5 Signs It's Time To Leave BigLaw Law360
The Law360 article, "5 Signs It's Time To Leave BigLaw" quotes Russell Reynolds Associates Cynthia Dow about working at BigLaw and what signs indicate it may be time to leave. The article is excerpted below.
For some attorneys, the notion of being a strategic adviser to a single client is appealing, said Cynthia Dow, a recruiter for general counsel positions at Russell Reynolds Associates. As a general counsel, an attorney can be a practitioner without having to be a business generator, she said.
Though the training that attorneys get at large law firms is exceptional, after a few years, it may be worthwhile moving in-house because of an increasing trend in companies valuing in-house experience when looking for new general counsels, Dow said.
“The numbers have precipitously dropped in terms of law firm partners being appointed to that Fortune 100 role,” Dow said. “They're looking to people who were general counsel at another company or promoting a deputy general counsel.”
Given this premium on previous in-house experience, attorneys are more inclined to take the opportunity to move in-house when it arises to position themselves for a larger general counsel job later on, according to Dow. There is a “nice window of time between five and 15 years out of law school” when it is a good idea to make the move, she added.
For those who move in-house, the general counsel jobs are still very demanding, but the demands are different, Dow said. There are fewer pressing deadlines to file a particular document, for example, but there is added pressure that comes with driving the agenda for a company's entire legal department, she said.
“You keep more corporate hours,” she said. “They are still very demanding jobs, and most general counsel will tell you they work just as hard. But they're not necessarily in the office on the weekends. They're not on a deadline.”
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