Need Hope

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SFB222
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:23 pm

Need Hope

Postby SFB222 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:37 pm

Anyone out there know anyone who lateraled into biglaw or a reputable midlaw firm with really bad (bottom 30%) law school grades? I'm a few years out with niche litigation experience and good firm experience but want out of here badly if possible. Getting very discouraged by job postings requiring "excellent academics."

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Need Hope

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:44 pm

Every lateral who has joined my office since I've been here (15+) has come from another biglaw firm. You may have a shot if you make partner and have a big book of business. Other than that, you're probably SOL.

SFB222
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Re: Need Hope

Postby SFB222 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:49 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Every lateral who has joined my office since I've been here (15+) has come from another biglaw firm. You may have a shot if you make partner and have a big book of business. Other than that, you're probably SOL.


Thanks. Well, that's definitely what I suspected at the very top of the market (V20) but hoping things may be different at "regional" or "quasi" biglaw or other reputable midlaw shops that pay well.

KidStuddi
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Re: Need Hope

Postby KidStuddi » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:48 pm

SFB222 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Every lateral who has joined my office since I've been here (15+) has come from another biglaw firm. You may have a shot if you make partner and have a big book of business. Other than that, you're probably SOL.


Thanks. Well, that's definitely what I suspected at the very top of the market (V20) but hoping things may be different at "regional" or "quasi" biglaw or other reputable midlaw shops that pay well.


Sorry, but medium to lower ranked BigLaw firms are probably just as hard to lateral to. The tippy top BigLaw shops bring in huge summer classes in anticipation of attrition over the years; they generally don't do much lateral hiring of associates. The mid to low ranked BigLaw shops have much smaller incoming classes, but tend to deal with attrition through lateral hiring from among the forced out / froze out / burnt out crowd from the tippy top shops / peer firms or from government. The small law to BigLaw lateral move is virtually nonexistent except in extremely rare circumstances because there will almost always be someone with more relevant experience (either BigFed or BigLaw) who wants the job.

Anonymous User
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Re: Need Hope

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:52 am

KidStuddi wrote:
SFB222 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Every lateral who has joined my office since I've been here (15+) has come from another biglaw firm. You may have a shot if you make partner and have a big book of business. Other than that, you're probably SOL.


Thanks. Well, that's definitely what I suspected at the very top of the market (V20) but hoping things may be different at "regional" or "quasi" biglaw or other reputable midlaw shops that pay well.


Sorry, but medium to lower ranked BigLaw firms are probably just as hard to lateral to. The tippy top BigLaw shops bring in huge summer classes in anticipation of attrition over the years; they generally don't do much lateral hiring of associates. The mid to low ranked BigLaw shops have much smaller incoming classes, but tend to deal with attrition through lateral hiring from among the forced out / froze out / burnt out crowd from the tippy top shops / peer firms or from government. The small law to BigLaw lateral move is virtually nonexistent except in extremely rare circumstances because there will almost always be someone with more relevant experience (either BigFed or BigLaw) who wants the job.


Those rare circumstances are basically if you're in a very specific practice group like ERISA or Tax and there is a sudden demand for that practice group that can't be satisfied with the usual candidates (rare) or if your midlaw firm gets bought out by a biglaw firm to open up/improve an office in a new region (extremely rare). Prior to 2008 it was much more common, but it's extremely rare now to get biglaw if you're not already at a major firm or federal agency.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Need Hope

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:47 am

SFB222 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Every lateral who has joined my office since I've been here (15+) has come from another biglaw firm. You may have a shot if you make partner and have a big book of business. Other than that, you're probably SOL.


Thanks. Well, that's definitely what I suspected at the very top of the market (V20) but hoping things may be different at "regional" or "quasi" biglaw or other reputable midlaw shops that pay well.


so far this thread is full of people who dont know what the fuck they are talking about re this. getting in to a regional law firm is almost exclusively about networking. OP - stop applying to jobs and start networking.

