A few attorneys get in-house positions by responding to ads on job posting boards or in classified sections of legal newspapers. The problem with job posting boards is that most in-house employers posting positions on job posting boards receive well in excess of 1,000 e-mailed resumes in response to their ads. In-house employers are simply flooded with resumes of top attorneys seeking a better lifestyle, more predictable hours and no billable hours.
Probably the least common way for attorneys to get an in-house position is through a legal recruiting firm. The legal recruiting firm typically conducts an in-house search as follows:
First, the recruiter "cold calls" numerous General Counsels or corporate officers to induce them to allow the recruiter to fill an opening. More often than not, the recruiter demands a meeting and goes to the meeting with brochures and other propaganda about the search firm. The General Counsel then will often speak with other search firms to negotiate fees before choosing a search firm.
Second, most of the time the recruiter will demand both an "exclusive" from the company to perform the in-house search. By an exclusive, the recruiter will seek to prohibit the company from using any outside sources to fill the position for a minimum length of time (usually six months to a year). When granted an "exclusive" recruiters also requires the corporation to forward to them all resumes they receive for the attorney position for the length of the exclusive. Because recruiters want to use the name of the company in advertising the company's position, candidates are prevented from contacting the company directly (in which event the company would not have to pay the recruiter any fees).
Third, the recruiter will typically demand that the company pay them a "retainer". The "retainer" is generally set at between 1/3 and 1/2 of the placement firm's expected placement fee. Attorney placement firms typically charge corporations and other employers a fee to introduce you to the employer that is between 25 and 40% of your annual salary. The "retainer fee" is used by the placement firm to pay for advertising and other incidental expenses associated with finding candidates for the position.
As you can see, from a recruiter's standpoint, the beauty of doing in-house placements is that they very quickly provide them with hundreds of candidates they know are interested in alternative employment. Accordingly, while the recruiter will rarely have suitable in-house positions for these attorneys, there are far more potential law firm opportunities than in-house opportunities, and the recruiter will attempt to interest candidates in law firm positions.
We believe that the best method for finding an in-house position is by using Legal Authority. Legal Authority counteracts most of the traditional obstacles to getting an in-house position, which are (1) recruiters and (2) job boards. If you are playing games with these two methods for trying to get a position, you may be waiting a very long time indeed.
Legal Authority assists attorneys in contacting every potential in-house employer they choose in the area of the country they are interested in. The benefit of this is that your materials will arrive on the desk of every potential employer you could possibly ever want to work for. Also, most in-house employers do not use recruiters to fill attorney positions. Using Legal Authority can help you contact the employers you are most interested in, regardless of whether or not they use recruiters or typically advertise their openings on job posting boards.
Legal Authority also helps you focus your in-house search in the most appropriate way possible. For example, if you are seeking a position as a General Counsel, it would likely not be most appropriate to contact the General Counsel about replacing them. Instead, you would be better served by contacting a high level executive within the company. This is something that Legal Authority can assist you in doing.
Legal Authority is the most effective way for getting an in-house position. Indeed, it is often the only way that actually makes sense. Are in-house positions easy to get? Legal Authority is the first to admit that an in-house position is not easily obtained. However, using Legal Authority, hundreds of attorneys reach more in-house employers, and we believe that attorneys are finding it easier and easier to reach the in-house employers they are interested in, just by using Legal Authority.