By Scott Levine, Founder / Managing Member
(slevine@aegislaw.com)

Solving for X:

How AEGIS is the Perfect Solution for Attorneys Looking for a Career Change

When you’re reviewing the attorneys you’re trying to place, there may be one group of lawyers that just continue to flummox you.

In theory, these lawyers should be ideal laterals who are easy to place. With two decades (or more) of experience, they have solid reputations in the legal community. They have established books of clients. And they’re ready to make a change.

However, even as their resume specifics may vary, what unifies these lawyers in your mind is that, whenever you come up with a lead, they suddenly seem less interested. Then, if you press them further for what positions they would be interested in, it becomes clear they don’t know. They’re just looking for a change. And by that, we mean more than a change of scenery. They’re looking for something fundamentally different.

In the pages that follow, we will dive into why these attorneys are tough to place—who they are and what they’re looking for. Then we’re going to explain why AEGIS is the firm you—and they—have been searching for.

For now, here are the key points:

  • AEGIS is actively looking for new hires. We need them to meet our current client demand and plans for growth.
  • AEGIS is where your attorneys will find that fundamentally different approach they’ve been looking for.
  • AEGIS is a terrific opportunity for you—as you are able to place accomplished senior and mid-career attorneys who haven’t found a great fit elsewhere.

Because AEGIS isn’t just another business law firm.

AEGIS is the firm that is disrupting the entire business of law.

Chapter 1: The Gen X Lawyer– A Different Generation, A Different Perspective

  

Even though my friends and I all looked like extras from Reality Bites, our Puritan work ethic was probably more 1690s than 1990s.  —Sarah Vowell, Author and Historian

Picture attorneys with 15-20 or more years in the law but still see retirement as years down the road. That means that they’re in their 40s and 50s, thus in a birth cohort from the years between 1965-1980. More colloquially speaking, they’re “Generation X.”

As a recruiter, you probably don’t give much thought to one’s generational cohort. Instead, you look at resumes and requirements. (And certainly, you can’t consider age as a factor for job placement!) However, thinking about Gen Xers from a generational perspective may help you place these lawyers; it will help you better understand their concerns and aspirations.

It’s Gen Xers who brought tech into every aspect of our lives. It was Gen Xer women who, as the daughters of the Feminist Movement and divorce, began to occupy the workforce in ways never seen before. Culturally, as they watched Boomers try to stitch together economic prosperity to a countercultural, even Hippie vibe, Gen Xers grew up cynical, funny and sarcastic, ambitious, and independent. And, with both parents working and being a generation of “latch-key kids” (home on their own), they pioneered concepts such as work-life balance.

Then came the Great Recession of 2008-2011. Everyone struggled, but it hit Gen Xers the hardest. They were in their prime career years when wages fell and opportunity stalled. Most Gen Xers have recovered in financial terms, but they haven’t necessarily made up for the lost momentum.

When Gen Xers began working in the 1990s, their (Boomer) bosses were in their 30s and 40s. Xers considered these first bosses mentors, but they were looked forward to the day when they’d be the grown-ups running the show. The Gen Xers had no idea that many of the same supervisors who ruled their careers back then would still be in those same positions, some 30 years later. But that’s what happened.

At this point, many Gen Xers have led accomplished careers, and they are becoming empty nesters or will be so in a few years. Some need time off to care for an aging parent or family member. So, just as the Boomers are finally leaving the spots Xers long-waited for, Xers may find themselves reluctant to fight for a job with a huge new level of responsibility. They just don’t want to do anything to screw up at this stage in their lives. (Some Boomers’ long careers are now cautionary tales.)

Most of all, Gen Xers’ lives are defined by having lots of responsibilities, but they don’t feel like they have much autonomy. Their workloads, schedules, and lives are set by someone else—be it more senior partners, clients, or spouses and kids.

If you have been unsuccessful in finding the placement for a Gen X lawyer, understand that they’re really craving is a place where they have financial success while, finally, they are in charge of their own destiny.

They’re looking for AEGIS.

 

Chapter 2: AEGIS: A Different Type of Law Practice

I’m looking for something bigger, you know? I’m looking for a “dare to be great” situation.
—Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything

Traditional firms seem to have as much competition between their own lawyers as between firms. But at AEGIS, we have a different philosophy: We are working together to build something new, something great.

AEGIS is the firm for Gen X lawyers who want to do terrific work for clients while they have autonomy over their day-to-day and their careers.

