MNF Global, LLC, an IP and Corporate legal search firm, has found opportunity in the 2009 economy to successfully focus on placing attorneys with portables.
Online PR News – 23-November-2009 – – MNF Global, LLC, an intellectual property and corporate legal search firm, has found opportunity in this year's economy to focus on placing attorneys with portables.
Mark N. Fishman, owner of MNF Global, LLC, states, "2009 has been a tumultuous year within the legal community, however, it has provided opportunity for attorneys with portable business". "Law firms are eager to speak with attorneys with significant portable business. The question for attorneys with the portable business is to decide what law firm is the best fit."
There are a number of factors to consider when attorneys are ready to move to a new firm.
1. Law firm culture: Never underestimate the importance of the firm environment. If an attorney is unhappy with the firm environment he or she will not stay long regardless of the compensation. Factors to consider include size of the firm or practice group, the firm's dress code, the interrelationship between partners and the amount of influence in business development.
2. Partnership: Attorneys and firms are more cautious to bring in a lateral attorney as an equity partner. Many firms will take a year or more to determine whether the employment relationship is a good fit.
3. Compensation: There are a variety of ways firms compensate attorneys with portable business. A low risk manner for the firm is to provide a low base salary and have the attorney’s compensation based largely on the theory “Eat what you can kill”. Attorneys must perform an honest and conservative assessment of their potential client revenue stream, the attainability of firm bonuses; and the firm’s overflow work for them. If the compensation is heavily salary-based then attorneys must investigate bonuses thresholds and the percentage of origination fees.
4. Origination Percentages: Determine the percentages if the firm works on client matters and when attorneys work on firm matters. This varies widely from firm to firm.
5. Cross-selling: A likely reason for moving to a new firm is that attorneys wish to attract larger clients that have legal needs outside of their “specialty”. Meet with the other practice area group leaders to confirm there is a similar motivation to cross sell to current and future clients.
6. Business Development: This ties in with cross selling above and is one of the biggest reason attorneys leave their current firm. Speak to other laterals at the prospective firm to determine if their business development needs are being met.
7. Conflicts: Confirm during interviews and the firm’s conflict check that clients can be brought to the prospective firm.
8. Administrative Assistance: Many solo or small firm attorneys wish to make a lateral move to reduce their administrative. It is wise to find out the administrative assistance the firm will provide in regard to billing, taxation, correspondence, business development, associates, paralegals, etc.
9. Face Time: Some attorneys, especially in the patent prosecution area, have the ability to telecommute. Don’t assume this is possible with all firms so know how often the firm expects attorneys to be in the office.
10. Billable and Non-billable Hours: Attorneys have additional responsibilities with a firm other than billing clients. Aside from finding out the required billable amount, determine the firm’s expectations related to non-billable hours such as seminars, pro-bono, management of the firm, client outings, etc.
Mark Fishman observes that “In chaos there is opportunity – and the opportunity is now for attorneys with portable business”.