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I recently asked a managing partner (who is actively in the market for lateral partners) how his firm distinguishes itself from its competitors. The response I got was, ''We've got a great firm and we make a ton of money.'' I have to give him points for being superlative, if not terribly specific. He wasn't being flip; it was clear that he believes that these are the two reasons for partners to join his practice. But as someone who talks to firms about their senior-level needs on a regular basis, these may be important characteristics of the firm, but they are hardly distinguishing characteristics of the firm. The truth is many firms aren't great at articulating what makes them different from their competitors.
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