A law firm’s reputation is built on the conduct of its partners. Firms have traditionally promoted from within, a thoughtful and incremental process. Today, however, it has become much more common to recruit partner-level candidates from competitors. Lateral recruiting can drive growth and enhance a firm’s reputation, but it can backfire if not done carefully and with thorough vetting. Given the amount of money spent annually by law firms that hire investigators, it is a curious fact that a negligible percentage is spent conducting due diligence on prospective partners.

The reality is many firms hire senior lawyers on little more than a handshake and a personal recommendation. A 2014-15 study by ALM Intelligence found that few law firms maintain formal policies for vetting partner candidates: more than half do not conduct criminal background checks or credit checks, while nearly two-thirds do not check personal references in a comprehensive manner. Such a lax approach to hiring can be costly, as illustrated by a recent episode involving a former partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]