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The recruitment trends of private-practice lawyers can be seen from two lenses - hiring at the partner and the associate level. Law firms these days prefer to hire midlevel lawyers who can be groomed easily, and eventually put on the partnership track.

Also, lateral hiring at the partner level (with more preference being given to partners having their book of business) is popular as it allows firms to expand their practice areas, or further strengthen existing practices. GCs are also shown a keen interest in joining law firms so they can head a practice. The struggle to hire quality associates remains, and this can be attributed to law firm interns not being given quality work to do during internships. Law colleges and law firms need to do a better job in this regard. We have also seen experienced lawyers continue to set up specialised practices instead of trying to launch full-service offerings. Soon, we can expect to breakaway firms integrating with other firms to build scale.

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