Making the Lateral Partner Move: Looking Back, Getting Ahead

Ready to make the lateral partner move? You’ll need to clearly detail how you got to where you are and why the your the best.

LOOK BACK
Here is what you need to make the lateral move:

  1. Partners, read your agreement now.
  2. Align yourself with a reputable recruiter.
    The best recruiter’s find the perfect fit, aligning your specialized skill-set with the firm’s strategic goals.
  3. Have a clear idea what the next career move will be and why. For example:A firm with robust marketing support.
    Offices located through-out the U.S.
    A culture that allows you to be home for your family.
    Full service law firm that offers specialized services to serve your client’s needs.
  4. Make sure you have a current CV, Business plan and Representative Matters available.

Look Back at your financials for the past three (3) years as well as where you will end up at the end of this year. Know your:

originations
billings
hourly rates
hours billed
realization rates, etc.

Snap-shot of of your practice area.
Breakdown of your practice areas for the past year, realizing that your focus may vary year to year.
i.e. If you are T&E Partner —

50% Planning
30% Administration
20% T&E Litigation

Review two or three success stories, look back.

GETTING AHEAD
Once the above is done . . .  work closely with your recruiter to help manage the process to:

  • Set-up meetings
  • Prepping and debriefing on each meeting
  • Streamlining any materials –

(LPQ) Lateral Partner Questionnaire
Compensation discussion and offer
Prepping for resignation

  • Be a sounding board for all concerns
  • Keep communication lines open, on both ends of the table

GET GRITTY
A job search is a full time endeavor. Hold steadfast to your goals, double down when it gets rough and don’t give up. ‘The grittiest’ people have developed their passions from personal interests.

ALSO KEEP IN MIND

Law Firms Hire Most of Their Staff From Mid-February to April
Most law firms fiscal years are the same as the calendar year, their budgets are planned for January and thus the budgets are planned in November.  The end of the year brings bonus checks to the rainmakers and pink slips for the rest.  Hiring begins with The New Year, many start looking for new positions.

During the summer large law firms take on a significant number of associates that start in the late spring to early summer. Lawyers are in the office less traveling during June, July and August. 

Late August to Mid-October is the second busiest hiring time of the year.
During these months, law firms and their recruiting staff have more time to turn to lateral hiring because they are not dealing with summer associate programs.

Start your job search in November and December instead of waiting until January.

FINAL NOTE
Placements are made all year long, every year law firms have differing criteria for candidates and every market has needs for varying skill-sets.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Photo Cred. 

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection

The Glass Ceiling Is Just a Reflection, By Shari Davidson

Reprinted with permission from: Inside, Fall 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.

Reprinted with permission from: Inside, Fall 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.


I. Introduction

Law is a male-dominated profession. There are more doors open to women today, but women have not achieved economic parity with men. There has been tremendous progress, but the earning power of women is still considerably lower than that of men. Women are increasingly represented in many top leadership roles here and around the world, as women advance professionally, they have begun to redefine themselves.

II. Advice from Successful Women Attorneys

What qualities do women possess who break through the glass ceiling? I asked several successful women attorneys: “How they got to where they are today and what advice they have for women attorneys who are just starting out?”

 

Leslie Berkoff, Partner, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP:

My path as somewhat unconventional: after clerking for a federal judge for the job market was not doing well, I decided to take another clerkship in the Bankruptcy Courts. I fell in love with bankruptcy and when I “hit” the job market I decided to avoid the big firm game and pick a smaller, more collegial place where I saw great growth opportunity and the ability to balance work/life.

Women today don’t have to follow the lock-step path of your colleagues; don’t be afraid to explore other opportunities.

Kathleen Turland, Chief Compliance Officer, powered by GE:

Work closely with people who you admire and respect. Develop good relationships with your colleagues, understand the roles they play, the demands and pressures of the firm, and what made them successful. Be smart, volunteer assignments others may not want. It worked well for me, might work for you too.

Be open to advice from many, look at what they are doing and think whether that works for you, be willing to move, accept change as it comes and go with it.

