Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

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Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:01 am

Hi All,

2nd year associate at v-10 in major market (litigation). I do not like big law at all (hours, type of work, nature of work) and probably never will (seniors are busier than me, not to mention partners).

My preference would be public interest, but at this point i'm looking at anything that will get me out, without taking too much of a "status demotion" if you want to call it that (i don't care about money or prestige, but may want to be AUSA in future).

JAG would be great, but I have medical disqualifications (anti-depressants).

Ideas?

Right now Im applying to local DA, AG, and clerkships (while I've had two interviews, no offers, and while I would currently be willing to relocate, that might change come 2020, so Id like to avoid applying for start dates after early 2019.

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Rowinguy2009

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:23 am

My random thoughts:

-You're probably too late in the cycle to secure a federal clerkship for fall 2018, so that route probably won't yield much for you given that you don't want to wait for a 2019 clerkship (of course keep looking and applying to any judges on Oscar that post last minute-type openings, but these will probably be scarce).

-When I was applying for federal jobs, USAjobs.gov would literally post new attorney spots every single day throughout the US, and every single day I would search and apply for any newly released jobs that were posted. You can get a lot of hits this way, but these jobs are notoriously competitive and the process is slow moving. Also, while all fed jobs are "supposed" to be posted on USAjobs, some agencies, like DHS, refuse to follow this rule and only post on their own website and sites like indeed.

-A lot of bigger cities/counties have city/count attorney offices that do a variety of random things beyond just your standard DA gig. "Governmentjobs.com" is a good resource for these jobs in my experience.

-I think your single best bet (especially if your priority is getting out "ASAP") is going to be prosecution at the city/county/state level. Just keep an eye out for every opening like this in markets where you are willing to move and have ties.

-In case you haven't heard of it, psd.org posts tons of public interest stuff.

-Think about plaintiff's firms?

-Edit to add: a lot of universities have administrative type positions, and some even have legal clinics with legit litigation fellowships and things like that. Higheredjobs.com is helpful for searching these.

WheatThins

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby WheatThins » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:57 am

If you really need to get out ASAP for some reason (mental health, family, etc), just do it. Maybe go volunteer at a DAs office to get done experience while applying for jobs. Good luck.

JusticeJackson

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:39 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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84651846190

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby 84651846190 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:44 am

JusticeJackson wrote:I don’t know your circumstances, but I just wanted to share that, for me at least, biglaw litigation got way better over time. I was definitely overwhelmed all the time when I was junior, and it wore on me. Eventually I got to a place where I wasn’t cramming to figure out some new thing all the time, and it got way easier and more enjoyable. I also got lucky to work for some partners that plan ahead, which comes with its own annoyances, but is way better than the partners that are always asking you to do some quick turnaround assignment at the last minute.

I also clerked after a few years at the firm, which gave me some perspective and got me to start really enjoying litigation. There are fewer clerkship openings off schedule, but those openings have fewer applicants as long as you’re willing to jump. I’ve found that the uscourts.gov website and law school alumni job websites often have last-minute type clerkship openings that aren’t on Oscar, and those openings get way fewer applications. I was like 4/7 on getting interviews that way compared to like 3/200+ applying through Oscar.

jd20132013

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:47 am

Lol yeah that's the key language.

Query whether you want to bet the house on it

JusticeJackson

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby JusticeJackson » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:57 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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84651846190

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby 84651846190 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:49 am

I think everyone has different experiences in biglaw. To suggest that "it gets better" for everyone isn't true. Sure, the learning curve gets better, but in my experience the expectations and difficulty of the type of work you do increase out of proportion to any easing of the learning curve. Also, just because you've figured out how to do something doesn't mean it's fun. Most tasks in biglaw require sustained focus and attention to detail that only the mentally ill would consider "fun." A lot of tasks just take a lot of time, regardless of how well you know how to do them.
Last edited by 84651846190 on Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

jd20132013

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:50 am

No, all jokes aside it's a useful data point. I personally don't see my experience changing but it's good to know that it does for some

1styearlateral

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:57 am

Yeah, I agree with Jackson. If you can get lucky partner-wise, and learn to plan ahead, litigation can be easy, which makes it much more enjoyable. I very rarely leave anything to the last minute if I can help it, and I don't let partners in my office push me into a tight spot. If I know a discovery deadline is coming up, and the partner hasn't said anything about it yet, I usually prod the matter or take it upon myself to get a head start. No one wants to be in the office the weekend before responses to rogs are due.

The one thing I like about litigation is that I've learned so much about other practice areas and topics that you wouldn't necessarily think would have any relation.

But the law firm model just blows, I don't really care if you're at an amlaw 100 firm or boutique. I'm hoping to get in house asap, not because I hate litigation or lawyering, but because I hate having to worry about 100 of someone else's clients and constantly trying to keep my head above the billable hour requirement. Life's too short to be living it in 6-minute increments.

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:24 pm

1styearlateral wrote:But the law firm model just blows, I don't really care if you're at an amlaw 100 firm or boutique. I'm hoping to get in house asap, not because I hate litigation or lawyering, but because I hate having to worry about 100 of someone else's clients and constantly trying to keep my head above the billable hour requirement. Life's too short to be living it in 6-minute increments.


In house litigation is strange in its own right, in that for many/most places it's mostly about managing outside counsel and acting as liaison between them and your clients. It's easy to feel detached from the actual litigation. Unless you're looking at a risk/compliance style role where you're further from the litigation part, but more involved in policy implementation?

1styearlateral

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Re: Best way to leave Biglaw -- ASAP

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:40 pm

albanach wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:But the law firm model just blows, I don't really care if you're at an amlaw 100 firm or boutique. I'm hoping to get in house asap, not because I hate litigation or lawyering, but because I hate having to worry about 100 of someone else's clients and constantly trying to keep my head above the billable hour requirement. Life's too short to be living it in 6-minute increments.


In house litigation is strange in its own right, in that for many/most places it's mostly about managing outside counsel and acting as liaison between them and your clients. It's easy to feel detached from the actual litigation. Unless you're looking at a risk/compliance style role where you're further from the litigation part, but more involved in policy implementation?

Not trying to derail this thread, but in response:

From my experience, I know most of our clients' in house attorneys take a very arms-length approach to litigation. They contact you with the issue, listen to your analysis, and then either give you the thumbs up or down to proceed. However, I've had a few GCs who have taken extremely active roles in litigation matters, one of whom actually helped write appellate briefs (he was even listed on the signature page).

I could see myself taking a more vested interest in the process similar to that GC. And I think I'd be good at managing outside litigation counsel in general. But since in house attorneys usually wear multiple hats, I could also see myself getting involved in more transactional/compliance/regulatory matters, and with a litigation background I could put those matters into context with potential litigation. I have a privacy cert so I'd like to go that route (compliance and breach work).



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