Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Rob Crow

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:17 am

Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby Rob Crow » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:11 pm

I'm a third year. For financial and career reasons, I think it makes sense to stay at least one more year in biglaw.

I billed about 2700 hours this year (even though I took four weeks of vacation). Next year appears to be similar. I think I can stick it out but would prefer not to.

For those that lateraled out of similar situations - was the new place better?

User avatar
bruinfan10

Silver
Posts: 632
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:25 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:04 pm

my friend just did it. the new place is far worse. do really, really, really good homework before you lateral.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:15 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:my friend just did it. the new place is far worse. do really, really, really good homework before you lateral.


This kind of happened to me - my new practice group isn't what I thought it would be.

Considering making another move, but thinking that could be damaging since I have been at my current firm for less than a year.

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 583
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:16 pm

Rob Crow wrote:I'm a third year. For financial and career reasons, I think it makes sense to stay at least one more year in biglaw.

I billed about 2700 hours this year (even though I took four weeks of vacation). Next year appears to be similar. I think I can stick it out but would prefer not to.

For those that lateraled out of similar situations - was the new place better?


I mean, you can't really get much worse than 2700 hours in 11+ months lol, wherever you go next is bound to be improvement.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:24 pm

The only way to avoid the hours is to leave biglaw. I lateraled last year, at first it was better... then it got much worse and the choices came down to slave away or run the risk of getting fired (one person tried to avoid work and did end up getting fired... everyone else will be working through the holidays).

runinthefront

Gold
Posts: 2147
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:18 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The only way to avoid the hours is to leave biglaw. I lateraled last year, at first it was better... then it got much worse and the choices came down to slave away or run the risk of getting fired (one person tried to avoid work and did end up getting fired... everyone else will be working through the holidays).

This seems generally true, but would you still say that in OP's case, where 2700/yr was OP's past, present reality, and foreseeable future? I can't imagine that's the case
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:39 pm

runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The only way to avoid the hours is to leave biglaw. I lateraled last year, at first it was better... then it got much worse and the choices came down to slave away or run the risk of getting fired (one person tried to avoid work and did end up getting fired... everyone else will be working through the holidays).

This seems generally true, but would you still say that in OP's case, where 2700/yr was OP's past, present reality, and foreseeable future? I can't imagine that's the case


Previous anon; I'm lit and OP sounds like he's corporate. At my firm, we get a constant 2600/yr, which is not an improvement (and I'm not even in NY). I don't think anyone who isn't a partner has taken a month off in years. I did get a three-day weekend off this year; it was great. Sometimes I find myself jealous of house husbands.

BernieTrump

Bronze
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:54 pm

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby BernieTrump » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:58 pm

Of course it can be better, but it usually isn't. There is a very low success rate on improvement, though 2700 is bad, so you might be in the minority. Remember that most firms are naturally LIFO when it comes to terminations too, but that doesn't rly matter if you only want to coast one year.

New firm is usually not better because you're not joining a biglaw practice at random; you're joining one that needs to hire in an industry generally built upon pushing ppl out, not bringing ppl in. Firm depts that are hiring do so because of some combination of (i) they have too much work for available staffing, which tells you something because firms will ruthlessly grind their associate cogs into fine powder and hiring more people obviously costs more (if they could do everything without the hire, they would) and/or (ii) they're toxic for whatever reason (shit practice that they can't get internal candidates to join/stay in, shit partners, poor exits/clients, too many hours to hold on to people).

Look at your firm's lateral listing, and 4 out of 5 times you'll see what your firm is looking for is a group you wouldn't join to save your life. You'll see the same groups at the same firms always looking. By example, if you lateral, your firm may start recruiting. Joining a firm is random in re who you end up working with, how busy it will be, and what the people will be like. Lateraling isn't.

Sometimes they just have too many people quit/move unexpectedly and it's a great group, but that's the exception.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:00 pm

i think it depends where you lateral. lateralling from v10 to a v50 in the same practice group may not yield many differences. I lateraled (ny) from a v5 to a firm not even on vault, and changed practice groups. took a slight paycut (about 10-15%), but not by much. lifestyle is lightyears betters and the team is great. have no burn out and can stay here for years.

SFSpartan

Silver
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:01 pm

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:15 pm

Do your homework before you lateral, and make sure your level of busy-ness isn't part of an industry trend. Earlier this year, I lateraled from a firm where I was on pace to bill 3000 hours. The new place has been marginally better, but I'm still over 2800 for the year. Turns out, my hours were indicative of the fact that Silicon Valley corporate is crazy right now, rather than being a firm-specific issue. There's also the stress of having to prove yourself to a new group of people. Just food for thought.

shock259

Gold
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby shock259 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:16 pm

It really depends. But it's not hard to find a firm where you'll work less than 2700, and that is probably a cause of a lot of your despair. I joined an awesome practice group after lateraling, and I am much happier than I was at my old firm. I feel like I bought myself a couple of extra years in biglaw.

redsox550

Bronze
Posts: 307
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:15 am

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby redsox550 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:03 pm

couldn't be happier that I lateralled. I try and motivate my friends to leave old firm since I have found that there are much better/happier firms to work at

lolwat

Silver
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Laterals: Is it better? Or just different?

Postby lolwat » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:49 am

I think you really just have to do your DD.

Lots of it.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.