Posts Tagged ‘smr legal search’


May 13, 2011

On May 12, 2011, Philadelphia legal recruiters Susan Rubinovitz, Esq. and Stephanie Ristvey of SMR Legal Search presented and sponsored a career seminar to Philadelphia area in-house counsel through DELVACCA (Delaware Valley Corporate Counsel Association).  The seminar was entitled Navigating Your In-house Counsel Career in Your Thirties and Beyond:  Making Smart Choices.

Susan and Stephanie were joined by panelists, Cole Silver, General Counsel of Softgate Systems in Princeton, New Jersey and Kevin Stepanuk, Associate General Counsel of Exelon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The seminar addressed the following topics:

  • Ways to be useful to the CEO and Board of Directors
  • Common mistakes junior and senior in-house attorneys make and tips to avoid them
  • How not to act like out-side counsel pretending to be in-house counsel
  • The value of networking
  • Loyalty
  • Intangibles that only come with life’s experiences
  • Staying passionate about the practice law
  • Pros and Cons of being a specialist vs. generalist
  • Knowing when it’s time to look for new opportunities
  • The legal market, what can you expect
  • Interviewing 101, a refresher course
  • Resume: A work in Progress

Approximately 50 Philadelphia area in-house attorneys attended the seminar and cocktail reception that followed where there was lots of networking.  A fun and informative evening was had by all.

SMR Legal Search is a premiere legal recruiting firm that is based in Philadelphia and New Jersey and focuses exclusively on placing attorneys and paralegals in permanent positions.  Their focus is in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and all of Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey, Delaware and New York.  They place attorneys and paralegals nationally as well.  SMR Legal Search’s legal recruiters are attorneys and paralegals who have over half a century of combined law firm and legal recruiting experience.  Their specialties are In-house Counsel Placements, Partner Placements, Mergers, Practice Group Moves, Associate Placements, Paralegal Placements and Diversity Initiatives.  To find out more about SMR Legal Search, you may view their website at or phone 215-665-0800.

Some Business Development Tips for Attorneys

June 22, 2010

Many attorneys would be surprised to hear what we at SMR Legal Search find to be one of the most important determinants regarding how much business they will develop.  It is the law firm that they work for.

We work with many attorneys who have not been able to build up their book of business to where they would like it to be.  When speaking with them about the reasons why, the following law firm related reasons are the top ones provided to us: no cross marketing opportunities available at their current law firm, no marketing support from the powers that be at the firm. Time and time again, those are the reasons that are given to us.  Therefore, when choosing a firm to work at, it is very important to ascertain whether the law firm has the necessary practice areas and whether the attorneys willingly cross market rather than viewing each other as competitors.  In addition, you need to find out whether the firm provides the attorneys with a marketing budget and how the hours that they spend engaging in business development are treated.  Finally, you will need to find out whether the more senior partners will allow junior partners and associates to interact with and manage their clients. Very frequently, you will not be able to get the true answers to these questions unless you work with a legal recruiter who works frequently with and is very knowledgeable about the law firms in your geographical area.

Once you have gotten the proper information and made your way to a law firm that is conducive to legal client development, here are some suggestions on how to make rain.  As a legal recruiter, I have done much client development over the years.  I have found that while it is always important to go to networking events, building relationships is the best way to make contacts that will convert into business.  What I mean by this is that you must join groups and actually attend them regularly and get to know the people in them.  It is best if these are groups with other people whom you have something in common with , be it the same practice area, interest in the same charity or other non-profit organization or even a business networking group that meets regularly.  When you meet with people regularly and make an effort to get to know them, they are more likely to refer or introduce you to someone who will convert into business.

In networking, your focus should always be on how you can help the other person, be it something as simple as a restaurant or dry cleaner recommendation and as important as referring business to them.  When the other person sees that you genuinely want to help them, they will want to help you.  And if they are not able to help you, you have done a good deed.

Map out time in your schedule each week for legal client development.  If weekly business development sounds a bit too cumbersome for you, understand that it can be as simple as reconnecting with a couple of old friends, schoolmates, coworkers or clients.  Or if you have more time, make it your business to join a networking or charitable group with regular meetings and map that out in your schedule.  Business development should always be something that you are thinking about.

Always provide excellent service to your current clients.  I have learned from experience that the best way to obtain new clients is to provide excellent service to your current clients.  In addition to the fact that you should always strive to do your best work and provide excellent service to your clients, they will remember and refer you to their friends and colleagues.

