Contingent Lateral Offer

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Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:47 pm

I have just completed the second round of interviews to lateral to a AmLaw Top 100 firm, and they have requested professional references and specificed that they do not have to be from my current employer. I have read, however, that firms often will make contingent offers, and will require references from the current employer as a condition of the offer remaining. From others' experiences, how common is this with big firms?

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:34 pm

I haven't heard of this happening. When I lateraled, no references were requested or required. I didn't tell my current law firm that I was leaving until I accepted the offer at the new firm and cleared conflicts at the new firm. As far as I can tell, that's the norm in case there's a conflicts issue (which there is usually not).

I would be wary of using references at your current firm, particularly if you don't have an offer at the new firm yet. If you don't get the new job (or decide you don't want it), people at your current firm will likely see you as a flight risk and will probably stop investing in you and/or giving you work. And even if you use references that you trust at the current firm, lawyers are gossipy and word tends to spread quickly of these types of things.

Do you have non-firm references you can use?

shock259

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby shock259 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:34 pm

Oops. Accidental anon. Sorry.

eastcoast_iub

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby eastcoast_iub » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:43 pm

I lateralled to a V10 firm and they asked for references from my previous firm. Recruiter said this was standard. I was kind of worried but she said that in 20 years of being a recruiter she had never heard of a prior firm giving a bad reference, even when the person lateralling was being pushed out.

I requested the references after my conflicts cleared. I definitely understand your anxiety, but I wouldn't be too worried about this.

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:48 pm

Thanks for the responses. I have given the firm references from outside my current firm. I'm more concerned about the next step if an offer were to be made. I've heard mixed experiences - some people have received offers contingent on references others have not. A contact at the firm I am expecting to hear from said he was not asked for references until after an offer was on the table and the firm specifically requested partners from the place he was leaving. My experience has been the opposite, with non-current-employer references being asked for before an offer is made, so I'm not really sure what to expect next.

Out of curiosity, once an offer is on the table, what are they generally looking for from the previous firm?

shock259

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby shock259 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:09 pm

Like the poster above said, I think it would be very atypical to receive a bad reference. This assumes you didn't do something wholly unethical (lie/cheat/steal/light the building on fire/etc.). Like I said before, I think it's a bit kooky that they make you give references before you even get an offer at the new firm, but I guess that ship has already sailed so no reason to ponder that.

Oh, and you should probably personally let your references know that you volunteered them for this, if you have not already done so.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:13 pm

Yeah kind of curious why you're so concerned about the new firm eventually speaking to someone from your old firm. Do they hate you? If so, details are appreciated.

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:21 pm

I'm not concerned about what my firm will say, I'm just concerned about letting people know an offer is on the table before it has been accepted/notice has been given.

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:57 am

Recently had a lateral offer (from V-10 firm in NYC) and was told that after clearing conflicts they would need to contact two partners from my current firm. This seems to support OP's concerns, but it is only one example. FWIW - I turned down the offer based on this alone - seemed to open the possibility of being left out in the cold. You'd expect they would be professional about it on BOTH SIDES (current and potential future firm), but it seemed like an unnecessary risk to me since I didn't have that great a need to leave. If I really wanted out the door I probably wouldn't have thought too much about it.

What the f.supp?

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby What the f.supp? » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:20 am

Yeah, the current firm partner reference process seems brutal. Leaves the lateraling associate completely in limbo -- you're outed to your current firm while hoping that the current partners provide a candid, positive response despite being bitter about you leaving to a competitor and causing delays with their current projects/matters. I sort of get it from the hiring firm's perspective though. They are investing a ton of time/money into hiring a lateral associate and they don't want to hire someone who was problematic. Wish there was a more discreet way to get that information though.

cdelgado

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby cdelgado » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:29 am

This seems a little unusual in that it is pre-offer. What market, if you don't mind?

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Re: Contingent Lateral Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:48 am

I suppose it's contemporaneous with the offer, as opposed to pre-offer. Market is NY.



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