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Why I moved to White & Case as a lateral associate

February 2023: "This is not a job, it's a profession," says New York associate Alexander Liebers. "The law is constantly evolving, so the role of a lawyer is too." For associates looking for their next role, choosing a firm that matches their own ambitions, values and interests is a big step. We asked lateral associates from our Houston and New York offices about why they chose White & Case.

A top-tier practice, learning opportunities plus personal connections

"I was looking for more client exposure plus the opportunity to learn, and to make the switch from M&A work into capital markets. So when I got the call from a recruiter, I looked closely at White & Case's team, their deals, their clients, and that got me interested," explains Alexander's fellow New York associate Joseph Chung.

The experience of Capital Markets partners who interviewed him for the role, especially Joel Rubinstein, ultimately persuaded him to make the move. "My thinking was, if I want to build my career in this area, then learn from the best, right? It was a chance to benefit from and learn from someone who is best in class."

For Houston Debt Finance associate Juliesa Edwards, the personal connection was key: "During my interview process at White & Case, I met people who were more than just incredible lawyers in their field—they talked of outside interests and strong personal lives."

Entrepreneurial, ambitious and with local clients: The ideal mix

Turning to Houston lateral Nate Bascom, he reflects that the chance to work in a Houston firm that served local clients was a big factor in his lateral move. "A lot of offices here are really just a satellite of their New York headquarters. There's almost no Houston-focused work. I wanted to do business development and work with clients locally." 

He says that the Firm's combination of keystone clients and growth strategy was a compelling offer. "I wanted to be somewhere more entrepreneurial. White & Case in Houston felt like a start-up within an extremely established international platform."

The breadth of clients is something that is very appealing to me. It's top-level work; you get to form relationships with clients, and that is crucial

A transparent, open and diverse culture

One common theme between all associates, in all offices, is the notable transparency of Firm operations and long-term strategy. Commitment to diversity and inclusion is another positive, according to Joseph who says that the Firm's affinity networks (which include those for Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, LGBTQ+ and LatinX colleagues and allies) impressed him. 

"I've been involved with the Asian affinity network since joining. There's been a recent speaker series, plenty of social events, and it's a good way to build your network in a really unforced, natural way with people you already have something in common with." 

According to Juliesa: "When I interviewed at the Firm, I met my role models. For the first time in my career, I could identify several partners who were living lives I wanted to live. By the time my count got to three, I knew White & Case was a firm I wanted to join." And how did the reality match up to her expectations? She says, "The culture at White & Case exceeded my expectations."

Growth opportunities and a global platform

For Alexander, the draw to White & Case was the career progression path, plus the global platform that the Firm offers. "Talking to friends who were already associates here, I knew that it was a firm that provides growth opportunities where you get responsibility early on, to lead transactions or playing a more active role. I'd heard good things about a collaborative culture, where there wasn't an extreme sense of hierarchy."

Since joining, Alexander points to the Firm's international network as a definite advantage. "I've had the opportunity to work with people from offices all around the globe. In an ever-more interconnected world, having the ability to call a colleague in London, or Berlin, is pretty great." He adds that the Firm's client list is another plus: "The breadth of clients is something that is very interesting to me. It's top-level work; you get to form relationships with clients, and that feels important as you move forward in your career."