Season 1, Episode 006

Marisa Simmons is a recovering attorney turned attorney recruiter in Atlanta, Georgia. She recruits and places top attorneys with law firms and companies throughout the Southeast, manages a team of incredible recruiters she’s humbled to work alongside, and she actually enjoys networking. More importantly, in her off-hours, Marisa is known as “Alice and Ryan’s mom”.

Listen in for tips and resources on how to work with a recruiter to find the perfect legal role for you or to staff your firm.

Shownotes

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marisasimmons/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/simmons_marisa

Transcript

DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases, it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

Suzi: I would like to welcome today, Marissa Simmons to the legally blessed podcast. So let me tell everyone a little bit about Marissa. I absolutely loved the bio that she sent me and she was like, I hope it’s okay. But when I read it, I was like, Oh, this is perfect. So Marissa is a recovering attorney turn recruiter in lovely Atlanta, Georgia. She recruits and replace it in places top attorneys with law firms and companies throughout the southeast management team of incredible recruiters. She’s humbled to work alongside and she actually enjoys networking. More importantly, in her off hours, Marissa is known as Alison Ryan’s mom, that lady who always who’s always running the streets of her neighborhood, a driver of a stick shift station wagon, killin it, Marissa, I love it. And that annoying person at the table has very strong opinions about various brews of beer, and is maybe to direct with the server. She’s learned to be a graceful loser. And she’s a lifelong fan of the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, and Georgia Tech yellow jackets. But as a recently discovered that winning is fun too. Now that the Braves have won the World Series for the first time since she was a teenager. Wow. I’m a fan of books made out of paper. She reads mostly ebooks and listens to lots of podcasts. So that’s good. Marissa has lived in Atlanta for 20 years and hopes to stay at least 20 More barring inescapable climate change that will force us all to mountaintops, or underground living facilities, somewhere so huge, huge welcome. And thank you so much for being here. And my first question is, are you going to the mountaintop or are you going to go to an underground facility?

Marisa: Good first question, probably the mountaintop I think I need the fresh air. I’m a fan of mountains. I grew up in the mountains. So that would just be like going home but probably like without the winter snow when it comes. 

Suzi: Sure. So where is home? Where Where did you grow up?

Marisa: I grew up in Johnson City, Tennessee, which is like way out of the way it’s in that tiny part of Tennessee, that’s between North Carolina and Virginia. And we moved to South Florida, um, while I was in middle school. And you know, I stayed there as long as I had to and as soon as I turned 18 and graduated high school, I left and came to Georgia Tech for college which Atlanta is like a middle ground between growing up in the true southeast and South Florida, which is basically the northeast and I was born in the Northeast extra is born in New York. So like all over the place.

Suzi: You are all over the place. Okay, so any residents west of the Mississippi, are we East Coast girls all the way here?

Marisa: Only although my sister has moved to Denver, which is tempting, tempting. 

Suzi: Yes. So question. This is important. Okay. Do you ski?

Marisa: No, no, I’ve never skied. I’ve never put a ski on. Um, I’ve tried being I’m incapable of water skiing. 

Suzi: Okay, so you if you thought about Denver, you need to know that it’s a requirement to move there. Like you have to learn how to ski. It’s like the only way to get around. Basically, the only way you can get around downtown Denver, right?

Marisa: Well see places like, you know, the Midwest, or Minneapolis where they’ve like figured out like the gerbil living style where they’ve got the tubes connecting all the buildings. Yes, yes, Denver, like get on that. So that those of us who, like aren’t able to live in the cold weather, right? So get around without having to ski places.

Suzi: So maybe maybe you’re kind of weak. 

Marisa: Maybe man is a good place for that.

Suzi: Yeah, yeah. And it’s funny that you mentioned Johnson City because I’m actually in in Kentucky between Knoxville and Lexington. So I am familiar with eastern Tennessee. I’ve been down to Johnson City area a few times for my niece’s softball tournaments on the on her travel ball team. So, so yeah, I’m kind of familiar with that that area.

Marisa: Yeah people often say Oh, Knoxville for eastern Tennessee. I’m like, no, no, that’s like way west of where I grew up. That’s not even East Tennessee compared to where I grew up. In people also know because of Bristol, and that’s where lots of races are. 

Suzi: Restall that’s, I forget about Bristol being over there and being such a huge hub for people that are into do they do NASCAR over there? Or is it IndyCar or both?

