Meet Patty Morrissy, a partner-level legal recruiter, with a significant network and credibility in the most elite segment of the New York City market and more broadly along the East Coast.
Prior to starting her own legal recruiting firm, Patty was Managing Director and Senior Legal Recruiter for partner searches with Macrae, Inc.’s New York City office, which she helped establish.
Earlier, she worked at two of the highest ranked law firms in the country, serving as Chief Recruiting Officer at both Sullivan & Cromwell and Paul Weiss, and as Chief Administrator for the legal and compliance department of a major investment bank.
In the public sector, Patty was head of legal hiring for the Brooklyn District Attorney and Associate Dean of Career Services at Cardozo Law School.
Patty’s broad experience has given her a unique understanding of how law firms think and make decisions, which benefits both her law firm and corporate clients as well as the candidates she represents.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Patty at two different law firms – Paul Weiss and Sullivan & Cromwell – and learned so much from her and always found Patty to be a true supporter of women and others.
Learn more about why Patty is a Woman Who Wows.
Why did you choose your profession?
In a sense, my profession chose me. After graduating from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I randomly interviewed at Citibank for a dreary job. The interviewer (whose name I will never forget – Janet Barrett) said: “you don’t want to do this – I know a great opportunity for you.” She introduced me to the hiring partner at Davis Polk, and the rest is history! I started my career as a legal recruiter and never looked back. I love it.
What do you love most about what you do?
- I have always been a bit of a nerd when it comes to studying law firms and the legal market, so being a headhunter is right up my alley;
- I love working with lawyers because they are super smart and always working on the cutting edge of trends in our economy, and as a result, I am always learning; and
- counseling lawyers to make the best decisions for their careers, as well as for the well-being of their families, is very gratifying. It’s a very personal working relationship, and I am grateful to be a trusted advisor.
Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?
Don’t wait for things to happen to you; take control of your destiny; ask for help when you need it; network with and support other women.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Two things: 1) Treat every aspect of your work, no matter how mundane or menial, like it’s the most important job you will ever have – strive for excellence in all that you do; and 2) never eat lunch alone.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
What’s work/life balance? Kidding! That’s a major benefit in my business, you can work from anywhere, but the reality is you are always on call. So, you just have to grab your fun and unplug when you can to make it work. In this regard, starting my own business was the best decision I ever made.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
Honesty and humility.
What is a surprising/fun fact about you?
When I worked in the legal department at an investment bank, I was the first woman executive to wear a pantsuit. Ever. Isn’t that crazy? (Editor’s note – yes Patty!)