Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lawyers Close to Partnership - Evaluating Your Situation In Our Slowing Economy

The crash of the subprime mortgage industry, rising gas prices, and a looming recession is having an impact on most sectors of the U.S. economy. Certain law firms are among those beginning to feel the pain. New York firms - even those not impacted by the subprime crisis - are tightening their belts and being more selective in their hiring, particularly of lateral lawyers.
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Law firm COO's and Executive Committees are preparing for a difficult year. What does that mean for you? Are you next in line to be considered for elevation to partner? You may be less likely to move up the ladder this year - or for the next period of time. If you will not make partner, you may be thinking of going somewhere else. But don't make that decision, and surely don't telegraph that to the partners, until you very discretely test the market. If you are not in an "up or out" situation, in this economy, it may be wise to wait. Here are a few things you can do to evaluate the market in a discrete way to assess the legal market:
  1. Ask a colleague in another firm to connect you with his/her firm's recruitment professional.
  2. Talk with a headhunter or two about their experiences with the market.
  3. Evaluate job websites to determine what experience level firms are seeking now.
If your research leads you to believe it will be difficult for you to make a move now, you should consider staying where you are, working harder, deepening relationships with clients, and attempting to find a way to get some business. Your marketability will increase if you have your own business.
Randi S. Lewis
Founder, Resume Boutique LLC ~ 410.602.2500
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