Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

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Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:00 am

Seeking some hivemind wisdom for next step ideas.

Quick summation of current situation: in mid-sized firm in a rather niche practice group. Class of 2016 so ~10 months experience. Out of the blue the head of the department has moved to another office, where most of the other associates already are, and I'm expected to make the jump. For various familial and personal reasons suffice it to say I can't.

For this reason, and after attempting to find ways to work with the firm to avoid it, I'll be giving notice. Again, here, suffice it to say all alternatives wherein I stay have been floated and shot down.

Prior to law school I owned a small business (IT related), so my go-to answer to this situation is to apply that hammer to this nail and start on my own. My higher brain tells me this is a doomed path. Financially I'm okay for the time being, but I want to advance my career. I'm already enrolled in NYU/GULC tax LLM program for Fall 2017 (thought old firm would be paying for that -- guess not). My question is pretty open ended, what would you do if you found yourself in roughly this position? (That is, out of a non-biglaw firm, with less than a year's worth of experience, and little notice.)

A note, I am aware of the precariousness of my situation, the likelihood that nothing will become of the LLM, and the chances of my winding up on the street corner dancing for nickels. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:22 am

So you're starting school again in the fall? Are you going to be doing that full-time (I was under the impression the NYU/GULC tax LLM was full-time, but that is admittedly mostly an assumption)? Would it be possible to put off notice until July-ish so you can just make a natural transition into going back to school where your resume makes a coherent statement? That's what I'd try to do. That way you have a perfectly natural answer for employers you interview with following the Tax LLM regarding your departure from your current firm.

Your other questions are a bit confusing to me, because it seems like you're trying to find something right now when you'll be leaving the firm for school in two months. Some clarification on that would be helpful in giving any other thoughts or opinions.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:44 am

UVA2B wrote:So you're starting school again in the fall? Are you going to be doing that full-time (I was under the impression the NYU/GULC tax LLM was full-time, but that is admittedly mostly an assumption)? Would it be possible to put off notice until July-ish so you can just make a natural transition into going back to school where your resume makes a coherent statement? That's what I'd try to do. That way you have a perfectly natural answer for employers you interview with following the Tax LLM regarding your departure from your current firm.

Your other questions are a bit confusing to me, because it seems like you're trying to find something right now when you'll be leaving the firm for school in two months. Some clarification on that would be helpful in giving any other thoughts or opinions.


Thanks for this.

I am currently enrolled in the part time program but have requested being switched over to full time, which apparently is a switch that can be made without issue. Unfortunately there is no way I can push things back to make it to July 1 to have the coherent resume statement, as you suggest. I had that thought, but the answer was essentially I could make the transfer (that is causing all of this to be an issue in the first place) and then give notice. Using vacation days to make up the difference isn't an option either as that avenue isn't available until you have been with the firm at least a year.

Apologies for the lack of clarity regarding the rest. My ideal scenario is to find something and do the LLM part time (my original intention). Second best, but a relatively distant second, would be to suck up the loss in income as a household and do the LLM full time.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:07 am

Without going into too much personal detail, why is it not possible to do a temporary transfer to the other office just to fill resume gaps? Would the firm let you transfer for 6 weeks or so before returning back to your current market where you'll be doing the LLM?

Since you're in a niche practice group at your firm, I would imagine there are at least some other firms that have the same practice group, correct? Have you tried reaching out to those firms to demonstrate your interest in joining their practice? Or maybe finding a legal recruiter who handles junior laterals to get their advice? If you outline your reasons for needing to stay in your current market, they might be willing to take you on as a junior lateral if they need bodies in your niche practice group. It's at least worth a shot reaching out (I apologize this is all incredibly generic advice, but when we're dealing in anonymity and avoiding specific info about you to avoid outing you, it kinda limits how helpful the advice or questioning can be).

Is the Tax LLM a natural extension of your niche practice area, or more of a departure from what you're currently doing?

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:19 am

UVA2B wrote:Without going into too much personal detail, why is it not possible to do a temporary transfer to the other office just to fill resume gaps? Would the firm let you transfer for 6 weeks or so before returning back to your current market where you'll be doing the LLM?

Since you're in a niche practice group at your firm, I would imagine there are at least some other firms that have the same practice group, correct? Have you tried reaching out to those firms to demonstrate your interest in joining their practice? Or maybe finding a legal recruiter who handles junior laterals to get their advice? If you outline your reasons for needing to stay in your current market, they might be willing to take you on as a junior lateral if they need bodies in your niche practice group. It's at least worth a shot reaching out (I apologize this is all incredibly generic advice, but when we're dealing in anonymity and avoiding specific info about you to avoid outing you, it kinda limits how helpful the advice or questioning can be).

Is the Tax LLM a natural extension of your niche practice area, or more of a departure from what you're currently doing?


As to the transfer viability, my partner is in biglaw and we have a daughter for which I am the primary caregiver after hours. The other market is far enough away that I would not be able to commute -- it would be a live-there kind of situation.

