I am a third-year associate with a large law firm. I like what I do here, and I see no reason to move to another firm. Recruiters have begun calling me more and more since I became a third-year. They say this is the best time for a move to another firm because my experience level is in the greatest demand and that I shouldn't wait until I am too ''senior'' to make a move. Do I stand a better chance for making partner at another firm, as some of the recruiters seem to think? Things are going well here. Besides, how many associates ultimately make it all the way through the ranks to partnership at any big firm? Each year I see associates go up for partnership that have been here for years and not make it - some of them highly respected. Why would moving give me better odds? It all seems so random.

When is the right time to make a lateral move?


That is a terrific question. There are several factors to take into account when viewing an attorney's career in the big picture sense. Prior to becoming an attorney search consultant, I was the manager in a recruiting office for a national law firm. Lateral attorney hiring was an integral part of my responsibilities.