Resources for Laterals

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Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:47 pm

For those who have left for greener pastures, especially those who lateraled during this pandemic, I’d appreciate any general advice you could provide (and I’m sure others ok this thread would as well). Also hoping some of you could weigh in on the following questions:

1. What was your process like after you signed the offer letter? Were you notified that you had cleared conflicts or that they reach out to (and had heard back from) your references?

2. How did you notify your team? Did you contact your HR department first?

3. How much notice did you give?

4. Any pitfalls to avoid or tasks to complete to prevent burning any bridges and ensuring a smooth (as possible) transition?

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:18 pm

I'm tagging in on this as well. I'm curious as to OP's questions too and ways to amicably leave a firm for better opportunity.

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For those who have left for greener pastures, especially those who lateraled during this pandemic, I’d appreciate any general advice you could provide (and I’m sure others on this thread would as well). Also hoping some of you could weigh in on the following questions:

1. What was your process like after you signed the offer letter? Were you notified that you had cleared conflicts or that they reach out to (and had heard back from) your references?

2. How did you notify your team? Did you contact your HR department first?

3. How much notice did you give?

4. Any pitfalls to avoid or tasks to complete to prevent burning any bridges and ensuring a smooth (as possible) transition?
Anonymous because not only have I done this more than once before, I'm about to do it again this week.

1. After I signed the offer letter, I provided the list of clients for conflicts purposes, and the firm lateral recruiter informed me once conflicts and background check had cleared. This process took about 2-3 days. Once I was asked to provide a list of contacts and sign off on a background/credit check upon the conclusion of my all-day in-person interview. This was before an offer but clearly a good sign. To my knowledge, no one has ever called my references (I asked 2 of the references who are always my references, and they told me this). One did check employment dates. Current new job did not even ask for references.

2. I gave notice in person directly to the managing partner of the practice group, with whom I had a relationship. It is never fun. But just man up, go in his/her office, and be honest. Express your appreciation for the opportunity, the fact that they are good, honest folks who taught you a lot (even if they aren't, even if they didn't). This was always near end of the day. I would wait until the next morning to go speak in person with the other partners with whom I regularly worked, so as to give the managing partner time to let them know first (which s/he will do soon after you leave his/her office). I never reached out to HR - they always came to me the next day or so, after having been informed by the partners. On my last day I sent thank you emails to the partners I like, even though we already spoke. To those few partners I did not like/were jerks, I did not stop by in person or send an email.

3. This totally depends on your relationship with the partners with whom you work, your current workload, and the ease of your replaceability by another associate. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, go with the standard (abbreviated) 2 weeks. Tell the managing partner (or your primary partner, etc...) on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and leave the end of the following week. One time I offered 2 weeks but was needed, and so ended up working an additional 3+ weeks at almost 30hrs each week. This was not ideal, but it wasn't uncomfortable either. Old firm appreciated it and I still connect with some of those folks. Currently, given the virus, my group is very slow. I have very little work. I plan to give notice tomorrow or Wednesday and be done and gone by week's end. New job has work, old one doesn't, so no need to hang around. If they ask me to stay another week I will say yes, of course.

4. If you are going to a direct rival in the same city, they are not going to be happy. But they will be professional about it. Just be honest. Don't refuse to say where you are going if/when they ask. Never ever say anything negative. No point to that. If it is about money, tell them that.

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For those who have left for greener pastures, especially those who lateraled during this pandemic, I’d appreciate any general advice you could provide (and I’m sure others on this thread would as well). Also hoping some of you could weigh in on the following questions:

1. What was your process like after you signed the offer letter? Were you notified that you had cleared conflicts or that they reach out to (and had heard back from) your references?

2. How did you notify your team? Did you contact your HR department first?

3. How much notice did you give?

4. Any pitfalls to avoid or tasks to complete to prevent burning any bridges and ensuring a smooth (as possible) transition?
Anonymous because not only have I done this more than once before, I'm about to do it again this week.

1. After I signed the offer letter, I provided the list of clients for conflicts purposes, and the firm lateral recruiter informed me once conflicts and background check had cleared. This process took about 2-3 days. Once I was asked to provide a list of contacts and sign off on a background/credit check upon the conclusion of my all-day in-person interview. This was before an offer but clearly a good sign. To my knowledge, no one has ever called my references (I asked 2 of the references who are always my references, and they told me this). One did check employment dates. Current new job did not even ask for references.

2. I gave notice in person directly to the managing partner of the practice group, with whom I had a relationship. It is never fun. But just man up, go in his/her office, and be honest. Express your appreciation for the opportunity, the fact that they are good, honest folks who taught you a lot (even if they aren't, even if they didn't). This was always near end of the day. I would wait until the next morning to go speak in person with the other partners with whom I regularly worked, so as to give the managing partner time to let them know first (which s/he will do soon after you leave his/her office). I never reached out to HR - they always came to me the next day or so, after having been informed by the partners. On my last day I sent thank you emails to the partners I like, even though we already spoke. To those few partners I did not like/were jerks, I did not stop by in person or send an email.

3. This totally depends on your relationship with the partners with whom you work, your current workload, and the ease of your replaceability by another associate. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, go with the standard (abbreviated) 2 weeks. Tell the managing partner (or your primary partner, etc...) on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and leave the end of the following week. One time I offered 2 weeks but was needed, and so ended up working an additional 3+ weeks at almost 30hrs each week. This was not ideal, but it wasn't uncomfortable either. Old firm appreciated it and I still connect with some of those folks. Currently, given the virus, my group is very slow. I have very little work. I plan to give notice tomorrow or Wednesday and be done and gone by week's end. New job has work, old one doesn't, so no need to hang around. If they ask me to stay another week I will say yes, of course.

4. If you are going to a direct rival in the same city, they are not going to be happy. But they will be professional about it. Just be honest. Don't refuse to say where you are going if/when they ask. Never ever say anything negative. No point to that. If it is about money, tell them that.
Thanks for this!! All super helpful. What are you planning to do for Number 2, given the COVID situation?

Anonymous User
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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For those who have left for greener pastures, especially those who lateraled during this pandemic, I’d appreciate any general advice you could provide (and I’m sure others on this thread would as well). Also hoping some of you could weigh in on the following questions:

1. What was your process like after you signed the offer letter? Were you notified that you had cleared conflicts or that they reach out to (and had heard back from) your references?

2. How did you notify your team? Did you contact your HR department first?

3. How much notice did you give?

4. Any pitfalls to avoid or tasks to complete to prevent burning any bridges and ensuring a smooth (as possible) transition?
Anonymous because not only have I done this more than once before, I'm about to do it again this week.

1. After I signed the offer letter, I provided the list of clients for conflicts purposes, and the firm lateral recruiter informed me once conflicts and background check had cleared. This process took about 2-3 days. Once I was asked to provide a list of contacts and sign off on a background/credit check upon the conclusion of my all-day in-person interview. This was before an offer but clearly a good sign. To my knowledge, no one has ever called my references (I asked 2 of the references who are always my references, and they told me this). One did check employment dates. Current new job did not even ask for references.

2. I gave notice in person directly to the managing partner of the practice group, with whom I had a relationship. It is never fun. But just man up, go in his/her office, and be honest. Express your appreciation for the opportunity, the fact that they are good, honest folks who taught you a lot (even if they aren't, even if they didn't). This was always near end of the day. I would wait until the next morning to go speak in person with the other partners with whom I regularly worked, so as to give the managing partner time to let them know first (which s/he will do soon after you leave his/her office). I never reached out to HR - they always came to me the next day or so, after having been informed by the partners. On my last day I sent thank you emails to the partners I like, even though we already spoke. To those few partners I did not like/were jerks, I did not stop by in person or send an email.

3. This totally depends on your relationship with the partners with whom you work, your current workload, and the ease of your replaceability by another associate. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, go with the standard (abbreviated) 2 weeks. Tell the managing partner (or your primary partner, etc...) on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and leave the end of the following week. One time I offered 2 weeks but was needed, and so ended up working an additional 3+ weeks at almost 30hrs each week. This was not ideal, but it wasn't uncomfortable either. Old firm appreciated it and I still connect with some of those folks. Currently, given the virus, my group is very slow. I have very little work. I plan to give notice tomorrow or Wednesday and be done and gone by week's end. New job has work, old one doesn't, so no need to hang around. If they ask me to stay another week I will say yes, of course.

