How often should I change jobs?

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How often should I change jobs?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:32 pm

2nd year associate in a major market and will be a third year in a couple of months. I am thinking about changing practice areas (e.g. from litigation to transaction). Assuming I can't get my dream position now, how long should I stay in the second firm before making the jump again to avoid being viewed as a flying risk.

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Re: How often should I change jobs?

Postby nealric » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:57 am

I wouldn't take any job with the assumption that I would be jumping ship as soon as it was politically feasible to do so. Don't just lateral to the first firm that will take you in your desired practice area if you don't think you'd be happy there.

That said, as someone who has done hiring, I'd say anything under 2 years is a bit suspect. Not just flight risk- a short tenure indicates that the candidate may have performed poorly and are trying to jump ship before they are forced out involuntarily. That said, individual circumstances may provide a satisfactory explanation.


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Re: How often should I change jobs?

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:08 am

If you want to change practice types (lit -> trans), then as soon as possible would be ideal. The longer you are a "litigator," the harder it will be to get out of that mold (you will have built lit skills and be seen as a litigator only to potential employers). But nealric is correct there definitely is a stigma against attorneys who have worked at 5 law firms in the last 3-4 years, and if you can't provide a sufficient excuse (merger, moved to be with SO, etc.), you could be considered a flight risk.

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