A few large law departments have an internal recruiter dedicated to its needs, ideally one who is familiar with the legal market. They follow up on referrals by in-house lawyers (still the most effective source of hiring good people) and unsolicited resumes. In addition, in a big law department they are aware of everyone interviewing and are able to consider candidates for more than one role. The internal recruiter arranges interviews and collects the evaluations afterwards.
Aside from close familiarity with the law department and the company’s Human Resources practices, an internal recruiter can save money as compared to using executive search firms. In other respects, the internal person and the recruiter serve different needs (See my post of March 26, 2005: executive search firms possibly inflate compensation metrics; Dec. 4, 2005: press search firms to present minority candidates; Feb. 19, 2006: search firms don’t favor internal candidates; June 27, 2006: 5% of hires come through search firms; July 5, 2006: executive search firms; March 17, 2007: Motorola and publicity for an open spot; March 20, 2007 #3: search firms; March 26, 2007: data on frequency of placements; May 3, 2007: HR resistance to use of headhunters; May 27, 2007: criticisms of recruiters; May 28, 2007: how to respond if a headhunter calls; May 28, 2007: recruitment awards offered by law departments; and Dec. 3, 2007 #1: executive search placements.).