Keep in touch with your former clients and see how they are doing and if there is anything that you may do to help them, even if you will not make a dime on that.  In that way, you will be top of mind, and they will want to help you as well, be it give their own work to you or think of you when a friend asks for a good attorney recommendation.  In addition, it is just a nice thing to do.

I hope that these tips will help you, and I will provide additional legal business development tips in some of my future blog articles.  Happy Rainmaking!


April 19, 2010

Philadelphia legal recruiters Susan Rubinovitz and Stephanie Ristvey of SMR Legal Search placed immediate past chancellor of The Philadelphia Bar Association Sayde Ladov at the Philadelphia boutique law firm, Dolchin Slotkin.  Ladov’s prior law firm, Abrahams, Loewenstein & Bushman, merged with Offit Kurman, a Baltimore based law firm in October 2008.  Yesterday was Ladov’s last day  working in Offit Kurman’s Philadelphia office.  She will begin at Dolchin Slotkin on Monday April 19.

According to an article in today’s Legal Intelligencer, Ladov desired to return to a Philadelphia based law firm with a Philadelphia office culture.  She was introduced to Jerry Dolchin, of the Philadelphia litigation boutique firm, Dolchin Slotkin by Susan Rubinovitz and Stephanie Ristvey of SMR Legal Search.  Ladov stated in the article in The Legal Intelligencer that she was drawn to Dolchin Slotkin, because “the culture was one that was very classy and the firm does wonderful work.” 

Jerry Dolchin was quoted in the article in today’s Legal Intelligencer as stating that Ladov would be “one of the cornerstones of our intended expansion.”  He also stated that Ladov was just the type of attorney that his firm is seeking, someone of Ladov’s age with a large book of business.  Jerry also commented that he was very happy with the visibility Ladov would be bringing his firm.  Ladov stated that all of her clients have indicated that they will be coming with her to Dolchin Slotkin.

Rubinovitz and Ristvey both have extensive experience as legal recruiters in Philadelphia.  In addition, they have worked as an attorney and as a paralegal .  Therefore, they are intimately familiar with the Philadelphia legal market.  Susan Rubinovitz and Stephanie Ristvey work collaboratively with their attorney and paralegal candidates so that the candidates can benefit from the breadth and depth of both recruiters’ knowledge of the law and of the Philadelphia legal market.  Rubinovitz and Ristvey take the time to get to know their candidates and clients and meet regularly to brainstorm on what would be the best fit for both the attorneys and employers with whom they are working.  They are particularly good at thinking outside of the box.

SMR Legal Search is a woman owned business and is based in Philadelphia and New Jersey.  They place attorneys and paralegals at law firms and corporations throughout the entire Northeast with a focus on Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey, Delaware and New York.  Contact their offices at 215-665-0800 or

Philadelphia Legal Recruiter SMR Legal Search Sponsors Philadelphia VIP Award Ceremony & Reception

March 11, 2010

On March 10, 2010, Philadelphia Legal Recruiter SMR Legal Search sponsored the Philadelphia VIP Award Ceremony and Reception.  Philadelphia VIP is a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance in civil matters to Philadelphia residents who cannot afford to pay for an attorney.

 Each year, Philadelphia VIP gives out awards to those in the Philadelphia legal community whom they feel have done the most to provide free legal assistance to Philadelphia’s poor through this program.  This year’s ceremony and reception took place at Philadelphia City Hall on March 10, 2010. 

Among those in the Philadelphia legal community receiving awards this year were Cheryl Jacobs, Fox Rothschild, LLP, The Beasley Firm and Willig, Williamson & Davidson who received the Brennan Award.  The following Philadelphia law firms received the Chancellor’s Award:  Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP, Berger & Montague, P.C., Berner Klaw & Watson, LLP, Blank Rome, LLP, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, P.S., Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy, LLC, Dechert, LLP, Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig, Gay Chacker & Mittin, P.C., Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, Kovler & Rush, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Pepper Hamilton, LLP, Reilly Janiczek & McDevitt, P.C., Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP, Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, Ltd., Shrager Spivey & Sachs, Smith Horwitz, Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis, P.C. and White and Williams, LLP.

The Individuals’ Award went to Alfonso Madrid, Andrew Albergo, Barry Penn, Clark Pease, Colleen Coonelly, Dean Babler, Dean Weisgold, Deeya Haldar, Donald Parman, George Xanthoudakis, Greg Schell, Herbert Weiman, Ilya Lipin, Marjorie Greenfield, Mark Allen Taylor, Mikd Stosic, Miriam Jacobson, Robert Cocco, Samantha Dalton, Shanese Johnson, Stanely Askin, Susan Givson, Susan Wallack, Tejal Mehta, Terri Malenfant, and Tonya Williams.

