How difficult lateralling from lit to transac.?

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How difficult lateralling from lit to transac.?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:01 pm

I kinda want to go back to my home country (East Asia) after 3 ~ 4 yrs of practice experiences. Best option for me now is a mid-sized litigation boutique where I will be spending 2L summer at. I enjoy the litigation, but honestly, where I live seems to matter much much more for me. Of course, I cannot be a litigator back in the East Asia except for very limited arbitration cases. So, unless such limited cases arise, I should be doing transactional work. I took a lot of transactional classes while in law school so far (I would say almost 50:50 lit/trans) but I'm very concerned of my lack of experience.

inter-associate

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Re: How difficult lateralling from lit to transac.?

Postby inter-associate » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:34 pm

I would start by accepting the position that you have found, making sure you get a post-graduation offer and then trying your hand at 3L OCI. There are no guarantees of landing something better, but "I would prefer transactional work but my 2L summer firm only does litigation" is a pretty acceptable explanation for trying to change firms as a 3L.

You are correct that you will struggle to find transactional opportunities in the future if you start with 3-4 years of litigation. Transactional classes in law school offer very little in terms of meaningful experience that relates to law firm expectations. If you really want to go home and do transactional work I would suggest trying to lateral as early as possible and being willing to take a year or two hit on class year.

Alternatively, there are litigation opportunities for U.S. litigators in Asia. These include arbitration as well as handling securities law disputes for Asian issuers. While these opportunities are rare, so are U.S. trained litigators who want to relocate to Asia. I know a litigation partner at a U.S. firm in Hong Kong who spent the better part of two years trying to recruit a U.S. trained, Chinese speaking litigator for his team. Again, not easy to find, but if you keep your eyes open opportunities will open up.

Lancair

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Re: How difficult lateralling from lit to transac.?

Postby Lancair » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I kinda want to go back to my home country (East Asia) after 3 ~ 4 yrs of practice experiences. Best option for me now is a mid-sized litigation boutique where I will be spending 2L summer at. I enjoy the litigation, but honestly, where I live seems to matter much much more for me. Of course, I cannot be a litigator back in the East Asia except for very limited arbitration cases. So, unless such limited cases arise, I should be doing transactional work. I took a lot of transactional classes while in law school so far (I would say almost 50:50 lit/trans) but I'm very concerned of my lack of experience.


Which jurisdiction are you heading back to? There are plenty of options for litigation in Asia - as mentioned above, you either practice US law, or depending on the jurisdiction, re-qualify and practice local law. Somewhere like Hong Kong getting locally qualified is a bit annoying but totally doable.

Another option would be to practice offshore law in Asia - easy enough to get qualified in Cayman/BVI with a US degree - and most of the big offshore firms have a couple of Asian offices, where most of their clients and staff are actually physically located.



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