“Must have previous law firm experience”. This has to be the most common phrase to appear on job descriptions for marketing & business development roles in law firms. But why? In an era when law firms need to stand out and be distinctive more than ever before, what are the implications for injecting creativity and new ideas into the profession?

By insisting on recruiting candidates who already have law firm experience, firms are obviously limiting their recruitment pool significantly. However, the more damaging impact is arguably to their competitive advantage.

Only recruiting people who have worked for other law firms, potentially competitors, will only bring ideas that your peers are already using. When firms are desperately striving to be distinctive this is counter-intuitive. Why would a firm want to be like everyone else? Isn’t the point to be better than your competitors? To do that you need better ideas, not the same ideas.

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