How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

(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: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:18 pm

This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.


I don't mind leaving the city, but my wife doesn't want to leave Southern California generally. I grew up in Orange County and like San Diego & Santa Barbara well enough. The Bay is too expensive. My brother lives in Sacramento but doesn't seem to enjoy it. I've tried to float the idea of going to Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc. but she's not having it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.


I don't mind leaving the city, but my wife doesn't want to leave Southern California generally. I grew up in Orange County and like San Diego & Santa Barbara well enough. The Bay is too expensive. My brother lives in Sacramento but doesn't seem to enjoy it. I've tried to float the idea of going to Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc. but she's not having it.



I experienced the similar disenchantment working at a firm, but important thing is to flesh out exactly the aspects that you can't stand. It may very likely be the case that you don't like practicing law for enterprises in general. if that's the case and your debt is down to 0 by the time you leave biglaw, i wouldn't look back at the sunk cost and pursue whatever you feel passionate about.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.


I don't mind leaving the city, but my wife doesn't want to leave Southern California generally. I grew up in Orange County and like San Diego & Santa Barbara well enough. The Bay is too expensive. My brother lives in Sacramento but doesn't seem to enjoy it. I've tried to float the idea of going to Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc. but she's not having it.



I experienced the similar disenchantment working at a firm, but important thing is to flesh out exactly the aspects that you can't stand. It may very likely be the case that you don't like practicing law for enterprises in general. if that's the case and your debt is down to 0 by the time you leave biglaw, i wouldn't look back at the sunk cost and pursue whatever you feel passionate about.


Don't you think it would be better to pursue all possible legal avenues first to see if he likes those before leaving the law entirely? It seems like once you leave the law it is hard to come back but while you are already a lawyer, it is not necessarily as difficult to try out different practice settings?

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.


I don't mind leaving the city, but my wife doesn't want to leave Southern California generally. I grew up in Orange County and like San Diego & Santa Barbara well enough. The Bay is too expensive. My brother lives in Sacramento but doesn't seem to enjoy it. I've tried to float the idea of going to Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc. but she's not having it.



I experienced the similar disenchantment working at a firm, but important thing is to flesh out exactly the aspects that you can't stand. It may very likely be the case that you don't like practicing law for enterprises in general. if that's the case and your debt is down to 0 by the time you leave biglaw, i wouldn't look back at the sunk cost and pursue whatever you feel passionate about.


I don't mind the practice of law. I don't LOVE it, but frankly, there's not much I love/am passionate about. Unfortunately, I can't get paid to drink beer and hang out with my dogs. But the two aspects of firm practice I hate are pressure for billable hours and clients (particularly the "customer service" aspect). I think I'd be happy in the government or in-house, but not sure how likely that is with only 2 years under my belt.

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.


If you're in corporate, get yourself involved on as much buy side stuff when you can. Sell side stuff is great for learning deal mechanics and how businesses work, but working on buy side will give you more opportunities for exit options.

Does your firm have a good alumni situation? Some firms are good about helping attorneys lateral out by providing resources and letting them know of firm clients who are looking to hire. Some are not.

Also bear in mind of how long it might take you to waive into another jurisdiction, if you can waive at all, if you are thinking of leaving California.

3rd year is when things really just start to open up.

While you're working on your deals figure out what industries interest you and what types of transactions interest you.

It's good you're starting to think about it now, but just keep your eyes open and try and get experiences and opportunities while you are at your current firm, as they will help you figure out what you want to do next.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:05 am

Sorry to hijack, but my question is pretty closely related:

What are the non-firm opportunities OP is likely to have in SoCal if he/she can make it to Year 4? I am doing lit at a biglaw firm in an East Coast city, and I likely will be moving to SoCal (OC) for personal reasons during my fourth year. Like OP, I would prefer to exit firm life. I've done a bit of searching, but I haven't found too much beyond DA/PD (which I'd be open to trying, but my sense is those jobs are competitive and go to lifers, not someone willing to 'try' it). What kinds of non-firm opportunities exist in this area for those coming from biglaw in Year 4?

squishylawstudent321

New
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:39 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby squishylawstudent321 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:56 pm

OP, I'm firmly in the camp which believes that John Kerry has almost no merit whatsoever. The man possesses very little in the way of articulable skills. What he has perfected, though, is the art of marrying the ridiculously rich woman.

If you want to get yourself out of the Big Law (or even $hit law) rat race, I would encourage you to follow in John's footsteps by finding and marrying the daughter of some fabulously wealthy shipping magnate, commercial real estate developer, or hedge fund mogul. There's no shame in this route. It is a noble and time-honored profession in its own right.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for one of these diamonds in the rough.

