Trick Or Treat! Are We In A Recession Or Is It Time To Think About Succession?

Halloween is just around the corner, and markets are giving all of us plenty of things to fear. Trade Wars, Brexit, and wonky leading indicators like an Inverted Yield Curve? No good thriller ends without a few twists and turns to keep us up at night.

Unemployment is holding at record lows. We have low inflation and slow but steady growth. So, what does the future foretell? Will it bring tricks or treats? Many predict the US economy to enter a recession in the coming year.

Notwithstanding what are you doing to protect your firm’s future? Are you well positioned to kick back and enjoy retirement in the next five to ten years?

Recession or Succession? On Balance Search

Succession planning involves developing a concrete plan to transfer ownership and control of the firm in a seamless transition. Failing to develop strategic plan may put you and your firm at risk, seriously endangering your retirement.

Do you have an exit plan in place? Don’t put your retirement in jeopardy, talk to an advisor who can help structure options for your next move.

“Developing a solid understanding of the most significant challenges your firm is likely to face over the next 5 to 10 years will help you realize your goals and reap the rewards or your years of hard work” — Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.

ANALYSIS PARALYSIS

Many attorneys see the value of a succession planning, but simply put it off. Ask yourself . . .

  • What are you doing to protect your firm’s assets or your book of business?
  • Do you have an Internal / External Succession Plan in place?
  • Are you undervaluing your worth? Should you join forces with another firm and double your net worth overnight?
  • What keeps you up at night? When will you be able to kick back and enjoy the good life?

Recession or not, there are good reasons to consider your next move now and not later. As experts and pundits argue about whether there is a recession coming or not, start taking steps to ensure you are well positioned no matter what happens next.

“On Balance Search Consultants understand the challenges associated with thinking about the next stage of your career in law. You have options, don’t leave any money at the table. We will ensure your firm will continue to thrive no matter what the business climate.” — Shari Davidson.

 

About On Balance Search

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

Contact us today. Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Confessions of A Legal Recruiter: Don’t Let Fear Get In The Way Of Future Planning

FEAR Factor Attorney Breakdown . . . False Evidence Appearing Real

F … False
E … Evidence
A … Appearing
R … Real

Fear is something we all feel as a natural response to physical danger. For an attorney is not realizing that your future is a risk due to your being numb to the warning signs.

F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. It appears real, even though it may have no real substance. Arising when we feel threatened or undermined, which makes us cling to the known and familiar. Such fear creates paranoia, worry, nervous disorders, and apprehension.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter 250 x 970

 

Case Study 1

Senior Divorce Attorney with 30 years’ experience who has built a successful practice with $1 million in billings loses 80% of his business. The trusted associate jumps ship and takes the firm’s book with him. The Senior Attorney ignored the signs and chose not to do anything.

Now the Senior Attorney needs to find a replacement and will end up retiring several years later.

Case Study 2

Two Senior Partners with 3 associates of a successful T&E Practice losses large percentage of their billings to stay at status quo.

After the first of the year, one associate left and took many of their clients. Within, the next month or so, the next two associates departed with more clients. Between 75-90% of their business walked out their door.

The two Senior Attorneys now need to decide what they are going to do.

  1. Close shop or 2. Start over again.

In Case Study 1 & 2, the senior partners ignore the signs. Instead of creating an internal or external succession plan, they ignored the subject entirely. In both cases, the associates did not know where he/she stood within the firm. Much less understand that they were the Senior Attorneys the retirement plan.

Case Study 3

Two, Senior Attorneys (Personal Injury) both with 55 plus years of combined experience seize the day and opt for an early exit plan and double their net worth overnight.

Two successful attorneys, Senior Associate and staff opt to join forces by merging their practices. As a result, both double their net worth overnight and strengthen their firm that will ensure an early retirement down the road. The Senior Associate decided to relocate. Good thing.

These attorneys did not put all faith in the Senior Associate taking over their practice. One Senior Attorney is now retired, enjoying his passion for fly fishing while his portfolio produces continued profits. The other is still working and can take advantage of retirement when he is ready.

F.E.A.R. is an illusion. Something we fabricate in our own minds and pretend is real. It’s a fairy tale we tell ourselves that keeps us from doing what we really want.

False evidence appearing real.

Hiding your head in the sand, and not making a decision is still a decision. Make the decision to plan for your retirement. Don’t leave money on the table.

