Large Batch Laterals, MBE Backslide, Orrick’s Startup Investments: The Morning Minute

Katie R. Ochoa

MORE IS MORE? – Some law firms are seeing strength in numbers, with several firms this year adding 10 to 20 laterals at a time. Law firms’ competitive growth imperatives, more market segmentation and an air-tight talent market might be driving the larger lateral groups, Jessie Yount reports. Some law firm leaders also contend that these sizeable migrations tend to be “stickier,” when compared to firm mergers. “In some ways it is better. It is like going to a new school with your best friend. That kind of reliance is nice,” said Ira Coleman, chairman of McDermott Will & Emery. Notably, the trend toward large group laterals has coincided with a low number of law firm mergers in the first quarter.

MBE DROPS – The most recent national Multistate Bar Examination mean scaled score reverted to the February 2020 mean after an increase last year, Christine Charnosky reports. There hasn’t been a consistent trend in February MBE results, calculated from the multiple-choice portion of the exam used by most jurisdictions, according to Rosemary Reshetar, National Conference of Bar Examiners director of assessment and research. Reshetar cautioned not to read too much into this year’s February scores. “While the mean is slightly lower than last year’s, it is identical with 2020’s mean and very close to 2018’s,” she said. The NCBE staff member also noted that the majority of February’s test takers had not previously taken the exam, a group which tends to perform lower on the MBE portion.

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