biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

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biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:48 am

I am a biglaw 3rd year in the bay area, working for one of the top firms. corporate/transactional, mostly M&A, t6, blah blah blah.

I want desperately to leave the law.

My firm is great. Wonderful people doing cutting edge work bay area work for great clients. The hours are sometimes bad, but generally I'm fine with it. Most people in my situation hack it 1-2 more years, and then go in-house somewhere, to some tech company. The problem is, I really do not get any satisfaction from the law, and I don't want to continue it as a career, even in a chill, in house position. I want out....though to what, I don't know yet.

Has anyone here successfully left the law, and if so, how, and to what profession? My only real transferable skills are an ability to write and to manage large projects with lots of moving parts. Just looking for some other people who have switched professions and gotten out of law entirely - curious how you did it and what you do now.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:54 pm

Start applying for in house positions. It is worth trying to see if this might work for you. There is little to lose and you may enjoy it. You can go in house at your level of experience. If you try out in house and hate it, you are in no worse of a position. Better to try it than make such a big career change, in my opinion.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:45 pm

Sorry to hear you aren't enjoying your job.

I worked my 1L summer in-house at a large F100 company. I met a few folks who came in-house for law and ended up on the business side. I know at least a couple of them got an MBA. That is something you might consider. See if any in-house positions are available and if the company has any precedent of lawyers switching within the company.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:05 pm

a couple people from my law firm left and went business side at Apple. they weren't even transactional attorneys. random, right? just start applying. you never know who they might be looking for.

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rondemarino
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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby rondemarino » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:14 pm

What was your experience/UG major?

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:29 pm

I'm also a big law second-year, corporate attorney, and I also want out of the legal field completely.

I'm constantly refining my exit strategy into something I will enjoy, and I feel like I'm getting closer to jumping ship.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:18 pm

As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.


This is one of the huge issues with law school and the prestige obsession. We let others define what the "best" outcomes are, and it skews and shifts our perspectives on what we genuinely want and what we should genuinely be shooting for. Its a rat race, where someone else is telling you what the cheese is. And you just end up running for it mindlessly.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.


This is one of the huge issues with law school and the prestige obsession. We let others define what the "best" outcomes are, and it skews and shifts our perspectives on what we genuinely want and what we should genuinely be shooting for. Its a rat race, where someone else is telling you what the cheese is. And you just end up running for it mindlessly.


As someone in law school with an SA at a top corporate firm lined up and who thinks that I will be OP in a few years, is there anything I can do to make the transition to business easier? I realize dropping out is an option, but I will have no debt upon graduating and my undergrad major was of the bullshit liberal arts variety, so I think I am going to stick it out. Any advice? Thanks so much.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.


This is one of the huge issues with law school and the prestige obsession. We let others define what the "best" outcomes are, and it skews and shifts our perspectives on what we genuinely want and what we should genuinely be shooting for. Its a rat race, where someone else is telling you what the cheese is. And you just end up running for it mindlessly.


As someone in law school with an SA at a top corporate firm lined up and who thinks that I will be OP in a few years, is there anything I can do to make the transition to business easier? I realize dropping out is an option, but I will have no debt upon graduating and my undergrad major was of the bullshit liberal arts variety, so I think I am going to stick it out. Any advice? Thanks so much.


Use that flexibility to your advantage, and think about what matters most to YOU, and you alone. Definitely stick it out to start, but don't let yourself feel boxed in. If you feel unhappy with where you are, don't think you have to stay there because its the "best" firm (as defined by the law school masses). Is it the best firm for you? Only time will tell the answer to that. And without debt, money won't need to be the guiding factor.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:33 pm

Not sure what aspects of practicing law you so strongly dislike. Have you considered applying for a judicial clerkship ?

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.


This is one of the huge issues with law school and the prestige obsession. We let others define what the "best" outcomes are, and it skews and shifts our perspectives on what we genuinely want and what we should genuinely be shooting for. Its a rat race, where someone else is telling you what the cheese is. And you just end up running for it mindlessly.


As someone in law school with an SA at a top corporate firm lined up and who thinks that I will be OP in a few years, is there anything I can do to make the transition to business easier? I realize dropping out is an option, but I will have no debt upon graduating and my undergrad major was of the bullshit liberal arts variety, so I think I am going to stick it out. Any advice? Thanks so much.


Stick it out and start the legal job if you have nothing else but continue to look for non-legal gigs. Despite the anecdote above about the Apple attorneys switching to business side, jumps like that aren't really that common and you shouldn't bank on being able to make that type of direct transition.

The reality is that if you're a K-JD, going to law school and working as an attorney makes you qualified to be an attorney. Aside from spinning the soft skills, being an attorney doesn't give you many hard skills which are applicable to other business careers. If you really want out, expand your search to consider entry-level business jobs of all types. Being a lawyer and having a JD doesn't exactly make you qualified for other careers so making a switch may not be easy.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a 1L, this thread amazes me. So many of my fellow classmates are gunning hard for firm life and have yet to understand the reality on the other side of the fence. They gun so hard to more than likely want out 2 or 3 years in the trench.

Good luck to you, OP. I am sure you will find something you love. Ironically, a number of former associates I know either went into teaching or in-house, but overseas. You'd be surprised how far an American JD can take you outside of the USA. Best wishes.


