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Lateral Firm Transitions

G. Andrew Gardner, Soo Yeon Lee, Andrew Payton, Anne Kelley Russell, and Kara Vincent

Session Two of the Six Part Career Transition Series

Choosing to leave one law firm and move to another firm is one of the most challenging “it’s not you, it’s me” decisions an attorney can make. Our panel of attorneys who have successfully made the transition will describe their personal experiences, including how to prepare for this transition, tips and traps, life after making the change, and insights on considerations and strategies that only an insider can offer.

This panel discussion covers many of key considerations for determining whether to make a lateral move to another firm and finding the right place, including:

  • Some of the main reasons attorneys choose to change firms.
  • What kind of soul-searching an attorney should do before actively looking for a new firm.
  • Some of the wrong reasons that cause people to leave their current firm that ultimately yield an inability to thrive in their new firm.
  • Strategies for finding a potential new law firm home.
  • Most important things to ask a new prospective firm.
  • What sort of economic analysis attorneys should be prepared to provide to the new firm and how much that factors into the new firm’s decision-making process.

Highlights include tips for setting yourself up for success when you are making a lateral move, such as:

  • How you know when to make the actual transition.
  • How the logistics of the transition work.
  • What you can take with you.
  • How you go about merging your existing files and clients into the new firm’s system.
  • What you can say to current clients.

The panel discussion also covers the pros and cons of joining the firm of a “friend,” how many firms they considered before choosing the firm they ultimately chose, malpractice insurance considerations and other insights from the panelists’ diverse experiences ranging from small firm to big firm.

The Six-Part Career Transition Series is co-sponsored by The Career Development and Wellness Committee and the Leadership and Mentoring Committee.