lateral to new firm/stay at current firm/long term decision

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lateral to new firm/stay at current firm/long term decision

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:43 pm

hello all,

i am currently a ~3 year associate in a TX office of a V70-100 (3rd year by practice group, 4th year by class year). I get paid 175k, which is significantly below cravath.

That being said, firm management has let us know that the pay for my practice group will be going up to about ~210 starting next month.

Additionally, bonuses, which are currently around $15k for hitting 2100 hours, will also be seeing an "increase" this year. that number was not quantified, and given that the salary boost was for my specific practice group while bonus policy is set firmwide, I'm expecting for the 2100 number to increase from $15k to $20-25k, but not more than that.

I now have an opportunity to lateral to the TX office of another biglaw firm, which is lockstep and matches Cravath, and lastly is more prestigious. My salary would instantly go up to 210k (join as third year) and I would also receive a 15k signing bonus.

Lastly, bonuses for ~2100 hours at the new firm match Cravath.

I was informed that each yearly raise at my current firm will be "material" but was not given any numbers or written promises. Additionally, the bonus policy at my current firm is static and the amount will not increase for several more years until I am in the next tier.

Accordingly, by the end of 2020 i'd probably make $100k more at the new firm, due to the yearly increases in lockstep base and bonus compensation.

Beyond compensation, I am a bit paralyzed because at my current firm my reviews here are good and I like the people. They are fighting to convince me to stay actually - they have been stopping by my office and sending emails and making phone calls. You never know the reputation you will have in a new office and there is always the chance integration can go poorly or you don't perform in a new environment. That being said, I have positive reviews here and people (in trying to convince me to stay) have mentioned repeatedly that they think I am intelligent, hard working and have great promise, etc. As a result, I'm not sure where this one shakes out - I've made a solid reputation here but if what they is true, I should equally be able to do so in a new environment. On the flip side, even if I stay, they could be annoyed that I was looking around and even though they say they want me to stay, subconsciously write me off.

Lastly - at some point in the next few years I am looking to move to NY for personal reasons. If need be, I could stay at my current firm and move to our NY office and deal with the fact that the money won't go as far in NY, or alternatively I could hunt for a new firm.

In hunting for a new firm, I am concerned that I will not be able to land a job at a Cravath paying firm in NYC from my current firm in TX because my current firm does not have a significant presence in NY, is a v100-v70, and lastly my law school and transcript were both mediocre (~rank 50 law school with median grades).

The new firm has a NY office as well - my practice group is small in the NY office, but it is there (3 partners or so and 3 associates). This could basically be a golden opportunity to get into a Cravath paying NY office that I *think* would normally be a difficult lateral move to make (I've talked to quite a few associates in different offices and inter-office transfers are apparently uncontroversial and supported by management as a way to prevent attrition).

Lastly, while partnership is easier to attain at my current firm (still hard), i don't really see myself in a big law firm for the rest of my career and probably will leave after 4-5 more years.

So basically it comes down to pay and long term NY prospects versus the people i know and the reputation i have already worked hard to create.

Any thoughts? Can also clarify or answer any questions if what i said was unclear.

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