All posts by Sako Adajian

Why Use a Recruiter in a Hot Lateral Market?

Everyone knows by now that the lateral market for law firm associates is unusually hot. Firms are routinely offering associates five-figure signing bonuses, and in some special cases bonuses are as high as $150,000. Firms are also increasing commissions for recruiters assisting with lateral placements in certain practice areas, in some cases doubling the usual rates.

With so many firms looking to hire laterals, a candidate might be tempted to think recruiters are unnecessary in this market. In the narrowest sense, that may be true: many candidates could likely land a lateral offer on their own. But the better question is: will the services of a skilled recruiter make it more likely that you will find the best lateral fit? The answer is unequivocally yes.

Who needs a recruiter?

For some lateral searches, the need for a recruiter is obvious. Partner moves are the best example. Competing offers are the only way to achieve a material compensation boost as a partner, and a recruiter plays an essential role in creating that market.

For associates, the value of a recruiter is less in stoking a bidding war and more in mitigating the asymmetry of information that lateral candidates face. As partner moves have become more frequent, the rankings and assessments available through annually updated sources such as Vault and Chambers are less likely to align with the current reality. In contrast, well-informed recruiters like Lateral Link are in a strong position to explain the market in real time. For example, we frequently know that a firm is about to gain a key partner in advance of the public announcement. We can therefore anticipate that the firm will need lateral associates in the relevant practice area and position our associate candidates accordingly. Candidates who choose not to work with a recruiter inevitably will have less information and will make less informed decisions in this highly fluid and dynamic market.

There is no downside

Candidates sometimes worry that firms will be less enthusiastic about hiring them as a lateral associate if the firm has to pay a placement fee to a recruiter. Although this concern may seem superficially reasonable, it does not reflect the market reality. To understand why, it helps to think through the economics of the law firm business model.

Associates are profit centers for law firms. For every day that a firm has fewer lawyers than necessary to meet the full demand for its services, the firm is losing profit. In a robust market for legal services, firms have a strong incentive to fill empty seats as soon as they can find a qualified candidate—in the context of the profit the firm is forgoing by not having that seat filled, a recruiter fee is basically a rounding error.

We can illustrate more precisely with a stylized example. Let’s assume that a firm seeking to hire a lateral associate expects to collect on 1600 of the associate’s billed hours, at an average rate of $625/hour. That will generate an annual contribution to the firm’s gross revenue of $1 million. Assume the associate’s base salary is $240,000 and that the firm must pay a recruiter 25% of the base, $60,000, as a placement fee. This amounts to a 6% transaction fee on the revenue the associate produces in her first year with the firm.

6% of the year equates to just over three weeks. If relying on a recruiter enables the firm to fill the seat 22 days sooner than it could have otherwise, the firm will come out ahead. Sure, the firm could refuse to work with recruiters, advertise vacancies on its website, wait for candidates to apply directly, then sort through the applications to identify the promising candidates. But in the current hot market that would be a totally irrational strategy. The fact that firms are not just willing to work with recruiters right now but are in many cases increasing the fees that they offer is proof of this basic economic logic.

In summary, there is no downside to using a recruiter and plenty of upside. Firms will not shy away from hiring you due to the placement fee. And you will benefit from non-public information about the market, increasing your likelihood of landing with the firm that best fits your unique selection criteria.

Looking To Be A Legal Recruiter? Lateral Link Is Hiring

Over the past decade, Lateral Link has become the prominent player in the legal recruiting industry. As we continue to grow our global footprint, we are looking to add recruiters to our San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York offices.

Our Success

Lateral Link has made thousands of placements with almost every Am Law 200 law firm in the nation. Not only do we have personal relationships with decision-makers at the biggest and best firms in the nation, but our exclusives with — and insider information about — some of the most desirable law firms separates us from ALL of our competitors in the field.  We are a market mover, not a follower.

