Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

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HooDat

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Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by HooDat » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:29 am

I'm a 2016 grad at a vault firm in NYC. I've been at my current firm for almost two years, and shortly after I arrived, they held me back a year. In some respects it was justified: I had done no substantive experience at my (higher ranked) first firm. I have severe anxiety issues and managed to float around at my old firm, and then lateraled before ever getting in trouble.

My current firm has followed a similar script. What I have going for me is that people like me. But I haven't gotten that much experience or high hours here, either. They're trying to mentor me, and overall, I like it here. But my boss had a talk with me and it looks like they're going to want to hold me back a second time.

Question: stick it out here at a two-year cut, or lateral? It's a huge pay difference. And I have my dream non-law job waiting for me in two years (that's a different convo), so I know I'm working with a two year timeline. My goal is to maximize income, but also, I have severe anxiety, and I'm paranoid my skill deficiencies would reveal themselves at a new firm.

Thanks!

2013

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by 2013 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:33 am

I’m sorry. That sucks that you’re being kept back.

However, if you were kept back and you’re repeating as a third year, I don’t think you will be able to convince another firm to hire you as a fifth year unless you are an extremely good BSer.

I would try to interview (since the talk may be coming soon) but not expect to find a midlevel position that pays you more.

smorgasbord

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by smorgasbord » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:56 am

If you are able to lateral at this point, your new firm is going to expect that you perform at the level that you are coming in at and, if you're unable to do so because of these prior difficulties you've described, there's no guarantee that your new firm will be understanding or accommodating. That may weigh on your anxieties but you'll have to weigh that against the higher base pay.

However, I will say that if you're being held back a second time, I'm not sure it's worth staying around unless you can get a commitment from the firm to get some training or deal/case exposure to get your skills up (and you're willing to put that work in). If you're being held back, your current partners will be aware of that, and will be hesitant to staff you on matters if there's even a little doubt in their minds you will be able to perform. It may be better to have a fresh start somewhere, throw yourself into it for two years, build up your skill set, and move on to this dream job you've got lined up.

attorney589753

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by attorney589753 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:27 am

I think this is an easy answer. If you like where you're at, and the tone of holding you back was positive (as opposed to we're about to fire you), then I wouldn't move. First, you might hate any new place. Second, as others said, they might expect you to perform higher and they may then boot you.

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:03 am

Stay put - the money is still good and you have a long rope and supportive bosses. Your new firm will expect you to perform at the level they bring you in at. I lateraled as a 4th year to a new firm and new practice (M&A) and by the end of the first year I was leading smaller deals. It was super stressful and the learning curve was intense, but even then I felt behind a normal 5th year. The extra money isn't worth the stress if you're already in a decent spot.

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RaceJudicata

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by RaceJudicata » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:03 am
Stay put - the money is still good and you have a long rope and supportive bosses. Your new firm will expect you to perform at the level they bring you in at. I lateraled as a 4th year to a new firm and new practice (M&A) and by the end of the first year I was leading smaller deals. It was super stressful and the learning curve was intense, but even then I felt behind a normal 5th year. The extra money isn't worth the stress if you're already in a decent spot.
Not to be negative, but I’m not sure OP has a “long rope.” I’m sure firms differ, but I’m not aware of anyone at my firm being held back a year, much less two (also recognize I may not know if someone was held back). But this seems like a red flag and might want to at least start looking for other gigs.

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YourCaptain

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by YourCaptain » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:57 am

100% agree. OP needs to get as much substantive as possible in the next 6 months and then polish a resume. Being held back another year to basically be a 3rd year (someone can correct my calculation I'm sure) AGAIN is not a great sign. Other than laterals and practice group retooling, I haven't seen anyone held back due to a lack of substantive experience where there wasn't a short fuse on their remaining time at the firm.

Bimmerfan

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by Bimmerfan » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:58 pm

how does being "held back" work? is this only applicable to firms with lock-step comp and you're basically just going to get the x year salary and bonus?

lawlo

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by lawlo » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:01 pm

What type of person is allowed this leeway? OP are you the sole diverse person in your office or something? Family with a partner?

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attorney589753

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by attorney589753 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:17 pm

I think this is an area where firms differ, with some being still "up or out" (in which case being held back would be a really bad sign) and other firms more promoting most people but based on showing you are progressing skill-wise. At my firm I think someone could stick around with multiple hold backs if people still generally liked them, they were trying hard, they weren't awful, they were generally profitable (maybe billing 1600 or 1700 or so hours) -- especially if it was because personal stuff came up that year, personal life factors like health, etc. But I would also tend to agree that it's a bad sign to have it happen twice in your first few years.

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UnfrozenCaveman

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by UnfrozenCaveman » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:39 pm

You got demoted after you started or lateralled at a lower class year? The latter is common.

HooDat

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Re: Is Money Worth Lateralling in my Shoes

Post by HooDat » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:34 pm

I started in a fall month and never got bumped next year.

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