Attorney Job Search: Five Signs You’re In The Wrong Job

Taking a new job is serious business, no one wants to make the wrong choice. But how do you know if that new job is a lemon or a peach? Below are five signs that you’re in the wrong job:

  1. You’re in it for only the money. Of course money is important, but people who enjoy thstresseir work don’t do it only because of money. Ask yourself—Would I do this if I could do something else making more money? If you’re answer is “no” then you’re in the wrong job.
  2. You’ve been there for months but you’re still struggling. With any new job it takes time to learn the ropes and adjust, but if you find yourself still struggling despite your best efforts, you may be in the wrong job.
  3. You’re embarrassed to talk about your job. If you find yourself ashamed of what you do or with whom you work, then that’s a sign that you should probably move on. Being embarrassed by your work for any reason can contribute to long-term distress and dissatisfaction.
  4. You’re bored. Boredom at your work can be just as bad as feeling stressed by the difficulty of it all. Boredom eventually erodes your long-term career prospects because you’re unable to build new skills and gain useful experiences when your job isn’t challenging.
  5. You’re constantly receiving negative feedback. It’s understandable that mastering any new position takes time. However, if you’ve been in a job for three months or more and are consistently getting negative feedback, you’re probably in a position not fit for your skills.

If you find yourself in the wrong job, don’t hesitate to find another position more suited to your skills and personality.

Recruiter Corner: Four Ways To Become A Super Connector

Getting the best job orders and candidates as a legal recruiter becomes a lot easier when you know a lot of people. You can simply dip into your network and get the resources you need. But that only works well if you have a network of quality and quantity. Below are a few tips on how you can become a super connector and grow that type of network that will benefit your recruiting business.

  1. Introduce others with similar goals and values. One of the most overlooked ways of becoming a super connector is to connect people to each other. If you can help others find the connectionsbusiness-partner-guys they need, you will become someone people want to know.
  2. Face-to-face gatherings. While the internet is a powerful way to connect to others, face-to-face gatherings can strengthen these connections. Think about using tools such as to organize monthly gatherings with your most important contacts.
  3. Follow-up with new connections. If you’re a recruiter who uses networking as part for their marketing plan, then you’ve probably met many people and failed to follow-up. Lack of follow-up makes networking a useless exercise that produces no results. Don’t let your connections grow stale, reach out ASAP so that you can begin building valuable relationships that will benefit your business.
  4. Deliver value. To become a super connector you’ll need to bring value to your network. Think about what value you can consistently provide for the people in your network that will be perceived as worthy enough to attract large numbers of high quality connections.

Become a super connector and create relationships that will take your recruiting business to the next level.

Attorney Job Search: Four Ways To Avoid Networking Burnout

Networking can feel like a full time job, especially if you’re looking for work while already employed. But one of the best ways to protect yourself is to avoid burning out or wearing out your welcome when asking connections for help. Let’s take a look at four ways job seekers can avoid networking burnout.

  1. Create a reasonable networking schedule. Develop a schedule for when you’re going to network but try not to overdo it. Going to networking events everyday might be too much for someone working full
    Balance and burnout

    Balance and burnout

    time but once or twice a week might be more reasonable.

  2. Don’t double dip. When you’re looking for work, it’s natural to dip into your social network for opportunities, but don’t overdo it. Asking your connections for too many favors too often could be annoying. Before asking anyone in your network for help measure the true value of the request, is your need for a favor worth “spending” the influence you have with this person?
  3. Avoid email blasts. While it’s okay to have value filled newsletters that your connections have signed up for, sending out unsolicited email blasts to people who simply gave you a business card is unprofessional and considered spam. The first time you send out one of these unsolicited emails you connections may be annoyed, the second time—well, let’s just say they probably won’t belong to your business network anymore.
  4. Give yourself a break. Even if networking is the core engine in your job search “machine” try to be aware at all times that you, personal are not a machine. Giving yourself one or two weeks off, especially during long job searches is important for staying to top form.

To keep networking an important part of your job search, make the effort to avoid networking burnout.

Three Reasons You Should Stop Comparing Yourself To The Competition

The legal market is crowded and legal recruiters find themselves battling for the best job orders and opportunities. That stiff competition can make some recruiters rely on negative comparisons to other recruiters when trying to win business. That’s a mistake. Below are three reasons why you should avoid comparing yourself to the competition when you’re trying to get new business.

  1. It’s free advertising for the other guys. You’ve seen those commercials where 90% of stressthe video, text, and audio are talking about the competing brand. The funny thing is that while the intention of the advertiser is to disparage their competition it may actually get the viewer thinking about the other brand and seriously consider doing business with them. Avoid this problem by focusing what you bring to the table as a recruiter and not why your competition is worthless.
  2. It makes you seem insecure. No law firm wants to work with an insecure legal recruiter. Any recruiter who seems intimidated by the prowess of the competition could find hiring managers shying away. Instead of focusing on your competition, focus on projecting the type of confidence that will get you the best job orders.
  3. You don’t have all the information. When talking about any business or individual you don’t have insider information on, you always run the risk of stating “facts” that are in fact fiction. If the person you’re talking to realizes that something you said about the competition isn’t true not only will you lose face but they may perceive you as a bitter gossiper.