SFB222
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Re: Need Hope

Postby SFB222 » Sat May 30, 2015 10:47 pm

Bump. I'm still at my mid-sized firm, looking to get out desperately. I get recruiter calls all the time. They tend to look at my resume, tell me how incredible my experience is and what a great firm I'm at, but then completely shut down when they find out how bad my law school grades are. For someone with almost 4 years of solid law firm experience, this predicament is completely demoralizing. Anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to get out? Do I need to switch careers? Feeling very discouraged tonight.

wons
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Re: Need Hope

Postby wons » Sun May 31, 2015 6:18 am

SFB222 wrote:Bump. I'm still at my mid-sized firm, looking to get out desperately. I get recruiter calls all the time. They tend to look at my resume, tell me how incredible my experience is and what a great firm I'm at, but then completely shut down when they find out how bad my law school grades are. For someone with almost 4 years of solid law firm experience, this predicament is completely demoralizing. Anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to get out? Do I need to switch careers? Feeling very discouraged tonight.


The problem is that the only time you were in the same pond with the other fishes, you didn't do well, and now you're a big fish in a small pond and that doesn't provide much evidence of anything. I think the advice of others upthread was correct; network and hope for a lifeline or become a partner with a few decent clients and look to get pulled in by a slightly better regional firm. But for true big law, you're at least two job moves and about 10 years away.

SFB222
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:23 pm

Re: Need Hope

Postby SFB222 » Sun May 31, 2015 12:39 pm

wons wrote:
SFB222 wrote:Bump. I'm still at my mid-sized firm, looking to get out desperately. I get recruiter calls all the time. They tend to look at my resume, tell me how incredible my experience is and what a great firm I'm at, but then completely shut down when they find out how bad my law school grades are. For someone with almost 4 years of solid law firm experience, this predicament is completely demoralizing. Anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to get out? Do I need to switch careers? Feeling very discouraged tonight.


The problem is that the only time you were in the same pond with the other fishes, you didn't do well, and now you're a big fish in a small pond and that doesn't provide much evidence of anything. I think the advice of others upthread was correct; network and hope for a lifeline or become a partner with a few decent clients and look to get pulled in by a slightly better regional firm. But for true big law, you're at least two job moves and about 10 years away.


Just to clarify (although I'm sensing that your conclusion will be the same), I am far from a big fish in a small pond and my current job outcome is better than most in my class. There are actually tons of firms that are the lateral equivalent of mine and I would be happy to lateral into most of them. In fact, if it weren't for connections and very odd circumstances, I wouldn't be at my current firm to begin with (because they tend to consider grades, etc.). That's one problem with getting jobs through connections, you need to maintain the connections + make new connections to get you to the next place. Also, my experience is indicative of "something" because our matters are sophisticated and on-par with biglaw practice areas and biglaw firms do take ppl from my current firm (but grades still matter).

wons
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:25 pm

Re: Need Hope

Postby wons » Sun May 31, 2015 3:23 pm

SFB222 wrote:
wons wrote:
SFB222 wrote:Bump. I'm still at my mid-sized firm, looking to get out desperately. I get recruiter calls all the time. They tend to look at my resume, tell me how incredible my experience is and what a great firm I'm at, but then completely shut down when they find out how bad my law school grades are. For someone with almost 4 years of solid law firm experience, this predicament is completely demoralizing. Anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to get out? Do I need to switch careers? Feeling very discouraged tonight.


The problem is that the only time you were in the same pond with the other fishes, you didn't do well, and now you're a big fish in a small pond and that doesn't provide much evidence of anything. I think the advice of others upthread was correct; network and hope for a lifeline or become a partner with a few decent clients and look to get pulled in by a slightly better regional firm. But for true big law, you're at least two job moves and about 10 years away.


Just to clarify (although I'm sensing that your conclusion will be the same), I am far from a big fish in a small pond and my current job outcome is better than most in my class. There are actually tons of firms that are the lateral equivalent of mine and I would be happy to lateral into most of them. In fact, if it weren't for connections and very odd circumstances, I wouldn't be at my current firm to begin with (because they tend to consider grades, etc.). That's one problem with getting jobs through connections, you need to maintain the connections + make new connections to get you to the next place. Also, my experience is indicative of "something" because our matters are sophisticated and on-par with biglaw practice areas and biglaw firms do take ppl from my current firm (but grades still matter).


