Lateralling into a firm at either a partner or associate level has become a more common practice in recent years. Big firms like Offit Kurman actively recruit lateral talent. Offit has a dedicated team looking to attract the best and the brightest attorneys to the firm.

Two lawyers that recently joined Offit, Sarah Sawyer and Mo Ali Syed, offered some tips based on their experience for those thinking of or about to make a lateral move.

Sawyer is a counsel. She says:

Sarah Sawyer

• “When you’re thinking about a move, consider what you want your practice to look like. At Offit — unlike at a smaller firm —  there are so many opportunities for a lawyer to develop expertise in other practice areas. Because Offit is so laser-focused on clients’ needs, there are a lot of ways that practice areas crossover.”

• “Think about how you can best serve your clients. A firm like Offit can offer full service to a client. There is no need to refer a client out in most cases.”

• “When I first started, I was burning the candle at both ends. When you enjoy both building your book of business and the work, it’s hard to set boundaries. But it’s important to set goals and be deliberate in that.”


Ali Syed is a principal. He says:

• “Coming from my own practice, I don’t feel that I lost control. I enjoy the business development end of my practice. I had targets for my first year that I had a role in setting. The key is not to be overly ambitious and underdeliver.”

• “My clients have a lot of work. But they often questioned whether I had the bandwidth as a solo practitioner. Now there is always someone to refer matters to in-house.”

• “It’s helpful to keep an open mind. The first client I worked with at the firm was a referral from Tim Lynch, and the work was not something that I did all the time. But I enjoyed it, and it helped to expand my resume.”