Law Firm Laterals 2017 H1 Report

Actionable Intelligence for Law Firms

Excerpt from the lateral report:
“What are the reasons for this apparent cooling off in the lateral market this year? One possibility, of course, is that 2015 and 2016 might have been peak years, and 2017 would then represent the ‘new normal,’ a stabilization in the number of lateral hires made by top U.S. law firms. But are there other forces at work that could potentially impact the number of lateral hires made by these law firms?”

What You’ll Learn in This Whitepaper:

  • A look behind the numbers — what drove the drop in laterals and the increase in Mergers for H1
  • Partner vs Associate lateral trends
  • A deeper dive into how and why the legal industry growth patterns are shifting

That firms can and should grow via lateral hires has become
conventional wisdom. Virtually all law firms (95.6%) responding to the
latest Altman Weil flash survey said they were planning to acquire laterals
as part of their growth strategy, with more than two-thirds of them saying
they were looking to add groups of laterals. Furthermore, just over 70% of
respondents believe the increased lateral movement to be a permanent legal market trend.

While firms may have expressed an intent to hire more laterals this year, data collected by Leopard Solutions indicate that lateral hiring growth at the top 200 law firms in the U.S. could be leveling off. According to its database, there was a total number of 4229 lateral moves in the first half of 2017 (through the end of June), an 8% drop compared to the same period in 2016 when 4598 lateral hires were observed. However, at the current pace, the number of laterals at yearend could still match the number of laterals that occurred in 2016, when a total of 8,616 was observed.


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