Marketing diversity

Navigate Recruiting talks to Paula Johansen  of Global Playground, LLC to get her insights into the importance of marketing diversity for law firms.

What is Global Playground and what is your role in the legal industry?
Global Playground is woman owned, boutique national search agency that places attorneys in organizations seeking top talent from predominately top twenty law schools. Our mission is to diversify law firms by adding top talent to their legal teams.

Who do you recruit for? What types of roles?
We place Associates, Counsel and Partners in both boutique and international law firms in the following practice areas: Corporate & Securities, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, and Energy & Project Finance.

What challenges do you see your clients facing in attracting talent?
I see integration and succession planning as a major challenge for our clients. Often, positions are sought to be filled given the current demand of work from law firm clients, without focusing on creating a clear path for individuals to be guided, mentored and developed long term. We have had tremendous success in finding key people for our clients to develop professionally and grow with the clear purpose of become a valuable asset to the organization long term.

What are the challenges you face as a recruiter, being an extension of the Firm and not in-house? How do you address it with the both candidates and your clients?
On the client side, it is a challenge to anticipate the firm’s future needs. So we do our best to stay engaged with our clients and keep a constant eye out for the type of talent that fits in with their culture, regardless of an immediate opening or not. We encourage our clients to let us know what practice areas they are committed to growing so we can keep an eye out for talent in that demographic.

The challenge from the candidate side is building trust that we will best represent their interests first. We listen and go to great lengths to create possibilities to encompass their professional and lifestyle goals.

Can you point to examples of things your clients and/or other firms are doing really well to attract talent?
Law firms that express themselves personally create a family atmosphere that make top talent feel wanted. We are human and everyone wants to be treated like a person whose ideas and opinions have value.

Diversity is another driving force for us. Clients that share our commitment to supporting diversity, women and minorities, are the ones that acquire and retain a vibrant and productive workforce.

What can we expect to see from Global Playground in the near future?
Sometime around Valentine’s Day, we will be launching Headhunters with Heart – a 503(c) nonprofit that aims to give back by paying it forward, partnering with law firms, law schools and large corporations committed to cultivating a thriving and diversified workforce. Headhunters with a Heart will create scholarships for women and minorities needing financial assistance in law school. We believe that Headhunters with a Heart will serve our legal communities and pave a new path for the next generation of lawyers eager to make a difference.

For more information about Global Playground, visit

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