Friday, August 22, 2014

Easier Lateral Moves for Young Lawyers

Large firms have moved from the pyramid model of hiring to the diamond model. With the pyramid model, the firm would hire a significant number of newbies. Over time, some would leave voluntarily, and some would get the message that it was time to leave. As time went by, a few would make partner.

Under the diamond model, the firm hires fewer newbies, and later, fills the ranks with laterals from smaller firms. Tater, the firm would winnow out the ranks. Under this model, the firm gets young lawyers with some experience. Also, since some clients refuse to pay for the work/training of newbies, firms would rather hire young laterals whose work they can bill out.

The result: The market is good for young lawyers with a few years of experience, and less good for the new law school graduates. The smaller firms have spent time and money training young lawyers who are now hot items on the job market and will go out of their way to persuade them to stay. Interesting economics.


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