Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

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Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:45 pm

If so, did you enjoy it more? I have an opportunity to lateral from biglaw lit to midlaw transactional, and I'm seriously considering it. I might also try to move to transactional in the same firm, but that usually comes with a badge of shame, like the person couldn't hack it in lit.

There are two things I hate about lit. First, opposing counsel will just put their head in the sand and argue about the most settled shit. It's infuriating when you need to spend your weekend briefing and arguing that, e.g., consideration is needed for a contract. It's even more infuriating when opposing counsel tells you you "don't understand the law" when you ask about their no-consideration theory. Second, while I usually win my motions, I've had some judges go on ego trips or just completely misunderstand an issue and give me the loss. Losses, especially when I think I should get a win, infuriate me and drive me into a mini booze-filled, 24 hour depression. The good litigators put it behind them, but I can't. Other more minor things are: I hate dealing with sociopath opposing counsel. This is kindof part of #1, but every now and again you'll get on a case where the other side accuses you of ethics issues over and over and files motions for sanctions. While judges have always denied those motions, and sometimes granted me sanctions in return, it drives me insane that I need to deny the bullshit allegations some scumbag oppising counsel level at me. Also, I don't mind oral argument, but I also don't get much enjoyment out of arguing in court.

Does transactional come with the same bullshit? Should I just suck it up and stop taking work so seriously?

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Re: Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:24 pm

I did it as a first year. It was hard; my request to transfer was refused and I ended up getting lucky and finding a lateral position. Starting over at a new firm while learning a new practice was rough. However, I love what I do now. Sure, corporate work has it's pains (I never though I'd care so much about bs like smart quotes or hard spaces), but I enjoy the big picture more. Lifestyle is definitely more unpredictable, but it's nice to know you've got a better shot at going in-house if you get tired of the grind.

Anonymous User
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Re: Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I did it as a first year. It was hard; my request to transfer was refused and I ended up getting lucky and finding a lateral position. Starting over at a new firm while learning a new practice was rough. However, I love what I do now. Sure, corporate work has it's pains (I never though I'd care so much about bs like smart quotes or hard spaces), but I enjoy the big picture more. Lifestyle is definitely more unpredictable, but it's nice to know you've got a better shot at going in-house if you get tired of the grind.


Thanks for responding. How did you go about your request? I'm not sure if I should ask first, or use the other positions as leverage. All things being equal, I'd prefer to stay at a recognized law firm where I know people than go to a less-known regional firm where I know no one. On the other hand, I kinda wonder if I should have asked my current firm before I put feelers out there: if I turn down a lateral offer that will probably be a burnt bridge. Also, I'm a third year, so the transition might be even worse for me.

Anonymous User
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Re: Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did it as a first year. It was hard; my request to transfer was refused and I ended up getting lucky and finding a lateral position. Starting over at a new firm while learning a new practice was rough. However, I love what I do now. Sure, corporate work has it's pains (I never though I'd care so much about bs like smart quotes or hard spaces), but I enjoy the big picture more. Lifestyle is definitely more unpredictable, but it's nice to know you've got a better shot at going in-house if you get tired of the grind.


Thanks for responding. How did you go about your request? I'm not sure if I should ask first, or use the other positions as leverage. All things being equal, I'd prefer to stay at a recognized law firm where I know people than go to a less-known regional firm where I know no one. On the other hand, I kinda wonder if I should have asked my current firm before I put feelers out there: if I turn down a lateral offer that will probably be a burnt bridge. Also, I'm a third year, so the transition might be even worse for me.


I agree that switching as a 3rd year would be difficult. You'd almost certainly be docked a year. If your corporate department is doing well and they need bodies, it might work.

In my case, I asked for some advice from a senior associate who recently went in-house; I recommend you approach someone in a similar situation who can guide you through firm politics. I also asked my classmates in corporate for their general thoughts on workflow.

Do not use your offer as leverage. Even if you do switch within your firm, your loyalty will be questioned (which I think applies to any job). Approach your classmates and seniors your are close with first.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Has anyone here transitioned from lit to transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:33 pm

I appreciate your response. Hopefully it works out.



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