Marisa: You know, I don’t know. But when I was there, it was NASCAR.

Suzi: Okay, it was NASCAR. Yeah. I think you’re I think you’re right. So, okay, we could talk all day about eastern Tennessee and Georgia, which was there for as a southern person. I’m all about it. But I do want to talk about legal stuff, right? Like I want to dig into Marissa and your story. So you after you graduated from college, you went to Georgia Tech, right? Yeah. Your yellow jacket. And then where did you go to law school.

Marisa: I went to Georgia State for law school, decided to stay in Atlanta kind of plan all over the place. I knew I didn’t want a real job at 22. My parents both had like advanced degrees. So a real job wasn’t even quite an option for me. Then I was totally confused by all of my classmates were like, filling out job applications, which back then were in paper. And I was like, what are all these people are filling out. And sure enough, they were like getting jobs at 22, which I thought sounded horrible. And med school was not in the cards. I was a business major. I was kind of over that. Law school seemed reasonable. So I went to law school there you are not the most educated decision I ever made. But I did it.

Suzi: Are you hard in torts and you’re like, What is going on? No. tort, it’s in what’s a pop tort? Right. I’m like, what is that? And whenever we talked about forum shopping in in law school, I was always thinking about going to Vegas, and shopping at Caesar’s Palace. Like to me that was like forum shopping. So this was all right. So okay, so law school, all of a sudden, you’re in law school, and you’re like, Okay, how did I get here? Is there anything that you liked about law school? Or did you love it? Did it really kind of serve that that like, Oh, I’m gonna put off career for three more years?

Marisa: It definitely served up putting off career for three more years. And like growing up, it was a bit of an extension of college, in terms of like the lifestyle, although it definitely required substantially more reading. And, I mean, Georgia Tech is no joke, I had to study through college, too. But law school was on a different level. So um, you know, I spent a lot of the time partying, I spent a lot of the time reading, I spent a lot of the time outlining and wondering what the heck I was doing. But the thing with law school is it’s so fast, like you’re one semester in, and then you’re like, Gee, I only have five left, I can totally do that. And then a year in, it’s like, there’s only two years left, I can’t give up now, three semesters, and you’re halfway there. Like, if there’s you there’s like, not a good excuse to not finish it, because it’s so fast. But but the whole way through, I was like, What am I doing here, and then I graduated law school 2008, which you may recall, not a great time to be looking for jobs. So so the same went for lawyers, and I ended up being a bankruptcy attorney, I did consumer debt or litigation. So I like literally represented people who were filing bankruptcy for, you know, the irresponsible reasons, but also tons of, you know, really, a two income household went to a one or zero income household, you know, for reasons, obviously, entirely out of their control. So, it was a really hard time to be a bankruptcy lawyer. Yeah. And and didn’t know anything about bankruptcy. So I have allergies. I didn’t know anything about bankruptcy. Besides like how to spell it when I finished law school, I never took a single course. I actually wanted to do estate planning and probate litigation, which is like the opposite of what was happening in 2008. So I went down the path that was available to me at that point. and which served me well, but was not my calling, to say the least.

Suzi: Did you do that for six years?

Marisa: I did it for six years. I moved firms one. Okay.

Suzi: And you said that that wasn’t your calling? When did you figure that out? And what did that mean to you?

Marisa: So I mean, I knew before I even took like that first job, that I knew I was lucky to get it that point. I knew beforehand, like, I’m gonna keep looking for jobs. I don’t want to be a jeweler, I don’t know anything about bankruptcy, you have no plan. To even learn anything bankruptcy was gonna find another job, but I need a paycheck. Um, I enjoy parts of the practice. Like I like the litigation, I like arguing hearings, I’m someone who can like easily stand up in a room and speak. So I really love that part of it. And I even loved like the heavily regulatory aspect to it, like being able to read the code, learn the code, understand it, and then apply it. And it’s because the very code based practice area, so at NRC, I appreciated that, but the actual, like, human piece of it was just not for me, I’m like a people person. But there are some some things were on you 2008, or 2011 was a very, like, emotionally difficult time for everybody. You know, people were losing their houses and losing their cars and moving in with family. And it was a really hard time, but but I think just generally, there’s always going to be like that irresponsible aspect of bankruptcy, where it’s like, someone was just kind of, like, stupid. I had, I had clients that would walk in, like wanting to file bankruptcy, but they were wearing like, coat shoes. It’s like, do you see what’s happening here? Yeah, about the things you know. So I just, my patience was worn thin, I also set not a practice area that that I think is meant for everyone forever. It’s emotionally challenging. It’s also for me, personally, a practice area that’s open. And in my experience throughout Atlanta, it’s a six day a week practice area, like bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy firms are open six days a week, I had my first kid, I asked to make a bit of a change to my schedule, and I was met with resistance. And that pretty much was that was when I restarted my job search.