No apologies necessary, I hadn't really explored legal recruiters, that is a great idea. There are indeed other firms that have the same practice group. They are few and far between but they exist and there are at least a few in the area. As you can imagine, my utility with such limited experience is probably, well, limited. I think I had shut off that avenue as an impossibility -- i.e. "no one is going to hire someone with 10 months of experience, it is essentially hiring someone right out of law school with none of the summer associate advantages." Owing to that assumption, I had purely been exploring the contract or freelance attorney avenues (Upwork, Outsourcely, etc.)

The tax LLM is a natural extension with a bit of a curve. I'm currently in finance and work with some IRC overlap. So it is a narrower/deeper shift from what I'm doing now.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Night_L » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:39 pm

I have no particular advice for you but I will say this: people are grossly overestimating the importance and detrimental effect of a two-month resume gap on your career or even your next opportunity. Quitting in June vs July you be the last thing on your mind.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Without going into too much personal detail, why is it not possible to do a temporary transfer to the other office just to fill resume gaps? Would the firm let you transfer for 6 weeks or so before returning back to your current market where you'll be doing the LLM?

Since you're in a niche practice group at your firm, I would imagine there are at least some other firms that have the same practice group, correct? Have you tried reaching out to those firms to demonstrate your interest in joining their practice? Or maybe finding a legal recruiter who handles junior laterals to get their advice? If you outline your reasons for needing to stay in your current market, they might be willing to take you on as a junior lateral if they need bodies in your niche practice group. It's at least worth a shot reaching out (I apologize this is all incredibly generic advice, but when we're dealing in anonymity and avoiding specific info about you to avoid outing you, it kinda limits how helpful the advice or questioning can be).

Is the Tax LLM a natural extension of your niche practice area, or more of a departure from what you're currently doing?


As to the transfer viability, my partner is in biglaw and we have a daughter for which I am the primary caregiver after hours. The other market is far enough away that I would not be able to commute -- it would be a live-there kind of situation.

No apologies necessary, I hadn't really explored legal recruiters, that is a great idea. There are indeed other firms that have the same practice group. They are few and far between but they exist and there are at least a few in the area. As you can imagine, my utility with such limited experience is probably, well, limited. I think I had shut off that avenue as an impossibility -- i.e. "no one is going to hire someone with 10 months of experience, it is essentially hiring someone right out of law school with none of the summer associate advantages." Owing to that assumption, I had purely been exploring the contract or freelance attorney avenues (Upwork, Outsourcely, etc.)

The tax LLM is a natural extension with a bit of a curve. I'm currently in finance and work with some IRC overlap. So it is a narrower/deeper shift from what I'm doing now.


I'm not convinced the resume "gap" matters in this context and that its worth pushing a temporary and inconvenient move. Honestly I'm not entirely sure what UVA2B's point is here: that saying "-July 2017" gives that much more flow than "-June 2017" when you're starting school in August? To me that seems quite insignificant; it will look like you worked until going back to school either way. Fill me in if I'm missing something. The real question is whether you'll be employable out of this LLM, or whether you'll just be back to square one in another eleven months.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby TLSModBot » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:53 pm

This is a great story for lateraling and while it's unusual to lateral as a first-year, it happens. This reasoning wouldn't raise any red flags that you're a quitter/getting secretly fired/difficult to work with. This is what I'd do in your shoes.

Downside is that the LLM might be a problem. Can't advise as to that or how it would affect your chances. Would it be possible for you to postpone/drop it if the firm you were looking at so requested?

Definitely do not strike it out on your own.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:53 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Without going into too much personal detail, why is it not possible to do a temporary transfer to the other office just to fill resume gaps? Would the firm let you transfer for 6 weeks or so before returning back to your current market where you'll be doing the LLM?

Since you're in a niche practice group at your firm, I would imagine there are at least some other firms that have the same practice group, correct? Have you tried reaching out to those firms to demonstrate your interest in joining their practice? Or maybe finding a legal recruiter who handles junior laterals to get their advice? If you outline your reasons for needing to stay in your current market, they might be willing to take you on as a junior lateral if they need bodies in your niche practice group. It's at least worth a shot reaching out (I apologize this is all incredibly generic advice, but when we're dealing in anonymity and avoiding specific info about you to avoid outing you, it kinda limits how helpful the advice or questioning can be).

Is the Tax LLM a natural extension of your niche practice area, or more of a departure from what you're currently doing?


As to the transfer viability, my partner is in biglaw and we have a daughter for which I am the primary caregiver after hours. The other market is far enough away that I would not be able to commute -- it would be a live-there kind of situation.

No apologies necessary, I hadn't really explored legal recruiters, that is a great idea. There are indeed other firms that have the same practice group. They are few and far between but they exist and there are at least a few in the area. As you can imagine, my utility with such limited experience is probably, well, limited. I think I had shut off that avenue as an impossibility -- i.e. "no one is going to hire someone with 10 months of experience, it is essentially hiring someone right out of law school with none of the summer associate advantages." Owing to that assumption, I had purely been exploring the contract or freelance attorney avenues (Upwork, Outsourcely, etc.)

