Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

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Anonymous User
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Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 18, 2017 9:32 am

I am a first-year transactional bankruptcy associate V30 in New York. I want to do litigation. I told myself I would give it a year and its now about that time. My resume is very litigation heavy (mostly law school stuff and pro bono at the firm) and I have a circuit court clerkship lined up for 18-19. The only transactional aspect of it is this past year in New York.

Is it possible/realistic to lateral to another firm to do litigation? I am have ties to CA and DC and am not attached to New York. I am not sure what to think because I am only a first year, have no litigation experience (other than my law school stuff and pro bono this past year), and have a clerkship lined up next year (which means I'll be leaving this new firm after a year, but hopefully to return following the clerkship). FWIW, I am looking for a district court clerkship for 17-18 as an additional option, but there are very few left at this stage unsurprisingly.

Jchance
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Jchance » Thu May 18, 2017 9:38 am

Given your sich, it's better that you stay put at current firm for 2 full years, do the circuit clerkship then switch firm post-clerkship so your resume doesn't look like you like jumping ship. That is because (new) firm would be wary of you not returning after your circuit clerkship.

That said, take the district court clerkship for 2017-18 if you can get it.

Nosso
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Nosso » Thu May 18, 2017 9:46 am

Jchance wrote:Given your sich, it's better that you stay put at current firm for 2 full years, do the circuit clerkship then switch firm post-clerkship so your resume doesn't look like you like jumping ship. That is because (new) firm would be wary of you not returning after your circuit clerkship.

That said, take the district court clerkship for 2017-18 if you can get it.


This is all correct. A lot of firms also hire laterals based on immediate need in a certain practice area. A circuit clerkship is a great opportunity, but firms aren't going to love that you'll be gone within a year and might not come back. If the district clerkship doesn't work out, then I think you just need to grind it out, clerk, and then switch firms.

umichman
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby umichman » Thu May 18, 2017 10:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a first-year transactional bankruptcy associate V30 in New York. I want to do litigation. I told myself I would give it a year and its now about that time. My resume is very litigation heavy (mostly law school stuff and pro bono at the firm) and I have a circuit court clerkship lined up for 18-19. The only transactional aspect of it is this past year in New York.

Is it possible/realistic to lateral to another firm to do litigation? I am have ties to CA and DC and am not attached to New York. I am not sure what to think because I am only a first year, have no litigation experience (other than my law school stuff and pro bono this past year), and have a clerkship lined up next year (which means I'll be leaving this new firm after a year, but hopefully to return following the clerkship). FWIW, I am looking for a district court clerkship for 17-18 as an additional option, but there are very few left at this stage unsurprisingly.


Please pm if possible. I'd love to ask some questions

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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 18, 2017 3:42 pm

What if staying at the firm is not an option? As in, I 100% do not want to do this next year. How do I go about applying? A simple email to the recruiter with my materials (the way we did for OCIs)?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 18, 2017 5:13 pm

What if staying at the firm is not an option? As in, I 100% do not want to do this next year. How do I go about applying? A simple email to the recruiter with my materials (the way we did for OCIs)?


I would hire a recruiter and let them do the work for you. It's free.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu May 18, 2017 5:17 pm

I'd try and hustle for a 2017 clerkship. Very slim pickings at this point, but probably worth a shot.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 18, 2017 5:26 pm

I'd try and hustle for a 2017 clerkship. Very slim pickings at this point, but probably worth a shot.


I'm definitely hustling for a 2017 clerkship as it would solve everything, but I am not going to let that be my only option. I am trying really hard to just gtfo at this point.

tyroneslothrop1
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:45 pm

Try and switch jobs if that is what you want. In interviews, explain you don't want to do transactional work. Be forthright about the clerkship. If a firm doesn't want to hire you cuz you'll be leaving for a year, then so be it. You have a competitive resume.

LazyLASA
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby LazyLASA » Thu May 18, 2017 7:38 pm

Have you considered asking your firm about switching practice groups? I've seen people make this switch at my firm. Sometimes they switch offices to do so because that's where the need is, sometimes they just switch within the same office.

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Mickfromgm
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Mickfromgm » Thu May 18, 2017 8:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
What if staying at the firm is not an option? As in, I 100% do not want to do this next year. How do I go about applying? A simple email to the recruiter with my materials (the way we did for OCIs)?


I would hire a recruiter and let them do the work for you. It's free.


A recruiter never works for a candidate; s/he works for the employer. Never get so friendly with the recruiter to believe that s/he will do things in your best interest . . . . the employer is the repeat customer, the candidate is one-and-out in most cases. The recruiters know where their bread gets buttered. And of course, the generous placement fee will always dictate their conduct.

The recruiters are not "free" in the sense that hiring an associate through a recruiter would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of associate acquisition to the firm . . . . no biggie for some firms, a big deal for others, but either way the fee would cut into the recruitment budget . . . thus, the additional cost could work against the candidate. What if they could hire almost identical candidates, one through a recruiter and the other through a direct contact by the candidate . . . . do you think that a firm would just throw away all that money if the candidates are close enough? A consideration such as this would surely be raised during the hiring committee deliberations.

