Browse Archives | Subscribe | Home

LawBiz® TIPS – Week of March 12, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

There are so many opportunities for all of us. My clients tell me that they see more of these opportunities after we start working together ... and the key then becomes one of selection. Choose those opportunities that will move you forward toward your goals, let the others go by ... There will be another day.

Don't forget to contact me to join me in Chicago for breakfast on Tuesday, April 2nd.Ed signature

Make Sure Lateral Moves Move Your Firm Ahead

There seems to be no slowdown in the push by BigLaw to grow through lateral hiring. New figures compiled by The American Lawyer show that in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2012, the total number of Am Law 200 firm lateral partner moves hit its highest point in three years. That meant 2,691 partners left or joined Am Law 200 firms during the 12-month period, a 9.7 percent increase from the previous year, and a 33.6 percent increase from 2010. [1]

Typically and unfortunately, lateral hiring decisions too often are made on the basis of general expectations about the new skills and business a lateral hire can supposedly bring without doing a precise business calculus about the bottom line impact that lateral hires can and should have, . This is particularly problematic when making a quick offer for fear that another firm will snatch a "hot prospect" from the open market. Buyer's remorse is too often the result. To avoid it, and keep emotions in check, firms should develop a lateral hiring checklist to cover the key items for a business assessment of the hiring decision. Be sure to include these three issues.

Financial Forecasting. A financial and marketing assessment of the new hire's client base and hourly rate can help ensure realistic expectations for the lateral's book of business. Not every lateral hire advises major clients, and not every major client follows the lateral hire. Making sure the firm is not forecasting revenue that never materializes is essential.

Client Relations. A major concern should be how well the lateral hire has communicated with existing clients, particularly with regard to their opportunities to go with the departing lawyer or stay with the existing firm. Without clear communication and a definite agreement to move their representation, clients may easily engage different legal representation while their lawyer moves to a new home. The lateral hire checklist should document the current status of client files; what client communication was made; and what was the result.

Receivables. When partners go to new firms and clients follow them, they generally take their books of "unfinished business." But clients of course have a right to seek their own choice of lawyer and may choose to stay with the lateral hire's previous firm, or seek a new one. And that former firm may refuse (to the point of threatening litigation) to relinquish control of past receivables. A lateral hire checklist should document the new hire's receivables status.

A lateral hire is ultimately a business decision. Making sure the business details are considered and documented is a legitimate requirement - even if time is of the essence.

[1] The 2013 Lateral Report (3/1/13)

Ed Poll's Life After Law
50% OFF - Special Prepublication Price!

Life After Law


until April 1

(reg. $49)

What Will You Do with the Next 6,000 Days?

To Order: 1-800-837-5880 or order online at

With an eye on balancing the professional and personal fronts, Ed guides readers through the steps:

  • Choosing retirement on your own terms

  • Guarding clients' welfare in the event of disability or death

  • Transferring client and rainmaking responsibilities

  • Charting an exit from a multi-partner firm

  • Strategizing the sale or closure of a practice

Plus, you'll find essential counsel on how to guard your retirement nest egg and create a fulfilling post-practice life! Learn more.

In this issue:

Make Sure Lateral Moves Move Your Firm Ahead

Ed Poll's Life After Law... 50% OFF

Video: Networking

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video

YouTube LawBiz Forum
FaceBook Twitter

What Clients Are Saying:

"Ed's command of the podium and his connection and inter- action with the audience were outstanding. His skills enabled us to successfully implement a new culture into the organiza- tion without damaging our relationships with outside counsel."

Torrance, CA

"When I had my own private practice as a solo practitioner, I wanted to run my office as efficiently and profitably as possible. I researched business coaches and discovered that most had "passive" models as their basis for coaching, i.e. they would promise all the things they would do for my practice without my having to invest time and energy into the process. I'm so glad I chose Ed Poll instead, for he had an "active" model, i.e. how much I got out of the coaching was directly dependent upon what I put into it. Over a period of six months, Ed conferenced with me and gave me weekly assignments for structuring my practice as well as giving me tips on how to work with clients from the initial interview through to the end of the case. After working with Ed, I didn't have a single outstanding account receivable over $500. The time I spent working with Ed was invaluable and I would recommend him to any attorneys interested in improving the quality and profitability of their practices."

Los Angeles, CA

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2013 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

This LawBiz Tips E-Zine is categorized for the following audience(s):

This LawBiz Tips E-Zine is listed under the following categories: