In 2010 a fast-growing Am Law 50 firm wanted to find out how much value it was getting from its lateral hires. The firm compared the revenues and profits generated by new hires who joined in 2007, 2008, and 2009 with the compensation paid to them. The results were discouraging, according to the firm’s chief, who asked that the firm’s identity remain confidential. As a group, the laterals were just breaking even: "From a strictly financial point of view, we found that lateral hiring had been neither accretive nor dilutive" to profits, he says.
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