law 200 firms are members of the Baby Boomer generation or older, according to a report by the American Lawyer. Boomers, the 76 million adults born during the post-WWII boom, are now anywhere between 52 and 70 years old -- prime retirement age. Sixteen percent of those partners are expected to retire within the next five years, Major, Lindsey & Africa estimates, and 38 percent will be out within 10.

What does that mean for Boomers who plan on continuing on, or the Gen X and Millennial lawyers who will be left behind?

In the typical speed dating set up, a group of single people looking for love gather for a formalized meet and greet with potential partners. You may spend three minutes speaking to Sandy then, switch, three minutes with Cameron. The point isn’t having a deep experience, it’s developing an interest, seeing if there’s a spark, and then pursuing that further afterwards.

If it can work for love, can it work for work? At least one New York firm thinks so, having turned the traditional OCI set-up in to its own form of professional, non-romantic speed dating. Should you follow suit?

No one likes to work late, but one of the few perks is being reimbursed for what would otherwise be normal expenses. Need to order takeout because you're staying late to finish a file? You might be able to get that reimbursed. The same goes for the cab you take home at 2am.

But if you need to have your babysitter stay late because you're going to be in the office all night, that's another story. Those expenses are almost never covered, since they are incurred at home. And some argue that failing to reimburse such costs is a subtle form of sexism, demonstrating bias against women and, particularly, against mothers.

They've fought for the country, but can they fight for your law firm? Probably. There are more than 20 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces alive today, with experiences that stretch back as far as the Korean War or as recently as a fresh tour of Afghanistan.

A fair number of those vets go on to become lawyers, paralegals, or other legal professionals, and are capable of bringing their unique skills and experiences to bear on your firm.

Hiring a Remote Freelance Lawyer: Is It Right for Your Practice?

Like it or not, hiring in-office lawyers is slowly going the way of the dodo bird. Remote hiring is in. More and more, attorneys are finding themselves mobile rather than sitting down in an office. This is bad news for lawyers looking for stable employment, but as they say -- one's tragedy is another's cause for celebration.

Keep in mind a few factors before you go out to hire your first freelance attorney.

You've brought some fresh blood into your firm. But if your new associate is new to the law, they come to you not-fully-formed. What are you supposed to do with this unshapen lump of lawerly potential? Mold it, of course! And that takes training.

If you're looking to set up an associate development program (and if you have fresh associates, you really need a training system) here are some ways to get it done.

You've got your paralegal organizing case files. A contract attorney is drafting some pleadings. Your legal secretary is scheduling your meetings and going through your phone calls.

But, thanks to the miracle of telecommuting, none of them are on site. So how do you know if a remote worker is actually working? How do you manage someone you can't see?

Is Your Law Firm Ready for 'Free Agent Season'?

Lateral hiring is becoming the standard hiring model within this industry. There was a time in the labor field where people would get hired by a particular firm, do well, and expect to stay there for the rest of their career. The reality is that this way of working is dying -- particularly for younger associates. It's basically the law firm absorption of the new gig economy.

Today, the top firms in the country are aggressively looking for ambitious young attorneys whose eyes are wandering for greener pastures outside of their current setup. Your firm may be looking for new talent, but remember, your talent could be looking for a new firm. How do you keep the current talent you have whilst growing in this increasingly cut-throat business?