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Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Negotiating The Best Deal

New Regulation Makes Disclosure Of Compensation Unlawful Discrimination.

The new labor law is to go into effect the 1st of November here in New York City.  Similar laws have passed in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California to name a few. The law’s intent is to eliminate inequitable compensation based on gender, age or other biases. This new law amends Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, making it unlawful to base offers on past compensation.

No longer can an employer ask about a candidate’s past salary, income or compensation.

Hire a recruiter to negotiate the best deal. It’s really a no brainer. You really want a top recruiter to get in there and negotiate the best terms. Here’s why:

Time & Energy

If you are open and forthright about your salary and compensation goals with your recruiter from the onset, you will save you time and energy. Disclosing your compensation and realistic expectations will help ensure the candidate’s and client’s salary expectations are in alignment.

Marketplace Intelligence

Recruiters know the market and what competing firm’s offerings. They have an extensive network to get inside information on what firms are looking for. Knowing the marketplace helps recruiters steer you clear of the firms that are merging or going under.

Create A Compelling Case

Be prepared. Work with a recruiter to strategically best present you. A good recruiter helps define the true value of your skill set and how uniquely qualified you are. Let them create a compelling narrative of how your past wins and successes contributed to the bottom line of the firm. And how you will help increase the overall profitability of the firm.

“On Balance Search Consultants has successfully put clients and candidates together. The new partnership produce added revenue streams and elevated positions in securing new business.” — Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.

Calculate the risk. Try not to disclose your past compensation. There may be times that your back will be up against the wall and you will have to disclose your past salary and future expectations. As in the courtroom you’ve got to assess your case. Is this the best deal? Do we to press for more money or pass on the deal? Let’s make sure you don’t miss out on a real career opportunity.

Leverage net worth. Don’t risk undervaluing or overestimating your worth. Every firm has a top and bottom line. Know what you can ask for and what’s unreasonable. Never commit yourself to a specific figure before you have a better understanding of the position requirements and the firm’s expectations.

Weigh The Intangibles

Remember the negotiation is not just about compensation. There are benefits and other intangibles that can be desirable. There are many forms of remuneration. For some the best offer may be having the flexibility to strike more balance between their personal and professional lives.

Think About It

Consider the offer carefully. Cover all the angles, then talk to your recruiter to decide whether you want to accept or make a reasonable counteroffer. Trust that when your recruiter tells you. It’s a good deal. Then sign on. When they tell you to pass, turn the deal down.

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About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516-731-3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.


Ms. Davidson, a highly skilled human resources executive with over 20 years’ experience that specializes in finding top talent in the legal community. Shari has placed lateral partner attorneys, as well as group acquisitions & law firm mergers and has assisted several prominent clients in recruiting lateral associates, paralegals and internal professional administrative positions.