Tag Archives: Biglaw

Jason Rindenau Joins haistack.ai As The Managing Director

haistack.ai is thrilled to announce the newest addition to our team, Jason Rindenau, as the Managing Director of Haistack Law Firm. With a rich tapestry of experiences that blends the rigor of legal practice with the creative flair of the entertainment industry, Jason stands out as a multifaceted professional ready to bridge the gap between technology and the law.

Jason’s passion for law was ignited by his interests in the entertainment industry including a stint as a contestant on Jeopardy! during his high school years. He felt he had found his community among these attorneys practicing in the entertainment sphere and, with encouragement from his mentors, he pursued law at New York Law School where he obtained his J.D. His love for the debate podium that he fostered in high school eventually led him from law school to pursue a career first as a legal recruiter and, upon moving to Florida in 2019, as a litigator. 

Beyond his legal pursuits, Jason is an avid traveler, reader, and writer with a penchant for blogging about his adventures. While studying in Australia in college, he was even a cast member of the NBC show Junior Year Abroad. More importantly, he is a devoted husband and father of two beautiful children.

One of Jason’s most profound experiences was a trip to Poland during college where he interviewed individuals who assisted in rescuing Jewish families during the Holocaust. This journey culminated in a documentary film called The European Village Project about these individuals’ brave efforts to save lives during World War II. 

At haistack.ai, Jason will leverage his diverse experiences, from his deep understanding of the legal profession to his creative engagements in the entertainment and travel sectors, to foster meaningful connections with law firms. His unique background makes him exceptionally suited to understand and address the nuanced needs of our legal clients, ensuring that haistack.ai remains at the forefront of innovation in legal technology.

We are excited to have Jason on board and look forward to the dynamic perspectives and insights he will bring to our team. Please join us in welcoming Jason Rindenau to the haistack.ai family, and schedule some time with Jason to learn more about what haistack.ai can do for your firm.

Breaking Open The Black Box Of Partner Compensation

In 2023, the news broke that Cravath, one of the famous hold-outs of the adoption of a non-equity partnership structure, was moving ahead with the two-tiered system, with rumblings that Paul Weiss might join this year. We wrote many years ago about the glut of senior associates facing an impending exit from Biglaw as the colossal baby boomer population that largely comprises the partnership ranks continued to work later and later than their predecessors. It seems to be a partial answer to this dilemma, firms are leaning more and more toward non-equity tiers of partners to retain these talented lawyers. This is evidenced by the increasing rate at which non-equity positions continue to be replenished, per Thomson Reuters’ analysis. Unsurprisingly, as a whole, the number of non-equity partners has grown from 19,289 in fiscal year 2012 to 26,888 in fiscal year 2022.

The implications of this restructuring are yet to be fully realized vis-a-vis the pay of equity partners. As salaried partners focus on servicing rather than generating work, non-equity partners are fixed costs that are baked into the firm’s overhead. As sharers of company profits, equity partners have seen their average compensation rise as net profits continue to soar. The average equity partner compensation has risen from $1,513,442.26 (adjusted for inflation) in 2012 to $2,079,240 in 2022 per ALM.

A law firm’s compensation model for partners is oftentimes as mysterious as Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. When partners look for new firms, they generally have a shortlist of expectations, such as a good culture, strong practices and platforms, stable finances without too much debt, stellar reputations, and last but certainly not least, healthy compensation. Achieving this can be difficult in practice. We track compensation structures across and beyond the Am Law 200 and hardly any firms have the same structure. Between firms, origination, and working credits vastly differ in their compensation, structure, and scaling, which means you can become severely undervalued if you choose a firm whose compensation formula is a poor fit for your book of business.

This antiquated notation that the compensation scales linearly with a book of business from firm to firm is easily dispelled by graphing originations vs PPP.

The reality is, that in the age of both shifting partnership structures with the rise of non-equity partnership ranks and mercurial and mysterious compensation formulas, approximating your business’s value on the open market is a daunting task.