Moreover, we only hire the best and almost all of our recruiters are law school graduates with extensive Biglaw experience.

Highest Compensation in Our Industry

We understand that hiring and retaining the best legal recruiters requires spreading the wealth.  Not only do you deserve it, but you should demand it.  Lateral Link’s recruiters earn 50-85 percent ABOVE the market.  Also, our Principals partake in real profit sharing. Our compensation formula also favors hard workers and high earners, and the more you make, the more you keep.

Teamwork & Culture

If you have to define the legal recruiting industry, you would probably say it is a “dog eat dog world.” At Lateral Link, our recruiters find working together and collaborating on searches gives us an edge over our regional or national competition.  If you don’t have access to decision-makers and your brand isn’t opening the door in a meaningful way, why are you bringing more to a platform than what you are giving?  We encourage you to look at the contributions you make.  Is your platform really helping you?

Many Perks

We know the business aspect is important, but we also like to have a bit of fun at Lateral Link. We believe it is important to bring all of our colleagues together, from across the nation, annually at our company retreats.

If you are interested in working for us please email  or click here to apply.

Job of the Week: Complex Litigation Opportunity in D.C.

An elite mid-sized firm in D.C. is looking for two associates for its Complex Litigation practice:

  • One Junior Associate (Class of ‘17 to ‘18) and;
  • One Mid-Level Associate (Class of ‘14 to ’16).

The ideal candidate will have stellar academics and be familiar with bankruptcy and/or creditors’ rights. 

Why should you consider this position?

  • This highly regarded firm is mid-size in structure but has the experience and essence of a boutique;
  • It is ranked by among the “Top 150 Under 150 [Attorneys]” and “Best Midsize Law Firms for Hours” and;
  • The firms litigation group recently landed two major cases, the firm is offering a substantial signing bonus to attract the right candidate! 

If interested, please contact Kristina Marlow at .

Job of the Week: General Counsel for Tech Company in Silicon Valley


Confidential – Register here to find out.


Silicon Valley

Job Description

We are working with a Silicon Valley technology company on a search for a General Counsel level position. The ideal candidate will have a range of experience with a technology transactions background.

Compensation ($$$): Very competitive compensation package that includes top of the market base pay and RSUs!

About the Company

  • This company is focused on SAAS and product lifestyle management in the fashion, luxury goods and consumer goods space.


  • 10-25 years experience, including in-house technology transactions experience.
  • Preferred experience includes dealing with corporate governance, insurance and subsidiaries.


Andrew Ng:

Lateral Link Job of the Week: Boutique in Atlanta


Confidential – Register here to find out.



Job Description

We are working with an Atlanta-based boutique on a search for a second-to-fourth year litigation associate who focuses his or her practice on employment litigation.

About the Firm

  • This firm is a boutique labor and employment and business litigation law firm with a national client base and scope of practice that they service out of their offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
  • The firm represents Fortune 500 companies in class actions, complex commercial disputes of all types, and labor and employment disputes in jurisdictions across the country. The firm also provides consulting services, training, day-to-day advice, and conducts internal investigations in the areas in which they litigate.
  • Over the last few years alone, this firm has handled cases in over 35 states. Many of these cases involved hundreds of millions of dollars in potential exposure and garnered significant media attention.
  • Representative clients include: Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Georgia-Pacific, Comcast Corporation, Global Payments, Inc., FleetCor Technologies, Cox Communications, Assurant, Turner Broadcasting System, Hyatt Corporation, Johnny Rockets, Allegheny Energy, JPMorgan Chase, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Columbian Chemicals, Cbeyond Communications, and Birch Communications.
  • Compensation is commensurate with BigLaw in Atlanta.


  1. A second-to-fourth year litigator who focuses his or her practice on employment litigation.
  2. Outstanding academic credentials from a top tier law school. Preference for candidates who were on their school’s law review.
  3. Strong preference for attorneys who completed a federal clerkship.
  4. Open to local and relocation candidates.


