Hamster pic

Trained hamster actors depict working at BigLaw and life afterwards.  

An ex-Gibson Dunn associate has gone viral in a LinkedIn post stating that he turned down partnership offers from BigLaw firms, as he was becoming a stranger in his own home.

Eli Albrecht was an M&A lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, having previously worked at DLA Piper.

In his LinkedIn post, Albrecht says that he  "stepping off the hamster wheel" and leaving Gibson Dunn, and had turned down "offers for partnership at other Biglaw firms."

Albrecht states that he had aspired to be a big shot lawyer from a young age: "As an inner city kid, I let my mind wander and pretended I was wearing a suit and tie and walking into a high rise, taking an elevator to my office".

After graduating, Albrecht's "dream came true" as he got his own office, progressing from the "interior office with no windows" to "an office with a view of downtown".

"But, I wanted more," said Albrecht. "I wanted the partner office, the corner office, and the title, Partner."

The former Gibson Dunn associate said that he threw himself into the work, bringing a sleeping bag into the office and not leaving "for days at a time", as he chased "the next bonus, the next review, the next promotion, and the next title."

However, the M&A lawyer was "losing touch with all life outside of that office" and his family were losing touch with him.

"My son took his first steps," he said. "My daughter cracked her first smile and said her first babbly words. My son was growing up and having crushes, and my daughters had dance parties I never saw."

He decided to change his career path one day, when he realised he was a "stranger" in his "own house". Albrecht said: "I crumpled on my wife’s shoulder and said, tell me we can do better. Tell me this is not my forever". 

Albrecht has therefore decided to leave the so-called BigLaw firms of the US. But he has not packed it in as a lawyer, to go and work on a beach somewhere, as he is joining a boutique firm, SMB Law Group, as a partner. 

However, Albrecht told RollOnFriday that his new firm will allow for a better work/life balance. He acknowledged that as an M&A lawyer, he would still work hard; but he can work remotely at his new firm so he can see his kids when they "come home from school".

Albrecht told RollOnFriday that he is now in control of his own life and wanted to have more family time to attend events like his daughter’s kindergarten graduation. "At some points" he acknowledged, this would mean "taking on fewer clients".  

RollOnFriday asked Albrecht what tips he would give someone looking to leave BigLaw. The M&A lawyer noted that it is "really difficult...the money is very good and there is deep satisfaction to doing intellectually stimulating work."

"I had a hard time leaving because I didn’t want to give up the prestige," he added. "I was proud of my title and the reaction that people had when they know you are at a top law firm."

However, he concluded: "there are so many other things in life that are deeply meaningful over the long term. If you don’t feel BigLaw is right for you, you will not regret your move for one day."

Albrecht's LinkedIn post has over 10,000 likes and been reposted over 300 times.

He's also had support from some former colleagues:

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Ok... 09 June 23 09:24

This guy is a massive Lawfluencer tede. His posts alternate between humblebrag, how he's father of the millennium and victimhood posts of how he was treated poorly at previous firms. Sadly him leaving biglaw will just result in more drivel on LinkedIn

Paper Cuts 09 June 23 09:28

Prestige should never be a factor in any decision.  Unless you’re an idiot.  Sartean bad faith.  We all are quite good at shrugging off negative opinions from other people.  The trick is to be equally indifferent to plaudits / status etc.  Do not live for the approval / envy of others – it’s a confession of hollowness.   

bore off 09 June 23 09:40

i'm sure he's a nice guy but agree his LinkedIn profile is a massive X-factor style load of corporate confessional tosh. On the one hand he is saying he is turning down actual partnership offers (yeah right...) at Gibson Dunn yet on the other he spent years going on about how he never went to the office so he could see his kids more. So he both managed to be burned out and a completely engaged dad while bossing corporate law. Sure!

not sure what happened to just living your professional and personal life quietly and privately.

ShootyOriginal 09 June 23 09:46

... How did he father the kids if he was never there? Might want to check that. 

