Exit options if you don’t make partner

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Study_LawD
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Hi all,

I’m contemplating a career change and just doing my research into a career in Law. I was wondering if anyone could share their wisdom on the following:
- What are the exit options for a Solicitor in a top tier corporate law firm (MC/SC/US) who doesn’t make partner?

Do people accept a pay cut to work for a smaller firm/ in house legal team? If so it seems like a step backwards after years and years of hard grind in a corporate/ commercial law firm or am I misinterpreting that situation?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by StudyM)
Hi all,

I’m contemplating a career change and just doing my research into a career in Law. I was wondering if anyone could share their wisdom on the following:
- What are the exit options for a Solicitor in a top tier corporate law firm (MC/SC/US) who doesn’t make partner?

Do people accept a pay cut to work for a smaller firm/ in house legal team? If so it seems like a step backwards after years and years of hard grind in a corporate/ commercial law firm or am I misinterpreting that situation?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
That or going into another sector or career path. Some people get MBAs for example or go into academia. Etc etc.

Most people don't make partner. It's a very very very slim chance even after all the grinding so if you're going into law with the goal of making partner, don't.
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The West Wing
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(Original post by StudyM)
Hi all,

I’m contemplating a career change and just doing my research into a career in Law. I was wondering if anyone could share their wisdom on the following:
- What are the exit options for a Solicitor in a top tier corporate law firm (MC/SC/US) who doesn’t make partner?

Do people accept a pay cut to work for a smaller firm/ in house legal team? If so it seems like a step backwards after years and years of hard grind in a corporate/ commercial law firm or am I misinterpreting that situation?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Basically yes.
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mishieru07
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(Original post by StudyM)
Hi all,

I’m contemplating a career change and just doing my research into a career in Law. I was wondering if anyone could share their wisdom on the following:
- What are the exit options for a Solicitor in a top tier corporate law firm (MC/SC/US) who doesn’t make partner?

Do people accept a pay cut to work for a smaller firm/ in house legal team? If so it seems like a step backwards after years and years of hard grind in a corporate/ commercial law firm or am I misinterpreting that situation?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
The usual exit options for Biglaw solicitors are other firms, in house (corporates, financial institutions, government), business side, non-profits, academia/ teaching, legal recruiting and setting up their own law firm. On occasion you also get people who quit the law for something entirely different - life coaches, psychologists/ counsellors, farmers etc.

To be completely honest, the chances of making partnership at a top tier corporate law firm is low, and getting lower still. If your sole goal is to become a Biglaw partner and anything less is unacceptable to you, I would advise you to think twice about changing career because statistically speaking it's just very unlikely.

I encourage you to really take a long and hard look at yourself before committing to a career change - being a Biglaw corporate solicitor comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties (attrition rates are high for a reason - I think in my previous firm the average corporate associate probably lasted for 2-3 years before moving on). Some questions for you to chew on: what are your motivations for wanting a change of career (push and pull factors)? Why do you want to be a lawyer and more specifically, a Biglaw corporate lawyer (as opposed to other specialties eg litigation, tax or even other careers within the law eg prosecution)? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how well suited do you think you are to a career as a Biglaw corporate lawyer eg are you detail-oriented? How well do you function with sleep deprivation and a high stress environment? What are your priorities in a career e.g. high pay, prestige, work-life balance, predictability? What are your other life goals and how do they fit in with a Biglaw career?

Resources for your consideration: https://www.top-law-schools.com/foru...p?f=4&t=261392 and https://thepeoplestherapist.com/2011.../not-worth-it/

For the record, I'm a former MC corporate associate who was very unhappy with Biglaw life (you can check my previous posts for details) and I fully admit to my own biases. I left just after reaching 2PQE (i.e. 4+ years in total, including my training contract) for a government in house position. Personally, I don't see it as a step backwards given that I'm now much happier - my team is wonderful, hours are generally very stable (no expectation to work on holidays or weekends), I don't have a work phone so no more checking emails 24/7, interesting and meaningful work and the bosses actually walk the talk on work-life balance. Sure, I get paid a fair bit less than my Cravath-scale Biglaw peers, but it's still a very comfortable salary and I'm on track for FIRE. For me, the high pay that comes with Biglaw just isn't worth the sacrifices, but I appreciate that's a very individual choice.
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Study_LawD
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(Original post by mishieru07)
The usual exit options for Biglaw solicitors are other firms, in house (corporates, financial institutions, government), business side, non-profits, academia/ teaching, legal recruiting and setting up their own law firm. On occasion you also get people who quit the law for something entirely different - life coaches, psychologists/ counsellors, farmers etc.

