We seek talented individuals who embody characteristics that we believe are fundamental to a better kind of law firm. We look for those who are innovative, client-focused, quality-oriented, and want to rise above the status quo. Most firms will probably say that, so let’s break it down further:
If you are looking at our website because you are interested in joining us as a lateral partner, don’t read any further. We do not hire laterals. We only hire forward movers, attorneys who understand the limitations of their existing firms and want something better for themselves, their clients and their practice. We believe that we have the solution to the challenges and frustrations that affect many large firm partners who want to grow a practice, provide great service and deliver value to their clients.
These impeding factors, when combined with little to no insight or meaningful control over compensation, explain why many attorneys are looking for something better. And yet, most “laterals” don’t find something better—they end up trading like for like. They go from a largely undifferentiated AmLaw firm based in Atlanta with a New York branch to a largely undifferentiated AmLaw firm based in Los Angeles with a New York branch—nothing substantive changes except for the zip code of the home office. Is one of these firms really a better place to practice law than the other? It’s no surprise that a recent study by ALM Intelligence cites that nearly half of lateral partner hires leave within five years of joining their new firm and two-thirds of lateral partner hires won’t produce 75% of their expected book of business. Moving laterally may give the illusion of career progress, but it doesn’t produce the results or sense of fulfillment that many attorneys seek.
Gloria Sandrino, Global Chair of Partner Recruiting at Recruiting Firm Lateral Link
There is a current trend in BigLaw for partners in certain practice areas and with particular clients to opt to make a lateral move to a boutique or a regional firm. Barton LLP, a New York boutique, has been able to attract a number of BigLaw partners who are looking for smaller platforms and billing rate flexibility, yet need the high-quality brand and work.
So, what does moving forward look like? It looks like moving to a firm of high quality and sophistication that provides a solid platform of established practice groups. A firm that that is run like a business, where rates are reasonable and alternative fees are proactively offered to clients as a matter of course. A firm where the partners are compensated according to objective performance measures at a level that pays 25% above market. Where conflicts are minimal and there is autonomy to develop and grow your practice. A place where cross-selling and cooperation are not only expected but are fundamental elements of partner compensation. Sounds like Better Law, doesn’t it?
Our firm also operates with a select, core group of associates and paralegals. Our business model is purposefully lean and partner-led. Because we have a higher proportion of partners you will work directly with several different partners (sometimes even simultaneously). You will receive a wealth of hands-on experience and if you are good, assume greater responsibilities than you would elsewhere. You will not be limited to a narrow, repetitive, cookie-cutter practice. We are a meritocracy, not a hierarchy—if you can do the work, you’ll get it. Our goal is to make you highly capable and valuable to our clients. If you’re up for the challenge, come join us!