Marion Wilson –

Lateral Link Brings in 5 New Recruiters

Lateral Link, along with our sister divisions Cadence Counsel and Bridgeline Solutions, is proud to announce five new hires. Please welcome Jaclyn Genchi, J’lene Mortimer, Susan Agopian, Naomi Kaplan and Stephanie Ruiter to our team!

“We have a simple plan. As we are only as good as our recruiters, we hire the best talent possible. The Lateral Link family is thrilled to welcome Jackie, J’lene, Naomi, Stephanie, and Susan. Collectively, our fabulous new additions speak four languages, have lived abroad for over a lifetime in multiple continents, maneuver with precision both cars and motorcycles, and are some of the brightest, most hardworking, and interesting people in our space. Please join me in welcoming our newest team members to Lateral Link. We are proud to work alongside them in servicing our clients and candidates across the country”, said Michael Allen, founder/CEO of Lateral Link.

Jaclyn Genchi

Jaclyn Genchi is a Director based in South Florida. She focuses on placing associates and partners at AmLaw 100 and 200 law firms, prominent regional firms, and elite boutiques throughout the Southeast, and also on placing in-house attorneys and general counsel in corporate legal departments nationwide.

Prior to joining Lateral Link, Jackie was an associate for ten years at two AmLaw 100 firms, working on bankruptcy matters in New York, litigation matters in Miami, and FCPA/investigation matters in Paris and DC. As she made a lateral move herself, which included a practice group switch and a move from New York to Miami, she well understands the process from the candidate’s perspective.

Jackie received her BA and MA from the University of Florida and her JD from Duke University School of Law. She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida with her rescue pup Winnye and, in her free time, Jackie is a devoted spa junkie with a fondness for French skincare.

Jackie can be reached at .

J’lene Mortimer

J’lene Mortimer practiced at several law firms including Jones Day, Quinn Emanuel, and McGuireWoods before joining Lateral Link. J’lene completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, J’lene now lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, three sons, and chocolate Labrador.  When she is not working, J’lene is an avid recreational runner and a devoted hockey and lacrosse mom.  Although with the many geographic allegiances in her house, she is torn whether to root for the Flyers, the Capitals or the Kings!

J’lene can be reached at .

Susan Agopian

Susan Agopian specializes in partner representation in the lateral market in California. Born and raised in Bulgaria, Susan brings a unique and worldly perspective to her current position. She spent her formative years traveling through Europe with her mother, a prima ballerina, before making Los Angeles her permanent home in 1994 and allowing basketball to complement her lifelong love affair with soccer. Susan’s MA in Philosophy enabled her to turn down Virginia law school, instead spending the past decade mastering the headhunting profession. Susan manages to balance her work life with a wide range of culinary and bucket list items. An animal lover, she is a passionate supporter of the ASPCA and the Humane Society. She is also a movie buff, 70s music fan, car enthusiast and an avid follower of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Susan can be reached at .

Naomi Kaplan

Naomi Kaplan is a Director in the Los Angeles office focusing on document review solutions nationwide for law firms and corporations, as well as temporary attorney and support staff placements. Prior to joining Lateral Link, Naomi owned a legal recruiting firm and worked at The Walt Disney Company. Prior to recruiting, Naomi was a litigation associate with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP.

Naomi holds a J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School where she was Senior Articles Editor of The Third World Law Journal, and a B.A. in English, cum laude, from Boston University. Between college and law school, Naomi worked as a Litigation Paralegal at Skadden in Boston and then lived and worked in Benin, West Africa with the Peace Corps for two years.

Naomi can be reached at .

Stephanie Ruiter 

Stephanie Ruiter moved to New York and joined Lateral Link as a Director after practicing as a litigator at two small DC area firms. She finds the skills she used in helping her clients as an attorney transfer to her recruiting practice; both careers require truly listening to your clients to best understand the right strategy and approach to achieving their goals. The key to Stephanie’s success as a recruiter is to develop a relationship with clients that extends past their placement.

