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Finding the Best and Brightest

By Greenfield/Belser
August 7, 2016
Finding the Best and Brightest

To law firm recruiters

Your firm spends thousands of dollars in materials and partner time in order to land the best and brightest students and the best-qualified laterals. Some firms developed sophisticated programs, testing and correcting their strategies, while others simply repeat what was done last year, often letting valuable knowledge slip away as new recruiting partners take over the reins. But one need only ask students to learn the right way to recruit.

Perspectives and persuasions

More than 2,900 students responded to the National Association of Legal Placement’s (NALP) benchmark survey of “rising 2Ls and 3Ls nationwide.” With NALP’s permissions, we have taken the key findings from the survey (conducted with eAttorney) and presented them in this booklet in easy-to-use charts and graphs. You can mold a smarter recruiting program around these insights. For example, focus on students who were born and raised in cities where you have offices. Focus on law schools where you’ve had success, not simply the schools where you wish the firms were successful.

Recruitment marketing, not recruiting

Typically, recruiting is conducted on an as-needed basis. You have an empty chair. You need to fill it. But the past two years have seen a shift from recruiting to year-round recruitment marketing. Law firms are positioning themselves to be visible to the best and brightest all the time, not just during “recruiting season.” In fact, it’s always open season on the best talent.

Listen to your “clients”

We have interviewed dozens of associates and read detailed accounts of the recruiting process from dozens more. By teasing apart the process, we have developed a nine-step program so you can respond appropriately ever step of the way. While this advice applies specifically to the law school recruitment process, the tips will prove invaluable for laterals as well.

Be inspired

Interwoven among the survey results and nine-step program are examples of work we’ve don’t for some of the country’s best firms­­—both in print and on the Web. One key finding from the NALP survey: creativity matters. Not surprisingly, our best work is done when we have enough time to do our homework, go to press on time and launch the recruiting site before panic sets in.