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Big law folks: If you leave big law, how hard is it to get back in? Thinking of leaving to do an mba. Want to know if this is signing a death warrant to returning or if the only consequence is the lost 1-2 years while at school.

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Your firm might pay for or partially subsidize MBA and might let you have an alternate schedule while going to school? Then you wouldn’t have to worry about whether you could come back since you would not really leave.

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Have you thought about going in-house while getting your MBA? If you decide to stick with the law, it would be easier to rejoin a firm without a work gap in your resume. If you decide to leave the law, the company might have non-legal opportunities that interest you.

Obviously every situation is different, but firm leadership tends to have a myopic view of the world when it comes to this type of thing. The fact that you are pursuing an MBA, which on its own provides no direct benefit to the firm, militates towards the likelihood that firms would likely have minimal interest after you graduate. Unless you're looking at going into the business side of the firm, I think you are better served to go and do business things and leverage your legal background. Corporate America values legal background more than law firms value business (or any other) backgrounds.

With limited exceptions, you don't get to go back to biglaw after you leave.

Sure, but those are rare cases. Most associates won't get back to biglaw after they leave. There are exceptions, particularly for high-level in-house roles and AUSAs. Although you might see several people returning to biglaw, compare that to the huge number of associates that leave every year and never come back.

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