Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

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Whatcomesnext

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Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Whatcomesnext » Tue May 15, 2018 7:25 pm

I'm a V10 levfin mid-level and I've begun looking for my next job. I've gotten two offers, both banks, one that I declined and another that is open. I've applied to some more general in house roles and, not surprisingly, got no response. I'm also in touch with a few recruiters.

I'm facing this decision of what to do next and I'm feeling daunted. It's much harder than the decision of where to work straight out of law school. I'm not super excited by the idea of working at an investment bank but I'm not opposed either.

Sorry for the saga... That's just the background for my question which is that I'm interested to hear from ex-big law finance associates, particularly levfin associates, who have moved on to a new job....what type of job (in-house, smaller firm, etc), how the experience has been at the new job, anything you wish you had known and any other advice or myths you can dispel...

I'm interested to hear from anyone who changed to a firm with lower hours. I know I don't want to stay at my firm long term or move to an equivalent firm but I would consider somewhere with a little more work life balance.

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 15, 2018 8:54 pm

I don’t have answers to your question but I am a junior finace associate at v10 desperately trying to switch practice group because I don’t find working at banks/funds appealing. If you don’t mind answering, is your bank offer to join a lev fin group as legal? Or is it more compliance type role?

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 15, 2018 11:35 pm

I wish people could still PM here. My firm is hiring corporate associates and I’m sure they’d take finance people from a v10.

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2018 10:12 am

senior finance associate here. I went from v10 to non-ranked vault firm in nyc. it has been great. I took a slight pay cut, but my salary is still better than anything in-house would offer. for a time I wanted inhouse, but didn't get any luck, even at banks. hours aren't so bad here, not true 9-6 but nowhere near as bad as v10. stayed past 9pm only a handful times and majority of weekends have been free (although have pulled 2 all nighters here). our clients are smaller and much more cost conscious, so partners are less inclined to just have associates do busy work as they won't collect on that. i've also found it more cyclical, because at biglaw there seems to be an endless stream of work just being fed to you from institutional clients. here there is much more hustle for clients. midlaw is just a difference beast than biglaw I found. it helps that my team is great as well. I've hear horror stories of going to smaller places and having it be worse, luckily that wasn't my case.

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2018 12:02 pm

Secondary market, 4th year finance associate here. There are no institutional clients/banks/etc. in my market, so I've been applying to general in house positions. I've had overall mixed results, but with some networking and some luck, I've gotten some offers. The pay at two of the places where I received an offer has been too low, and the people at one place turned me off. But going through third round interviews at a place now that I really like and would take an offer from, and I know the pay is sufficient.

The pitch that a GC gave me when I started my in house search in this market was to sell myself a corporate generalist. No one really needs finance lawyers in my market, but many places are willing to hire a corporate generalist that they can then teach specific skills to.

Not sure how well this would work in NY. I'm sure there is a lot stiffer competition there. And I think I've benefited from the fact that my big firm/T6 pedigree is fairly rare in this smaller market.

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2018 12:42 pm

At the risk of sounding like I have aspergers, how does networking work for in house legal jobs when you are applying to places that aren’t your client? Are you trying to make cold connections? Are you relying on friends who work for the companies but maybe not in legal capacities? I get networking with clients to get a job there, but I also work in leveraged finance where we have few to no institutional clients in my market (market is pretty big, it just seems that all the banks are in NYC). I am relatively junior and no one in my class or group of law school friends, and very few people from my office have gone in house at this point. So, I am also not totally sure who else to ask about how to go about networking for these jobs.

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 am

OP would you mind sharing the comp details of your two offers? Just curious about the comp in the move from this practice to a bank. I'm also thinking about a similar move. Thanks!

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Re: Next Step for Big Law Finance Associates

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 31, 2018 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At the risk of sounding like I have aspergers, how does networking work for in house legal jobs when you are applying to places that aren’t your client? Are you trying to make cold connections? Are you relying on friends who work for the companies but maybe not in legal capacities? I get networking with clients to get a job there, but I also work in leveraged finance where we have few to no institutional clients in my market (market is pretty big, it just seems that all the banks are in NYC). I am relatively junior and no one in my class or group of law school friends, and very few people from my office have gone in house at this point. So, I am also not totally sure who else to ask about how to go about networking for these jobs.


I'm the anon just above you. Not sure if you are in NYC or in a secondary market, but in my secondary market, I mostly do cold connections. Similar to you, all of my clients are in NYC and do not have offices in my market.

I use LinkedIn to come up with a list of people that went to my same law school who are currently working in house somewhere. I then just email them, say I'm interested in moving in house and ask if they have time to get coffee to chat about their experiences. Almost everyone has responded enthusiastically and immediately agreed to sit down, even people that are really high up (GCs at public companies). From there, I've used those folks to make other connections, or just ask them to let me know if anything opens up at their company.

Once that well went dry, I just start looking for "counsel" on LinkedIn in my market and sent personalized emails to in house folks at different organizations that I would be interested in working at. I basically say the same thing as above in my intro email. Some people didn't respond, but most still did. Most are former biglaw attorneys and love nothing more than bitching about how much biglaw sucks and how much in house is better. Follow up is basically the same as above.

I generally try to avoid using connections from people in my firm, unless it's someone I know and trust to keep it hush hush.



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