Elizabeth J. Shampnoi, Esq. Director, Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services, Stout Risius Ross, Inc.:

I got to where I am today by building a strong network of colleagues, mentors and sponsors while gaining experience and developing skills to excel in my dispute resolution practice.

I would advise new attorneys to network, build relationships, follow up and do what you say you are going to do. To be successful in the long term, attorneys must build a brand and it’s never too early to start.

Phyllis Weiss Haserot, President, Practice Development Counsel and author of, The Rainmaking Machine: Marketing Planning, Strategy and Management for Law Firms:

Some of the things women think are their issues also are issues for many men. So they need to address them together. The biggest obstacles vary from firm to firm or company depending on the cultures and personalities. So many things have to change for all genders in firm cultures and policies that motivate behaviors. Often lip service exists for good and fair things that is counter to what actually exists in the culture and unwritten rules.

Women need to be more aware of the intersection of gender and generational attitudes. Different generational attitudes inform and influence attitudes and behaviors affecting all aspects of diversity. If the same messages are going out to everyone, be aware that they are being received and interpreted in different ways. I believe this is one reason more progress has not been made. I advocate cross-generational conversation and conversations with men.

Marie Lefton, Esq. Principal, Lefton Consulting:

In terms of strategies for getting around the glass ceiling, there is nothing wrong with taking an in-house position for shorter hours and accepting lower pay. Not everyone wants to be an equity partner.

Women Partners with books of business, build them organically, whereas most men inherit their books from other men. This observation comes from my consulting practice as well as from my research in this field. In light of this, what advice would I offer to younger women seeking to build a book of business? Don’t allow others (men) to make decisions for you, e.g., if you have a trial in another state, . . . don’t allow the lead partner to decide that you should stay at home for your family. If you are second-chair on the case and want to be there at trial, speak up in a firm-but-nice-way.

Tina B. Solis, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP:

Many attorneys, both men and women, have struggled and continue to struggle with work / life balance. Fortunately, many law firms have recognized this issue and have put mechanisms in place that allow its attorneys to help achieve that balance such as a reduced hour schedule, flexible hours or working remotely. This has allowed law firms to retain the best talent in the long run.

In order to break through the glass ceiling, you need to be proactive. It’s your career, so you need to advance it. In addition to developing a solid book of business, you need to volunteer for administrative projects to demonstrate your leadership skills and a commitment to the firm.

J. Joan Hon, Partner, FisherBroyles LLP, LAW FIRM 2.0®:

I have not yet faced the usual “women’s issues” of motherhood, marriage, and running a traditional household, but I did go through with caring for my parent and handling a plethora of issues after she died very early on in my career. I took a break after my third year for these reasons (and not some of the more traditional), so I would say I do have experience with re-entering the workforce and juggling work life balance even without being a mother.

Women who are fed up will turn to an alternative firm, (like mine and succeed incredibly), set up their own practices or look for non-traditional legal roles. So much can happen with persistence and positivity.

Elizabeth D. Schrero, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP:

Women have come a long way but still have a long way to go to achieve parity. I see movement towards the goal of parity tied to increased business development of women which in turn is tied to women’s initiatives and sponsorship and critically, rising numbers of women in positions of authority in business, who will send work to women attorneys.

Some younger women and men are choosing not to reach to the glass ceiling, they want flexible work arrangements and some just opt out of the law firm partnership track.

Marci Goldstein Kokalas, Partner, Lazare Potter & Giacovas LLP:

I got to my current position by focus and hard work – and maintaining relationships. If you are just starting out, take time to think about what you want to do – both in work and your personal life. Be upfront about your goals with your superiors.

Seek out work – it will not just come to you. And don’t lose sight of what you have outside of work – I think balancing work and personal life is very difficult and ever-changing, but very important for your ultimate happiness.

III. Conclusion

Is it possible to thin you can have it all? Absolutely. No one says it is going to be easy, but yes these women are at the top of their game. It comes down to what is important for you, for many it is about balance between their personal lives and their careers. This is really a personal decision, and thankfully there are enormous opportunities for women in law. With talent and hard work, you can achieve whatever you want.

