When it comes to attracting the best lateral hires, culture counts. Of the mid-size firms surveyed by TAGLaw and the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, 70 percent rated culture as one of the top two selling points in their recruitment process. The other was the overall quality of the firm.
The findings were provided by leaders at 68 firms with a median size of 40 attorneys. About half of respondents were located in North America, with the remaining split evenly among Europe and Latin America.
Culture was so important to firms, that preserving it was cited as the top reason not to seek mergers. Only 19 percent expect to grow through mergers. In fact, according to an ABA Journal story, 75 percent of the firms had been approached by a larger firm interested in a merger—but only 37 percent seriously considered the offer. “Faster growing firms—those reporting revenue gains of at least 10 percent since 2007—were the least interested in merging with a larger firm,” the story states.
When it comes to growth, 90 percent of firms plan to rely solely on organic growth and just 57 percent plan on expanding through lateral hires (though of the firms who have hired laterally, 92 percent said the new recruit lived up to expectations).
“The firms in our survey that are growing the fastest were the same ones that are most careful about their human capital,” Lisa Rohrer, director of executive education and a research fellow at the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, said in a press release. “Successful mid-sized firms greatly value their culture and weigh cultural concerns carefully when considering possible lateral hire and merger opportunities.”