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Should I Use a Legal Recruiter?

Whether you’ve just graduated from law school or are an industry veteran, advancing your career in law can be a daunting endeavor. Landing your dream position with a big law firm or as in-house counsel can require the right connections, a perfectly tailored resume, and extensive amounts of time sifting through scores of potential firms to find the right fit.

For lawyers who have practiced law for at least two years, using a legal recruiter can be a great help. Keep reading for a full breakdown of the advantages of using a legal recruiter.

Benefits of Engaging with a Legal Recruiter

Using a legal recruiter can grant you the following advantages when searching for your next opportunity.

  • Industry Knowledge – Legal recruitment professionals have an intricate understanding of how to assist with your search process based on their in-depth industry knowledge. They have background working with different firms and organizations, know exactly what they are looking for, and practice areas they specialize in. Lastly, they can pinpoint what firms are looking for regarding law firm culture fit and role requirements.
  • Networks and Connections – A legal recruiter may have helpful contacts inside the firm you want to work for. Not only can they give additional insight into the role you’re interested in, but they may also be the first to know about unadvertised positions.
  • Tailored Advice – A professional recruiter in legal placement can help you fine-tune your resume for the legal opportunity of your choice. Additionally, they can prepare you for interviews and offer guidance in the negotiation process.
  • FeedbackLegal recruiters can get you the inside scoop on how prospective employers evaluate you in interviews, offering feedback and insight into your application results.

If you still have concerns about using a legal recruiter, keep reading for an honest look at some of the most prevalent legal recruiting misconceptions.

Common Concerns About Using Legal Recruiters

Like recruiters in any industry, legal recruiters face scrutiny due to misconceptions about their talent acquisition procedures and ethics. To clear up misunderstandings you may have about using a legal recruiter, here’s a closer look at some typical concerns. 

  • Cost Implications – If you hesitate to rely on external assistance when chasing opportunities for fear of having to pay for services, don’t. It’s important to note that legal recruiters’ fees are typically paid by law firms—not the candidate—so there’s no financial burden on you.
  • Misalignment of Interest – Are recruiters only interested in their own gain? The truth is that the best recruiters strive to find the best advancement opportunities for lawyers that will benefit them long term. A Deloitte report found that 34% of new employees (less than 2 years on the job) want to change jobs within the year1. It's in the recruiter’s best interest to align with the candidate’s needs, because their reputation suffers if the new hire’s fit is suboptimal. In this way, the lawyer and the legal recruiter have a symbiotic relationship.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Legal Recruiter

If you’ve been thinking, “Should I use a legal recruiter?” and are interested in browsing some options, take a look below at key factors to look for in your ideal recruiter or recruiting service.

  • Reputation and Testimonials – You don’t have to partner with the first recruiter who reaches out to you. Make sure to do your research into a recruiter who’s interested in you, including asking for references of lawyers they’ve helped place in your area.
  • Specialization – Legal recruiters are not one size fits all. Target a recruiter who specializes in placing legal talent in the position they are seeking.
  • Communication – Communication is crucial in any relationship, yet many recruiters fail to meet even the lowest standards of good communication. Find a legal recruiter who keeps you informed on new positions and in-progress applications, as well as one who is easy to reach.
  • Compatibility – Working with a legal recruiter you’re compatible with is a rewarding experience. A recruiter who listens and understands your aspirations will be better at finding opportunities during your job search that excite you and can get you in the right doors at the right time.

With a legal recruiter who checks all of these boxes, you can increase the reach and focus of your search and find an opportunity in the legal industry best suited to advancing your career.

Advance Your Career in Law with E.P. Dine

Using a legal recruiter can come with many advantages, but when searching for a recruiting service or professional, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to ensure you find the recruiting partner that’s right for you.

E.P. Dine has been the leader in executive legal search since 1979. Our legal recruiters listen and understand your goals and needs, strategize with you based on our market knowledge and network, prepare you for interviews to help you land the right opportunity, and assist you with navigating your offers, providing continued guidance down the line. We help individuals of all levels, from law firm associates to law partners.

To explore law careers or benefit from tailored advice from our legal recruitment experts, get in touch with E.P. Dine today.


1Deloitte. Talent 2020: Surveying the Talent Paradox from the Employee Perspective.

At E.P. Dine, we are committed to delivering content that is not only relevant and insightful but also rooted in professional integrity and expertise. To achieve this, every article published on the E.P. Dine blog undergoes a meticulous review process by qualified professionals with deep knowledge and experience in the legal field and legal recruitment.

Melissa Collery


Melissa has been a recruiter for over 20 years and is Co-CEO at E.P. Dine and Managing Partner of the In-House Division. During her tenure at E.P. Dine, Melissa has had the privilege to work with the most prestigious companies and law firms throughout the country and attorneys from all walks of the profession.

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