Suzi: And you realize something else out there will probably more be more conducive to having a child. Right?

Marisa: Yeah, to like having a life event. Um, then. So before, you know, I had been like, young, I was in my 20s. And, and, you know, I was it like, did it really matter? working six days a week, you know, I was friends with a lot of people that I worked with, we had a lot of fun, we managed to make it fun. And, you know, we went out. And so for the lifestyle when I did that the lifestyle wasn’t terrible, but as my life change, and my work life, you know, maybe didn’t, I had also changed firms at that point I had, I spent about just over a year at the second firm I was out before I left completely. And so that second firm was a very different lifestyle than the first. Not as, it wasn’t as big of a firm. So it wasn’t as there weren’t as many people that would like get together and hang out and do stuff and make it fun, too. So, you know, once that part of it went away, plus I had a kid it wasn’t. But I did apply for other jobs. I applied for other positions practicing, but I didn’t want to stay in bankruptcy. So what it meant totally restarting as a you know, entry level associate.

Suzi: Sure. pretty intimidating, right?

Marisa: And also is like impossible to do. You know, a lot of firms don’t want to take a fifth or sixth year and teach them fresh or don’t even want to like have the conversation about like, well, we’re gonna pay you like the first year, you know, you just don’t use the term pigeon holed comes to mind. But you do get a little bit stuck for lots of reasons and and I ended up getting fired from that job, which was a huge blessing. And the very next day, I got a call about a job I had applied for but I had no memory of applying for because it was done in like my post pregnancy haze. And one thing led to the next and here I am recruiting.

Suzi: That’s so serendipitous. So let’s talk about recruiting, right and that transition. So before your clients were humans walking the street who were wearing coats shoes and going through bankruptcy. Now your clients are technically attorneys, right and firms and firms. So you’re so let me I don’t fully understand how recruit recruiters work. So you work primarily for the law firm. You’re your client.

Marisa: Yeah, so I work for an outside recruiting firm, called Beacon Hill, we’re based in Boston, we have recruiters in all sorts of industries. As a former lawyer, I just work with attorneys. And so I am like an outside recruiter, and I partner with law firms, large and small with companies. I specifically focus on positions throughout the southeast. But we place full time well, not full time could be any time period, but permanent positions, no temporary or contract work, just permanent positions, associate partner, counsel, General Counsel, those types of roles. And then the company or the law firm is the one who pays our bills.

Suzi: Okay, awesome. So do you foresee an upheaval in movement of lawyers in 2022?

Marisa: It’s been happening already starting this year, last year, nothing. You know, last year, everyone tightened their belts. I think a lot of law firms did even better than originally expected before COVID really hit. Um, you know, obviously, law firms had their projections for the year, a lot of law firms then reassessed those, once the world changed, and, you know, lowered their expectations, a lot of firms still met or exceeded their original expectations. But they did it without hiring people. For the most part, there were very few firms that were hiring. And understandably, a lot of people not willing to make a job change because the market was so unstable. And it was, you know, who knows if you’re going to end up being last in first out. So there was there was really no movement. But a lot of people lost their jobs. A lot of people left their jobs for various reasons. And then this year, those firms that had done well needed people, but they had needed to hire last year, too. They just didn’t because of the fear of doing anything last year. And so this year has been just wildly busy. People are comfortable making a move again, companies and firms are comfortable hiring again. And I don’t expect it to slow down into the new year. And I for the foreseeable number of months. I would say it’s, I don’t think it’s going to go back to like the old, pre 2020 levels, even for a little while.

Suzi: Wow. Yeah. Oh, let me ask you this. What is like the biggest mistake that you see attorneys making? Let’s take a quick pause for message from my sponsor, prominent practice.

