Lateral as a 1st year

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Lateral as a 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:18 pm

I'm working at a top firm (Dorsey/Faegre) in a corporate group in Minneapolis and I want to move to New York for personal reasons.

Will I be able to lateral my first year? Grades did not get me interviews when I tried for New York as a 2L, (top quarter at Minnesota).

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:22 pm

A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby Biglaw Investor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:45 pm

Yes, you might be able to do it if you hustle. You need to find a place that is lacking first years for whatever reason. It'll be much easier your second year though.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:38 pm

1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work. I can't imagine that a NY firm looking for a lateral would balk at OP's experience. It's not as though he would be attempting to move from a family firm in Minneapolis.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby rpupkin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:54 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work.

Yes, just imagine all the sophisticated corporate work OP will be doing as a first-year associate.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:59 pm

rpupkin wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work.

Yes, just imagine all the sophisticated corporate work OP will be doing as a first-year associate.


Ok fair. I have no illusions that transactional work is anything other than fancy sounding paper pushing. My point was that he will be doing the kind of mundane paper pushing that nyc big law firms won't turn their noses up at.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:00 pm

Accidental anon. That was me above.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:24 am

existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work. I can't imagine that a NY firm looking for a lateral would balk at OP's experience. It's not as though he would be attempting to move from a family firm in Minneapolis.

Here's the thread on Upstate NY: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=268427

As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby Npret » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:40 am

1styearlateral wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work. I can't imagine that a NY firm looking for a lateral would balk at OP's experience. It's not as though he would be attempting to move from a family firm in Minneapolis.

Here's the thread on Upstate NY: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3&t=268427

As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.

It also hurts that OP doesn't seem to have any connections. If you want to start the process try finding alums to connect with and give you advice. Try to build connections.

I think you need at least 2 years of experience though and a decent reason for moving to New York.

Financially I think NYC will be a step back for you even if you aren't getting NYC market now or market raises.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:12 am

1styearlateral wrote: As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.


Tell that to the recruiter who thought this might entice me to consider a move to NYC:

"... Associates in the city live off pizza delivery via Seamless, GrubHub and UberEats... To sum things up, if you’re a die-hard pizza fan, you should probably consider setting up a call with me to discuss making a move to NYC..."

I am in a much smaller market than OP.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:17 am

1styearlateral wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work. I can't imagine that a NY firm looking for a lateral would balk at OP's experience. It's not as though he would be attempting to move from a family firm in Minneapolis.

Here's the thread on Upstate NY: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3&t=268427

As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.


I don't really buy this. Seems like many firms are hiring juniors right now for both lit and corp, and I'm not sure that OP's background would really be much worse than anyone else's.

OP should apply and see what happens.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:05 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
1styearlateral wrote: As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.


Tell that to the recruiter who thought this might entice me to consider a move to NYC:

"... Associates in the city live off pizza delivery via Seamless, GrubHub and UberEats... To sum things up, if you’re a die-hard pizza fan, you should probably consider setting up a call with me to discuss making a move to NYC..."

I am in a much smaller market than OP.

I'm not saying that OP shouldn't apply; he definitely should. I'm just saying that it's a tough legal market across the country, let alone NYC.

And it's my understanding that sometimes recruiters will try to sell you on a position so they can push another candidate. I've gotten calls/e-mails from recruiters who were like "you'd be perfect for this position, if you apply you'll definitely get it" and then never hear back. Always have to be wary when working with someone who makes a commission.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:10 pm

1styearlateral wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
1styearlateral wrote: As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.


Tell that to the recruiter who thought this might entice me to consider a move to NYC:

"... Associates in the city live off pizza delivery via Seamless, GrubHub and UberEats... To sum things up, if you’re a die-hard pizza fan, you should probably consider setting up a call with me to discuss making a move to NYC..."

I am in a much smaller market than OP.

I'm not saying that OP shouldn't apply; he definitely should. I'm just saying that it's a tough legal market across the country, let alone NYC.

And it's my understanding that sometimes recruiters will try to sell you on a position so they can push another candidate. I've gotten calls/e-mails from recruiters who were like "you'd be perfect for this position, if you apply you'll definitely get it" and then never hear back. Always have to be wary when working with someone who makes a commission.

Do you have shitty credentials?

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:11 pm

I moved to NYC fresh off my law degree from UMN. No ties to NY (but strong ties to the East Coast). My interviewers were more concerned with if I could handle living in big cities (Minneapolis is not). Thankfully I lived in other big cities before so I don't think they were too worried once I pointed that out. I did not go into big law (I'm a public interest lawyer working at the biggest public interest group in my field, though) so I'm not sure how applicable my advice is. My grades were not as high as yours. Based on my experience moving from Minneapolis to NYC, I think you can lateral if you put in the effort.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:32 pm

smaug wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
1styearlateral wrote: As far as getting into NYC, there's so much competition and attorneys who are already in the city looking to lateral that firms just don't need to look outside the market.


