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Standing Out in the Crowd

As we waited for our meal to arrive, the partner shared his reluctance in accepting my offer. The offer wasn’t what you might think. It wasn’t to accept a new position; it was simply for a meeting with my client to hear about the opportunity and talk.

You may be wondering, “What’s the harm of talking?” Listen to the reasoning of what he shared.

“So I accepted a call from an old partner and friend, who suggested meeting for lunch. We chatted for a short time before setting a place and time. When I arrived, she introduced me to a couple of her partners. And that is when I recognized “the set up.” She was a good friend, so I went along with their plan -- small talk until the question was finally presented. “We are wanting to build our corporate practice and we thought of you! We’ve heard so many good things about you and would love the opportunity to introduce you to a few of our colleagues.” I have to admit I felt flattered, so I agreed.

The next morning, I received a call from someone in their recruiting department. She shared that my friend had given her my name and contact details. This felt a little strange but I reminded myself that I trusted my friend, so again I went along. My next contact came from a guy in a different area code, who introduced himself as the firm’s Hiring Partner. He was jovial and began walking me through their recruiting process. When I thanked him and tried to humbly explain that this all started with a casual lunch with my friend and former partner, he quickly expounded that she’s not part of the firm’s recruitment process. In hindsight, this should have been a clue, and that is when I should have graciously bowed out. But again, I asked myself, “What’s the harm?”

“Nearly three months later, I’ve met with roughly 10 partners, made three plane trips, and had dinner with several department chairs. Eventually the firm’s Hiring Partner, who was a very likable guy, but I had never met, called to outline the terms of their offer, which, ironically was barely more than what I currently made. When I pointed this out, the hiring partner stated that the firm has a long-established policy of not buying attorneys.” I thought back to the phone call with my friend, and wondered if I would be able to talk to her, since she was the reason I even entertained the idea in the first place. Seemingly they took her out of the process.

His story reflects the crazy merry-go-round ride that most national and international law firms rely on to add partners to their various offices. He felt the process was impersonal and he was just another name caught up in the approach that big box law firms use.

At JAGLaw, we represent clients who believe that making a move to another law firm should be confidential, informative, personable, even enjoyable. You shouldn’t feel like you’re a number in a national cookie cutter process.

If you are interested in learning more about our firm and the clients we represent, contact us at and speak with one of our advocates who recognizes that this conversation, if anything, is a personal and private journey.

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