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Marisa: There’s a lot of things like with the job search that I think people like don’t think about or, you know, things have changed. Like do you write a handwritten thank you note or is it too late by the time it comes in the mail? You know, email, by the way, email, thank you. No. But I think it’s like just the whole picture. I think something hugely challenging is when you don’t know what you’re doing. It ruins the entire process. job searching luckily for me, it can be a full time job. And so but a lot of people go into it just with the one resume and they’re gonna like click their jobs online look like a fit and just hit apply, apply apply. You know, from from your resume is your resume well tailored to that particular position? Is your writing is your cover letter

Suzi: Is your writing is your cover letter appropriate.

Marisa: You know, are you just regurgitating what’s in your resume? Do you know what you’re looking for? Whether it’s Are you trying to run away from something? Are you running towards something? What is it? You know, what’s motivating you? You know, I asked a very pertinent question, what salary range do we need to be looking at? You know, and there are a lot of different levels of salary ranges that are market, quote, unquote, for various, even within a single, you know, geographical market based on the practice area, or the firm type or the company type. And, you know, so you could have a market competitive salary that’s wildly different from another market competitive salary within the same city. And you have to know what that looks like. And you have to know what your budget is, and you have to know what you can afford to do. And people will get golden handcuffed by their salaries or, you know, or just not understand that, you know, if it’s not about the money, what else is it? How do you interview appropriately to get the information that you need? To make a decision, I think a lot of people go into it, like we all do in the first job search, right? Like, I just need a job, I’ll just take a job. But after that point, most of the time, you’re not just looking for a job, this is a career, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. And I think a lot of people don’t make that kind of connection in their head. To you’re judging these people to like, do you want to work with them? So there’s so many, so many things along the way that can go wrong. But I think, you know, I think you really have to know what you want, or what you’re trying to get away from in order to at least start the process. Right, on the right foot.

Suzi: So what what are best practices with respect to salary talk, in the interview process? Is Is that acceptable to like, is that a subject that’s appropriate to talk about early? Like, for first interview? Or are there certain is there etiquette around all of this.

Marisa: I think when you’re applying for a job, whether you’re going through a recruiter or doing it on your own, you need to know, you don’t want to waste your own time. You don’t want to waste the time of the people that you’re interviewing with. Lawyers live in six minute increments, like you don’t want to waste that. So to some extent, you need that information upfront. If you’re working with a recruiter, the recruiter should be able to give you an idea of that before you walk into an interview. If you’re applying on your own, you know, you can if the job position doesn’t say it, you can Google, you know, you can look for that information. Online, if it’s a firm that maybe you could get a general estimate Glassdoor. God knows how, like, reliable those numbers are, I don’t know. But, you know, there’s, there’s at least plenty of places where you can get some insight, at least, if you’re, if you’re applying on your own, and you get a call back. Usually, it’s going to be by like a firm administrator or someone like that. And you can say at that point, you know, before we schedule something, I would like to make sure that my salary expectations are in line with what you all are looking for. And it’s completely appropriate to ask, you know, in the interest of everyone’s time, when you’re physically sitting in an interview, especially the first interview, I don’t love talking about money, there’s way more important stuff to get to in the first round of interview, like if your background is a fit, what they’re looking for, you know, what the long term expectations are, are these people that you would like to spend your whole life with? Those are things that are more important for the substance of the interview. And again, it’s all about everyone’s time. You know, if you’re going to continue the conversation, that’s a good time to start talking about the numbers again. I hate the idea of getting to the end of a job search. And like suddenly you find out what the salary is. That’s crazy. We shouldn’t that should not ever happen, should not happen.

Suzi: Right? Yeah.

Marisa: So um, there are appropriate ways to do it. But you know, like anything that’s kind of HR related or like in an employee manual, or related to time off or what anything that’s not truly substantive the position. If you’re working with the recruiter, the recruiter should be able to get those answers for you or negotiate those things on your behalf. If you’re not working with a recruiter, those are things you should be able to talk to the firm administrator or a partner about on the phone after an interview before, not in the set setting of an interview. partners and associates don’t always know that information, first of all, but, but like, that’s just not what they’re there to talk about the We’re there to talk about the job. And when people don’t know the answer, either they’ll say they don’t know, which is fine. Or they’ll like make up an answer. And then you’re going on information that God knows if that’s right. So it’s just not the time to ask about things. Plus, you don’t want to sound like money, is your number one factor or that the work life balance? Is the motive, you know, like there’s better ways of getting those answers.

