A colleague recently asked me:

Why do lawyer who really want to change firms take so much time to complete the Lateral Partner Questionaire (LPQ)?

I responded it was because completing the firm is a tedious pain in the behind. I have seen forms that are too long and too intrusive. Thank God I never had to complete one of those.

Assuming you are of good moral character and not on the cusp of losing your license to practice law. What does a new potential firm want to know?

I say three main things:

  1. Your History
  2. Your Plan to Grow Your Practice
  3. Your Salary Expectation

Under history, a new firm wants to know how much you originated for the last three to five years and whether you expect that business to come with you, your working attorney numbers (hours billed and dollars collected on your own billings, and how much of origination and working attorney dollars came from each of your top clients.

I work with several young partners who I believe have the potential to double or triple their originations given the right platform and bench (team). In that section identify your areas of practice if you have more than one, your largest clients for the last five years, new clients from the last year, other potential clients and potential cross-selling areas of law.

When you have completed that, prepare a marketing plan in as much detail as possible. Show how you intend to attract new clients and expand relationships with existing clients. Then identify resources, people and equipment needed to retain and expand your business.

Finally, share with the new firm what you expect to be paid in your first year.