Posts Tagged ‘smrlegalsearch’

Current Legal Hiring Trends

September 28, 2010

It has not happened as quickly as many attorneys would have liked.  However, legal hiring has picked up.  Firms have been seeking attorneys with substantial portable business in almost every practice area all through the recession.  Until recently, many attorneys with large books of business have been reluctant to make moves.  However, more recently, those attorneys have felt confident enough in the economy to pick up their clients and move to other law firms.  Many of these rainmakers have chosen to make the move from large firms to mid-size and even smaller boutique firms.  They have felt that they will be able to avoid the office politics attendant with mega firms and receive the marketing support and more reasonable billable hour rates to enable them to keep and cultivate clients.  Still another group of rainmakers have found other large firms to meet their needs for marketing support and cross marketing opportunities and allow them to still enjoy practicing law.

Now firms are getting busy enough to seek attorneys who are not fully self sustaining especially in regulatory areas such as healthcare regulatory and energy and oil and gas regulation.  Intellectual Property attorneys remain in demand, especially those with degrees in Biochemistry or Electrical Engineering and those with ANDA Litigation experience.

Labor and Employment attorneys  are being sought, especially those with management side restrictive covenant and wrongful termination litigation experience.

M & A is back and more firms are seeking corporate attorneys.  While it is true that deals are taking much longer to come to fruition than in the past, in part due to a tightening of the purse strings of lenders, firms still need attorneys to draft the documents and put those deals together.  Deals involving middle equity markets seem to be coming together the quickest.

Class Action litigation remains busy in many areas including securities, antitrust, and mass torts.  More Asbestos Litigation cases seem to be going to trial these days and experienced attorneys are needed to try them.

The good news is that positions have been slowly opening for stellar litigation associates.  However, many of these positions are for litigation associates with 2 to 4 years of large firm experience.  This is very bad news for the many stellar 6th and 7th year litigation associates who were laid off from large firms during the height of the recession.  A number of these talented attorneys are having trouble finding positions.

Corporations are increasing their hiring of in house attorneys, once again, especially in regulatory areas such as Healthcare Regulatory, FCC Regulatory, and Energy Regulatory as well as Intellectual Property.  These companies are finding that they are busy enough for it to make financial sense to have an extra attorney in house as opposed to paying more outside attorney fees.

Things look very hopeful for a much better 2011 for attorney hiring and the financials of law firms and corporations.  We wish all of the attorneys and paralegals reading this article  much success in their careers and practices.  We are available to help in any way that we can.

Susan Rubinovitz, Esq. is a former practicing litigation attorney and President of SMR Legal Search, a legal recruiting firm based in Philadelphia that focuses on placing attorneys and paralegals in permanent positions with law firms and corporations in the Northeast and Nationally.  SMR Legal Search provides complimentary resume writing assistance, business plan development and writing as well as interview skills training to the attorneys with whom they are actively working.  They also work with law firms and corporations on assessing and filling their hiring needs and helping to implement diversity and other hiring initiatives.


August 27, 2010

Philadelphia Legal Recruiter, Susan Rubinovitz.of SMR Legal Search was chosen to judge The Pennsylvania Lawyers On The Fast Track Awards sponsored by The Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer.  Susan is president of SMR Legal Search, a legal recruiting firm based in Philadelphia that places attorneys and paralegals at permanent positions with corporations and law firms in the Northeast.  SMR Legal Search focuses mostly on placing attorneys and paralegals in Philadelphia and all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Prior to becoming a legal recruiter in Philadelphia, Susan Rubinovitz was a practicing litigation attorney for 18 years.

The Lawyers On The Fast Track Awards take place each year to honor those attorneys in Pennsylvania under age 40 who excelled in law practice, pro bono work, community service and service to the bar.  This year The Legal Intelligencer received 106 worthy nominees and this year’s Lawyers On The Fast Track Awards rated the nominees in the areas of advancing the law, community/pro bono service, service to the bar, and other awards won.  It was particularly tough this year to narrow the list down to just 30 winners with so many worthy nominees.

