Friday, September 15, 2017


Can the recent Patriot’s loss be considered a metaphor for law firms of today?  The challenges of developing a “strong bench” are not unique to professional sports teams.  Law firms also must recognize the importance of grooming a “second generation” – acquiring  talent and devoting the resources necessary to develop and cross-train capable attorneys if they are to remain viable in today’s highly competitive and global legal market.

We see with the surprising loss of the top-ranked Patriots the importance of not taking anything for granted.  Even the most prestigious firms (and teams) need to plan ahead, add depth and strength and commit to continuous skill improvement  - not only to service their existing client base, but to attract new clients, business and the best talent to their firm.

We can all get caught up in our successes and reputations, yet the most respected firms, large or small, have an entrepreneurial “feel” about them.  They see the rapid changes (technological, political, demographical) happening nationally and globally and strategize about ways to leverage these changes to acquire talent for  future growth.  They are opportunistic – they remain open-minded and move quickly when a potential “star” candidate shows an interest - and are always recruiting for excellent, skilled attorneys first, business second.

None of us, not even the Patriots, want to think we have any holes in our organization, but most of us will from time to time.  That’s why it’s important to periodically review your “bench” and prepare for what your clients’ needs will be.  Not having the talent & skill can cost you the “game” – or a client.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Surging Lateral Market – Making sense of your options

Quality opportunities for successful Lateral Partners, Counsels and Attorneys are the best I've seen in 15 years.  Especially in the thriving Boston market, the demand for high-caliber talent has never been greater and with the recent entrĂ©e of more international firms such as White & Case and Wilson Sonsini into Boston; and other significant firms eyeing this area for future openings, the competition for dynamic and productive attorneys is vigorous.  As a result, some attorneys are wondering if they should take advantage of this favorable climate and consider exploring a lateral move.

All careers merit an examination from time to time - and when the market is this active, it makes sense to review your options and ensure that you have the best possible platform available for your practice.  It is a responsibility that attorneys have that is different from other professionals, as decisions you make about your career directly affect not only your income, but your clients and their well-being.

Obviously, making a lateral move is a decision that will impact your career for years to come and it can be overwhelming to investigate the market with all its rapid changes, and quantify how it affects you, your practice, the support you have and the additional support you may need, the impact it has on your clients and your ability to reach your practice goals.  Yet, as they say: timing is everything!   The busier and more active your practice is (when you don't have an extra minute to spare), is the most appropriate time to explore opportunities.  You owe it to yourself and your clients to be working in an environment that allows your practice to flourish. 

That's why it is beneficial to consult with a professional who can provide you with meaningful information about the current legal landscape and the firms that are best suited to support you, your practice and your business development efforts.  An experienced Recruiter with a thorough understanding of what it takes to make a successful lateral move will have first-hand knowledge to help you focus only on those opportunities that are relevant to your goals.  An experienced Recruiter will guide you through the process and work closely with you to ensure a smooth and rewarding transition.  Even if you are not sure that this is the right time for you to make a move, developing a relationship with a Recruiter will help keep you abreast of market conditions, and then, when you are ready to move, that Recruiter will already be prepared to assist you in securing the position that meets your goals efficiently.

Currently, there is a great deal of interest on the part of law firms looking for new lateral talent, but it's difficult to predict how long these favorable conditions will last.  If you think a lateral move might be something to consider, contact me for a confidential discussion.  I will help you review your options and if you decide that a move is in your best interest, I will position you to take advantage of the best legal market in years.  

 - Michael

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"I'M IN NO RUSH" - Exploring the Legal Marketplace

"I'M IN NO RUSH" - Exploring the Legal Marketplace

“I’m In No Rush”,  I don’t have to leave my position”…. so states my attorney candidate while meeting with my law firm client about opportunities with that firm.  It always puzzles me – why the coyness- and why make that statement anyway to someone you have just begun to professionally “date”??

Would one say that on a personal first date?  That doesn’t bode well for a possible new relationship, either personally or professionally.  The process has its own timing - typically not the Partner’s or the prospective firm’s – it must be allowed to run its own course.

Here are my four top guidelines during interviews for Partner and Counsels….

1.       Be interested, and let the firm know you are interested in the opportunity - you do not have any decisions to make until an offer is presented.  The fact you are exploring other situations doesn’t mean disloyalty to your present firm – but loyalty to your clients and your own career path.

2.       Don’t be too reserved or hesitant… to sell yourself and your practice.  The economy has rebounded nicely and attorney demand is higher than ever before. You have a duty to yourself and your to clients to secure the best platform available for your practice.

3.       Know your numbers:  Most firms will require you to provide the past three years of orginations, billings, hourly rates and compensation – and will ask for your expected originations. Drafting  a business plan for your practice is always a good exercise – whether or not you actually make a move to another firm, a business plan is a valuable tool in managing your growth strategy.

4.       Free Agents:  Partners are more like “free agents” today and those with portable practices and abilities to originate business need to be more independent; by independent I mean able to identify their practice and clientele’s needs and continually research and explore alternative platforms that can better serve current clients and provide opportunity for future business development.

If you are not thriving in your current situation, contact me, and together we will analyze your practice, forecast your needs and review your options. If moving to another firm is in your best interest,  my thorough understanding of today’s  market for legal talent along with my extensive network will help position you for success as you take  the next critical step in your career.

 - Michael