Screwed up my career - help!

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Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:46 am

I have a somewhat unique, and very out-able situation, so I'm going to try to go light on the details here.

I left my firm around October (right when I would have become a second-year) to take a non-practicing attorney role at another law firm. This is the biggest mistake of my life. This role is an absolute disaster. I've reached out to my career counselor, partners I was close to at my old firm, and other mentors to try to figure out how to salvage this. I'm willing to relocate anywhere and to any practice group in order to get back to practicing. Willing to do any size firm (except maybe stuff like insurance defense, because that seems like it would be horrible pay for an equally bad situation and no career advancement, and my current comp package is on par with a first year associate's package. That said, those are my only objections to ID so let me know if I am wrong).

I know I was a huge idiot and if I had a second chance I would not be so stupid. TLS has been solid for every decision I've had to make, and I'm really grateful for this community. What are my options here? Should I leave this job off my resume and try to pitch myself as having to relocate to X market for family emergency reasons? (Not above making up ties). Should I do a tax LLM at NYU? (I'm T6, median). I'd be happy with working at the Big4 over my current situation. Should I mass-mail and network with alums in the hopes that a midlaw/small law firm will take me? I have a couple of friends in early stage start-ups who want to bring me on for equity. I have no debt and some savings, so I could do that for a year, but that doesn't seem like it would salvage my resume.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:18 pm

I would just be honest and say you left for a non-lawyer position and you've realized your mistake. Just spin it so that it sounds like your dedication to the law has been redoubled. In the meantime, network and apply to any job you might consider.

ruski

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby ruski » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 pm

I was wondering your reason for hating it. I was considering such a position. the money seems good and hours are great. what is your reason for hating?

Anonymous User
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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:07 pm

I'm going to PM you. I highly doubt anybody will see this, but I don't need to be fired on top of an already-bad situation. Happy to PM anybody else who is curious.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:07 pm

Delete. I don't know why my browser keeps posting something multiple times.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:08 pm

Delete. Sorry mods!

Damage Over Time

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:09 pm

Definitely don't just do a tax LLM at NYU to double down on your future

Graybrow

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Graybrow » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:33 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:I would just be honest and say you left for a non-lawyer position and you've realized your mistake. Just spin it so that it sounds like your dedication to the law has been redoubled. In the meantime, network and apply to any job you might consider.


This sounds good to me as well.

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:44 pm

I've been getting mixed advice from career services, who have been telling me to play up the transferable aspects of this job (or honestly, stretch them as much as possible), and then say that I want to transfer back to a practicing role. Also I'm generally concerned that I look like a complete flight risk, but I guess framing this as a mistake would address that.

The bigger problem is that 2nd year hiring isn't exactly robust, and there are plenty of associates with pristine resumes looking to jump firms for various reasons. I have never known how to pound the pavement for opportunities, and something tells me that checking every firm's open lateral postings for 1st-2nd year positions isn't going to cut it. How do you mass-mail? Do you literally pop open a list of every firm everywhere and email the recruiter asking if they would take a first/second year? Do you reach out to friendly alums and ask them to network?

If I network, what do I tell them? If they're in corporate, it seems a little disingenuous to ask them what they do, because I was a corporate associate and am in a corporate practice group still. If they're in another practice group, won't they be super confused by somebody who wants to switch? And in any other circumstance, I've heard that people hate it when they feel like you're asking them for a job under the guise of informal networking.

I realize that I'm going to have to put in a lot of work getting myself out of this situation, so I don't mean to sound unwilling to put in the time! I just want to make sure I'm putting the best foot forward possible and not burning through potential connections.

Damage Over Time

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you reach out to friendly alums and ask them to network?

If I network, what do I tell them? If they're in corporate, it seems a little disingenuous to ask them what they do, because I was a corporate associate and am in a corporate practice group still.


Definitely reach out to these people. You don't really have to "tell them" stuff, just have organic conversation about your long term ambitions, what you think your skills are, what their experience at their firm is, where they see themselves headed, what they like about what they do. It shouldn't be like pulling teeth and shouldn't be you confessing your sins.

"I noticed you worked on x deal, ...." etc. You're probably not going to get a job offer after you finish your coffee, but building a network can mean that the next time their firm has an opening, they'll think, "that anon I met was pretty genuine, confident, and bright, maybe we should interview him and not [faceless name from resume pile]."

