The Economics of Lateral Hiring at Law Firms

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Law firm economics are no longer reserved only for managing partners and members of the management committee. It's imperative that all attorneys—associates as well as partners—understand how law firms operate from an economic viewpoint. Grasping the concept is necessary if you are planning to go through the lateral recruiting process. Many attorneys don't understand the economic implications inherent in hiring experienced legal talent. As firms become more operational oriented and look more and more to the "bottom line," you must begin to understand the economic implications of moving from one law firm to another.


As we've already discussed, when you jump into the lateral job market, you should educate yourself on the markets in which you're interested in working, including researching the salary levels and the trends in granting partnership credit to lateral candidates. Too many people fail to educate themselves in the beginning on what the market will bear and later, after months of work, find out that their current situation is better than their other options in the marketplace. It doesn't make sense to waste time interviewing in a market in which you can't afford to work.

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