Senior associates- I have a lateral offer at Cravath scale firm for a special counsel role- 1200 billable, off partnership track, but paid base salary (no bonuses unless hours are significantly higher than expected). Would I be crazy to consider taking this instead of staying in my current role (senior associate, partnership track but have no guarantees at this point, billing 2000/yr with cravath-scale bonuses)? Is it career suicide?

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This sounds amazing. I think you need to decide what “career suicide” would be for you. Like are you just trying to keep the door open to the possibility that you want to return to a job like the one you’re currently in? Is that actually something you think you will want, or do you just feel like you should hedge your bets? When you think about what you want your career to look like in 10 or 20 years, what does that look like? Your current situation, the other one, or something totally different? What motivated you to pursue this opportunity in the first place? Is it just about whether some people will judge you for taking a position that involves less billing? Etc…. there are a lot of questions you can consider but they’ll hopefully give you some clarity.

likesmart

In all seriousness, it is a great role if you have certain goals. We have some counsel like that at my Cravath-scale firm (to an extent, but even they bill more like 1400). I would never want it for my goals but it is pretty great for the right person.

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Can you tell me which firm so I can take it?

likefunnysmart

Actually the more I think about it, it’s a terrible idea. It’s probably career suicide. No one will ever take you seriously again outside of microscopic law. I’d run from it far and fast. But, before you go, can you give me that recruiter’s name for a, um, friend?

likefunnyhelpful

So essentially a 9-4 gig for 340k a year. I don’t see the problem.

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Wait, so your salary will be non-prorated Cravath with a 1200 hour requirement? That's amazing and I would jump on it

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So basically you found the dream job for 90% of attorneys except the 10% that absolutely need the name recognition of partner…

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No strong disagreement. It is an important marker in a lot of ways, but even in one-tier shops like mine, the hierarchy remains, of course. I have been surprised at the respect I have received, even from senior partners—often more than expected based on my knowledge since I was a junior associate that the hierarchy remains and in some ways resets when someone makes partner—but also see frequent reminders of the hierarchy.

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Why on earth would the firm agree to this? Can’t they find someone to do this special role AND bill another 800 a year? Seriously, what’s the catch?

likefunny

Good question- I’m not sure why they would agree to it other than the lateral market is very, very competitive right now.

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You’d be crazy not to take it.

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What is the base salary on something like this and how did you find it? How senior are you?

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340k for 1200 hrs? I’d take it without hesitation.

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I’d have some talks with my family, hem and haw over the likely pay decrease, but ultimately I’d probably leave my coastal partner job for this and be a good parent again. 🤷‍♂️

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I hear you on the stress. Makes sense.

Sounds amazing

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Oh my god how do I get one

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IDK I got cold called by a recruiter maybe it’ll happen to you!

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Name the firm! They’re about to be the hottest shop in the lateral market 😂

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Depends on the base and what you’d be expected to do.

What practice area?

Corporate/public company SEC disclosure and governance

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