Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Law Firm Lateral Hiring (and Associated Risk) on the Rise

The Recorder reports a spike and likely increasing industry lateral hiring activity. Drawing on data culled from published news releases and other public sources, the analysis focuses on activity in Northern California: "Lateral Partner Movement Achieves Liftoff in Northern California. Recruiters say the summer pipeline indicates that the rest of the year could bring more of the same."
  • "Fueling the demand is firms' desire to build out both core and support practice areas, plus renewed desire for growth from some out-of-town firms building their presence... Along with the increased demand at firms, partners have been more willing to make the leap with the economy stabilizing."
  • The head of recruiting at Hogan Lovells explained that : "...the firm targets established partners who are happy where they are but may have doubts about their firm's strategic direction, or younger lawyers who don't feel supported at their firm."
  • "DLA has tweaked its lateral hiring in the past year. San Francisco partner Clowes, who's in charge of corporate partner recruiting locally, said the firm's top brass has thrown its weight behind the Bay Area push. San Diego-based partner Cameron Jay Rains, a member of the firm's executive committee, has been making regular trips to San Francisco and Silicon Valley to meet with potential candidates, a strategy that Clowes said has worked well for DLA in Los Angeles and Sacramento."
Of course, increasing lateral volume and urgency creates new opportunities for risk as intake teams that must manage conflicts and execute personnel on-boarding processes swiftly and responsively. (Our next risk webinar will address these very issues. Stay tuned for more event details shortly.)

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