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I am delighted to be joining the award-winning team at DMJ Legal. It is the ideal place to combine my experience and extensive connections in the US with their clear ambition to become a market leader in legal recruitment. It was an easy decision to join the team as their values of building long term relationships mirrors my approach. I am excited by the prospect of growing a successful practice in the US legal market.

I believe this is the perfect time to do this. US hiring trends are retuing to pre-COVID-19 levels, with demand high across most practice areas, with PE, Capital Markets, Restructuring, and Labour and Employment leading the way.

Despite the increase in opportunities, there has been a noticeable shift in attitudes to recruitment by both clients and candidates. The clients I am working with are taking a longer-term view on hires and are recruiting for a specific set of skills. This contrasts with the previous approach by some firms of focusing on getting lawyers through the door. The “build it and they will come” view no longer prevails.

As a result, I have a seen a positive shift from clients in relation to candidate background. Firms are looking for a clear set of skills and will therefore consider a much wider group of candidates to find those skills, often looking outside the typical firms and law schools they recruited from previously.

The candidates I have spoken with see this as a positive shift. Knowing that firms have a long strategy and plan for their careers is providing them with the incentive they need to consider a move in these still uncertain times.

The role of the recruiter has also shifted. Many inteal recruitment teams have seen numbers cut due to the impact of the pandemic. Teams are often stretched, as they are covering all aspects of talent acquisition from summer associate programs through to partner and team moves.  This means they rely more heavily on head-hunters who taken their time to understand the firm’s ambitions and plans, and who have developed an extensive knowledge of the legal marketplace to find the best available talent.

Whilst it is impossible to predict what 2021 will bring for all of us, the legal market will remain active. If you would like to discuss what it could mean for you, please drop me a line. or +44 20 3058 1458.

Posted 08/02/2021 By Jack Horsbrugh


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