PKSebben wrote:WTF are you talking about? People lateral to different states all the time. It is not, by any measure, uncommon. If you're a good lawyer, those skills translate jurisdictions. Once you get a book, things change, but for Joe Blow Associate laterals happen ALL THE TIME. Especially major market to smaller market. NYC to Cleveland? Yes. DC to Austin? Yes. Niche matters far more than geography. Don't expect to practice entertainment law in Lexington.
I disagree with this, at least from what i have seen and been told by nurmourse lawyers here. Year 1-3 transfers OK (and you have to take the bar again), but then after that your pretty much set in stone where you're at (now being transferred by the same firm to a diffrent market is very different).
But if you're at year five, you better have a book, and if you do not, and not on the partner track at your old firm your just a very expensive mid level associate with no local contacts that for some reason did not make partner track back home. Sure your reason may be you family got sick and you have to move back, but the firms won't look at it like that, you're the casualty of up and out to them. They except something to be wrong with you.
They don't want to pay you 5th year associate salary while you try to make contacts and create a book, especially if they think you got not offered partner route back home. Of course you can always move and start your own firm, but a big, big part of the legal world is who you know, and at five year mark that's pretty much your best card to play.
As was described above the regional basis is a BIG thing, its extremely prevalent in my market, but gets ever worse for lawyers AFTER law school. NYC biglaw to Denver is not like it appears on here, there is no desperation to hire a NYC biglaw 5th year associate (and his costs) if he has no local contacts, knowledge or clients (and since we don't, or did not have reporcoity with NYC he has to take our bar and get addmited).
Being a good lawyer is great for solo practice and small firm, being a good revenue generator is what big firms in secondary markets really want, and if you can't bring that, they really don't have much interest in you. Shitty lawyer with big book (aka peoples skills and BS skills) is better than great lawyer with no book. hence why many great lawyers with both, book from firms by year 6-7, if your good at what you do AND you have your own clelients, then get the hell out of a firm where PPP is killing you when you make the bank.
Anyway, this is just what i have seen here and been told by the lawyers I know, most of whom have 10 years experince or more, so I trust when they tell me something about the market they know (since less than half of those who start as lawyers stay in the profesion for more than 10 years, or so says our bar assn.)