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Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Disillusioned, Disgruntled, Discontent?

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter

Didn’t get the bonus you were hoping for? Reached a dead end. Unhappy with your overall compensation, workload, colleagues? Time to take a deep breath and thoughtfully consider your career options.

“Let’s be very clear, this is a business decision. Don’t let emotions rule your decision to move on. Going nowhere, then it’s time to go,” – Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.

Stagnated, feeling stuck? Frustrated? Want to throw in the towel? Have the firm’s revenues stalled? Is there infighting in the firm? A toxic working environment? Has the firm has gotten too big — not big enough?

Leaving is a big decision, don’t jump before you ask yourself:

  • Can this relationship be saved?
  • Is there opportunity for advancement that you have overlooked?
  • Are you ‘all in’? Are you giving this job your best efforts?
  • Do you want your boss’ job?
  • What would it take for you to stay at the firm?
  • Are there other areas of your life that may be the real problem? Are you eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep?

No? Then it’s time to move on.

  1. You need to be the master of your destiny. Take control of the situation immediately.
  2. Write down why you want to leave the firm and all the things that are important to you.List your reasons: compensation, politics, relationships, issues with partners, and then ask yourself if you can right this ship.
  3. Don’t’ lose your edge, don’t let this crisis distract you from giving your clients your best work. Keep all your relationships intact.
  4. Get involved with a networking group and explore new opportunities in the marketplace.

Whether you stay or go, you need to be decisive and take action. What are your goals? Talk to a legal recruiter. Headhunters know the right people. They intimately know the law firms’ culture, leadership style and working environment.

Communication and follow through is key. Keep in touch with recruiter who can evaluate your plans and strategies. Don’t waste anyone’s time. Be upfront about your situation. Know what you want and be available to discuss opportunities.

Again, before you do anything, re-read your contract and review all the provisions pertaining to ending your commitments, including:

  • Non-Compete Agreements
  • Notice Requirements
  • Benefits

Stepping out of your comfort zone and diving in the market may take time, most of the time it’s grueling. That said, with proper preparation and planning it will pay dividends, and improve your health and happiness in the long run.

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About On Balance Search

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

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.