Nov 6, 2019
In this episode, I welcome Josh Rissmiller, a corporate partner at the Boston law firm Feinberg Hanson. Josh began his career at two large and very prominent firms in New York and in Boston. In this show, he talks about his transition, what it was like to leave a large firm and lessons he has learned along the way.
There are many advantages of starting your career at a large firm. It is hard to compete with the training you get as an associate at an AmLaw 100 firm. The clients tend to be larger and the legal issues tend to be more complex. Overall, the caliber of lawyering is very high.
Some lawyers who launch their careers at these firms will eventually be elevated to partner. The reality today, is that most associates will never make partner at a big firm. Many don’t want to make partner or if they do, the path to partnership is long.
In addition to long hours, the clients are demanding and the high bill rates make it challenging to build your own practice. At the same time, their are fewer seats at the table than there were 30 years ago.
If you are an associate at an AmLaw 100 or 200 firm, the odds are good that you will leave by the time you are in your 8th year. But where will you go?
For some, the next step in the career is a move to a smaller firm where hours are better and bill rates are lower. For others, a move in-house is the next step. So what do you gain when you move to a smaller law firm? What do you give up? What is challenging about leaving a large firm?
Josh Rissmiller is a corporate lawyer with the law firm Feinberg Hanson in Boston. Several years ago he left a promising career at a large firm to join a sophisticated corporate boutique in Boston. Originally, Josh thought about making an in-house move; but then he began to explore a move to a smaller firm and he liked what he saw. He hasn’t looked back.
For the past ten years, Josh has been helping entrepreneurs, high growth companies and private equity firms successfully complete mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and investments in emerging companies.
He also provides counsel on day-to-day corporate legal needs such as routine contracts and employee agreements. He has represented a diverse group of clients across many industries but has a particular focus on technology and life sciences.
Josh enjoys working with both investment-side and company-side clients to craft creative solutions to deal-related issues. He has worked on mergers valued in the billions as well as seed financings valued in the thousands. Many of the matters have involved transactions with complex structures, such as tender offers, fund formations, minority private equity investments, joint ventures, recapitalizations, spin-offs, and purchase option transactions.