How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2015 10:48 pm

CCNMVP grad in commercial litigation. One year out. Pay is ~ 115k. Work for best firm in flyover country. Firm has approx 120 lawyers. Lots of substantive experience, including arguing a dispositive motion, etc. I had median grades while in law school. I'm open to most legal work, but prefer commercial lit.

I want to be in a large city. How difficult would it be to transfer to DC? DC is appealing because of friends/lack of bar exam. Outside of that, I have connections to basically every large legal market in the US, including living in a couple. How difficult would it be to transfer those? I am worried that, because I don't work for a V100, I might get passed over.

Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 30, 2015 7:40 pm

I don't think it should be too hard.

First, do you have any connections with firms there? Are there any firms there for whom you've acted as local counsel or who you've worked with on a case? I lateraled to a DC firm from a similar boat (best/biggest firm in a tertiary market making less than you are), but I already knew the firm I was going to because we represented codefendants in a case.

Even apart from connections, I had a friend who went to Columbia and got mediocre grades and started at my tertiary market firm and then lateraled to a V10 in DC after a couple years. So I'd just apply broadly and hope for the best.

User avatar
LA Spring
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:52 pm

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby LA Spring » Sun May 31, 2015 12:26 am

Last year a friend from a top ten school working at a fair sized boutique tried to lateral into a bigger firm in DC — she couldn’t make it happen. She was just starting her second year and was in a decent sized market (think Atlanta size). I also know someone else whose firm downsized and it took her over four months to find new employment. Just sayin’, sometimes it’s tougher than it looks.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 5:37 am

I'm a 2013 grad trying to do this (biggest best firm in a secondary market but not Vault) and it's going terribly. DC is a nonstarter but I have been trying in a couple other markets, and still.

User avatar
Capitol_Idea
Posts: 10720
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun May 31, 2015 6:24 am

For a decent number of BigLaw firms, their DC office is a coveted satellite: meaning it's small and they already have people in their own firm vying to get down there. I imagine that would make lateraling into a firm's DC office pretty tough. On top of that, those firms with a primary or substantial DC presence (Williams & Connolly, WilmerHale, Hogan, etc.) are crazy hard to get into in the first place.

If you are dead set on DC and not having any luck, one suggestion might be to find a firm elsewhere with a practice area that has significant ties to DC for a future potential transfer. For example, pharma work might have you somewhere like Philly or Boston but have a DC regulatory component - if you work with the right people and make the shift over time, perhaps you can end up down there?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 1:10 pm

zacharus85 wrote:For a decent number of BigLaw firms, their DC office is a coveted satellite: meaning it's small and they already have people in their own firm vying to get down there. I imagine that would make lateraling into a firm's DC office pretty tough. On top of that, those firms with a primary or substantial DC presence (Williams & Connolly, WilmerHale, Hogan, etc.) are crazy hard to get into in the first place.

If you are dead set on DC and not having any luck, one suggestion might be to find a firm elsewhere with a practice area that has significant ties to DC for a future potential transfer. For example, pharma work might have you somewhere like Philly or Boston but have a DC regulatory component - if you work with the right people and make the shift over time, perhaps you can end up down there?


Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2013 grad trying to do this (biggest best firm in a secondary market but not Vault) and it's going terribly. DC is a nonstarter but I have been trying in a couple other markets, and still.
.

OP Here. Ok. If not DC, could it really be that difficult to lateral to another city? For example, I have lived in both NYC and Philly, both of which seem less competitive or "coveted" than DC. I further have strong ties to SF, etc. Would it be that difficult to transfer to these cities?

The way I see, I'm considerably more marketable than I was in law school. Now I'm a median T10 grad with one year of substantial work experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 2:01 pm

I am in a similar boat, OP. I am have been going on call backs over the past two weeks in NYC, DC, and SF with V100 firms. 2nd yr. T20. Hoping this week I will be able to snag an offer. While I have had success in landing the screening interviews and call backs, it has been a lot of work. I have received plenty of No's. But all you need is one Yes. Good luck!

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14440
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Sun May 31, 2015 2:12 pm

fobstory.jpeg
Last edited by Desert Fox on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 4:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Commerical lit is not good right now


Can you elaborate? We seem plenty busy over here but some of our practice is admittedly specialized.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am in a similar boat, OP. I am have been going on call backs over the past two weeks in NYC, DC, and SF with V100 firms. 2nd yr. T20. Hoping this week I will be able to snag an offer. While I have had success in landing the screening interviews and call backs, it has been a lot of work. I have received plenty of No's. But all you need is one Yes. Good luck!


Op here. Thanks for the encouragement!

In light of DF's comment, can you say if you're transactional or lit?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am in a similar boat, OP. I am have been going on call backs over the past two weeks in NYC, DC, and SF with V100 firms. 2nd yr. T20. Hoping this week I will be able to snag an offer. While I have had success in landing the screening interviews and call backs, it has been a lot of work. I have received plenty of No's. But all you need is one Yes. Good luck!


Op here. Thanks for the encouragement!

In light of DF's comment, can you say if you're transactional or lit?


Lit. But for IP, not commercial lit.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14440
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Sun May 31, 2015 7:34 pm

fobstory.jpeg
Last edited by Desert Fox on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 31, 2015 7:38 pm

Whats the pulse on construction/real estate lit? Thats where my SA is in

User avatar
los blancos
Posts: 7119
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby los blancos » Sun May 31, 2015 9:33 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I'm far from an expert but it seems like "general litigation" is dying, especially in DC. You have to specialize. Individual litigation areas are hot--like FCPA--but generalists are rare now.


No one's really specialized at year 1 or 2, tho, right? Like I'm definitely also seeing that it's really difficult to make a living/make partner as a general commercial litigator even at regional firms, but does this really affect a junior associate's lateral prospects?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:31 pm

los blancos wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I'm far from an expert but it seems like "general litigation" is dying, especially in DC. You have to specialize. Individual litigation areas are hot--like FCPA--but generalists are rare now.


No one's really specialized at year 1 or 2, tho, right? Like I'm definitely also seeing that it's really difficult to make a living/make partner as a general commercial litigator even at regional firms, but does this really affect a junior associate's lateral prospects?


Op here. Yes, this. I don't think I'd be harmed in any way for not yet specializing.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14440
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:38 pm

fobstory.jpeg
Last edited by Desert Fox on Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273475
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How difficult is it to lateral to DC, or other large markets?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:47 pm

DC was a difficult market to crack coming out of a federal district court clerkship with strong law school credentials - I imagine it would be even more difficult for someone looking to lateral after one year in big / mid law.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.