How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

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How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 04, 2017 7:43 pm

I've started working at a mid-sized firm firm for three months out of LS, and haven't loved the job. Particularly feel like one of the top partners doesn't like me and haven't really meshed with firm like I hoped.

I've started looking for jobs, but curious for those who have or seen quick laterals how long do recruiters want to see experience on your resume before you move from law student level hire to someone with some form of useful experience. Realize may differ by firm and practice area, but looking for a ballpark.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 04, 2017 7:45 pm

Unless you need to drastically change regions for spouse or family, like you need to move from NY to Cali, you want to stay put at least 1 year and its easier to start moving after two.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 05, 2017 12:25 am

If you're thinking of doing a big regional move, would it then be better to start trying right away? Is it harder to move after a year?

1styearlateral

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri May 05, 2017 9:40 am

2 is the magic number and where you'll find the most traction. Ignore my username.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Fri May 05, 2017 7:54 pm

Usually it is easier to lateral once you've hit the 2 year mark b/c you have experience, some idea of how to practice law, and are therefore more marketable. However, there is no "too soon." If you start looking, obtain an offer, and want to work for the offering firm, then accept.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 05, 2017 8:07 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:Usually it is easier to lateral once you've hit the 2 year mark b/c you have experience, some idea of how to practice law, and are therefore more marketable. However, there is no "too soon." If you start looking, obtain an offer, and want to work for the offering firm, then accept.


Would a no-offer affect your chances once you start looking again after you hit the 2-year mark?

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DildaMan

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby DildaMan » Sat May 06, 2017 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've started working at a mid-sized firm firm for three months out of LS, and haven't loved the job. Particularly feel like one of the top partners doesn't like me and haven't really meshed with firm like I hoped.

I've started looking for jobs, but curious for those who have or seen quick laterals how long do recruiters want to see experience on your resume before you move from law student level hire to someone with some form of useful experience. Realize may differ by firm and practice area, but looking for a ballpark.


If you want to stay in the same practice group/specialty, I would stay until you're a second or third year as other posters have suggested. If you are trying to swap groups, ASAP.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 06, 2017 11:25 am

Because certain BL clients are unwilling to pay for first years, firms tend to shy away from first-year laterals. As a second-year your odds of lateraling greatly increase.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 07, 2017 5:19 pm

OP here: Yes it would be in same practice area and not for a family emergency.

So what do firms hiring young laterals look for exactly? Do I need to be able to come in and require no additional training?

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 07, 2017 5:45 pm

I'm a first year and I get calls from recruiters once every week or two asking about interest in lateraling to another firm in the same city (Chicago) and same practice area. I think it's at least worth a shot. Maybe the calculus is different if you're at a mid sized firm, though.

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rpupkin

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby rpupkin » Sun May 07, 2017 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've started working at a mid-sized firm firm for three months out of LS, and haven't loved the job. Particularly feel like one of the top partners doesn't like me and haven't really meshed with firm like I hoped.

Those aren't good reasons to lateral after three months. Top/Senior partners rarely "like" first-year associates in a meaningful way. Until you've got a couple of years under your belt, you're less important to the firm than paralegals and secretaries. Chances are that the "top partner" barely thinks about you at all. This is typical.

As for your failure to "mesh," it's been three months. The first few months at any firm are awkward, and one inevitably goes through fits of feeling incompetent and/or unwelcome. Stick with it for awhile. If you feel the same after 18 months, then start thinking about lateraling.

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Re: How Soon Until Can Lateral From First Firm?

Postby Mickfromgm » Sun May 07, 2017 6:20 pm

I strongly advise you to stick around for at least a year, preferably 2-3. 2-3 is the ideal time to make the move, in most cases. That's the normal timeframe to jump.

If you are trying to jump before the end of the first year, I guarantee you that there will be attorneys who would instinctively question "what is wrong with him/her? Was s/he asked to leave?" Of course, you can give an explanation, however credible and cogent, but some people would never be truly convinced.

Also, it would continue to look bad for you in the future. I assure you everyone looking at your resume later on in your career would also wonder why your stint was so short at your first firm. Not necessarily a show-stopper (as in, "noooo, you would completely sabotage your career" kind of thing), mind you, but it creates an area of serious concern for the firms. They may very well call it a red flag. I am not exaggerating.

But if you gotta go, you gotta go. . . .

Not saying don't do it, but if you are going to jump soon, please do it with your eyes wide open. All lawyers are, by nature, extremely risk adverse -- sadly, that's our job. We assume the worst case scenario in every situation -- hence we make such lovely people. But I will say that if you jump early once, don't do another early jump again.

Just my $0.02.

P.S. I agree with the above poster. You have to give it more than 3 months if your reason for wanting to leave is that one of the top partners seem to dislike you and you haven't meshed with the firm. Give it some time; there are so many ways to change their opinion of you overnight.



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