Every cloud...: Experts believe mid-tier recruitment is the silver lining following the rash of legal redundancies this year.
And it's not just clients that are being convinced. Taylor Root consultant Matt Harris believes that the economic downturn has opened the eyes of lawyers - who previously considered themselves exclusively top tier - to the opportunities that exist in the mid-tier market.
"I think that there are lawyers in the top tier who could be described as disenchanted, and who - over the course of the last year - have seen what is available with some of the quality mid-tier firms and are, maybe, starting to change their views on where their future career could be spent," he says.
And while the top-tier firms lay low, Harris says, the mid-tiers have been the first to turn the recruitment taps back on, seizing on the first signs of the economic recovery "as an opportunity to recruit some of the talent that's out there - and get ahead of the pack".
"Particularly with some of the larger mid-tier firms, there seems to be a sense of excitement about what's coming - about the work, the clients they've managed to bring on board over the bad times - and now there's a real effort to make hay in a market that ... is getting a lot better," he says.
He says the drawcards of the mid-tier are varied. "The opportunities for progression are perceived as being better, the quality of the work is perceived as being largely as good as the top-tier work, and the mix of work can be more varied between large deals and smaller deals.
So, particularly for mid-level or junior candidates, this means they can ... see a project through from start to finish, rather than feeling like a very small cog in a very big machine," he says.
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