Corporate work in Phoenix?

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Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:30 am

I'm currently a 2L, heading to a V10 firm in a major market doing corporate work. My significant other just got an incredible job offer in Phoenix AZ. I'm not sure what to do now. Did some search on Phoenix legal market but couldn't find much helpful info, was hoping if anyone can help provide some insight/advice:

1. How is the Phoenix legal market? Is there any legit corporate work?
2. How are the Phoenix market and the firms perceived elsewhere in the country? How hard would it be if I ever want to go back to the major markets (NY/SF/LA), as lateral or in-house?
3. How about in-house positions in Phoenix? My understanding is that there's not many company HQs in Phoenix. How feasible is it to find a decent in-house position as an exit option?
4. Should I look for 3L recruiting in Phoenix (which I assume would be rare), or start at the V10 and look for lateral/in-house? if the latter, is it easier to lateral out to a secondary market as a junior, mid-level, or senior?

Thanks!!

Anonymous User
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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:25 pm

Worked in Phoenix biglaw for a few years before lateraling out to a bigger market. Phoenix is a very insular and strange market for being in such a gigantic metro area. The legal market is tiny, everyone knows each other, and they're obsessed with attorneys having strong Phoenix area ties. I'm going to try to answer your questions but I'm a litigator, so take some of this with a grain of salt.

1. Small, but there is still high end work that happens at the major firms. Definitely legit corporate work, but it's not going to be the same as NYC/Chi/CA. That being said, corporate seems to be very busy based upon my corporate friends who are still in the valley.

2. I lateraled out of Phoenix to a major market - Chicago. I was at a satellite office of a large firm so I think that helped. The firms/offices probably aren't seen as prestigious as major market firms or offices, but depending on your credentials, I don't think it would be too difficult to eventually lateral out especially because you had a good reason to be in Phoenix in the first place. I went to a T6 and have to say that it probably helped a bunch in getting out of Phoenix. I was in Phoenix for my husband and then had to go back home to Chicago for personal reasons. Since I was from Chicago, no firms were really skeptical about me wanting to go back, especially with T6 credentials. You didn't say where you went to school, but given you got a V10, I'll assume you went T14 and won't have any issues in the future.

3. I can't speak to everyone, but from my firm, there were multiple people that left for in-house gigs from the corporate side and they actually got a pretty significant pay bump given that Phoenix firms don't pay market. Even though there aren't alot of big HQs in Phoenix, there are still a ton of companies in Phoenix.

4. I don't know why you wouldn't do both. Given your likely excellent credentials and strong Phoenix ties, I would start blasting all the major firms in Phoenix. It will probably not pan out given that most places don't hire entry level lawyers, but I don't see what you won't gain. Especially because it will put you on firms' radars when they finally do need a corp associate and they might reach out to you in the next year or two when they're finally looking and since you'll have some experience under your belt at that point. I know of a classmate who started at a v10 in NYC and lateraled to Phoenix before his first year was up and he was in corporate. I think it can happen at any time, it just depends on who is looking.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous User
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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:42 pm

Speaking from personal experience, there are little to no Phoenix Biglaw firms that hire 3Ls. On the very rare chance it happens, the hiring is usually to bring on a (usually local) law student that has already made an impression on a partner that has the authority to make the call.

kittychandler

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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby kittychandler » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:13 am

Phoenix litigator here. I’d recommend getting connected with ASU’s Symplicity. Also check the Arizona Bar Association’s job postings. Our Greenberg Traurig office also recently had some postings for corporate people.

As far as exit options go, the vast majority of in house options I’ve seen are for corporate folks. Can’t speak to the selectivity or pay, and they’re fairly few and far between (1-2 per month). I’m not too sure about the option for leaving the market, but in my lit experience, the firms are generally more sparsely staffed so you get better experience as a younger attorney. For what it’s worth, I know that recruiters often hit up our firms advertising jobs in major metro areas.

Anonymous User
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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:28 pm

Anon OP here. Thanks so much for your answers! Just for background, I'm in T14 and doing fairly well w/r/t grades etc.

My main concern for starting my career in Phoenix is missing out on the opportunities to work on the "high caliber" deals. And it's a V10 firm I'd be giving up, the ranking sort of has some psych value at the least. I was thinking maybe starting in the major market and then lateral out as mid-level/senior (that is if my SO is okay with long-distance in the meantime). Would there be any strong disadvantages to this route?

Just curious - is the hours generally better in Phoenix?

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The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My main concern for starting my career in Phoenix is missing out on the opportunities to work on the "high caliber" deals. And it's a V10 firm I'd be giving up, the ranking sort of has some psych value at the least. I was thinking maybe starting in the major market and then lateral out as mid-level/senior (that is if my SO is okay with long-distance in the meantime). Would there be any strong disadvantages to this route?


You're right that this is a good route from a career standpoint but LDR + V10 corp sounds VERY tough.

1styearlateral

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Re: Corporate work in Phoenix?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:55 am

Dentons’ hotel/hospitality group is top notch and based in the firm’s Phoenix office.

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