August Market Update

Sep 4, 2018 by 0

The lateral market dipped slightly as it heads into its comparative down cycle for the remainder of the year. Demand for lateral attorneys is still high, however with just three months until bonus season, some Biglaw attorneys are holding on to see how the new compensation model impacts bonus structure. The partner market remained steady with Greenburg Traurig leading the way in partner hiring after poaching multiple partners from Winston & Strawn and Husch Blackwell. Am Law 200 firms brought in an average of just one partner during the month of August.

Biglaw firms brought in an average of 2.6 associates over the course of August, down from 3.6 the month before. Jackson Lewis, Kirkland & Ellis and Lewis Brisbois led the market, nabbing 15 associates each. Kirkland’s new $190k base is still enticing lateral associates to join the firm.

Litigation and corporate practices grew their market share this month, accounting for well over 50% of associate movement.

Using an autoregressive integrated moving average model (ARIMA), we forecasted the lateral market over the next four quarters. The model takes into account seasonal trends as well as the overall growth of the market to predict future movement. Our model predicts much of the same for the next four quarters, with the potential for a new record quarter. As usual, the model predicts a drop in movement in the fourth quarter as lateral activity slows down as associates wait for their bonuses. Consequently, the fourth quarter is often the best time for an associate to move as demand greatly outpaces supply, making it possible to jump to your dream firm, and often merge back onto the partnership track.