Need Advice on Retooling from Lit to Corp Forum

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Need Advice on Retooling from Lit to Corp

Post by Slippinjimmy2317 » Tue Jan 31, 2023 6:07 pm

I’m a mid level associate (5th year) at an AmLaw50 firm in the Bay Area and my practice is mainly White Collar Investigations and Securities Litigation. Over the last 2 years, I’ve grown tired of the type of work I do and have been strongly considering retooling to a transactional/corporate practice such as EC/VC or fund formation, but am unsure whether it would be a bad move or how to even go about doing it. I understand that retooling as a 5th year is uncommon, would come with an associate year/salary hit, and not the easiest thing to sell a big law firm on. However, I want to retool to corporate for the following reasons:

(1.) I feel like my work doesn’t matter. Because there is such an extreme power disparity in DOJ/SEC investigations, it feels like fighting a losing battle which is very unsatisfying. The cases drag on for 3+ years and the typical end result is the client/company is fined millions. I have gotten very cynical about what the actual point is of what I do. I believe by retooling and working on funding/closing deals, I’d get a sense of accomplishment from my work if/when those were completed.

(2). The cases I have worked on tend to have very large teams spread across multiple offices (sometimes countries). I feel not only geographically siloed but also within teams, where many of the major decisions, meetings, etc. happen at the very senior (usually partner) level. This causes me to feel out of the loop on what is actually happening and disconnected from the team. I can count on one hand the number of matters where I have had direct client interaction. By retooling, I would (ideally) get much more client interaction and work on smaller teams.

(3.) I want to learn something new and set myself up for better in-house opportunities. I think part of my frustration with my current role is the feeling that I’m not improving as an attorney or learning new skills, so retooling would give me the chance to start over and learn a lot. In addition, having a corporate/transactional background offers so many more in-house opportunities, which is my ultimate goal.

TL;DR I’m looking to retool from litigation to corporate as a 5th year and looking for neutral, disinterested advice on what you think the pros/cons are or whether you think it’s a good/terrible idea.


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