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Shelton & Steele
We Help Clients Become
Times are changing. Clients want Alternative Fee Arrangements, more personal attention, more efficiency and most of all, better value.
In any other industry, the market leader is determined by who can provide the best value for the product or service rendered.
That hasn't been the case in BigLaw and Midlaw.
In other industries, the best talent is attracted to organizations that offer the best combination of compensation, resources, work environment and lifestyle.
That hasn't been the case in Big Law or MidLaw.
It's time for law firms to reexamine a structure that makes it difficult to get clients in the door and keep them there.
The myth that in order to become a successful attorney with a sophisticated practice, you have to give up any hope for a decent lifestyle? That's been shattered.
The bureaucracy and quagmire, the constant rate pressure, the endless meetings, the belief that a rainmaker should bill as many hours as a service partner etc. are all archaic concepts that are long out of date.
How Do We Get From Here to There?
At Shelton & Steele, we've interviewed more virtual and Alternative Platform firms than any other legal recruiting firm in the country. This is our space.
We've selected less than ten of the best new firms as clients and then, helped them to alter their platforms, processes and even websites & marketing practices.
We offer the same for potential clients. Spinoffs often just become small replicas of what they tried to leave behind.
Virtual firms often become nothing more than a group of silos with little or nothing in the way of marketing or support.
Traditional firms try to to evolve / adapt to the market but have difficulty implementing a specific game plan to do so. Why?
If you've ever worked at BigLaw, think about the people who were on the management committee. Did they get there because of their incredible innovation and amazing business acumen?
Therein is the biggest challenge. If you've always done things a certain way, it's incredibly difficult to change.
Therein lie the traps, pitfalls and unnecessary expenses.
The questions that need to be answered include:
What are the best practices to implement?
What structure, platform and compensation systems produce the best overall benefit to the highest number of attorneys and staff?
What are the biggest mistakes to avoid?
Are there ways we can evolve in steps?
What can we do to protect our corporate culture? And so on.
That's where we come in.
We don't offer academic, theoretical or self-serving counsel. We offer practical and immediately applicable insights, strategies and solutions.
The counsel we offer has been gleaned from years of monitoring and measuring what leads to the greatest level of success during our years of involvement and contribution to this space.
We Prioritize People
Some of our clients are surprised when we tell them that we prioritize the best interest of individual candidates over everything else. The reason for this is simple: It's not only in the best interest of the attorneys, it's in the best interest of the client.
We let attorneys know both the upsides and the downsides of your firm because there is no such thing as a perfect workplace. The people we work with are sophisticated professionals. They appreciate candor over salesmanship, and the opportunity to evaluate whether a specific client will truly be where they will want to stay in the foreseeable future. So what is the result of our approach?
We've had one attorney who, two years later wasn't where we placed them. The industry for such fall off is over 20%.
Rather than have contracts with a huge number of clients (which long ago, we did), we have declined to renew contracts with almost all of our former clients. Why? Because the industry lacks real loyalty.
ETHICS & LOYALTY
There is a trade organization which was formed by the largest legal search firms in the business, called the National Association of Legal Search Consultants (NALSC). The following is what they call their "Code of Ethics":
"No search firm shall solicit any attorney from the office of an employer in which it has made a placement for a six-month period following that placement, unless the search firm reasonably believes such a restriction is not required by the employer."
Translation: If you pay a search firm $250,000 today, tomorrow they can poach from every other office of your firm - other than the one in which the placement was made. Ethical? No. Six months later, they can poach from the same office they placed the attorney in! Ethical? No. They can even break those rules by claiming they believed no such restrictions existed. T
his is not what we at Shelton & Steele call "ethics". And regardless of what some would like to believe, it is virtually impossible to find out a specific recruiter pulled someone out of your firm.
We guarantee here and in writing that we will not recruit ANY employee, be they partner or staff, for a minimum of five years after a successful placement. Even then, we have never once initiated contact with any employee of any client firm in our 23 year history.
Fewer clients, greater loyalty.
"We've worked with several recruiters over the years. Frederick Shelton and the team at Shelton & Steele brought us more partners in one year than almost all other recruiters combined.
The partners they introduced all understood our firm's platform, culture and more. We've hired several partners who have bolstered our capabilities and enhanced our revenues with the business they brought with them.
Managing Partner, APLE
"Frederick offers so much more than attorneys. He offers valuable insights and counsel. We have restructured our entire recruiting process and even made changes to our website, based on his suggestions. We've also grown in highly strategic practice areas with his help."
Managing Partner, APLE
"The recruiters at Shelton & Steele have sent us nothing but the best. Well-qualified candidates who have been thoroughly vetted and whose books of business were exactly as represented. We couldn't recommend a firm more highly."
Executive Committee Member, AmLaw
"Other recruiters will send over associates who they try to sell. Average schools, firms, experience etc.
The recruiters at Shelton & Steele went out of their way to say they wouldn't send a candidate unless it was obvious that candidate was "fee worthy".
They lived up to their promise. Nothing but top schools, top firms and sophisticated experience that was spot on for our needs.
Other recruiters could a learn a lot form their methodology.
They also have a policy in that they only work with the recruiting staff on associate searches.That's a huge plus."
Recruiting Coordinator, AmLaw
Law Firm Mergers & Lateral Acquisitions
Legal Business & Marketing Consulting