Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 01:47:08 PM

Title: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 01:47:08 PM
I may not respond right away for obvious reasons but I will address all the questions in the order in which they were received.

ETA: Any other current or former BigLaw Associates out there reading this feel free to jump in and add your 2 cents as well. I think it's important to give pre-laws and law students an idea of what they can realistically expect on a day to day.




FYI, see the following quote for background:

My grades are fine, but probably preclude W&C and Cravath-type firms, so please don't suggest them.  Right now, I'm looking at these places:

Quinn Emmanuel (they sound great, and I heard they're a bit of a sweatshop, which is all the better ITE)
Boies Schiller
Kirkland (probably NYC more than Chicago)
Gibson Dunn
Crowell and Moring (I heard good things from others)

Any other suggestions?

If I'm really interested in a firm like Quinn, would they mind if I interviewed in multiple offices?

(speaking for NY offices only):

Gibson Dunn if you want to work day and night around the clock.

Crowell Moring if you don't want to work day and night around the clock but get the same pay. (excluding bonuses of course)

Kirkland, more towards Gibson Dunn environment but not quite as bad (debatable though).

Haven't worked with people or know any people at Boise or Quinn so I can't speak to those two.





Hey, Sands.  Just a quick question (probably a little off topic, sorry):  I understand that people work around the clock at these big firms, but is the work really that tedious?  Is it really that boring?  If you're in litigation, does it really come down to just doing document review round the clock?

I don't mind working hard; I just want to also do some interesting work.  I understand I'm going to be pulling time doing things that aren't quite so "sexy."  But, when it's all said and done, I want to get good experience and do some interesting work while learning what it really takes to be a lawyer.

Can you speak to that a little bit?


If it's ok with Officious I'll respond to that in this thread.

NY is a different beast than most other markets for reasons I can expand on later, but just wanted to throw that out up front as a threshold matter.

That being said, in a NYC BigLaw firm as a junior associate,  you can expect to work long hours on conducting and/or running doc reviews just because that is typically the name of the game for NY practice.  When I say long hours, I mean that you can expect to bill 180 to 200 hours/month on doc review related work for months at a time. (I had a few months that ran 200+ which starts to enter zombie territory)

You asked if the work is tedious and boring.  Short answer: yes.  Doing doc review at BigLaw typically entails running a doc review of anywhere from 1 or 2 to up to 100 or more document reviewers, aka Contract Attorneys.  For example, I was on one where there were 2 partners, 2 sr. associates, one other fellow junior associate and myself.  We had a team of about 40 Contract Attorneys reviewing documents from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Saturday. This lasted for about 6 or 7 months.

Part of your duties as a jr assoc involves quality control of the contract attorneys which means being present to answer questions and check their work after documents are reviewed.  This is the tedious part.  Contract attorneys will review the documents for relevance to a number of different criteria and also for privileged communications between the other side and their attorneys.  All of this information is done through various doc review program software. Each firm has their own favorite type.  After the documents are reviewed at the first level, then you, as the junior associate, will have to do Q.C. to check if a document that is, for example, tagged as privileged actually is privileged.

Like I said, tedious.

That's the initial phase of the litigation however.  As documents are reviewed and discovery begins to give us more clues to the puzzle, then you actually get into the "sexy" work of drafting motions, legal research, etc.  But it all starts with the doc review and discovery.  Before you do doc review/discovery you really don't know what is out there that can help your case or theories that you may have.  What starts off as a breach of contract claim between two large corporations, for example, can quickly turn into a trademark infringement claim involving multiple third parties who are now dragged into the litigation through impleader.

Getting back to the "sexy" work, the drafting of motions in NY is usually done by the sr. associates and signed off by the Partners.  Sometimes the sr. assoc's kick down the work to those of us jr. assoc's so then you can get your feet wet in actual motion practice in either federal or state court (usually federal). I can expand on that aspect as well but I'm trying to stay on point to your question as much as possible and still give a meaningful answer.

Lastly, you mentioned getting good experience and doing meaningful work as a lawyer.  Well I have good news and bad news.  Bad news, I can tell you right now, although it is the norm in Biglaw, there is NOTHING meaningful about doc review.  And what I mean by that is, there is NO substantive development as an attorney whatsoever from running a doc review.  During doc reviews, you'll have many-a-night where you'll be sitting up at midnight long after the office has cleared out wondering to yourself why you needed to go through 3 years of law school and a bar exam just to do something that you could literally train your kid brother to do in 15 minutes.