This is one of the huge issues with law school and the prestige obsession. We let others define what the "best" outcomes are, and it skews and shifts our perspectives on what we genuinely want and what we should genuinely be shooting for. Its a rat race, where someone else is telling you what the cheese is. And you just end up running for it mindlessly.


As someone in law school with an SA at a top corporate firm lined up and who thinks that I will be OP in a few years, is there anything I can do to make the transition to business easier? I realize dropping out is an option, but I will have no debt upon graduating and my undergrad major was of the bullshit liberal arts variety, so I think I am going to stick it out. Any advice? Thanks so much.


Stick it out and start the legal job if you have nothing else but continue to look for non-legal gigs. Despite the anecdote above about the Apple attorneys switching to business side, jumps like that aren't really that common and you shouldn't bank on being able to make that type of direct transition.

The reality is that if you're a K-JD, going to law school and working as an attorney makes you qualified to be an attorney. Aside from spinning the soft skills, being an attorney doesn't give you many hard skills which are applicable to other business careers. If you really want out, expand your search to consider entry-level business jobs of all types. Being a lawyer and having a JD doesn't exactly make you qualified for other careers so making a switch may not be easy.


Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.


Thanks yeah I'll look into this, it could definitely be a good option. Do they generally take people straight out of law school?

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.


Thanks yeah I'll look into this, it could definitely be a good option. Do they generally take people straight out of law school?


No problem. They sometimes come to law schools to do OCI or the equivalent. Otherwise, you can apply through the website, which isn't always the best. I'm going into one of these roles straight after law school, and the firm came to OCI.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.


Thanks yeah I'll look into this, it could definitely be a good option. Do they generally take people straight out of law school?


No problem. They sometimes come to law schools to do OCI or the equivalent. Otherwise, you can apply through the website, which isn't always the best. I'm going into one of these roles straight after law school, and the firm came to OCI.


Networking into MBB - its a real option if you have an in.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.


Thanks yeah I'll look into this, it could definitely be a good option. Do they generally take people straight out of law school?


No problem. They sometimes come to law schools to do OCI or the equivalent. Otherwise, you can apply through the website, which isn't always the best. I'm going into one of these roles straight after law school, and the firm came to OCI.


For sure, and I suppose I would still have to prepare for the case-style interviews correct? Or do they interview law students differently? Thanks again for all your help!

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Another option is to take a look at opportunities in management consulting, especially in some of the groups at Big 4s. I believe there have been some threads on these. Those positions typically like the way you think as a lawyer, and you can learn what you need about the business on the job. It also may open more opportunities down the line in both business and law. Obviously, it all depends on how successful you are. But this may be an option.


Thanks yeah I'll look into this, it could definitely be a good option. Do they generally take people straight out of law school?


No problem. They sometimes come to law schools to do OCI or the equivalent. Otherwise, you can apply through the website, which isn't always the best. I'm going into one of these roles straight after law school, and the firm came to OCI.


For sure, and I suppose I would still have to prepare for the case-style interviews correct? Or do they interview law students differently? Thanks again for all your help!


They actually interview just as a law firm would for law students. There were no case-style interviews at all. There was a screener, then a final round (callback), which was constituted of three 30 minute behavioral interviews.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They actually interview just as a law firm would for law students. There were no case-style interviews at all. There was a screener, then a final round (callback), which was constituted of three 30 minute behavioral interviews.


Oh wow, that sounds fantastic. I am definitely going to look into this.

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They actually interview just as a law firm would for law students. There were no case-style interviews at all. There was a screener, then a final round (callback), which was constituted of three 30 minute behavioral interviews.


Oh wow, that sounds fantastic. I am definitely going to look into this.


Sorry for the landslide of questions. How shitty is it to renege on a SA offer in biglaw to go for an internship an MBB instead? Are there any serious ramifications? Thanks again.

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tealeaves12
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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby tealeaves12 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:10 pm

Very sorry that I can't remember / don't have the original article, but I read about this a while ago https://leavinglaw.wordpress.com/jennif ... e-balance/. Jennifer alvey. Coach for transitioning out of legal field. She's actually just one of many tho the article I originally read was a study on how it's becoming a new industry to consult and coach unhappy lawyers on how to get out of their field, manage debt and transfer skills.

Good luck I'm sure you'll do great

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Re: biglaw 3rd year; want to leave law, anyone do this?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:They actually interview just as a law firm would for law students. There were no case-style interviews at all. There was a screener, then a final round (callback), which was constituted of three 30 minute behavioral interviews.


Oh wow, that sounds fantastic. I am definitely going to look into this.


Sorry for the landslide of questions. How shitty is it to renege on a SA offer in biglaw to go for an internship an MBB instead? Are there any serious ramifications? Thanks again.


I'm not sure about what the ramifications would be. I would say that you wouldn't get hired by that firm in the future, unless you're amazing in your field and it makes sense to transition back into law. To be honest, I do not believe that there are any legal ramifications. I also don't think you'll get "blackballed" in any way. These firms would screw you over in a heartbeat if they wanted.If you have a better option, it's wise to seriously consider taking it. Your school will not approve because career services thinks about the big picture, and not about you individually. But it's OK to be selfish in your own career.




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