Whether we are recruiting a new firm or reviewing the performance of an existing one, we take great pride in our evaluation and auditing process. When expanding into a new jurisdiction or filling an open membership, we appoint a separate Search Committee for each membership sought to be filled, comprised of the ALFA CEO and a small group of ALFA International lawyers familiar with the subject jurisdiction.
In developing a list of potential candidates, the Search Committee consults many sources, including:
From the Committee’s research, a list of candidate firms is created. Each of these firms is carefully evaluated. Factors taken into consideration include:
A short list of top candidates is created, and these firms are contacted to assess their interest. Those firms seeking membership complete a thorough application and submit detailed information regarding their practices. Committee members make at least one visit to each candidate’s office, interviewing key lawyers of the firm and hearing presentations from the firm’s primary practice groups.
The Search Committee then forwards the candidates’ application materials and the reports from the visiting members to one of two ALFA International membership committees: the North American Membership Committee for U.S. and Canadian applications or the International Membership Committee for all other applications. The appropriate Committee reviews the applications and reports, conducts substantial discussion, and then votes on the applications. If two-thirds of the Committee votes for admission, the application advances to the ALFA International Board of Directors. In most cases, the Committee recommends only one applicant for consideration by the Board since ALFA International typically appoints only one law firm in each jurisdiction. The ALFA International Board then undertakes a de novo review and votes on the application(s). If two-thirds of the votes favor admission, the candidate firm is accepted into the ALFA International membership.
Becoming an ALFA International firm is a rigorous process, but the expectations of excellence never end. To maintain one’s status as an ALFA International member, member firms must regularly demonstrate excellence across all the key dimensions that brought them to into the ALFA International network.