That's the bad news.

Good news is there is a way to get good experience and do meaningful work as a junior associate in Biglaw and its name is Pro Bono.  As a 1st year associate, I appeared in both federal and state court, representing clients on a variety of issues from death penalty cases to criminal defense work to civil litigations.  I have visited clients in federal prison (an interesting experience), state and county jails and other detention centers.  I have helped single mothers living in battered women's shelters get some much needed benefits from the City of New York. - All of this has been from pro bono work.

So I know that was lengthy but hopefully that sheds some light on what you guys are getting into.  Let me know if you guys have any other questions.

That was a great response.  Thanks!  The only downside is that now I have many, many more questions (as I'm sure most of the other posters reading this).  However, I don't want to steal from this thread.  Perhaps, when you're free you can start a thread where we can just throw questions at you.  It's nice to get some inside perspective on what a lot of us aspiring for.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 06, 2009, 02:10:50 PM
What % of work is doc review then?  It sounds like almost all of your hours are billed there?  Does it actually make a difference what market you are in?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 02:32:17 PM
What % of work is doc review then?  It sounds like almost all of your hours are billed there?  Does it actually make a difference what market you are in?

Good question. It all depends on what comes your way and what practice group you are assigned to within the Litigation Department of your firm. 

I should have clarified up front, I am in Commercial Litigation, sometimes referred to as "General Litigation" at some firms because it can span different practice areas.  For example, I do general run of the mill commercial litigation cases (where most of the doc reviews take place), IP litigation cases (which can also get into substantial and quite complicated doc reviews), securities litigation cases (which tend to involve doc reviews in response to SEC inquiries) and every now and again the bankruptcy folks will throw a little work my way but I'm not really too well versed on bankruptcy matters (although I probably should be considering this economy).


Now, within the Litigation Dept, if I was assigned to the Labor & Employment practice group for example, then I would effectively have 0 hours of doc review work b/c they don't really do that stuff.

So I don't want to paint the picture that you will automatically spend 90% of your time running doc reviews b/c that may not be the case, depending on what practice group you are in within litigation.

Now all this time I've been talking about "Litigation" which is one of two sides to any biglaw firm. The other side is the "Transactional" side, aka "Corporate."  They don't do "doc review" but they have their own version of tedious doc review work known as "due diligence," which as I understand it is basically reviewing contract language for really big deals for many hours at a time. 

But to answer your question with my own experience, during my first year I would venture to guess that I probably billed about...60-70% of my billable time (pro bono is non-billable) on doc review.  The other 30-40% of billable time was billed to various legal research, motions, drafting of documents, attending depositions, attending court, etc.
 

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Changed Name on July 06, 2009, 02:38:34 PM
I've got plenty of questions, but we'll start with some of these:

You spoke about gaining experience by doing pro bono, is this something that is just unique to your firm?  Or, since you know others at big firms, does this happen at other firms?

Knowing what you know now, is there somewhere else you would've chosen to work at for your first job?

Do you know what life is like for those first year associates doing transactional work?  
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Naked Promise on July 06, 2009, 02:47:07 PM
tag
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 03:12:11 PM
I've got plenty of questions, but we'll start with some of these:

You spoke about gaining experience by doing pro bono, is this something that is just unique to your firm?  Or, since you know others at big firms, does this happen at other firms?

This happens at every firm because the bar requires it.  In order to keep your license in NY, you must complete at least 20 hours of pro bono work each year.  Most firms in the City (if not all) follow the NYC Bar Association's pledge of at least 50 hours per year per lawyer.  I can tell you I did well over 100 hours of pro bono work in my fist year as an associate.  Some firms do this more than others. I advise you to ask any firm that you interview with what their Pro Bono program is like and how it is structured.  Does it provide random assignments here or there or will you be involved in actual cases where it's just you and the client face to face?


Knowing what you know now, is there somewhere else you would've chosen to work at for your first job?


LOL.  I think it's safe to say that pretty much all of us here in NY would have looked into other options if we had known that the economy was going to kill BigLaw like it did.  :D

That being said, I interned for a few federal judges in law school but I do kinda wish I had actually clerked for my first job out of law school.  Other than that, I'm happy with the choice I made to enter BigLaw even though the economy bent us over.


Do you know what life is like for those first year associates doing transactional work?  

