Summer Eberhard is partner at legal recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa in the Associate Practice Group, where she focuses on the Northern California, Seattle and Portland markets. She specializes in counseling, representing and relocating AmLaw 100 associates and counsel, working closely with candidates to help them achieve their long-term career goals. As a former attorney, Summer really understands the importance for her clients to find the right professional fit.

I met Summer – where else? LinkedIn! One of her posts came up on my LinkedIn feed, and we connected. If you aren’t following her on LinkedIn, you should. Her advice is powerful, fresh and real (and not just for lawyers seeking a new role – anyone can benefit from her career tips).

Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow profile.

Why did you choose your profession?

I was previously a litigator and I hated sitting at my desk drafting legal documents. But I realized that I loved being in court because it was the one place I could talk with my peers about their lives and careers. This is what drove me to become a legal recruiter as I am now in a position to help attorneys find joy in what they do.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love that what I do can truly change lives. I have reunited families, gotten signing bonuses that have paid off students loans and taken someone from a terrible culture to one that better aligns with their values. I don’t move people from point A to point B for arbitrary reasons. I do it because it helps people.

Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.

The woman I look up to more than anyone is my grandmother. She was an amazing role model and the matriarch of our family. She showed me that a woman can be the head of a household and can work her way up through hard work and being a genuinely good person.

Do you have a mentor?

I have several mentors who I have turned to throughout my life. I have someone at Major, Lindsey and Africa who has helped guide me to be a better recruiter. I have someone who was the head of a technology company that has helped me identify my overall career goals and how to achieve them. I have someone who was the mom of two boys and has helped me in becoming a better parent. I think it is important to have mentors for all aspects of your life.

How has social media helped you build your business/brand?

LinkedIn has been invaluable for me in building my brand. It has allowed me to share my experiences and insights into the legal industry so that I can help and inspire attorneys.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Don’t lose yourself. I was asked about what my hobbies were last year and realized that I had none. There was nothing I did for just me. I decided that this wasn’t okay and bought a piano and started playing tennis again. Taking a little time each week to do something that I love has transformed my whole sense of being.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

Taking myself out of the equation. This is hard to do in a business where my compensation is based on how many attorneys I help transition but I have learned that by putting attorneys first, I build trusting relationships that pay dividends in the future.

What advice would you give to women in your field?

Play the long game and always put the attorneys with whom you work ahead of your interests. This business is about doing right by people and when you do that, you will find success for many years to come.

How has the pandemic changed you? 

The pandemic has completely shifted my priorities away from work and more my family. It has made me appreciate the simpler moments in life and everything I have.

What is a surprising/fun fact about you?

I am 4’11” tall. I am guessing that this would be a surprising fact given most people know me through a tiny headshot on LinkedIn.