When the Legal Associate Market Freezes…

Billable hours are drying up for attorneys, and so are placements for legal recruiters.

That’s the word from The American Lawyer, which reports that work in the legal search world is experiencing “its most violent retrenchment in recent history, with shops huge and small laying off headhunters or watching as recruiters hard up for commissions simply leave the business.”

Those who remain, the article suggests, are retooling their practice to focus exclusively on partners and firm mergers, leaving thousands of laid-off associates with fewer recruiters to turn to for help.

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Joseph Ankus, head of Ankus Consulting, says this focus on partners is not bad news for associates looking for a new job, because the market for associates is so tight that a recruiter’s fee might cost an associate the slim chance he or she has at landing a good job.

“If they put my fee on their head, they’re not even going to get an interview. That’s the first thing I tell associates when they call,” says Ankus.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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