Litigation & Arbitration

Any tips for how to make sure your current matters will continue to be appropriately staffed after you leave during that time between accepting a new job and giving notice to your current firm?

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I respectfully disagree with A2. You are your client’s lawyer. You have a professional duty not to just do the minimum you can and the dump any residual problem on the firm. So, your question reflects a professional and mature perspective. Give as much notice as you can. Do everything you can to help make any transition seamless by leaving the files organized and writing memos explaining what you had done and where to find your work product. Offer to remain available to consult after you change jobs. And if you’re looking for another job try to avoid, or at least don’t affirmatively seek out, projects in which you are a key role player and that, therefore, will be heavily impacted if you leave suddenly. Last year a counsel at my firm literally begged me to assign him to a new case that was on a fast track, and to give him a key role that was time sensitive. I did so. He quit two weeks later, leaving me in a real bind literally days before a key deadline that he just dumped in my lap. He will be on my shit list for his entire life. I also called a friend at his new firm and explained what he’d done, so my friend knew to stay clear. You only get to build your reputation once. And you can screw it up permanently by thinking only about your personal interests. You can also build it by behaving like a professional in everything you can do.

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🤷🏻‍♂️ that’s kind of the firm’s job tbh. I’d just make sure you give notice to the appropriate people, especially anyone who will be impacted by your leaving, and proactively talk to them about transitioning work, knowledge, files, etc. As long as you do that and give the appropriate amount of notice time, the rest is on the firm to manage

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The expectation is that the departing associate will prepare a Departure Memo that lists all matters being worked on, the status of each, and what the next steps are for each, with emphasis on deadlines, and who else is working on each matter. Future references are in jeopardy if that is not done.

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That's a firm-by-firm rule. I HIGHLY advise saying your available to "consult" after you leave, especially as an associate. One, you may run into a conflicts issue. But also, two, you're not getting paid anymore and you can't be the continued crutch. I had this happen to me at my last firm and they will still call me with ongoing questions.

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