NALSC Profile of Our President, Eve Jaffe
FALL 2015 NEWSLETTER, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL SEARCH CONSULTANTS
Member Spotlight: Eve Jaffe (Owner, Garb Jaffe & Associates Legal Placement, LLC)
Interviewer/Writer: Dan Binstock (Garrison & Sisson, Washington, DC)
Eve Jaffe, a newly appointed member of the NALSC Board of Directors, is the owner of Garb Jaffe & Associates Legal Placement, LLC, based in Los Angeles, California. As you will read below, Eve’s professional and personal paths have led her on various journeys until she found her true professional calling with legal recruiting. Like many legal recruiters, Eve began her career as an attorney, started a family, and then switched gears to still work within the legal field but on the recruiting side.
An only child, Eve was four years old when her parents divorced. She was raised mostly by her mother, and they moved around…a lot. She attended eleven different schools in only nine years. (If you know Eve, one of the things that immediately stands out is her natural ability to connect with people in a warm and genuine manner; perhaps all of the moving around during her younger years enabled her to develop an unusual proficiency in developing relationships with people.) Eve and her mother ended up settling in the San Francisco Bay Area where she went to both high school and college.
When it came time to selecting a major for college, Eve, reflecting on how she often functioned as a de facto therapist to both of her parents growing up, believed she had a calling to pursue a major in Psychology. But she soon found that in Psychology, “there are no ‘right’ answers to questions since everyone has different theories for human behavior and none of them are any more ‘right’ than others.” Eve then turned to law because she thought that law, at least, was a concrete body of knowledge. She worked full-time to put herself through college and did the same for law school. Her hard work and dedication paid off when she was accepted to the University of Southern California Law School with a full scholarship. Three years later, however, Eve had to amend her initial thoughts on law vs. psychology: “Law didn’t offer much more certainty than psychology but at least the pay was good.” Definitely agreed.
Eve very much enjoyed being a lawyer. She started her legal career as a corporate bankruptcy lawyer with a boutique firm (that was later acquired by Kirkland & Ellis) and enjoyed the practice. So why didn’t she continue? Because she ran into a dilemma many working mothers face: continuing to work long hours or stay home with their children. “After having two kids, it became challenging to sustain the long hours without feeling like I was being a bad mother,” Eve confided, so she made the decision to stay home full-time with her girls for three years before feeling ready to go back to work. It was during this time that Eve discovered legal recruiting.
Eve wanted her next career move to reflect her desire for blending life balance with engaging work. She’d always loved recruiting, from serving on her firm’s recruiting committee to helping with their summer program and interviewing law students on campus. As she was thinking about exploring positions as a recruiting manager in a law firm, in a twist of fate Eve bumped into a friend who was the managing partner of a national firm who convinced her to consider legal recruiting. In the end she gave it a shot.
Not coincidentally, the partner’s wife, Sheila Garb, was the owner of a legal recruiting company. Eve joined the company and, when Sheila retired six month later, Eve took over as owner and President. Today, 13 years later, Garb Jaffe & Associates handles placements all throughout California, working with all of the major firms. Of interest, however, is the fact that they have developed a unique niche of working with smaller firms that typically do not work with recruiters. Her company also handles in-house placements.
Legal recruiting has turned out to be a perfect mix of her background in psychology and law. Eve has continued to work with lawyers, but she also finds that “recruiting is a bit like being a psychologist for people’s work lives rather than personal lives.” No day looks the same and recruiting is never boring.
What is most challenging to Eve about being a recruiter? Circumstances that are out of the recruiter’s control, such as other recruiters submitting candidates’ resumes without authorization, interfering with exclusives, or even claiming false entitlement to a fee. And to protect herself from the disappointment that sometimes happens in recruiting, Eve has learned not to “count her chickens before they hatch”, and even after they do, “not until they show up for work on the first day.” After thirteen years of recruiting, she tries her best to remain as objective as possible but her innately empathic nature is always at play. “It’s tough because part of what makes us good recruiters is that we care about our candidates and our clients. When you care about people it is hard to insulate yourself from disappointments.”
Outside of recruiting, Eve enjoys being active: hiking, going to the beach, and traveling. But she also enjoys the smaller things in life, such as eating, laughing, spending time with friends, and being with her family especially now that her daughters, Rachel and Erica, are 21 and 18 respectively. Eve sums up her vitality of life with her reflection that she’s been married to her husband, Glenn, for 26 years: “I still can’t believe I am actually old enough to have done anything for 26 years.”
Try to see what you have in common with Eve with these random facts:
- Favorite music: Pink, Matchbox Twenty/Rob Thomas, Green Day, AC/DC, R.E.M., Queen, Simon & Garfunkel
- Favorite TV shows: Homeland, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Transparent, Downton Abbey, House of Cards
- Favorite “old school” TV shows: Ally McBeal, LA Law, Seinfeld, The Brady Bunch
- Advice to her younger self (if she could do things over again): Be more tech and social networking savvy.
- Most influential book this year: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which she says is a must read for every working woman. She recently bought a recent-graduates edition for her daughter, who graduated from University of Michigan earlier this year.