“Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right."
Henry Ford

“Be a lamp, or a lightbulb, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

“Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell

How We Work

Search For Excellence is a member of NALSC (National Association of Legal Search Consultants), which is the national professional organization for the legal search profession.  SFE is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in the field, and abides by the rules set forth by the association.

For the candidate: Our job is about being precise with language, using knowledge, empathy, and communication to get to the heart of what it is you are hoping to achieve through a career move. We will steadfastly help you to explore all opportunities without jeopardizing your privacy or confidentiality. We pride ourselves on being extremely accessible and responsive. We perform our searches with the utmost tact and respect for your personal integrity and professional well-being. Think of us as your career confidantes.

What we need from you:

  • An updated resume
  • Law school transcripts
  • Several (very strong) writing samples
  • Letters of reference, recommendation or praise from clients

What’s important to our clients:

  • Law school attended
  • Law school rank (prefer top 25% and above)
  • Law school activities (Law Review, Moot Court)
  • Work experience (quality of current and prior firms)
  • Display of personal and professional growth
  • Desire to succeed in today’s competitive climate

What we need from you:

  • Past employment history (quality of firms)
  • Estimated portable book of business
  • Quality and nature of existing clients
  • Hourly billing rate, and average number of hours billed per year
  • Letters of reference, recommendation or praise from clients, colleagues, professionals

What’s important to our clients:

  • Your ability to integrate into a new firm environment
  • Symbiosis between your practice and the practices of attorneys in the acquiring firm
  • Demonstration of well-balanced personal behavior and decorum
  • Innovativeness and creativeness in using acquiring firm’s platform to generate new business, or capture additional business from existing clients
  • Professional and personal community activities

Once engaged: one of our recruiters will discreetly contact you to ask you several confidential questions regarding your salary requirements, billable hours, location preference, practice area, current practice breakdown, academic information, future goals, and more. We will then submit your information only to the firms that meet your criteria and have been approved by you. We think you will appreciate us primarily for the way we personally serve you. We promise to give you as much or as little handholding through the process as you would like. We will not only match you up with possible job opportunities, we will also coach you through all the nuances of negotiating a mutually beneficial and acceptable deal.

For the client: We have mastered a task that is time consuming and often ineffective for most firms and companies; we successfully locate candidates pursuant to your specific criteria and send you information on interested and appropriate candidates. We demonstrate our respect for your time by sending only qualified candidates for your positions. We will occasionally challenge you to think counter-intuitively and consider resumes of candidates who do not exactly match your job description, but whom we feel will complement or enhance your existing practice. We think outside of the box.

The first steps: One of our recruiters will contact your hiring partner or firm administrator to create a detailed sketch of your ideal candidate. To provide you with only the most qualified candidates’ resumes, we will ask detailed questions about your requirements, such as years of experience, salary parameters, bonus structure, billable hour requirements, supervising partner, etc. For partner-level searches, detailed information is needed on minimum portable business, practice area, nature of clients, and hourly billing rates.

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