 

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

Contact us today. Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

 

 

CLE What Lawyers Should Know About The Grievance Committee

A Two Hour Ethics Update and What Lawyers Should Know about the Grievance Committee — A Practical Approach Including a Discussion of the New Attorney Disciplinary Rules, Attorney Escrow Rules, Real Estate Scams and Attorney Professionalism (or Lack of Same)

When: Thursday, September 19, 2019

Speaker: Richard E. Grayson, Esq.

Location: Hofstra University Club
22 Hofstra Boulevard
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 463-5031

Time: 8:00am-8:30am Registration 8:30am-10:15am Seminar

R.S.V.P. events@ultimateabstract.com Must R.S.V.P. to attend!
2.0 Ethics and Professionalism – this program is transitional and non-transitional and appropriate for all attorneys

September 19, 2019 - An Ethics Update

 

CLE Cybersecurity and Data Privacy for Lawyers

CLE Cybersecurity and Data Privacy for Lawyers:
Latest Developments from Lawmakers, Regulators and Threat Actors

When: Wednesday, September 18 2019

Speakers:
Joseph Facciponti, Steven Feldman, Sharon O’Shaughnessy | Partners Murphy & McGonigle

Time:

8:00 am – 8:30 am Registration
8:30 am – 10:20 am Seminar

Location:
American Heart Association
10 E. 40th St., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(877) 246-8007

R.S.V.P. events@ultimateabstract.com

CLE Credits:
1.5 Areas of Professional Practice & 0.5 Ethics and Professionalism

September 18, 2019 - Cybersecurity and Data Privacy for Lawyers

Solos, Small Firms … AM Law Practice Leaders: What Does Retirement Look Like?

AM Law Practice Leaders: What Does Your Retirement Look Like?

Retirement . . .  are you kicking back and enjoying your grandchildren? Are you sitting by the pool or playing golf? What is on your bucket list? Skydiving! Are you looking to ease into retirement now? Considering a firm with more than one location. Live in NYC but want to spend time in Florida?

“Begin with the end in mind” – Steven Covey author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Imagine your goals. For decades you’ve been grinding it out, busy kicking ass and suddenly you realize that you’re not prepared for retirement. Let’s face it, you’re not getting any younger. Don’t let another day go bye.

The time to start thinking about retirement is NOW. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Is your firm’s lease coming due and you need to renew it? Is the firm aging and there is no one to take over?

For years you’ve been bringing on associates, but you haven’t made time to train anyone to take over the practice. It should come as no surprise that senior Big Law partners find it difficult transferring power to the next generation. Now what do the associates do? Join another firm.? Thinking of joining another firm, you’ve got a friend over there who might be able to get you in? Your colleagues may not know how to tell you they are not interested in your practice area.

Don’t make any hasty decisions just because you suddenly realize that you are not set up for retirement yet. You’ve invested years building your client base, don’t put these relationships at risk. Work with an intermediary such as a recruiter. A good recruiter can open doors for you, put you in touch with the right people and help you negotiate the best deal for you.

You have got to put systems into place to ensure the transition is seamless. Work with a strategic advisor who specializes in succession planning. Keep all your relationships intact. Take time to build a succession plan that protects your client’s interests and secures your financial future.

Life happens, FAST. What are your options?

  1. Stay at your desk till you die.
  2. Close shop and walk away.
  3. Monetize your book of business.

In today’s world of mergers and acquisitions, what happens to you as a senior attorney? The AM law firms are notorious for marginalizing senior staff forcing them into retirement. Equity partnerships may dissolve. Are you working for a firm and you are not sure if your pension plan is fully funded? Do you stick it out and hope for the best?

A smooth transition of ownership starts with smart strategic decisions. Proper succession planning calls for careful consideration and preparation. While it may be difficult to entertain the thought of leaving, unexpected circumstances can force you to make that decision early.

It’s never too soon to outline a succession plan. Most lawyers are not prepared for their exit. They believe succession is still far away in the future. Many are in denial, and simply will not even think about a transition of ownership.

“A succession plan ensures that clients are taken care of and that no money is left on the table. You are able to exit under fair circumstances.” — Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants.

Maybe you still enjoy working but need to make time for those plans that have been put off until now. Your retirement must be supported by a sound strategy. Start with a clear idea of your destination and start taking steps to set your course in that direction.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

How Women Lawyers Overcome The Confidence Gap

How Women Lawyers Overcome The Confidence Gap

Law firms are hungry for the top talent and there has never been a better time for women to command the highest pay. Savvy law firms are offering women top salaries, realizing that the gender pay disparity needs to be addressed.

