How To Get A Key Recruiting Edge For New Lateral Hires in Law Firms

How To Get A Key Recruiting Edge For New Lateral Hires in Law Firms

By LawFuel contributor, Kevin Mackee. 

Law firms looking to recruit lateral partners should consider some key factors that can put them ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting quality candidates for their firms.

Here are some key points that can lift your firm above the crowd in the search for good laterals prepared to move over to your firm.

Your story.  Every firm has a story but you need to develop one that is relevant, inspiring and genuine. 

Any partner looking to move firms wants to be making the move for the right reasons and to the right firm.  That means you need to discuss with your partners what the key features and ‘story elements’ are to get your firm’s message across easily and effectively.

Key Elements to developing your message:

         Avoid the usual, banal messages about ‘culture’ and ‘professionalism’ and all the other weasel words that surround firms developing their appeal.  You need to really do some hard thinking about the things you can tell others that other firms cannot say.  Consider the key differentials your firm has that others do not.

         Remember to look at things from your prospective partner’s viewpoint, not just your own.  Everyone has a different view on things and you need to remove yourself from the culture and place you’ve been already and consider matters from someone else’s viewpoint.  This means having a group, like a focus group, who can throw around ideas about the firm, the work you do, the people you employ and those key (seemingly irrelevant) points. 


      Here are some things to think about in that respect:

         how new partners (or any partners) are treated in the firm and how they are integrated into the firm.  New laterals will be concerned to know how their major move will be treated, so help them with that.

         What is the retention rate of partners in the firm: a major factor when it comes to ensuring you are going to secure a partner.

         Your public profile, conference attendances, speaking engagements and other matters relating to business development

         The technology you use and how you use it.  Are you being effective or different in the manner in which you differentiate from other firms in this area?  Are you using technology for good inter-firm communication and elsewhere?

         What publishing, writing, blogs etc are the firm handling?

         What inhouse training, advising and other matters are being used to develop business and to see how vertical business development might be organized.

When looking for third parties like recruiters to “sell” your law firm, make it easy for them.  Prepare some material beyond just a requirement to check out your website.

A good way to do this is to prepare simple information packs with one or two page descriptions about your business and providing an FAQ about it.

If you want to focus on a particular practice group then write about it and say something beyond just the website wording that causes eyes to glaze and attention to wander.

Lateral hires involve a lot of emotional as well as financial investment and prospective partners will also want to see who else has been joining the firm, so hyperlink bio information about others who have joined the firm. 

What has the firm been doing lately?  What are recent ranking results?  Recent cases, deals, hires?

To flesh out an often clinical website takes some focus and attention, but it will also help provide your firm with an important edge over competitors looking to make top lateral hires.

If you want to hire stars, then prepare your rocket.

 Read More – Why Do Lateral’s Jump Ship?  See Here

1 thought on “How To Get A Key Recruiting Edge For New Lateral Hires in Law Firms”

  1. The critical importance of integration in attracting and retaining lateral partners is highlighted by the results of the latest Lateral Partner Satisfaction Survey of thousands of U.S. partners who have changed firms, conducted by Major, Lindsey & Africa. For a complimentary copy of the report, go to

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