When you’re an attorney who’s looking to relocate, whether it’s one state over or all the way across country, it’s vitally important to have an effective relocation strategy. As a lawyer, choosing the wrong firm or company during your search can have serious implications for both your legal career and personal life. To ensure that doesn’t happen, one of the relocation resources at your disposal is partnering with a good legal recruiter. An experienced legal recruiter can help you find the best relocation opportunities by covering the following bases.
Logistical Considerations for Attorneys
If you’re currently practicing in a small town in Iowa, moving to a big city like Atlanta or Chicago will be a major change. Crossing state lines will bring its own unique set of challenges. With that said, here are some logistical considerations that a recruiter will discuss with you:
- Licensing. If you aren’t already licensed in the state that you’re interested in moving to, you will need to negotiate how much support, if any, that your prospective employer will provide. This may include allowing you time off and paying for completing a Bar Review preparation course. You’ll also need to find out if they’ll be paying for you to keep your current legal license(s).
- Cost-of-living. The average cost of a long-distance move is $4,890. Moving from a more rural location to a large city will probably mean a higher cost-of-living. Is the compensation package being offered going to be enough to pay the bills once you’ve relocated?
- Potential competitive conflicts. If you’re staying with the same firm, but relocating to another office several states away, will you be able to retain your clients? If it’s a totally new firm, you’ll need to know their policies relative to competitive restrictions, especially if your specialty is in a highly competitive industry when it comes to finding new clients.
How Relocation Affects your Legal Career
A recruiter will also talk to you about the strategic implications of a potential move, like:
- Employer dynamics. How comparable is your current job to the one that you’re considering? Does the potential employer have multiple offices around the U.S. and even worldwide? You’ll also need to consider how many attorneys they have in your specialty, and what their plans are for you in terms of career growth opportunities.
- How’s the culture? Meeting at least some of your potential colleagues will help you determine how comfortable you would be around them every day. Does the group seem to be cohesive or do they operate independently? Would you relate well to your supervisor and peers? Do they share your beliefs and value diversity? If you have a family, how important is a work/life balance to the firm or company?
- Compensation. In 2006, the average wage and salary for workers living in non-metro counties was 23% less than that of urban workers. If you’re moving from a firm in a large city firm to one in a rural area, be prepared for lower billable rates. Is the move you’re making a lateral one, as opposed to a growth opportunity with strong promotion potential? Carefully consider what a relocation would mean to your financial bottom line for the next five years.
Other Ways Legal Recruiters Provide Value
Because of their vast network of professional contacts, a good legal recruiter can also provide value to your relocation efforts through:
- Interview assistance. If it’s been a few years since your last job interview, you’re probably a little rusty. A legal recruiter can offer interview assistance for everything from your personal appearance, to role-playing tough questions that you’ll probably be asked. They should also have valuable real-world insights about potential employers, including their culture and dynamics.
- Transparency. A good legal recruiter should be open and transparent about their qualifications when fielding your tough questions. Before hiring one, don’t hesitate to ask them about their placement experiences working within a given geography or industry, along with any potential employers that you’re interested in.
- Confidentiality. Reputable legal recruiters are very adept at protecting their clients’ confidentiality. According to the NAER’s Code of Ethics, a core tenet of what a recruiter should be requires that they “honor the confidentiality of proprietary information received from clients and candidates”. Given the sensitive nature of a relocation, don’t stand for a recruiter who doesn’t possess the same level of professional integrity that you extend to your clients. A lack of discretion on their part could permanently jeopardize your career.
Quickly Find Legal Recruiters with Relocation Opportunities
When you’re seeking a career move as an attorney that involves relocating, you’ll need to consider several employment variables. Working with a talented legal recruiter will add value to your relocation efforts by helping you find nationwide employment opportunities that are best suited for your skills, experience and career objectives. Better legal recruiters specialize in connecting talented attorneys with potential employers so that all parties involved benefit. Visit the directory today and find a good legal recruiter in your area.