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2014 Lateral Hiring Report: Of Counsel Attorneys
Written by Robert Kinney
Monday, February 23, 2015

This week we are publishing the third part of our special report on lateral hiring trends in the legal market. In our prior postings we reported on the trends in lateral hiring of law firm partners and associates. This week our attention shifts to lateral hiring for of counsel positions.

These reports are based on market data we have collected on our own over the last five years. As previously mentioned, several general caveats should be noted about our methodology and the scope of the data collection:

  • this report only covers data for the top 200 American law firms;
  • it covers lateral hiring practices in 19 major domestic markets;
  • we collect this data on our own and make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy;
  • the associate numbers in particular may be subject to underreporting (more so than partner lateral hiring) simply due to law firm policy regarding public announcement

Despite these caveats we believe the data available to us and as presented here is directionally accurate as to general market trends. We also make this data available by email subscription (sign up at the bottom of this article).

Of Counsel Lateral Hiring Trends 2010 – 2014

Not surprisingly the 5-year trend for of counsel lateral hiring follows the same general pattern we discussed previously regarding law firm partners and associates. After tailing off sharply in the years immediately following the Great Recession, large law firms gradually resumed a more normal and elevated pace for lateral hiring of counsel positions as shown in the chart below.Total Of Counsel Lateral Hiring

But notice over the course of the last three years how of counsel lateral hiring has held remarkably steady. This is true in the aggregate as well as when we look at the numbers broken down by geographical region or major practice areas; there has been very little variability in the level of counsel hiring from 2012 to 2014. This stands in sharp contrast to the trends we discussed previously for lateral hiring of both partners and associates, where there is considerable variability year over year. Compared to the clocklike regularity with of counsel hiring, partner lateral hiring dropped by 6.4% from 2012 to 2013 and associate lateral hiring fell off by more than 36% from 2013 to 2014. Read more…

London Calling
Written by Chris Miller and Daniel Roark
Thursday, February 12, 2015

It’s a great thing when you spin the Wheel of Fortune and your lucky number comes up.  This is exactly the position that qualified mid-level associates find themselves in today now that animal spirits are percolating once again in the legal market.

As we discussed in part 2 of our recently published Lateral Hiring Report – market conditions for mid-level associates have never been more favorable than they are right now due to a dearth of qualified candidates with requisite Big Law firm experience.  You can literally write your ticket to any one of a number of destinations, and take your pick from a broad range of interesting opportunities.

And one of the options you might want to consider is a ticket to London.  A few of us from Kinney Recruiting spent some time there last month and we found that mid-level American associates are in very high demand among the ranks of the Magic Circle firms and beyond.    So this week we wanted to share with you a few things we learned on our trip in case you’re interested in opting for a few years in London as your next prize of the spinning wheel.  Contact one of our recruiters today if you’re interested in learning more.

  • The high-yield debt practice in London is booming and this is a major source of demand for mid-level U.S. law associates. Many of the high-yield deals in London are done in compliance with U.S. law – specifically Rule 144A – so top tier U.K firms have a keen appetite for U.S trained associates with high-yield finance experience.  There are also a number of opportunities with top tier U.S. firms who are active in the London high-yield market.   This experience is highly relevant to the job world on both sides of the Atlantic, so it’s actually a great option for someone who thinks he/she may well want to return to the US eventually.

Read more…

2014 Lateral Hiring Report: Law Firm Associates
Written by Robert Kinney
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This week we are issuing the second part of a special report on trends in the 2014 lateral hiring market.

Last week we analyzed the data on lateral hiring of law firm partners. This week our attention shifts to lateral hiring of associates,  which is always a reliable — yet lagging indicator of demand for legal work. The series will conclude with a discussion of lateral hiring for of counsel positions as well as our observations on the distinct hiring strategies taken by various leading law firms.

Our report is based on market data we have collected on our own over the last five years. As mentioned in last week’s post, several general caveats should be noted about our methodology and the scope of the data collection:

  • this report only covers data for the top 200 American law firms;
  • it covers lateral hiring practices in 19 major domestic markets;
  • we collect this data on our own and make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy;
  • the associate numbers in particular may be subject to underreporting (more so than partner lateral hiring) simply due to law firm policy regarding public announcement

Despite these caveats we believe the data available to us and as presented here is directionally accurate as to general market trends. In addition to publishing this annual report, we will be issuing several more detailed regional reports over the course of the year.  We also make this data available by email subscription (sign up at the bottom of this article).

Read more…

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