Anonymous User wrote:Leveraged finance or high yield debt work, aka at a place like Cahill where you're super specialized.
Your exit options will very likely be in the financial services industry. Probably to the same clients that you are servicing. It's a pretty narrow scope. If you're passionate about the work, go for it. If you are agnostic and you aren't sure if you want to solely work in financial services, I would recommend choosing a practice group that is broader. Personally, I think that you are crazy to join a group like that if you don't have prior work experience in this area to confirm that you will like it and that you want to work in financial services.
Sure, it's great going to a firm/practice group that is highly regard, but that prestige and sophistication of work likely means nothing outside of that practice area. If I am trying to hire a corporate lawyer to our in-house team and am deciding between a corporate lawyer that worked at a small to mid-size regional firm doing general corporate, equity financings and M&A, and a lawyer that worked at super prestigious firm in leveraged finance or high yield debt, the person at the small to mid-size regional firm will get the job. The leveraged finance person might have done better in school and might even be smarter, but their work experience is not on point - unless I am desperate, I won't want to take a leap of faith that they can quickly learn the relevant skills on the job.
All to often people ignore the practicalities of their group. Prestige does not mean unlimited exit options. Exit options are very closely tied to your practice group. People jump practices (I've known litigators that went in-house and did corporate), but it is rare. Look at job postings for in-house jobs right now, try talking to alumni in that practice area and maybe even talk to recruiters about the career trajectory for that practice area.
Don't join a practice group solely because your firm made you an offer and its the most highly regarded practice group at the firm. You will likely leave that firm and you need to think through whether you can lateral to another firm, join an in-house team or get a government job with that background. Don't be the 12th year associate that hates his job but can't leave because he has no other opportunities.