Practice Management

Legal recruiter's article about lawyers shunned in BigLaw raises eyebrows

  • Print.


Image from

Prestigious law firms avoid hiring 23 types of lawyers, according to Harrison Barnes, the managing director and founder of BCG Attorney Search, a legal recruiting firm.

The shunned job candidates include government lawyers, lawyers who went to third- and fourth-tier law schools, and lawyers who don’t connect well with interviewers, according to Barnes’ online article, which is making the rounds on social media.

The article—written four years ago—sparked outrage among observers who said eliminating certain categories of job candidates hampers diversity, the American Lawyer reports.

Merle Vaughn, a recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told the America Lawyer that law firms will always seek the best and the brightest.

But “how that is defined and who it includes has evolved to be more inclusive,” she said.

Still, Vaughn said, there will always be some law firms that will “cling to the status quo as long as they believe it doesn’t adversely affect profitability.”

Barnes told that the article is just a list of the types of attorneys prestigious law firms avoid hiring, and critics shouldn’t “kill the messenger.”

“I’m passionate about giving people honest information about the way things work,” Barnes told the American Lawyer.

These are among the types of lawyers who made Barnes’ list:

• Lawyers who aren’t motivated by money or prestige.

• Lawyers with anti-corporate values and lawyers who don’t think the work of the law firm is important.

• Lawyers with poor law school or college performance and lawyers from third- or fourth-tier law schools with below-average academic performance.

• Lawyers who failed the bar exam multiple times.

• Lawyers who are currently unemployed.

• Senior attorneys without business or a strong potential to develop business.

• Lawyers who don’t connect with interviewers.

• In-house or government lawyers and lawyers with no law firm experience.

• Lawyers with a sense of entitlement.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.