Will 2011 Lateral Hiring Trends Continue in 2012?


By Hillary Mantis

The number of lawyers employed by firms remained static in 2011, according to data recently released by Hildebrandt Institute’s Peer Monitor (a Thompson Reuters product.) However, there was movement in lateral hires, according to the recruiters surveyed.

There was a large demand for corporate partners, with work peaking between May and June, according to the Thompson Reuters report. Practice areas involving technology or intellectual property were some of the biggest growth areas, with firms opening or expanding in Silicon Valley.  This is in response to a “long-term oriented uptick in technology work,” according to Jonathan Ross, a partner at Empire Search Partners.

The energy field also produced significant lateral hiring, especially in Texas, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Firms that don’t already have energy practices “are trying to figure out how to create one,” according to Robert Kinney, president of Kinney recruiting.

Will these trends continue in 2012?  It seems likely; but with the economy still uncertain, “It’ll be a bit of a roller coaster,” recruiter Jonathan Ross predicted. 

You can write to Hillary at altcareer@aol.com