Nonetheless, at every value for originations, some firms significantly outpace others in performance for equity partner compensation. For firms with a formulaic compensation model, there is not much wiggle room to influence your numbers, the positive is you will have a clear idea from the outset about your take-home compensation. For firms with closed compensation systems, like the “black box,” a partner uses peer firms with formulaic models to benchmark what he assumes is the market. Some firms are somewhere in the middle, open but subjective or semi-open and semi-formulaic. Most are closed, however. There is not much consistency, so there is no real market to peg your value on unless you create one for yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to work with a veteran legal recruiter who, using knowledge of different firm compensation structures, can negotiate the best deal for you by creating a bidding war for your services. While it sounds easy in practice, the firms that can actually absorb your bill rates, meet your personal preferences, and clear conflict checks are few and far between, and difficult to find on your own.

When a book of business crosses the two million mark (i.e., 2,000 hours at $1,000 an hour), the actual take-home return begins to diverge from the expected return as the single book of business starts to cost the firm more resources between associates, service partners, and administrative staff. We see this in the relatively uniform grouping in the graph above of compensations vs. originations for originations under the two million dollar mark. This association is approximate and varies from firm to firm, nonetheless, the general trend holds in all of Biglaw. It does, however, illustrate that it is important to find a firm that will reward your increased originations with congruous increases in your take-home compensation.

We meet with every Am Law firm to learn not only about their lateral needs but also compensation structures and their platforms to better service our partner clients. We use our insider knowledge to put together a holistic perspective of the best fit for your business. In addition, we know when the firm is willing to be opportunistic, and handsomely reward a lateral partner. The bottom line is that it is our job to maximize your options, and my colleagues and I at Lateral Link are happy to help.

Revolutionizing Legal Talent Acquisition with AI: The haistack.ai Advantage

Gone are the days when legal recruitment was bogged down by inefficiency and bias. Enter haistack.ai: a beacon of innovation that leverages artificial intelligence to redefine how law firms identify and engage with top legal talent. This platform, powered by the latest in AI technology, complements traditional methods by offering unparalleled precision and speed, enhancing the capabilities of human recruiters and setting a new standard in legal recruitment efficiency.

A New Era of Recruitment: Efficiency Meets Accuracy

The traditional landscape of legal recruitment, characterized by manual sorting and inherent biases, is undergoing a profound transformation. AI technologies, particularly those specialized in recruitment, are setting new standards for identifying candidates. These advanced algorithms are not just tools but game-changers, capable of analyzing vast datasets to find the perfect match between law firms and potential hires.

haistack.ai leads this charge by leveraging its unique, data-driven approach. Thanks to its parent company, Lateral Link’s, deep industry insights, haistack.ai is not just another recruitment tool but a revolutionary platform that ensures optimal alignment between candidates and law firms, thus streamlining the recruitment pipeline like never before.

The haistack.ai Methodology: Intelligence in Action

At the core of haistack.ai‘s success is its methodical, four-step process that harnesses the power of AI at every turn. Starting with an extensive data collection phase, the platform compiles an unmatched database of attorney profiles, firm requirements, and open positions, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive recruitment network.

The real magic happens when haistack.ai applies its advanced algorithms during the data analysis phase. By uncovering deep connections between potential hires and firms, it facilitates targeted communications and strategic connections that were previously unimaginable.

What sets haistack.ai apart is its reliance on machine learning technologies. These aren’t your standard matching algorithms; they’re dynamic, learning from each placement to refine and enhance future recommendations. This continuous improvement cycle ensures that haistack.ai remains at the forefront of recruitment technology, delivering unmatched accuracy in candidate selection.

In its final phase, haistack.ai doesn’t just list candidates; it provides a detailed justification for each recommendation, backed by solid data analysis. This transparency and insight into the decision-making process add an extra layer of trust and reliability to its services.

Embracing the Future with haistack.ai

As haistack.ai demonstrates, the future of legal recruitment lies in embracing AI’s potential to transform traditional practices. This platform exemplifies the shift towards a more efficient, accurate, and unbiased recruitment process, setting a new standard for how law firms approach talent acquisition.

