First Lateral

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Sunny
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First Lateral

Post by Sunny » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:21 pm

I am about to experience my first lateral. My question to those who have gone through an out of state lateral, what would you have done differently? In looking back, do any surprises come to mind?

My new firm is fully moving me (don’t touch anything), up to 90 days of storage, 4 weeks of corporate housing (no meals). I am renting a car although I plan to take an Uber for the first few days.

I’ve been in touch with a couple of Realtors. Lots of possibilities are available (homes, apt, condos). Thinking more about buying since I do want to go through the hassle of moving again any time soon.

Also, any tips on handling the first few firm days? TYVM.

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Sunny
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Re: First Lateral

Post by Sunny » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:14 pm

Seriously, no one here has lateralled?

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ymmv
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Re: First Lateral

Post by ymmv » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:22 pm

Folks here definitely have. But Friday evenings and Saturday morning are usually among the quietest times on the site. You might have to wait a few days. You could also try cross-posting in the Law Grad Lounge, where a lot of post-LS employment discussion takes place.

lolwat
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Re: First Lateral

Post by lolwat » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:31 pm

I lateraled, not out of state, but to a different part of the state. (Think, e.g., SoCal to NorCal, though not quite that drastic.) Just some random thoughts but feel free to ask more specific questions if you have 'em.

I'm not sure if you've already passed this point, but the only thing I would've done differently is to plan my leave and start dates better. There are a ton of things to consider. You'd want to set aside enough time to take care of all the bullshit logistical stuff (moving, changing all of your addresses with everything and everyone, etc.), to become comfortable in your new place (perhaps set aside a little bit of time to explore your new surroundings before you start work), and take a vacation of some sort because in between jobs is one of the only times you really get to take a vacation without having to think about work. But at the same time you don't want to sit around for months without income or make your new firm wait uncomfortably long if they hired you because they need someone relatively quickly.

I'm not sure I'd buy something this early unless you're somehow absolutely certain that's where you're going to stay for a long while, or you've just got the money to do so. Moving always sucks, but local moving is certainly a whole lot easier than out of state moving. Wouldn't buying something and then selling it later be more of a hassle?

For the first few firm days I'd say the biggest things are to figure out how to get work and to learn the firm culture. If it's a small firm maybe introduce yourself to people you didn't meet during the interviews. Really it's not a whole lot different than starting at your first firm. Both times I started at a firm I basically just had a bunch of paperwork and stuff to fill out the first day, had meetings in the first couple days to talk about some basic stuff like firm policies and introductions to firm software (especially for timekeeping and those iManage/FileSite thing so many firms use) etc., then had a meeting to talk about cases I'm being put on / assignments I'm starting with on those cases, a welcome lunch or some sort or another (and then another welcome lunch or two in the following days by subsets of people, like the people I'm working with on cases and stuff), and then after that I kind of just get left alone to start doing things.

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Toni
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Re: First Lateral

Post by Toni » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:40 pm

The one surprise, my main credit card was placed under a fraud alert. My card was routinely declined. I called the fraud dept and explained that I had moved, they partially fixed it. The same thing happened with another card. Maybe the remedy is (if there is one) call the card company and alert them that you are relocating. Since this had never happened when I traveled, my guess is if you go to a different state use a card × times, it triggers a fraud alter. That was a few years ago, perhaps this is no longer an issue.

As you exit, be super sweet, your new firm may call them with questions (since they couldn’t earlier). Mine did.

lolwat
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Re: First Lateral

Post by lolwat » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:27 am

Good advice above. I remember moving cross-country for a summer job and Chase put a fraud alert on my card 3-4 times, all in different states that I was passing through. Glad they care that much about fraud and stopping bad things from happening, but goddamn that was annoying, and could have been a whole lot worse if it was the only credit card I had.

And yes, be good to your old firm. They can be a great source of networking contacts and business referrals (and if you're leaving on bad terms, be as courteous as possible so they don't at least try to tank your new job). Even though they might be in a different market. Never know, clients have cases everywhere and often ask their outside law firms for referrals to good lawyers wherever they need 'em. Definitely have had that happen several times now.

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Sunny
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Re: First Lateral

Post by Sunny » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:20 pm

Thanks all, I appreciate the lateralling assistance.

There’s not much I can do about the start dates, on day two my group (guessing 10 people) is traveling to an out of state seminar. It should be a good opportunity to hang with colleagues in an informal setting, especially in the evening. In some measure that could give me insight into the firm’s culture.

Thanks about that tip to inform the bank before my move. “Not approved” is the very last thing I want to see at the gas pump with the needle on E. Or the waiter returning to my table, “declined.”

If anything else comes to mind (especially horror stories), let me know. Many thanks.

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Re: First Lateral

Post by lolwat » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:48 am

Yeah, that sounds pretty good.

Oh yeah. If you're going to a market with some heavy traffic (e.g. SoCal) you'll want to also think about where you're living and how that affects the commute. You don't want to think you're getting a 5 minute commute because you're living 2 miles away but finding out that those 2 miles actually take half an hour to get through. I thought my commute would be about ~25-30 minutes on average but it can get as high as 45 minutes sometimes on heavy traffic. Not a dealbreaker and I love where I live compared to the other options that would reduce my commute time, but... would've been nice to know.

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Sunny
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Re: First Lateral

Post by Sunny » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:34 pm

I totally agree. The problem is that the firms offering good pay/bonuses are in congested areas. As you noted, 10 miles does not mean an easy 30-minute drive during rush hours. Overall, the Metropolitan environment has its drawbacks.

One observation. The downside of lateraling late in the first quarter makes the chances of reaching the annual billable requirement difficult, maybe even impossible, especially when vacation is factored in. IMHO, if it didn’t take so long for conflicts to clear, this problem could be avoided.

lolwat
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Re: First Lateral

Post by lolwat » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:49 pm

Yeah, the commute will suck regardless in any congested area, but like in LA some places are better to live in than others depending on where your firm's office is located (West side vs. Downtown, etc.).

Depends on the firm, I guess. Mine pro-rated the billable requirement for lateral attorneys, so someone joins halfway through the year they only need to bill half. All the holidays in November and December make that a little tougher, but it's still doable. It can still be difficult if they aren't great at integrating new laterals and you end up having some dead weeks early on, though.

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bizbro
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Re: First Lateral

Post by bizbro » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:37 am

Is key to just lateral in Q4 then and ask them for a guaranteed bonus to make you whole for that which you would have gotten had you stayed at your current firm? Seems lateral market is hot and firms would do that if they have a need for bodies.

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Re: First Lateral

Post by lolwat » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:43 pm

bizbro wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:37 am
Is key to just lateral in Q4 then and ask them for a guaranteed bonus to make you whole for that which you would have gotten had you stayed at your current firm? Seems lateral market is hot and firms would do that if they have a need for bodies.
I remember hearing firms do that, but have no experience with it myself.

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Sunny
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Re: First Lateral

Post by Sunny » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:04 pm

Lateraling in Q4 is tricky. My former firm pays their bonus in late February and it’s contingent on being employed (other firms now do the same). Obviously, you don’t walk away from your bonus. As far as getting the new firm to pick up the tab for any disparity, the odds are likely not in your favor. Negotiating pay was complex enough.

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