An occasional look at how laid-off legal professionals (and not-laid-off-yet ones) cope with a crisis economy.
If you’ve noticed an eerie stillness on the lateral partner trail, it’s not your imagination.
The job market is especially unpromising for junior partners, according to Southern California recruiter Bill Nason, who says he works with “every firm of consequence” in California that has more than 100 lawyers.
He says junior laterals fell off last fall and have stayed quiet. “There’s no market right now for people with no business,” he said. If you have less than a $1 million book “you better hope your current firm likes you.”
So I’m guessing equity points are totally out of the question? After the jump …
Even firms that used to be willing to invest in lawyers with specific skill sets such as IP or white collar, but no book, aren’t doing so this year.
If you have $1.5 million in business, you can get a job, he said, but forget about equity. (More firms opt now to wait a year or two before they offer equity even to partners with at least a $2 million track record, so that a new partner can prove herself or himself.)
As for the rest of the year, Nason expects little change. It will be at least six months before firms are willing to invest again, he predicts, by which he means pay in salary more than 40 percent of the business a lateral is bringing.
— Petra Pasternak