4. If you are going to a direct rival in the same city, they are not going to be happy. But they will be professional about it. Just be honest. Don't refuse to say where you are going if/when they ask. Never ever say anything negative. No point to that. If it is about money, tell them that.
Thanks for this!! All super helpful. What are you planning to do for Number 2, given the COVID situation?
For Number 2, given COVID/WFH - phone call to MP and thereafter the partners I'm close with, emails to the rest. I have never had a video call with any of them so I think this is the only way. I don't think I would video call even if it were an option. Emails are a bit impersonal in this situation, but it is what it is and everyone understands, I think.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:03 am

Hi - I'm tagging along this conversation. Can I get some input on how to handle references for future purposes? I'm a 3rd year and I'm currently at my second firm (Firm B). When I left my first firm (Firm A), most of the Senior Associates that I worked with had left, but they were still willing to be a reference for me. At Firm B, I have a great relationship with my Partners. With recent promotions, the few Associates that I was close with are now also Partners. What am I supposed to do for references if I ever want to leave and join a third firm (Firm C)? Seems like professional suicide to list a current Partner as a reference, but if I list colleagues from Firm A, then it'll be too far out?

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi - I'm tagging along this conversation. Can I get some input on how to handle references for future purposes? I'm a 3rd year and I'm currently at my second firm (Firm B). When I left my first firm (Firm A), most of the Senior Associates that I worked with had left, but they were still willing to be a reference for me. At Firm B, I have a great relationship with my Partners. With recent promotions, the few Associates that I was close with are now also Partners. What am I supposed to do for references if I ever want to leave and join a third firm (Firm C)? Seems like professional suicide to list a current Partner as a reference, but if I list colleagues from Firm A, then it'll be too far out?
I've moved twice and never been asked for references. Are you volunteering these references or did someone ask the first time around? If you're volunteering them, I would say that's not necessary. People understand that you're not going to want colleagues at your current firm knowing you're looking to make a move.

Also, on every background check form I've filled out there's always an option to opt out of the background check company contacting your current employer (they'll verify employment by other means).

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, on every background check form I've filled out there's always an option to opt out of the background check company contacting your current employer (they'll verify employment by other means).
Not necessarily. When I came to my current employer, I was allowed to request that the background check company delay contacting the employer I was leaving, but there was no option to opt out altogether. In the end, though, it wasn't a big deal - when I gave notice a week or so after the background check folks contacted my old firm, the partners were genuinely surprised I was leaving.

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:26 am

Hi! I'm the person tagging along this conversation.

The last time I switched firms, I volunteered references so I have no idea if firms ask for it. I've read that some firms do. What happens if a firm asks for references?

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:The last time I switched firms, I volunteered references so I have no idea if firms ask for it. I've read that some firms do. What happens if a firm asks for references?
I don't think there's a need to volunteer references, but have two or so people in mind (obviously discuss with them in advance to make sure they're on board and you can count on them). Typically these would be seniors you've worked with, who like you and your work, and who are no longer with your current firm (and preferably not still super chummy with your current firm). BigLaw churn is pretty high so hopefully you will have one or two of these people in mind!

Anonymous User
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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The last time I switched firms, I volunteered references so I have no idea if firms ask for it. I've read that some firms do. What happens if a firm asks for references?
I don't think there's a need to volunteer references, but have two or so people in mind (obviously discuss with them in advance to make sure they're on board and you can count on them). Typically these would be seniors you've worked with, who like you and your work, and who are no longer with your current firm (and preferably not still super chummy with your current firm). BigLaw churn is pretty high so hopefully you will have one or two of these people in mind!
So far, there haven't been any senior associates in my group who have left... And to make matters more complicated, there are more Partners than associates in my group so most of my work is directly with a Partner. Any recommendation on who I could or should consider using as a reference? I just feel like using my former colleagues at my first firm would be too far out?

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Re: Resources for Laterals

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So far, there haven't been any senior associates in my group who have left... And to make matters more complicated, there are more Partners than associates in my group so most of my work is directly with a Partner. Any recommendation on who I could or should consider using as a reference? I just feel like using my former colleagues at my first firm would be too far out?
Previous anon replying. If every senior you've worked with at your current firm is still here, then they're all out. You may have to reach back to your old colleagues at your previous firm.

Again, no need to volunteer references off the bat, and you may never even be asked for them. But if you are asked, hopefully people will understand that you won't be able to provide references from your current employer.

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