Last week we stumbled upon the“Greatest Law Firm Recruiting Video Ever!” and it got us thinking about what was so right and also wrong with it. It’s a little over the top, but the fact that a recruitment video that is a little over the top stands out so much in the world of law firm recruiting says a lot about how law firms have been conditioned to attract talent. While we know that the mentality of law firm recruiters could use some updating, there’s a danger in changing for the sake of change to get in on the new “hip” thing:
“Wired GC’s John Wallbillich, a former general counsel in the Midwest and founder of Lexvista Partners picked up on this morning’s NY Times story on the use video by law firms. The goal of the firms – to recruit the YouTube generation.
The firms hope to persuade students that their lawyers, and by extension the firms, are young-thinking and hip.
The need to attract top-notch summer associates is crucial; they are the pool from which most new hires are made. More than 19,000 graduates join law firms each year.
So far, the firms’ efforts have run the gamut from simple conversations with summer associates to videos promoting the firm’s expertise or its diversity.
Law firms may have to cover a couple conflicting bases here. That’s making their videos appear professional so as to ‘maintain the firm’s image’ while at the same time appealing to a YouTube audience which sees videos being done in a more spontaneous fashion.
Law students can tell the difference between video’s that cost $75,000 or are produced by PBS documentary veterans and the type of video young people themselves havee shot and seen all over the Internet. Assuming the goal of the firms is to be more like the recruits and less like other law firms, law firms are going to need to let their hair down a bit.
Plus having the law firm video stored on YouTube, as opposed to merely saying we’re doing YouTube like stuff, has advantages. One young people trust the YouTube brand. Two, YouTube video’s can be easily taken and played at other blogs and web sites. Law firms should want to have their videos displayed by potential recruits at the recruit’s own blogs – extends the reach of the video’s and gets them in more trusted environments.
Wallbillich summarizes law firms’ challenge.
…[V]ideo is going to be much more common on law firm web sites in the future. But if the process is directed solely by marketers, law firms will miss some of the real impact that this personalization of their practice could make.’”