“Why do we have this problem with such smart people, the brightest of the brights, attorneys at such top firms, getting wrapped up with shady people?” asks Dan Binstock, who returns, with Gary Miles, to the podcast to discuss the less-than-ethical practices employed by legal recruiters that potential candidates need to watch out for. Part of the problem, they explain, is that for all of their advanced education, most candidates are woefully uneducated in this area of recruiting, not to mention many firms fall for the fallacy that if they’re not actively growing they’re shrinking. So, a fast-talking, sales-focused recruiter who’s willing to cut ethical corners and appeal to a candidates’ healthy ego, can convince the candidate to make a decision that could alter the course of their career.

The answer, they agree, is doing the same due diligence as a candidate that one does as a lawyer. Ask the right questions, many examples of which are provided in today’s discussion. Take your time; listen to what is said and what is not said. Don’t fall for fast answers or, as Gary says, give the recruiter an inch of rope and let them think they’re a cowboy.

Dan and Chris act out a series of role plays to give you a better idea of how to remain in control of the conversation with deceptive legal recruiters. They’ll also go over the importance of expressed consent when closing out a conversation.

“A lot of people who are drawn to recruiting or sales in general tend to be people that, maybe are really good talkers, and may not have the highest ethical barometers and may fudge the corners a little bit.” (7:32 | Dan)
“A lot of firms think that if they do the deal with the “unethical recruiter” at least, for some period of time, according to their fee agreement, the person will not call in their lawyers to try to move someone out of their firm. So it gets to be a cost/benefit analysis.” (14:12 | Gary)
“You do so much diligence, so much preparation, so much finding out what is going to impact your clients’ situation in any given context or business that they’re involved in. Yet, when it comes to a partner’s career, and making one of the most important decisions they’re going to make if I’m going to move from my firm, if so, where? What will be the best fit for me and my practice? What is the potential for long term success? A lot of partners won’t do any diligence.” (20:25 | Gary)
“If they can’t speak about the search for at least 60 seconds, they don’t know. They’re just going off, you can hear them looking at a website. ‘Oh, this is a firm that has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, yeah, nine offices in…’ And if it looks like they’re reading through a script? Bulls**t.” (29:42 | Dan)