How difficult will it be to find another position if your first job doesn’t work out? You have no excuse not to read every word and be sure you understand it. Stay tuned next week for Part III of this series: Giving Notice, Reference Checks & Setting Your Start Date. It’s hard to know how the partner will react, but many partners are surprisingly supportive. Avoid body odor, cologne or perfume. These background checks are usually outsourced to third parties, because the firms lack the necessary resources but also because most firms attempt to separate the “checkers” from the “hirers” so as to avoid any conscious or unconscious discrimination in the hiring process. Don’t wait more than one day to send them out. To best plan and execute a lateral associate move, it is important to understand the usual timeline for a move and how various factors can affect that timeline. Do not wait to tell the firm once you start. Abby holds a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. You should inform yourself of the process, the norms and the expectations of the new employer before jumping in. A number of factors can slow down the interview process. Even if you have no criminal record, be sure to do a scan of your online presence. This can take a long time, so start before you have an offer in hand! Less than two years later, he was named a … When recruiters are involved in a potential lateral move, firms should utilize the recruiter when a candidate is a particularly strong match. 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Prior to recruiting, Abby spent seven years as a corporate associate with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, focusing on capital markets transactions for Latin American clients in New York, and for the last five years for European clients in Paris, France. You should act professional and respectful, and be responsive and maintain open lines of communication with the firm, directly or through a recruiter, at every stage of the process. Take it to heart. So, check the ego at the door and be pleasant, humble, and respectful. Associates often have multiple offers when they test the lateral market, allowing them to decline offers with greater regularity. If you met with associates, you can ask the partner to express your gratitude to them. The interview process doesn’t always lend itself to an accurate depiction of personalities, expectations or workload, but connections and frank post-offer discussions can be beneficial sources for a less polished version of the law firm’s work environment. Remember, the dates below in italics are only an example of one possible timeline. Abby holds a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. is a Senior Director in the New York office where she focuses on placements of partners, counsel, and associate candidates for law firms and in-house. Don’t burn bridges. Don’t wait more than one day to send them out. I once had a candidate who didn’t heed my advice and the law firm he interviewed with asked me three days later why they haven’t received a thank you note from him. Give three or four examples you can speak about off the top of your head. If you’re still considering whether it’s the right time for a move, take a look at my recent article Top 12 Reasons Why Associates Switch Law Firms. Law firms should thoughtfully tailor their recruiting strategy with the candidate in mind. If you are considering exploring the lateral market, it’s very helpful to seek the guidance of a legal recruiter who can share our expertise regarding the process and who knows how to best advocate on your behalf while navigating the road to a lateral move. If you’re dealing with a pro, you’ll get an honest and easy to implement answer. You may be entitled to copies of certain documents, but follow the set procedures. Keep your skills up. With the typical successful move, the screening interview would take place a within a couple of weeks of the submission. When you meet the recruiting coordinator or law firm partner, remember to look them in the eye, smile, and give a firm handshake. Prior to recruiting, Abby spent seven years as a corporate associate with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, focusing on capital markets transactions for Latin American clients in New York, and for the last five years for European clients in Paris, France. You cannot be late twice. By understanding what makes this firm different from your current one, you will make your story and reason for considering a move more compelling. Any information you put on your resume is fair game for questioning. Count on 6 months to make the move, although it's possible things could move much faster once you start applying. If you get invited back for a second round, leave your house a lot earlier. As always, candidates should approach these discussions from a pragmatic and reasonable perspective. so you can reward or punish any content you deem worthy right away. In a world where compensation isn’t the sole driver, strong connections might be the tiebreaker. Each firm has a different process of checking conflicts and most firms’ processes are constantly evolving. Send thank you notes through email or handwritten that same evening or the following morning. Complete the forms completely and as soon as possible. As has been widely discussed, law firms should continually evaluate internal practices to make sure they are creating the best possible culture for associates to succeed. Stay calm and professional. Her focus is primarily on the New York, Boston, and European markets. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for Part II (Offer, Acceptance, Background Checks & Conflicts) and Part III (Giving Notice, Reference Checks & Setting Your Start Date) of this series. What is the typical recruiting timeline for lateral roles? During interviews, he reiterated his commitment to bringing in new clients, growing his practice and helping to train young associates. It may be best for the recruiter to speak directly with HR, to avoid awkwardness between you and your future employer. By Katherine Loanzon and Robert Kinney. I possess strong oral and written communications abilities with a proven track record of meeting deadlines while taking care of a lot of the legwork involved with gathering information, securing witnesses and checking facts. 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