In addition to Susan Rubinovitz, Esq, the other distinguished judges were:

James DeAngelo of McNees Wallace & Nurick – President of the Dauphin County Bar Association and 2005 Fast Track honoree

Dean Roger J. Dennis of The Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law;

John Hanof The Department of Justice – Executive Committee member, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania

Lorraine Koc, Esq. of Deb Shops Inc. – Vice President and General Counsel;

Amber Racine of Anapol Schwartz – Executive Board member, Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia.

The 30 very deserving winners of the 2010 Lawyers On The Fast Track Awards were announced by The Legal Intelligencer on August 3, 2010.

The winners are:

Catherine T. Barbieri, Fox Rothschild
Liam Y. Braber, Jacoby Donner
Morgen Cheshire, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis
Theodore F. Claypoole, Unruh Turner Burke & Frees
Michael P. Daly, Drinker Biddle & Reath
John V. Donnelly III, Cozen O’Connor
John Encarnacion, White & Williams
Leigh Ann Fiero, Blank Rome
Cassandra J. Georges, Above & Beyond Dispute Resolution
Kevin M. Greenberg, Flaster Greenberg
Deborah Hong, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young

Kathryn M. Kenyon, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
Jason A. Leckerman, Ballard Spahr k
Emily T. Lewis, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir
John Lucian, Blank Rome
Jeffrey J. Malak, Chariton Schwager & Malak
Inez M. Markovich, Deeb Petrakis Blum & Murphy
Steven D. Maslowski, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Mehrin Masud-Elias, Duane Morris
Jed D. Melnick, The Weinstein Group
Michael A. Morse, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
Alka A. Patel, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
Douglas K. Rosenblum, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
Brad M. Rostolsky, Reed Smith
Nilam A. Sanghvi, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis
Amanda J. Sundquist, Unruh Turner Burke & Frees
Joseph J. Tuso, Reed Smith
Lyle D. Washowich, Burns White & Hickton
Denise C. Werkley, Unruh Turner Burke & Frees
Su Ming Yeh, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project

A dinner reception honoring Pennsylvania’s 2010 Lawyers On The Fast Track will take place on October 28, 2010 at The Union League in Philadelphia.

Matchmaker Matchmaker Find Me The Perfect Lateral Partner Match

July 12, 2010

Just as in dating where physical attraction and some mutual interests are a start, the same is with Law Partners and Law Firms, where the amount of portable business and practice areas are just a start.  There are so many other factors that contribute to whether a law partner and law firm are a good match.

Compensation Formula

Law firms vary greatly in their compensation formulas.  Some firms’ compensation formulas reward rainmakers; some reward hard workers; and some reward both.  Before making a move to another law firm, a partner must ascertain what type of compensation formula the firm has, and what type will be most beneficial to them.  If you are a real rainmaker, and a firm only rewards partners for the amount of hours that they bill and recover, then this might not be the best formula.  Likewise, if you are a very hard worker and bill and recover 2300 hours per year, then a compensation formula that rewards production rather than rainmaking would be better for you.  If you both bring in business and work very hard, then a mixed compensation formula that rewards both would work very well for you.

Cross Marketing Opportunities

Before making a lateral partner move, it is very important to assess whether the firm’s practice areas will be helpful to you in cross marketing.  Then, you must ascertain whether the attitudes of the firm’s partners allows for substantial cross marketing.  Some firms have partner who work together to help each other succeed, thus enabling everyone to do better and serve their clients better.  At other firms, there is more of an “every man for himself” attitude.  Often, you will not be able to find this information out on your own, and a legal recruiter who works with that firm and knows them well will be the best source for this informa6tion.

