Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Transactional Prospects?

Hey guys, recent grad at mid-tier California school looking socalras12/19/17
I don't understand. Are you already working at said boutiqu lolwutjobs12/19/17
No, have the offer. I"m a newly admitted CA attorney, this socalras12/19/17
Worth it. It is so hard getting that first job in corporate cocolawyer12/19/17
Take the gig. You can lateral up a little, but I'm not sure lilgub12/20/17
If you want to do transactional work as a career, you need t thirdtierlaw12/20/17
Thanks for all the feedback guys, it is super helpful. Just socalras12/20/17
"Midlaw" isn't truly a real thing. There are big law firms lilgub12/20/17
Midlaw exists. In many flyover states, there is hardly any, themapmaster12/21/17
Thanks for all the advice guys! Took the offer and will see socalras12/21/17
If its a good firm stay for two years. Two years is the swee cocolawyer12/21/17
Not clear what you are looking for in transactional work. Do nighthawk12/22/17
Ideally I would like to do more of the M&A/Securities work w socalras12/22/17
socalras (Dec 19, 2017 - 5:40 pm)

Hey guys, recent grad at mid-tier California school looking for career in transactional practice, but also open to corporate, other. I didn't have the grades for biglaw obviously, so what are realistic prospects of working at transactional boutique then transferring to bigger firm doing similar transactional work? The role would have me doing a lot of corporate work, smaller-midsize companies and banks, plus some entertainment work, but the salary is not ideal, worth it for the experience and reassess in year or two or keep the search going?

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lolwutjobs (Dec 19, 2017 - 7:39 pm)

I don't understand. Are you already working at said boutique?

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socalras (Dec 19, 2017 - 8:31 pm)

No, have the offer. I"m a newly admitted CA attorney, this would be my first position out of law shool.

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cocolawyer (Dec 19, 2017 - 11:41 pm)

Worth it. It is so hard getting that first job in corporate law.

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lilgub (Dec 20, 2017 - 8:53 am)

Take the gig. You can lateral up a little, but I'm not sure you'll want to if you're working at a true boutique. Hours are great, salary is modest for biglaw, but acceptable for life and you probably have a better shot at partnership/equity.

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thirdtierlaw (Dec 20, 2017 - 9:07 am)

If you want to do transactional work as a career, you need to jump on the offer. It's extremely hard to break into doing transactional work if you don't start right after school (or really in the summers during school).

Not sure why you'd want to, but it is possible to lateral into biglaw from midlaw. It isn't easy to do and the number one way to do it is have a book of business to bring with you.

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socalras (Dec 20, 2017 - 1:10 pm)

Thanks for all the feedback guys, it is super helpful. Just one point, it is a small firm between 10-15 attorneys, so not really midlaw at this point but ideally at some point I would like to move to mid law or a bigger, more prestigious boutique. Would that still be doable? Regardless I think I will take the offer as they are also starting to delve into the crypto market which I"m thinking could be a great asset to have specialized knowledge in.

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lilgub (Dec 20, 2017 - 1:16 pm)

"Midlaw" isn't truly a real thing. There are big law firms and boutiques that have high profile or large clients and do pretty sophisticated things. There are small firms that do high profile stuff or have large clients and do pretty sophisticated things (although most do less sophisticated, lower profile things). There are large law firms which do pretty unsophisticated stuff but have large clients (regional and larger insurance defense firms come to mind). There are mid-sized and smaller regional firms that do that as well.

Midlaw - meaning a firm of 50-100 attorneys that handles high profile and/or sophisticated things is a unicorn and irrelevant.

My advice is two-fold. Chase the work (and clients) you want to do and the salary you'll do it for. The profile of the firm, this side of biglaw, is irrelevant. You're either in biglaw, or you're not. Outside of biglaw, salaries are what they are - some can be big, but most are small or, better yet, based on your book of business. Ultimately, the above advice is most credited in pointing out that "the number one way to do [moving into a bigger/better firm] is have a book of business to bring with you"

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themapmaster (Dec 21, 2017 - 11:52 pm)

Midlaw exists. In many flyover states, there is hardly any, or no, biglaw presence. However, there will be firms of 20 - 150 attorneys that represent primarily wealthy individuals, public sector corporations, hospitals, small businesses, and midsized businesses.

But few associates are needed at these firms. And there's many times more JDs than associate openings. The partners' books of business are not big enough to support a high associate to partner ratio in the firm. Often an associate is just hired to replace a partner, resembling a small law firm.

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socalras (Dec 21, 2017 - 8:31 pm)

Thanks for all the advice guys! Took the offer and will see what transpires. They have a substantial estate planning practice as well that I may end up helping out with on an as-needed basis, but regardless I guess it is transactional to some point right?. Going to try and get as much experience as I can and see where I am in the next 6 months to a year. In this job market I feel lucky to even have a job, so there is that!

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cocolawyer (Dec 21, 2017 - 10:36 pm)

If its a good firm stay for two years. Two years is the sweet spot

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nighthawk (Dec 22, 2017 - 8:15 am)

Not clear what you are looking for in transactional work. Do you want to do heavy banking work like M & A, Derivatives or Reg W? Or do you want to do commercial real estate and tax? Estate planning is good and you may work your way into corporate tax. Probably not a segue for banking work.

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socalras (Dec 22, 2017 - 12:39 pm)

Ideally I would like to do more of the M&A/Securities work which they do handle, as well as the entertainment financing which they also do. I imagine going from a small firm like this directly to a larger firm that handles larger institutional banking clients would be difficult, but if this step can be a stepping stone along that journey I would be happy with that. The firm also handles commercial real estate and general corporate matters, so really I'm looking to just develop my transactional/contract drafting skills as much as I can.

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