The tax LLM is a natural extension with a bit of a curve. I'm currently in finance and work with some IRC overlap. So it is a narrower/deeper shift from what I'm doing now.


I'm not convinced the resume "gap" matters in this context and that its worth pushing a temporary and inconvenient move. Honestly I'm not entirely sure what UVA2B's point is here: that saying "-July 2017" gives that much more flow than "-June 2017" when you're starting school in August? To me that seems quite insignificant; it will look like you worked until going back to school either way. Fill me in if I'm missing something. The real question is whether you'll be employable out of this LLM, or whether you'll just be back to square one in another eleven months.


I don't think it'll make much of a difference, and I'm sure it'll be reasonable on its own if the end is June vs. July. I was mostly concerned with the idea of making that continuity as close as possible to the start date of school. And I only asked about the temporary move because it would provide additional family income for that time. It's not worth an inconvenient move to do it, but the extent of it being inconvenient wasn't clear when I asked, so I figured ask and see if it would make any sense to move to the new office for a month or two before giving up income and going back to school.

I wasn't trying to "make a point" in any way. I just wanted more information while providing possible solutions to the problem if they hadn't considered them. Doing the temporary move doesn't make sense given what is now provided. But it could have made some sense under different circumstances in my opinion though.

I agree it's mostly about whether the Tax LLM makes sense for the career progression, which it sounds like it could given it's at the right type of Tax LLM and it's at least apparently a worthwhile pivot in the OP's first experience. And it would be even better if OP could lateral to a similar practice group and do the LLM part-time like they originally planned to do (I wouldn't lead with that in an interview and I'd absolutely get the new firm to sign off on the LLM if offered a position or just forego the LLM for awhile so I could focus on getting up to speed with the new firm. But it'd be nice for the OP to be able to execute the plan they originally made if it still made sense to do so).

Maybe this is just me, but when I find myself without an easy answer to what I see as a problem, sometimes it's really helpful for people to propose possibilities just so I can internalize those possibilities and decide whether it would be a beneficial move. This is likely a situation that doesn't expressly need a solution beyond finding a lateral firm or just going all-in on the LLM, but sometimes just asking yourself the question of what else might make sense can be a helpful exercise, even if the options don't end up making sense.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:35 pm

I appreciate the feedback and thoughts, and take all comers. I took UVA2B's suggestion as presented, and appreciate even ideas and thoughts that might seem obvious. To some extent a lack of vision got me in this situation, which is a story for another day.

As for lateraling and whether to do the LLM or postpone the LLM, I am trying to envision my path forward. To some extent I see the LLM as my last best hope for pulling out of this mess (though that isn't to say my chances are good, Lawyers Losing Money and all that). On the other hand I do understand the concerns a new firm might have regarding my pursuing it simultaneously. I have sent out some resumes, and I have included "forthcoming" on them (I have actually taken a class already). It seems some might be thinking that my pursuing the LLM is more of a liability than an asset? I hadn't considered that. If there is a consensus I will definitely revisit my including it.

In sum, I know this isn't a problem with a simple solution, and I appreciate people giving their thoughts. I've felt rather isolated in my planning of this move, and so I appreciate having the opportunity to bounce ideas.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:38 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:This is a great story for lateraling and while it's unusual to lateral as a first-year, it happens. This reasoning wouldn't raise any red flags that you're a quitter/getting secretly fired/difficult to work with. This is what I'd do in your shoes.

Downside is that the LLM might be a problem. Can't advise as to that or how it would affect your chances. Would it be possible for you to postpone/drop it if the firm you were looking at so requested?

Definitely do not strike it out on your own.


Thanks. It's hard for me not to think that any reason for leaving during your first year appears as code for "you did a shitty job" or "you couldn't hack it." That, coupled with the fact that there seems to just be this expectation that I will make the move, despite my indicating my reticence, and thus I will likely not be using my managing partner as a reference, seemed like a death knell for any thought that I left of my own accord.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby Pokemon » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:16 pm

i would follow capitol advice and try to lateral. Leave off llm on your apps and drop out if you get firm job prior to fall. If you do not get firm job prior to fall then continue llm.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby lolwat » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:15 pm

Pokemon wrote:i would follow capitol advice and try to lateral. Leave off llm on your apps and drop out if you get firm job prior to fall. If you do not get firm job prior to fall then continue llm.


agree
and i wouldn't put in a cover letter or anything, but depending on the firm/market (works better for smaller markets or firms with primarily local peeps), if the question comes up why you're lateraling so quickly, i wouldn't hesitate to explain that your old firm's practice group essentially left and you couldn't move markets with them because of your ties to the area you're in.

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Re: Feeling Adrift - Giving Notice 10 mo's in

Postby ghostoftraynor » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:55 pm

Of course, I don't know your practice, but lateraling after year is not unheard of. I know someone personally who just did it. I think aggresively applying elsewhere would put you in a much better spot than taking on more debt in pretty much any scenario.



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