To be completely honest, the chances of making partnership at a top tier corporate law firm is low, and getting lower still. If your sole goal is to become a Biglaw partner and anything less is unacceptable to you, I would advise you to think twice about changing career because statistically speaking it's just very unlikely.

I encourage you to really take a long and hard look at yourself before committing to a career change - being a Biglaw corporate solicitor comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties (attrition rates are high for a reason - I think in my previous firm the average corporate associate probably lasted for 2-3 years before moving on). Some questions for you to chew on: what are your motivations for wanting a change of career (push and pull factors)? Why do you want to be a lawyer and more specifically, a Biglaw corporate lawyer (as opposed to other specialties eg litigation, tax or even other careers within the law eg prosecution)? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how well suited do you think you are to a career as a Biglaw corporate lawyer eg are you detail-oriented? How well do you function with sleep deprivation and a high stress environment? What are your priorities in a career e.g. high pay, prestige, work-life balance, predictability? What are your other life goals and how do they fit in with a Biglaw career?

Resources for your consideration: https://www.top-law-schools.com/foru...p?f=4&t=261392 and https://thepeoplestherapist.com/2011.../not-worth-it/

For the record, I'm a former MC corporate associate who was very unhappy with Biglaw life (you can check my previous posts for details) and I fully admit to my own biases. I left just after reaching 2PQE (i.e. 4+ years in total, including my training contract) for a government in house position. Personally, I don't see it as a step backwards given that I'm now much happier - my team is wonderful, hours are generally very stable (no expectation to work on holidays or weekends), I don't have a work phone so no more checking emails 24/7, interesting and meaningful work and the bosses actually walk the talk on work-life balance. Sure, I get paid a fair bit less than my Cravath-scale Biglaw peers, but it's still a very comfortable salary and I'm on track for FIRE. For me, the high pay that comes with Biglaw just isn't worth the sacrifices, but I appreciate that's a very individual choice.
Thank you so much for this detailed response! I will consider each of your points in more detail.

I absolutely agree with your point on work life balance. This is so important not least for mental health which has value beyond measure.

May I ask what FIRE is? Apologies for my ignorance.

Is there a much stronger chance of becoming partner in a large regional firm compared to biglaw in London? Is the time it takes to make partner shorter in regional firms?
Last edited by StudyM; 3 weeks ago
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Gmaster1980
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(Original post by StudyM)
Thank you so much for this detailed response! I will consider each of your points in more detail.

I absolutely agree with your point on work life balance. This is so important not least for mental health which has value beyond measure.

May I ask what FIRE is? Apologies for my ignorance.

Is there a much stronger chance of becoming partner in a large regional firm compared to biglaw in London? Is the time it takes to make partner shorter in regional firms?
Its not. You're looking at upwards of 10 years anywhere really
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Blayze
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(Original post by StudyM)
Thank you so much for this detailed response! I will consider each of your points in more detail.

I absolutely agree with your point on work life balance. This is so important not least for mental health which has value beyond measure.

May I ask what FIRE is? Apologies for my ignorance.

Is there a much stronger chance of becoming partner in a large regional firm compared to biglaw in London? Is the time it takes to make partner shorter in regional firms?
FIRE is (I believe) Financial Independence Retire Early - basically, try and accrue enough of a nest egg to be able to retire at a desired age (normally around 40); some will have this earlier than others, and from what I know it's more that you don't "need" to work from that point, even if you carry on doing so.
Last edited by Blayze; 3 weeks ago
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