Month: January 2018

How to Judge Your Agency

There are many reasons why you should consider finding an agency to market your services for any type of legal position. A qualified agency will have targeted marketing strategies and possess established contacts in their legal community. Agencies quickly fill positions with qualified candidates without the time and expense associated with evaluating hundreds of resumes. These advantages cause clients to bypass advertising positions, relying on agencies instead to find qualified employees.

Criteria to Remember When Selecting an Agency

Fees

Be wary if an agency tries to charge a fee for accepting an application. The industry standard is for agencies to earn their fees based on placements with the fee paid directly by the client. Legal Network never charges its placements a fee of any type.

Qualified Oversight

A credible agency will have appropriately skilled placement directors who analyze the qualifications of their candidates. If not, the candidates resume may be sent to inappropriate jobs resulting in a waste of time or the agency will flood job inquiries with dozens of resumes, diminishing the odds for a qualified candidate to be placed. Our Placement Directors are attorneys who employ a rigorous three step evaluation process in matching attorneys to potential positions. Paralegals and legal secretaries are evaluated by a similar three step evaluation process over seen by a placement director active in the Pittsburgh Legal Administrators community.

Technical Capabilities

Even the best evaluation process means little if the agency is ineffective in quickly identifying you as a candidate. The probability on being placed diminishes if your resume ends up in a file cabinet, subject only to the recall abilities of the agency’s placement staff. Legal Network employs a state of the art database, which captures information about our lawyers based on their initial review and allows us to run sophisticated searches for the best candidates.

Agency’s Reputation

If you haven’t heard of the agency, many potential employers haven’t heard of it either. Legal Network has been the placement leader in Western Pennsylvania since 1995. We are owned and operated by attorneys who are fully knowledgeable about the marketplace. The organization has pioneered interim legal staffing, had numerous articles written about its services and appeared on local television shows. Legal Network employs an extensive mailing campaign supplemented by targeted advertising.

Compensation

The salaries being offered by legal organizations vary widely. Legal Network has been published based on our analysis of salary trends in the region. You can look to Legal Network for guidance on whether salary offers are reasonable so you’re not short changed when taking a new position.

There is also wide divergence among temporary placement companies in terms of compensation offered. At one time it was common for placement companies to keep upwards of half of what the client was paying. Therefore it is important for candidates considering a placement agency to ask; “How are you paid?” Is your compensation low? Are you receiving any benefits? Legal Network recognizes its employees as stakeholders in the organization. We employ a strict pricing formula that enables placements to earn a wage comparable to what they would make as employees in a mid-sized law firm. Furthermore, Legal Network provides a wide range of benefits including vacation bonuses and a 401K plan.

Confidentiality

Will you be contacted before your resume is ever sent out on a job? Your name and reputation are important commodities. Don’t let an agency indiscriminately mail your resume to potential employers. Too much exposure could reduce your marketability in the legal community. There is also the risk of embarrassing situations if positions in which you have no interest receive your resume. Legal Network never releases any resume until you have been contacted and consented.

Professionalism

How does the agency handle your inquiries? Are they professional in their response to your resume? Are they knowledgeable about the field and able to answer your questions? If not, they probably make the same impression on potential clients. Legal Network emphasizes sales training and professionalism in how it conducts business.

The Temp World Gets His Stamp In The Changing American Workforce

The use of temporary employees is growing so rapidly that companies are making temporary staffing firms permanent parts of their headquarters.

Called just-in-time people management, it is the hottest trend among temp firms and their clients. Just ask attorney Karl Schieneman. He saw the future before anyone else. His two-year-old Legal Network Ltd. company is routinely called upon to provide interim lawyers to handle special projects and document reviews for companies and law firms swamped by information overload.

The use of temporary lawyers has almost doubled since 1990 to more than 40,000 attorneys, according to the National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services. On an average day in the new century, the association estimates that 1.2 million people will be working temporary jobs.

Schieneman, a 1991 GSIA alum, said as companies have downsized and re-engineered, they’ve become more reliant on temporary workers to handle a range of jobs from computer programming to legal affairs.

“Outsourcing has become the wave of the future,” said Schieneman. His legal temp firm has a stable of more than 700 attorneys representing 110 legal disciplines. “With Legal Network, your organization no longer has the burden of payroll taxes, workers’ compensation , unemployment compensation, health, pension benefits and vacation,” Schieneman said. He said businesses using his temp legal service have realized cost savings of 51.6% in payroll liabilities alone.

“We also can help manage peak periods,” he said. Peak periods are a way of life for Schieneman who holds a dual degree from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

The savings are especially dramatic for large document review projects where teams of contract attorneys costing roughly $40 an hour replaced or augmented outside counsels who have traditionally charged between $125 and $150 an hour.

“We have one client who will save $500,000 by hiring eight contract attorneys in a document review project,” he said.

Schieneman said his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen are the result of practical advice from Carnegie Mellon Professors. “I’ll never forget some of the great advice from GSIA professor Lester Lave,” Schieneman said. “He essentially told us to start our own businesses with the quantitative skills learned at school.”

That notion brought back some interesting memories for Schieneman who can still remember at age 9 selling roadside soft drinks to motorists waiting to fill up during the 1970’s oil embargo. “I purchased the beverages at cost and then jacked up the price for the captive audience,” he said.

“GSIA gave me the self-confidence to consider expanding my qualitative side and my involvement in law,” he said.