Does Marketing Play a Role in Your Law Firm’s Lateral Recruiting and Integration?

A recent Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area (LMA-Bay Area) event played to a full house of legal marketers, recruiters and administrators.

The topics included the role of marketing professionals in all parts of lateral recruiting and integration, including attracting laterals, bringing them into the firm and integrating them.

The panelists were Brian Colucci, chief business development & marketing officer, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton; Kim Holloway Kripalani, director of partner integration & development services, Perkins Coie; and Richard P. Ormond, hiring chair & shareholder, BuchalterNemer. The panel was moderated by Charles L. Curtis, director of partner hiring and integration, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

Here are some key takeaways:

Attracting laterals

  • All of the basic marketing things need to work well. Candidates explore your website especially. They should have easy access to bios of people they will be meeting, and their publications. They should get a good sense of the firm.
  • Fit is key. The needs of the lateral should fit the firm platform.

Bringing them on

  • Have a small group (three or fewer people) that are their contact points. It can be overwhelming to have 10-15 people contacting them.
  • Contact lists: get them and integrate them.
  • Make sure that their LinkedIn and other accounts are tied to a personal email address.They may have difficulty accessing them after they move.
  • If they have blogs, who owns the URL?
  • Create a new email address “NewAttorneyConcierge@_______” to help out laterals – they often forget who to contact.

PR around laterals

  • Do a press release — easy wins are sending it to their alumni associations and their hometown newspapers.
  • Have the new attorney issue an external legal alert so clients become aware of their specialized practice.
  • These attorneys LOVE to see the hit list of where the PR ended up. Create one.

Internal communication around laterals

  • Create a slide set/face page of attorneys who joined this month/this quarter. Use this at meetings and on the firm intranet.
  • Do an internal CLE road show.
  • Do an internal roadshow where the attorney introduces his/her clients and discusses what kind of work they need. This will lead to the conversations that go the other way.
  • Control your PR: most leaks today come from recruiters. Stress that they should NOT speak about the move until after it has happened.

On-boarding and integration

  • This is a two-year process and the business development “sweet spot” is 8-16 months in when they finally know how to navigate their new firm and then can use the platform to build clients.

About the author: Adam L. Stock is Chief Marketing and Client Services Officer at Allen Matkins. He is President of the Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter.