When asked if she had any regrets about stepping out of her comfort zone and leaving her position as a top earner in the world’s premier legal executive search firm to start her own recruiting firm, Michelle Foster could think of only one: that she did not do it sooner.
Now leading The Foster Group, a full-service legal recruiting firm specializing in the placement of partners, counsel, and associates, Michelle brings her unparalleled industry knowledge to an environment designed to promote thoughtfulness, creativity, and collaboration.
“Simply put, I love my work, my clients, and the value I can add to individuals and companies,” Michelle explains. “When one changes their job, oftentimes their life changes with it. Being able to assist in such a positive transformation is very rewarding.
Starting my own firm was an extension of this. I wanted to continue doing the work I loved and partnering with terrific clients and candidates in an environment that empowers employees.”
And Michelle is not the only one who loves her work. Her clients describe her as “a critical advisor and tireless advocate” providing “commitment, professionalism, and support.” They recommend her services “unequivocally” to anyone who is looking to take their career to the next level.
One key factor that Michelle points to as contributing to The Foster Group’s success is establishing a corporate environment that promotes collaboration and a collegial work culture.
“In order to service our clients and candidates to the best of our abilities, we pool our knowledge, expertise, and insights to provide the best guidance and advice,” Michelle explains. “Notably, we are a small, but powerful, recruiting firm. Bigger is not always better in the recruiting world.
Our smaller size is a big advantage to our recruiters because there is so much opportunity for recruiter success without the necessity of competing with our colleagues. Unlike at some of the larger recruiting firms, recruiters here can actually share their knowledge with each other. They can help a colleague with ideas and suggestions to help them to close a deal.”
Another factor that is driving The Foster Group’s success is something that is quite unique in the world of legal recruiting. Michelle describes it as a “career counseling” approach to recruiting.
“Many of the large recruiting firms have quotas for their recruiters to meet, which encourages their recruiters to take a transactional approach to searches,” says Michelle.
“What should be a thoughtful and lengthy conversation is boiled down to the bare minimum because they need to make 40 more calls or connections to meet their quota. Our approach could not be more different. We spend a significant amount of time with candidates to understand their strengths, goals and how we can ultimately add value to their search and their career.”
By taking an approach that treats each client and candidate with sincere care, Michelle and her team have changed the career trajectory of many up and coming attorneys, as well as those farther along in their career helping them to secure partnerships or better compensation, elevate to stronger law firms, find a better home for their clients and practice, or achieve a better work/life balance.
“When you assist someone in changing their career trajectory, they are often re-energized and their outlook becomes markedly more positive,” Michelle says. “It’s a very meaningful endeavor that we approach with a high level of sincerity and focus.”
The media also has come to appreciate Michelle’s insight and expertise, with publications including Forbes, Bloomberg Law, and The National Law Review calling on her to contribute to articles addressing a wide range of issues in the legal arena.
Michelle recently contributed to Law360’s Glass Ceiling Report about the unique barriers faced by women in the legal profession, something that The Foster Group is uniquely positioned to address.
“We are a woman-led firm with a team of diverse recruiters,” Michelle explains. “This diversity gives us insight into the challenges that some of our candidates face and a certain sensitivity as we discuss our candidates’ career goals.”
Regardless of what an attorney’s career goals may be, or what position a firm is looking to fill, Michelle and The Foster Group have proven again and again that they have the experience, the knowledge, and the expertise to find the right opportunity.
“This journey has been one of the most significant professional achievements of my career,” Michelle says. “My firm has been highly successful operating in an incredibly competitive market. We are now in our eighth year and each year we have performed better than the last.”
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