Lateral market undermines 'partnership'

This article traces the development of the lateral hiring market. In the 1970’s a lawyer leaving a position at a law firm would not be hired by a firm in the same town. Forty years later, studies show that the current generation of new lawyers are expected to have at least 10 different employers during their professional careers. Law firm partners are now so mobile that they might more accurately be characterized as free agents, ready to pull up stumps and follow the money. The shift is explained by reference to the fact that partners are now expected to be business getters, and the development of a book of business gives lawyers a clear and powerful sense of their own value. The article notes that this increased mobility can have negative impacts on professional growth, bonding and camaraderie, and may even reduce the quality of the service provided to clients, as the lawyer-firm team structure is undermined.

Lateral market undermines 'partnership' Mon, Dec 13, 2010