Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

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BucketLaw

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Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby BucketLaw » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:44 pm

I am a longtime lurker on this site and a first time poster. I understand my situation is of a personal nature; however, any input as to how others would approach this decision would be extremely helpful.

I am a third year Associate, working in a niche practice area, at a mid-sized firm (100-150 attorneys) in a small market. The firm is highly regarded in this small market. This is particularly true with respect to my practice area. I am a graduate of a Tier 2 law school and thus, I understand I was fortunate to land this position upon graduation. In short, I love my job. The hours are great (1,800 billables previous 2 years), the substantive work is challenging and enjoyable, and the partners treat me with respect and are genuinely invested in my progression. During my last review, I was praised for my performance and was told I have a bright future at the firm.

However, I do not enjoy the small city in which I live. It is a high crime and drug infested city that does not have much to offer for young people (I'm 29 and single). As a result, I have entertained the idea of moving to a larger city within the state over the course of the previous year or so. This city happens to my favorite in the country and I have dreamed of living there for years. I landed an interview with a mid-sized firm (100-150 attorneys) in this larger market and to my surprise, I was given offer. While money is not the motivation here, the move would involve a significant pay raise ($70k raise). My concern is that I am giving up job security that is extremely rare for somebody my age. I would forgo this job security to potentially enter into a disastrous situation in which the work may be too sophisticated for me or, alternatively, the new partners I work for will not be pleasant.

In summation, I am deciding between (1) job security and happiness at a law firm, something that seems extremely rare for associates, and (2) taking a risk to lateral to a firm that will pay a greater salary, but may not be the best fit.

As I mentioned above, I understand this is a personal decision. However, there are a lot of smart people on this site and I am interested as to how others would approach this. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

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grand inquisitor

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:48 pm

sounds like you either stay where you are and have enough free time to know you hate your location or move to an ideal city but probably have no free time to enjoy it.

MrT

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby MrT » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:55 pm

Is it possible to keep the door open at your current firm? I'd read this thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=273630

Also, I understand the uncertainty but in my experience being in a location you love can make a world of difference in happiness. That extra money and being somewhere where I could meet people I actually want to be around would be enough to lure me.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:54 pm

Very hard to offer advice without knowing more specifics about your situation. Will you be practicing in the same area of law if you switch ?

BucketLaw

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby BucketLaw » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:02 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Very hard to offer advice without knowing more specifics about your situation. Will you be practicing in the same area of law if you switch ?


Yes, the practice area is the same. I am assuming that the level of sophistication will be slightly increased as well.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:14 pm

Since you're young, single (unattached), same practice area but rising in sophistication & unhappy in current location, then it may be the right time to move. If unhappy at your new firm, you should be welcome back at your current firm because you've maintained focus in the same specialty & have gained sophistication in your practice area. In short, doesn't seem to be a risky move, but rather a wise move for career advancement.

P.S. Curious as to your area of practice & state. PM ?

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Future Ex-Engineer

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:18 pm

IANAL, but from my own experience in the working world - typically people that are successful in a work environment tend to figure out how to be successful in pretty much any similar work environment (aka I imagine since you are well regarded at your current place of employment, the new work wouldn't be too difficult for you since it's in the same vein).

Also, I can say from personal experience that environment/location/demographics play a HUGE role in personal happiness - thus, if you don't see yourself meeting/finding/developing relationships with people you want to spend your life with where you're at, staying would be a sure-fire way to be an unhappy 35-40 yr old wondering where your life went.

Sounds like a pretty easy choice to me

1styearlateral

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:28 pm

Make the move you're only young once. You have the energy now to deal with a bigger city; take advantage of that.

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grand inquisitor

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:31 pm

mrgstephe wrote:IANAL

had never seen "i anal" in this context and sad i can't use it

Npret

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby Npret » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:34 pm

I would stay in the job I love and try to build up other areas of my life. If you've tried hard to do that without success, then move.

I wouldnt worry about being unable to handle the substantive work in the larger office. I'm sure you will manage it as you are doing so well at your current firm.
Last edited by Npret on Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:35 pm

grand inquisitor wrote:
mrgstephe wrote:IANAL

had never seen "i anal" in this context and sad i can't use it


Gonna use it as long as I still can!

RaceJudicata

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:38 pm

I say leave. Job security is great, but living your life as a young, single person is also great. I'd try and leave on the best terms possible to keep the door open down the road. Miss all the shots you don't take...

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tfer2222

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby tfer2222 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:17 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:I say leave. Job security is great, but living your life as a young, single person is also great. I'd try and leave on the best terms possible to keep the door open down the road. Miss all the shots you don't take...


+1. You're 29 and single, go live in your "dream city" while you can.

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:02 pm

Risk would be the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'd temper expectations, and pull the trigger but realize that you're making a major life change based on an expectation of fulfillment and this is a recipe for depression. OP is lonely. A lower crime rate won't make them less lonely. It seems like good pay, and a better chance of happiness, which is why you take it but keep a healthy dose of cynicism.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Lateral Opportunity - Any Advice Appreciated

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Risk would be the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'd temper expectations, and pull the trigger but realize that you're making a major life change based on an expectation of fulfillment and this is a recipe for depression. OP is lonely. A lower crime rate won't make them less lonely. It seems like good pay, and a better chance of happiness, which is why you take it but keep a healthy dose of cynicism.



I don't think OP thinks that s/he is moving to paradise. For instance, if OP currently works in, say, Harrisburg, PA (dump) and could move to Philly. Unless you are a recluse, Philly will be objectively better for a 29 year old single person. (Granted, that may be a shit example cause Phila is high crime as well).



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