Law firm mergers are the norm nowadays.  You hear about them quite frequently and typically one firm acquires the other.  I’m not sure why they call it a merger rather than an acquisition since there is usually one dominant firm in the process of merging.

When employees first find out there are merger talks with another firm, they become stressed, fearful of losing their jobs, and very competitive. Morale drops rapidly as uncertainty becomes a daily reality. But a merger does not have to be a bad thing.

The following tips can help you remain safe from getting eliminated. Please note that if a firm wants you eliminated for redundancy, there is nothing you can do but look for a new job.

  1. Embrace the Change
    Find someone at the other firm that has the same responsibilities as you and become their friend quickly. It helps eliminate fear.
  2. Do Not Become a Complainer
    The worst thing you can do is complain vocally to others regarding the other firm or anything else pertaining to the merger. Firm leadership does find out and most likely will choose you to get eliminated during a job position redundancy.
  3. Eliminate Conflict
    When two firms merge, the cultural difference can be severe enough to create conflicts. Avoid getting into any situation where a conflict can arise.
  4. Inquire About the Software and Processes They Use
    It is possible that the other firm has an antiquated system that will make your skillset very valuable. If your system is outdated, find out everything you can about the other firm’s software.
  5. Ask Around
    Rely on your external friends to provide you with information that may be useful and provide you with an advantage.

I have experience going through multiple mergers and I survived every one.  The reason I think I survived is that I sought out a person in the other firm that could help me get acquainted with their processes and software that affected me directly. In other words, I made friends quickly.  My name became known at the other firm. Not only did I survive but I also saw an opportunity to advance my career in the new firm and became a national director.

According to Bloomberg Big Law Business, mergers are expected to continue at a strong pace in 2017. That means some readers of this blog will be affected and have to deal with the uncertainty of their futures. Stay strong, be patient, and avoid collaborating with the complainers.

Do you have any other tips?