Law Firms

New data published about lateral hiring during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Print

group of diverse associates

Image from Shutterstock.

While 2021 appears to have brought a hot lateral associate market, hiring for that category decreased by 33.3% in 2020, according to data that the National Association for Law Placement released Wednesday.

Partner lateral hires decreased by 23.5% in 2020, according to the NALP press release.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on law firm lateral hiring was significant and produced a marked decrease in volume, albeit one that is likely to be quite brief in duration, with overall lateral lawyer hiring volume likely to show significant gains in 2021,” said James Leipold, the NALP’s executive director, in the release.

According to the press release, 2020 had the biggest decline in lateral hiring since 2009, during the Great Recession.

Regionally, the Northeast had a 20.8% decrease in lateral hiring during 2020, which was the smallest. The highest was in the West/Rocky Mountain region, where 2020 lateral hiring decreased by 34.7%.

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