Lateral hiring is a peculiarly difficult business. And there’s no shortage of legal industry commentary to make you think twice about its efficacy as a growth strategy. But let’s assume that despite the frustrations and the doubts, you continue with your hiring.
Law360, New York (June 13, 2017, 5:00 PM EDT) -- Over the last decade the number of lateral moves and the investment that firms continue to make in partner hiring have grown exponentially (a 2015 ALM Legal Intelligence Report estimated $1.3 billion in lateral partner compensation alone in 2014). Despite the expenditure, firms active in the lateral market experience unremarkable success rates (around 50 percent, according to various surveys). Therefore, it is hardly surprising that firms are looking for ways to enhance their rates of return on lateral investments.
Law360, New York (June 13, 2017, 12:21 AM EDT) -- Diligence is a fact of life that cannot (and certainly should not) be avoided. In an M&A transaction, the parties understand that a certain degree of diligence will be requested of both parties. Lateral partner recruiting should be no different, but the differences in the nature of legal practice make performing due diligence on candidates more challenging. Unlike an M&A transaction, a candidate’s practice and relationships aren’t summarized in audited financial statements prepared by an independent third party.
Law360, New York (April 4, 2017, 6:52 PM EDT) -- The surveys that report lateral partner hiring as more or less a 50-50 proposition keep being published, and yet the lateral partner market is as robust as ever. So, what are firms looking at to measure their success and justify the level of investment they continue...
Law360, New York (April 5, 2017, 4:57 PM EDT) -- By now, I hope we’ve all looked in the mirror and seen our own reflection as it relates to our respective lateral recruitment efforts. It is, of course, interesting to see the results of a number of the surveys and much of the research done around...
The data is consistent and unwavering: despite lateral partner hiring being a cornerstone of law firm growth strategy, unstructured and ad hoc processes around lateral candidate evaluation lead to highly inconsistent returns on (lateral) investment.
Essential to hiring anyone at a law firm, especially lateral partners, is clear branding. For example, how does the firm differentiate itself?
What Lessons Can Law Firms Learn From the Corporate Sector?
For years now, the legal sector has been wringing its hands over the perceived flaws in lateral partner hiring as a growth strategy. Anecdotally at least, it seems that as many of the problems with lateral partner hiring result from poor integration as much as they do from poor selection processes.
“Hiring a star should be a well-thought out strategic decision, not a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived opportunity or emergency. Generally speaking, a firm should contemplate hiring a star only to fulfill a specific operational aim: to raise standards or introduce fresh ways of doing business or to fill a critical slot when there is no time to train anyone internally ...