‘We’re going to a new firm!’

Even in a world where “Who’ll be the next Dewey?” is a Biglaw parlor game and the general legal job market hits the bottom and keeps digging, there still are a few bright spots for the industry. Some examples: law firm associate classes, though contracted, appear to have stabilized, revenues for the largest law firms grew by the highest rate since 2007, and lateral hiring is back in a big way.

According to NALP, the volume of 2011 lateral hiring was up by nearly 50 percent compared with 2010, with associates accounting for almost three-quarters of the lateral traffic. Obviously, the data is not in for this year, but according to one veteran headhunter we spoke with, the revived lateral attorney market has continued through 2012. Admittedly, this trend is not a bright spot if one believes that a fast-flowing lateral market is a key ingredient in the recipe for more Deweys. But at the very least, we are in a better environment for those looking to make a lateral move.

Unlike much of the labor marketplace, legal recruitment generally has not migrated online. In the large firm context, would-be lateral attorneys continue to require the specialized knowledge and carefully cultivated relationships of the legal recruiter. Today, the ATL Career Center launches its Practicing Lawyers section, which features a Recruiter Directory, a new resource for those of you looking for greener pastures. After the jump, check out the founding members of the Directory….

Below, in no particular order, are the first firms to join the Directory. Users have the ability to refine their searches by the location and geographic reach of the recruiters. The Directory is also full of personal details about the individual recruiters — laterals and recruiters work closely together, so ideally the personal styles of the parties mesh. So, if you are looking to make a lateral move, be sure to browse — and reach out to — recruiters at these firms:

(If you are a legal recruiter who would like to be added to the Directory, please get in touch with us here.)

The ATL Career Center continues to grow and now features dedicated sections for Pre-Law, Law Students, and Practicing Lawyers. The Practicing Lawyers section will also run a Featured Job, the latest being an Attorney Advisor position with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in D.C.

Finally, if you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes and respond to the ATL School and Firm Insiders Survey.