Shari Davidson is president of On Balance Search Consultants. Shari 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. Shari has facilitated programs for Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations, adult ed, colleges and universities, and publicly held programs, including Where Does All the Time Go When You’re Having Fun?, Take the Fear Out of Goal Setting, The Hidden Job Market and Interviewing & Job Interview Preparation. Her email is shari@onbalancesearch.com.

Photo Cred. 

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom!

Grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom!

Don’t make the move to another law firm without a good recruiter, it’s just too scary to go it alone.

Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood . . . Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand, and whoever shall be found without the soul for getting down . . . must stand and face the hounds of hell, and rot inside a corpse’s shell — Vincent Price, The Thriller.

Recruiters know where all the best houses are, and which ones have the best treats. Let your head hunter find the right house for you. No one knows the ins and outs of who is looking for the perfect new partner, it’s just too important to not work with a pro who knows their way around the neighborhood.

One thing you can do to make the whole process a little less scary is to do your research on the law firm you are looking into or interviewing for. Check out their website and see if they are worth sending your resume into.

Just like looking out for houses with the lights on while trick or treating, work with your recruiter to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t get lead down some dark deserted alley with no lights on.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of blood sucking firms that will bleed you dry. Who better to protect you from the spooky firms that will send you to an early grave. Work with a highly skilled recruiter to find the firms that give out the full bars (or law firms with the best chances of getting an interview).

The foulest stench is in the air, the funk of forty thousand years and grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom . . . and though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver, for no mere mortal can resist, the evil of the thriller. Can you dig it?!  — Michael Jackson, The Thriller.

So, you’ve been invited to come interview, here are a few tips to keep you from frightening the interviewer away:

  • Don’t Act Like a Zombie
    One of the worst things you can do is show up to the interview without the right energy. Acting sort of removed or giving off negative energy is a killer. Good eye contact is essential, make sure you don’t have egg on your tie or on your face. Dress for success, make sure you get a good nights rest the night prior to your interview. Your going to need every advantage, it’s a jungle out there. Let’s murder ‘em.
  • Don’t Stink Like The Walking Dead
    It’s a good idea to bring an extra shirt, tie and breath mints with you. You started to sweat on the way to the interview, okay change your shirt and freshen up your breath. Your not dead yet. And don’t get too crazy with the cologne and perfume. Be cool, maintain your calm and bring your ‘A’ game.
  • Try not to sound or act too robotic like Frankenstein
    Your nervous, get over it. Do not to speak from the back of your throat or groan and grunt ‘cause the question caught you off guard. Practice a few days before the interview and be relaxed. You’ll never hit the curve ball if your scared and uptight.
  • Always Treat, Never Trick
    Be honest with your recruiter and your interviewer. A recruiter can’t help you if you don’t tell them what you want and what you’re looking for in a position. Tell them exactly what you’ve taken from your experiences and they can help you to don your costume for your big interview.

Likewise, lying in an interview or on your resume can have serious consequences. Don’t make the mistake of egging houses. You certainly won’t be allowed back next year!

Interviewing doesn’t have to be as scary as All Hallows Eve! Give us a call at 516.731.3400 so we can make the process a little less frightening.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Photo Credit

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

What Legal Recruiters are Looking For: GRIT

Integrity. Perseverance. Passion. Long Term. Do you have Grit?

Grit, What it Takes

Law Recruiters are looking for more than just good lawyers these days. You won a few trials, so what? Do you really have what it takes to be a part of your dream firm? If you have that winning way, yeah you know it, you got Grit.

What is Grit?
Grit is integrity . Grit is passion. Grit is staying past the end of the workday to make sure you know every line of your opening. It is something that goes beyond your knowledge of law and your performance in it. Grit can be defined as the reliability and mindset of a lawyer. This mindset can be broken down into a few key characteristics.

