Matchmaker Matchmaker Find Me The Perfect Lateral Partner Match

Just as in dating where physical attraction and some mutual interests are a start, the same is with Law Partners and Law Firms, where the amount of portable business and practice areas are just a start.  There are so many other factors that contribute to whether a law partner and law firm are a good match.

Compensation Formula

Law firms vary greatly in their compensation formulas.  Some firms’ compensation formulas reward rainmakers; some reward hard workers; and some reward both.  Before making a move to another law firm, a partner must ascertain what type of compensation formula the firm has, and what type will be most beneficial to them.  If you are a real rainmaker, and a firm only rewards partners for the amount of hours that they bill and recover, then this might not be the best formula.  Likewise, if you are a very hard worker and bill and recover 2300 hours per year, then a compensation formula that rewards production rather than rainmaking would be better for you.  If you both bring in business and work very hard, then a mixed compensation formula that rewards both would work very well for you.

Cross Marketing Opportunities

Before making a lateral partner move, it is very important to assess whether the firm’s practice areas will be helpful to you in cross marketing.  Then, you must ascertain whether the attitudes of the firm’s partners allows for substantial cross marketing.  Some firms have partner who work together to help each other succeed, thus enabling everyone to do better and serve their clients better.  At other firms, there is more of an “every man for himself” attitude.  Often, you will not be able to find this information out on your own, and a legal recruiter who works with that firm and knows them well will be the best source for this informa6tion.

Personality, Attitude and Environment of the Firm

Typically, when we receive partner job orders from law firms, we go in to meet with the hiring partners and/ or manager of legal recruiting and find out as much as we can regarding the firm and what they are looking for in a new hire.  By actually visiting the firm and meeting with these individuals, we are best able to advise potential partner candidates on the personality, attitude and environment of the firm and find the right lateral partners for the firm.  For example, in many of our visits to law firms, the managers of legal recruiting or hiring partners have told us that they do not hire jerks.  However, they often use a stronger word than jerks.  They make it clear to us that the firm has a very congenial environment and do not allow attorneys to yell at others in the firm.  If we are dealing with an attorney who is a yeller, this is good for us to know.  In addition, we know and can advise our attorney candidates which firms are known for having partners who yell at each other and at associates and others in the firm.

Marketing Support

Some law firms put a great value on supporting their attorneys both financially and other ways in their marketing efforts.  Other firms do not put a premium on their attorneys marketing and bringing in business, and do not provide their attorneys with any marketing support.  It is important for you to decide if it is important to you to bring in clients and build a book of business.  If so, you will want to be at a law firm that allows their attorneys to have much client contact and provides financial support and other marketing support such as providing tickets to the Phillies and Eagles games for attorneys to use for potential or current clients, etc.

Financial Stability Of The Law Firm

Some law firms have no debt and fully funded retirement and others do not.  Some law firms made a nice profit last year and others not so nice.  We know the information about the firms that we work with and you should too.  Some recruiters will know this information and can provide you with it.  If not, you should be sure to ask these questions in your second interview, as it should be a very important factor in your decision.  I advise you to wait until your second interview too ask this question, as it may seem like too pushy and presumptuous a question to ask in your first interview.

These are just some of the necessary pieces of information that are needed to make a good lateral partner match.  We wish you the best of luck if you are seeking a lateral partner move, and are available to assist you with drafting your business plan and provide you with as much information as possible regarding the law firms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and what would be your perfect match.


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