Moving to a New Firm
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Switching jobs is always a stressful event in a person’s life, but it can be especially stressful when you try to switch the jobs during such a tough economy in the United States these days. One aspect of the business world where switching jobs can be incredibly stressful is the legal spectrum. Even though there are millions of law firms across the country, most lawyers find it difficult to switch from one firm to another in order to advance their career to newer heights. The reason behind the skepticism is not only the economic problems surrounding the country but also the uncertainty that the new job will be worth the switch in the end.

The American Lawyer lists the following characteristics of a lawyer who qualifies as a good candidate for a move to a new law firm:


  • A good strategic fit with the acquiring firm, such as having a practice that complements the firm’s current practice or a client base with many cross-selling opportunities.
  • Persuasive explanations of why their current firm is no longer the right platform (that is, the right mix of colleagues, practices, clients, firm management style, marketing support, and other factors that comprise a law firm as an organization).
  • Reasonable compensation expectations.

An excellent way to determine if a move to a new law firm is right for you is to speak with legal recruiters. These recruiters will be able to answer most of your questions, including ones you might have about the current firm you work for as well as questions you have about possible new employment opportunities at other firms. If you do not wish to work with a legal recruiter you could always work on the process on your own. Working on your own comes with a ton of risk, including breaking ethical codes that you have to your current firm and your clients. One way you can explore options with new firms is to talk informally with peers you have a good repore with at those other firms you might be interested in joining.

If you do not have many peers in law firms you know of, you can contact firms on a no-name basis to gauge their interested in a lawyer with your skills and whether or not they have job openings. The process such as this one is outlined below:

  • Contact firms on a no-names basis to determine their interest in a partner with a practice like yours.
  • Assess recent placements and press releases to determine which firms were looking for partners like you.
  • Analyze the partnership composition of firms in your market to identify opportunities that could be appealing both to you and to prospective firms.

If you employ this process correctly, you should be able to find law firms either in your area in or a desired area of residency that are looking for lawyers with your type of skill level.

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