A survey conducted by Robert Half Legal found that attorneys are seeking lateral moves for control over their practices as well as their personal lives.
Overall, the survey provided further confirmation to common thought about the legal lateral market. The survey found the top motivators for attorneys to make lateral moves are, unsurprisingly, money as well as work-life balance and professional autonomy. The results suggest to Robert Half directors that small to mid-size firms stand to benefit due to their slightly relaxed requirements in comparison to BigLaw bretheren.
“Small to midsize law firms are attracting [attorneys] by giving them an incentive to profit share down the road,” said Mala Saraogi, director of Robert Half Legal in Denver. “They’re not enforcing the stringent billable hour requirement of a minimum of 1,900 hours a year. They’re making sure they’re providing them with the autonomy to go and get whatever business they can … and get on partnership track. They are making sure of these and the quality of life that comes with the lower billable hour requirement.”
And it still holds true that many attorneys look to BigLaw jobs to get the endorsement from an employer to then get a “ticket to other firms,” she said.