“The most memorable placements are the ones that change lives. Periods in which I tripled a lawyer’s salary or put them in a position where they could get closer to their ultimate goal - whether it’s the city they’re in, to become a partner in a firm, or to work to a certain company - I have to know that I had a helping hand in changing someone’s life. “
Born and raised in New York City to a family of immigrant entrepreneurs, Katherine Loanzon was born to make her dreams come true. She spent her summers at her family’s Chinese bakery in Chinatown, New York, a family business started by her grandfather when she emigrated from southern China. Today, Katherine is Managing Director at Kinney Recruiting, where she assorts lawyers with law firms and domestic opportunities in New York and nationwide. “I really like to offer career advice that will really advance a lawyer’s career. In this industry, you can’t help every lawyer who comes to you. Not all advice is something that a lawyer will be open to receiving initially, but I always try to guide them so that they eventually reach a position that meets their needs and aspirations. ”
After graduating from high school, Katherine attended New York University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Romance languages. Her studies, associated with the background of New York, aroused her desire to travel and she soon began to study abroad, living in Spain and Italy. Shortly after graduation, she applied for law school and at the same time obtained a certificate that allowed her to teach English as a second language to recent immigrants from New York. With that in her pocket, Katherine moved to Tokyo, where she taught English to Japanese students before going home to law school. “Growing up in an entrepreneurial environment, I felt that going to law school would give me skills to navigate the professional world. It would teach me how to think analytically and generally navigate the legal system - useful tools to add to my toolkit. My parents were very encouraging because they did not secretly want to have a family lawyer, which was helpful because I had a family business. While English is my first language, I grew up in a household where Cantonese and English were spoken interchangeably, so I saw the value of the strong communication skills that law school can give you. Encouraging my family aroused my interest in law, but my life skills drew me to it. ” She returned to New York and went on to receive her PhD from the Law School of City University of New York and became a lawyer for a small litigation firm.
In 2008, Katherine decided to temporarily change her lullabies, and she and her husband started a family. Shortly after her daughters were born, she began her individual practice, where she advised startups and food businesses. In a true full circle style, Katherine even helped build a bakery in West Village from scratch. After seven years of individual practice, Katherine debated her return to a law firm environment and mentioned this idea to a legal recruiter she had met. “I told him that I really liked the agitation required to do solo, but I no longer wanted to be in an environment where I was always looking for a way to defeat an opposing lawyer or have an adverse relationship. . I wanted to be a counselor, and I developed a passion for it. ” Seeing something in Katherine that she had not yet seen in herself, the recruiter replied, “I have a better idea, consider recruiting!”
That interaction turned Katherine into a recruiter, a career she hadn’t really thought about and didn’t know much about. “I had this perception that the only time I met a legal recruiter was in a job post, and I didn’t really know what a recruiting career looked like. It seemed so foreign to me as a profession because no one ever mentioned how you actually become one. Then he finally drew the curtain and explained that, as in any other profession, you need to learn how to do this and that there are companies that will train you and teach you the basics. So that’s what I did. ” Shortly after that fateful phone call, Katherine joined a New York-based law firm, where she was a law firm and division director. Being a top recruiter and a natural person, she was quickly promoted to a senior role in her office.
In 2018, Katherine joined Kinney Recruiting and did not look back. Kinney Recruiting’s market-leading infrastructure and global connections allow it to advise a wide range of candidates and make it part of a strong team of recruiters who all work towards the same ultimate goal - matching excellent candidates with excellent companies. Katherine is currently working with one of her favorite clients to find a corporate partner who wants to be part of a family-centered work environment where lawyers and staff do not compromise their family life for their clients. “One of my favorite customers is not an AmLaw company, it’s a boutique company with a special culture specific to New York City. The company appreciates people with seriousness and a down-to-earth attitude. Lawyers there successfully serve their clients, while being able to dedicate time to their families, and this is a practice from top management. ” You can check out that job here.
“I think the key to being a good recruiter is to be a good listener.” Katherine believes that lawyers should always be curious and that the best companies are the ones that really listen to the needs of their lawyers. Katherine is a member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, AABANY, an organization that is close to her heart. Not only did she meet her husband there, but she has been involved in the organization since she was a law student. “I have been a member of AABANY for almost 20 years. It is based on volunteers, so whenever I am asked to help with their mentoring program or to be part of their panels, I always say “yes”. It’s my way of giving back to the community and helping to advance the career of junior lawyers. I made very good friends through AABANY and getting involved has always been a great experience. People don’t forget the goodwill you built, how you made them feel, or how you managed to help them. ” This explains why Katherine’s advice to candidates is to start building relationships early. “Start networking early in your career, not just when you think you’ll need it, because relationships take years to build, as does credibility. Be open-minded and humble and make genuine connections with people. You never know where they’ll take you. “
With dozens of placements at Kinney Recruiting so far, Katherine isn’t slowing down. And we probably wouldn’t be able to slow it down, even if we tried. Katherine is in a city she loves, doing a job she loves: helping other lawyers find jobs they love. That’s a lot of love.
If you would like to get in touch with Katherine, please contact her at: [email protected]