Refugees from Failed Major Law Firms Do Better If Hired in Groups, Study Finds

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An Emory University business professor who studied what happened to more than 1,400 attorney refugees from major law firms that failed in 2008 and 2009 says most have found new jobs, often with the help of alumni networks.

But those that did the best, in terms of upward mobility, were often hired in groups, rather than individually, reports the National Law Journal.

The article doesn’t say whether the groups were comprised of lawyers with the same practice focus, but says professor Christopher Rider attributed their greater success to complementary skills.

Of the 1,426 attorneys he followed who were left jobless by the demise of Dreier; Heller Ehrman; Morgan & Finnegan;Thacher Proffitt Wood; Thelen; and WolfBlock, about 65 percent found jobs at the country’s 250 largest firms, according to the article.

Alumni networks were most useful in helping partners find new jobs, the study determined. For associates, working with the right partner often was the critical factor in finding new employment.

Rider’s study is entitled Networks, Hiring, and Inter-organizational Mobility: Evidence from Law Firm Dissolutions.

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