Suzi: So who is a good candidate to work directly with someone like you?

Marisa: That’s a very good question. It’s a little bit difficult to describe specifically, we work with a very broad range of law firms, I’ll say law firms, I’ll start there. Anyone with top credentials, top 50, law school, honors come loud, whatever. I’ve been in big law or something comparable. Partners with books of business, those type of people, we can pretty much always work with you. You have a very marketable background, firms are willing to open up opportunistic positions for the right person, often, especially in practice areas where there’s high need commercial real estate, corporate transactions, these days, tech technology transactions, various types of litigation, intellectual property, those are practice areas that are always in very high demand and require for the most part, very well credentialed lawyers. And so those are the type of people that we can pretty much always work with. And not If not find, do something immediately generally do it pretty quickly. But then, like my favorite clients to work with are the boutique firms, big law firms will work with everyone. They’re great. They’re fantastic for my bottom line, but the boutique firms are like where you really get to build relationships and like enjoy working with people. You know, a lot of the boutique firms that I work with in town I’ve worked with since I started recruiting. There’s one partner who the first time I met him, I was wildly pregnant with my second child, and he still asked me how the baby is. And she’s five. That’s it. He said, grandparents, I met him.

Suzi: And I said, the baby, right?

Marisa: And you’re like, Yeah, especially as the baby he’s known with babies now. But, like, I love that, because that’s what makes it really fun and really rewarding. Is is like those firms. So some boutique firms, of course, have very high expectations and also expect the type of people that the big law firms do. But a lot of the boutique firms are really looking more for experience than for, you know, shiny credentials. And and those attorneys are fun to work with too, because they’re not people that often work with recruiters. They’re certainly not people who are getting recruiter calls and emails regularly. They’re often more dynamic they have they’re a little bit more people a than like your big law lawyer. So it’s just fun to work with those, like I’ve got a couple of small firm searches right now in practice areas, you don’t see a lot on big firms estate planning, which is what I wanted to do tax controversy, which is their version of saying litigation, but they don’t call it litigation centers. Tax litigation, you clearly like the alternative, look at you. tax controversy, you know, municipal I have municipal litigation, so people firms that represent like the local governments. So very cool practices, both my estate planning and my tax controversy to different firms. Their clients are like sports stars, you know, and Atlanta has lots of famous people who live here. So we’ve got, you know, like cool, sexy stuff to do, but it’s not in the big firms. And so there’s like those types of people too, that I enjoy doing. I enjoy working with and I went to Georgia State law school so like our top grads go to big firms but like the normal people like me don’t they get you know, your more regular jobs, but I enjoy getting to work with those people. It’s it’s just kind of like warms my heart a little bit more. And then we do a lot of in house searching. And as much fun as that is. It’s everyone’s in house jobs. So it’s challenging in that you have a lot more people to sort through. I love it. I love it when a GC is like who want a new job and I’m like great, your networks going to be way better for finding a new job, Mr. General Counsel or miss General Counsel. Then I will us because it’s just, you know, there’s no such thing as like an opportunistic General Counsel job like there is for a partner or an associate in a law firm, I get these jobs when they come to me. And when the company has agreed, budget wise, they need a recruiter and can afford a recruiter to help with that. I can’t just go out and find in house jobs for people left and right. I wish I could, but I can’t. So like that people generally job hunting for in house stuff. I will, I’ll talk to them, I’ll kind of save the resumes. But those really come about more, when the companies need it, we can’t be quite so aggressive. Creating positions where you can with a law firm.

Suzi: That’s fascinating. So what is your favorite thing about being a legal recruiter?

Marisa: Favorite thing, like the building relationships, it’s a lot of fun, like, you know, over time, people that I placed when I first started, are, you know, making their way to partner that now? You know, or one firm I’m one of the smaller firms I’m currently working with. The managing partner of the firm is one of my former classmates who graduated law school together, she kind of funny to think that we graduated so long ago that one of my colleagues could be a managing partner somewhere. But I’m just that old. So that’s the reality of life. But it’s just fun to like, keep up with people’s careers and see what they’re doing. And, you know, people come back to you, when you when you do it, right people come back. And that’s really nice and like, makes you feel good and tells you you’re on the right path. And you know, you’re helping people.

