“The law firms usually take their cues from their clients. If there’s layoffs at the big banks and financial institutions, there’s going to be a slowdown in the corporate work as well,” explains Sharon Mahn,CEO and Founder of Mahn Partners. Today, Sharon and Gary Miles, president and CEO at Miles Partner Placement, combine their experience to discuss the current legal market, predictions for the future, and the impact on legal recruiting and law partner compensation.
The market is cyclical and currently in a downturn. But that does not necessarily mean that law firms will no longer be recruiting. Top talent that brings in high revenue will always be desirable regardless of the state of the market. Firms will likely be more discerning about hiring during a downturn and may not offer as high of a compensation rate. It is important for law firms to be very transparent with recruiters and clients alike about how the market conditions may impact their practice.
During a recession it is important to be very smart about hiring. Larger law firms can handle more of a loss than smaller firms, but they will still likely offer a lower law partner compensation while the market is down. Whenever there are many layoffs at banks and financial institutions, that causes a slowdown in corporate work and the law firms tend to restructure around that. .
“Law firms usually take their cues from their clients. If there’s layoffs at the big banks and financial institutions, there’s gonna be a slowdown in the corporate work as well.” (4:49–4:57 | Sharon)
“You don’t want to lay off too many people in your firm and then have to rehire them when the market is on the upswing again.” (7:49–7:54 | Sharon)
“Be transparent in the process and understand how market conditions might impact your practice.” (10:25–10:36 | Gary)
“You just have to learn to see around corners as best you can.” (16:52–16:55 | Gary)
“The law firms are now more specifically focused on partners and their business regardless of credentials, regardless of anything else.” (23:17–23:24 | Sharon)