Our attorneys prize their independence yet also see the benefits of a collaborative environment. That’s why AEGIS is a non-equity model, meaning that compensation is based strictly upon one’s contribution to the firm. We define “contribution” in two ways: by bringing in clients (for themselves and others) and producing work clients need. We recognize and compensate both.

Another essential difference: We respect all of our attorneys. They come to us with impressive resumes. Most are already leaders in their fields. Given that, we have a small management team to take care of AEGIS operations, but, beyond that, we have a flat hierarchy.

And we believe attorneys should be as happy doing their work as our clients are happy with the work we do. To accomplish that, we encourage attorneys’ personal development. If that means an attorney needs time off for family, a passionate interest, or even a second career, they should take it, and we’ll help them make it happen.

 

Chapter 3: AEGIS Success

 The best way to predict the future is to invent it.  —Alan Kay, Computer Science Pioneer

Founded in 2003, AEGIS is a firm with a proven track record for our clients, and our unique approach is just as successful for our attorneys. The proof is in the pudding: AEGIS has been recognized as one of the “Fast 500,” a ranking of the country’s fastest-growing law firms.   AEGIS has also been included in the Inc. 5000 as one of the nation’s most successful private companies in any business sector.  A rare feet for a law firm.

Headquartered in Missouri (St. Louis, with a second office in Kansas City), we now have locations in Colorado (Boulder / Denver), Florida (Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa), Illinois (Chicago and O’Fallon), and Michigan (Detroit).

Our practice covers the full range of business-related law, including:

  • corporate law from business formation to compliance
  • venture capital and private equity work
  • mergers & acquisitions
  • intellectual property
  • dispute resolution and litigation
  • complex real estate development and construction
  • estate planning, including probate and trust administration
  • and even cutting-edge cannabis law

 

Chapter 4: Who We’re Looking For

Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth.  Hiring was—and still is—the most important thing we do. —Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO

We are actively seeking attorneys, particularly those in these categories:

  • Senior Lawyers: These attorneys are likely in the second half of their career, with an established book of business. These are often solos or small-firm attorneys who want to expand their client base and services provided, but they need more resources and lower overhead in order to do that.
  • Transitioning Lawyers: In a later stage in their careers, these lawyers are looking for a transition plan for their practices, but joining a firm with an equity-based model doesn’t make sense at this point in their careers. Again often solos, they want to continue to earning an income and providing services to clients, but they want to slow down as they move to retirement.
  • Established Lawyers. We also need attorneys with significant experience in the substance of the law and managing client relationships. These lawyers will step into succession plans of our transitioning lawyers. These lawyers will need to work closely with the transitioning attorneys, to protect clients’ current and future engagement with our firm.
  • Experienced Practitioners: Finally, we need lawyers with 5-8 years in our primary practice fields (e.g., corporate law). If they are concerned about the payment structure, then we can negotiate a guaranteed base income.

Conclusion

Do or do not. There is no try.   —Yoda

If you’re a recruiter, AEGIS should be on your list for future placements.

AEGIS is a new model of a law firm: It’s a firm built by Gen Xers, for those who share our goals and priorities. We want our attorneys to deliver clients terrific work. We want our attorneys to be autonomous and independent while providing them with a collaborative environment and more resources than they could have on their own. We want the firm to provide them with a fulfilling and financially rewarding career, but we want the rest of their lives to be just as fulfilling.

If you have a candidate who fits that description, we want to hear from you.

But before we do, we know your attorneys will probably ask, “But what’s it really like there?” So you can confidently answer that question, we’ll let Alex Pasad, an attorney in our Mergers & Acquisitions Practice, tell you and have the last word:

The flexibility of practicing with AEGIS has been life-altering.

The focus here is not on HOW you get your work done, but THAT you get it done and that it is done well. I came from past experiences where not having to wear a tie on Friday was the big cultural win. AEGIS could not be further from that culture—it is focused on results for our clients.

This has allowed me to be much more flexible in attending to my growing family and my personal life, all while generating revenue and satisfying clients.

If prospective attorneys believe they are entrepreneurial, they will fit the AEGIS culture. The freedom, flexibility, and ability to make. more money the more you work is not for everyone, but, for the right person, it’s the perfect fit.

At AEGIS Law, we’ve disrupted the traditional practice of law. Our firm offers the same quality and sophistication as larger firms, but we do it more efficiently and with a better attitude. We’ve created a new kind of law firm by focusing on recruiting top legal talent and giving our clients superior service. If you’d like to learn more about us and how we work, let us know.  Email Scott Levine at slevine@aegislaw.com or call him at (314) 454-9100 x 101.  Or, take a look at our Recruitment Guide