What's The Best Approach Wanting To Move From A Small Firm To A Large Law Firm
[00:00:00] I'm in a top 10 law school and failed to get a job at a top law firm this summer, and will be starting at a smaller law firm. I've heard you say it's very possible to move up to a large law firm. However, this presentation gives me the opposite impression. I'm feeling very conflicted and want to move up to a large law firm, but the path is closed off. What is it?
So the first thing is if you went to a top 10 law school you pretty much will be able to move to a large law firm, later on. Unless there's something I'm missing.
When you get out of law school, a lot of it is going to be dependent on your practice area. I don't know where your practice area is. If transactional in nature, that's going to make it easier. And, if you're doing litigation, that's going to be harder. But typically, if you're with a smaller law firm and you want to move to a larger law firm, it's going to be much easier if you're doing something transactional.
So if you're doing litigation, here are my recommendations. The first thing is you can always, after one or two years, do a clerkship with a federal district judge or an appellate judge. And from there, pretty easily I would think move into a major law firm. I know lots of people that went to top 10 law schools, and then didn't get [00:01:00] jobs in major law firms or didn't get offers after their first year, and then ended up moving to major law firms later. You just need to stick with it. It may take you one or two moves to move up but, after a year, start applying to large law firms and you should get an interviews.
The way to think about it is when you get out of law school, you're just competing with, everybody that came to your law school for a large law firm job. And you may not have been very aggressive in how you were applying to jobs. You may have done all sorts of things in terms of the way you were applying for jobs that limited you. Some ways you could have limited yourself. And again, I'm not speaking about any particular school, but some schools will have interview lotteries and all sorts of things that will limit the number of people you're speaking with.
So you may just not have gotten a job at a large law firm because of the the people that you were working with. And, the the number of firms you had an opportunity to interview with at your school. So, I would just say, the next time you start looking for a job, you want to do a much broader search.
There are jobs, especially for young attorneys all over the country with major law firms in all sorts of cities. You may just have to [00:02:00] work in a city. That's not the most desirable, but I would say if you're doing anything to do with transactional, which is corporate and that sort of thing, you should be able to move to almost any large city after getting a year or two of experience, assuming the economy continues doing what it's doing right now. But if it's not and you're doing litigation, your options are to try to move to a larger law firm or try to move to a different market. So you should look at a lot of different markets or to obviously do a clerkship and then apply to jobs after that.
Typically, it is much more difficult to get a job in a major law firm. If you didn't do that, but you did go to a top 10 law school. So, that in itself was a very good thing. So I don't think you have too much to worry about.