Possible Secondment?

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lalala123
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Possible Secondment?

Postby lalala123 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:08 am

I am currently a first year associate at a V50 firm. I have the opportunity to do a 4 month secondment stint with a client in another city. I'm wondering if this is a good idea. I feel like it's similar to going abroad your first year of college - will it be difficult to obtain work once I come back since I'm "out of sight out of mind?" Wondering people's thoughts on this.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:25 am

It's tough to evaluate without knowing more details. For example, if this is a major client of your firm, the relationships built over those 4 months could lead to a higher status & better job security at your firm. Based on the scant information shared in your post, it appears that your firm trusts you to represent them well with their client.

However, if it's not a highly profitable client, but one that needs onsite representation, then your concerns may be warranted.

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JenDarby
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby JenDarby » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:27 am

My company recently had an attorney on secondment. I think he probably enjoyed the experience from a "travel abroad and see what its like in-house perspective", but it was honestly really difficult to assign him work because he wasn't going to be here that long and there's always a learning curve when you go somewhere new. He was only part time, so he was still doing work for his firm which I imagine kept him connected. I never got a chance to ask him how he felt about the whole thing, but he seemed pretty bored most the time. OTOH it was probably a nice escape from biglaw.

The company really liked his work though, so we will probably use his firm a bit more. This probably does (as CW suggested) reflect well on him at the firm.

Do you know how this affects your billing requirements? I really have no knowledge of the logistics of secondment.

lalala123
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby lalala123 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:47 am

It's a relatively new client and the hope would be that I would be their souce of contact for future matters. For billing I think the hours I spend there (40 hours a week, 4 days a week) automatically transfer to billables. I would also have the opportunity to continue working for firm during afterhours and on that 5th day. It's in a field that I'm not completely crazy about staying in the rest of my life so also do not want to come back and be pigeonholed into this practice group (although if it gets me to hit my hours for the time being that's all I can really ask for.) Like I said though, my main concern is missing out on building relationships in current office to help facilitate a steady work flow.

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unlicensedpotato
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:17 pm

Is this a common thing?

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JenDarby
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby JenDarby » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:27 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:Is this a common thing?

We've had people on secondment from big law firms quite a few times, generally filling in for someone taking a leave of absence or on maternity leave.

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unlicensedpotato
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:52 pm

Thanks, that sounds interesting. I just wasn't aware this was ever offered.

Anonymous User
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:03 pm

FYI at the V10 firm I summered at, attorneys told me this is not a good thing to do. They made it sound like it was a bad sign if you were asked to do a secondment. I have no idea if that is true across firms, though. It seemed a bit counterintuitive to me because I feel like if you were a shitty lawyer, they wouldn't want you in house at a client's office

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NinerFan
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Re: Possible Secondment?

Postby NinerFan » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FYI at the V10 firm I summered at, attorneys told me this is not a good thing to do. They made it sound like it was a bad sign if you were asked to do a secondment. I have no idea if that is true across firms, though. It seemed a bit counterintuitive to me because I feel like if you were a shitty lawyer, they wouldn't want you in house at a client's office


Depends. I've heard the more senior people in my firm dismiss secondments, but the people who do them love them. If you're there full-time, I think generally you can't do other work for the firm so depending on the culture of wherever you're seconded, it could be very cushy.

You will lose out on some development time, so depending how important that is to you and what your future goals are, it might not be a positive thing. If your eventual goal is to go in-house, a successful secondment stint is not a bad thing to have on your resume. If the place you're being seconded to has a good-sized legal department, you could also make a lot of connections. I know someone who was seconded to a client, had never done work for the client before, and now that they're back that client requests them specifically for a lot of work. Never a bad thing to be in demand from a big client.




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