Mastering the interview — let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

InteGRITy
Integrity is at the heart of Grit. Integrity means being honest, not only with yourself, but also with whom you work with and for. Sometimes it means working for little reward but knowing that you’ve done the right thing and the best you could.

Loyalty is another important part of integrity. This is why confidentiality is so important, not only for clients, but for other firms as well. Even if you have had a bad experience with a previous employer or a competitor in the past, a lawyer with integrity never speaks ill of another.

Passion
A Gritty lawyer shows passion. Passion not only in what you know, but also in what you don’t: in what you hope to learn. This passion should come across in your interviews. It will show your potential employer your Grit and willingness to learn and grow as an individual and a lawyer. Your passion is your work and you can display this by putting in your all at every point.

Perseverance
The field of law can be riddled with ups and downs. It is a Gritty lawyer that takes the downs, the mistakes and the failures in stride. You can show your Grit by learning from these mistakes and allowing them to point out where you may be able to improve. A lawyer with Grit will always finds room to grow.

Talk about your Grit during your interviews, demonstrate how your Grit turned the case around (reference, What not to say during an interview). Showing your inteGRITy will make you shine in the employer’s eyes.

The Ability to Lead
Leadership is not only being able to assemble people and results effectively. It can also be classified as a certain type of Grit. Your Grit makes you a natural born leader. You need to be able to take charge and responsibility. Do you draw upon your Grit to voice flaws in your partner’s case, knowing it may be a political risk.?

Grit is what all the top law recruiters are looking for. Give us a call at 516.731.3400 and we’ll coach you on how to profit from Grit.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Sources:

Photo Cred.

Tracey, B. (n.d.) Top 7 Qualities Employers are Looking for in Candidates. Under Cover Recruiter. Retrieved from: http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/top-7-qualities-employers-are-looking-candidates/

Hogan, M., Larkin-Wong, K. (2013). Grit and Mindset. Women Lawyer Jounral, 98 (3). 1-11. Retrieved from: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/marketing/women/grit_toolkit_nawl_article.authcheckdam.pdf

The Kiss of Death Question: For Lawyers

The Kiss of Death Question: Tell me about yourself

The Kiss of Death Question: For Lawyers

Definitely do not say these four answers while vying for a senior executive position.

The First.
You’ll hear this at almost every interview you go to in your life. It should be an easy question. Are you sure? Maybe you haven’t interviewed in a while. It’s more of a statement than a question, though.

Question/Statement: Tell me about yourself.

Do not answer: Well, after work, I go home and I play with my five cats until sundown.

Nothing against cats, but the interview does not want to hear about your conglomerate of cats and cat toys.

The Second.
This is another pretty popular question.  A skilled recruiter is going to ask this one for sure.

Question: What is your biggest weakness?

Do not answer: Pecan pie. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

Although humor can be a good way to show you’re a good person to have in the office, the recruiter does not care about your eating habits, let alone your cats.

The Third.
This question is bound to come up, so make sure you know your stuff front and back. Like most other interview questions it is less about what you really do and more about what you can bring to the table.

Question: What can you tell me about your past experience at so and so?

Do not answer: I really liked my job at so and so, but the people were just so boring and the boss came in with crocs on every day.

You may not have liked the people that you worked with, but your boss’s fashion sense is definitely not a professional reason for your departure.

The Fourth.
The last question is not unlike the others, but may take a little bit more thought and research into the industry, the company, and your own experience to find the right answer.

Question: What kind of salary are you looking for?

Do not answer: Whatever will help me keep up my mysterious lifestyle.

Giving a vague answer is often times a good response to this question but certainly not this one.

These answers may seem silly, but the questions are no joke.  In order to be successful at any job interview you need to be able to formulate the correct answers to these and many other questions.

Give us a call at 516.731.3400 and we’ll coach you on the right responses to these questions. Fill out our brief questionnaire and we’ll get started.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Photo Credit

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Reputation Is Everything

You are NOT a team player, you are disruptive and people find that you have a toxic influence on the firm.   

