Shameless Plugs

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts on lateral partner moves from Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Today’s post is written by Michael Allen, the Managing Principal of Lateral Link, who focuses exclusively on partner placements with Am Law 200 clients.

With the recent news of eight Weil partners in Dallas leaving for Sidley Austin and Wilson Sonsini announcing the elimination of 35 staff positions in Palo Alto, many are looking towards the fourth quarter with cautious optimism. Traditionally the fourth quarter is the most difficult to predict; even the most basic analysis of Q4 shows that there is little correlation between the rate of change in partner moves from the previous year, and the rate of change in total moves from the previous year (ΔP/ΔT). This essentially means that the total lateral moves over the course of the fourth quarter are an inadequate measure for estimating future lateral partner moves in the fourth quarter. However, gauging the first three quarters, this measure is highly effective, yielding a nearly 85% correlation year to year — compared to 44% in Quarter 4.

There are many factors that complicate lateral moves in the fourth quarter, the most conspicuous being bonuses. Every law firm has a method for compensating its partners. Some compensation plans are highly structured, but many others include subjective elements. Distribution plans incorporating percentages or units of participation with a reserve are often-times structured to incentivize an attorney to remain at the firm through the fourth quarter. Simplified, a partner will receive a variable draw and at the end of the year, and the balance of the net profit will be distributed. There is the general consensus that partners will wait to collect their bonuses at the end of the year before making a lateral move. This evidence may be anecdotal, but nonetheless lateral movements in the past have been about 30% greater in the first quarter compared to the previous fourth quarter…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will The Lateral Market’s Clouds Part in 2014?”

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts on lateral partner moves from Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Today’s post is written by Michael Allen, the Managing Principal of Lateral Link, who focuses exclusively on partner placements with Am Law 200 clients.

On the surface, the state of the legal market looks grim; in the third quarter of 2013, lateral moves declined in almost every practice area in comparison to Q1 and Q2 of 2013 and the three previous Q3s. Although the legal sector added 2,700 jobs in August, there has been stagnation within the top 200 firms relative to the last few years. Compared to the last two years, lateral movement has dropped 29% since 2012, after having risen 5.5% from Q3 of 2011 to Q3 of 2012. When compared to the first two quarters of 2013, the drop is less dire. From the first quarter to the third, total lateral moves dropped 6.3% (not nearly as significant), and from quarter two to quarter three, lateral moves decreased by 13%.

Since Q3 is not yet over, we have assumed that the market trends will hold steady over the course of the next few weeks, and we used this inference to fill the gaps in our data. Analysis of past years’ data shows that this is not an unreasonable assumption. Our findings indicate that lateral movement during Q3 is especially weak when comparing these last two years. In 2012, 5,725 attorneys moved laterally (January 1 through September 18th), compared to 4,840 in 2013 — a 15.4% decrease. While the lateral market would be depressed even without Q3, the drop for the year to date would not be as significant. Of the top Am Law 200 firms, nearly 40% either hemorrhaged lateral attorneys or had no net gain. Despite this lateral recession, Lateral Link has increased its market share over the last year, placing even more candidates than the year before despite the otherwise static lateral market….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The State of the Lateral Lawyer Market”

We’d like to take a moment to thank to our wonderful advertisers here at Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, please download our media kits or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

Just a friendly reminder that this is happening tomorrow. Manhattan law schools, bars, good times. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody.

I’ve been told that, for liability reasons, I’m not actually allowed to “drive” the party bus, but that’s probably for the best as I’ll be showing up after playing about ten hours straight of Grand Theft Auto V.

Here’s the schedule again…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Last Great ATL/Kaplan Bar Crawl Review Reminder”

Ed. note: The Aspiring Lateral, a new series from Levenfeld Pearlstein, will analyze a variety of issues surrounding lateral moves, drawing on the firm’s experience in the lateral market as well as the individual experiences of LP attorneys. Today’s post is written by Laura Friedel, a partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment group.

In the legal profession, the view from the top is pretty good. If you’ve been lucky enough to snag a position at one of the 100 or so firms loosely defined as “Biglaw,” you’re probably looking out a window near the top of a shiny skyscraper. You probably have a nice cafeteria down the hall. Who knows: at your glam partner retreats, you may even take chartered boats down the Thames.

