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firm chairmanAs the Am Law 100 firms continue to show strong growth, individual firms are focusing on hiring as one of their top strategies for improving revenue and profitability. The recession hit law firms hard, resulting in over 8,000 job losses among the Am Law 100 firms. Despite improvements in headcount in the last few years, some firms are still hesitant to make significant changes in how they hire. However, lower demand, fee pressures and increased competition mean that firms cannot afford to maintain the status quo. Continuing growth is necessary to assuring clients and attorneys that the firm is positioned to best serve clients’ needs. Today’s legal environment requires that law firm leaders be strategic, proactive and nimble in growing the firm. If they are not doing that, then partners need to take action to change management. Unfortunately, some firms hinder those changes. Trust and accountability are lacking, which is felt in ineffective lateral hiring practices and in turn hurts the firm’s competitive position.

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