There are several methods that law firms typically use to make acquisitions at the partner level. These methods are as follows: (1) waiting for candidates to approach them (either through contingency recruiters or otherwise) or (2) retaining search firms to assist them with these acquisitions. Out of the two methods, the one means that law firms universally find to be the most effective is the retained search.

The Benefits of Law Firms Doing Retained Searches for Hiring Attorneys

A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

A. Law Firms May Wait for Partner-Level Candidates to Approach Them (Either Through Contingency Recruiters or Otherwise)
This is the most common way for law firms to make partner acquisitions. At most points in time, major law firms are considering a wide variety of candidates who have approached them on their own or through contingency-based recruiting firms.

1. Partner-Level Candidates Will Often Approach Law Firms without the Involvement of a Recruiting Firm
Most major law firms receive resumes on a fairly continuous basis from partner-level candidates seeking to move. These applications naturally fall into two types: (i) the sorts of resumes law firms want to see and (ii) the sorts of resumes law firms do not want to see.