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Need a good headhunter, but don't know how to choose from the legions that cold-call your office every day? Look no longer; we have whittled the list down for you. We contacted the state's largest law firms and inquired which headhunters they prefer to use to staff their ranks. For your partners or aspiring partners, we have also compiled other useful information - notable placements, recruiter's philosophy and client reviews - to further narrow your search for the perfect headhunter.


: 1989
Principals: Jeffrey Stillman, David Popky
Full-Time Recruiters: 3
Offices: Main office in San Francisco. Other office in Los Angeles.

Notable Placements: Last spring, placed corporate partner Curtis Mo and his $8 million book of business with Brobeck Phleger & Harrison from Dewey Ballantine. Also brought Brobeck corporate partner John Montgomery, formerly with General Counsel Associates, in December 1999. Together, the two partners head the firm's business and technology practice group out of the Palo Alto office.

Philosophy: "Our central strategic approach is to respond to and proactively anticipate a rapidly changing market," principal Jeffrey Stillman says. "From 1995 to the middle of 2000, the legal market was uniquely voracious, pushing us towards pursuing a large candidate base in virtually every blue chip practice area." Stillman says the market's recent cooling has forced his recruiting firm to focus on the "highest-priority needs" of law firms and candidates. Despite the change in strategy, he says his firm's principles remain the same: "With every search we are ethical, discreet and thorough."

Review: Law firms and candidates looking for a recruiter with "discretion" say they tap The Advocates Group. The recruiting firm is also complimented for its integrity and reliability. One San Francisco partner remarks, "We probably successfully hired more candidates from the Advocates Group than any other recruiter."

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