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  • Writer's pictureFrederick L Shelton

How Recruiters Screw Law Firms & What They Can Do About It


If they tell you they abide by the NALSC Code of "Ethics", they are! What does that code call "ethical"? Read for yourself:

"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."

In other words, if you pay a recruiter $100,000 for placing an attorney in your NY office today, they can and WILL recruit from every other office you have, tomorrow. Six months and 1 day later they can steal your best talent from your NY office again!

And they are well-trained to keep you from knowing about it. I know. I was trained by them at my first firm. Legal recruiters have gotten away with stealing from clients on an immediate basis, for decades.

The solution is simple: Implement The Shelton & Steele Code of Ethics into your recruiting contracts. It reads as follows: 5.    SHELTON & STEELE CODE OF ETHICS

FIRM does not subscribe to the NALSC “Code of Ethics”. Instead, FIRM agrees not to intentionally initiate contact with any attorney or employee, in any office of CLIENT for a period of five years from the beginning through conclusion of earned and fully paid search fees. Should anyone from FIRM recruit an attorney from CLIENT within this period, an amount equal to the last placement fee paid will be due to CLIENT by FIRM. If they claim that's unreasonable, just keep in mind that after more than 27 years, Shelton & Steele has never once recruited from a client firm.

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