By integrating haistack.ai into their recruitment strategy, law firms can not only expedite the hiring process but also ensure they are connecting with the most compatible candidates. It’s an invitation to be at the forefront of recruitment innovation, where data-driven decisions lead to better hires and a more dynamic legal workforce.

Are you ready to experience the unparalleled efficiency and precision that haistack.ai brings to legal recruitment? Why wait to transform your talent acquisition strategy? Contact us today to schedule your demo and see firsthand how our AI-driven platform can revolutionize your recruitment process.

Lateral Link Announces 2024 Promotions

Lateral Link is pleased to announce the promotion of several outstanding members of our team this year. These professionals have exemplified unparalleled expertise in legal recruiting, demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, and contributed greatly to helping maintain Lateral Link’s collegial and collaborative culture.

Jon Kahn: Managing Principal, New York

Jon Kahn, one of the co-leaders of Lateral Link’s partner practice group, is now a Managing Principal in Lateral Link’s New York office. With over 25 years of legal industry experience, Jon brings a unique understanding of lateral hiring, having been a partner at major law firms in New York and founding his own executive legal search firm, JEK Partners. His background in capital markets transactions, high-yield offerings, IPOs, and M&A transactions enriches our team’s capabilities. Jon holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Amy Savage: Senior Principal, Washington, D.C.

Amy Savage, the leader of our Government Transitions Group, is promoted to Senior Principal in our Washington, D.C. office. A recognized expert on legal career issues, Amy has made significant contributions to the D.C. legal market over 15 years, particularly in placing associates and partners with top Am Law firms. Amy earned her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.

Lauren Smith: Senior Principal, Washington D.C.

Lauren Smith, now a Senior Principal in our Washington, D.C., office, specializes in partner and group placements nationwide. Her diverse legal experience as both an Am Law 100 law firm litigation associate and in-house counsel provides a broad perspective beneficial to her recruiting expertise. Lauren graduated with a double major from Cornell University and later obtained her J.D. from William & Mary.

Christine Berger: Senior Director, New Orleans

Christine Berger is promoted to Senior Director, focusing on attorney placements in Texas and Louisiana. Her in-house, law firm, human resources, and resume writing experience offer unique insights into the recruiting process. Based in New Orleans, Christine’s outstanding dedication and drive has played a pivotal role in our expansion in the region.

Lateral Link continues to uphold our commitment to excellence in legal recruiting. These promotions highlight our dedication to valuing leadership and expertise within our team. We pride ourselves on understanding the complexities of the legal market, ensuring tailored and strategic solutions for both our clients and candidates.

We invite talented individuals who share our vision of excellence and collaboration to consider joining our dynamic and forward-thinking team. For those seeking opportunities in a highly-regarded recruiting firm with access to unmatched resources, a collaborative and collegial culture, and above-market compensation, Lateral Link is the ideal destination.

Law Firm Mergers: Analyzing the 2023 Trends and 2024 Forecasts

The landscape of law firm mergers in 2023 revealed significant developments, characterized by a series of strategic consolidations. These trends not only reshape the current legal market but also set the stage for further transformations in 2024.

2023 Merger Landscape: A Quantitative Overview
In 2023, the legal industry saw 48 law firm mergers, a slight increase from 44 in the preceding year. This uptick underscores a growing interest in strategic growth and market diversification, particularly among large firms and in cross-border consolidations. For instance, the year witnessed notable cross-border mergers, doubling from two in 2022 to four, and mergers involving large firms (with over 100 lawyers each) increased from two to five, as reported by Fairfax Associates.

Notable Mergers and Strategic Expansions
High-profile mergers, such as the combination of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling, highlighted a trend towards global expansion, particularly for UK firms eyeing the U.S. market. Regional mergers also made headlines, with the largest domestic merger being between Cleveland-based Ulmer & Berne (175 lawyers) and St. Louis-based Greensfelder Hemker & Gale (140 lawyers), signaling a strategic move towards creating ‘super-regional’ entities.

