Partners are increasingly seeking out optimal environments while firms continue to look for growth opportunities. Nevertheless, lateral partner moves that remain successful in the long term require addressing certain critical issues. Here are five useful tips that lateral partners thinking about making a move should follow.
According to an ALM Legal Intelligence report, 40-50% of lateral partners last less than 5 years in their new firm. That highlights the importance of knowing the solid motivation and ambition behind a move.
Partners need to know themselves first before getting to learn more about a firm. They should establish why exactly they are considering a lateral transition. For example, it could be to increase compensation, boost reputation, or find a team-oriented environment.
The integration plan, if any, widely varies from one law firm to another. New partners should be proactive by coming up with a solid plan that will help them become part of their new firms. They should plan how to provide the firms with what they require, such as learning new computer programs, cross-selling their practices, and announcing arrivals. New partners can look dispensable if they simply rely on their new firms to do that for them.
The best moves can be made when a partner already has reliable sources within a firm. Firms will typically introduce a candidate to a particular group of partners. It is best, however, for the candidate to break away from that circle of partners and have candid discussions with lawyers who have recently joined or left the firm. The insights gained from such acquaintances can be extremely resourceful.
A prospective lateral partner needs to have his or her work backed up by a good resume. That will allow firms to take him or her seriously. Everything should be updated to show the partner’s aspirations and qualities, which help demonstrate what he or she can offer the new firm.
As a result of the economic challenges encountered over the past few years, firms are looking for more than just the additional money that can be brought in by a lateral. Most firms want laterals that bring commitment and loyalty in the long term. Lateral candidates, therefore, need to give more than just the monetary reasons for their venture. Working with a legal recruiter can help candidates better navigate such challenges.
It is essential for lateral partners to consider several aspects aside from personal desires and take the appropriate actions to increase the success of a move. When done correctly, a lateral partner move can be highly beneficial for both individuals and firms.
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