Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

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Anonymous User
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Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2015 10:32 am

Hi all:

Here's a little background: I'm a 2012 Tier 1 Grad with an average GPA and solid experience. I've been working as a Staff Attorney at bigger law firm for about 2 months (after slaving away in doc review for 2 years), and so far, I don't really like it: hours, people. culture etc. I feel like the associates and partners could be decent, but my immediate group isn't too great - plus there's a fair amount of travel and we seem to be leveraged like associates. Does anyone have any advice as to what I should do? Should I just stick it out? When's a good time to try to reach within the firm and get some different work?

Thanks

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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2015 11:41 am

In short, if I wanted to leave, about how long should I stay? 6 months? Over a year? Also, we've just been doing doc review on the matter I'm on, and it keeps like it'll be more of the same- will that be enough to parlay into some sort of different position? Or should I find a way to get more substantive work?

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Fri May 01, 2015 12:10 pm

Sounds like you should do both - look around for positions that you think will be more enjoyable/rewarding. Don't leave where you currently are until you have something lined up. At the same time, see if you can eventually work your way into some practice group or area that has more substantive work to offer. This shouldn't be in the form of a big proclamation where you say you are done with doc review and want someone to give you more substantive work, but a gradual thing that you work on over the coming weeks/months.

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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2015 12:31 pm

I figured it would be something like that. it's probably a case by case thing for most corporations, so, at the risk of sounding foolish - what chances would a staff attorney have to eventually go in-house somewhere? Would it be more skill dependent, relationship dependent, or name dependent? I'm under the impression that corporation mainly like to pluck senior associate types (who aren't/don't want to become partners) into their in-house ranks. or should I focus on building up some more substantive experience and developing some stronger networks before putting myself out there?

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zot1
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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby zot1 » Fri May 01, 2015 12:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I figured it would be something like that. it's probably a case by case thing for most corporations, so, at the risk of sounding foolish - what chances would a staff attorney have to eventually go in-house somewhere? Would it be more skill dependent, relationship dependent, or name dependent? I'm under the impression that corporation mainly like to pluck senior associate types (who aren't/don't want to become partners) into their in-house ranks. or should I focus on building up some more substantive experience and developing some stronger networks before putting myself out there?


I've seen people go in-house at the very least with three years of experience. From what I've been told from BigLaw-->In-House types, they got their jobs because one of their corp clients liked them, had an opening, and invited them over. But I also know a few people who just applied to open positions and transitioned that way.

That said, I don't see why it would hurt for you to apply to openings that you qualify for if that's a path you're interested in.

krads153
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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby krads153 » Fri May 01, 2015 1:25 pm

It sounds like OP is a staff attorney for litigation, so in house is very unlikely. I'd try to find another position that involves more substantive work and also transactional work. These days a lot of positions look for 5 years transactional experience (substantive work) to go in house. Also a lot of in house jobs are the same or worse than firms in terms of QOL....just fyi.

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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2015 3:41 pm

So the best course of action right now would probably be just to stand pat for a bit right? RE the in-house jobs- I agree that transactional work is probably more conducive to landing a job in-house, I guess I'm kind of hoping that with all this E-discovery innovation recently, that larger corps will start bring more people inhouse (with other legal skills of course), to help facilitate litigation- wishful thinking? maybe...

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zot1
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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby zot1 » Fri May 01, 2015 4:04 pm

krads153 wrote:It sounds like OP is a staff attorney for litigation, so in house is very unlikely. I'd try to find another position that involves more substantive work and also transactional work. These days a lot of positions look for 5 years transactional experience (substantive work) to go in house. Also a lot of in house jobs are the same or worse than firms in terms of QOL....just fyi.


I mean, sure transactional experience is important for in-house, but so is litigation, although the jobs there are less common. But if OP plays cards right or finds a good vacancy, he might be able to do it.

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Re: Don't like big-law staff attorney job, advice

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 01, 2015 5:02 pm

Do you think it's all about cultivating good contacts out of a client matter, or is it more of a function of good old fashioned networking, legwork, etc?




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