Thursday, May 31, 2018

Deciding It's Time to Move On (Delayed Post)

After commuting between Austin and Dallas for more than a year, I feel ready to give up on my current job. The logistics are tough and the job doesn't make the sacrifice (or prospective relocation) worthwhile.

There have been a wave of associate departures in my firmwide subgroup since January 1st, mostly at the senior level. Our local office has been particularly hard hit: (i) we started the year with with six associates in our subgroup, by mid-summer only two of those associates will remain, and (ii) I'm the only senior associate left.

The senior departures have to do with compensation issues and that we have a set of midlevels who have been encouraged to think they are senior associates and refuse to do proper work for senior associates (one associate in particular is guilty of turning in assignments to the senior associates weeks late, if at all, and rife with errors in order to take assignments directly from partners; I understand the logic, but I don't like it). Locally, that leaves us with just one junior associate who is completely overloaded.  According to the partners, the solution is for senior associates to handle deals "soup to nuts," which is to say, solo with no support for the indefinite future.

As an example of this, last week I was at the office past 2 am Sunday through Thursday night. Eighty percent of that time was spent on work that I would consider too junior for my level (we're talking an 8th year associate doing material contract review for due diligence). I expect to work those hours in my specialty area, but I am never going to advance if the majority of my time is spent on junior tasks to make up for the firm's persistent human capital management problem.

There's so much more to say, but that's all that's fit for a public forum.

So it's time.

Would part of me love to go to another, more functional firm? Yes. I like the resource rich environment that firms offer. My subspeciality is better suited to a firm than in house environment. And a firm environment is... what I'm used to.  Having said that, I'm out of moves. You can only lateral so many times. I also feel that I'm out of time--too far out of law school--with atypical experience.

So I'm interviewing for all sorts of jobs.

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