Ask a Specialist Legal Recruiter: “What are your top 5 recommendations for entering the legal market?”

Specialist legal recruiter: Hi. My name is Libby Mizrahi (LLB) (Hons) and I’ve been recruiting legal professionals in the Melbourne market for over a decade. Throughout my career, I’ve recruited both in house and private practice roles, from Partner to 1st year Solicitor, in international global tier 1 firms as well as  small boutique suburban firms. I’ve had several children in that time, so I am acutely aware of the issues facing working parents and how flexibility in the workplace really works. My blog is aimed at imparting my experience and knowledge to you. Enjoy!

Be Honest: Don’t lie, don’t overestimate and don’t oversell.

We all want to portray ourselves in the best light and rightly so. Not at the expense of the truth, however. Whatever you hide from your recruiter will come out into the open… eventually. Whether you had a personality conflict with a partner you worked with previously or you need 4 weeks annual leave in the first year of your new role – make it known so it can be dealt with appropriately.  On the flip side, don’t undersell yourself – focus on your best points and highlight these with examples to back them up. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

Be open to opportunity: Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.

Upon entering the legal market, it’s a good idea to consider all opportunities. You never know who you might meet or what sort of exciting work lies around the corner if you’re closed minded. I’d never pressure anyone to take a role that they have considered but deemed unsuitable. However, if you go through the process of considering a variety of roles, it can actually lead you to your ideal role.

Preparation is key: Practice makes perfect

It’s best to enter the process with a clear picture of your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes, etc. Obviously I can help you crystalize these, but the process if you have put some independent thought into it. Practice answering both CV based and behavioral interview questions beforehand. Again, I can help with this. If you can’t explain it, and back it up with an example, it shouldn’t be on your CV. Knowing why you want to work for a certain company well ahead of time can make all the difference.

Be N.A.T.O: Not attached to outcome

It’s business, not personal. Be professional, personable, punctual, respectful, positive… and slightly detached. There are many factors that go into a hire and sometimes it’s just not meant to be. Don’t take it too hard, do take any constructive criticism, note what went right, learn from it and move on.

Your career is long – make the most of every interaction

Using a recruiter facilitates many connections, the recruiter herself, multiple HR professionals, support staff, Partners and lawyers. Careers are all about connections, be sure to make them where possible and leave a good impression, you never know where you will meet again in the future.