{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have started looking for a new job after being at my first post-law school job for only a couple of months. I’ve been applying and I’ve talked to some recruiters who seem wary of me being early in my career and leaving. Would love some advice from people who have experienced something similar (staying at my current job is not an option at this point)", "post_id": "60ad22dbac4ff0002413e081", "reply_count": 27, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I have started looking for a new job after being at my first post-law school job for only a couple of months. I’ve been applying and I’ve talked to some recruiters who seem wary of me being early in my career and leaving. Would love some advice from people who have experienced something similar (staying at my current job is not an option at this point)

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Recruiters wouldn't really work with me until I was a year and a half or 2 years into my career. My guess is you're going to be on your own during this search or you'll need to stick it out for at least a year.

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Same. Check LinkedIn and apply on your own. I got my last two jobs that way (third year associate, small firms in Silicon Valley).

Left my first job 6 months in. Started looking 4 months in. Now am a partner at the firm I joined from that job. Just keep looking

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What are the issues you’re having? As a first year, unless you have stellar grades or a clerkship, developing tenure is typically pretty important. I left my first post-grad job for greener pastures and found that a lot of what I disliked about the particular firm was endemic to the profession (unpredictable demands, disrespectful opposing counsel, late nights without warning, last minute scrambles)

likesmart

I had a slightly different story - I was laid off at my first post graduate job (biglaw, I graduated in 2008 and I was in the corporate department - with no work - and was part of the first wave of lay offs early 2009), I then lived abroad for several years, did not work but got an LLM (we moved for my husband’s job). When I got back, the economy was still hurting from recession and the market was so saturated with lawyers with many more years of experience who had lost their jobs. I took a job at a small boutique that seemed to have a stellar pedigree with exposure to big deals. I was given zero direction, got yelled at for missing info in the file (when that happened, it turned out that tid bit was written in Chinese, literally) and refusal to spend the time to discuss the file with me so I am fully up to speed. I was outta there in a few weeks!!! I also had a hard time because I was basically looking for an entry level position, and was not able to participate in my law school’s interviews because I was no longer a student. I ended up taking a paid legal internship at a large company (from law school job postings) and ultimately was offered a full time job in house.

likesmart

Alright here it goes: I am a second year associate who recently got offered a position at a biglaw firm (and accepted). Graduated cum laude and did moot court but no law review, no fed clerkships. Started at a small firm doing insurance defense, left after a few months to a mid size firm (small firm was asking me to do unethical tasks so I decided to leave). Went to a mid size firm doing insurance defense. Liked the firm but hated ID work so started applying to get out. Now I’m going to a biglaw firm doing L&E work. I had recruiters tell me over and over again I couldn’t keep switching firms, but I had a good explanation for why I was making the moves. I wanted to grow as a lawyer and wanted to explore new challenges. Morals of the story: 1) forget recruiters. Most of them will give you the “path of least resistance” advice because it’s in their self interests to place you quickly and easily; 2) your career is what you make it. Yes tenure is important, but being happy and growing as an attorney is more important. The opportunities are out there and employers are willing to listen, just make sure you’re able to tell good story as to why you’re making transitions early in your career. I can’t stress enough FORGET RECRUITERS AND WHAT THEY SAY ITS YOUR CAREER MAKE IT WHAT YOU WANT!

likesmartfunny

Btw the biglaw firm did ask me why I was looking to leave my current firm after a year and a half. I was able to express my passion for L&E, describe how I fell into ID and the experience I gained through doing that work, and why I was looking to take the next step. It’s all about the way you frame it

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Sometimes you have to take what recruiters tell you with a grain of salt. They are obviously highly self interested. Keep applying until you find what seems like a good fit for you.

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Forget the recruiters. Apply on your own and reach out to your network/alumni. Set up lunches. Sometimes you take a job you know you won’t like because you have to and there’s nothing wrong with looking for another job as soon as you get in. Just take your time while your looking and remember you have a steady pay check; there is no rush. The next place you go you should stay for a minimum of two years, ideally.

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I moved from my first job to a new position in a completely different practice area after 6 months. Recruiters did not want to touch me and every attorney I talked to said it was career suicide, which discouraged me from looking at first. I sent out my resume on my own and got the first position I applied to. A year later and I decided to jump again for different reasons. I didn’t ask anyone or even try recruiters. I sent out my resume and got the first position I applied to. Better hours, better pay, and better practice area. Moral of the story, as long as you get that offer and it is what you want, it doesn’t matter how long you stayed. I plan to stay at my new job for a very long time, but it took some jumping to get here and I’m ok with that. Keep in mind that people in this profession tend to get caught up in fictitious standards of success and often think there is only one path to get there.

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I'm in the same boat. I graduated in 2020 and didn't start practicing until Jan. 2021 because of the pandemic. I got a job in the practice area that I wanted, but it pays less than half of what other firms of this size pay. I've spoken to a recruiter and she says that it would be much easier for me to lateral after I've gotten one year of experience under my belt. I'm still keeping an eye out for other opportunities though. I hope you are able to find something soon!

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Just voice that you have an interest in a different area or being more focused in an area. That’s what I said since I’m currently bouncing around practice areas.

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I just left my firm after less than a year if you want to message me

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Better compensation and more attorneys to work with

I left my first post-law school job after a year (best decision I have made so far in life). Just highlight your experiences and show how they have already helped you grow as an attorney and hopefully you've had experiences that show you are a fast learner. Lots of attorneys make changes in their first few years of practice because they are trying to figure out what the right fit is for them. Most of the attorneys I know made at least one transition within the first 5 years of practicing law.

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It is from the recruiters point of view. Firms won’t pay fees for very junior candidates, they can just find entry level attorneys themselves. It will be hard convincing firms you are leaving for a valid reason even on your own. They will see you as a flight risk.

I had a different experience. After passing the bar, I got a job on my own at a small law firm. 5 months in (I wasn’t happy and really wanted to leave), 2 recruiters reached out to me about a few positions and I got an offer to join a slightly larger firm doing employment law. 6 months in (during the pandemic), 6 recruiters reached out to me about multiple job opportunities and I ultimately got an offer to join a Biglaw firm. While I switched jobs twice in the span of a year and I was very happy at the employment law firm, I knew Biglaw was ultimately the goal. Hopefully this gives you some helpful insight!

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