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Headhunters often add confusion to hiring, law partners say

As the competition to hire experienced attorneys intensifies, and the ranks of newly minted lawyers joining the jobless rolls seems to grow exponentially, the heads of big law firms say legal search firms — or headhunters — often add confusion and frustration to the marketplace for jobs and talent.


Firms more frequently rely on their own personal or professional contacts to find new people.
“The thing I find really curious to me is when a recruiter calls us and says ‘Mary Smith is very interested in talking to you, and she’s a noted banker lawyer.’ I always know there’s a real threat of incredibility there, because if Mary Smith had targeted our firm and she had any common sense, she would just pick up the phone and call us,” said Edward Deutsch, managing partner of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP.

But legal search and placement professionals say they provide valuable services that benefit firms and attorneys.

“A lot of times partners are afraid of confidentiality, so they don’t reach out
to the firms directly, they reach out to a recruiter who is experienced at making sure that everything is kept very discreet,” said Susan M. Rubinovitz, president and legal recruiter at SMR Legal Search, which has offices in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

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On Twitter: @KenTarbous

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