Friday Musing — Second dogs and lateral integration

Star Loves Legal Marketing

Star waiting for Sophie

My dog Star hasn’t made an appearance in my blog in many months, but I’m thinking about her today because we are contemplating a family addition — a new dog.

It wasn’t exactly planned. My friend just moved from a house with big yard in Denver to an apartment in Los Angeles. The move is great for her but it hasn’t worked out well for her dog, Sophie. So she and her son are bringing Sophie down to San Diego on Saturday to meet Star. If the meeting goes well, we may just take her in. We’ll just have to see.

Star loves everyone, but bringing a new dog into our home on a permanent basis is unchartered territory for us. There are a lot of variables at play. Some things you can see on the surface. Others take longer to uncover.

So we’ve put together a “dog integration” strategy. We’re going to start with a meeting. If that works out, we’ll do a week. The dogs can get to know each other. We can find out if they are compatible, see if it is a fit for Star, and see if it is a fit for Sophie.

It got me thinking about lateral partner hiring. It’s a tough business bringing in a new equity partner. While there are certain “check the box” things a firm can seek out in a potential candidate, there are a host of issues relating to culture, leadership, commitment and communication that can’t be uncovered during the “dating” process.

With lateral hires there are no trial runs. Law firms have to make the best decision they can with the information they have at the time and take their chances.  The best they can do is develop a comprehensive lateral integration plan to facilitate the transition.

My money is on the dogs.


Posted on April 1, 2011 in It's a Dog's Life, Knowledge Management

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