While pointing out the flaws of your most powerful competitors may seem like a good strategy, a better one is to prove that you have what it takes to deliver the type of candidates hiring managers really want.

Four Things Job Seekers Should Never Do On Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for job seekers but it can also cause a lot of trouble if you’re not careful. Let’s take a look at four things job seekers should never do on social media.Social_resume

  1. Make offensive jokes. Even if you consider yourself quite the comedian, using social media to broadcast offensive jokes could rub recruiters and hiring managers wrong. Don’t risk giving the wrong impression just because you want attention on Twitter.
  2. Disparage your employer. While it may be true that you hate your job and want to leave ASAP, broadcasting that to the world can seem a little inappropriate. It may be okay to calmly mention that you’re ready to move on in your career, it’s not okay to talk about why you hate working at your job.
  3. Gossip about co-workers. Spending so much time with others at work can give you insight into the darker sides of their personality. That said, it’s a bad idea to become the person who airs other people’s dirty laundry on social media. If recruiters and hiring managers get wind of your gossiping ways, you could find yourself locked out of job opportunities.
  4. Discuss politics and religion. Everyone has a viewpoint, but the nature of the internet is that even if you’re discussing relatively mild political or religious issues inevitably there’s a flame war. No matter who’s at fault in these flame wars, everyone ends up looking bad. To avoid giving recruiters and hiring managers the wrong impression, refrain from discussing hop topics on social media.

If you insist on maintaining a social media account directly tied to you real identity, make sure you present a professional and noncontroversial appearance at all times.

Recruiter Corner: Five Ways To Spot Priceless Innovators

As the legal industry matures, the law firms poised to win have a stable of innovators working on their behalf. But how do legal recruiters easily spot priceless innovators and present them to hiring managers. Below are a few tips:

  1. Evolving career path. The most innovative attorneys move jobs often but their moves propel their career upward. A matter of fact, they not only move up in their career they also evolve as an attorney.
  2. Transformative presence. The most innovative attorneys have allowed themselves to evolve but they’ve also transformed the law firms for which they’ve worked. The resumes and cover letters of these attorneys show a pattern of devising and implementing innovative solutions for most, if not all of their previous employers.
  3. Industry expert status. Attorneys who innovate do so because they have an in-depth understanding of the legal industry, especially their practice areaBrett-Zalaski-Expert or specialty. This deep understanding empowers them to see problems others may overlook and offer solutions that less informed attorneys would never consider. Legal recruiters will know these attorneys by their involvement in the industry—conducting legal workshops, lectures, and writing editorials on the state of the industry.
  4. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is one of the hallmarks of an innovator. Attorneys who can change with the times will be priceless new hires for any law firm who wants to thrive in the future.
  5. Predictive abilities. One of the most beneficial characteristics of an innovator is that they understand the industry so well that they can accurately predict trends. Attorney innovators who have these predictive abilities will have a track record of foreseeing changes and problems in the industry.

If you’re a legal recruiter looking for innovative attorneys, keep a close eye on job candidates’ past achievements for indications that they have the qualities you seek.

Attorney Job Search: Three Tips For Decoding A Job Ad

Many experienced job seekers believe that they’ve seen just about every type of job ad out there, but that may not be true. When it comes to delivering the type of resume and cover letter that gets attention, you’ll need to look at job ads in a way most others don’t. You’ll need to learn how to decode even the most seemingly simple job ad. Below are a few tips:

  1. Hiring managers always put their best foot forward. No matter how bad a job ad is, remember, the law firm is putting forth their best face. So if you run across a job ad that ask for outrageous amounts Keyboard-Job-Searchof experience for little pay or one that demands a new hire take on too many tasks, that probably reflects the true nature of the company culture.
  2. Job titles reflect the attitude the law firm has towards the position. If a job advertised is for a junior attorney, that’s how the new hire will be treated. That’s why it’s important that job seekers don’t apply for jobs they perceive as beneath them—they will always feel they’re not being given the respect they deserve.
  3. Experience required is sometimes a wish list. When law firms decide to fill a position, they often put together a wish list of experience and expertise they want the new hire to have. However, the level of experience and expertise listed in the job ad may not be necessary to do the job. It’s up to you to look at the list of responsibilities and determine what skills are really necessary to do the job right.

If you want to get to the bottom of what hiring managers really want, try to read between the lines when vetting job ads.