Stephanie attended the University of Delaware for undergrad and received her law degree from the University of Georgia. Stephanie currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her 3-year-old rescue lab, Trina the Diamond Princess. She loves to do the New York Times crossword puzzle and is hoping to one day compete in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. On weekends, you can catch her exploring the city or cheering on her beloved Dawgs.

Stephanie can be reached at .

Reach out to our new team members today with any questions you might have about your next big career move.

We look forward to seeing Jaclyn, J’lene, Susan, Naomi and Stephanie in Las Vegas for our annual company retreat in mid-October.

September 11, 2019 – Lateral Link Job of the Week: Chambers Ranked LA Firm


Confidential – Register here to find out.


Los Angeles, CA

Job Description

We are working with a top Am-Law firm on a confidential search for a second to fifth-year patent litigation associate in the LA office. This is a very rare opportunity to get in on the ground floor with some of the best patent litigators in the nation, who also practice soft IP and licensing across the technology and life sciences industries. Individual litigation verdicts in the hundreds of millions of dollars and a small group ensure unparalleled experience and a friendly work environment at a firm well-known for taking care of its associates in LA.

About the Firm

  • Chambers-ranked in California
  • Known for its friendly culture and relaxed atmosphere in LA
  • Compensation is top of the LA market.
  • A growing group investing in patent litigation and therefore offering above-average partnership prospects in the BigLaw space


1. A second to fifth-year litigation associate with a technology or life sciences background – patent prosecution and general litigation associates with such backgrounds and an interest in patent litigation are encouraged to apply.

2. Tech backgrounds preferred: electrical engineering, computer science, physics.

3. Life sciences backgrounds preferred: bio, chem, biomedical, and related engineering disciplines.

4. Open to local and relocation candidates – CA bar exam must have been taken in July of 2019 at a minimum for candidates relocating from out of state.


Ata Farhadi –


August 19, 2019 – Recent Attorney Moves

Law firms and companies throughout the world are always looking for the best legal talent to bolster their various practice groups. This past week, the below companies added talent to their already impressive legal teams.

El Pollo Loco Names Jason Weintraub Chief Legal Officer – QSR magazine

New general counsel for ACA – Auto Service World   

Henry Stokes appointed general counsel at Perpetual Guardian – The National Business Review   

GREENBERG TRAURIG: Greenberg Traurig Adds David Bloch as Intellectual Property Shareholder in San Francisco – Northern California Record

Trial Litigator Nate Kritzer Joins Steptoe in New York   

Leading Corporate Partner Joins Dechert’s Dubai Office   

Chandra Westergaard joins Norton Rose Fulbright in Denver – Global Legal Group 

Lewis Brisbois Gets 11-Lawyer Team from Dissolving LeClairRyan – Bloomberg Law

Kirkland Adds Real Estate Attorneys from Paul Hastings, Jones Day – Bloomberg Big Law Business

Norton Rose Fulbright Grabs Energy Lawyers in Lone Star State – Bloomberg Big Law Business

LSI Industries Appoints New Senior VP of HR and General Counsel – CStore – Convenience Store Decisions

Anderson Kill Expands Crypto With New Partner Bob Cornish

Proskauer Continues Growth of Private Funds Team in London with Addition of Partner Leith Moghli 

Morrison & Foerster Further Expands Antitrust and Cartel Capabilities with New Partner in San Francisco

Milbank Scoops Irell & Manella IP Litigation Team – Bloomberg Big Law Business

Jones Day welcomes patent litigator Nicole Smith in LA – Global Legal Group

Clyde & Co expands its African horizons | ALB Article – African Law & Business (ALB)

Your career is important to us and our team of well-versed legal recruiters are here to make your next lateral move as seamless as possible.