Your pitch is no good. If your outcome is so good, you wouldn't be in front of me asking for a job. Also, you have no idea if you've done biglaw type work because you've never worked in biglaw. Anyone hiring you is going to be taking a risk that they don't need to take, since there will be dozens of other candidates with experience in similar environments working for firms who they know and trust in terms of training/work product.

IMO, you gotta drop the defensiveness. Your job may be great but from the perspective of your biglaw interviewer it sucks. And your grades suck which is why they will think you ended up in a sucky job. So talking about how your job doesn't really suck as much as they think it sucks is just reminding them of how much your last X years is just a ball of suck. Instead, talk about what you can do. You say you have skills - make sure you can distill them in your pitch such that the person hiring you understands that you're an asset they might not get if they do a conservative hire. Ideally you'd catch the eye of a biglaw person working across from you so that your credibility is already demonstrated by the work product they've seen.

Realistically though, you've got a long road to dig out of being on a different path from the one that folks are familiar with and understand - especially since your path is perceived as second class. Ideally your next job is a bridge - someone familiar enough with your current situation that they don't roll their eyes at it but also on the radar of folks at bigger firms.

SFB222
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:23 pm

Re: Need Hope

Postby SFB222 » Sun May 31, 2015 8:18 pm

wons wrote:
SFB222 wrote:
wons wrote:
SFB222 wrote:Bump. I'm still at my mid-sized firm, looking to get out desperately. I get recruiter calls all the time. They tend to look at my resume, tell me how incredible my experience is and what a great firm I'm at, but then completely shut down when they find out how bad my law school grades are. For someone with almost 4 years of solid law firm experience, this predicament is completely demoralizing. Anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to get out? Do I need to switch careers? Feeling very discouraged tonight.


The problem is that the only time you were in the same pond with the other fishes, you didn't do well, and now you're a big fish in a small pond and that doesn't provide much evidence of anything. I think the advice of others upthread was correct; network and hope for a lifeline or become a partner with a few decent clients and look to get pulled in by a slightly better regional firm. But for true big law, you're at least two job moves and about 10 years away.


Just to clarify (although I'm sensing that your conclusion will be the same), I am far from a big fish in a small pond and my current job outcome is better than most in my class. There are actually tons of firms that are the lateral equivalent of mine and I would be happy to lateral into most of them. In fact, if it weren't for connections and very odd circumstances, I wouldn't be at my current firm to begin with (because they tend to consider grades, etc.). That's one problem with getting jobs through connections, you need to maintain the connections + make new connections to get you to the next place. Also, my experience is indicative of "something" because our matters are sophisticated and on-par with biglaw practice areas and biglaw firms do take ppl from my current firm (but grades still matter).


Your pitch is no good. If your outcome is so good, you wouldn't be in front of me asking for a job. Also, you have no idea if you've done biglaw type work because you've never worked in biglaw. Anyone hiring you is going to be taking a risk that they don't need to take, since there will be dozens of other candidates with experience in similar environments working for firms who they know and trust in terms of training/work product.

IMO, you gotta drop the defensiveness. Your job may be great but from the perspective of your biglaw interviewer it sucks. And your grades suck which is why they will think you ended up in a sucky job. So talking about how your job doesn't really suck as much as they think it sucks is just reminding them of how much your last X years is just a ball of suck. Instead, talk about what you can do. You say you have skills - make sure you can distill them in your pitch such that the person hiring you understands that you're an asset they might not get if they do a conservative hire. Ideally you'd catch the eye of a biglaw person working across from you so that your credibility is already demonstrated by the work product they've seen.

Realistically though, you've got a long road to dig out of being on a different path from the one that folks are familiar with and understand - especially since your path is perceived as second class. Ideally your next job is a bridge - someone familiar enough with your current situation that they don't roll their eyes at it but also on the radar of folks at bigger firms.


I appreciate your response. Despite your good intentions, you're not understanding me correctly. I don't necessarily want biglaw and to emphasize again, I'd be okay with a firm just like my own. So no, even if my outcome is good in general, I may want to find a new job that is comparable or better than the one I have now. My point is that my GPA holds me back.




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