Lawyers traverse Silicon Valley's lively lateral market

February 29, 2012 Here is an interesting article about the very lively lateral market in Silicon Valley. Shifting between law firms can be very lucrative, with plenty of firms seeking to enter the tech sector and offering large remuneration to lawyers that are able to launch and establish their presence in the market.

"These are some of the busiest lawyers in the country and every firm wants to be in Silicon Valley and grow in Silicon Valley and it's very difficult to do it well," said recruiter Natasha Innocenti, head of Major, Lindsey & Africa's partner practice in Silicon Valley.

And in a tech market that thrives on change, jumping from one law firm to another is not frowned upon as it is in other parts of the country, though a partner that moves every two or three years, as soon as their compensation guarantees expire, can make a bad name for themselves.

The article goes on to canvass some of considerations taken into account by recruiters when it comes time to hire a partner that has moved around lot. Broadly, recruiters must distinguish between three types of serial movers – those with a portable book of business who seek a better platform, those who've had trouble building a client roster, and those who are just difficult people. To find out, firms interview past clients and referencesand arrange for candidates to meet with several partners individually, who then compare notes.

At some point, moving firms too many times "can become a detriment," said recruiter Larry Watanabe of Watanabe Nason. "But when lawyers move firms, it's their hope and aspiration they will stay. Sometimes things don't come together the way they expected, and there are a lot of reasons why things don't work out."

Read more at www.law.com.

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