How to Hire a Home-Run Lateral? Look at Their Stats

Source: The American Lawyer

By MP McQueen

Recruiting lateral partners is starting to look more like scouting for Major League Baseball.

Law firms are beginning to use statistical analysis similar to the "sabermetrics" methods used to evaluate ballplayers and made famous by the book and film "Moneyball." Using performance-oriented data, firms try to create profiles of the types of lawyers they need to hire to help boost profits, then search for candidates who fit the profile. They may also use the tools to estimate whether a certain candidate would help the firm's bottom line. More than 20 percent of Am Law 200 firms are starting to use these techniques, according to recruiters and software providers.

There's certainly room for improvement in the hiring process. An ALM Legal Intelligence lateral hiring report with Group Dewey Consulting released last fall found that 30 percent of lateral partners returned less than 30 percent of their expected book of business.

Amanda K. Brady, global practice leader for law firm management at legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, estimates that about a quarter of Am Law 200 firms are using metrics in hiring. It's a trend that started two or three years ago, she says. "They are using data metrics more and more to determine who they are going to go after and how much they are going to pay for them," she says. Brady says some savvy lateral partner prospects are also using competitive intelligence tools to analyze whether a firm would be a good fit in terms of their overall strategy and finances.

Read more of this feature at The American Lawyer.

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