Lawyers Changing Law Firms

1. Introduction

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The legal profession has changed significantly over the last several decades.  Among those changes has been the increased mobility of lawyers from law firm to law firm.  In prior generations, many lawyers—though certainly not all--remained at the same firm for virtually their entire careers.  Today, lawyers routinely change firms several times during their professional lives.  With each change in firms, the challenges confronting both the migrating lawyers and the firms that they join increase.

Issues that can arise when lawyers change law firms: 

  1. If and how a departing lawyer may solicit existing clients to follow the lawyer to the new law firm?
  2. If and how the departing lawyer and the new law firm can avoid conflicts that may accompany the new lawyer?
  3. What obligations and limitations do law firms have with respect to where their former lawyers practice?