First Year Lateral

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First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:18 pm

I am currently a first year transactional associate at the largest firm in a smaller secondary market (think Omaha, Oklahoma City, Sioux Falls, Witchita, Des Moines, Madison, Lincoln). I have been presented with an opportunity to lateral to a V75 firm with an office in the same city. This office is obviously small, but has grown recently. I did two summers at the firm that I am at and enjoy my job. I am considering the move because the work is more sophisticated, compensation is better and I would get to do more M&A work. Any advice on whether moving to the "better" firm is worth it? Thanks.

1styearlateral

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:24 pm

You're pretty lucky to be happy where you're out now. If you think the risk of being unhappy at the new firm is worth giving up for better compensation and experience, then go for it. But I would plan on being at the new firm for at least 2-4 years.

SFSpartan

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby SFSpartan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:42 pm

Given that the prospective lateral firm has a small office, it's probably a good idea to spend some time sussing out the culture of the office, how the firm sees the office developing, etc. before making a move. The real risk here is that the culture of the firm you lateral to is poor, as you'll likely have to be there for several years before you can lateral again.

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:45 pm

The office of the V75 is about 40 attorneys if that impacts the analysis at all.

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:37 pm

I lateraled not too long after my first year (before the second though) and don't see any real indication that it means I have to stay for x period of time. People change jobs and one is probably not going to make partner at a biglaw firm anyway, so I wouldn't let fear of getting stuck keep you. I receive tons of emails and calls from recruiters who have no problem with the fact that I lateraled.

That said, I wouldn't recommend it. You enjoy your job, and I think the odds are good that you wouldn't enjoy it as much at a vault firm. Working on more "sophisticated" deals is super overrated. It usually just means bigger dollar amounts (these numbers are not interesting and anyone who says they are is someone I can't relate to, so feel feee to disregard my advice if you're one of these people) and more demanding clients. And for what it's worth, you're not going to be handling Coca Cola launching a hostile takeover of Pepsi at a V75 satellite. Vault isn't a ticket to a better life - it's often just more of the same work but with less reasonable demands

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:05 pm

I am likely going to bill somewhere between 2100 and 2200 hours in my first full calendar year. It seems to me that moving firms will be unlikely to increase that workload. Does that change the calculus?

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smokeylarue

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby smokeylarue » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:08 pm

What are your end goals? Partner or in-house? If inhouse, then go with whatever firm gives you that best opportunity. Normally that would be the Biglaw firm, but in your type of secondary market, I have no idea, it could be the firm you're at.

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Devlin

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Devlin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:08 pm

Don't leave a firm that you are happy at.

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:09 pm

Yes definitely. If you're going to work biglaw hours then you should be paid biglaw money.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby trebekismyhero » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:21 pm

smokeylarue wrote:What are your end goals? Partner or in-house? If inhouse, then go with whatever firm gives you that best opportunity. Normally that would be the Biglaw firm, but in your type of secondary market, I have no idea, it could be the firm you're at.


This is right. If you want to end up partner, I am assuming your current firm gives you better odds. Generally in-house will be easier from a bigger firm.

Also, how much more in compensation are we talking? If it is $10,000 a year it might not be worth it, especially if you're happy. But if it's more than that I would probably make the move unless you want to end up a partner at your current firm

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Npret » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:25 pm

V75 isn't a thing.
Stay where you are happy and don't worry about it.

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:28 pm

Compensation difference is about 15,000 per year. That gap will be expected to increase over time. The partnership track is 6 years at my current firm and 8 at the larger firm.

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Re: First Year Lateral

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Compensation difference is about 15,000 per year. That gap will be expected to increase over time. The partnership track is 6 years at my current firm and 8 at the larger firm.

$15k might seem like a lot but after taxes that's only like $7-8k. Is your happiness worth that little? With respect to increased compensation gap, is there any wiggle room at your current firm to larger salary increases?



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