October 22, 2012
October 22, 2012 - Pasadena, California - A recently released report by LexisNexis and ALM Legal Intelligence says that law firms are going to continue using lateral hiring as a way to grow despite reservations about the effectiveness of this strategy.
This was one of the key findings of the report, "Thinking Like Your Client: Strategic Planning in Law Firms". The other key finding is that despite revenue growth being the top priority, law firms are falling short in monitoring client satisfaction and client loyalty.
The report includes responses from the 79 leaders of Am Law 200 size firms. 96 percent of these respondents said that their firms planned to hire laterals over the next two years as a means of growing. 3 out of 4 said that their firms expect to increase lateral hiring for the next five years. Russ Haskin, the director of consulting and services at LexisNexis, says that lateral hiring is often the quickest way for attorneys to generate business. Haskin does not agree with this kind of growth strategy that law firms are adopting, calling it a "knee-jerk" reaction.
Legal recruitment firm BCG Attorney Search's own State of the Market Report that was released this fall shows that the lateral market is hot in practice areas like IP and litigation. The demand for IP attorneys is especially strong in Silicon Valley says BCG Attorney Search's Managing Partner Evan P. Anderson. "For patent litigators, firms like to see candidates who have Markman hearing experience as well as ITC experience." says Anderson who handles the firm's San Francisco office. He further notes that ideal candidates should have a strong technical background and those in bio fields are typically expected to have a Ph.D. or Master's degree.
BCG Attorney Search CEO Harrison Barnes says that this report proves that laterals with a good book of business are still sought after. BCG is currently working with law firms around the country to fill up over 3,000 attorney jobs that are open as of mid-October. Out of these 3,000 positions, 787 openings are for IP attorneys and patent agents, with 190 being in California.
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