Law Practice Management

Midsize firms see culture as a recruiting tool

  • Print.

Midsize law firms believe culture helps them in the hiring process.

Seventy percent of midsize law firms said a strong culture is among the top two factors in recruiting new lawyers, according to a survey by the law firm referral network TAGLaw and the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center. The second factor was overall quality of the firm. The groups issued a press release and the National Law Journal covered the findings.

Ninety percent of the 68 law firm leaders surveyed expected to rely on organic growth as a key revenue driver, while 57 percent planned to rely on lateral hires and 19 percent on mergers. Slower growing firms—those with revenue increases of 10 percent or less since 2007—were more likely to believe future lateral hires will benefit the bottom line than firms with greater revenue growth.

The firms overall had a high success rate when they did make lateral hires, with 92 percent reporting that a majority of lateral lawyers lived up to expectations.

Seventy-five percent of the firms said they had previously been approached by a larger firm interested in a merger, but only 37 percent said they had seriously considered such a merger offer. Faster growing firms—those reporting revenue gains of at least 10 percent since 2007—were the least interested in merging with a larger firm.

The press release quotes Lisa Rohrer, director of executive education and a research fellow at the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. “The firms in our survey that are growing the fastest were the same ones that are most careful about their human capital,” she said. “Successful midsized firms greatly value their culture and weigh cultural concerns carefully when considering possible lateral hire and merger opportunities.”

The surveyed law firms had a median size of 40 lawyers. About half the firms were in the United States.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. to include more information from the survey.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.