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One of the emerging trends resulting from the legal market slump of the past few years is law firm mergers. While the largest law firm merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae went down in infamy and lead to the eventual new firm's bankruptcy, mergers are still happening.
Last year alone, Altman Weil tracked 88 law firm mergers, reports The Wall Street Journal. While firms merge with the goals of boosting revenue and obtaining new clients, how will your law firm's merger affect your career?
Here are a few ways you can approach your law firm's merger.
1. Jump Ship
You've been looking for an excuse to leave, and now you may have one. If you are uncertain of what kind of changes a merger will bring, and if that leaves room for one more lowly associate, then call your head hunter. If you were able to find one BigLaw job, you should be able to find another relatively easily. Or, maybe this is your out from BigLaw altogether -- if so, good for you. Select a boutique firm or practice that really speaks to your interests, and the direction you want to take your career in.
2. Low and Slow
Proceeding with caution is more your style. In this case, that may not be so bad. The transition that a merger between two law firms necessitates will take some time. Maybe you just want to be along for the ride and see what happens. Maybe you'll keep your job, maybe you won't. But, you're not going to worry about it until you need to.
3. Be Proactive
Ok, we get it, you're on the partner track. You're going "all in" on this merger, hell, you want to be involved. If so, talk to your assigning partner and see if there is a committee formed to deal with the transition and let the partner know you are interested in being involved. If you do get involved, your job may be safe -- for now.
The fact that law firm merges take some time to work out, and transition, is in your favor. You don't have to decide how you're going to deal with the merger right away -- but you may want to decide before the new mega-firm decides for you.
Has your law firm merged? How did you deal with it? Let us know on Facebook for FindLaw for Legal Professionals.