Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

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Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:25 pm

I am at a large insurance defense factory and as you probably read on these fora, it is incredibly shitty. All the partners here are TTT and have shit personalities. Lots of screamers here.

How hard is it to lateral out? I was pretty much a dumbass naive recent grad who took the position based on the perception that my boss would be super cool and mentor me. Turned out to be the exact opposite. Is this a giant red flag having this on my reusme
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby trebekismyhero » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:31 pm

Leaving really soon will be a red flag, but if it is miserable you should look to move ASAP. As far as big law, your grades/school and work experience will matter. Since you didn't get big law right out of law school I am guessing it will be really difficult to do so now especially without any work experience in an area that big law needs.

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North

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby North » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:40 pm

Sorry dude but ID to BigLaw (unless you have extensive trial experience and even then) would be a pretty miraculous jump.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:59 am

Basically impossible unless you have great grades from a top school and just made a really bad decision to do ID rather than having no other options.

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nealric

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby nealric » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:58 am

North wrote:Sorry dude but ID to BigLaw (unless you have extensive trial experience and even then) would be a pretty miraculous jump.


Agreed. There are ways out, but Biglaw is probably not one of them.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby deadpanic » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:59 am

nealric wrote:
North wrote:Sorry dude but ID to BigLaw (unless you have extensive trial experience and even then) would be a pretty miraculous jump.


Agreed. There are ways out, but Biglaw is probably not one of them.


I agree with what everyone else has said. ID practice is a dime a dozen. Some larger firms that exclusively do ID are good at marketing themselves at prestigious, but really, there are even a ton of solo practitioners who basically only do ID.

Not a knock on ID as I think it is great litigation experience, but BigLaw is most certainly out without the educational requirements or some ridiculous connection. I would say try to look at other firms with a more diverse litigation practice. Oh, and see also if your city/county/municipality has any openings. I know a guy who basically defends the city utility company from PI suits, so it is like insurance defense, but since you're in government, much more laid back, no billable hours, etc.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:08 pm

Super anecdotal, but I knew someone who, after about 2.5 years, lateralled from ID to a much more well-respected regional firm. The ID shop gave her some solid experience doing depos and running her own cases, so having that experience was a big help.

Nonetheless, I agree with those on here who say that true big-law, which cares a ton about pedigree and little about associate's "practical" abilities, will probably be incredibly difficult.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am at a insurance defense large firm and as you probably read on these fora, it is incredibly shitty. All the partners here are TTT and have shit personalities. Lots of screamers here.

How hard is it to lateral out? I was pretty much a dumbass naive recent grad who took the position based on the perception that my boss would be super cool and mentor me. Turned out to be the exact opposite. Is this a giant red flag having this on my reusme


I actually went from biglaw to a big ID firm (it was a sudden city switch and unavoidable because I couldn't wait for positions at better firms to open) and am now leaving my stint in ID for a more prestigious firm. My prior resume (T14, former biglaw) is saving me, but I will say that I got a lot of rapid substantive experience at my ID firm. The training is shitty and it's fly by the seat of your pants, but I was able to write a lot independently, take depos, etc. People were shocked at how little I had actually done (substantively) at my prior biglaw firm. Emphasize that experience you're getting not doc reviewing (the substantive experience drafting, independently leading matters, etc.), and network -- go to your law school alumni events, local bar association things. Don't blindly submit a single resume if you can avoid it -- try to get connected to someone there and transmit your resume through them. You'll get out of there but it's going to take some work and dedication.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:55 am

OP here. 3.2 GPA (median) from a T20-T30 range school. Strong softs but the truth is my GPA is only a median.

It's gotten really bad and I am honestly considering quitting before finding another job. You can only take rudeness, daily personal belittling, and anxiety-filled last minute rush motions with zero supervision for so long. There is literally no mentorship. My mentors are my sample motions in the e-storage.

Stick it out for a year or just quit now (only 4 months in) and start applying full time? The former is possible but I would be sacrificing a lot of my emotional health and it's assuming I don't get fired for lack of motivation.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:25 am

I wouldn't quit without a job lined up. Could be months before you find another job. Better to sit tight, do the bare minimum, and receive a steady paycheck. Plus, you won't have any gaps on your resume.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:47 pm

I'm in the same boat as you OP. Came into my current firm with better pay from my previous gig and was promised all sorts of good experience, mentorship etc - it all turned out to be a dud...this place blows and I'm pissed at myself for wasting the last 11 months here. There were times like 4 months in when I really did want to quit in but I stuck it out thinking that things would change and sure enough it never did. I'm now aggressively looking for other jobs while flying under the radar here, collecting that paycheck and doing bare minimum. Hang in there..

