Struggling as New Lateral

(Deciding to leave, same firm different office, Reference requests)
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Struggling as New Lateral

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:43 am

Looking for some advice or hope that this will get better. I lateralled a few weeks ago to a much bigger firm and I’m really struggling. I already don’t handle change well but I came from a work environment that was much more social. Biglaw is just so isolating. I’ve tried to be social and I know I’m a pretty fun person but I literally can see people waiting for us to be done interacting so they can go back to billing. Maybe I’ll also feel that way when I’m busier? Obviously no one fits it immediately but I can’t help the feeling that everyone knows each other from summering together and that they just aren’t interested in being friends. It also hard to figure out who is genuinely nice. Are biglaw folks just weirdos?

I’m also struggling a bit to hit a rhythm working. Allegedly there’s an assigning system but it seems more free market than anything. The work I’ve gotten has been from partners directly. Do I need to be going around asking for work?

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Re: Struggling as New Lateral

Post by papermateflair » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:16 pm

The social aspects of the job will improve as people get to know you. When I first lateralled, people were friendly, yes, but it felt like everyone already knew each other from either summering together or working together for a long time, and I was on the outside looking in. Two years later, no one would guess that I haven't been here as long as everyone else (and I think most folks would assume I have always been here). Don't force it - just be friendly, attend social events, and chat with folks but don't over do it (there was a new associate who would come by my office to chat for like, 30 minutes a day, and yeah, I wanted that interaction to be over so I could go back to billing, because 30 minutes a day is a LOT!). Making friends with your coworkers takes time. If it's still not great after 6 months or a year, then yeah, maybe these people odn't want to be your work friends.

If you aren't getting enough work, then yes, you should be asking for work. Do you have any mentors? Any partners you're directly assigned to? Talk to them! They may assume you're busy with other work if you aren't asking them for stuff to do.

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