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Erin Sears

Vice President

1627 I Street, NW

Suite 1230

Washington, DC 20006


My professional core values include honesty, integrity, and just the right balance of focused commitment and patience.


My candidate clients know that I appreciate how much a career change is a defining moment in one’s life both professionally and personally. Giving candidates the confidence to know they are making the “right” decision is a combination of many factors, but in my recruiting approach this often begins and ends with market intel and a careful weighing of the pros and cons of a lateral move. My candidate clients describe me as a “consummate professional with an incredibly ‘high touch’ approach.”  

My law firm clients trust me to know the marketplace intimately, do the research that identifies the best candidates, and always keep them informed. Having myself practiced for nearly fifteen years at an AmLaw 30 firm, my law firm clients have shared that I am “relatable,” “bring instant credibility,” and “know what [I’m] talking about.”   


As Vice President of the Partner Practice, Erin handles partner-level searches for a range of top-tier firms across regulatory, transactional and litigation practices. She also works with highly credentialed counsel and associates on lateral moves to full-service, AmLaw-ranked firms; medium-sized firms that are DC-based; and highly specialized boutiques in major markets around the country. Candidate clients looking for a career change rely on Erin for guidance throughout the entire lateral process. Her thorough and detailed knowledge of the market means she is clear about their best options as she helps them identify firms to consider and pursue; polish and submit materials (e.g., LPQ, business plan, resume, deal sheet); prepare for initial and multi-stage interviews; negotiate offer terms; and navigate conflicts. Erin’s understanding of each candidate’s goals, strengths and personality lead to placements that are a great fit for both the candidate and the employer. Law firm clients have Erin on speed-dial because time after time she succeeds in bringing them not just the top talent – who sometimes don’t even plan to be in the market – but candidates with the highly specific and sometimes hard-to-find skills and experience these firms need. She invests significant time in really getting to know her law firm clients and their individual practice groups – consulting with law firm management, practice leads, partners and their recruiting team – to bring in-depth information about a particular search to the market on a narrow and targeted basis. Erin’s clients trust her and know she “gets it.”


  • J.D., Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, 2004 

    • Member, Washington University Law Quarterly

  • B.S., magna cum laude, University of Maryland at College Park, 2001 

    • Double Degrees: International Business and Logistics & Transportation

    • Double Minors: Portuguese and Spanish


Prior to joining Garrison, Erin practiced for twelve years at Paul Hastings in DC, as well as at Three Crowns, an elite international arbitration boutique. Her law firm experience has proved an invaluable asset to her law firm and candidate clients.


Erin has an impressive track record of placing attorneys in a wide range of regulatory, transactional, and litigation/investigations practices. 


Recent Partner/Counsel Placements and Engagements:

  • Privacy partner at Chambers-ranked Data Privacy practice.  

  • Former Enforcement Section Chief at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control with a Chambers-ranked National Security practice of an AmLaw 50 firm 

  • Senior Associate from leading PTAB/Hatch-Waxman practice with prestigious patent litigation boutique as Counsel 

  • Senior Associate from top, regional Chambers-ranked practice with elite, nationwide, finance-focused firm as Senior Counsel for Commercial Lending

  • Government Contracts partner search for Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 100 firm

  • Litigation partner search for AmLaw 30 firm

  • Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser partner search for AmLaw 50 firm

  • Healthcare partner search for Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 100 firm

Regulatory Placements:
(e.g., BD/IA, Funds, Healthcare, Privacy, Energy, Financial Services and National Security)

  • Broker Dealer/Investment Advisers Associate of Magic Circle Firm with AmLaw 30 firm

  • Financial Services Associate of AmLaw 100 firm with Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 50 firm 

  • Privacy/Cyber Associate at AmLaw 100 firm with leading practice of AmLaw 50 firm 

  • Energy Associate at AmLaw 100 firm with Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 50 firm

  • Healthcare Associate at AmLaw 200 firm with AmLaw 10 firm 

  • National Security Associate at highly regarded D.C. firm with Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 50 firm  

  • In-house Counsel at wireless communications manufacturer as Export Controls Associate with Chambers-ranked National Security practice of AmLaw 50 firm

Corporate, Finance & Real Estate Placements:

  • Leveraged Finance/Commercial Lending Associate at AmLaw 100 firm with elite, nationwide finance-focused firm 

  • Capital Markets Associate at Magic Circle firm with AmLaw 10 firm 

  • Project Finance Associate at AmLaw 100 firm with prestigious boutique 

  • M&A Associate at AmLaw 50 firm with leading Media/Publications practice for preeminent firm 

  • M&A Associate at AmLaw 50 firm with top-ranked Technology Transactions practice of AmLaw 10 firm 

