East Coast Vs. West Coast  

"Considerations in Choosing a Firm and Practice Areas"

Harvard Law School Podcast | February 25, 2016

photo-1506477559781-89f3a4337d14

Looking for advice about making the move between the East Coast and West Coast as a law student or junior associate? Sean spoke with Sara Dana at Harvard Law School's Office of Career Services about what kind of firm you should start at, what areas of practice transfer well, what your daily practice looks like on either coast and more . 

 

 

What should law students be thinking about when picking a firm out of law school?

 

“Students and junior associates, more often than they used to, are thinking about exit opportunities. Most students nowadays, they’re not thinking about making partner, they’re thinking about if I go to this firm, how is it setting me up in my career for whatever my next move is, whether it’s making partner or going in-house.”

Sean Burke circle

 

What's the trajectory for if you want to come from an East Coast firm to West Coast in-house?

 

“It can be hard to switch straight from an East Coast top practice to West Coast in-house. A lot of the time those people are going to need to consider making a move to a West Coast law firm before they can make the move to go in-house.”

 

What areas of practice transfer well from the East Coast to the West Coast?

 

“Outside of M&A, if you’re doing things that are speciality practices that are more prevalent outside of New York, that’ll be helpful as well. Those would be software licensing agreements, outsourcing, privacy, trademark and copyright… things that are specialty IP practices that when you picture clients like Facebook or Google, attorneys with those skill sets out of New York might have more options when they move to the West Coast.”

 

Final advice?

 

“At the end of the day, what’s going to help your career the most is going to a place where there’s a great culture fit, where you’ve identified people that you think could be great mentors, where the firm is really good in the space that you’re interested in, and where the firm is representing the type of clients you want to go to. All those things are more important than the prestige of the firm and whether it’s considered a ‘top firm.’”

 

 



 

IP & Tech Litigation opp at a Silicon Valley tech Firm

The Move Before You Go In House

In House Counsel @ Post IPO "Unicorn"

Dream Job

Privacy Partner @ Bay Area AmLaw 50 Firm

Plug and Play

Head of Legal @ Late Stage B2B SaaS Company

First Legal Hire

IP & Tech Litigation opp in SoCal

In SoCal, Even Litigation is Sexy

Biotech Late Stage/Cap Markets Partner

Use Your Expertise

Business & Legal Affairs @ AdTech Market Leader

Digital Giants

Big Money Job at a Cutting Edge Biotech

Make an Impact

ECVC Associate @ SoHo Boutique Firm

Edgy, Like Your Startup Clients

Senior Counsel @ Brainy FinTech Startup

Front Line Negotiations

In-House FinTech Bankruptcy Counsel

Can bankruptcy lawyers go in-house? YES!

Senior In-house Counsel @ Edgy FinTech Shop

Global Platform

Tech Transactions & Endless Summer

SoCal Office of Elite (in a good way) Firm

The Right Bankruptcy & Reorganization Practice For You

Restructuring Your Own Career

PE M&A Partner Day 1 @ AmLaw 100 Firm

Title & Platform - Walk in as Partner

Less Finance, More Fintech

Go Digital

Litigation For Entertainment & The Arts

The Muse

General Counsel @ Digital Currency Trading Firm

Lead the Revolution

General Counsel @ Socially Conscious Fintech Startup

The Real Deal

Corporate/Fintech Associate @ Lifestyle Law Firm

Living in Style

Switch to FinTech deals

FinTech Fix

Use Your Science Degree

Back to School

IP Counsel @ Tier 1 Unicorn

Top Secret

Switch To Tech Transactions, Multiply Your In-house Options

The Solution

IP Counsel @ Tech Accelerator

Very Tech-y

Privacy & Tech Transactions Counsel @ Interactive Gaming Company

Going Global

New Media IP Transactions Associate @ Tech-leader

The Future is Now

Corporate Counsel @ Digital Marketing Startup

Launching Pad

Switch from Corporate/IP to Advertising

Change Gears

Corporate & IP Counsel @ Media & Entertainment Leader

Heavy Hitter

Digital Advertising Counsel @ Health & Wellness Startup

The Good Life

Advertising, Marketing & Entertainment Associate

Advertising Injection

Media, Entertainment & Sports Associate @ Prominent Firm

Primetime!

Counsel @ Series B Social Impact Startup

Be a Trailblazer

Switch from Capital Markets to Emerging Companies

ECVC Injection

Corporate Counsel @ Late-stage Workspace Startup

Enter the World of Startups

Associate General Counsel @ Venture Fund

Career Launcher

Outside General Counsel @Boutique Startup & Venture Firm

New School

Startup & Venture Capital Associate @ Elite Startup-Focused Firm

The Best of the Best

Legal Recruiter

New York or Los Angeles

 

WHEN YOUR DREAM JOB BECOMES AVAILABLE, WE'LL BE IN TOUCH.
SIGN UP TO HEAR FROM US