Challenges and Considerations in Large-Firm Mergers
Executing mergers among large law firms presented its challenges. Aligning firm cultures, client portfolios, and operational strategies are crucial for a successful integration. Such complexities are indicative of the nuanced approach required in larger consolidations.

Shift in Focus: Boutique and Regional Firms
Smaller and mid-sized firms showed an increased propensity for mergers as a strategy for combating slow growth and rising operational costs. This shift indicates a broader recognition of mergers as a key strategic tool for sustaining competitiveness in a challenging market.

2024 Projections: Continuing Trends with New Dynamics
The legal sector in 2024 is anticipated to continue witnessing mergers, albeit with a nuanced shift. Larger firms are showing a preference for organic growth through internal development, suggesting a more balanced approach to expansion.

Economic Factors Influencing Mergers
Economic conditions, such as market fluctuations and inflation, continue to influence the merger landscape. Firms are increasingly using mergers as strategic responses to these economic challenges, showcasing the importance of adaptive strategies in the legal sector.

Regional Dynamics
The regional distribution of mergers in 2023 also offers valuable insights. States like California, Chicago, and Pennsylvania emerged as hotspots for merger activities, underlining the importance of understanding local market dynamics in strategic planning.

The 2023 law firm merger trends and the 2024 outlook reflect a dynamic approach to growth and adaptation within the legal industry. As firms navigate the global market, mergers remain a pivotal strategy, especially for smaller and regional firms. Concurrently, larger firms are diversifying their growth strategies to include both mergers and organic development.

Engage with Our Experts for Strategic Growth
To effectively navigate these trends, consult our industry experts at Lateral Link. Our team offers in-depth knowledge and practical experience to help you understand these market shifts and their implications for your firm.

Connect with Industry Experts: Gain personalized insights and strategic advice tailored to your firm’s needs. Speak to an Expert

Explore Lateral Opportunities: For legal professionals seeking new challenges, discover how lateral moves can enhance your career. Explore Opportunities.

Share Your Insights: We invite you to share your experiences or thoughts on law firm mergers. Connect with us directly through our Company Directory to contribute to our ongoing discussion.

haistack.ai Seeks a Director of Sales to Lead in Legal Recruitment Innovation

At the intersection of technology and talent, haistack.ai is pioneering a new approach to legal recruitment, and we are seeking a Director of Sales who is ready to lead this charge. This pivotal role is designed for a visionary capable of leveraging our data-driven platform to reshape the legal recruitment industry.

Strategic Leadership Role:
The Director of Sales will devise and execute a sales strategy that not only reaches but also resonates with the Am Law 200 law firms. Your strategic vision will guide the team to exceed sales targets and forge strong relationships within the legal sector.

Candidate Profile:
We are seeking a professional with a bachelor’s degree and substantial leadership experience, ideally with a background in legal recruiting or sales within the legal industry. Strategic thinking, superior communication skills, and the ability to lead a remote team are key qualifications for this role.

Incentive:
We recognize the value of a strong network and the power of personal referrals. That’s why haistack.ai is offering a $5,000 referral bonus if your recommendation leads to a successful hire within 90 days.

Our Culture:
haistack.ai, in partnership with our parent company Lateral Link, deeply values a culture of camaraderie. Our annual retreats, exemplified by our recent gathering at C Lazy U Ranch, reflect our commitment to building and sustaining a collaborative, innovative, and supportive team environment.

How to Apply:
If steering the future of legal recruitment appeals to you, we invite you to apply for the Director of Sales position at haistack.ai. You can apply directly through our LinkedIn job posting or send your resume and cover letter to sadajian@haistack.ai. We are eager to meet the innovative leaders who will join us in elevating the standards of legal recruitment.

Apply Now: Director of Sales – haistack.ai

We invite you to view the video below to witness the haistack.ai and Lateral Link culture in action. Imagine yourself as a part of our collaborative future. We welcome your application today.

