Would I be crazy to lateral?

(Deciding to leave, same firm different office, Reference requests)

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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:51 am

Would I be crazy to lateral?

Post by johnrawls » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:36 pm

I'm currently a junior associate at a T20 firm. I've been lucky enough to work with people who do a lot of appellate work, which is exactly what I want to do. The hours aren't as crazy as I expected of biglaw, and I also like the people I work with. I'll be clerking at a COA next year, and then I have to decide whether to come back to the firm.

I'm thinking of lateralling for two reasons. First, I really want to move back to the PNW (where I have strong connections/my friends and family all live). Second, related to the previous, I would never want to purchase a house where I am due to housing costs.

I guess the best case scenario would be that COVID normalizes working from home and maybe in a few years I could work for the firm from a city where we don't have an office.

Am I asking too much? Should I just suck it up and be happy that I've been fortunate enough so far?


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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:40 pm

Re: Would I be crazy to lateral?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:58 am

I would just apply to PNW firms during your clerkship and see what happens. Sounds like you have a good gig but it's not the long term plan. Depending on how senior you are, it also may make sense to go back to your firm for a year after the clerkship and lateral when it's easiest (4-5 years from my understanding).


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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:22 am

Re: Would I be crazy to lateral?

Post by pobyrne » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:57 am

You are definitely not crazy to be struggling with this question. As a recruiter, I know how hard it is for an associate to find a litigation position doing appellate work. I would ask yourself, as best as you are able to discern at the moment, what is your ultimate career goal? Do you want to stay in private practice? And if so, how important is the complexity and cutting-edge nature of your work for your professional satisfaction? I think this must be somewhat important to you, given your current level of success. But if you are not in the geographic region where you ultimately want to live, you are wise to be thinking about a move. I would suggest doing some research during your clerkship year. See if you can identify a few firms that would allow you continue to develop your legal skills doing the legal work you are interested in doing. Try to network with litigators in the region and see what you are able to learn in terms of complexity of work and firms where you might be able to continue to grow.


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Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:08 pm

Re: Would I be crazy to lateral?

Post by Sixtyfour46 » Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:02 pm

wherever you go, back to the original firm or a new firm, make sure that you get your clerkship bonus because that will significantly help your down payment.

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