Should I Change Firms?

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Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:14 am

Currently an associate in the DC office of a V100/Amlaw 100 firm based on the west coast. My job is demanding, but not all that stressful. Have already taken 3 weeks of PTO this year. Hours are solid, but we are paid WAY under market. Spoke to the practice group chairs from a V30 firm today after I was recommended by friends at the firm. They seem like they are definitely interested. This firm pays the new Cravath/Milbank scale, so I would be getting a $100k+ raise. Struggling with the decision on whether to move. At my current firm I am well liked and on partnership track. I am basically the top associate in my group and have incredible job security. At the new firm I would have to prove myself and work slightly more, but the money would be significant. Any insight on whether I should make the move? Would burn a ton of bridges at my current firm as I am currently seconded with a top client.

Info on my law school background below.

2012 T1 grad from the western part of the US. Top 35% of class. Got a federal government job in DC after graduation. Worked at the agency for 3.5 years and have been at my current firm for about 2.5 years.

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:13 am

I would stay. You seem to be happy and on track to make partner. Why would you give that up for 100k? You'll easily make up for that lost income if you actually make partner.

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:21 am

As a 2012 grad, you’d be starting at a biglaw firm at the time when most associates are leaving. Unless you think your chances at partner/counsel would be quite good, you’d probably have at most a couple years there. At this point, I’d recommend thinking long term — where do you want to end up in 10 years, and what place better sets you up for that?

Schotes

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Schotes » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:53 am

It is curious that you are so far under market in DC. But I think the advice above about thinking long term is key. Perhaps have a tactful conversation about salary and your future with a partner at your current firm.

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:27 am

I am going to piggyback here--I have a similar dilemma.

Currently at a midsize firm, like the ppl, sometimes like the work, pay is fine, hours are easy, job is secure. As far as long term prospects, I plan to move back to my small town in 5 yrs so long term is a non issue.

Am I dumb to leave for a biglaw firm that pays the new cravath scale, tough hours, more leverage so job is not as secure? The upside is having something prestigious on the resume and more pay until I move back home.

Schotes

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Schotes » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am going to piggyback here--I have a similar dilemma.

Currently at a midsize firm, like the ppl, sometimes like the work, pay is fine, hours are easy, job is secure. As far as long term prospects, I plan to move back to my small town in 5 yrs so long term is a non issue.

Am I dumb to leave for a biglaw firm that pays the new cravath scale, tough hours, more leverage so job is not as secure? The upside is having something prestigious on the resume and more pay until I move back home.


Is it realistic to get a biglaw job? At what level would you be hired in biglaw coming from a midlaw firm where "hours are easy"? You haven't had the peer level experience of a biglaw associate.

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:08 am

Schotes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am going to piggyback here--I have a similar dilemma.

Currently at a midsize firm, like the ppl, sometimes like the work, pay is fine, hours are easy, job is secure. As far as long term prospects, I plan to move back to my small town in 5 yrs so long term is a non issue.

Am I dumb to leave for a biglaw firm that pays the new cravath scale, tough hours, more leverage so job is not as secure? The upside is having something prestigious on the resume and more pay until I move back home.


Is it realistic to get a biglaw job? At what level would you be hired in biglaw coming from a midlaw firm where "hours are easy"? You haven't had the peer level experience of a biglaw associate.


quoted anon here: I have the offer in hand.

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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Schotes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am going to piggyback here--I have a similar dilemma.

Currently at a midsize firm, like the ppl, sometimes like the work, pay is fine, hours are easy, job is secure. As far as long term prospects, I plan to move back to my small town in 5 yrs so long term is a non issue.

Am I dumb to leave for a biglaw firm that pays the new cravath scale, tough hours, more leverage so job is not as secure? The upside is having something prestigious on the resume and more pay until I move back home.


Is it realistic to get a biglaw job? At what level would you be hired in biglaw coming from a midlaw firm where "hours are easy"? You haven't had the peer level experience of a biglaw associate.


quoted anon here: I have the offer in hand.


Congrats on the offer!
It depends a bit on how senior you are and what your goals are, financially, for your career, and for your life.

If you're relatively junior (first year or two out), you might have 3-5 years at the biglaw firm before you'll be at risk of being pushed out or wanting to leave; that might work out well with your goal of moving back to small town in 5 years. If you're more senior, though, think about how many years you'll want to put in at the biglaw firm, and how many years you realistically think you'll be there, and how that fits into your timeline.

What's your plan for work in that small town, and which firm will better set you up to get there? What kind of work experience do you want to have, and have you had at the midsize firm?

How are you doing financially? Do you value your time or money? Work hard now to relax later, or are you thinking of starting a family and would value more time now?

Anonymous User
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Re: Should I Change Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Schotes wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am going to piggyback here--I have a similar dilemma.

Currently at a midsize firm, like the ppl, sometimes like the work, pay is fine, hours are easy, job is secure. As far as long term prospects, I plan to move back to my small town in 5 yrs so long term is a non issue.

Am I dumb to leave for a biglaw firm that pays the new cravath scale, tough hours, more leverage so job is not as secure? The upside is having something prestigious on the resume and more pay until I move back home.


Is it realistic to get a biglaw job? At what level would you be hired in biglaw coming from a midlaw firm where "hours are easy"? You haven't had the peer level experience of a biglaw associate.


quoted anon here: I have the offer in hand.


Congrats on the offer!
It depends a bit on how senior you are and what your goals are, financially, for your career, and for your life.

If you're relatively junior (first year or two out), you might have 3-5 years at the biglaw firm before you'll be at risk of being pushed out or wanting to leave; that might work out well with your goal of moving back to small town in 5 years. If you're more senior, though, think about how many years you'll want to put in at the biglaw firm, and how many years you realistically think you'll be there, and how that fits into your timeline.

What's your plan for work in that small town, and which firm will better set you up to get there? What kind of work experience do you want to have, and have you had at the midsize firm?

How are you doing financially? Do you value your time or money? Work hard now to relax later, or are you thinking of starting a family and would value more time now?


TY for the response.

I am 3-5 yrs out. Financially, I am fine--over 100k liquid if I were to pay off debt.

I feel like either firm is fine as far as going back to my hometown--I'll have to be more of a generalist in my hometown anyways. But I do think a biglaw firm on my resume could be good for marketing. Also, I guess there is the hope that I could get an inhouse position somewhere that lets me work remotely from my hometown so that I don't have to be at the mercy of a small town economy--don't know if this is a pipe dream though--and the biglaw firm would be better for that.



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