C Lazy U Ranch – Lateral Link 2023 Retreat

Biglaw Compensation Trends: Milbank Pioneers with Associate Salary Increase

In a landscape of cautious optimism within Biglaw, Milbank has announced an increase in first-year associate salaries to $225,000, setting a new benchmark in legal compensation. This move reflects a confident outlook for 2024, despite the previous year’s volatility in client demand and transactional work. The adjustment, which represents a $10,000 increment, establishes a precedent in a market that has witnessed only conservative financial growth in recent years.

The upward salary revision, effective from January 2024, spans across the firm’s hierarchy, reaching up to $425,000 for more tenured associates. This decision coincides with the announcement of year-end bonuses that echo the figures from the previous cycle, asserting Milbank’s commitment to maintaining competitive compensation in a changing economic climate.

These developments, indicative of Milbank’s resilience and foresight, may serve as a bellwether for the sector’s financial health and the strategic positioning of legal talent. As firms navigate this evolving terrain, the need for astute career management and market readiness becomes increasingly apparent.

Within this context, Movers, Shakers, and Rainmakers provides a platform for legal professionals to understand the shifts in the compensation landscape and to anticipate future trends. The podcast’s latest episode offers a nuanced discussion on the potential ripple effects of Milbank’s salary structure on Biglaw’s ecosystem.

While the series enlightens on market trends, Lateral Link offers a complementary suite of services that facilitate strategic career moves. The insights gleaned from the podcast, coupled with Lateral Link’s expertise in legal recruitment, can empower attorneys to make informed decisions in a market where advanced knowledge translates to competitive advantage.

Tune into Movers, Shakers, and Rainmakers for a discerning analysis of Biglaw’s current state and future outlook. For those contemplating their next career phase, Lateral Link provides the market intelligence and strategic support essential for navigating the intricate legal landscape.

Evolution of Legal Billing Practices: Navigating Competitive Pricing in Today’s Legal Landscape

The legal industry is at a crossroads, driven by AI, industry consolidation, and evolving client expectations. As we transition from 2023 into 2024, legal professionals wrestle with key pricing concerns: “Am I overcharging? Am I undercharging?” These questions were spotlighted in the recent Twitter vs. Wachtell lawsuit, revealing the intricate dynamics of legal billing practices.

Billing pressures persist in our profession. Achieving a 100% realization rate seems like a distant dream. To navigate these uncertainties, we explore the current trends in legal billing, offering insights for legal professionals grappling with fee structures. A comprehensive understanding of your billing methods can alleviate some pressures of our dynamic profession.

For decades, the hourly rate model has been the bedrock of legal pricing. It assigns monetary value to an attorney’s time and expertise. While it serves complex cases well, it often faces backlash due to cost unpredictability and potential inefficiencies.

In contrast, the flat fee model offers a transparent, predefined cost, eliminating unpredictability. Ideal for routine legal work, it can, however, fall short when dealing with complex cases with unforeseen twists.

To stay competitive, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of industry trends, competitor rates, and client expectations. Regular reassessment of your fee structure ensures you neither overcharge nor undercharge your clients. It also highlights when an overhaul of your billing strategy is due.

The future looks promising for hybrid models that integrate the strengths of both hourly and flat fee billing. These models offer a guaranteed base payment with the option for an hourly rate for additional work. The emergence of value-based billing models shifts the focus from time to perceived value, radically altering our billing perceptions.

The Twitter vs. Wachtell case underscores the importance of understanding and adapting to these evolving trends. Legal professionals must remain current with changing dynamics to ensure fair treatment for clients and appropriate compensation for their work.

Keeping a pulse on competitors’ strategies, regularly evaluating your own billing practices, and adapting as necessary will be essential as we delve into 2024. These shifts will significantly impact the operations of law firms and the value delivered to clients.

