Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

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bowser
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Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby bowser » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:53 pm

I'm going to be doing both corporate and litigation assignments this summer at a big law firm in NY. One thing I'm discovering is how New York-centric corporate law seems to be.

I assume litigation is a skill that is useful anywhere in the country ( or at least big metropolitan centers). But if you specialize in corporate law, how much does it limit you geographically when you look for the 2nd job? If you wanted to move out to the west coast, are there just fewer positions for corporate lawyers out there?

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philosoraptor
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby philosoraptor » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:12 pm

Not sure about flexibility after you're established, but there are plenty of corporate lawyers who aren't in New York. Just depends on what you want to do within corporate, and what the clients' needs are. I've been in corporate for only a few months helping with deals in two different secondary markets, and the clients have ranged from local companies just getting started to huge Wall Street banks.

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thesealocust
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:13 pm

Big firm corporate law is more concentrated, but there are still a large number of corporate law practices in major cities. The biggest matters filter to NYC, but not all of them, and even on the biggest you often see local counsel involved (ex: Ohio firm doing a large securities offering may have Jones Day as issuer's counsel while Cravath represents the underwriting banks).

On the other hand, the substantive experience you get is very important, and it's true that not all practices are created equal. If you do FCPA litigation in NYC that's not likely to make you hugely/automatically/obviously attractive to firms doing general commercial litigation in Tuscon.

FWIW, I know lots of corporate lawyers who lave left NYC for all kinds of other firms in other regions.

bdubs
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby bdubs » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:27 pm

Lots of corporate lawyers go in house after leaving their big NYC firm and those positions are all over the country.

Litigation can be relatively concentrated if you are dealing with high stakes cases or a more niche area of law. In those circumstances most work tends to be the major legal markets (CA, Chi, DC, NY).

TooOld4This
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:00 pm

If you want your second job to also be at a big firm with the same size/complexity of work, yes. Otherwise, corporate is much more flexible in just about every respect. You don't have the same jurisdictional issues as litigation and there is much more in house work for corporate attorneys than litigators.

Anonymous User
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:24 pm

Is that to say that whatever corporate group you're in, then you're limited to that as well? For example, if one was at a firm in DC doing cap markets or something like energy m&a, what are their exit options going to look like somewhere on the west coast? Would it be confined to capital markets or energy or could the skills translate to other groups.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby brotherdarkness » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:29 pm

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Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Does Corporate Law leave you less geographical flexibility?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is that to say that whatever corporate group you're in, then you're limited to that as well? For example, if one was at a firm in DC doing cap markets or something like energy m&a, what are their exit options going to look like somewhere on the west coast? Would it be confined to capital markets or energy or could the skills translate to other groups.


It all depends. There is a big mix of exits. For some people, the names and ampersands on their resume are just their generic legal finishing school and they go on to do something very different for which the specific skills they picked up aren't a big deal. Others will fall down the rabbit hole of their practice area and exit to companies / clients / agencies / firms mired in the details and nuance.




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