Personality, Attitude and Environment of the Firm

Typically, when we receive partner job orders from law firms, we go in to meet with the hiring partners and/ or manager of legal recruiting and find out as much as we can regarding the firm and what they are looking for in a new hire.  By actually visiting the firm and meeting with these individuals, we are best able to advise potential partner candidates on the personality, attitude and environment of the firm and find the right lateral partners for the firm.  For example, in many of our visits to law firms, the managers of legal recruiting or hiring partners have told us that they do not hire jerks.  However, they often use a stronger word than jerks.  They make it clear to us that the firm has a very congenial environment and do not allow attorneys to yell at others in the firm.  If we are dealing with an attorney who is a yeller, this is good for us to know.  In addition, we know and can advise our attorney candidates which firms are known for having partners who yell at each other and at associates and others in the firm.

Marketing Support

Some law firms put a great value on supporting their attorneys both financially and other ways in their marketing efforts.  Other firms do not put a premium on their attorneys marketing and bringing in business, and do not provide their attorneys with any marketing support.  It is important for you to decide if it is important to you to bring in clients and build a book of business.  If so, you will want to be at a law firm that allows their attorneys to have much client contact and provides financial support and other marketing support such as providing tickets to the Phillies and Eagles games for attorneys to use for potential or current clients, etc.

Financial Stability Of The Law Firm

Some law firms have no debt and fully funded retirement and others do not.  Some law firms made a nice profit last year and others not so nice.  We know the information about the firms that we work with and you should too.  Some recruiters will know this information and can provide you with it.  If not, you should be sure to ask these questions in your second interview, as it should be a very important factor in your decision.  I advise you to wait until your second interview too ask this question, as it may seem like too pushy and presumptuous a question to ask in your first interview.

These are just some of the necessary pieces of information that are needed to make a good lateral partner match.  We wish you the best of luck if you are seeking a lateral partner move, and are available to assist you with drafting your business plan and provide you with as much information as possible regarding the law firms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and what would be your perfect match.

Some Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing Part II

June 18, 2010

To recap our Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing Part I posted last month:

Do dress professionally.

Do your homework on the law firm or company.

Do ask intelligent questions of your interviewer.

Do not ask questions regarding salary or benefits before you have an offer.

Do not forget your resume.

Do not say anything negative about your past or current employers.

Here are this month’s Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing:

Do not lie either on your resume or in your interview.

Liars usually get caught.  Whether it be omitting a position from your resume or lying about your current salary, it is too likely for you to get found out, and is not worth it, besides being unethical.  What if you happen to run into the employer whom you worked for for 6 months and left off of your resume while you are in court with your current employer?  Do you really want to have butterflies in your stomach hoping that he or she doesn’t mention that you worked at their firm as an associate?  What if your interviewer runs into your former employer and says “You really paid John Doe a lot and cost me a lot of money.”  These scenarios may sound unlikely to you, but believe me, they do happen.

Do research each and every interviewer or possible interviewer.

With all of the information available on the internet, it is no longer enough to know just about the company or law firm where you are interviewing, you must also research the key players who might be interviewing you.  Whether you are interviewing for a corporate counsel position at a pharmaceutical company, an assistant general counsel position at a hospital or a partner position at a law firm, it will serve you well if you have taken the time to learn as much as you can about the general counsel, assistant general counsel and board of directors of a corporation as well as the attorneys who would be in your practice group and the hiring partner of a law firm.  In addition, to the company and firm websites, there is Hoovers and even Linkedin proves to be a very good research tool.

Do give a firm handshake, make lots of eye contact and smile frequently.

While you may not think that these things matter, they really do.  In addition to assessing your competency to do the job and your work ethic, the interviewers will also be judging how pleasant you would be to work with and how you will interact with clients or potential clients.

Do show enthusiasm for your practice area and for the company or law firm.

Interviewing is not like a first date where you do not want to act too interested or enthusiastic until you know how the other person feels.  It is a time where you want to show strong enthusiasm for your practice area and for the company or law firm and position.  If you are a litigator it is most important for you to exude a litigator’s personality and love of litigation.  If you are an M & A attorney, you must let the interviewer see how much you love doing deals.

Do not go on tangents and ramble on about your accomplishments.