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm in the same boat as you OP. Came into my current firm with better pay from my previous gig and was promised all sorts of good experience, mentorship etc - it all turned out to be a dud...this place blows and I'm pissed at myself for wasting the last 11 months here. There were times like 4 months in when I really did want to quit in but I stuck it out thinking that things would change and sure enough it never did. I'm now aggressively looking for other jobs while flying under the radar here, collecting that paycheck and doing bare minimum. Hang in there..


I feel ur sorrow. I wouldnt be surprised if we were in the same factory. How is ur job search so far and have you gotten any looks from other firms?

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:59 pm

I may be wrong, but I would think the silver lining working for ID would be that you are exposed to a lot of different types of law (e.g., real estate, reinsurance, construction, professional liability, securities, etc.). Lots of people in your market have probably seen your name come across their desks so you can use that to help you.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:43 am

Not op but I have a similar question. What about laterally to biglaw from a small construction firm (that handles large commercial cases in state and federal court)?

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby North » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not op but I have a similar question. What about laterally to biglaw from a small construction firm (that handles large commercial cases in state and federal court)?

This totally depends on your actual experience and there's not really any other answer. ID is notoriously terrible experience, which makes for a pretty clear "probably not" in OP's case. For you it's just tea leaf reading. Sure it's possible that a BigLaw lit group might hire someone from a firm like yours but there's definitely not an existing hiring pipeline, so it's all down to what skills they need and what skills you've built (assuming you're not carrying any kind of book of business yet, which you probably aren't).

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby JCougar » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:38 am

I've seen one person do it. But I've seen dozens effectively end their career by doing ID. When I was doing doc review gigs, like 75% of the people were formerly ID.

I think doc review is a lot better than ID, really. The project-based pay sucks, but there's basically no stress or pressure, as you can do doc review with your brain like 90% asleep. The supervisors basically sleep at their desks, too, so you can fuck around most of the time.

It doesn't matter much that ID might actually teach you lawyer skills (you probably get better substantive experience with ID than with Biglaw). Actual skills and abilities are not valued by law firms. The only thing that matters to them is empty prestige, and ID provides none of that. That's why people from the bottom of the class at Harvard have a much easier time finding high-paying work than someone median at, oh, let's say a T25 with 3-4 years of litigation experience. The latter is going to give you a better work product about 100% of the time. But no one will actually employ them.

Anyway, a good work product is hardly the goal of defense firms. They bill by the hour, so they actually lose money if they achieve results effectively. Much better for them to hire high-priced idiots than someone who can actually do the job.

I'm honestly starting to think doc review with a bartending job on the weekend is probably better than like 90% of law jobs out there. Including Biglaw. If you work 40 hours a week at doc review and bartend 1-2 nights per week, you still have time to do something cool with your life like pursue a hobby, play a musical instrument, etc. And honestly, that's probably more attractive to the opposite sex than having a horrible career that stresses you out. The girls that want to date you simply because they're impressed with the prestige of dating a lawyer are terrible.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:20 am

JCougar wrote:IThat's why people from the bottom of the class at Harvard have a much easier time finding high-paying work than someone median at, oh, let's say a T25 with 3-4 years of litigation experience. The latter is going to give you a better work product about 100% of the time. But no one will actually employ them.

Scary, but true.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:08 am

Op here. My firm is a full service firm but has majority of the clients that are insurance carriers. So it is not strictly insurance defense but we are paid by insurance carriers. Is this the same shit in a different bowl?

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby lawhopeful100 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Op here. My firm is a full service firm but has majority of the clients that are insurance carriers. So it is not strictly insurance defense but we are paid by insurance carriers. Is this the same shit in a different bowl?

Are you doing direct defense, like hired by the insurance company to directly defend the insured or are you coverage counsel. Coverage counsel where you directly represent the insurance company can be higher rate work than direct defense.

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Re: Hard to lateral from insurance defense to biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:57 pm

lawhopeful100 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Op here. My firm is a full service firm but has majority of the clients that are insurance carriers. So it is not strictly insurance defense but we are paid by insurance carriers. Is this the same shit in a different bowl?

Are you doing direct defense, like hired by the insurance company to directly defend the insured or are you coverage counsel. Coverage counsel where you directly represent the insurance company can be higher rate work than direct defense.


Hired by the carrier to directly defend their insured.

This sounds awful even just typing it. Like i am part of an insurance progra. Depressing as f really.



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