  • Real Estate Associate at boutique firm with AmLaw 25 firm

Litigation & Investigations Placements:
(e.g., Civil, White Collar, Antitrust, Government Contracts, Intellectual Property, Patent Litigation)

  • Government Contracts Counsel at AmLaw 200 firm with AmLaw 50 firm

  • Investigations/FCPA Associate from AmLaw 50 firm with Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 50 firm 

  • Antitrust Associate at AmLaw 20 firm with Chambers-ranked practice of AmLaw 10 firm 

  • Intellectual Property Associate at AmLaw 50 firm with Chambers-ranked boutique 

  • Litigation Associate at AmLaw 10 firm with leading Financial Services Litigation practice of AmLaw 20 firm

  • Litigation Associate at AmLaw 25 firm with leading Communications Litigation practice of AmLaw 100 firm


Below are some of the endorsements Erin has received from her law firm and attorney clients:

 Law Firms

“Erin is a trusted resource for our firm. Our recruiting team and practice leaders ask for her by name. She invests energy and enthusiasm into learning about her clients’ practices and priorities which leads to great results for her candidates and our firm. Erin consistently presents female and diverse candidates, which is phenomenal and reflective of our firm’s shared values.”
Lateral Recruiting Coordinator, AmLaw 30 Firm


“I trust Erin with exclusive and unpublished searches because she knows the lateral market, our firm, and the candidates who meet our requirements and fit within our firm culture. There’s a presumption that any candidate that Erin sends our way is worth careful consideration."
Lateral Recruiting Coordinator, AmLaw 10 Firm



“I was unsure about leaving my firm, but also felt that something needed to change. With thanks to Erin, she set up informal meetings with several attorneys at what is now my current firm, and that enabled both sides to learn more about each other and whether it would be a good fit. I really didn’t expect to leave, but so glad she facilitated the opportunity for me to see my options. That approach worked with my comfort level, and I am now extremely grateful to be where I am.”
Technology Transactions, AmLaw 10 Firm

"Erin is a thoughtful and patient listener and a fierce advocate - throughout the process, her informed market acumen, precision, care and clear communication style were ever-present. She is a consummate professional with an incredibly ‘high-touch’ approach - I was confident at all times throughout the process that I was in the most capable of hands. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to make a move (and even, perhaps, if you aren't yet sure)."

Leveraged Finance/Commercial Lending, Chambers-Ranked Practice


“I receive so many emails from recruiters, but responded to Erin because it stood apart from the rest – she had taken the time to read my biography and understand my practice. She was sharing details about a specific law firm opportunity, and it was clear she knew so much about that firm and their real estate practice. By far the best experience I’ve had with a recruiter. I would recommend her to anyone making a move.” 

Real Estate, AmLaw 20 Firm


“Several years passed from my initial conversation with Erin to the time I reached back out to her to explore lateral opportunities. Her initial approach was so refreshing in comparison to other recruiters that I held onto her details. She is professional, thorough, relatable – and very patient. We let several opportunities pass to find the right one and it was worth the wait. Plus, I appreciate other working parents – it’s a valuable perspective.”
Antitrust, AmLaw 10 Firm 


"I appreciated Erin's patience and expert insights throughout the lateral process, particularly in suggesting and negotiating offer terms, and in navigating potential conflicts. She was also adept at leveraging my technical background. The results Erin delivered were beyond what I'd thought possible, and she made it seem easy. When someone asks for a referral, I always point to Erin and let them know she's the only recruiter I'd ever want to work with.”
Patent Litigation, Elite Boutique

“I was referred to Erin by a friend who she had also helped with a lateral move. I was returning to the U.S. from London and interested in top-tier practices in New York, Boston and DC. I cannot say enough about how seamless she made the entire process – everything was streamlined, including identifying firms and review of my deal sheet, which saved me an incredible amount of time.”
Capital Markets, AmLaw 10 Firm 

“Erin identified a select handful of firms and provided meaningful insight into each that proved invaluable as I was making my decision. She tailored her approach to fit my (very) specific goals, and I appreciated her deep knowledge of the market."
Financial Services, AmLaw 30 Firm


I live in Cleveland Park near the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.  

Like most parents, the simplest pleasures come from spending time with my family. So, for my two boys, this means cheering loudly on the sidelines for their travel soccer and baseball teams (and alongside them for a Nats game or Real Madrid match). For our beloved german shepherd, Rocky, this means a lot of scratches and fetch. 

Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, I still enjoy being on the water – boating, paddleboarding and hosting the traditional crab feast. I also support and volunteer with the Virginia German Shepherd Rescue.

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