Your colleagues say tell me your one of the top performers at the firm. They also tell me you are a brilliant jerk. Most attest that you are highly capable, productive and in the same breath they say you are difficult to work with. They say you are an arrogant, a prima donna and they wish they could work for someone else.

They resent the way you deal with your clients, that you always need to have the last word. You are loud, and abusive and take your frustrations out on the staff. You are not a team player and your attitude is infecting the law firm’s reputation.

Do the ends justify the means?
Machiavelli, “Thus when fortune turns against them, you will be prepared to resist it. A man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done moves toward self-destruction rather than self-preservation.” Being a successful attorney is difficult, agreed. Its cut throat, it’s highly competitive and it’s adversarial. You’re a fighter, a winner and a top litigator, but at the end of the day your reputation is truly all you got. Means and ends of course are intimately related. The end determines the array of relevant means. But that is not the end of the story. Consider the collateral damage to your firm’s reputation:

  • Revolving door. From the legal secretaries, to the associates, all the way to the top, the best and the brightest partners will begin to leave the firm.
  • Lost business. A law firm with a bad reputation simply won’t get referrals.
  • Recruiting. No one is going to want to work at a firm that has a poor reputation.
  • How you are perceived in the industry. Your professionalism needs to be at the highest standards at the firm, in the courtroom and when you are out socially.

Play nice.
“I play nice, it’s not always easy but that’s how I’ve forged deep lasting connections with law firms and attorneys over the years. Niceness, however, does not need to mean weakness. You’ve got to be strong to be nice. I’m also known for being tough.” – Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants. 

Nice people play well with others. Nice people genuinely care about others, listen to their needs, and instinctively want to meet those needs, which, in turn, forms the foundation of trust for successful business relationships.

“I’m constantly opening doors, my advice significantly benefits my candidate’s. I cannot begin to tell how many opportunities come my way. Why? Because I never deceive or mislead my clients. I’m committed to my clients’ success. It’s about respect. My clients trust my judgement, my integrity.” – Shari Davidson. 

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

 

Photo Cred. 

Source:
Kathryn Kerns, K. (August 13, 2015). Nice Women Win: Why Being Nice Is a Business Strength. Forbes.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Don’t lie to me.

If you NOT going to be transparent when making the lateral move, don’t bother.

This is the third installment in an ongoing series, Confessions of a Legal Recruiter, Shari Davidson – On Balance Search Consultants. 

Don’t Lie to Me.
Give yourself the best chance of landing a position you want. When several important issues come up that you did not disclose from the on-set, it’s a red flag. What other issues did you not come clean with? Your credibility is important, right? Don’t waste your time, or everyone else’s, be honest. Get it right. Good recruiters have all parties’ best interests covered. Let’s get off to a good start.

I can’t work with you.
You have sent your resume to practically every law firm in the area, big mistake. You’ve watered down your value in the marketplace. The perception is that there is something wrong with this candidate. Why did you send your resume for a position that you are not even qualified to be considered?

Why are you looking?
Never make the lateral move for more money. The best recruiters separate the wheat from the chaff, strategically aligning the interests of the candidate with the right firm.

Work with me.
Good recruiters have solid, strong relationships built over many years of protecting both the interests of the firms as well as the candidates placed. Shari Davidson, President — On Balance Search Consultants, “When working with a potential candidate I strategically align myself with the candidate to find a new home that matches the candidate’s goals. This could include a larger platform of practice areas, or geographic locations or even a better work environment. I continually keep in touch with my candidates to:

1. Help them grow their business;
2. Share trends in the legal profession;
3. Share professional networking opportunities and CLE programs.”

Integrity, credibility, honesty.
The best recruiters are on the pulse of what’s going on, head hunters are on the phone with 50 to 200 firms a week and are mixing it up with the movers and shakers who open doors. Find a well-regarded legal recruiter who has a solid reputation for protecting their candidates and firms.

 

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Photo Cred.

