Tag Archives: lateral

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until January to Start a Lateral Search

With a month to go until Thanksgiving and two months until Christmas, I’ve lately been having similar conversations with many law firm associates. They’re interested in exploring a lateral move, they tell me, but it wouldn’t make sense to start the process this late in the year, right? Wrong!

In fact, now is the perfect time to start looking for lateral opportunities. Because so many candidates have the misconception that it’s best to wait until January, those who begin the process now will get a jump on the competition. And the odds are typically quite good that you won’t end up starting at your new firm until 2023, anyway.

Allow me to address some of the main objections I hear to starting a fall lateral search.

Wouldn’t it be weird to start a new job in December?

Many candidates envision themselves starting at a new firm in the midst of the holidays and don’t like that idea. But it’s important to understand that December start dates are typically less common than January start dates. Barring a scenario where your new practice group is exceptionally stretched and needs help as soon as possible, firms will typically be fine to have you start in the new year. All else equal, the new firm would rather that your current firm pay your 2022 bonus, so a January (or even February) start tends to work well for everyone.

What about my bonus?

Having already accrued most of their hours for the year, candidates are naturally averse to doing anything that would jeopardize their bonus. But this really should not be a concern. One of two things will happen. In the event the new firm is desperate for you to start immediately, it will make you whole on the bonus you sacrifice by leaving your current firm. More likely, as discussed above, the new firm will make it possible for you to collect your bonus from the current firm and then make the switch. There is an obvious financial incentive for them to do so.

Will firms even want to interview late in the year?

Candidates often assume that everything will slow down towards the end of the year, so if they apply now they risk entering a dead market. Although it’s certainly true that few firms conduct interviews in late December, the fall is a different story. New openings continue to arise in this period, and firms will also have unfilled searches from earlier in the year. With relatively few new candidates joining the market, there is a real opportunity to stand out in a window when firms are absolutely still looking to interview.

I’m tired. Can’t I just wait until January when I’ll have more energy?

It’s obviously important that you project a positive and energetic attitude when interviewing, so this is definitely a factor to consider. However, I find that candidates who are new to the lateral search process often imagine the experience will be more burdensome than it actually is. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and you aren’t sure you’re up for a search right now, it’s still worth having an initial conversation with a recruiter. There is a randomness to when opportunities arise, especially if your practice is more specialized. It may happen that the recruiter knows about a current opening that could be an especially good fit for you. And you might find that hearing about that opportunity energizes you to a degree that you aren’t feeling now. Regardless, a 20-minute phone call will give you valuable individualized insight based on your specific practice area and market.

Job of the Week (In-House): Venture Startup Consulting Company in New York


Confidential – Register here to find out.


New York, USA

Job Description

We are working with the venture startup advisory arm of a global management consulting company (“consulting company”) advising Fortune 500 corporate clients on ideating, founding, operating, and growing startup companies to disrupt and/or compete in important markets.

The hire for this position will serve as an operational and legal consultant on behalf of consulting company to various venture startups. The hire may also be involved in ideating and pitching concepts for new startup ventures to consulting company’s Fortune 500 clients.


  1. JD degree.
  2. Significant experience at a startup such that you are able to advise fledgling companies on common legal and operational problems.
  3. Outstanding team working and communication skills.
  4. A desire and aptitude for business consulting.
  5. Law firm experience serving startups a plus.
  6. A grasp of corporate law pertinent to startups.
  7. AGC or GC experience at a startup, a strong plus.
  8. Management level experience at a startup, a strong plus.


Ata Farhadi afarhadi@laterallink.com


Top 5 Reasons to Move to a Law Firm in Texas

Texas has some stereotypes attached to it, but it’s not all steak, big hair, and cowboy boots. Texas has four major, bustling, and diverse big city centers, is home to many Am Law 100s and Fortune 100s, and has a booming technology hub in Austin. Texas has great associate talent, but the number of associates in Texas has not kept up with the recent growth, which is why we see attorneys flocking here from both coasts. If that’s not enough to wet your whistle for Texas, here are five solid reasons to consider Texas.

1. Flurry of New Office OpeningsTexas has attracted unprecedented growth in the form of Am Law ranked firms planting flags. Over the last five years, over 40 Am Law 200 firms have opened offices in Dallas, Austin or Houston. Some of the newest firms to the Texas market include Womble Bond Dickinson, White & Case, Kirkland & Ellis and Shearman & Sterling (to name a few).

DALLAS-Schiff Hardin

-Phelps Dunbar


-Fox Rothschild

-Barnes & Thornburg


-Kilpatrick Townsend


-Spencer Fane-Winston & Strawn

-Dorsey Whitney

-Drinker Biddle

-Foley & Lardner

-Sheppard Mullin

-Katten Muchin

-Kirkland & Ellis

-Stinson Leonard


HOUSTON-Willkie Farr

-Quinn Emanuel

-LeClair Ryan

-Kirkland & Ellis

-Arnold & Porter


Holland & Knight-Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

-Kelley Drye


-Bradley Arant

-Kilpatrick Townsend

-Gibson Dunn

-White & Case

-Shearman & Sterling

-Foley & Lardner

AUSTIN-Pillsbury -Kelley Drye


-Dickinson Wright

-Michael Best

 -Tulley Rinckey-Shearman & Sterling

-Reed Smith


2. Top Compensation and NO State Income TaxesIn an effort to compete with talent on the east and west coasts, most national and international firms in Texas pay “Cravath” salaries (or very close to it). Since the cost of living in Texas is extremely low, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Imagine it with me: muuuuuccch lower mortgage/rent, lower childcare costs, lower energy and food staples, and NO STATE INCOME TAXES. You can funnel all the extra money to paying off your student loans or buying a yacht. It’s your life!

3. Thriving MarketHave I mentioned the Texas legal market is super busy? Dozens of companies have relocated their headquarters to Texas during the past couple years which means more sophisticated legal work for attorneys here. In 2018, firms made approximately 560 associate hires. Firms that did the most hiring included Kirkland & Ellis, DLA Piper, and Vinson & Elkins. The busiest practice areas should come to no surprise – corporate/mergers and acquisitions, finance, and energy.

4. Abundance of Affordable Real EstateYour family can live in a GIGANTIC house or a cool spacious loft in Midtown. You can have a lawn, maybe a dog, perhaps a llama or two. You can have a king-size bed in your guest room. Dream big!

5. People and CommunityTexans are amazing. Well, most of them. Several counties in Texas (around major cities) are some of the most diverse in the country. Texas is full of world-class museums, theatres, art, and festivals. We have AMAZING food from every corner of the world. There are wineries, breweries, state parks, deserts, mountains, hills, oceans. It’s all here!In summary, the Texas legal market is flourishing, with available positions for associates of all practices and seniority levels. Law firms are very open and HAPPY to relocate candidates. If you are interested in hearing more about the Texas market, please feel to reach out to me at WendyBoone@laterallink.com.