My transactional knowledge is admittedly limited, however I do have several friends who are transactional associates and they have interesting high and low periods and odd hours.  I think that they are most busy before deals go through. For example my buddy who is in the Real Estate department will coast for a while, but then when a deal is about to close, he's up every day all night around the clock.  Plus they have odd hours due to overseas clients.  Many of the deals take place with Asian clients or European clients, so depending on which side they're either up really really late or up really really early on conference calls overseas.

Interesting work, but not my cup of tea.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: LawChamp007 on July 06, 2009, 03:25:16 PM
You mention that Employment and Labor litigation people do not spend as much time on doc review. Does this mean that a jr associate in l and e would do more substantive legal work (motions, deps, court appearances etc.)? I want to be the chicago version of alan shore/denny crane... what practice area do you recommend I do to get there (just kidding, I don;t expect an answer)? Alas, I am 0L RA for a professor at the law school I will be attending this fall (Chicago), do you think that will give me a leg up on getting a 1l summer firm gig in biglaw (preferably kirkland or skadden, HA) (for the few that will be hiring ANY 1LS, which i know will be few and far between)?

Thanks
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 04:22:52 PM
You mention that Employment and Labor litigation people do not spend as much time on doc review. Does this mean that a jr associate in l and e would do more substantive legal work (motions, deps, court appearances etc.)? I want to be the chicago version of alan shore/denny crane... what practice area do you recommend I do to get there (just kidding, I don;t expect an answer)? Alas, I am 0L RA for a professor at the law school I will be attending this fall (Chicago), do you think that will give me a leg up on getting a 1l summer firm gig in biglaw (preferably kirkland or skadden, HA) (for the few that will be hiring ANY 1LS, which i know will be few and far between)?

Thanks

Perhaps.  I really don't know what my Labor & Employment colleagues spend their day to day billable time on, but I know that the bulk of it is not doc review like ours is.   

Re getting a leg up, anything is possible.  The more people you know in this profession the better chances you have of running across somebody who can help you get a foot in the door of some place you want to be.  It's all about who you know...and more importantly, who they know.

caveat: summer gigs during your 1L summer are very rare.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Talk Is Cheap on July 06, 2009, 04:46:02 PM
I went into LS wanting (regional) "big"law, and still do, although probably don't have the grades for it. Am I a pitiable creature, or free to discover enlightenment in other areas of the law?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 05:21:08 PM
I went into LS wanting (regional) "big"law, and still do, although probably don't have the grades for it. Am I a pitiable creature, or free to discover enlightenment in other areas of the law?

Hard to say without more facts.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: RobWreck on July 06, 2009, 07:31:09 PM
Tag
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 06, 2009, 07:42:46 PM
You mention that Employment and Labor litigation people do not spend as much time on doc review. Does this mean that a jr associate in l and e would do more substantive legal work (motions, deps, court appearances etc.)? I want to be the chicago version of alan shore/denny crane... what practice area do you recommend I do to get there (just kidding, I don;t expect an answer)? Alas, I am 0L RA for a professor at the law school I will be attending this fall (Chicago), do you think that will give me a leg up on getting a 1l summer firm gig in biglaw (preferably kirkland or skadden, HA) (for the few that will be hiring ANY 1LS, which i know will be few and far between)?

Thanks

Perhaps.  I really don't know what my Labor & Employment colleagues spend their day to day billable time on, but I know that the bulk of it is not doc review like ours is.   



Response from one of my classmates down the hall who does labor & employment:

"I would highly recommend labor & employment as a practice -- I'm really enjoying it so far.  there is minimal doc review because most of the cases are very small.  you also get to do a wide variety of stuff -- respond to EEOC/discrimination complaints, work on smaller litigations (generally), review/draft release agreements and employment agreements, advise clients on latest labor laws/issues, etc.  so a little bit of everything."
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Scentless Apprentice on July 06, 2009, 11:33:17 PM
This is great, thanks Sands!
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 07, 2009, 07:34:38 AM
haha to the extent that people may or may not find this helpful, i'm a first year in nyc biglaw and my existence is pretty goddamn miserable. if it ain't doc review or doc production, i'm not doing it. the juxtaposition is strange - from working so hard in law school, etc. and then finally "making it" only to spend absurdly long hours doing something "that your kid brother could do," to quote sands. on the one hand, i feel that i'm paying my dues, so to speak, and on the other i feel like i'm being borderline exploited by the firm. in prior years, i think that they had to worry about losing jr. associates to other firms if / when they buried them under mountains of doc review and doc production. given the current cataclysmic state of the market, however, this is no longer the case and they know it. as such, the docs just keep piling up [as do those oh-so-coveted production assignments]

