Risk Update

Lawyer Lateral Hiring Week (Part 4) — Data Advice to Lawyers Leaving (Systems & Signals)

Data Security And Your Lateral Job Search (What you need to know)” —

  • “To combat these [external data] breaches, law firms have several contingencies and programs in place. Among the oldest and most widely used is email monitoring. Nothing that you type from your work email is truly 100% confidential. Law firms can access your emails at any time. So should you be wary of your firm discovering your emailed plans for making a lateral move?”
  • “According to a former high-level IT employee at two Am Law 200 firms, the answer is, not really. According to them, email inspection is not passive. To review an attorney’s emails, the firm would have to go through HR and would only do so when there was ample evidence of a crime or wrongdoing.”
  • “Does this mean that your inbox is 100% completely safe from prying eyes? In short, no. The former employee mused that a firm that was hemorrhaging laterals and was in danger of collapsing might forego their established policy to try to stem the flow of lateral movement.”
  • “Additionally, the proliferation of employee monitoring software has made it easier for firms to identify suspicious activity. The caveat here is the same tools that can detect potential data security threats, can also be used to monitor an employee’s likelihood of leaving. New employee monitoring tools can monitor everything you do on your computer. If you’re not responding to your coworker’s IM’s, or are taking longer than usual, this (in tandem with other key indicators) may tip them off that you’re looking to move. Other indicators can include things like regularly updating your LinkedIn profile.”
  • “The most telling pattern of behavior is when attorneys check out an unusually large amount of documents (usually in excess of 50) in one day that were marked as read-only, with no edits. In this case, the firm is painfully aware that the attorney is copying their library in preparation for a lateral move.”