SAN FRANCISCO – A recent survey of lawyers across the
United States and Canada done by Robert Half Legal shows firms are increasingly
looking to hire laterally.
survey, which was conducted by an independent research firm, interviewed 175
lawyers. It asked them the questions, How effective is lateral hiring as a
strategy to improve law firm revenue? and, Does your law firm plan to increase
or decrease its hiring of law firm partners or senior-level attorneys in the
next two years?
we’re seeing is firms are seeing lateral hiring as a good way to increase
profit, and it’s an effective way to diversify,” Melissa Wolfe, metro market manager
for Robert Half in the Bay Area told the Northern California Record.
survey found 41 percent of the lawyers surveyed thought lateral hiring is a somewhat
effective way to increase revenue and 17 percent thought it was very effective.
nearly one-quarter of those surveyed believed their firm is planning to
increase the hiring of partners or senior-level attorneys in the next year.
hiring will take place in high-profit growth areas such as civil litigation,
intellectual property, and technology and software licensing,” Wolfe said.
in the Bay Area where technology is a major industry, firms are seeing the need
to hire lawyers who are already established in these fields.
is a downside to lateral hiring. According to another survey done by Robert
Half, 33 percent of the lawyers they interviewed said they are worried about
losing their top lawyers to other firms.
this may have people thinking about it is how hiring is competitive and how
firms can stay competitive,” Wolfe said.
Half released suggestions on how firms can retain their top performers. The
list included offering meaningful work, managing workloads and allowing time
off, compensating appropriately, communication between managers and employees
and providing improvement opportunities.
found that while salary in an important incentive, it is imperative firms focus
on the other areas as well. Of the 200 lawyers surveyed, 34 percent said excluding
monetary incentives, challenging and diverse work is the most important incentive
firms can offer in order to retain their attorneys.
with those incentives, Robert Half suggests law firms don’t ignore the value of
monetary incentives and released its 2017 Legal Salary Guide.
guide said at large firms, a lawyer with one year to three years of experience should
be making $126,500 to $168,250 while lawyers with four years to nine years of
experience should be making $173,750 to $234,500.
an emphasis on hiring experienced attorneys has increased, recent graduates and
first-year attorneys shouldn’t be concerned.
haven’t seen a decrease in hiring of recent graduates,” Wolfe said. “There will
always be a need for them.”