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Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 8:57 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm a 1L who is evaluating options for OCI, and I've been wondering about the consequences of starting off as a transactional junior associate in a secondary market (think Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Charlotte, Cleveland, etc.). Assuming it's the market that you want to eventually wind up in, is there any reason not to just start there? Assume that winding up in-house or making partner (lol) are the eventual goals.

I've spoken with a number of partners about this, and they generally seem to feel that when the economy is humming there is no disadvantage to being in a secondary market as there's plenty of work to go around and the training is more comparable to a bigger market. However, in the recession a lot of the corporate work really dried up in smaller markets (it dried up everywhere, but the people I've spoken to indicated that smaller markets were generally hit harder in this area), and as a result the professional development of those associates was stunted a bit.

There are other things I could go into as well, but rather than spew what I've heard I would love to hear what TLS has to say about this. Thanks!

Re: Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:19 pm
by CanadianWolf
I think that you have to be more market specific as secondary markets differ greatly. (Nevertheless, I wouldn't think it would be good to be caught in an economic downturn in Cleveland.)

Re: Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:46 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here. Let's use Minneapolis/Denver/Seattle or similar as examples then. I don't want to get too narrow or market specific because I imagine the number of people with advice in this area is pretty small on TLS.

Re: Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 10:54 pm
by Lacepiece23
This is purely anecdotal. I am going to a secondary market this fall for lit. To me, it seems that secondary markets tend to be a little slower concerning trans work. The first years over my summer seemed to be stressed because they often did not have a steady stream of work. Thus, there hours were often similar to NYC because they still had to be there--in the office--but a lot of times they were struggling to find billable work.

As far as exit options NYC seems to be superior. But I haven't talked to enough secondary associates to really know. Partnership chances are probably better. And as you get more senior the hours seem to be better, at least at my firm.

Litigation in secondary markets seems a lot better IMO. But again, I am not an attorney yet so if someone else has better insight defer to their wisdom.

Re: Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sat May 30, 2015 9:33 am
by Anonymous User
I am a junior transactional associate in a secondary market similar to the cities listed. You will be expected to be much more of a generalist in comparison to major markets (do capital market, m&a, general governance) without a lot of specialization early on. A large part of the practice is the firm acting as a general counsel to $50-200 million market cap companies that do not have a general counsel (the corporate partner is the secretary of the board etc.) and you act as the gateway for all their issues (employment etc.). It is very common for corporate associates to be "loaned" a day or two every other week to clients in this capacity (I am actually not sure how common this is in larger cities).

Corporate groups in secondary markets are usually very small which is both good and bad. You get pretty much unlimited client contact because the teams are so small. At the same time the firms usually so thinly staffed that if there happens to have one more deal than usual going on it can make an associates life very hectic.

In my experience, and this is firm and city specific, there is not some large lack of corporate work in secondary cities. Will you be closing billion dollar deals every month, likely not. Is there still a lot of substantive corporate work to be done, yes.

Re: Transactional in Secondary Markets

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 1:40 pm
by Anonymous User
This is really informative, thanks. Do you think the generalist aspect is a pro or con as you become more senior? I could see it being very beneficial with regard to moving in house.