Should I Become a Legal Recruiter?
Legal recruiters are human resources (HR) professionals who work specifically in the legal field, recruiting lawyers and legal staff. Legal recruiters work with senior management to develop recruitment strategies, attract and hire legal personnel, and develop strategies to retain employees.
Legal recruiters may work for individual practices or for recruitment service companies. Such recruiters spend almost all their time in office settings, though some travel may be required to meet with clients, potential employees, or to attend recruitment events. Legal recruiters work full-time during regular business hours.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree; law degree (with human resource experience) preferred|
|Degree Field||Human resource management and law|
|Experience||Human resource experience preferred|
|Key Skills||Communication and interpersonal skills; familiarity with Internet recruiting tools and applicant tracking systems|
|Median Salary (2016)||$85,353|
Let's look at what steps you'll need to take to become a legal recruiter.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for a legal recruiter. Students earning an undergraduate degree in human resources take courses in employment law, organizational management, compensation, and conflict management. Aspiring legal recruiters should also take courses that develop their analytical, critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills, and it would benefit them to take courses in literature, philosophy, and government.
It's recommended to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), since graduates have to take this exam to enter law school. It may be beneficial to take an LSAT preparation course. The LSAT exam consists of 5 sections of multiple choice questions that measure a student's reading comprehension and reasoning skills.
Step 2: Get a Law Degree
Many employers prefer that candidates have a law degree. Going through a law program can help students understand the culture of lawyers as well as the employment track that leads to law partnership. First-year law students generally take similar classes in Constitutional law, contract law, and law procedure. In the second and third years of law school, students have the opportunity to shape their own studies. Aspiring legal recruiters may take the opportunity to focus on employment law.
Attend networking events during law school to build relationships with lawyers who may soon be looking for a job or lawyers who may soon be looking for assistance.
Step 3: Get Experience
Although some employers hire legal recruiters without any experience, many prefer 2-4 years of recruiting experience. Individuals can start out as an HR assistant or perform HR duties in a small organization and take on additional responsibilities as the organization grows. Recruiters can also gain experience networking and recruiting candidates, as well as guiding them through the interview and hiring process.
Step 4: Become Certified
The HR Certification Institute offers certification for human resources professionals. Although there is no certification specifically for legal recruiting, the exam covers principles related to hiring, such as recruitment, workforce planning, and compensation - principles that candidates would have knowledge of based on their undergraduate degree program and experiences. Candidates must have a minimum level of experience and education to become eligible to take the certification exam. Upon earning the credential, professionals must earn a minimum number of continuing education credits to maintain their certification.
To summarize, legal recruiters need a bachelor's degree and work experience in human resource management, and a law degree is preferred.