Biglaw to Boutique

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Anonymous User
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Biglaw to Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:49 pm

I'm 1.5 years into biglaw. Wanted a specific niche area (lets call it group X), but got placed into general commercial lit instead, which is not what i wanted. I don't really enjoy the substance and don't want to keep doing this much longer. Been looking into opportunities to join group X at other firms. Shooting mostly for biglaw firms since it would be easiest transition. But I got second round lateral interview with a small, 20 person group X boutique with great list of clients. Firm has about 15 partners and 5 associates. Not exactly what I envisioned when beginning his lateral search.

I'm sort of hesitant and wary since I never really considered a move to a small boutique style firm this early. Especially not for my very first experience in group X. Would it be a bad idea to move into this kind of environment this early? I'm just worried that I may not get an opportunity to break into group X at a big firm, and this may end up being my only shot to open that door.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm 1.5 years into biglaw. Wanted a specific niche area (lets call it group X), but got placed into general commercial lit instead, which is not what i wanted. I don't really enjoy the substance and don't want to keep doing this much longer. Been looking into opportunities to join group X at other firms. Shooting mostly for biglaw firms since it would be easiest transition. But I got second round lateral interview with a small, 20 person group X boutique with great list of clients. Firm has about 15 partners and 5 associates. Not exactly what I envisioned when beginning his lateral search.

I'm sort of hesitant and wary since I never really considered a move to a small boutique style firm this early. Especially not for my very first experience in group X. Would it be a bad idea to move into this kind of environment this early? I'm just worried that I may not get an opportunity to break into group X at a big firm, and this may end up being my only shot to open that door.


Usually its better experience and near equal pay. I don't see any reason not to.

B0bL0blaw
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby B0bL0blaw » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:18 pm

You should go to the boutique. There are clearly a lot of pros: you get to practice in your desired niche, the firm has a great group of clients and only practices in your desired niche, etc.

What, exactly, is your hesitation based on? All you say is you are hesitant because you never considered it before. Okay, well now that you're considering it, what are the perceived cons?

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baal hadad
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby baal hadad » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:46 pm

Does the boutique do X?

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:52 pm

OP here. I think I was just doubting myself and my ability to succeed when thrown into the fire with much more responsibility (constantly just doing discovery grunt work makes me question whether I would even be able to hack it were I to be given some actual lawyer work to do, which is something I've barely touched in my current biglaw firm).

In the end, I think the pros completely outweigh the cons. All the firm does is group X work, the people seem very nice, its a well-regarded small firm with good reputation in my area, especially in certain industries. I think the number one focus needs to just be getting into group X work, so I can't be choosy if an opportunity arises. Now, biggest hurdle is actually getting the job offer :)

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baal hadad
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby baal hadad » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I think I was just doubting myself and my ability to succeed when thrown into the fire with much more responsibility (constantly just doing discovery grunt work makes me question whether I would even be able to hack it were I to be given some actual lawyer work to do, which is something I've barely touched in my current biglaw firm).

In the end, I think the pros completely outweigh the cons. All the firm does is group X work, the people seem very nice, its a well-regarded small firm with good reputation in my area, especially in certain industries. I think the number one focus needs to just be getting into group X work, so I can't be choosy if an opportunity arises. Now, biggest hurdle is actually getting the job offer :)

Sounds good bro

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twenty 8
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby twenty 8 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:19 pm

The lawyers I know working at prestigious boutiques love it, without exception. They are engaged in stimulating projects. OTOH, those I know at bigger firms are not so happy — not that the hours are bad as often depicted but rather that their work is uninteresting (doc review, motions, etc.). True they earn more money, guessing around $20k — that’s the short term tradeoff.

Reach out to acquaintances working at successful boutiques, that should seal the deal.

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rpupkin
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:23 pm

twenty 8 wrote:The lawyers I know working at prestigious boutiques love it, without exception.

Here's an exception:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=234714

I've worked in the biglaw environment and the boutique environment. On balance, I like the boutique more, but there are trade-offs. I think the poster in the above link does a pretty good job of summarizing some of the downsides.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:24 pm

twenty 8 wrote:The lawyers I know working at prestigious boutiques love it, without exception. They are engaged in stimulating projects. OTOH, those I know at bigger firms are not so happy — not that the hours are bad as often depicted but rather that their work is uninteresting (doc review, motions, etc.). True they earn more money, guessing around $20k — that’s the short term tradeoff.

Reach out to acquaintances working at successful boutiques, that should seal the deal.


I really think it would invigorate me. I went into law specifically to practice in group X, and I made that abundantly clear to my current firm, and pursued every avenue possible for getting into that group at my biglaw firm. But they simply will not accommodate me on this, despite never giving me a shot. Its not that I hate general commercial lit. its just that the substance is so far from what interests me, so I feel like I'm being set on a path I have zero interest in staying on.

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kalvano
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby kalvano » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:45 pm

I went from a regional large firm to a small boutique. I wasn't at the large firm for very long but I do not regret my decision for one second. It's a much better environment and much more responsibility, which is both awesome and terrifying.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw to Boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:40 pm

^^^

Yeah, I'm a bit scared by the extra responsibility, but the people at the firm said its always supportive and that theres absolutely guidance and mentorship to the extent you have never done X or Y before. Also sounds like theres a bit more balance, and less of a "grind it to the bone" mentality, which would do wonders for my mindset after far too many 230 hour months working on substance that I can't stand.




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