Tell that to the recruiter who thought this might entice me to consider a move to NYC:

"... Associates in the city live off pizza delivery via Seamless, GrubHub and UberEats... To sum things up, if you’re a die-hard pizza fan, you should probably consider setting up a call with me to discuss making a move to NYC..."

I am in a much smaller market than OP.

I'm not saying that OP shouldn't apply; he definitely should. I'm just saying that it's a tough legal market across the country, let alone NYC.

And it's my understanding that sometimes recruiters will try to sell you on a position so they can push another candidate. I've gotten calls/e-mails from recruiters who were like "you'd be perfect for this position, if you apply you'll definitely get it" and then never hear back. Always have to be wary when working with someone who makes a commission.

Do you have shitty credentials?

I didn't attend HYS but I didn't graduate at the bottom of my class either. I have everything most litigation associates have (LR, moot court, publication, fed ct. externship), but I did attend a non-NY school. Maybe I'm just too junior.

But on track: OP should apply and let us know.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:09 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:A big factor is going to be whether or not you're barred in NY. But, IME, getting into NYC is difficult from the outside. Generally, people start here and then move elsewhere; not the other way around. If you're looking more at upstate NY, then I think the consensus on these forums is that you need strong upstate NY ties to even be considered, as people seem to spend their entire lives--even through law school--in those areas.


I'm only a 3L, but I find this pretty difficult to believe. From what I understand Faegre is very much a biglaw firm, and OP will be doing sophisticated corporate work. I can't imagine that a NY firm looking for a lateral would balk at OP's experience. It's not as though he would be attempting to move from a family firm in Minneapolis.

"A NY firm looking for a [junior] lateral" already trims the list down to like <10-20 firms and the biggest/most sophisticated firms from that bunch have no reason to take a Faegre/Dorsey junior when they can get a NY barred one from somewhere in the city who is looking to jump up the prestige train.

NY firms generally, for better or worse, view otherwise great regional firms as being hack job local counsel who couldn't cut it in the big city and aren't sophisticated enough to handle the matters that they (obviously!) are. Feel free to believe me or not but it's true.

OP this seems like a majorly uphill battle at this stage though it may get better as you get more senior if you stick it out. I would caution you to be very thoughtful in choosing a recruiter because your pedigree is (not trying to be rude just candid) going to get lost in a firm's pile unless you or someone on your behalf is strategic. It will probably require a networking effort - i'd talk to others at UMN (assuming you are a 3L) who are going to NY (if any) and would cold email alums (or alums of your UG) working in NY and set up informational calls. Having one person internally pass along your resume to the right people and possibly confirm that Dorsey/Faegre isn't a family run personal injury shop would help immensely.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:22 pm

I think you're seriously understating the level of need for juniors in NYC biglaw firms right now.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:46 pm

The current first year class was part of one of the largest two to three summer classes in history for most firms in the city and attrition this early is minimal to non-existent. If OP is a 3L most classes from this previous summer were even larger and corporate work volume was meaningfully down in 2016, with no reason to believe that it will change this year.

Obviously the information one brings to this board is generally only anecdata but as someone who works at one of the let's say 15 firms in NY that you can generally say "Oh [Firm] is always hiring", I couldn't be more confident without working in recruiting that we aren't looking for first years and if we were, we'd get them from somewhere else in the city.

Who knows though, maybe i'm totally off base - doesn't change my recommendation that OP may as well give it a shot, i just wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:52 pm

2014 wrote:The current first year class was part of one of the largest two to three summer classes in history for most firms in the city and attrition this early is minimal to non-existent. If OP is a 3L most classes from this previous summer were even larger and corporate work volume was meaningfully down in 2016, with no reason to believe that it will change this year.

Obviously the information one brings to this board is generally only anecdata but as someone who works at one of the let's say 15 firms in NY that you can generally say "Oh [Firm] is always hiring", I couldn't be more confident without working in recruiting that we aren't looking for first years and if we were, we'd get them from somewhere else in the city.

Who knows though, maybe i'm totally off base - doesn't change my recommendation that OP may as well give it a shot, i just wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

Thank you for doing a better job of what I was trying to say.

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Re: Lateral as a 1st year

Postby smaug » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:22 pm

2014 wrote:The current first year class was part of one of the largest two to three summer classes in history for most firms in the city and attrition this early is minimal to non-existent. If OP is a 3L most classes from this previous summer were even larger and corporate work volume was meaningfully down in 2016, with no reason to believe that it will change this year.

Obviously the information one brings to this board is generally only anecdata but as someone who works at one of the let's say 15 firms in NY that you can generally say "Oh [Firm] is always hiring", I couldn't be more confident without working in recruiting that we aren't looking for first years and if we were, we'd get them from somewhere else in the city.

Who knows though, maybe i'm totally off base - doesn't change my recommendation that OP may as well give it a shot, i just wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

Without knowing your firm I can't confirm, but you can check laterally and other places to see who is hiring/who has been hiring. It's been active.



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