I just lateraled about a month ago and have been really struggling since. I’ve been constantly making really stupid errors that have never been an issue before. I wasn’t worried about it at first, but now that things keep happening I can’t help but feel like I’m setting a horrible first impression and am getting really anxious. I’m regretting lateraling because I had a lot of goodwill at my old firm. Anyone been in this position?

likeuplifting
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Yep. There's definitely a learning curve. I think when you have a level of familiarity with things it lets your brain filter out the constants and focus in on things that are unusual.

When you move firms EVERYTHING is new and there are a lot more distracting details for your brain to try to filter out. So you make more mistakes because a) the unusual things are less obvious and b) your brain is tired from adapting to so many new things.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

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Im glad it’s not just me, thank you for sharing!

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You’re not alone in this, OP – – the very same thing happened to me when I lateraled to a new big law firm from my previous big law job that I was at for over 5 years. I couldn’t seem to do anything right in the new environment although I was a superstar associate at my prior firm. I remember getting the first assignment and knocking it out of the park, but everything else was a steady decline afterwards. I think part of the reason was that the new partner I was working for, the one that hired me and who enticed me to make the jump, was not who I thought they were. There was a bit of bait and switch going on, gaslighting, unnecessary fire drills, and blame shifting for a lack of focus on the partner’s part. I also felt really disconnected from the office at large which lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

I didn’t handle things well, but I just wanted to empathize with your statement and say you are not alone. Your performance at your current firm does not define your value as an attorney, and it certainly doesn’t define your value as a human being. We all go through rough patches, and if a law firm really cared about you and your success, they would check in and try to set you up to succeed instead of allowing you to flail around.

Fun fact, most law firms don’t care but perhaps some do. Can you set up a meeting with a partner mentor, someone you trust, or like a career coach (some firms have this as a service they offer) and see if you can get some guidance or support?

likeuplifting

Thank you for sharing, this is exactly how I feel - I ran out of space to mention it in the post but I do feel like a bait and switch happened with the partner that hired me and with the culture more generally - the vibe has been very cold and intense even from other associates.

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I had the same experience! Switched from BL to another BL as a 5th year (pretty equal peer firms) because I had to move to a different state for personal reasons. I was really anxious about making a good first impression, and for a while the transition was going to pretty smooth, but I started making what I deem to be careless and stupid mistakes that I shouldn't be making at this point. It was frustrating because I haven't built up my reputation yet at the new place. I had a whole lot of anxiety, which probably made my job performance worse.

I just had my first evaluation, and it was surprisingly quite positive. So now I get to feel tiny bit more relaxed. Just wanted to share that you are not alone, and we will work through this.

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