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technology, and they are less afraid of exercising their option to embark upon a non-traditional career path. As a legal recruiter, I’ve seen many lawyers continue to lateral to new firms  mostly looking for the perfect combination between career growth and lifestyle balance. I have also observed an increasing trend towards lawyers leaving law firms altogether in favor of alternative legal practices. Many former law firm lawyers are starting their own solo or small firms, while others are joining virtual law firms or freelance networks that provide practice alternatives to the typical law firm model. Some former law firm lawyers look for happiness on a non-traditional path. Others, however, are taking advantage of changes and alternative arrangements within Big Law, as these large and prestigious firms adapt to changing needs, technology, and client demands. This article discusses the options that exist for lawyers seeking to make a change, and outlines the various trends in alternative ways to practice law.

Solo or Small Firm Practice

Many lawyers trained in full-service law firms are choosing to start their own solo or small firms. These lawyers were trained in the law firm setting, and can often handle sophisticated work for sophisticated clients, but at a reduced rate. Former big law firm lawyers most often choose to open their own firms when they already have a client base, but are not interested in sharing their hourly rate with partners and high law firm overhead. They often value the flexibility and entrepreneurship involved in running their own businesses. Many cost-conscious businesses seek out these law firm spin-offs, attracted by reduced rates and lean billing.

Amir Kahana worked at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Paul Hastings, and Manatt Phelps. In 2006, he left Big Law to service small and mid-sized business clients that were quickly being priced out of the big firm legal market... To continue reading, click HERE.

corporations(“Clients”) and assist  Clients with their searches based on specific hiring criteria. When assessing a Candidate for a position, recruiters look for the best fit based on skill set, experience, credentials, and culture of the firm. Because recruiters have a thorough understanding of what their Clients look for in Candidates, they make the job search quicker and more efficient. They also help Candidates with their résumés, prepare them for interviews, and may be involved in salary negotiations.  The Candidate-Attorney Recruiter partnership typically begins with the Candidate either being referred to the recruiter or the recruiter, through his/her own network, contacting a Candidate to discuss specific career opportunities. In both scenarios, the next step is for the recruiter to interview and build a relationship with the Candidate.  Once you have made a decision to begin the search process make sure your resume and/or online profile is current and projects the image you want to portray to potential employers. If you’re an associate, order your law school transcript, submit a writing sample to your recruiter, and line up your references. Your recruiter will need this documentation to assist you in your search. After an interview has been scheduled recruiters provide advice on interview techniques specific to each individual Candidate. Recruiters typically have insight into the firm or corporation based on their relationship with the Client.  It’s very important for Candidates to keep their recruiter apprised of their search from start to finish. Stay in touch with your recruiter. Let them know what your status is so they may do their job efficiently and in a timely manner. Leaving your recruiter in the dark can not only damage your relationship but hinders their ability to assist you in your job search.  A referral is the best tool for finding a recruiter who is right for you. Ask your peers if they know any attorney recruiters in the area. Alternatively, you can locate reputable recruiters through the National Association of Legal Search Consultants at

Interview with an Attorney Recruiter 

By Alisa Levitt

Attorney recruiters can be a great resource in the job search process. They are part career counselor, consultant, adviser, and fact finder. Many attorneys (“Candidates”), however, don’t appreciate the value of working with a reputable recruiter. They often overlook, or simply undervalue, the importance of the contacts and experience that are developed over many years in the industry. I hope to provide  insight into the advantages of working with an ethical seasoned attorney recruiter and how to go about selecting one for your needs and ultimate goals. Attorney recruiters assist Candidates seeking career opportunities with law firms or 


Is There an Alternative Life Inside and Outside of Big Law?

By Alisa Levitt (Riverside Lawyer, September 2013 issue)

Gone are the days where a new lawyer can predict a career trajectory that includes becoming a summer associate, then an associate, and then making partner at the firm. Many law firms have creatively adapted to stay ahead of economic challenges, client realities, and attorney needs, while others have struggled to keep up. Attorneys today have many more career options than they did just five years ago, primarily due to drastic and sudden changes in