Navigating competitive billing practices in this demanding landscape can lighten our professional burdens. By ensuring we’re appropriately compensated, we can stake our claim in the fluctuating terrain of the legal industry while delivering high-quality services to our clients.

Career Advancement in Legal Profession: Exploring Lateral Moves and Reasons Lawyers Switch Firms

Countless attorneys experience satisfaction with their current law firms. However, a perplexing query often surfaces: “Why shoulder the challenge of starting anew or abandon established relationships?” The primary motivation behind such a decision lies in career progression. Progressive lawyers steering their professional journeys recognize the pitfalls of complacency and strive for career evolution that should be accompanied by amplified satisfaction. Though the present conditions might be conducive, they constantly evaluate – can they improve further elsewhere? Delve into these 12 compelling reasons triggering lateral transitions in law firms and assess whether these circumstances echo your professional situation.

  1. Aiming for Improved Partnership Opportunities: Often the driving force behind lateral moves in law firms.
  2. Desiring Less Pressure Towards Partnership: Not everyone aspires to be a partner. An alternate role with reduced up-or-out pressure might be more appealing.
  3. Craving Substantive Work: Are you prematurely categorized into a specific specialty?
  4. Seeking Increased Responsibility: Does your firm’s culture overly value hierarchy?
  5. Yearning for Enhanced Client Interaction and Business Development: Firms have diverse outlooks on associate participation in client development.
  6. Preference for Diverse Industry Exposure: Are you more inclined towards corporate interaction rather than dealing with financial institutions?
  7. Choosing Smaller Boutique Law Firms: Particularly among litigators, boutique firms could offer more sustainable hours and smaller, personalized teams.
  8. Caught in a Demanding Project: Predominantly observed among litigators. Sometimes, a switch to a different firm becomes the only feasible solution!
  9. Relocating to a New City: Are you contemplating a move to a new market for enriched work exposure or client interaction?
  10. Incompatibility with Colleagues: The overarching culture of your firm might not align with your personality or career aspirations.
  11. Eyeing Government or In-House Roles: A lateral transition could pave the way for your dream in-house or government role.
  12. Striving for Better Compensation: A transition to a firm offering industry-standard or even higher remunerations might be possible.

A skilled legal recruiter can provide valuable insights considering your unique experiences, seniority level, prevailing legal market conditions, and anticipated industry trends. After evaluating your options, you might decide to continue with your present firm. The critical point to remember is: take the reins of your career and professional development. Whether you choose a transition or remain with your present firm, ensure it’s a conscious decision, not a mere default option.

Promoting Diversity in Law: A Strategic Guide for Navigating the Post-Affirmative Action Legal Landscape

Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Diversity in the Legal Profession

The Supreme Court’s decision ending race-conscious affirmative action in college and law school admissions has sparked a reevaluation of efforts to promote racial diversity, not just on campuses but also in the workplace more broadly. In the legal profession, as in many industries, the Court’s stand puts in jeopardy the progress that has been made over the last several years. This moment challenges those of us who believe in the value of a diverse profession to think creatively about opportunities to redouble our efforts.

The Role of Legal Recruiters in Upholding Diversity in Law Firms

Legal recruiters have a role to play—consistent with the law—in mitigating the impact of what we expect will be a reduced number of diverse graduates from the nation’s most prestigious law schools. We have an obligation to press ahead on our long-held vision of a profession that better reflects the diversity of our country.

Recent Progress in Racial Diversity Within U.S. Law Firms

In recent years, law firms have made undeniable progress on racial diversity, even if the pace of change has been slower than we would wish.  NALP’s Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms found that in 2022, the representation of Black associates at major U.S. law firms grew by half a percentage point, to 5.8%, and the proportion of Black summer associates rose by 0.7 percentage point, to 11.9%. Moreover, for the first time, women of color achieved representation of greater than 10% among lawyers overall.

