Whether you have a question about legal recruiting, aren’t sure how to navigate a tricky situation or simply want to hear our take on the market, Kinney Recruiting is here to help. This week, Katherine Loanzon, Robert Kinney and Cindy Summerfield answer your questions, starting with whether you’re supposed to disclose every single matter you worked on, regardless of role size. Have a question of your own? Email us at moc.gnitiurceryennik@retiurceraksa and we’ll get back to you with our take.
Question: “For lateral conflict checks, are you supposed to disclose every matter you worked on even if you didn’t have a significant role or if the matter is closed?”
Katherine Loanzon: This is a common question and the easy answer is YES. You must disclose every matter you ever worked on at the current firm on your conflicts form even if you worked an insignificant portion of the deal or the case is closed. There is usually a category on the conflicts form that asks whether the matter is ongoing or closed. This is for your protection. Not much is worse than to announce acceptance of a job and then find out that case you worked on last year but forgot to disclose presents an unwaivable conflict. Talk to us when in doubt.
Question: “Is it worth applying for a position with a firm you are directly adverse to on a matter or will conflicts definitely keep you from joining?”
Robert Kinney: If you are on a litigation matter representing a client who is directly adverse to a client represented by another firm, talk to your recruiter about it. Some states recognize and allow ethical walls, while others don’t. A good recruiting firm will be familiar with these rules, as well as whether the firm in question will be inclined to try to work around a conflict. If there is no way to get past a conflict while a certain matter is pending, sometimes the best approach is to wait until the case is over. Often, conflicts are not real ethical conflicts but business conflicts caused by a firm avoiding work for one entity in order not to upset its relationship with another entity. A good recruiter who really knows the firm he/she is dealing with will be familiar with the potential business conflicts already or will have a partner contact at the hiring firm who can get to a rapid answer.
Question: “A legal recruiter just papered my resume and deal sheet to every firm in the legal 500. I found this out when a partner friend from one of the firms called me, upset that I didn’t reach out to him first. Anything I can do to rectify this??”
Cindy Summerfield: Every law firm that accepts recruiter submissions requires the recruiter to have the candidate’s permission before submitting. So no recruiter should be papering your resume anywhere without your authorization. The first thing you need to do is to quickly contact your friend and let them know that you did not authorize the recruiter to submit you to your friend’s firm. But, you can’t stop there. Here is a list of damage control steps:
- Ask your soon to be ex-recruiter for a list of every firm that has your resume.
- Find a reputable recruiter that can help you manage the situation and find the right opportunity for you. (Ahem, I hear Kinney Recruiting is really excellent.)
- Provide the new recruiter with a letter saying that you “did not authorize ______ recruiter at ________ agency to submit my materials. I am giving you permission to send my materials to ______ firm.”
- Have your recruiter send that letter to every firm that is of interest where the recruiter sent your materials without prior authorization.
Have a question of your own? Email moc.gnitiurceryennik@retiurceraksa and we will get back to you with our take!