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Given the degree to which law firms view lateral partner hiring as a cornerstone to their growth strategy, one would expect firm leadership to have a structured and disciplined approach to evaluating candidates. Surprisingly, however, law firm processes around lateral candidate evaluation are often unstructured and ad hoc.  As a result, unmet expectations are all too common, and complaining about the results of lateral partner investments has become an industry pastime.

Through surveys, interviews and secondary research, ALM Intelligence has found that firms on the leading edge of lateral hiring program development have introduced a rigorous and holistic process that stresses objectivity, repeatability, consistency and accountability. Moreover, the best firms navigate the entire lateral partner hiring life cycle – beginning with needs assessment, through due diligence, and ending with an extended period of integration – all in furtherance of clearly established strategic objectives.

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