The Corporate Pro Bono Award was presented to Sunoco.  The winners of the Business Recognition Awards were Aracor, First American Title Company, Furia Rubel, and the Legal Intelligencer.  The Legal Services Award was presented to Robert Lukens of Philadelphia Legal Assistance.  The VIPeoples Choice Awards were given to Craig Sopin, Edward Hayes, Gilbert Marquez and Kevin Gilboy.

In these difficult economic times where so many law firms and companies are doing less with more and justifiably worried about their bottom line, it is very impressive to see these attorneys, law firms and companies unselfishly giving of their time to help those less fortunate.

Likewise, Philadelphia Legal Recruiter SMR Legal Search is committed to helping those less fortunate than them.  Legal Recruiters Susan Rubinovitz and Stephanie Ristvey of SMR Legal Search are both firm believers in the adage “to whom much is given much should be given back.”  SMR Legal Search has supported many worthwhile organizations in addition to Philadelphia VIP, such as the Support Center for Child Advocates, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Work to Ride, just to name a few.  In addition both Susan and Stephanie engage in community service throughout the community.

About SMR Legal Search

SMR Legal Search was founded by Susan M. Rubinovitz, Esq. a former practicing attorney and experienced legal recruiter, to provide in house legal departments and law firms with top attorney and paralegal talent in the most expeditious and cost-effective manner. They are specialists in the field of permanent attorney and paralegal placement. The recruiters at SMR Legal Search have over 45 years of combined law firm and legal recruiting experience.

Attracting and Retaining Top Lateral Partners

February 16, 2010

As many law firms vie for the same top partners, it is important for the administration at law firms to understand some of the main reasons why partners leave one firm to go to another.  While some of the reasons are obvious, some may surprise them.

At SMR Legal Search, we work with many partners who are seeking to make a lateral move, and the same reasons are stated to us over and over again.  While there are the more obvious reasons of wishing to go to a more financially stabile firm and wanting a firm with more realistic billable hour rates, the other most common reason stated to us is the desire to move to a firm who will better support the partners’ client development efforts.

It never ceases to amaze me that some mid size and large firms do nothing to help partners cultivate new clients when to do so would be a win/win situation for both the partners and the firm.  When partners are assisted with their marketing efforts, it means more profit and financial stability for everyone.

The partners with whom we work with would appreciate having such simple things as a marketing budget.  In addition, cross marketing by more than one partner in a firm to the same client is also very beneficial.  If all of the clients’ legal needs can be served by one firm, they will not have to go elsewhere.    Law firms where the partners do not see each other as competition but instead, work together to help each other to succeed tend to be some of the most successful firms.

As more law firms come to understand the importance of helping their partners with their rainmaking efforts and fostering an environment of cooperation between partners, they will be better able to keep their stellar partners and attract new top lateral partners.

Social Networking Sites Can Help or Hurt You When Seeking a Job

February 8, 2010

Social networking can be a great asset in searching for a job, if used correctly and prudently.  With so many people embracing and posting profiles on social networking sites such as Linkedin and Facebook, we are now able to reach out to hundreds of people with just a few clicks of the mouse.

The social networking site that we have found to be the most helpful for attorneys, paralegals and other professionals who are seeking a new position is Linkedin.  This website contains the profiles of many professionals and people in hiring positions at law firms and corporations.  It also contains the profiles of many people who are connected to individuals in hiring positions at law firms and corporations.  It is a great way to reconnect with old schoolmates, friends and colleagues whom you may have lost touch with.  If they agree to connect and open their connections to you, you will be able to see whom they know who might be able to assist you in your job search.  If one of their connections is someone whom you would like to meet, ask your old schoolmate, friend or colleague to make an introduction for you.  This is a particularly good way to get introduced to someone whom you would not otherwise meet.

As helpful as social networking can be in your job search if used properly, it can also prevent you from getting a job if not used prudently.  Please keep in mind that everything that you post on line or that your friends post on your profile is easily obtainable by your potential employer.

