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Seeking suggestions re: lateraling in the long-ish term (or short, if feasible)


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  • Lawyer

Hi all,

I’m a corporate lawyer in my first year at a nonーGTA mid sized firm. I’ve always planned to lateral to bay st within the next two or three years. I went to school in Toronto, want to go back, and want the salary because I’m broke. I’ve thought about my advantages and disadvantages in achieving this goal.


  1. I have the opportunities to bear greater responsibilities on deals. For smaller deals I’ve been dealing with the clients and managing the closings on my own.
  2. My current firm acts opposing bay st firms on a number of deals. There have been lawyers making the move to bay st in their second or third year.
  3. I wasn’t the most social person at law school but at least I built some connections with some current bay st lawyers.


  1. We do less “big” deals so I’m relatively less experienced in extensive due diligence as a junior (have done it, know how it’s done, just not my daily job).
  2. Lack of exposure to securities related and public aspects in deals because of the smaller market (I guess I’ll stick with private m&a going forward).
  3. Interviewing and marketing myself aren’t my strength (that’s essentially how I ended up here. I was able to get more than a dozen OCIs with my grades back in the day but none led to a job. After that I’ve been exposed to lots of client facing roles either voluntarily or involuntarily, I’ve certainly improved my people skills, but it’s never my strong suit).

I’m not optimistic the move can happen very soon (plus the current economy). I do see some job posts once a while that I’m interested in, just not sure if it’s worth applying at the moment. I’m specifically wondering if all you kind folks here can provide some insight on:

  1. Do I have any realistic chance if I apply for something requiring “minimum 2 years experience”? Is applying for something that I’m obviously under qualified frowned upon? Will firms remember my unsuccessful applications?
  2. Biglaw tend to further divide up their corporate departments, if i see something like “emerging companies group”, how do I know if my experience is a good fit to a position?
  3. Are recruiters helpful? If at least “good” ones are helpful, how do I tell if one is good?
  4. If I ever apply, which of my skills and experiences should I highlight, and how do I mitigate my disadvantages? Are there any potential advantages or disadvantages I may haven’t realized?

Many thanks!

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