What do you do when the ship is sinking? Advice for associates at failing firms

March 9, 2011 This is an interesting article about the plight of associates that find themselves in a failing law firm.

The article looks back to the period from late 2008 through the end of 2009, when a string of law firms were sliding toward oblivion, including Heller Ehrman, Thacher Proffit & Wood, and Thelen. How did the hundreds of associates wotking for these firms keep their careers on track amid the collapse of their firms? This question has particular relevance now, as it appears that another large law firm – Howrey – is on the verge of breaking up.

Those that have gone through the experience themselves advise that associates must put their careers ahead of any loyalty to the firm. Ignoring the warning signs and staying too long at a failing firm can cause associates to end up jobless, and it is far more difficult to find a new job when everyone else is looking.

Another thing to consider is whether following a departing partner to another firm is an option. It is not always possible, and the other firm may be reluctant to take on more associates, but it is worth Not all partners, Andrews notes, can bring along associates when joining a new firm. It is not always possible, and the new firm may be reluctant to take on new associates, but it is an option worth investigating.

Read more at amlawdaily.typepad.com.

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