When to Lateral Law Firms

1. For law students, first-year grades are important for landing a summer associate position, which will hopefully lead to a more permanent associate position. But for anyone looking for another law firm or coming into the house at some point (and that`s most of you!), law school grades count toward their second and third years. This is especially true for litigators in today`s market. Businesses and most businesses will ask for your law school transcript when you apply to become a side counsel. Sometimes they even ask partner candidates for grades. Grades tend to follow you, so finish strong. After analyzing hundreds of lateral partner candidates, we classified individuals into two groups: ideal candidates who were perceived positively by all sources, and candidates who inspired negative comments, had an unsubstantiated record and/or other questionable objective results. Both categories of candidates have average years of experience, comparable billing rates and billable hours. Law firms become more susceptible to bad attitudes, especially with lateral partners, if they work spontaneously and are constantly open to the “opportunistic attitude”. Companies often burn when well-meaning partners recommend friends or acquaintances, or when recruiters approach candidates who seem too good to be true. This is especially dangerous in the post-pandemic war for talent, where our analysis shows that law firms that took four to six months to hire a lateral entrant now complete the process in four to six weeks.

It used to be the norm for a lawyer to spend their entire career in a law firm, but this is becoming increasingly unlikely these days. Many lawyers choose their first legal employer after only one year of law school and with little information. If their business isn`t working for them, employees shouldn`t stay with their company out of an inappropriate sense of loyalty. Even an employee who is happy in their company should take the opportunity to interview other companies to make sure they are the best for them. Here are some important points to keep in mind before making a change. A common step is to move laterally to a company with more prestige or better exit opportunities to begin an in-house move. An employee could go into the high-end market to make more money as a consultant or partner. Although BigLaw`s salaries are generally the same, the remuneration of lawyers and partners varies widely. An employee may try to move to a company with less prestige to have better partnership prospects than “big fish in a small pond” or have a better work-life balance.

Another approach is to go up to go down. Here, an employee could move to a company with higher prestige to facilitate a second step to another company that has better partnership prospects. It`s rare for a letter of offer to offer guarantees beyond one year and the rest of the year when you start. Understand how your compensation is calculated once you fall into the regular compensation cycle. Try to figure out what your compensation will look like in five and 10 years in best-case, most likely, and worst-case scenarios. Despite these leakage risks, many law firms still don`t do their due diligence before hiring. While nearly 70 percent of companies surveyed by Decipher said they want more transparency about a candidate`s practice, nearly half “rarely” or “never” talk to the candidate`s presumed clients. There is no “best” season to go to the market. Many employees move after receiving bonuses, so there is a lot of lateral movement in the first quarter of the year.

While this creates more opportunities, there is also more competition at the beginning of the year. Lateral hiring slows down during the summer months, when many partners are on vacation and permanent recruiting staff are busy with summer programs. Decline can be a good time to enter the market, as fewer employees compete for jobs. A firm will usually make an entire partner on their bonus if they want them to join at the end of the year, or they will tell the partner to wait until they receive their bonus from their current company before ending the year. Carol Morganstern is a partner in the partner practice group of Major, Lindsey & Africa and works in the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. It places associates, consultants, high-ranking prosecutors and groups in companies and assists in setting up new offices. It can be carried out in cmorgans@MLAGlobal.com. Combining fewer resumes with more pressing needs makes summer a good time to submit your documents to law firms. Even if you don`t get a job during the summer months, you`ll be one step ahead of lawyers who start their search in September. Experiencing a tidal wave of calls from recruiters selling you all over the world while balancing 2500 billable hours and whatever might be left of your personal life is not the best recipe for peace of mind (as you know). Equally important, it leaves little time to seriously reflect on the long-term course of your career and a question of paramount importance in today`s increasingly mobile workforce market: “When should I make my side entrance?” Lateral Link recruiters are well aware of the common problems plaguing lateral lawyers, and while any good side entry must combine career goals with personal considerations, we generally think employees should pay attention to five circumstances that suggest it`s time to make a change: But most law firms are founded as true partnerships.

organized by practice groups and working groups. Your long-term success and day-to-day work may depend on a relatively small group of people. In most cases, members of your close-knit task force would rather see you stay and be happy than leave. And most importantly, the partners in this working group have the power to make changes to help you. If holidays ultimately make sense, members of your own company will often want to help you – with relationships, strategy, even an evaluation of offers and negotiations. In fact, more and more BigLaw firms have in-house career advisors who act as mediators for employees considering leaving the firm, as well as “alumni groups” who connect with former law firm lawyers at other employers. BigLaw firms know there will be employee turnover, and they would prefer employees to leave happy. I was a paralegal before law school. It took me four years between undergraduate and law school, so I knew a herd of practicing lawyers when I was still applying to law school. I thought I had one leg in front of everyone; I thought I had it all figured out. But in hindsight, I realize there were a lot of things I didn`t know – not in law school or when I spent seven years as a partner at a large international law firm. Many employees after graduation must choose between two sometimes contradictory types of companies: those that are the most prestigious and those whose names carry relatively less weight, but are nevertheless excellent companies that offer more immediate hands-on experience.

An employee`s experience is primarily determined by their group rather than their company.