Litigation Lateral

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MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:40 pm

What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby anon168 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:49 pm

anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby anon168 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:58 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


I've said it before here and I will say it again.

Grades matter. Grades will always matter. Slack off if you want after 1L but there will be consequences.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:00 pm

anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


I've said it before here and I will say it again.

Grades matter. Grades will always matter. Slack off if you want after 1L if you want but there will be consequences.


For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.

Anonymous User
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:00 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


There's no rational for it, but your grades will limit your ability to lateral somewhat. Just avoid firms that care a lot. You can talk to recruiters to find out which firms you'll be wasting time with. Anon because I'm in your boat, currently applying to lateral firms.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


There's no rational for it, but your grades will limit your ability to lateral somewhat. Just avoid firms that care a lot. You can talk to recruiters to find out which firms you'll be wasting time with. Anon because I'm in your boat, currently applying to lateral firms.


What are some other NLJ 250 firms that are known to not care as much?

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:What is the minimum amount of time required to be able to feasibly lateral as a litigation associate? I'm at a great firm but I got crappy grades in law school. Been there for about a year now. A lot of posting want law school transcripts, which is absurd.

Advice would be appreciated.


Sorry to break it to you, but 90% (or more) of the firms out there will always want transcripts and if your resume doesn't already have your GPA, it should.


I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


There's no rational for it, but your grades will limit your ability to lateral somewhat. Just avoid firms that care a lot. You can talk to recruiters to find out which firms you'll be wasting time with. Anon because I'm in your boat, currently applying to lateral firms.


Also, what's been your experience so far? Is one year of experience not enough?

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:11 pm

this is depressing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:12 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:Also, what's been your experience so far? Is one year of experience not enough?


All of the lateral firms I applied to thus far asked for transcripts. My recruiter said more experience might overcome low grades, but a single year isn't enough. I think it depends on a lot of factors, but in general, it will matter somewhat, although less as you enter your "prime" lateral years (2-4).

MoonDreamer
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:Also, what's been your experience so far? Is one year of experience not enough?


All of the lateral firms I applied to thus far asked for transcripts. My recruiter said more experience might overcome low grades, but a single year isn't enough. I think it depends on a lot of factors, but in general, it will matter somewhat, although less as you enter your "prime" lateral years (2-4).


this sparks another question...why is 2-4 prime??

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:15 pm

Here's a somewhat accurate article about grades and how much they matter based on how long you've been in biglaw: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60468/qa2-march2002/

MoonDreamer
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:18 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's a somewhat accurate article about grades and how much they matter based on how long you've been in biglaw: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60468/qa2-march2002/


thanks.

MoonDreamer
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:20 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's a somewhat accurate article about grades and how much they matter based on how long you've been in biglaw: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60468/qa2-march2002/


Am i Really in demand though as a second year associate?

anon168
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby anon168 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:24 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:

For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.


Ask yourself why you want to lateral. If the firm you're at is so great why the desire to love to a NLJ250 firm?

If you've only been at a place for a year and want to trade up (which is what it sounds like you want to do) then grades will always be a limiting factor for you, especially if you come from a T3 school. Heck, your T3 school will be a limiting factor even if you had good grades.

Lawyers are prestige whores - not only when it comes to hiring but just the legal profession in general. I know I look up opposing counsel and check their pedigree and then instantly form certain biases and prejudices based off of their résumé. Firms know that lawyers do this, which is why if a firm can get away with it, they're going to only hire the best credentialed people they can find.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:25 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's a somewhat accurate article about grades and how much they matter based on how long you've been in biglaw: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60468/qa2-march2002/


Am i Really in demand though as a second year associate?


In this economy, not really. As a third year, you should be much more marketable though. I guess conventional wisdom says that most third years have much more knowledge/experience than second years. Of course, this may or may not be true in practice. It really depends on the type of work you do. If you spend your entire first and second years doing doc review, no one is going to want you as a third year. If you've taken depos, written motions, worked with experts, etc., then you'll be much more marketable no matter what your year is.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:26 pm

anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:

For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.


Ask yourself why you want to lateral. If the firm you're at is so great why the desire to love to a NLJ250 firm?

If you've only been at a place for a year and want to trade up (which is what it sounds like you want to do) then grades will always be a limiting factor for you, especially if you come from a T3 school. Heck, your T3 school will be a limiting factor even if you had good grades.

Lawyers are prestige whores - not only when it comes to hiring but just the legal profession in general. I know I look up opposing counsel and check their pedigree and then instantly form certain biases and prejudices based off of their résumé. Firms know that lawyers do this, which is why if a firm can get away with it, they're going to only hire the best credentialed people they can find.


Well...then why would it matter if I'm bottom 30% or between top 20 and 15%? It won't be reflected in the profile. No firm will actually put on their website that their associate was top 20% without having received any type of honors (cum laude, etc.)

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ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:28 pm

anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:

For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.


Ask yourself why you want to lateral. If the firm you're at is so great why the desire to love to a NLJ250 firm?

If you've only been at a place for a year and want to trade up (which is what it sounds like you want to do) then grades will always be a limiting factor for you, especially if you come from a T3 school. Heck, your T3 school will be a limiting factor even if you had good grades.

