Is there any disadvantage to lateraling?

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Anonymous User
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Is there any disadvantage to lateraling?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:30 am

If you go from one NY biglaw to another comparable NY biglaw, is there any inherent disadvantage to being a lateral (i.e., excluding firm culture, focus on practice fields, etc.)?

For example, do you get lower pay, lower chance of staying at the new firm for a long time, get screened out of things that are meant to be for the “homegrown” people, etc.?

If this is firm or market-specific, which firms or markets are more or less friendly to laterals?

LBJ's Hair

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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Is there any disadvantage to lateraling?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:07 pm

do you mean formally or informally?

like, a homegrown midlevel who has been there for 5 years, worked with a partner a bunch, and knows his/her preferences, work style, etc is "advantaged" on a deal or matter with him vis-a-vis you, the person who came in a week ago

but that's just the nature of ... being new. so assume that's not what you're talking about


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Re: Is there any disadvantage to lateraling?

Post by NewSouthernAssociate » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:46 pm

In my experience, I think laterals have to work harder to establish themselves at their new firm (compared to first-years starting out who might be given the benefit of the doubt), as some people are skeptical about the reasons you’re lateraling and suspect that you may have been pushed out from your prior firm. In my non-NY office, it also usually takes a few years before laterals are invited to join firm committees (e.g., the associates committee or recruiting committee). I haven’t observed any effects on compensation. Many firms also require lateral associates to be at the firm for a certain number of years (e.g., 3 years) before being eligible for partner.

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