Here’s a direct peek into the 10 factors legal recruiters use when analyzing when determining whether a partner is likely to be in demand in the lateral partner market:
Practice Area: How in demand is your practice area.
Client Base: Types of clients.
Stability of Client Relationships: Are your clients stable, diverse and on a stable or upward trajectory?
Attractiveness of Client: Do you have clients who are likely to create conflicts? Are your clients likely to result in cross-selling opportunities at a new firm? Are your clients — even if high-profile — known to squeeze law firms on pricing?
Book of Business: How much portable business (or potential business) will likely move or be developed at the new firm within the next twelve months. Note: the range of desired portable business varies depending upon geographic market, profitability of the firm, and practice area but typically ranges from $500K at the lower end to upwards of $2.5-3M in larger markets. There are a few notable exceptions where the necessity or amount of portability business is mitigated: (1) When a firm identifies a specific skillset that is currently lacks and is losing business because of that gap; (2) Attorneys coming out of titled government or in-house positions where that attorney’s credentials and relationships can be marketed to clients; and (3) Counsel or senior associate who practices in an in-demand area and has a demonstrated ability or clear potential to develop business.
Compensation: How does your compensation align with your portable business? Also, how likely is it that a new firm will match or exceed your current compensation?
Track Record of Credit Over Past 1-3 Years: What has your credit been over each of the past three years (including the current YTD)? This includes billable hours, origination credit, working attorney credit, etc.
Billing Rates: Standard rate and effective rate.
Personality: How well will you interview and/or are you coachable.
Reason for Considering a Move and History of Prior Moves: If you have had another move or moves in the recent past, can it/they be explained?