Jeffrey Lowe knows a thing or two about the legal market. He is the Global Practice Leader of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Law Firm Practice Group where he represents high-profile law firm partners and groups and high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey is also the creator and author of the Major, Lindsey & Africa Partner Compensation Surveys, the most comprehensive efforts ever undertaken to identify ranges of partner compensation and the criteria law firms use in determining partner compensation.
This is poised to be yet another unprecedented time as 2021 was! Also, law firms aren’t going back to “normal” as much as some law firm leaders wish they were – so it’s time to continue to pivot and adapt to this new world in order to continue to recruit and retain talent.
Here are Jeffrey’s predictions when it comes to what 2022 may bring for the legal recruiting and lateral hiring market.
- The lateral market will remain as hot in 2022 as it has been in 2021.
- Blue-chip firms will accelerate their poaching of partners from one another.
- A huge percentage of attorneys, both partners and associates, will *never* be going back to the office full time. Many will never be going back at all.
- A huge percentage of support staff will never be going back to the office at all. This will continue to pose significant challenges for those attorneys that do come back to the office.
- Nearly two years of COVID has chiseled away the glue that binds lawyers together at BigLaw. Soaring profits have hidden the fractures, but what will happen when the market cools?
- Young lawyers are desperate for more interaction with senior lawyers. They will drive new ways to connect with senior lawyers.
- Law firms will continue to significantly decrease their office space, and continue to promote more open and interactive settings to foster greater communication for those that do come to the office.
- If and when the market cools, clients will *immediately* begin clamping down on rising billing rates, and law firms will *immediately* begin adjusting their associate ranks. This will come as a great surprise to many associates who have never been through a downturn.