Straight to secondary market or no?

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ma456
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Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby ma456 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:52 pm

If one is coming from HYS, is it better to go straight to a secondary market, say where one's fiance is from, or is it easy/possible to do lateral transfers to secondary markets from primary ones after a few years?

Anonymous User
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:56 pm

same situation, but from CCN. Good enough grades to get V10-esque firms probably. Any thoughts?

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GeePee
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby GeePee » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:02 pm

ma456 wrote:If one is coming from HYS, is it better to go straight to a secondary market, say where one's fiance is from, or is it easy/possible to do lateral transfers to secondary markets from primary ones after a few years?

Why would you want to settle down somewhere knowing that in 3-4 years, you're definitely going to leave? It's one thing to be open to going somewhere else; it's another to know that you want to be near your fiance and will move to accomplish that goal. Why not go to her now if you can?

I mean, unless she wants to live in another city for a couple of years and then move -- in that case, have at it hoss.

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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:11 pm

I am top 15% at a lower T14, so probably would've had some good options in New York, in terms of firms. Instead I chose to go straight to the secondary market I knew I wanted to work in long-term, and couldn't be happier. I was a little worried I'd regret it, because I think I let my hatred of the interviewing process influence my decision not to interview with any firms in primary markets. But, luckily, no regrets so far. I think I'm about a billion times happier than I would be in a primary market, partially because I love the smaller city I'm in and partially because my firm is chill and everyone goes home at 6:30 and doesn't get uptight about things (but they're all still ridiculously smart).

But if you think you would actually enjoy living in New York and working 80 hours a week for a few years, you should probably do that first.

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Cavalier
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby Cavalier » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:14 pm

Look at the secondary-market firms you're interested in and see what track most of their attorneys took. Did they generally lateral in after working at a V10, or did they begin their careers there? If you know you want to settle long-term in a secondary market, and the top firms there hire few laterals and mostly favor home-grown associates for promotion to partner, starting there makes sense. Remember that it's a lot harder to leave a secondary market than a primary market, even with great credentials. If you don't know whether you want to permanently settle where your fiance is, you probably shouldn't go there; going to New York will permit you to lateral to pretty much anywhere in the country after a couple years.

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thesealocust
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:50 pm

I think the only honest answer is: Do you want to work for a few years in NYC first?

If you do, you probably can, and then can probably lateral. If you don't, you probably won't regret that decision.

It's important to know that lateraling from NYC -> not NYC is common and likely substantially easier than from not NYC -> NYC (at least for biglaw). Beyond that I think the arguments on either side pale in comparison to the deceivingly simple question: what do you want?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But if you think you would actually enjoy living in New York and working 80 hours a week for a few years, you should probably do that first.


This should come with qualifiers, e.g., whether you're corp/lit, the practice group, etc. I know the common notion is that all NYC biglaw firms have lawyers churning-out 80 hr work-weeks, and while biglaw lawyers do crush mad billablez, 80 hr/wk across the board isn't realistic. Corp practices might see that kind of work, especially at the top-tier firms. Niche lit work like IP boutiques, however, won't run 80 hrs/wk over the long-haul. Certainly, if you're getting ready for a depo/filing/whatever there might be a few late nights/weekends here and there, but for a large chunk of time (in my experience thus far) it should rather be a more normalized 50ish hr/wk schedule (also, if you're doing IP prosecution, hours become even more normalized and controllable). Look, either way you're going to be working a lot, so unless you're looking at a V10 (or whatever...I'm not a pro on Vault rankings) corp practice, be ready to work a lot (as opposed to ibanker-style hours) in either NYC or a secondary market.

That said, Cavalier is spot-on (per usual). The decision to start in a secondary market should be based upon your preferences, prioritized by your goals. Getting a secondary biglaw gig with great grades/school isn't hard to do, especially if you've got good connections to that particular market. Moreover, it's generally accepted that those with a few years of primary market experience often transfer to secondary markets with relative ease. Thus, make a list of your short/long-term goals. If you're not sure you'd be happy in that secondary market, then that's a strike against starting there. Conversely, if you're content to stay there for the duration of your career, then by all means start there. If you're more concerned about mobility or other practice areas, however, then that's a check in favor of starting in a primary market.

I was in a similar situation last year and chose the NYC firm. I love my home market (lots of family there), but it wasn't the right career choice for me (couldn't be happier with my choice). For some I know, that was the right move and they're thrilled as well.

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thesealocust
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:55 pm

+1 to everything Big Shrimpin wrote. GROUP HUG.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Straight to secondary market or no?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:55 pm

thesealocust wrote:I think the only honest answer is: Do you want to work for a few years in NYC first?

If you do, you probably can, and then can probably lateral. If you don't, you probably won't regret that decision.

It's important to know that lateraling from NYC -> not NYC is common and likely substantially easier than from not NYC -> NYC (at least for biglaw). Beyond that I think the arguments on either side pale in comparison to the deceivingly simple question: what do you want?


Way more succinct. LOL.

I guess that, outside the office, I don't pay as much attention to the verbosity filter.




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