Suzi: You I love it because you’re you talk about your career with an energy and passion that I think is fairly rare. And I felt like when we were talking about the bank, like the work that you did when you were right out of law school, like you’re a little heavier about it, right? I mean, granted, that was a different time period, you had some obviously really challenging clients, we were going through the Great Recession, like he probably just felt super fortunate to have no matter what, right, just getting through, like, Thank God, that’s huge. But it’s interesting, because I could tell just like your energy level, like change when you talk about legal recruiting, and so I do want to ask you, if you could give like any piece of advice to a young lawyer, who is considering leaving the practice of law and doing something different, potentially in the legal field, but something different, not necessarily practicing law, like, Do you have any advice for that person?

Marisa: Just be really open minded. Like, there’s so many things out there. You know, recruiting is what I just fell backwards into. But other than having worked with a recruiter, as a candidate, once as an attorney. I didn’t know anything about recruiting, you know, no one goes to college to like, be a recruiter. There’s not a particular major that feeds into this. But but there are, there’s all sorts of things though, I bought a book when I was a third year in law school about non legal careers for for lawyers. And I honestly didn’t crack it once. But it was a whole book of non legal careers for lawyers. That’s a lot of stuff. There’s plenty of options out there. And what you don’t know after law school is what the heck else there is. So apply for stuff. And keep an open mind and like just go on the interview. Yeah, nothing else. It’ll be practice for better interviews. But you never know what you don’t know that’s out there. There’s so many things that you just would not think about. That may present themselves to you and and see everyone around you as like a potential resource. And definitely someone to learn from. Everyone has all of these different experiences. Everyone has a different network, you never know who you’re going to meet new you’re going to talk to, and where that’s going to lead to. So just be open minded. You never know what an opportunity is going to look like.

Suzi: Yeah. And I think that, as young lawyers we get in our head, what things should look like based on what society has told us things should look like, right or what our family has, has told us or we see our friends every year doing this right and the end of the day, we don’t really know what’s right for us until we Try it. And I love that guidance of just being open minded. Right? And just being open to looking at different possibilities. That’s the thing I think about practicing law or like, at least coming out of law school. I think it’s one of those I mean, as opposed like, when a medical school, right, where you’re pretty good, you’re gonna be pretty narrow in terms of what you’re, you’re gonna be doing. You can go to law school, and do a lot of different things, right? You could be a teacher, like you could you could do it, you could be an entrepreneur, you can be anything. So law school doesn’t necessarily pigeonhole you further, although the further you get down into your particular practice, right, six years of bankruptcy work, you know, it’s like, yeah. Right. So, and like you said a minute ago, like, I think that firms are, it is challenging to even think about kind of a mid career shift in terms of a practice area. You don’t really hear about that very much.

Marisa: It’s very challenging, the positions are out there. But um, like in house positions, there’s a lot of interest in them. Because there are a lot of people who want to change their practice areas for various reasons. It’s not something that a lot of attorneys get to work on. Like, occasionally we’ll work on those. But when it comes to our fees, they don’t want to pay for someone they have to train, you can find a trainable lawyer anywhere, we’ve all been trained to sit for the bar and pass it, you know. It’s they don’t want to pay a recruiter bill for someone that they have a time investment in greater than a normal lateral. So the positions are out there, but they’re very competitive. And they’re very hard to get. And there’s not a lot of, huh, yeah. 

Suzi: So I’m curious, what is next for your career.

Marisa  

I’m continuing to grow my group. So I actually manage my team of recruiters throughout the southeast, there are eight of us right now, eight of us. And I’m growing my team at Beacon Hill, when I started here, only had attorney search in Boston. And so I joined with the intent of growing the southeast region. So I’m looking for people in more of the key major markets throughout our region, DC, Richmond, the Carolinas, Nashville, Birmingham, in major markets in Texas, Florida. I’m constantly looking to grow with the right people who may or may not have recruiting interest or recruiting background. My whole group is former practicing attorneys, and we have one former paralegal. So I think the legal background is super important, but continuing to grow this group. And that’s really like my short term focus. Long term, I don’t know, except that I’m super duper happy here. And so I don’t expect to make any other changes, although I said that at my last job, and then I got recruited to come here, but I can’t imagine being recruited again. And I do I love this job, and I love the company. So I continuing to grow the group and contribute to to Beacon Hill overall, is, is my goal.

