Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

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Anonymous User
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Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:00 pm

So I am headed to a V50 firm this summer. One of the senior associates I interviewed with at my CB in the department that I will be working in recently left the firm to head to a more well-regarded firm in the same market. Would it be uncouth of me to reach out to him and ask him why he left? We had a pretty good chat when I interviewed there and he specifically told me to reach out to him if I have any questions about the firm no matter what the question is.

Just want to get a head's up if he jumped ship because work is drying up or some other reason that would be a cause for concern.

hurldes
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby hurldes » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:08 pm

I think you'd be okay reaching out to him.

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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:31 pm

Speaking as a V50 senior associate: a chief reason people change firms as seniors is that they've been told they won't make partner. No one changes firms as a senior associate because they want to move higher up the Vault rankings. First, most people do not care about the Vault rankings once they are a few years removed from law school. Second, whether or not you care about Vault: as a senior associate, you're focused on your pristine reputation at work, great relationships with key partners, and client relationships built through the firm (unless you are the extremely rare senior with a significant book of external business that moves with you). Jumping ship tanks all the work you've done to build up the aforementioned. You have to start from scratch somewhere else - and compete against their homegrown associates who have years of credibility built up.

Given that this associate moved immediately after bonus/evaluation season, it suggests he received some news he did not like. While it's possible that he moved because work dried up at a firmwide level (rather than for him individually), usually there would be clearer indicia of this -- like partners with significant books moving, which gets covered in the legal press. So I'd be cautious about asking him why he moved.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:38 pm

yeah i agree this is a pretty nosey question to ask. youll be able to ask others around the firm once you start that are your peers 2nd and 3rd years what happened.

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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:30 am

Thanks for the insight. Makes sense that it happened right after bonus/evaluation season. The associate at issue is at that point where it becomes clear if partner material or not--guessing the news was "not".

No other evidence points to any trouble in the practice group I am interested in so I won't pursue this any further.

smallfirmassociate
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby smallfirmassociate » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:58 pm

Of course, there's nothing wrong with a note along the lines of hey, I enjoyed working with you and plan to head to that firm, anything i should know?

You'll get no response, or the "hey, congrats, it's a good firm" response, or the "Well, there are a few things. First..." response.

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rpupkin
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby rpupkin » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:09 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:Of course, there's nothing wrong with a note along the lines of hey, I enjoyed working with you and plan to head to that firm, anything i should know?

You'll get no response, or the "hey, congrats, it's a good firm" response, or the "Well, there are a few things. First..." response.

Agree with this. I don't think it's insensitive to ask, and there's an actual chance that you'll learn something relevant about your firm.

ETA: Also, it never hurts to stay in contact with those at other firms. Connections matter.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:16 pm

connections do matter but if you send an email like the above, i'd tread carefully. i'd more just send something that said you enjoyed working with them and are sad you won't be able to work with them in the future. and then ask for any tips/anythin you should know. How you fram the anything you should know will dictate the tone of the email and whether you build a connection or burno ne.

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rpupkin
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby rpupkin » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:21 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:connections do matter but if you send an email like the above, i'd tread carefully. i'd more just send something that said you enjoyed working with them and are sad you won't be able to work with them in the future.

Frankly, this seems more weird than straight-up asking if there's anything one should know about the firm. I just disagree with you that the question is nosy or invasive. If the guy doesn't want to talk shit about his ex-firm, then he won't. Not a big deal.

mr.hands
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby mr.hands » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:40 pm

This is awkward/weird. Don't do this. If he's got buddies still at the firm and this gets back to them, it could really hurt.

You also aren't in a good position to be asking this. Get an offer and do 3L OCI if you don't like the firm.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Reaching out to attorney who left SA firm

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:49 pm

Unless you have a personal rapport to the extent that it wouldn't be weird to get a beer, forget this guy exists.




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