How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

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arundodonax
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How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby arundodonax » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:56 am

This question applies to those not in the T20. We all know it is difficult to graduate from the T1/T2 in a normal market (not ITE) and find a job in a distant market (i.e. graduate from socal and try to find a job in NYC). What I haven't gotten an answer to is the difficulty of lateraling to a different market, looking for similar work, after some work experience.

Does anyone have any experience with this? How hard is it to get your foot in the door 3 years out of law school? 5 years? 10 years? I have heard "once you have some work experience it is much easier to find a job" (again not ITE) and "school matters less with work experience," but does anyone have any real world knowledge on this issue?

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Matthies
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Matthies » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:20 pm

arundodonax wrote:This question applies to those not in the T20. We all know it is difficult to graduate from the T1/T2 in a normal market (not ITE) and find a job in a distant market (i.e. graduate from socal and try to find a job in NYC). What I haven't gotten an answer to is the difficulty of lateraling to a different market, looking for similar work, after some work experience.

Does anyone have any experience with this? How hard is it to get your foot in the door 3 years out of law school? 5 years? 10 years? I have heard "once you have some work experience it is much easier to find a job" (again not ITE) and "school matters less with work experience," but does anyone have any real world knowledge on this issue?


A couple of things make this more difficult in the legal profession than with other industries:

1. The bar exam, you have to take the bar exam in each state you want to practice in (with a few exceptions)

2. States allow you to come in under reprocity after 3, 5, 7 years of practice in another state. Some states don't allow you to ever come in without taking the bar. Its varys from state to state, and if the state your coming from makes you wait 7 years for lawyers from that state, then so does the new state to you. Its a total mess.

3. If you work in a mid to large firm you are hoping your on the partner track, by year 4 you will know this or not (or have a good idea if you have a shot) if you are, then you leave all that by leaving the firm, if you're not, well that's a big question mark to new firms.

4. The legal buniess works like a business, the product is legal services. You can be a great lawyer, but if you suck at the business side you're not worth much to a firm. By year 5 you need to be brining in business or creating business to have a shot at partner or even staying with the firm (what they call up or out). this means making local connections and knowing people. All that is lost when you move far away. No book of business at year 5 makes you an expensive lawyer not brining anything into the firm.

5. Who you know is key to your success. Knowing the judges, the lawyers, the opposing counsel, what clients in your city want/expect/need, the laws of your state is what makes you a valuable lawyer. Moving you start over.

6. If you get a fed job its a bit different, as you can be lic in any state and work in any state.

Yes you can move around with a law degree, its easier to do sooner (or once you decide to retire from a firm) than it is later. But there are more varbiles with a law degree than just "experience."

arundodonax
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:31 pm

Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby arundodonax » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:33 pm

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Last edited by arundodonax on Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:19 pm

From my experience at my firm, 5th years do not need to bring in business by any stretch of the imagination. From everything I've been told, it's around 7-8th you need to start doing it. Of course, the earlier you bring in business the better; however, I think it's misleading to say that you need to bring in business by year 5, otherwise you are probably going to be asked to leave.

I've talked to a few partners and senior associates who said as much.

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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:34 pm

Matthies wrote:
arundodonax wrote:This question applies to those not in the T20. We all know it is difficult to graduate from the T1/T2 in a normal market (not ITE) and find a job in a distant market (i.e. graduate from socal and try to find a job in NYC). What I haven't gotten an answer to is the difficulty of lateraling to a different market, looking for similar work, after some work experience.

Does anyone have any experience with this? How hard is it to get your foot in the door 3 years out of law school? 5 years? 10 years? I have heard "once you have some work experience it is much easier to find a job" (again not ITE) and "school matters less with work experience," but does anyone have any real world knowledge on this issue?


A couple of things make this more difficult in the legal profession than with other industries:

1. The bar exam, you have to take the bar exam in each state you want to practice in (with a few exceptions)

2. States allow you to come in under reprocity after 3, 5, 7 years of practice in another state. Some states don't allow you to ever come in without taking the bar. Its varys from state to state, and if the state your coming from makes you wait 7 years for lawyers from that state, then so does the new state to you. Its a total mess.

3. If you work in a mid to large firm you are hoping your on the partner track, by year 4 you will know this or not (or have a good idea if you have a shot) if you are, then you leave all that by leaving the firm, if you're not, well that's a big question mark to new firms.

4. The legal buniess works like a business, the product is legal services. You can be a great lawyer, but if you suck at the business side you're not worth much to a firm. By year 5 you need to be brining in business or creating business to have a shot at partner or even staying with the firm (what they call up or out). this means making local connections and knowing people. All that is lost when you move far away. No book of business at year 5 makes you an expensive lawyer not brining anything into the firm.

5. Who you know is key to your success. Knowing the judges, the lawyers, the opposing counsel, what clients in your city want/expect/need, the laws of your state is what makes you a valuable lawyer. Moving you start over.

6. If you get a fed job its a bit different, as you can be lic in any state and work in any state.

Yes you can move around with a law degree, its easier to do sooner (or once you decide to retire from a firm) than it is later. But there are more varbiles with a law degree than just "experience."



This is a little worrisome. I'm a summer associate and I love the (smaller) market that I am in, but I am EXTREMELY uneasy at the thought of being tied down permanently. There are a few major considerations that make me think I may want to move.

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Matthies
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Matthies » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:From my experience at my firm, 5th years do not need to bring in business by any stretch of the imagination. From everything I've been told, it's around 7-8th you need to start doing it. Of course, the earlier you bring in business the better; however, I think it's misleading to say that you need to bring in business by year 5, otherwise you are probably going to be asked to leave.

I've talked to a few partners and senior associates who said as much.


As we discussed in anouther thread, this will have alot to do with what market your in. DC, NYC, LA or other larger markets ture, mid markets like mine (Denver) and you better have started your book of biz at five or your out (its 7 to partner at most firms here). We just don't have the volume in these size markets to support 5-6 year asscociates that are not covering thier own costs, at least in part.

Anonymous User
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:05 pm

Matthies wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:From my experience at my firm, 5th years do not need to bring in business by any stretch of the imagination. From everything I've been told, it's around 7-8th you need to start doing it. Of course, the earlier you bring in business the better; however, I think it's misleading to say that you need to bring in business by year 5, otherwise you are probably going to be asked to leave.

I've talked to a few partners and senior associates who said as much.


As we discussed in anouther thread, this will have alot to do with what market your in. DC, NYC, LA or other larger markets ture, mid markets like mine (Denver) and you better have started your book of biz at five or your out (its 7 to partner at most firms here). We just don't have the volume in these size markets to support 5-6 year asscociates that are not covering thier own costs, at least in part.

Previous anon poster here. I am in a secondary market, albeit a larger secondary market.

Anonymous User
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:27 pm

if you're at a biglaw firm, you just need to maintain relationships with institutional clients. there's no need to bring in business.

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enygma
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Re: How difficult is it to change markets 3-10 years in?

Postby enygma » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:47 pm

i spoke with a headhunter who indicated that if you want to move from firm to firm you HAVE to do it between the second and fourth or fifth years. earlier you won't have the experience that they're looking for, and any later and you won't give the firm enough time to evaluate you to determine whether you're partner material. given that, i think the book of business argument is moot.




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