What is a Legal Recruiter?

Misty Amber Brighton

A legal recruiter is used to find attorneys, paralegals, and legal administrators to fill open positions. These types of jobs could be in a corporate law department, large law firm, or government agencies. The recruiter might be a lawyer herself or an experienced paralegal with a background in human resources. This position typically requires at least a bachelor's degree in legal administration and two years experience in personnel management.

A legal recruiter may be responsible for filling positions in government agencies.
A legal recruiter may be responsible for filling positions in government agencies.

Recent law school graduates often turn to legal recruiting professionals for job leads. This is because a lawyer recruiter often has numerous contacts with practicing attorneys and judges in her area. She can provide candidates with points of contact and specific information about the position. In many cases, she might also be responsible for performing background checks, contacting references, and giving initial interviews.

Paralegals and legal secretaries might also be obtained by using a legal recruiter. When a recruiter becomes aware of an opening, she might advertise the position on job recruiting websites or bulletin boards. After receiving responses to these advertisements, she typically looks over a candidate's resume and cover letter to verify their skills are a match for the opening. When the choices have been narrowed to only the best-qualified applicants, she might then schedule those individuals for interviews.

A legal recruiter typically works in firms that have a large number of legal staff or a high turnover rate. This could be the legal department of a large corporation or a law firm with hundreds of attorneys. She might also be self-employed, staffing lawyers and paralegals for a number of smaller law firms.

Other times, a legal recruiter might be responsible for filling positions in government agencies. She could be asked to recommend lawyers to represent government bodies, for example a city attorney. Judges might also ask a recruiter to help them fill openings such as legal clerks or court reporters. Other agencies that might need assistance with hiring and recruiting legal professionals include equal employment agencies, licensing bureaus, and child welfare organizations.

Offices that provide free or low cost legal services may ask for help from a legal recruiter. Some of the positions they might need to fill include attorneys, paralegals, and legal researchers. Recruiters may look for people who are willing to volunteer their time or work at a reduced rate since they are usually assisting individuals who cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent them.

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