{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "For those of you who lateraled during the COVID hiring craze, do you regret or are you glad that you made the move? Is there really a “better” biglaw? Curious because I’m from a biglaw that supposedly has one of the best culture but I don’t feel that way.", "post_id": "60faecc38b0954002a85adb0", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

For those of you who lateraled during the COVID hiring craze, do you regret or are you glad that you made the move? Is there really a “better” biglaw? Curious because I’m from a biglaw that supposedly has one of the best culture but I don’t feel that way.

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I think you have to go into the interview very clear on what you want and why you want it. I wanted a different type of work and got it so I’m happy with the move. If you want to move because you’re too busy, remember that any place hiring you with a high signing bonus is doing so because they need you since they’re short staffed. I assume most firms are the same unless i hear otherwise

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I’m not in corporate, but I think you are in a position to ask associates during the interview what their hours look like in the group you’re looking at - and you totally should. Partners can be a bit far removed from reality sometimes Bc they haven’t been in your position in 20+ years sometimes

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I like the people and the work at my new firm much more. I’d say that was 60% of why I moved. But I also moved in an attempt to get a better work life balance. That doesn’t exist in corporate big law right now so do not move for that. We are extremely understaffed and they are trying to hire new people but it’s difficult to do right now.

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That makes sense! Most of my mentors/people I like working with also have left..

I recently lateraled and I can already tell that my new firm is a much better fit. The team I'm working with is honestly fantastic. Also, I think firm culture definitely varies between offices and even between practice groups of the same office. So maybe your firm has a reputation for a great culture, but you're at the one office or group that doesn't have as good of a culture. I know someone that isn't happy at their current firm but is scared to lateral because they're afraid it will be worse elsewhere. But it doesn't hurt to interview at other places and if you know anyone at other firms, hopefully they can give you a realistic picture of what that firm is like.

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I made the switch because I wanted more interesting work in my niche-ish practice area. Definitely got what I wanted, and the pay bump isn’t bad either (went from small to big law). Not as nuts as corporate, but even my new lit group has seen a little bit of turnover. I’m definitely working more, but I don’t mind that right now (esp since I still have the perspective that I could be doing just a little less but getting paid a lot less).

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At the associate level what matters the most is who you are working for. Biglaw is at its worst when you have to serve many masters all who have unrealistic demands on your time. Being the pet associate of one busy partner is the best IMO bc it forces them to prioritize your time between their demands.

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Culture isn’t objectively better or best. It depends on your personality and a host of other subjective factors. It’s completely possible for you to dislike the culture of a place others like. To answer your questions, cultures among big law firms (even amongst similarly perceived firms) are radically different. You should consider lateraling to a place that is more suitable to your style.

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