Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

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sarge52

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Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

Postby sarge52 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:59 am

Hey guys - I'm currently a second year corporate/M&A associate in an NYC vault firm making market. My wife really wants to move back to WA to be closer with her family, and I have no problem moving out west for her. My question is how hard would it be to find a job at some of the bigger firms like Perkins in Seattle? Besides my wife, I have no ties to the area, and went to an NYC law school. Everyone says that the Seattle market is extremely inuslar, but is that really for getting an SA/entry level? Would this be impossible to get?

Any advice or tips? Should i use a recruiter? Anything is more than helpful, thank you!

Shredzeppelin240

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Re: Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

Postby Shredzeppelin240 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:08 pm

Only reason I'm responding is because I noticed nobody else has. I worked for one of the larger firms in seattle and I know they can be fairly tough to get into to. The Pacific Northwest markets pull nearly all their associates from U DUB, lewis and clark, or seattle university. If you are from NYC making market though and went to a good school I would think you stand a good chance. It is really rare for our area to get attorneys from schools ranking that high and especially from those who are coming from vault firms. Nearly all of them migrate to the largest firms in the area. Only thing is you may be making around half of what you are now.

I must add that I am not an attorney. I am applying in the fall but worked for two different law firms in Seattle/Portland (both within top 5 largest) and spent a lot of time talking to the attorneys as they knew I was applying. My goal is to pretty much do exactly what you are doing, so most of the ones I asked advice from were from top 14 schools and later returned after biglaw. I thought I'd share, but again, for the sake of honesty I am not an attorney and don't consider myself super knowledgeable.

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Re: Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:24 pm

I have the opposite question: currently a junior associate in a big Seattle firm (think Perkins/K&L Gates) and would like to lateral to NYC for family reasons. Is it doable to go from a small market like Seattle to NYC?

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Re: Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have the opposite question: currently a junior associate in a big Seattle firm (think Perkins/K&L Gates) and would like to lateral to NYC for family reasons. Is it doable to go from a small market like Seattle to NYC?


I’m in an even smaller market and NY firms don’t seem to care. I’ve been interviewing and the firms don’t seem to care that I work in a small market office of an amlaw 100 firm. I think NY is probably the easiest market to break into.

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Re: Lateral to Biglaw Seattle

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:00 pm

sarge52 wrote:Hey guys - I'm currently a second year corporate/M&A associate in an NYC vault firm making market. My wife really wants to move back to WA to be closer with her family, and I have no problem moving out west for her. My question is how hard would it be to find a job at some of the bigger firms like Perkins in Seattle? Besides my wife, I have no ties to the area, and went to an NYC law school. Everyone says that the Seattle market is extremely inuslar, but is that really for getting an SA/entry level? Would this be impossible to get?

Any advice or tips? Should i use a recruiter? Anything is more than helpful, thank you!


The Silicon Valley firms that have offices in SEA, as well as a few other national firms, really love to grab 2-4 year associates from NY/DC/CHI. I know a few of the market paying firms doing transactional are hiring people like you right now, and rely more on people in your position than OCI to fill their ranks. Check out Cooley, WSGR, Fenwick, DLA Piper, Stole Reeves, Baker Hostetler, and Perkins even. Also check out below market firms: Fox Rothschild, DWT, Foster Pepper......even though they don't pay market, it may not be a big deal for y'all, as there is no income tax in WA, and real estate is a bit cheaper.

Another point: Seattle is insular, but "my wife is a local and we're looking to be near family" is a pretty solid reason for moving. Pretend to love the Seahawks, and maybe hiking/fishing/skiing/biking/gardening or something, and you're golden.



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