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.

Schedule A Consultation

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.


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. 

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