Should I stay or should I go? The Pros and Cons of working for Big Law

Should I stay or should I go? The Pros and Cons of working for Big Law

SOLOPRENEUR
Who doesn’t like to be their own boss? When you work for yourself you make all the rules,you gotta love that. As a small law firm there aren’t layers and layers of management to approve changes. Small firms usually have a good work-life balance which means their office has a more relaxed atmosphere.

Being the boss is a twenty-four / seven  365 days a year job. Health insurance, self-employment tax, and income tax will eat you alive. You become a slave to your business, you wear all the hats.  Sure you can outsource some of the work, but if anything goes wrong, you own it.  Being a small firm means you have a limited budget, as such most of the administrative work and research is done by you.

Then there is malpractice, there is no safety net.

BIG LAW
Leverage the expansive network a big law firm offers. Keep your client’s dealings within the firm, often aspects of a case may require specialized legal expertise. Big firms retain specialists for that very reason.

Big firm’s today don’t focus on training or mentoring, it’s all about billable hours. All things being equal, there is ample opportunity to align yourself with colleagues who will help make you a better lawyer.

SOLO or PARTNER
Either track demands hours and hours of your time, it’s stressful. Big firms do offer paid vacation. Face it, if you’re not bringing in new business you can’t afford to take the time off anyway. Lawyers at the larger firms earn a respectable salary, and with that wage are high expectations. Measure up or you’re out the door.

Just because you’re billing hours means you’re safe, when you work for yourself or for a large firm, it can get nasty out there. Often your boss will take credit for your work. Solopreneurs face large firms trying to lure away your biggest account that keeps your boutique firm afloat.

Working for a big law means you report to several partners, it’s often difficult to discern the every changing, policies and procedures. Every boss wants things done a certain way, it can get damn confusing. Those who discern the bull from the business thrive, the world is your oyster.

Don’t get comfortable, it’s a highly competitive, demanding field.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website athttps://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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Source:

Tobak, S. (August 19, 2014). 10 Pitfalls of Being Your Own Boss. Self-Employment, Entrepreneur.

MacMillan, K. (February 25, 2014). A Lawyer’s Guide to Working for Small vs. Large Law Firms – 36 Tips. R. Johnson Legal Recruitment.

Photo Cred. 

Women Making the Lateral Partner Move

Women Making the Lateral Partner Move

Women Making The Lateral Move

Making a lateral move is a big decision, it’s important for any one making the career more does it for the right reasons. Women, specially need to consider all the options before moving forward.  Men still dominate lateral equity partners within law firms.  If you are overlooked for partner, you may think about taking your portfolio of business down the street to another firm.

“It’s scary, it’s messy, and it’s a process. You’ve got to prepare, really get serious and objective about what you bring to the table. It’s the only way to ensure you find a firm that’s right for you,” Shari Davidson, President, On Balance Search Consultants.

Lateral Partner Process

  • If you are a partner at current firm. Read your agreement now.
  • Align yourself with a reputable recruiter.
  • Have a clear idea what the next career move will be and why.

For example:
Your next firm must have a robust marketing group to support you;
Offices located through-out the U.S. to service your clients;
A culture that allows you to be home for your children;
Or have specialized practice areas that will service your clients etc.

  • Research firms that are a good fit, your specialized skill-set must align with the firms strategic goals.
  • Make sure you have a current CV, Business plan and Representative Matters available.
  • Make sure you have accurate billing information for the past (3) three years (originations, billings, hourly rates, hours billed, realization rates, etc.).
  • Carefully have your recruiter query the interest level without releasing prospective lateral name or firm. If there is mutual interest. Set up meetings and keep the conversations going.
  • Once the above is done…allow the recruiter do their magic. A recruiter should be able to help you manage the process.  Setting up meetings, prepping and debriefing on each meeting, streamlining any materials – such as LPQ, compensation discussion and offer, prepping for resignation and most importantly be a sounding board for all concerns.