Anonymous User
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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:06 pm

Thanks! That's helpful. Would you recommend just framing my intro email as "switched out, looking to transition back, interested in talking about what you do" etc., and then letting the conversation go from there?

Also, can I ask why a tax LLM is a bad idea? Is it likely to lead to unemployment? It's attractive to me because the timeline seems about right. I can apply and eat the deposit if something better comes up by September.

Damage Over Time

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! That's helpful. Would you recommend just framing my intro email as "switched out, looking to transition back, interested in talking about what you do" etc., and then letting the conversation go from there?

Also, can I ask why a tax LLM is a bad idea? Is it likely to lead to unemployment? It's attractive to me because the timeline seems about right. I can apply and eat the deposit if something better comes up by September.


You should PM me about the tax LLM.


And yeah I think that's a good place to start re: e-mail to alumni. I've had success with linkedin as well. Just don't seem like you're sending a copy and pasted mass e-mail and suggest a variety of things that can accommodate the person's schedule ("I'm happy to chat via phone or meet in person for coffee, let me know what works best")

Danger Zone

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:29 pm

You're in a corporate practice group but not practicing?
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:36 pm

Yes. I can PM you the details.

ur_hero

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby ur_hero » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:48 pm

I've heard of taking non-practicing roles in companies, but at a law firm for a new lawyer? What kinda roles are there like that? Certainly a unique situation..

PorscheFanatic

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby PorscheFanatic » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:52 pm

Can you PM some more details?

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bruinfan10

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:06 pm

Anecdotally, I've heard stories like these----about people leaving biglaw too soon to go to non-law jobs or midlaw/smalllaw and doing crappy work for bad hours at like 10% of the pay----from at least five friends now. One got a state AG job that I thought would've been a dream, but realized he wasn't going to be able to save for a house or retirement realistically on the low gov pay, and he bailed out of that job for a big firm again after two years. Worth noting as a counterpoint to the innumerable posts saying avoid biglaw at all costs.

NoLongerALurker

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby NoLongerALurker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:24 pm

^ I for one would like to hear more stories like this. I've been on the hunt for stories from people who left biglaw and regretted it.

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bruinfan10

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:26 pm

NoLongerALurker wrote:^ I for one would like to hear more stories like this. I've been on the hunt for stories from people who left biglaw and regretted it.

A friend of mine (not the state AG friend) left after a short stint in biglaw to take a nonlaw political job that sounded like a dream, but turned out to be dead-end, low-paid, no advancement work. Person went back to a firm after. Another friend left biglaw for midlaw, works the same hours with shittier people and less pay. regrets the decision terribly. i bet there are more stories like this.

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 pm

NoLongerALurker wrote:^ I for one would like to hear more stories like this. I've been on the hunt for stories from people who left biglaw and regretted it.


I took local biglaw in a secondary city (my hometown) thinking it would be laid back. Instead it was biglaw hours with way shittier pay and less competent bosses. Left after 3 years to clerk and then lateralled to biglaw. Best decision I ever made.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Yugihoe » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:41 pm

OP, can you pm me? Genuinely interested in what kind of non practicing roles there are in big law (that are not like HR or something) and why you don't like it.

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bruinfan10

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NoLongerALurker wrote:^ I for one would like to hear more stories like this. I've been on the hunt for stories from people who left biglaw and regretted it.


I took local biglaw in a secondary city (my hometown) thinking it would be laid back. Instead it was biglaw hours with way shittier pay and less competent bosses. Left after 3 years to clerk and then lateralled to biglaw. Best decision I ever made.

TLS needs more datapoints like this. Many, if not most, law jobs are awful. We just hear about how bad biglaw jobs are more than we hear about other jobs. At least biglaw pays a premium salary for shitty lawyer hours.

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:45 pm

^ It's hard because almost all of the (non-trial)gov/inhouse datapoints on TLS paint it as a chill 9-5 for a paycut.

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:53 pm

Yeah, my guess is that it’s a huge selection bias. There are channels on here to vent about biglaw/get information on exit options, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the in-house people either come back to report positively (Which is helpful, as a datapoint), or just disappear from the site.

lameslice57

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Re: Screwed up my career - help!

Postby lameslice57 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:47 am

I'd appreciate a PM as well. Interested in something similar.



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