What to Consider When Making a Lateral Move

The Importance of Building Value at a Law Firm
January 30, 2024
The Importance of Building Value at a Law Firm
January 30, 2024
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What to Consider When Making a Lateral Move

Are you an attorney contemplating a lateral move to a new role? Are you worried about making a decision you may regret? If so, you aren’t alone. 

Many attorneys reach a point where their present role or firm doesn’t align with their long-term career aspirations or firm preferences, and that’s OK. Be sure to consider the following topics first to gain insight into your wants and needs, both personally and/or professionally before making any decisions.


The magic time to move is between an attorney’s 2nd and 5th year of practice, where the number of opportunities peaks. At that point, “attorneys possess the right mix of expertise and adaptability, without being too senior, thus maximizing marketability” (Eberhard, 2024). However, after the 5th-year mark, opportunities start to dwindle due to growing seniority.

Mentoring and Training

It’s important to be aware that in-office time and expectations differ from firm to firm, especially post pandemic. The result is that the level of mentoring and training available varies significantly. Assess your current skills and the level of growth you hope to achieve before determining if a firm is right for you.   

Partnership Prospects

The journey to becoming a partner can be a tricky one. It’s crucial to “determine if your firm provides a clear and supportive path to partnership, including opportunities to lead cases/deals, formal business development training, client exposure, and mentorship” (Eberhard, 2024). 

Cultural Fit and Work-Life Balance

One of the largest factors driving associates to move is culture. Unfortunately, many associates often face a conflict between personal career needs and loyalty to their firm. Taking proactive efforts can sometimes bring change, but typically, “a lateral move is necessary for better alignment with personal and professional goals” (Eberhard, 2024).

Ready to Make a Move?

If you want to make a lateral move but don’t feel confident to do so alone then Talent Engines can help! At Talent Engines, we make it easy by streamlining the talent acquisition process, especially for lateral moves, using carefully crafted AI technology. The technology enables our experienced and dedicated Talent Advisors to understand a candidate’s needs and wants on a deeper level. In doing so, our advisors can place attorneys in the perfect role at a desirable firm.

Visit Talent Engines to learn more!

Source(s): Eberhard, 2024