The point is, while that view from Biglaw is a good one, it’s not the easiest vantage point to assess your career options. I’ve been there. And when I began to think about alternatives to a Biglaw practice, I admit I did not fully realize that mid-sized firms even existed. In my mind, there were Biglaw firms, boutiques, and that’s about it. I was something like the native New Yorker who is only dimly aware that a mass of states lies between herself and the only other meaningful part of the country, California.

Thankfully, just as flyover states do in fact exist, so too do mid-sized firms that provide sophisticated, full-service capabilities to their clients. For the Biglaw practitioner facing rate pressure from clients, frustrations with the anonymity that goes with mega-firm practice, or perhaps nosebleeds from the trip up the elevator, they are worth considering along with obvious alternatives such as in-house positions.

And as Biglaw lawyers investigate mid-sized firms, they will likely find more misperceptions falling away. I’ll share a few here that opened my eyes further, and that make the mid-sized firm alternative an attractive one…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Aspiring Lateral: Downsizing From Biglaw”

I posted this on Friday, and then I remembered that law students don’t wake up on Fridays, so I wanted to mention again that the Above the Law Bar Review Crawl (sponsored by Kaplan) now has a sign up sheet, a schedule, and a party bus.

Below you can see our plans, and one person who signs up will be picked at random (on Thursday morning I assume) to join us as we bus around the city. Right now, I’m actually just interested in your music suggestions for the party bus playlist…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Great ATL/Kaplan Bar Review Crawl Has A Schedule, Now It Needs A Soundtrack”

This coming Thursday, September 19th, the Above the Law crew will set out to crown the best law school bar in Manhattan. But you knew that already. The first 25 people who show up to hang out with us will have the option of having a free drink sponsored by Kaplan, but you knew that already too.

What you don’t know yet is where we’re going. You don’t know when we’ll be there. And you don’t know how to get on the party bus with us as we travel around to schools, liveblog, and do other party-bus-type things.

Now, after pulling teeth from the people over what bars they drink at, we finally have those details. We’re starting out at 5:30 p.m. around Columbia at The Village Pourhouse.

Check below for the sign-up form to be eligible for some additional ATL swag, Kaplan swag, and a seat on the bus, plus the rest of the schedule….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Great ATL/Kaplan Bar Review Crawl: Now With Date, Time, Bar, and Prize Information”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts on lateral partner moves from Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Today’s post is written by Michael Allen, the Managing Principal of Lateral Link, who focuses exclusively on partner placements with Am Law 200 clients.

A day in the life of an English litigator just got considerably more complex. Lord Justice Jackson’s year-long appraisal of English litigation ended in 2009 and culminated in a set of new rules dubbed the Jackson Reforms. These eponymous reforms are being heralded as revolutionary, yet the full impact of the reforms has yet to be ascertained. While opinion is divided on the impact of these reforms, we have seen a very tangible ripple in the frequency of U.K.-based movement from litigation partners over the last few years.

As you are all aware, the U.S. legal system is based on British Common Law. While many facets of our systems are congruent, litigation financing diverges significantly between the two countries.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Litigation Reform Across The Pond”

Next Wednesday, September 18 at 7 p.m., ATL is hosting a free cocktail reception in New York. Our topic will be the tension between laws that encourage individuals to blow the whistle on government wrongdoing and laws that impose the harshest penalties for disclosing secrets. Whether one considers mega-leakers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden to be heroes or traitors, the legal implications of their cases are undeniably fascinating.

Our special guest will be criminal defense and whistleblower attorney John Howley, who will discuss how the law has been applied in controversial cases from Daniel Ellsberg to Snowden and Manning. Gain an appreciation for the complex ethical issues lawyers face when advising and representing whistleblowers and alleged traitors.

Please join us on September 18 by RSVPing for the reception below:

In addition, ATL is partnering with our friends at Lawline to bring you a fascinating CLE program concerning the recent leaks of U.S. government data. The CLE program will also take place on the 18th, from 5:30 to 7:10 p.m. Register for the CLE here.

The event is sponsored by our friends at Access Data with support from Lateral Link and Learnvest.

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