Switching practice groups in biglaw

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Anonymous User
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Switching practice groups in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:56 am

Does anyone have any insight on this? 3L here with offer to join a biglaw firm in silicon valley, but not sure I'm keen on the group I'll be in and may want to switch later.

Anonymous User
Posts: 327365
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Switching practice groups in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:32 am

Your ability to switch groups is probably firm dependent. I switched in my firm, where it's uncommon but not unheard of. Here are my suggestions:

- go into your group with the mindset that you'll stay. You need to represent that you're all in. Do good work. Make good connections. You don't want to burn a bridge bc you assume you'll switch. Plus, you might end up liking it.

- if you later learn that your desired group is hiring/slammed, reach out to a partner you trust and ask about transferring. This is the best time to do so. Befriend people in your desired group so you have people who like you as well as inside scoop on work flow.

- if you ultimately switch, don't burn bridges on your way out. Finish up your work and do it well. I still get work from my former practice group and I really don't have to worry about being slow. Plus, I made and kept friends in my previous group.

Typed from my iPhone so sorry for typos.

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

Re: Switching practice groups in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:25 am

Very firm dependent. I think its lot easier at a bigger office of a "free market" firm. I switched between various corporate groups a few times (started in bankruptcy, hated it, moved on to funds, then did M&A with some cap markets on the side, now back in funds). I've never worked at a firm that isn't free market / any of the firms that do formal rotations, so when i "switched" groups, there wasn't really anything formal, I just started politely saying no to new deals with the groups i wanted to leave, and sought more work from the other groups. That said, this only really works for your first couple of years where you're an "unassigned" junior.

Never really dabbled in lit, but I know someone at my old firm who started in corporate for a year, then did lit for a year, then moved to a new firm on the west coast and does corp again.

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

Re: Switching practice groups in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:13 pm

At my firms it is very common for juniors to float around between groups based on need as long as they were within the same broad category of litigation / corporate. In other words, it was much easier to switch between, say, white collar lit and IP lit than white collar lit and M&A transactions. The latter I've only seen happen very rarely.



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