Lawyers are prestige whores - not only when it comes to hiring but just the legal profession in general. I know I look up opposing counsel and check their pedigree and then instantly form certain biases and prejudices based off of their résumé. Firms know that lawyers do this, which is why if a firm can get away with it, they're going to only hire the best credentialed people they can find.


Even more limiting, in some cases, than someone's grades or school is the fact that biglaw firms only hire laterals from other biglaw firms that are similar in prestige. Firms want people who have worked on the same kinds of cases for the same kinds of clients for the same stakes.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:28 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Here's a somewhat accurate article about grades and how much they matter based on how long you've been in biglaw: http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60468/qa2-march2002/


Am i Really in demand though as a second year associate?


In this economy, not really. As a third year, you should be much more marketable though. I guess conventional wisdom says that most third years have much more knowledge/experience than second years. Of course, this may or may not be true in practice. It really depends on the type of work you do. If you spend your entire first and second years doing doc review, no one is going to want you as a third year. If you've taken depos, written motions, worked with experts, etc., then you'll be much more marketable no matter what your year is.


how will they actually know what kind of work i've done? People don't put "wrote motions, drafted rogs" on their resumes.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:30 pm

I'll add that I am in what would be considered "biglaw"

I just got in for non-merit/grades based reasons. Definitely a unique situation...

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby anon168 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:35 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:

For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.


Ask yourself why you want to lateral. If the firm you're at is so great why the desire to love to a NLJ250 firm?

If you've only been at a place for a year and want to trade up (which is what it sounds like you want to do) then grades will always be a limiting factor for you, especially if you come from a T3 school. Heck, your T3 school will be a limiting factor even if you had good grades.

Lawyers are prestige whores - not only when it comes to hiring but just the legal profession in general. I know I look up opposing counsel and check their pedigree and then instantly form certain biases and prejudices based off of their résumé. Firms know that lawyers do this, which is why if a firm can get away with it, they're going to only hire the best credentialed people they can find.


Well...then why would it matter if I'm bottom 30% or between top 20 and 15%? It won't be reflected in the profile. No firm will actually put on their website that their associate was top 20% without having received any type of honors (cum laude, etc.)


Top 20% might cut it for many firms if you graduated from a T14 or even a T1 school. But you didn't.

I'm really stunned (and saddened) that any if this comes as a surprise to you.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:37 pm

anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:

For one thing, it's in the past...there's nothing I can do change my law school grades. Secondly, I got this job without grades...so clearly, grades don't always matter. Just sayin.


Ask yourself why you want to lateral. If the firm you're at is so great why the desire to love to a NLJ250 firm?

If you've only been at a place for a year and want to trade up (which is what it sounds like you want to do) then grades will always be a limiting factor for you, especially if you come from a T3 school. Heck, your T3 school will be a limiting factor even if you had good grades.

Lawyers are prestige whores - not only when it comes to hiring but just the legal profession in general. I know I look up opposing counsel and check their pedigree and then instantly form certain biases and prejudices based off of their résumé. Firms know that lawyers do this, which is why if a firm can get away with it, they're going to only hire the best credentialed people they can find.


Well...then why would it matter if I'm bottom 30% or between top 20 and 15%? It won't be reflected in the profile. No firm will actually put on their website that their associate was top 20% without having received any type of honors (cum laude, etc.)


Top 20% might cut it for many firms if you graduated from a T14 or even a T1 school. But you didn't.


Well there's people on here saying thats its for the firm's website. What I'm saying is that the firm wont even be able to say that a particular associate was top 20% or bottom top 20%, in that nothing would be said at all for those ranks. So in terms of marketability, it doesn't matter what that associate ranked as long as it wasn't in the top 10%, which of course comes with certain "labels"

bdubs
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Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby bdubs » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:38 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


They will probably be very skeptical of why the firm hired you in the first place and why they (or you) want you out the door. Particularly if you're asking how soon you can bail. Short tenure + bad grades sounds like a ticking time bomb that no one will want to touch.


MoonDreamer wrote:I'll add that I am in what would be considered "biglaw"

I just got in for non-merit/grades based reasons. Definitely a unique situation...



It's pretty likely someone will just assume this is the case anyway.
Last edited by bdubs on Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MoonDreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby MoonDreamer » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:40 pm

bdubs wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


They will probably be very skeptical of why the firm hired you in the first place and why they (or you) want you out the door. Particularly if you're asking how soon you can bail. Short tenure + bad grades sounds like a ticking time bomb that no one will want to touch.


Great personality? People skills?

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Litigation Lateral

Postby anon168 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:48 pm

MoonDreamer wrote:
bdubs wrote:
MoonDreamer wrote:I don't understand. Why do firms care about my transcript and GPA from law school? A firm of similar quality decided to hire, retain, and invest in me. Isn't that enough? I was bottom 30% of a tier 3 so that's not going to look good.


They will probably be very skeptical of why the firm hired you in the first place and why they (or you) want you out the door. Particularly if you're asking how soon you can bail. Short tenure + bad grades sounds like a ticking time bomb that no one will want to touch.


Great personality? People skills?


Look, you can try and rationalize it however you want but the bottom line is firms are going to care about your grades and your law school pedigree.

It is what it is. There's nothing you can really do to change that.

You decided to go to a T3 and then didn't get good grades.

Just be happy you have a job.




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