At SMR Legal Search, we place attorneys and paralegals at law firms and corporations in the greater Philadelphia area and throughout the rest of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C. and the rest of the Northeast.  I cannot begin to tell you how many law firms and corporations have been about to hire a partner, associate or paralegal and then checked their Facebook profile and changed their mind.  Seeing things such as a photo of you or one of your friends in a bikini or other suggestive photo is one of the more obvious reasons why your Facebook profile may kill the deal.   There are also more subtle things that employers look at on your Facebook profile that would really surprise you.  Many employers whom I work with check to see how many friends that you have on Facebook to judge how well you get along with people.  Others check which books you have listed on your profile as an indicator of how smart you are.    Employers also frequently check the profiles of all of your friends listed on your profile to see what type of people you associate with.    Another thing looked at by employers is the wall posts on your profile.  Any talk of alcohol or drugs will surely prevent you from being hired.

My advice to you is to take off any suggestive photos or words that are not squeaky clean on your social networking profiles right now.  The rule of thumb is to not have anything on your profile that you would not show to a potential employer. Then, when you start going for job interviews, take down your Facebook profile altogether.

Hopefully, this advice will help you to obtain the job of your dreams in 2010!

SMR Legal Search is a legal recruiting firm based in Philadelphia and New Jersey that places attorneys and paralegals in permanent positions throughout the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Washington, D.C. and the rest of the Northeast.   Their recruiters are former practicing attorneys and paralegals with extensive law firm and legal recruiting experience.

SMR Legal Search Sponsors Pennsylvania Managing Partners Breakfast

December 8, 2009


SMR Legal Search Sponsors Pennsylvania Managing Partners Breakfast

On December 8, 2009, Philadelphia Legal Recruiting Firm, SMR Legal Search, sponsored the Pennsylvania Managing Partners Breakfast held at Morton’s Steakhouse in Philadelphia.  This event was organized by The Legal Intelligencer and included a presentation given by Ward Bower, a principal at Altman Weil.  Mr. Bower analyzed the findings of The Legal Intelligencer’s informative 14th annual Managing Partners Survey, compared them to national trends and provided his thoughts as to what lies ahead for Pennsylvania law firms in 2010.

This breakfast was a wonderful opportunity for managing partners of firms throughout the state of Pennsylvania to get together and discuss what worked in 2009 and what did not and how best to position their firms for a successful 2010.  It was also an enjoyable event including a delicious steak and eggs breakfast and catching up with old friends. 

SMR Legal Search legal recruiters, former practicing attorney Susan Rubinovitz and former practicing paralegal Stephanie Ristvey, sponsors of the event were on hand to answer any questions that the attorneys had about the current legal market or diversity initiatives. 

About SMR Legal Search

SMR Legal Search engages exclusively in permanent attorney placement and focuses on Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C. Baltimore and Connecticut.  Their recruiters are former practicing attorneys or paralegals with extensive legal recruiting experience in the greater Delaware Valley.  SMR Legal Search handles lateral partner placements, lateral associate placements, practice group moves and mergers.

Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Attorneys

November 30, 2009

     Most law firms understand the importance of attracting and retaining diverse attorneys, but only some are taking the necessary steps to reach out to attorneys of color, women attorneys and LGBT attorneys.  Before a firm can be successful at this endeavor, they must realize how much it will add to their firm to have attorneys who have had different life experiences and hold distinct views.  This is especially important now with law firm clients being more diverse than ever.

     Many of the larger firms hired diversity directors before the recession.  Unfortunately, a large number of these positions were cut in late 2008 due to the poor economic conditions.  Instead, a number of firms have moved to diversity committees comprised of attorneys and the administration of the firm.  The groups generally meet monthly to talk about diversity issues and work to implement policies toward attracting and retaining more attorneys of color and women attorneys.  While many firms do not discuss the importance of attracting and retaining LGBT attorneys, some are more forward thinking and are starting to. 

     While the diversity committees are a very helpful vehicle for working on diversity issues, they are not enough.  Once minority, women and LGBT attorneys are attracted to firms, the firms must work to keep them.  Assigning a mentor to all diverse attorneys is key to retaining them.  As a legal recruiter, I cannot begin to tell you how many minority and women attorneys I have worked with who have told me that they just did not get the substantial meaty assignments that went to the white males at their firms.  If they had a great mentor to ensure that they received good work, 9 out of 10 of them would still be at their prior law firms.

     One final way to help law firms recruit and retain attorneys of color, women attorneys and LGBT attorneys is to work with a recruiting firm who specializes in these issues.  At SMR legal Search, we have worked with many law firms on these and other sensitive issues and have been very successful.