How possible is it to lateral from a firm as a senior associate to another as a partner without a large book of business? Assume current firm is among the best for the lateral’s practice area.

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Depends on practice area. Very hard generally but if you are in a hot specialty area with the firm needing your specialty to service clients and/or enable key work to happen or business to be won, it can happen. If you are in a more “fungible” area where your book is critical, it won’t happen.

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What’s an example of a hot area where this kind of move is possible?

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It depends on the firm, but sometimes the book requirement is fairly small, around $300k. Then there are quite a few firms that only require around $500k. In general, the bigger the firm, the bigger book you'd need. For the large firms, it needs to be over a million to be interesting.

I have placed multiple partners doing exactly this — smart firms will hire experienced senior associates as partners all the time. It is important to have a good story about your goals and client development strengths. DM me.

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