Large Firm Recruiting: 5 Key Takeaways from NALP 2013

NALP2013-TampaI attended the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP) 2013 Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida in April.  This year’s conference, Turning the Tide, focused on how large law firms recruit in a post-recession environment.  Below are five key takeaways from some of the conference sessions I attended:

1. Lateral associate hiring is up!!! All panelists agreed that lateral associate hiring is up especially in the practice areas of IP, corporate, finance and real estate.

2. Firms hire with long-term growth in mind. Firms are careful about making sure there is room for partnership progression for lateral associate hires before opening a search.

3. Large firms pay referral bonuses to associates. In addition to notifying select recruiters of their hiring needs and posting their openings on their website, many firms also share their openings internally and offer a referral bonus to colleagues.

4. Large firms do not grant “exclusives” to particular search firms. Most firms prefer to open their searches to multiple recruiters so they do not limit their applicant pool.

5. Watch for firms opening new offices in your market. In a session devoted to tips for recruiting partners to open an office in a new market, the panelists agreed that, shortly following partner movement and opening a new office, associate needs usually ensue. One benefit to working in a firm’s satellite office in a new market is that they often have a midsize environment and culture with the large firm resources and practices.

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