Scott Kadish, managing partner of Cleveland-based law firm Ulmer & Berne, is under no illusion that lateral hiring is an art one can ever perfect.

“I kind of look at it like a venture capital fund—if I hire three laterals, I’m really hoping one is a success,” he said. “If I’ve got a .300 betting average, I’m doing OK. What I’m really trying to do is minimize the risk: for the ones that don’t work, we limit our financial exposure so that we can work our way out of it.”

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