I read this article in the National Law Journal – Study of Refugees From Failed Law Firms Concludes that Networking Works – and was so intrigued by the research that I contacted Chris Rider, an organizational sociologist, who serves as an Assistant Professor of Organization & Management at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School to discuss his working paper – Networks, Hiring, and Inter-organizational Mobility: Evidence from Law Firm Dissolutions.

According to the article, Heller Ehrman; Thelen; Thacher Proffitt Wood; WolfBlock; Dreier; and Morgan & Finnegan ceased operations in 2008 and 2009.  Professor Rider tracked the employment of the 1,426 attorneys left jobless by the dissolutions of their firms by reviewing LinkedIn, Martindale-Hubbell and other online directories.  He confirmed that 88% found jobs and noted that many of those positions were the result of proactive networking (he highlighted that more of them may have found jobs, but he could not locate them them).  Among other trends, he concluded that firms are more likely to hire a lawyer’s former colleagues and those from a particular alumni network.

Listen to our interview below, in which he remarks that “the people you work with are in a better position to speak to your talent, your expected productivity and your ability to complement others.”