Law remains an industry dominated by white men. The truth is that for women, there is money out there for those who know where to look. At the best law firms for women, half of associates and more than a third of partners are women. And more than one-fifth of equity partners are women (Working Mother, August/September 2018).

Frustration, disappointment, denial, and fear.
Lawyers are by nature risk-averse, but there has never been a better time to make the move to a new firm. Now is the time to get equitable compensation due to the gender pay inequality.

Women tend to undervalue their portfolio and opt to stick it out rather than see what they command in the marketplace. Often candidates undervalue their assets and poorly articulate their worth. “Ask yourself if you are in line as successor to the firm? How transparent is compensation at your firm? Are you working actively to build your book of business?” – says Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.

Work with a legal recruiter to take a realistic, comprehensive snapshot of your body of work including:

  • The specific level of your client contacts.
  • The length of your relationships with important clients and partners.
  • The significance of the cases handled and the outcomes. Quantify the results.
  • And how many other people share credit for your success stories.

Walk the walk, talk the talk.

  • Focus on the strengths you possess and your achievements.
  • Don’t be a Debbie Downer, never look at any situation negatively. Be positive.
  • Radiate optimism and bring a vibrant positive can-do attitude to the table.
  • People are attracted to winners, walk the walk and dress for success.
  • It’s a confidence game. Transmit a feeling of confidence to others.
  • What you say and how you say it translates. Talk the talk.
  • Confident individuals use communication practices that convey certainty with others while also making them feel more confident about themselves.

Don’t limit yourself, stop making excuses for why things are not going your way. Don’t drag yourself down. Read Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: What Your Resume Must Do and Don’t.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

 

 

Trends in Law 2019: The Era of Legal Tech

Hot Practice Areas, Hiring Trends, and New Opportunities

2018 was a very good year, in fact the lion’s share of Am Law 200 firms offered pay increases across the board. The 2019 legal job market this year continues to be strong and as we head into summer things should begin to heat up.

Capitalize on these top markets and new legal trends as opportunities present themselves for those who offer the right skills set for these jobs.

LATERAL MOVES BY PRACTICE AREA

Source: Firm Prospects LLC (December 2018 – March 2019)

Lateral Moves By Practice Area 2019

As was the case in 2018 Litigation and Corporate continue to dominate the legal field with Labor & Employment and Intellectual Property rounding out the biggest slices of the lateral moves for first quarter of this year. Litigation will be the top driver of legal job growth in the first half of 2019, then followed by Privacy, Data Security and Information Law.

Commercial litigation is expected to yield the most legal jobs followed by insurance defense, followed by employment law. Key industry sectors include financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and technology. Other practice areas in demand include securities and corporate governance, privacy and data security, commercial law as well as ethics and corporate governance.

Firms Attorneys Made Lateral Moves To

Source: Firm Prospects LLC (December 2018 – March 2019)


The following firms were most active in major markets this year: 

  • Atlanta: King & Spalding – 11 hires
  • Boston: Goodwin – 29 hires
  • Chicago: Kirkland & Ellis – 31 hires
  • Dallas: Kirkland & Ellis – 18 hires
  • Denver: Perkins Coie and Greenberg Traurig – 8 hires
  • Houston: Kirkland & Ellis – 36 hires
  • Los Angeles: Kirkland & Ellis and Loeb & Loeb – 15 hires
  • Miami: Holland & Knight – 8 hires
  • New York: Kirkland & Ellis – 46 hires
  • Orange County, CA: Morgan Lewis – 10 hires
  • Philadelphia: Morgan Lewis – 14 hires
  • San Diego: Sheppard Mullin – 6 hires
  • San Francisco: Wilson Sonsini – 16 hires
  • Seattle: Perkins Coie – 13 hires
  • Silicon Valley: Wilson Sonsini – 16 hires
  • Washington D.C.: Paul Hastings and Wilson Sonsini – 15 hires

Industry trends affecting mid-sized to large law firms report a greater focus on cybersecurity, continued lateral acquisitions and cost-effective specialization. Legal issues surrounding blockchain technology are creating an increased demand for attorneys who specialize in cyber security fueled by expanding security and privacy regulations as well as heightened security measures.

Another emerging trend is cannabis legalization.  Cannabis is the newest regulated industry now legal in over half the states) necessitating sound legal advice in interpreting the new federal enforcement policies, protections as anticipated cases emerge from this new controlled substance.

Lawyers are not just out for more money. Millennials often seek out work that is meaningful and offers a healthy work-life balance. “New emerging trends in law offer attorneys parental leave as well as remote work arrangements. Many firms offer incentives to lure top talent including flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities and company perks such as dry cleaning on-site, a fitness center and childcare.” – Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.

