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Gary McGinnis

Managing Director

1627 I Street, NW

Suite 1230

Washington, DC 20006


I have worked with hundreds of attorneys over the years and have seen the legal recruiting process from every angle, giving me a 360-degree view of the market and a first-hand understanding of my law firm clients’ and candidates’ perspectives. With that in mind, I approach my work with skill and tenacity, balanced with a reassuring warmth and good humor. I see myself not just as a consultant but as a friend and a confidant; I will be honest, attentive, and empathetic at every stage of the process.


Gary’s wide-ranging experience in legal recruiting gives him an understanding of the recruiting process that is as broad as it is deep. Gary began his career in law as a litigator at an AmLaw 10 law firm, but he quickly found that his talents and interests better lent themselves to counseling clients outside the courtroom. First as a legal career coach at the University of Michigan Law School and then at Georgetown University Law Center, Gary discovered a real passion for helping lawyers understand and pursue their professional goals. Later he joined the recruiting team in King & Spalding’s Washington, DC office, where he managed all phases of associate and counsel recruiting for the firm’s Washington, Northern Virginia, Chicago, and Charlotte offices before taking on an expanded role with nationwide responsibility for the firm’s regulatory, investigations, and appellate practices. At King & Spalding, he also helped develop several Professional Development and DEI initiatives and was an active member of the firm’s LGBTQ+ affinity group.

Working with candidates

With their current needs and future success in mind, Gary helps associates and partners with thoughtful career transitions while minimizing their stress in an often-intimidating process. He knows what employers are looking for and provides unique insight as he helps attorneys focus their goals and create cohesive professional narratives. His experience managing dozens of attorney searches allows him to recognize candidates’ individual advantages as he works with them to navigate the lateral market. In addition to helping associates and partners make lateral career moves, Gary also helps place high-level government attorneys into private practice.

Working with employers

Having been one himself, Gary understands how to deliver on the expectations of our law firm clients. He has worked with hundreds of lateral attorneys and is able to effectively vet which candidates are likely to succeed based on many moving factors. He has also managed dozens of associate searches, enabling him to recognize unique market advantages in each and to anticipate and mitigate potential challenges. Because Gary “gets it” from the employer perspective he can facilitate the process in a meaningful way.


  • MBA, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business, 2018

  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 2009

  • BA, magna cum laude, French language & literature, political science, Albion College, 2006


Gary has worked with hundreds of attorneys as a career advisor, a recruiting manager, and as a legal recruiter. Here is an overview of some of Gary’s recent placements at Garrison:

  • Co-chair of a national law firm’s IP litigation practice into the Copyright & Trademark practice of an AmLaw 10 firm.

  • North Carolina-based corporate and securities Counsel at an AmLaw 100 firm into Associate General Counsel role at high-growth Virginia-based regional bank.

  • Investigative Counsel for high-profile congressional investigation into AmLaw 50 firm’s investigations and risk management practice.

  • Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives into a prestigious DC-based Employee Benefits boutique.

  • Mid-level litigation associate at an AmLaw 100 firm into a Chambers-ranked litigation and trial boutique.

  • Mid-level data privacy associate at DC-based boutique into Chambers-ranked data and cybersecurity practice at an AmLaw 50 firm.

  • Junior litigation associate at DC-based real estate boutique into real estate transactions practice of a highly prestigious AmLaw 30 law firm.

  • New York-based junior litigation associate at AmLaw 50 firm into Chambers-ranked ERISA litigation boutique.

  • Assistant Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives into the Labor & Employment practice of an AmLaw 100 law firm.

  • Chicago-based patent agent into a fully remote position with a prestigious DC-based IP boutique.



I can't say enough good things about Gary. After working together, I now count him as both a friend and a trusted advisor. In delicate situations, his judgment was always spot on. And in combination with his extensive contacts in law firm recruitment offices, I always felt equipped with inside information and the best advice when I had to make a tough decision.

Not only did Gary take the time to understand my background and career goals, he helped me weave them into a compelling story to tell law firms. He was exceedingly patient, responsive, and proactive, even when I wasn't necessarily all those things. I also have to highlight the personal qualities that made Gary an absolute pleasure to work with. He's hard working but easy going, always had a positive attitude, and made what would otherwise be a stressful and confusing process into an opportunity to grow.

I am so grateful that I had Gary as a guide and would highly recommend him to anyone making a move in the legal industry. Overall, Gary offers industry expertise, an extensive network, and personal qualities make him an absolute standout. Thanks Gary!

Investigations & Risk Management Senior Associate at AmLaw 50 firm

Working with Gary was the best decision I made during my job search. In our initial meetings, Gary really took the time to get to know me and what I was looking for. The insightfulness and care that he brings to the placement process was evident from the get-go. Working with Gary felt like I had a cheerleader and advocate by my side every step of the way. Throughout the process I was grateful for his quick communication, encouragement to think critically about my next move, and thoughtful responses to my (many) questions and resume edits.  I especially appreciated the mock interviews we did together that helped me feel confident and prepared for whatever came my way during the interview process. I'm not exaggerating when I say Gary helped me get my dream job! 

Real Estate Associate at AmLaw 30 firm


Law Firms

It was a pleasure to work with Gary! He understood our hiring need and our high expectations, which meant an efficient sourcing and screening process from the outset. It was clear that he understood our firm’s value proposition, and as a result, I trusted him to communicate that to candidates accurately and persuasively. In short, he made my job easier and increased my efficacy from our initial conversation through offer resolution.

Associate Director of Recruiting at AmLaw 20 firm


  • Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA), May 2014 - September 2021

    • WALRAA President, 2019

    • Member, 2017 WALRAA Board of Directors

  • Co-Chair, 2016 WALRAA Mentoring & Networking Committee

  • The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), September 2010 - May 2021)

    • Annual Educational Conference Planning Committee, 2021



Gary is a frequent speaker and panelist on topics related to law firm recruiting. The following are among his recent presentations:

  • “Understanding the DC Legal Market,” presented to Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, May 2023

  • “DC Market Series,” presented to Georgetown University Law Center, March 2023

  • “State of the Washington Lateral Legal Market,” presented to WALRAA, January 2022

  • “The DC Legal Market and Job Search Tips,” presented to Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, January 2022

  • “Legal Recruiter Insights: Optimizing Success in a Long-distance Job Search,” Panelist, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, December 2021

As a child, I’d watch Julia Child’s The French Chef on PBS and dream of eating and drinking my way across the French countryside, a pastime I’ve adopted as an adult without regard for geographic boundaries. Whether dining out, entertaining at home, or cooking a solo weeknight meal, delicious food, wine, and cocktails are central to my enjoyment of life. 


With all that eating, I also do my best to stay active and am often working out with my CrossFit pals, focusing on the yoga mat, or exploring DC by foot. I love traveling and feel equally at home on a sunny beach in Mexico, the winding streets of Paris, or playing with my nephews while visiting my family outside Charlotte, North Carolina. Music is important to me as well, and regardless of the setting, my internal soundtrack is set to 1990s pop diva power ballads.


During blissful bouts of inactivity, I’ll stay dutifully caught up on the latest HBO prestige dramas, but I’m happiest spending time with The Real Housewives or watching endless reruns of The Golden Girls, The Barefoot Contessa, and of course, The French Chef.

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