Take Control of Your Career

August 14, 2019 – Lateral Link Job of the Week: Exclusive In-House Position!


London-based Insurance Company – Click Here for More Info


Atlanta, Georgia


The role is a quasi-legal role that involves underwriting Reps & Warranties insurance for M&A deals.  R&W insurance is a relatively new insurance product that has become increasingly common in M&A deals over the past 5 years, especially in the PE context.

All in compensation for this position is strong for in-house in the Atlanta area, particularly for junior to mid-level associates. And when profit-sharing kicks in the third year, candidates have the potential to more than double their salary.


Negotiable (approximately $200k all-in)

Other Benefits & Perks:

  • Free lunch every day in the office
  • Gym membership allowance
  • Bar Dues
  • Excellent health benefits.
  • Flexible work schedule (once training is complete).
  • Collegial and collaborative work environment.
  • Occasional travel to NYC, Chicago and London.
  • No billable hours!

Required Experience:

  • Candidates must at least one year of transactional experience in a large law firm. One to five years of experience is the general range, although this company will consider candidates with more experience in certain circumstances.

 Ideal candidates will have:

  • M&A experience or significant exposure to M&A transactions, such a finance associate who supports M&A deals. This company will consider other transactional candidates with an interest in M&A/R&W insurance.
  • M&A experience in the PE space is a plus.
  • Accounting or finance undergraduate/graduate degrees also a plus.
  • Preference for Biglaw experience.


Marion Wilson, Director (


August 12, 2019 – Recent Attorney Moves

Law firms and companies throughout the world are always looking for the best legal talent to bolster their various practice groups. This past week, the below companies added talent to their already impressive legal teams.

Gordon & Rees Welcomes Twenty New Attorneys in July 2019   

Holland & Knight Expands Corporate Practice in New York with Addition of Richard Smith   

Leading Private Equity Lawyer Daniel Eisner Joins Schulte Roth & Zabel – Business Wire   

Experienced Employment and Litigation Attorney Mickell Jimenez Joins Holland & Hart in Salt Lake City – Yahoo Finance 

IP practice launched in Hooper, Lundy and Bookman – Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review 

Proskauer adds partner to Private Funds Team in London – HedgeWeek 

New corporate partner for Dentons – The Lawyer’s Daily hires first general counsel – Corporate Secretary   

Linklaters Zhao Sheng Competition and Corporate practices strengthened with Zhao Sheng hire of Vivian Cao and Colette Pan

Andrew Schwartz, Lawrence Bartel and Lori Quinn Join Gordon & Rees in the Philadelphia and New York Offices 

Boston-Based Patent Attorney John Forcier Joins Womble Bond Dickinson

Real Estate Practice Expands in Chicago with Addition of New Partner

Nixon Peabody expands its Complex Commercial Disputes practice in Chicago

Akerman Enhances Real Estate Strengths with Christopher Hayes in Orlando, Stephen Tilbrook in Fort Lauderdale

Armstrong Teasdale Adds Three Attorneys in St. Louis, Philadelphia

Allen & Overy further bolsters its Restructuring and Recovery Group in Asia with key partner hire

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Expands Government Investigations Practice

Benesch Adds Partner, 2 Associates to Chicago Office

Greenberg Traurig Grows Latin America Practice with Addition of Oscar Stephens in New York

John Beaulieu “Beau” Grenier Joins Jones Walker

Eugene Chikowski Joins Holland & Knight’s Financial Services Team

Jose F. Sanchez Joins V&E’s International Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Practice in New York

Eversheds Sutherland continues to grow new Chicago office with addition of M&A Partner Stacey Kern

Virginia Principal Deputy Solicitor General Matthew R. McGuire Joins Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Issues & Appeals Team

Wilson Sonsini Lands Justice Department Fraud Section Vet – Bloomberg Big Law Business 

Your career is important to us and our team of well-versed legal recruiters are here to make your next lateral move as seamless as possible.


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