Now, you may be asking: "if HP can barely keep up her own blog, how can she guest elsewhere"? Well, I, too, have had that thought. I'm hoping that being busy just keeps me moving faster. I know I am best when I have multiple deadlines. I am hoping to use my site for specific advice - e.g., when I am answering questions, and more general career guidance. Much of my advice goes beyond BigLaw and even law in general, and relates to general workplace getting along and getting ahead. Over at lawshucks, I will focus on big picture items, I think.
Someone asked about taking multiple bars as a fall back. As in, they are going to work in State A, but think maybe they should take the bars in States B and C to make themselves more marketable. Well, I think it depends on a few factors. Does the firm you are going to encourage multiple bars? I have a friend who works for a firm in DC. They have VA and MD offices. The firm likes for their lawyers, especially litigators, to have DC and one of either VA or MD. Will your firm pay for the dues on other state bars? This is actually an important question and can add up significantly. Another important question my cousin didn't really consider when she took an extra bar were the CLE and other ongoing requirements. She had no interest in the short, or even long, term practicing in the state, yet there were many requirements for ongoing dues and other payments and mandatory CLE. In the end, she had to give up the bar membership since (if I remember correctly), they didn't really have an inactive status that didn't require payments. And, do you have the time to study and take these extra bars? You certainly don't want to take away any time from your main bar, as these days, firms aren't likely to look positively on failing bar results.
Now, moving on to the big picture, I recently got invited to a professional conference. The list of the speakers was set forth in the email. I noticed the name of a man I know, and he was listed at a firm other than the one where I first met him. I was pretty surprised so I googled him and sure enough, he had just moved. Why was I surprised? After all, tons of people make lateral moves. I was surprised because this guy was such a "company man," he had at one time managed the office of the prior firm. When I met him he was super gung ho on the place. I truly saw him as a lifer there. Which brings me to the point. Remember, there is no loyalty in BigLaw. People move for so many reasons. Sometimes they take people with, other times not. Even people who seems like they will sail off into retirement from Firm ABC suddenly make unexpected moves. So, don't go someplace just because you really like Partner Susan, or associate Tom was so fun and hip. It's happened to me that when you show up, those people could already be gone. Really goes back to the point I made on lawshucks last Friday -- and I've made here before -- that you have to always look out for yourself -- whether it is positioning yourself for your own move at some point, or recognizing that you don't want to only work for X because X might leave next week and not take you and then you're hosed because you haven't worked with anyone else. People move, things change. Be careful about hitching your wagon too closely -- be more like a UHAUL attachment that can attach and unattach to various pulls.