Recruiter Corner: How To Manage Risk In Your Business

Risk is a scary but integral part of doing business. You simply have no chance of achieving anything remotely close to success if you’re not willing to take risks. However, taking a calculated risk is a lot different than taking a blind leap of faith. Below are a few tips on how you can manage risk in your recruiting business:

  1. Evaluate opportunity value. Each opportunity you pursue has an inherent risk to it andrisk-management an inherent value. It’s up to you to evaluate how much value an opportunity offers compared to how much risk you need to take to realize that value. Of course, it’s smart to only go after opportunities that have value worth the risk.
  2. How much can you afford to lose? Risk tolerance is basically two parts—what type of risks you can emotionally and psychologically tolerate and what type of risks you can financially afford. Someone who is financially secure with a large savings account and investments can afford to risk a lot more than someone living paycheck to paycheck. Before you take a leap of faith, check your situation to determine how much you can really afford to lose.
  3. Start small. If you’re risk averse or can’t afford to risk much, take small steps and slowly grow from there. Even small moves in your recruiting business can offer huge value, don’t overlook them.
  4. Create a plan. After you’ve evaluated your opportunity risk and risk tolerance, create a plan and execute it. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even very detailed. What you don’t want to do is get stuck in creating a plan that’s so detailed it never gets executed.
  5. Embrace mistakes. To avoid overanalyzing a situation, accept that mistakes will happen. They’re unavoidable. No matter how carefully you plan, things will happen that are out of your control and you may unwittingly make moves that are not in the best interests of your recruiting business.

Since risk is unavoidable, creating a plan to manage it is the best way to protect your business interests as you explore unknown territory.

Recruiter Corner: Three Reasons You Should Avoid “Easy Pickings”

It’s human nature to go after what’s readily available and requires very little energy. But the most successful legal recruiters understand that what seems to be “easy pickings” on the surface is often costly in the end. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should avoid “easy pickings”.

  1. Easy pickings usually have little value. Employers with job openings that are readily available and known to all are inundated with calls and emails from many recruiters. This oversupply of recruiters can depress recruiting fees. If you take the easy pickings bait you could end up working very hard for very little money.Job_Scam
  2. Easy pickings sometimes cost you money. Using the scenario above—“easy” job orders with many recruiters trying to fill them—easy pickings can be costly because oftentimes the employers/hiring managers are never satisfied with what you’ve deliver. In the end, your time is wasted because they never choose a candidate. Even when they do choose a job candidate you’ve delivered, they may refuse to pay your fee and insist that they found the candidate without your help.
  3. Going after easy pickings can ruin your reputation. The trouble of easy pickings can also apply to job candidates. In this case, job candidates who’ve sent their resume to a thousand and one recruiters (and employers) can cause trouble when it’s time to collect your fee. Since they’ve been so available to everyone, the hiring manager may refuse to pay you because they already received the candidate’s resume or another recruiter submitted the candidate at the same time.

To avoid the trappings of easy pickings always go for the “gold standard” by looking for job opportunities and candidates before they’re known to everyone else.

Paternity Leave Policies – Truth or Fiction?

With Father’s Day around the corner, it seems appropriate to take a closer look at what Biglaw provides fathers in the way of parental leave policies. Recent findings by Above the Law reported in their article “Which Biglaw Firm Has The Best Parental Leave Policy?”, show that women on average receive 14.33 weeks of paid maternity leave, while men receive 6.3 weeks paid paternity leave[1]. Given the grim landscape of parental leave nationwide across business employers, with “only 11 percent of workers covered by formal paid family leave policies”[2], Biglaw’s allowance of 6.3 weeks for new fathers seems reasonable enough. However, written responses to Above the Law’s survey reveal there is a big difference between how men and women are treated when they actually take it. As ATL noted, “It seems men are being seriously stigmatized.”

Responders noted that while paternity policies in theory seem nice, “there is an unspoken rule that men shouldn’t take the leave.” One male associate commented that his firm had an unofficial policy of up to 4 weeks paid paternity leave. “I asked for two weeks paid paternity leave and was told that I had to use my five remaining vacation days for the year and would not get any paid paternity leave and that I should be grateful I have a job.” Ouch. So much for that policy.

On the other hand, firms such as Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and others offer generous leave policies to new mothers and fathers1. Orrick offers 22 weeks of paid primary caregiver leave, and Orrick’s Chairman Mitchell Zuklie hopes male attorneys will feel comfortable using it. “It’s crafted to make sure that people are not stigmatized regardless of their gender. We’re not living in the days of Leave It to Beaver – families have different constructs as to who is in charge of taking care of the children.”

As noted previously in our blog, Orrick was recently recognized as a Top 10 Most Family Friendly Firm by Yale Law Women. The YLW’s survey recognized that policy improvements are being made across large law firms to accommodate working parents, which is encouraging news.

This could mean that there is still hope parental leave is on an upward trajectory. With leading firms such as DLA Piper, K&L Gates, Cravath, Vinson & Elkins and WilmerHale each offering at least 12 weeks of paid paternity leave[3], paternity policies at large firms and the expectations around utilizing those policies may in the future be more truth and less fiction.


Sadie Madole Founder and owner of Madole Legal Search

Sadie Madole
Founder and owner of Madole Legal Search

About the Author

Sadie Madole has been recruiting associate level candidates for law firms and in-house positions in Washington, DC since 2006.  A licensed attorney, Sadie previously practiced law for ten years as a litigation associate at a boutique firm, and as an attorney advisor with the Treasury Department.  Sadie is the owner of Madole Legal Search (



[1] “Which Biglaw Firm Has The Best Parental Leave Policy?” , May 11, 2015


[2] “The Economics Of Paid And Unpaid Leave”, The Council of Economic Advisers June 2014


[3] “Parental leave and related policies by firm”