Monday, July 11, 2011

Landing on Your Feet After a Law Firm Meltdown

Rider Christopher I. Rider (Emory Business) concludes that attorneys who lose their jobs after a law firm dissolution should look for new employment first at firms where other attorneys in the dissolved firms are going, rather than at firms at which the job-loser has law school alumni contacts.  His article is Networks, Hiring, and Inter-Organizational Mobility: Evidence from Law Firm Dissolutions; here's the abstract:

Social networks are widely believed to facilitate the matching of individual job candidates and employing organizations. Causal effects of various network contacts on hiring and attainment are unclear, though, because networks probably influence both the likelihood that an individual changes employers and the quality of the position they attain. Leveraging the unexpected dissolutions of six U.S. law firms as an exogenous shock to mobility, this study examines how prior education and employment networks structure individuals’ inter-organizational mobility opportunities and chances of attaining greater intraprofessional status. Specifically, I investigate how law school alumni and co-worker networks influence the matching of individuals to employers. Analyses of 1,426 lawyers’ transitions to subsequent employers demonstrate that both alumni and co-worker contacts influence organizational hiring but that individual status attainment is aided more by co-workers than by alumni. Implications for studies of networks and inequality are discussed.


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