{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "First year M&A associate. I never came into big law wanting /expecting to gun or make partner, and first year pretty much confirmed that. I'm more than happy to leave for in house in 4-6 years and live a much more chill life. Knowing this, what is the best way to max out the $'s? I'm thinking of considering auto-lateral at year 2/3 and again at 4/5 just for the signing bonus (I know things may change and maybe I wouldn't do it if I loved my firm or got an in house job), but is this viable?\n", "post_id": "6143b86f33334e002aa1a566", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

First year M&A associate. I never came into big law wanting /expecting to gun or make partner, and first year pretty much confirmed that. I'm more than happy to leave for in house in 4-6 years and live a much more chill life. Knowing this, what is the best way to max out the $'s? I'm thinking of considering auto-lateral at year 2/3 and again at 4/5 just for the signing bonus (I know things may change and maybe I wouldn't do it if I loved my firm or got an in house job), but is this viable?

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Lateral for signing bonus to firm with above market bonuses and secure a signing bonus around year 2-3. Lateral to Kirkland after a year or more to secure a large signing bonus and above market bonus potential. Exit big law. If executed well, $1.5mm for 5 years can be $2mm

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What you’re suggesting is only viable (if you are talking about maxing your earnings) if the market stays as-is. You can’t expect signing bonuses to continue indefinitely (especially for juniors) nor can you expect to be able to take a bonus if you leave or get credit for one when you come. You might lose on both ends. You’ll just have to see what happens over time. And if I was interviewing someone who was lateraling to a firm for a second time (unless it was small law to biglaw) I would assume they are bad and can’t hold a job.

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It seems like you could probably get away with it once, assuming market trends remain (around year 3).

Signing bonuses are not a standard thing. Right now for corporate associates, yes. You can’t count on the market being this hot forever. At your level, I’d focus on doing good work and building a good reputation relationships with seniors/partners at your firm and with your clients, that’s the best way to get a good in-house gig imo. You don’t need to wait 4 years m, stuff opens up sooner than that, but depends how much you are ok with a paycut, prestige cut etc. I think the better opportunities open up at 5+.

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I think I'm willing to stick it out until year 5, but maybe no more than 6 (at least I think). I am TX but will be pretty picky on exits...really only looking at one non-major market city (have ties to) for in house roles, so if there is a need to wait an extra year or two after 4th year to secure it, then so be it.

To clarify...essentially lateral 2-3 between my 2-6th year, barring getting a really in house counsel job in between then (then I'll just take that). Is it worth trying to bounce around a few times just for the $ so long as I'm still getting good experience to qualify for the in house positions I may want.

Jesus...my typos...lateral 1-2x between 2-6th year.

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