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Code of Ethics - No Joking Matter

Have you heard the joke about the lawyer and the recruiter? The handsome, young lawyer stood confidently as the recruiter quickly reviewed his resume and then asked, “You know our client is looking for someone with a proven track record of leadership skills?” The young lawyer proudly responded, “I know, I have 11 people following me on twitter and four of them aren’t even related!” The truth is, choosing a Legal Recruiter is no joking matter. But how do you go about selecting the recruiter who’s right for you? First let’s start by agreeing that the person who recently cold-called you by phone, who you’ve never met, and is unwilling to give you the name of their client, is probably not the right person for you. And it’s questionable if they even have a client. (See our Dialing for Dollars blog article.)

Now I admit, there can be some exceptions, but the general rule is that you should treat those calls the same as you would the call you received from St. Mary’s Church, willing to pray for you providing you agree to donate money to their prayer ministry by giving them your credit card number. Not all recruiters are created equal. Below are just a few of the codes by which we practice: Personal Meeting. Perhaps this is only important to us at JAG, but we have yet to find a trusted substitute that is as reliable as a personal meeting. It is our opinion that any reputable recruiter will suggest a personal meeting as Step 1 for a variety of reasons. And it should be duly noted as to whether the recruiting professional you are considering is the one who suggests a personal meeting, or if they were merely following your lead. Thinking about a career move should never be taken too lightly and is always a serious consideration. If you or the professional recruiter you are considering is too busy to meet, perhaps you should examine if they are the right fit to help you make this important decision. Trust. The person you choose should have the proven background and experience you’re seeking. You want to work with a professional who has gone through this process numerous times. In addition to references, ask yourself these basic questions after you meet with the professional you’re considering: “Do I feel I can trust them?” “What appears to be their agenda?” “Do they have the right contacts based on my objectives?” “Do they have the proven experience I’m seeking?” Confidentiality. This is an often over-spoken, and mostly abused term. Yes, it’s human nature to have the desire to share with others you’re close with or who you are representing. But ask the recruiter about a confidentiality statement that protects you, your rights and your information from being openly shared with others. If this appears to be a new concept for them, or they appear unwilling, perhaps you should consider checking them off your list. The question should be, why wouldn’t they? Discipline. There are two definitions of being disciplined. The one I’m talking about here isn’t as simple as just following the rules that other people give you. The one I’m referring to is following the rules that you set for yourself. It is doing the things that make you better today than you were yesterday. Not only should this apply to the recruiter, but the right recruiter should be confident enough to challenge you in the areas that will help you accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself. Discipline equals freedom. Advocate. The best law firms and most desirable corporations have lengthy relationships with the recruiters who have a proven history of being trustworthy, thorough, confident and believe it or not, will change the thinking of their client, when necessary. This doesn’t happen every time, but occasionally, law firms and corporations will overlook the importance of seeing things through the perspective of the candidate. The right recruiter should act as your advocate, asking the challenging questions, while working closely with you to negotiate the terms that are a win-win for you, as well as the client. One way to test this theory is the next bullet… Transparency. This is different than the person down the hall who gossips about everyone and everything. Transparency builds trust. Open communications are not only helpful, they’re insightful. Regardless if the new update is good, neutral or bad, you should be aware of what is developing behind the scenes of ongoing conversations. A move involves a series of meetings and takes place over several weeks or a few months. There are many variables involved with every meeting, such as ongoing interest, practice strategy, practice group synergy, enthusiasm, firm culture, just to name a few. Providing the situation and circumstances support the business case for a move, these variables can and should give you more insight regarding your decision of where to move your practice. To learn more about our services and how we approach each and every valued relationship, contact us at for a confidential discussion. Our services and insights may benefit you and help you reach your goals efficiently, discreetly and confidently.

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