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Top Law Firms Consider 6 Questions When Hiring Lateral Attorneys
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lateral hire

Summary: The best law firms will weigh their options when making a lateral hire with these six factors.

Are you trying to make a change to another prestigious law firm? Harrison Barnes lays down the hard truth about what these law firms are looking for in a lateral hire in his article. To learn if you have what it takes to be seen as a sought after lateral attorney apply these six factors to yourself.


Here are the six questions law firms will ask themselves:

  1. Will you fit in?

Fitting in with a law firm is a big part of long-term success for you and the law firm. There is a push for law firms to become more diverse but more at the associate level. When a law firm is hiring a lateral attorney, they are more concerned with making a hire that will fit. Law firms tend to have a culture that they stick with because they know there won’t be as many issues.

  1. Will you stay with us for long?

Law firms want to see attorneys that haven’t changed jobs every year or more often. They want someone that is making a change for reasons such as moving to be close to family or for more business. They don’t want to be hiring attorneys every month. The longer your periods are in the past with law firms show how likeable of an attorney you are. To be able to stay with a law firm for five or more years shows that you can capable of making things work wherever you go.

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  1. Are you manageable?

You will not be the boss so you must be manageable. You work for the law firm so you have to able and willing to follow their rules. An attorney that moves firms often is generally because they do not get along with their firm. They don’t like taking orders from others, putting in the hard work, or other reasons that a law firm will not tolerate.

  1. Do you want the job?

Attorneys are typically applying to more than one job. An attorney that actually wants a job with your firm will demonstrate that desire during the interview by how invested and interested they appear. Your mannerisms, the way you answer questions, and other verbal and nonverbal cues will show what you are thinking.

  1. Can you do the job the way we want?

A law firm is not only considering if you can do the job but if you can do the job how they want it done. The fact that you are looking for a new job is a red flag to law firms so they want to see other reasons as to why you are looking for a new job. They will want to look at your reviews, your previous billable hour amounts, and more to determine if you are looking for a job for the right reasons.

  1. Will their clients buy into you?

Law firms have to make their clients happy because they are the one paying the bills. If the law firms is concerned that their clients will not like you and what you have to offer them then they will not hire you. Clients are looking for top quality and top experience. You need to have experience that tops the charts such as with federal clerkships, valedictorian, leadership roles, successful trials, and more.

How can lateral attorneys demonstrate their skills in the interview? Tell us your tips in the comments below.

To learn more about being a successful attorney, read these articles:

Source: The Only Six Factors Prestigious Law Firms Care about When Hiring Lateral Attorneys




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