A Boutique Firm with a Tight Deadline
A prominent family law boutique with eight attorneys was faced with a choice. In a booming commercial real estate market, they had the right of first refusal at their current rate on additional office space on the floor that they currently occupied. The current tenant’s lease was expiring in ten months. If they didn’t take on this space, they would be locked into their current footprint for the remaining seven years of their lease. However, in order to justify the additional expense, they had to increase revenue and headcount.
With their name recognition in the relatively small community of family law attorneys, the two name partners thought they would be able to attract lateral partners that could join the firm with a book of business, allowing the firm to capture the additional office space. However, while they were able to engage in conversations, they were not able to successfully hire any candidates. They didn’t know how to appropriately compensate the right candidate and without a formal process in place, they were not able to effectively evaluate candidates and close the deal.
Faced with a hard deadline in less than six months, the firm decided to retain us to help solve the challenges of attracting, evaluating and acquiring the right lateral partner candidates.
Our first step was to sit down with firm management over the course of three meetings to understand and evaluate the challenges, educate the management team on the current conditions of the lateral hiring market and create a plan together that would allow them to meet their goal of growing revenue through talent acquisition.
This consulting process led to a revised compensation plan for lateral partners that was fiscally responsible but very attractive to prospective candidates. Additionally, we implemented an interview process that balanced the two primary components of any lateral hiring process: attracting and evaluating. Our process also ensured that both components would be completed in a timely manner to meet the firm’s critical deadline.
Once we had the recruiting process and infrastructure in place, our team was able to identify 344 candidates who fit our client’s needs. We shared this list with our client’s leadership team, soliciting important feedback on individuals they had interacted with in the past and gathering valuable information to help ignite conversations with candidates. In such a small family law community, it was important that each candidate we connected with knew that they weren’t just another cold call. We then proceeded to systematically reach out each candidate on the list. Each potential candidate was presented with a compelling message about why our client was conducting the search and how each candidate’s practice would fit on our client’s platform.
This process led to a total of seven qualified candidates interviewing within 85 days of starting the process. Combined, these seven candidates carried a total of $5.1 million in family law originations that were portable.
Once each candidate began the interview process, our consultants took a hands-on approach. We would attend each interview to help the client and candidates navigate through the conversation in order to make it as productive as possible, we acted as the intermediary when gathering due diligence information and we were in the room when each offer was made and terms were discussed. We were able to read body language and assess what needed to be addressed in order to successfully close each deal.
Our client hired their first lateral candidate 71 days after starting the process and they were able to hire two additional lateral candidates within 100 days of starting the process. Combined, these three lateral candidates were able to bring $3.2 million in portable business. The new compensation plan was such a success, that the firm has since decided to implement it not only with lateral partners, but also with legacy partners of the firm.