Piel

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:20 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Piel » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:00 pm

I know nothing about the SoCal area, but I'd consider applying to nonprofits in addition to government jobs. They don't pay well, but I think there's lots of interesting work and the people are generally very nice and good to be around. Since it seems you don't have experience with much public interest work, if you apply to nonprofits you'll need a convincing narrative of why you're interested in their practice area. You'll be competing against people who have a life narrative leading up to their entry into a particular area of law like immigrant rights, environmental, etc. so I think this is crucial.

User avatar
RedGiant

Bronze
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:30 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby RedGiant » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:46 am

squishylawstudent321 wrote:OP, I'm firmly in the camp which believes that John Kerry has almost no merit whatsoever. The man possesses very little in the way of articulable skills. What he has perfected, though, is the art of marrying the ridiculously rich woman.

If you want to get yourself out of the Big Law (or even $hit law) rat race, I would encourage you to follow in John's footsteps by finding and marrying the daughter of some fabulously wealthy shipping magnate, commercial real estate developer, or hedge fund mogul. There's no shame in this route. It is a noble and time-honored profession in its own right.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for one of these diamonds in the rough.


This is so mean! I live around the corner from John in Beacon Hill and he's a lovely man, with a lovely wife and a very lovely yellow lab (which, unfortunately, is still intact). But why the Kerry hate!?! Sheesh.

User avatar
star fox

Diamond
Posts: 20786
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby star fox » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:47 am

Politicians as whole are people who have no real skills. The #1 thing career politicians have in common is they married someone with a big inheritance.

jarofsoup

Gold
Posts: 1995
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:14 am

Try compliance.

User avatar
Mad Hatter

Silver
Posts: 664
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Mad Hatter » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:01 am

inb4 code bootcamp

citizenrobert

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby citizenrobert » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:55 pm

Spend time thinking about what you affirmatively want to do. So far you've only identified what you *don't* want to do (Biglaw).

It wouldn't be inappropriate to meet with a therapist, or talk to a close friend, about what makes you tick, what makes you feel motivated and what kind of work you might ideally want to do.

I say this partly because coming from Biglaw, you have a huge panoply of options.

Even within the field of law practice, the daily experience can vary hugely based on the kind of work you're doing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313221
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do I GTFO of biglaw (and firm practice) in only two years?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may be a silly question, but bear with me.

I'm a first year corporate attorney at a V50 firm in Los Angeles. I did biglaw solely to service my debt. To that end, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I can be debt free early on in my 3rd year (so I'd leave as a 3rd year). I never really wanted to be at a firm. I dislike almost everything about firm life, having previously worked at a firm prior to law school. But I'm more debt adverse so I sold out.

Anyway, most of the conventional advice is that exit ops really open up in years 4-6, but I honestly don't think I can make it that far. And I don't want to waste away the prime years of my life slaving away in biglaw. That being said, going to midlaw, small law, or a boutique is not at all appealing.

Are there any realistic exit options as a 3rd year? In house, government, not sure what else is out there. I'm okay with a big pay cut - that's to be expected.



I'm also in LA. The I guess alot of this would depend on whether you're willing to leave the city or Socal.


I don't mind leaving the city, but my wife doesn't want to leave Southern California generally. I grew up in Orange County and like San Diego & Santa Barbara well enough. The Bay is too expensive. My brother lives in Sacramento but doesn't seem to enjoy it. I've tried to float the idea of going to Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc. but she's not having it.



I experienced the similar disenchantment working at a firm, but important thing is to flesh out exactly the aspects that you can't stand. It may very likely be the case that you don't like practicing law for enterprises in general. if that's the case and your debt is down to 0 by the time you leave biglaw, i wouldn't look back at the sunk cost and pursue whatever you feel passionate about.


I don't mind the practice of law. I don't LOVE it, but frankly, there's not much I love/am passionate about. Unfortunately, I can't get paid to drink beer and hang out with my dogs. But the two aspects of firm practice I hate are pressure for billable hours and clients (particularly the "customer service" aspect). I think I'd be happy in the government or in-house, but not sure how likely that is with only 2 years under my belt.


WOW, so relatable-- we are actually the same person! Big Law is horrible, I don't want to go to any other law firm situation, and I have no exit options yet b/c I am a 2nd year. I think the key is to go to a non-profit, since it's hard to get a government job. I also completely reltae to the part about not being passionate about anything except dogs.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.