You may have to relocate, but thankfully there are some great law firms for women to work for. Here are some of the best firms for women to work for:

  1. Adelson Testan
  2. Fragomen Del Rey
  3. Fredrikson & Byron
  4. Hanson Bridgett
  5. Lewis Brisbois
  6. Pomerantz
  7. Cohen Milstein
  8. Best Best
  9. Ford & Harrison
  10. Shipman & Goodwin
  11. Verrill Dana
  12. Quarles & Brady
  13. Jackson Lewis
  14. Kutak Rock
  15. SmithAmundsen
  16. Nilan Johnson
  17. Ogletree Deakins
  18. Atkinson Andelson
  19. Wilson Elser
  20. Conrad O’Brien
  21. Shook Hardy
  22. Fennemore Craig
  23. McDermott Will
  24. Thacker Martinsek
  25. Bowman and Brooke

Know the early warning signs, if your firm starts laying staff off or there is an increase in attrition, it may be time to start looking. Making a lateral move will have impact your career, resist the initial temptation to make a move based solely on compensation. Consider all the factors, then don’t be shy, make it happen.

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.4300 or visit our website athttps://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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

 

Sources:

Zaretsky, S. (February 27, 2014).  New Study Reveals Women Earn Much More Than Men In Biglaw (Just Kidding!). Above the Law.
Simpson, J. (April 19, 2015). The 100 Best Law Firms For Female Attorneys. Law360.
Deanarms. (June 9, 2015). Law Firms and Women Partners: Keeping Your Eye on the Prize. DailyKos.com.
Retrieved on May 11, 2016 from Attorney Search Group.com/Lateral Partner Process.

Photo Cred. 

Know When to Go Before Your Law Firm Forces You Out

When You Are Being Forced Out Of The Firm

Know When to Go Before Your Law Firm Forces You Out

Lawyers are let go for their inability to develop and cultivate new clients and sustain a book of business. Three of every four partners who have been pushed out reported hearing about their performance problems for the first time when asked to leave (ALM Legal Intelligence, November 2013). ”Firm’s business priorities change, if your firm is moving away from your technical specialty, that’s a wake-up call and you had better start looking,” Shari Davidson, On Balance Search Consultants. Most law firms don’t provide coaching and training to help transition partners who are no longer relevant at the firm.

The legal business profit structure is changing, law firms no longer need nor can afford a large staff as billable hours for clients for discovery have been absorbed by technology.  Advanced software programs now save firms time and expenses to perform the time consuming work of research for case discovery and evidence. Leaner, cost-conscious law firms now outsource many routine base-level services to cheaper contractors outside the U.S.   

Lateral partner hiring, sometimes seen as “buying a book of business”, is one way firms are strengthening their balance sheets. on the rise. Equity and non-equity partners alike who underperform or are no longer aligned with the core business plan are being shown the door without warning.

Churning out long-term partners and bringing in lateral hires creates resentment among the firm’s staff, sapping morale often scaring off legal talent. To attract talent, law firms need and must maintain internal morale. “You can’t bring in a new hired gun who after a short time is a disappointment. The best legal recruiters work very hard to source the right candidates who are a good fit for the firm. Lateral partners must be able to bring a book of business, but that not enough. Candidates must be carefully screened to ensure their skill-set is structurally aligned with the firm’s strategic initiatives and company culture ensuring they’ll thrive and be there for the long-term,” Shari Davidson.

Start developing your personal network, that is where you’ll source new business or at the very least find your next job. A drop in production may come for no apparent reason, don’t make excuses for a lack of performance. Plan your next move, consider that nearly a third of exiting partners source their new assignment with a head-hunter (ALM Legal Intelligence, November 2013).

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. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients and candidate’s needs, On Balance has an outstanding track record placing strong candidates with high retention rates.

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, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Sources:

ALM Legal Intelligence. (November 2013). Up or Out: When Partners Have to Go. Retrieved on April 30, 2016 from http://www.almlegalintel.com/rptTemp/2013_SJL_Lateral_Transitioning.pdf.

The Economist. (May 5th 2011) A less gilded future. Retrieved on April 30, 2016 from http://www.economist.com/node/18651114.

Photo Cred.