We work with partner candidates to maximize their opportunities and value in the lateral market. Founding partner Mason Kalfus spent approximately 10 years “in house” at law firms recruiting, interviewing and evaluating partner candidates. Ellen Musante spent much of her career (over 30 years) working with lateral partners on integration and marketing at their new firm. This experience gives Zenith a unique insight into how law firms evaluate and integrate lateral partner candidates. We help candidates craft resumes, business plans, and lateral partner questionnaires to get the deal done. We are experts at preparing our candidates for interviews (both in-person and virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic). Once interviewing is complete, we assist with negotiations and other details to ensure candidates have a smooth transition to their new position. All conversations and written discussions are held in the absolute strictest of confidence. No candidate is ever submitted to any firm or potential employer without specific consent and all candidates are regularly updated on the status of the process.
Zenith Legal regularly works to place Associates and Counsel in law firms based on available positions. We speak regularly with law firm recruiting departments and subscribe to job posting services to be made aware of every opportunity. What makes Zenith Legal different is (1) we don’t employ cold callers; (2) we work exclusively for the candidate; and (3) we never, ever submit a resume without explicit consent from the candidate. If someone from Zenith Legal calls you, it will be one of our recruiters on this website and they will have spoken to partners and/or recruiting personnel at the firm whose job we are presenting. We are matchmakers and we only call or email associates that we think will be attracted to the opportunity we are presenting. Once you engage us in any representation, we represent you and do our best to accelerate your candidacy and your career. We offer free career advice and care about our clients – we don’t simply email resumes around. Our goal is a long-term relationship with you, not a single placement based on an email. Our candidates regularly refer us their friends, which we take as the ultimate compliment.
Zenith Legal is located in DC and was founded primarily to work with government lawyers. Mason Kalfus is a former antitrust lawyer and spent a decade at law firms focused on government regulatory practices. Zenith Legal has worked with government lawyers in every federal agency that regularly has lawyers leave for law firm private practice: DOJ, SEC, FTC, CFTC, FDA, EPA, HHS and Treasury. Additionally, we have placed senior Congressional staff in into law firm positions, both legal and legislative. We have placed partners in some of the country’s most prestigious and profitable law firms. We understand the unique challenges of working with government lawyers (including political appointments) and can counsel our candidates on ethical issues and salary negotiations.
Zenith Legal expanded into C-level (and other senior staff) placements at law firms in 2020 and within weeks had our first C-level placement in an AmLaw 100 firm. Both Mason Kalfus and Ellen Musante worked in senior staff positions at law firms so we know the market extremely well, especially COO, CMO and pricing/value positions. We work with law firms to quickly identify the best talent in the market they are searching. We already know many C-level and senior staff at law firms and we reach out to get recommendations and due diligence from them on their colleagues. We then interview the best candidates and present them to our law firm client. Unlike our competitors, we typically don’t require a fixed up-front fee on this service because we are confident of our success – if we accept the job, we will find you the right candidate(s) quickly. We are also unique in this practice in that we can offer extended placement guarantees beyond one year. We are so confident in our superior recruiting skills in this area that we will gladly take that risk. This practice is dominated by established larger recruiting firms that we frequently hear complaints about (from candidates and law firms) and we aim to disrupt and improve this market substantially.
We work with companies to find highly qualified lawyers for their in-house positions. What sets us apart from our much larger competitors? We provide service that is quicker and more personal than the large recruiting factories that place in-house candidates. We use our database to find the subject matter experts your company needs and pitch your positions. And because we aren’t one of the big firms, we use highly qualified recruiters (not inexperienced robodialers) to effectively reach potential candidates – and get them to consider your position. We don’t require long retainer contracts becuase we are confident we can fill the position quickly.
Mason Kalfus spent years advising law firm clients on growth and profitability strategies. He has given presentations to Boards and Partner Retreats at a dozen AmLaw 100 law firms. What makes our services different is we don’t simply give an off-the-shelf answer or tell your firm to “grow, grow, grow!” Every firm is different and we analyze the marketplace, your competitors, your clients, and your firm’s unique brand and strengths to give you the right answers. Our goal is not merely to sell you follow-on lateral partner work but to give you a coherent and comprehensive strategy that your partners will support and will improve your firm’s future.