The Influence of the Mansfield Rule on Law Firm Diversity

This progress is partly attributable to active efforts like the Mansfield Rule. Modeled after the National Football League’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview diverse candidates as part of the head coach hiring process, the Mansfield Rule presses law firms to consider “a broad slate of talent – including at least 30% underrepresented lawyers – for leadership positions.” Firms committed to that standard can become Mansfield Certified. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Mansfield and similar efforts will persist in their current form following the Supreme Court’s decision.

Challenges to Racial Diversification in Law Firm Partnership Ranks

Disappointingly, among the law firm partnership ranks, racial diversification has appeared to be stagnating even without the added burden of the Supreme Court’s new holding. NALP found no statistically significant growth in equity partners of color in 2022. The top echelon of the profession remains its least diverse segment.

Strategic Steps Legal Recruiters Can Take Amid Reduced Law School Diversity

So how can search firms like Lateral Link continue to drive progress, even if law school classes become less racially diverse in the immediate future?

Deepening Partnerships with Law Schools and Alumni Associations

First, we can deepen our partnership with law schools and their alumni associations, curating creative ways to support diverse students in their efforts to navigate the legal recruiting landscape successfully. Our goal should be to equip the diverse students who are admitted—even if the numbers are smaller—with sufficient knowledge and inspiration to make it to elite law firms.

The Power of Personal Interaction and Mentorship Programs

There are countless opportunities to connect with and educate students, according to Amy Langan, Lateral Link Professional Development and Law School Relations Manager. “In our experience, student affinity groups are highly receptive to hosting speakers from the recruiting sector.” Examples of potential presentation topics include interviewing tips, how to choose a practice area, market-specific updates, and how to pursue a non-traditional legal career. As legal recruiters, we have a birds-eye view of the legal industry nationwide, and we can share with law students our insights about job opportunities in the cities that they are targeting for summer and permanent associate positions. Amy notes that “we can visit HBCU law schools, and we can sponsor or attend job fairs known to attract diverse students. Showing up and being visibly supportive makes a real difference.”

Tailored Mentorship: Fostering Success for Diverse Students

In addition to giving presentations in larger settings, recruiters can help facilitate more tailored one-on-one mentorship, for example by helping to pair lawyers and legal recruiters with students who are members of diverse affinity groups. The Orange County Korean American Bar Association (OCKABA) offers an example. Lateral Link Senior Director Christina Ahn co-chairs the OCKABA Mentorship & Outreach Committee, which pairs law student mentees with attorney mentors based on the student’s interest and the attorney’s practice area. Attorney mentors regularly offer personalized insight into how to advance successfully in a law firm setting.

Collaborative Partnerships: Supporting Racially Diverse Attorneys

Second, legal recruiters can partner with law firms and State Bar Associations to jointly assist racially diverse attorneys to thrive at all levels of seniority, in a manner that remains compliant with the Court’s ruling. Recruiters bring substantial intelligence to the table, with knowledge both of what law firms are looking for in potential lateral hires and of the individual needs of diverse candidates. An example of a forum where this knowledge can make a major contribution is the Texas Minority Counsel Program—the premier client development, networking, and CLE event for Texas attorneys. Open to everyone, the program’s mission is to increase opportunities for diverse attorneys, and to expose organizations to the legal talent of diverse attorneys in Texas.

Curating Initiatives for Diversity in Law Firm Partnerships

In the particular context of law firm partner opportunities, legal recruiters can work with firms to curate new initiatives that comply with the Supreme Court decision and, at the same time, ensure that partners of color can thrive in the law firm platform. Specifically, legal recruiters can work closely with law firms to help them prioritize diversity in partner recruiting and retention.

The Importance of Intentionality in Diversity Efforts

Now more than ever, legal recruiters have to be intentional about being part of the solution. Just hoping for the best will not create diverse and inclusive legal communities. Being intentional may at times entail discussing sensitive issues that impact diverse partners disproportionately, such as origination credit formulas, lateral partner integration, and diversity, equality, and inclusive initiatives at each of the firms we work with. Sometimes these conversations may generate a measure of discomfort or resistance, but recruiters need to use our access to advance the discussion of these essential matters.