About Us


Who We Are

As one of New York's premiere consulting and legal search firms, J. Smith Associates, since our formation more than 20 years ago, specializes in permanent attorney placements of associates, counsel, partners and practice groups at law firms and within corporate legal departments in the tri-state area and in major cities throughout the United States. Indeed, over the last two decades, we find an increasing number of placements being made not only here in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California, as well as major hubs along the East & West Coast.

J. Smith Associates is comprised of extremely talented professionals who are adept at legal search consulting and who bring their diverse previous business and legal experience, as well as their unique talents, to bear to effectively facilitate the formation of new professional relationships, relationships in which the professionals and law firms and corporations we work are positioned to and do thrive together.

How do we do that?  Simply put, we invest our time and talent for the shared benefit of our law firm and corporate clients and the experienced attorneys with whom we work. We achieve superior professional relationships by meeting and speaking at length with the law firms and corporations and the attorneys with whom we work to learn what drives them culturally and professionally, to understand what they have accomplished and what they want to accomplish now and in the years ahead and their requirements for meeting their objectives. By learning from both sides of the professional relationship equation- the law firm or corporation on the one hand, and the experienced and talented attorney or group of attorneys, on the other hand, we are able to discern strengths and synergy that we believe would be better realized by bringing them together and we articulate for them the professional fit that we perceive. We proceed on this basis of an “articulated fit” with our attorney candidates and the law firms and corporations with whom we work.


How We Work

Drawing on our vast individual and collective experience, our legal search consulting team continually communicates substantively with the hundreds of law firms and corporations with whom we work and we are continually reaching out to, initiating and maintaining dialogues with thousands of the country’s most talented and experienced working attorneys, at all levels- associates, counsel and partners.

In concert with our aforementioned direct communication activities, we at J. Smith Associates utilize some of the most detailed, strategic proprietary databases in the business to analyze the data against the marketplace and successfully place hundreds of associates, counsel and partners at law firms and within prestigious corporate legal and compliance departments, including Fortune 500 companies and investment banks and highly regulated corporations.

Working closely with each of our candidates, our legal search professionals search the legal community for compelling opportunity.  Before undertaking any search, we personally interview every candidate to discuss his or her career objectives and economic and regional preferences. Only then, after we have a comprehensive understanding of their abilities and professional goals, do we begin our search to locate the ideal work environment for that candidate. We assist them with preparing and presenting their professional profiles and resumes and representative experience and prepare them for and follow up with them following meetings with the law firms and corporations with whom we work.

We uphold the highest ethics, and all inquiries are respected as confidential.


Our Candidates

From the start, our search strategies focus on how to help candidates advance their careers and how the candidates we represent can help the law firms and corporations clients with whom we work advance and achieve their client service and legal and business objectives. In doing so, we place attorneys at all levels:

Associates- For our candidates who have distinguished academic records and professional achievement, we have placed associates into law firms where they can deepen and broaden their skills and experience and advance their careers. Indeed,  this individualized attention to his or her long term career goals has resulted in many of our associates staying on with the firms and corporations where we have placed them and, in time, enjoying partnership or comparable advanced organizational status.

Counsel – For our candidates who have proved themselves valuable enough to their current law firm or corporation to have achieved counsel status, we have placed them into law firms and corporations where they are empowered professionally, either as counsel or, in many cases, as partners (or comparable advanced organizational status) from the outset.

Partners- For our candidates with established records of professional and client origination/representation, we have placed partners individually and as part of groups at some of the most prestigious firms, where they can advance professionally more rapidly and where they can better serve and expand their clientele and where they can be treated as valued colleagues and team with their new partners to cross-sell and create synergy amongst their common and respective substantive areas of practice.


Practice Areas

With more than 50 years of combined professional and business experience, our legal search consultant professionals collectively have extensive knowledge of the market for all significant substantive practice areas that are the subject of lateral opportunity. Our strong record of placements reflects our ability to identify current as well as emerging legal trends and prepare our candidates as well as our law firm and corporate clients to meet that ever-changing demand.