Suzi: I love that. So let me ask you this, if you were to write a letter to Marissa, when she had been a bankruptcy attorney for three years, what is what’s one piece of advice you would have given? Little Marissa baby Marissa Baby, Baby lawyer.

Marisa: But as good advice I would have given to myself, I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily do things differently because I’m happy with where I’ve landed. You know, so I don’t know that I would say do anything differently. I would like a little motto. I’ve kind of had his be courageous and have faith in yourself. And I kind of come back to that anytime there’s a crossroads or I don’t know, I’m not sure I’m looking outside for approval or for you know, input or whatever. It sticks to my gut. Because it’s it’s right. It’s usually right. Listen to yourself. Have faith in yourself. You can do it. Just do. Do what’s in your heart. Do what’s in your gut Follow. Follow your gut. Got it? Cuz it’s right. Keep doing that.

Suzi: I love that. I think that that intuition is something that we tend to maybe lean into, as we get older, a little more. Yes. As a younger person, right? Like, as a younger person, I was always like, no, no, like, if my gut says something’s like, no, no, my brain, my brain knows what to do. Right? Or what, you know, let me go ask this person or what’s, what are these other people doing? Right? But it is definitely something that the older I’ve gotten, and the more I lean into it, it doesn’t fill me. My brain. 

Marisa: Yeah, yeah, your brain will fail you sometimes other people’s brains will fail you plenty? Yeah, as I’ve gotten older, you know, 28 year old me versus today. Me? You know, I had a good head on my shoulders then. But, you know, probably could have listened to it a little bit more. Ya know, but yeah, go with what? If you feel like something’s right on the inside, don’t make another decision. Go with that. Right. It’s the right way to go for yourself. You’re living a different life than everyone else. Don’t ask everyone else there? Or have you asked them to share their opinion be prepared, you know, to to not take it or to feel unhappy if you take someone else’s advice on things?

Suzi: Hmm. Yes, because I think that all too often, as younger lawyers, we leaned in way too, I leaned in way too much to other people. At the expense of trusting my gut. So that’s, that’s amazing advice. I love that. And the what was your you had that little mantra, I loved it.

Marisa: But be courageous and have faith in yourself.

Suzi: Be courageous and have faith in yourself? I absolutely love that. So let me ask you, Marissa, where can people find you online? And can they apply to work with Beacon Hill and Marissa? Sure. You’re looking for recruiters, right? So I am here this and they’ll be like, oh, like that’s would be really cool, right? Because I think

Marisa: I’m a terrific boss.

Suzi: Just as I’m sure you are.

Marisa: I do like to think that the people that I work with also like me find me on LinkedIn is probably the easiest place online to find me but obviously a professional LinkedIn account Marisa L. Simmons, or lead Simmons, I’m not sure what I’ve got up there. There are a couple of other Marissa Simmons if you can believe it, but it’s s it’s Marissa with one s. I’m the only one with giant curly hair and big glasses. Beautiful. By the way,

Suzi: I love your hair. So people that are just podcast, don’t get to see it. But I will put your your LinkedIn and any social media handles or whatever that you permit me to, in like the show notes in the description of the show. So people can click on that too and find you.

Marisa: Perfect, I’ll make sure you have those. And, yes, you can apply for jobs at Beacon Hill. I’m hiring for the southeast. But we do we do have other groups throughout the country. I’m not entirely sure what their needs are. But I can always point you in the right direction. And if you are an attorney, looking for either a lateral move, or you need to hire someone, you know, that’s what we do. And like I said, I love talking to people. So give me a shout. Find me on LinkedIn.

Suzi: Reach out to Marissa schedule a call with her and talk about prepping about whether or not you’re going to retreat to the mountain tops or the bunkers. Thank you, Marissa. I’m all about I gotta be out in the fresh air. The mountain sound great. So, but thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being on here and sharing your story and giving just some really amazing just nuggets of wisdom that I think are going to be so great for people. Thank you. Thank you so much for us. 

Marisa: Thank you for havingme. This is fun.

Suzi: Thank you so much for hanging out with us today on legally bliss conversation. If you love this episode, and you want to hang out with other inspiring and light gold female attorneys, be sure to join the legally bliss community at legally blessed.com And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Suzan Hixon. See you next time.

Recruiting and Placing Ambitious Attorneys with Marisa Simmons

marisa simmons

Mindset, Podcast