This article discusses many of the questions most often raised by law firms about their search firm relationships. There are very few "right" or "absolute" answers to questions about search firm relationships.

A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
  1. What Are the Industry Standard Fees Paid to Legal Search Firms?
  2. Are Search Firm Agreements Oral or Written?
  3. Do Law Firms Involve Search Firms in the Law Firms Events and Activities?
  4. How Can Law Firms Stop Legal Recruiters from Poaching of Their Lawyers?
  5. How Legal Do Search Firms Find Attorney Candidates?
  6. Can the Law Firm Website be an effective complementary recruiting tool?
  7. How Can Law Firms Interview / Evaluate a Legal Search Firm
  8. How can legal recruiters work with new offices / new practice group leaders?
  9. What Makes Search Firms More Responsive (but does not cost a dime)?
  10. What type of legal search is best? (Contingent / Retained / Exclusive / Multiple Listed?
  11. What information does a legal search firm need for a lateral partner search?
  12. What Information Does a Legal Search Firm Need to Know for Lateral Associate Searches?
  13. How Do I Ensure that the Legal Search Firm Devotes Time To This Lateral Attorney Search?
  14. A Legal Search Firm Is Tormenting Me With Unsolicited (& Lousy) Resumes - What Can A Law Firm Do?
  15. How Can A Law Firm Terminate A Legal Search Firm?
  16. Is A Limited Duration Exclusive Attorney Search for a Lateral Attorney Sensible? How Should the Law Firm's Interests Be Protected During and Before the Attorney Search?
  17. In What Situations Should A Law Firm Search Assignment to Legal Recruiters Be Multiple Listed?
  18. What Role Should the Legal Headhunter/Legal Recruiter Play in Lateral Attorney Candidate Due Diligence?
  19. What Type of Guarantees Should be Provided By Legal Recruiting Firms for Placed Lawyers Hired Through the Legal Recruiter by the Law Firm?
  20. Should A Firm Use An Open-Ended Approach to Lateral Attorney Hiring With Multiple Legal Recruiters/Legal Headhunters - Website Listings - Associate Bounties - Print Advertising
  21. How Can A Legal Attorney Search Firm Improve the Quality of My Day to Day Life At the Firm?
  22. What About Law Firms Offering Associate Bounties to Get More Lateral Attorney Candidates?

Over the past several decades, lateral hiring by major law firms has gone from being unusual to a routine event. In many of the nations' largest firms, more than half of the partners and associates are lateral hires. When mergers, group movements, and individual lateral hires of partners and associates are fully accounted for - lateral hiring may be a more significant force in law firm life than entry-level hiring. There is no reason to suspect that this trend will change. As law firms move through this era of national growth and consolidation - lateral hiring will become an even more important part of the recruiting and development picture.

Nevertheless, lateral hiring is often organized in a rather haphazard and incomplete fashion. While law firms are familiar with the normal rituals of 2L on-campus-interviews, 2L summer programs, and entry-level associates - and have developed many fairly logical and consistent systems and practices to handle these - lateral hiring is more of a smorgasbord. Within the same firm - across offices and departments - one may find many approaches to lateral hiring.