Anonymous 09 June 23 09:54

Good on him for making the jump but shame on him for the humblebrag. Such people, like "influencers" are insufferable. 

Anonymous 09 June 23 10:08

He’s been an associate 5-6 years. There is no way he has “turned down offers of partnership from other big law firms”. Just nonsense. 

Anonymous 09 June 23 10:20

"... yo I'm also setting up my own firm, which I'm just mentioning here by coincidence in a post which is totally about caring about mental health and not a plug for my personal money-making venture, so take care of yourselves everyone thoughts and prayers."


Bro piss off.

Just Go Away 09 June 23 10:39

Given this is just textbook LI preachy BS, I bet the real story is that he realised he reached his career ceiling long ago so he wants to cover up his inadequacies rather than face up to the truth 

Gobblepig 09 June 23 10:43

The reasons he gives for the move are by and large perfectly reasonable and decent, but the "I was getting lots of partnership offers" sounds like utter BS. I made a very similar move around four years ago, leaving a City firm to join one of the profit-share model firms, and I was very open about doing it in part because I wanted to put the word "partner" in my job title and did not see that happening anytime soon at my old firm (I also quite liked the idea of being my own boss and getting more control over my workload). His "they were trying to drag me back from the door and lots of other biglaw firms were screaming at me to join them" sounds like utter, utter self-aggrandising tosh.

Anonymous 09 June 23 10:45

I had a suspicion this was the same bloke who about a year ago wrote a long post about how he was told observing Shabbat would harm his career, but nevertheless he faced down the odds and battled through it. Turns out it is him. He went on to explain how, remarkably, turning off his phone for 26 hours every week or so turned out to be helpful to him - allowed him to have a break, re-connect with family etc. Which is funny, because who would ever have otherwise realised that making yourself uncontactable for a decent period every week would be a good, recharging experience?! The key thing missing in this nauseating post was a "thank you" to all the colleagues who would have bailed him out over the years and taken on the extra burden from sundown on a Friday. Not one mention of the people who helped him observe his religion. Says it all.  

Anonymous 09 June 23 11:12

Agreed the guy is a dick, but unless he works in the arctic and Shabbat starts at 6am, knocking off a bit early on Friday and picking things up again Sunday if needed is hardly placing a massive burden on his colleagues is it? Half the non-Jewish work from homers do it, FFS. 

Anonymous 09 June 23 13:14

Anonymous 09 June 23 11:12

Agreed the guy is a dick, but unless he works in the arctic and Shabbat starts at 6am, knocking off a bit early on Friday and picking things up again Sunday if needed is hardly placing a massive burden on his colleagues is it? Half the non-Jewish work from homers do it, FFS. 

quite a lot of big corporate stuff happens over weekends (big public stuff often needs to so that announcements can be made when markets open on Monday), the PE stuff often goes into weekends for purely performative reasons and clients putting lots of pressure on external lawyers because they want to do a quick deal. So i can actually see that being completely offline for 36 hours a week in a M&A team would actually be quite challenging. Whether it needs to be on such silly timetables is a different Q. 

Anonymous too 09 June 23 14:27

^^^^^ this. I too worked at a transactional law firm where several Jewish colleagues observed Shabbat and consequently needed covering from 3pm on winter Fridays. This, as well as holding down one’s own transactions. Dissolving stress is one thing and fine but simply passing it onto others? Not so much. 

Mikey2 10 June 23 21:20

A few months he posted on LinkedIn....and he seemed to be him trying to convince himself that he could be a good dad even though he spent all his time at the office. His post was basically "I only have a tiny amount of time with my kids, but I have pet names for them, so that's ok." So I was surprised when he left. This is a good move. 

bananaman 11 June 23 23:49

Seems like a grade A weapon, along with anyone else that uses LinkedIn for anything other than finding jobs or being forced to like some firm post about representing Hubert Gimplord Inc. or about how diverse they are (clue - you are not). 

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