Of course the benefit of having a legitimate recruiter helping you is that s/he would know firms that are actually seeking candidates with your background. Cold mass mailing would not necessarily command the recruiting director's attention to the same degree as a headhunter's call (the headhunter is expected to reach out to and filter out candidates, thereby the expectation is that resumes submitted by the headhunter are better qualified as a whole). Also, negotiating a salary, class year, etc. is a lot easier when you use an intermediary, such as a recruiter.

One advice is to do some diligence on the recruiter you wish to hire.

Just some food for thought.

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Mickfromgm
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Mickfromgm » Thu May 18, 2017 8:59 pm

LazyLASA wrote:Have you considered asking your firm about switching practice groups? I've seen people make this switch at my firm. Sometimes they switch offices to do so because that's where the need is, sometimes they just switch within the same office.


+1. This is fairly common, even for mid to senior associates in some cases.

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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 18, 2017 9:54 pm

What does it mean to be a transactional bankruptcy associate that doesn't do litigation? I'm a bankruptcy associate and I spent a significant portion of time doing litigation related work.

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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 19, 2017 7:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:What does it mean to be a transactional bankruptcy associate that doesn't do litigation? I'm a bankruptcy associate and I spent a significant portion of time doing litigation related work.


Not the OP, but also at a more "transactional" shop for bankruptcy. I think they mean more creditor reps, out-of-court restructurings, bring in the litigators when things get hairy kind of deal. If you're not debtors counsel then it's possible to only really be dealing with term sheets, credit docs, plan and ds modifications, etc.

Even with debtor side stuff, drafting first day motions isn't really what I'd consider "litigating"

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 19, 2017 9:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does it mean to be a transactional bankruptcy associate that doesn't do litigation? I'm a bankruptcy associate and I spent a significant portion of time doing litigation related work.


Not the OP, but also at a more "transactional" shop for bankruptcy. I think they mean more creditor reps, out-of-court restructurings, bring in the litigators when things get hairy kind of deal. If you're not debtors counsel then it's possible to only really be dealing with term sheets, credit docs, plan and ds modifications, etc.

Even with debtor side stuff, drafting first day motions isn't really what I'd consider "litigating"


If someone wanted to be the litigators that people brought in when things get hairy, are those ppl in bankruptcy groups or lot groups?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 19, 2017 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does it mean to be a transactional bankruptcy associate that doesn't do litigation? I'm a bankruptcy associate and I spent a significant portion of time doing litigation related work.


Not the OP, but also at a more "transactional" shop for bankruptcy. I think they mean more creditor reps, out-of-court restructurings, bring in the litigators when things get hairy kind of deal. If you're not debtors counsel then it's possible to only really be dealing with term sheets, credit docs, plan and ds modifications, etc.

Even with debtor side stuff, drafting first day motions isn't really what I'd consider "litigating"


If someone wanted to be the litigators that people brought in when things get hairy, are those ppl in bankruptcy groups or lot groups?


Depends on the firm. At mine there are dedicated lit partners who do almost exclusively bankruptcy litigation, especially appeals to D. Courts and circuit courts. There are a handful of senior lit associates who only do bankruptcy work. The juniors are all fungible, though, and seem to just get one-off assignments from whatever comes down the pike.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 19, 2017 3:37 pm

A recruiter never works for a candidate; s/he works for the employer. Never get so friendly with the recruiter to believe that s/he will do things in your best interest . . . . the employer is the repeat customer, the candidate is one-and-out in most cases. The recruiters know where their bread gets buttered. And of course, the generous placement fee will always dictate their conduct.

The recruiters are not "free" in the sense that hiring an associate through a recruiter would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of associate acquisition to the firm . . . . no biggie for some firms, a big deal for others, but either way the fee would cut into the recruitment budget . . . thus, the additional cost could work against the candidate. What if they could hire almost identical candidates, one through a recruiter and the other through a direct contact by the candidate . . . . do you think that a firm would just throw away all that money if the candidates are close enough? A consideration such as this would surely be raised during the hiring committee deliberations.

Of course the benefit of having a legitimate recruiter helping you is that s/he would know firms that are actually seeking candidates with your background. Cold mass mailing would not necessarily command the recruiting director's attention to the same degree as a headhunter's call (the headhunter is expected to reach out to and filter out candidates, thereby the expectation is that resumes submitted by the headhunter are better qualified as a whole). Also, negotiating a salary, class year, etc. is a lot easier when you use an intermediary, such as a recruiter.

One advice is to do some diligence on the recruiter you wish to hire.

Just some food for thought.


Thank you, this is helpful.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 19, 2017 8:32 pm

Mickfromgm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
What if staying at the firm is not an option? As in, I 100% do not want to do this next year. How do I go about applying? A simple email to the recruiter with my materials (the way we did for OCIs)?


I would hire a recruiter and let them do the work for you. It's free.