Candidates must present value propositions that can best address firm’s growing specialized legal need for risk mitigation. Ready to make the lateral partner move? You’ll need to clearly detail how you got to where you are and why the you’re the best.

Working with a local legal recruiter can benefit your job search in several ways. Have you valued your book of business? Detail how much revenue each client contributes and what verticals have historically been most profitable.

Lawyers are inherently risk-averse. Those who don’t adapt to change are going to be left behind.

 

 

About On Balance Search Consultants

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

CLE: Top Estate, Income Tax & Long-Term Care Planning Issues for 2019 and Beyond

Long Island Annual Invitational Conference on Estate Planning and Administration

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Nassau County Bar Association
15th & West Streets
Mineola, NY 11501
This is a complimentary program for all credits. regardless of number or type of credit.
For more information or to register, please visit: www.heart.org/longislandestateconference
Or contact Alison Sewell, 212 – 878 – 5923
alison.sewell@heart.org
2019 Estate Planning & Administrative Conference 2019

Confessions of A Legal Recruiter: Subtle Ways People Judge You

Like they say, first impressions are often correct.

It’s human nature to judge people the first time we meet them. We do it unconsciously, and that’s why first impressions are so important in every aspect of our lives. Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, most will form an impression of who you are.

Logically one would conclude that we make judgments based upon the content of conversations. Actions, not words are how we judge others. Subtle behaviors such as handshakes and body language shape our opinions about others, more so than any other criteria.

Learning how to master these subtle behaviors can help further potentially successful relationships.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter TM .001

Here are the top ways to make a good first impression:

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
People will draw conclusions about your character based on how you treat others. How you treat people is a true indicator of your disposition. When at a restaurant or at the grocery store how we interact with supporting staff speaks volumes of what type of person you are.

“Most candidates play nice when they’re speaking to the hiring manager or the principals of the firm, but often get caught treating others with disdain or indifference when hailing a cab or out at on the town,” said Shari Davidson, President of On Balance Search Consultants.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Nobody likes a “Debbie Downer”. A persistent climate of negativity can bring down an entire organization. Flashing a smile when you meet people can go a long way toward conveying a positive attitude.

Business Etiquette (see also, Business Etiquette: Boardroom To BallroomThere’s nothing more disrespectful that texting or taking a call during a business meeting. Doing so conveys a lack of respect, attention, listening skills, and willpower. When taking a meeting you must give your audience your undivided attention.

Nervous Ticks
Taping your fingers are touching your nails or face are nervous twitches indicating you are either nervous, overwhelmed or insecure.  Keep your hands folded when seated and by your sides while standing.  Don’t use excessive hand motions while talking and maintain a cool, confident composure.

It’s Not About You, But Them
The best way to win someone over is to get them to talk about themselves. Let’s face it, people who only talk about themselves tend to be loud and self-absorbed.  Learn about the other people in the room, listen and ask good questions. You’ll be surprised how well people think of you when the conversation is about them.

“When we feel we are not being listened to, we feel devalued”, said Shari Davidson. Maintain good eye contact, lean forward in a discussion, and comment from time to time to reassure the speaker that you’re paying attention.  

The Universal Greeting
People associate a weak handshake with a lack of confidence or lack of respect towards the other person. A firm handshake equates with being less shy, less neurotic, and more extroverted.

Value Time
Being late holds everyone up, nothing can get started until the team is on hand. Being tardy indicates a lack of respect, being lazy or simply that you are inconsiderate.

Nobody likes having to wait on anything. People form negative impressions when given time to think why you are late. A proactive person will be there on time, because they are self-motivated, mentally organized, and value time.

Walk The Walk
Body language is a reflection of your inner self. Are you slumped and slouching, or standing (or sitting) tall and confident? Is your posture open or closed? Are you aware of others around you and mindful of them in your movements?

What You Wear Is Who You Are
How you dress instantly provides others with a sense of your style and attention to detail. Dress for every occasion, never dress down and remember that a well pressed shirt and polished shoes make all the difference.

Maintain Good Eye Contact
Before you begin talking, establish eye contact. Don’t look down or look at something before you begin speaking. Establish eye contact right away and then begin talking.

Final Thoughts
The ways others perceive you has much to do with no one other than yourself. Making unconscious changes may take some time and effort. The good news is that most of these encounters are staged, so you can prepare yourself mentally before heading into a situation. Remember the basic behaviors that you must convey during the meeting.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. Contact us today. Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states.