Yes, it is important to let the interviewer know how great you are and how much you have accomplished.  However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do so.  Please be sure to answer the question that the interview is asking and not answer a different question regarding a totally unrelated case that you worked on and tell the interviewer every detail about the case. If you can work something really impressive that you have done into answering the question that the interview asked by all means do so.  However, don’t go off on a twenty minute tangent about unrelated accomplishments.  Hopefully, these accomplishments will be listed on your resume and your interviewer will ask about some of them.

Good luck on all the job interviews that you will hopefully, be going on.  I will be rooting for you.

Please look for my next blog article on attorney business development/marketing.

Some Dos and Don’ts of Legal Job Interviewing

May 18, 2010

Legal hiring is picking up, but it is still a very competitive market.  If you are one of the lucky attorneys to land a job interview, that is just half of the battle.  Do not rest on your impressive laurels.  Here are some dos and don’ts for hitting the ball out of the park with your interview.

Do dress professionally

Even if the employer tells you that the firm has casual Fridays and you are interviewing on a Friday, it is vital that you come dressed professionally.  This means a dark suit, tie, white shirt and shined dress shoes for a man.  For a woman, this means a dark suit with a skirt and jacket, and once again, shined dressed shoes.  You must show that you take this interview seriously and that you are a professional.

Do your homework on the law firm or company.

This is something that is so basic, but you would be surprised at how many attorneys do not adequately research the law firm or corporation where they are interviewing.  Potential employers will expect you to know a great deal about them and will be quite unimpressed if you do not.  Today, with most law firms and corporations having websites with substantial information about them, researching potential employers is easier than ever.  In addition, there are other website with information about companies like Hoovers.

Do ask intelligent questions of your interviewer

Once you have done your homework on the potential employer, it should be easy for you to ask intelligent questions based on the information that your research and the information that the interviewer provides you with.  It is best to have a list of intelligent prepared before you embark on your interview.

Do not ask questions regarding salary or benefits

While it seems only fair that if the employer is asking you what you will bring to the law firm or corporation, you should be able to ask what they will pay you, etc.  However, this is not how it works in real life.  Potential employers find it very presumptive when job candidates ask about these items before an offer is made.

Do not forget your resume

While you would assume that the person whom you are interviewing has a copy of your resume, that is often not the case.  Be sure that you have many copies of your resume with you and that it is the same version that was sent to the employer.  Very often, you will be shuttled from office to office to meet with people, and they will not have a copy of your resume.  It will not speak well of you if you arrive unprepared without several copies of your resume.

Do not say anything negative about past or current employers

Never ever ever say anything negative about your current or past employer.  Your current boss may be the biggest jerk out there, and the whole legal community may know it, including your interviewer.  However, you must remain professional and keep the interview on a positive note by not saying negative about him or her.  You can avoid saying something negative by saying something like: “the firm was going in a different direction that I saw my career going” or something equally polite.

We will have some additional do’s and don’ts of interviewing in our next blog article next week.

In the meantime, good luck on your interviews!

Legal Hiring Trends in the Northeast

October 19, 2009

As we watch the economy crawl back to some semblance of normal, many businesses are starting to move forward with their hiring. Several job markets that have been stagnant during this economic downslide are beginning to resurface as the “must-haves” for law firms and corporations.

If you are an attorney thinking about making a move as the economy continues to improve, it’s vital to be aware which specializations are in high demand and when. Here are latest trends in the Delaware Valley legal community:

During the last year and a half, bankruptcy attorneys have been in high demand and remain so. The need for intellectual property attorneys has remained strong throughout the recession, and even more positions in that field are opening up. Now that the decision makers at law firms are seeing improvement in the economy and the effects of too many layoffs on their firms, they are hiring commercial litigation attorneys.

Other areas of law where hiring is again coming alive are healthcare, labor and employment, corporate law, environmental law and energy law.  With all of the proposed changes to our healthcare laws and policy, healthcare law is becoming a very hot area of law. With the focus on creating green jobs, the need for attorneys specializing in environmental and energy law should become even greater.  Subtle changes in the laws regarding non-compete contracts have contributed to the increased need for labor and employment attorneys.

Watch our website at, for the latest attorney jobs in the Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland so you’re poised to make a move in your legal career when your specialization heats up.