A recruiter never works for a candidate; s/he works for the employer. Never get so friendly with the recruiter to believe that s/he will do things in your best interest . . . . the employer is the repeat customer, the candidate is one-and-out in most cases. The recruiters know where their bread gets buttered. And of course, the generous placement fee will always dictate their conduct.

The recruiters are not "free" in the sense that hiring an associate through a recruiter would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of associate acquisition to the firm . . . . no biggie for some firms, a big deal for others, but either way the fee would cut into the recruitment budget . . . thus, the additional cost could work against the candidate. What if they could hire almost identical candidates, one through a recruiter and the other through a direct contact by the candidate . . . . do you think that a firm would just throw away all that money if the candidates are close enough? A consideration such as this would surely be raised during the hiring committee deliberations.

Of course the benefit of having a legitimate recruiter helping you is that s/he would know firms that are actually seeking candidates with your background. Cold mass mailing would not necessarily command the recruiting director's attention to the same degree as a headhunter's call (the headhunter is expected to reach out to and filter out candidates, thereby the expectation is that resumes submitted by the headhunter are better qualified as a whole). Also, negotiating a salary, class year, etc. is a lot easier when you use an intermediary, such as a recruiter.

One advice is to do some diligence on the recruiter you wish to hire.

Just some food for thought.


The above response is especially true when you have only one year of experience, and you are changing practice groups. They could hire anyone and not have to pay a recruiter! I would certainly try applying on your own before you contact recruiters. You don't have enough experience to be "worth it." I'm not saying a recruiter won't work, but...there's not a lot of "there there" for them to sell.

You also will need a really, really good reason why you hate BK and think you'll like lit.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 22, 2017 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Mickfromgm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
What if staying at the firm is not an option? As in, I 100% do not want to do this next year. How do I go about applying? A simple email to the recruiter with my materials (the way we did for OCIs)?


I would hire a recruiter and let them do the work for you. It's free.


A recruiter never works for a candidate; s/he works for the employer. Never get so friendly with the recruiter to believe that s/he will do things in your best interest . . . . the employer is the repeat customer, the candidate is one-and-out in most cases. The recruiters know where their bread gets buttered. And of course, the generous placement fee will always dictate their conduct.

The recruiters are not "free" in the sense that hiring an associate through a recruiter would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of associate acquisition to the firm . . . . no biggie for some firms, a big deal for others, but either way the fee would cut into the recruitment budget . . . thus, the additional cost could work against the candidate. What if they could hire almost identical candidates, one through a recruiter and the other through a direct contact by the candidate . . . . do you think that a firm would just throw away all that money if the candidates are close enough? A consideration such as this would surely be raised during the hiring committee deliberations.

Of course the benefit of having a legitimate recruiter helping you is that s/he would know firms that are actually seeking candidates with your background. Cold mass mailing would not necessarily command the recruiting director's attention to the same degree as a headhunter's call (the headhunter is expected to reach out to and filter out candidates, thereby the expectation is that resumes submitted by the headhunter are better qualified as a whole). Also, negotiating a salary, class year, etc. is a lot easier when you use an intermediary, such as a recruiter.

One advice is to do some diligence on the recruiter you wish to hire.

Just some food for thought.


The above response is especially true when you have only one year of experience, and you are changing practice groups. They could hire anyone and not have to pay a recruiter! I would certainly try applying on your own before you contact recruiters. You don't have enough experience to be "worth it." I'm not saying a recruiter won't work, but...there's not a lot of "there there" for them to sell.

You also will need a really, really good reason why you hate BK and think you'll like lit.


How does one apply on their own? Email firm's recruiting contact / apply online if they have one? Do I need to worry about my firm finding out? etc. Newb to the lateral process.

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Mickfromgm
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Mickfromgm » Mon May 22, 2017 11:05 am

Yes, you can email the recruiting director at each of the firms that you are interested in. . . that's one method. Hit and miss, but . . .

If you wish to be more targeted, there are a number of websites, including general websites like Monster or Indeed, that have Biglaw listings from time to time. However, you would want to check out GoBigLaw - they have a bunch of listings from recognizable BigLaw firms (mods, I have 0 affiliations with any of these websites). I am sure other folks here can suggest a few more websites.

As for confidentiality, I would trust the above methods over giving a resume to unscrupulous, anonymous recruiters -- the worst ones are known to spread your resumes without your consent (even if you expressly prohibit such dissemination beforehand) to call dibs on you and the placement fee. So be careful.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateraling within BigLaw after One Year

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 24, 2017 3:51 pm

I recently lateralled after a year of practice (moving cities to be with the wife). My biggest piece of advice would be to contact law school classmates who work at firms you'd be interested in targeting and ask them to put you in touch with recruiting at their firm. This will ensure that your cv at least gets a look. If you don't know anybody at the firm, just email the recruiting department. they're not going to "out you" to your firm. I also agree with the advice of not going through recruiters unless you get desperate for reasons previously mentioned.




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