on a semi-related note, the quality of K attny on my doc review team is insane. in the "good 'ole days," it's my understanding that most k attnys were basically what you'd expect t2-t4 grads with below the median type grades. my review is staffed almost exclusively with t20 (many t14) grads, many of whom have 4-8 yrs WE. believe me, they're not doing DR because they want to. i hate to say it, but it appears to me that this ship be sinkin'. and on that note it's time for me to depart for work - i have to hit at least 10-11 hrs billed of pure, unadulterated DR today. life is a beautiful thing.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 07, 2009, 11:39:07 AM
To echo the post above, do all major markets have as much doc review?  I'm planning on using all of my bids on LA and maybe a few on secondary markets.  The good news is that most firms in LA seem to have large employment/labor groups so I imagine I could always request to be there if I want to avoid it.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 07, 2009, 12:50:58 PM
To echo the post above, do all major markets have as much doc review?  I'm planning on using all of my bids on LA and maybe a few on secondary markets.  The good news is that most firms in LA seem to have large employment/labor groups so I imagine I could always request to be there if I want to avoid it.

This is going to depend on what is considered the ďpractice of lawĒ in each jurisdiction. As I mentioned in the other thread NYís law is pretty explicate and says doc review HAS TO BE DONE BY A LAWYER. Hence you have tons of contract lawyers in a state like NY. Not every state has that same rule, so in some states doc review can be done by paralegals or just about anyone in some cases. Thatís how it is in Colorado. You donít need to be a lawyer so I never actually met a contract lawyer and as far as I know we donít even have companies that set up such services here (like in NYC). So you need to check what the practice requirements are in the jurisdiction you want to work in to find out if there is a lot of contract lawyer/doc review work going on there or itís not something they normally have lawyers do.

All that being said, reviewing documents IS WHAT LAWYERS DO. Yes there is a difference between the lawyerly doc review and just clicking yes/no a screen in some firmís basement. But if you donít want to review ďdocumentsĒ be they contracts, wills, merger agreements, statutes or regulations, or something else law may not be what you expect. Most lawyers spend the vast majority of the time reviewing stuff and writing about what they have reviewed and very little in an actual courtroom.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 07, 2009, 01:13:35 PM
Can you elaborate a bit on the differences between (biglaw) practice in NYC and that elsewhere?  You mentioned that it's different in some way--is this just an hours thing, or what?

Sure, it's different in 2 major ways: (1) Subject matter; and (2) Size.

1 - The subject matter of New York is, as you might imagine, driven mostly by Wall Street and other big business.  This is reflected in most of the work that we do as "BigLaw" in New York - securities, commercial litigations, commercial transactions, mergers & acquisitions, etc.  It's all about the financial market and big business (lol...at least it used to be about the financial market).  

Other states, obviously, have little to do with Wall Street (how fortunate for them right now!) although they will focus on whatever business is the "big business" draw for their respective state.

2 - The Size and Scope of NY Big Law matters are unparalleled anywhere else in the world save London.  Bigger than Chicago, bigger than ATL, bigger than San Fran, Bigger than LA.  The stuff is massive.  Beyond massive.  The matters can take literally take years and 100's of people putting in 1000's of hours.  

So why does this matter?  This matters to you and I as jr. associates or soon-to-be jr. associates because at this level of the law you are a mere pawn in the big picture.  It is unrealistic to enter Biglaw in NY straight from law school and expect to be placed in charge of a big case.  NY Biglaw litigators typically don't see the inside of a court room for 3 or 4 years (if ever).  Similarly, NY Biglaw transactional attorneys are not running deals or developing the transactional skills that their partners possess for years after law school.  Long story short, your personal development as an attorney learning the craft of the practice is severely stunted in NY Biglaw, taking years to develop what you would likely be able to develop in months elsewhere in other markets where more hands on work is given to jr. associates.  In NY, however, all they need from you for the first few years is grunt work.

The substantive stuff comes later.  Much later.  
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 07, 2009, 02:01:16 PM
Quote
But if you donít want to review ďdocumentsĒ be they contracts, wills, merger agreements, statutes or regulations, or something else law may not be what you expect. Most lawyers spend the vast majority of the time reviewing stuff and writing about what they have reviewed and very little in an actual courtroom.

I was referring to going through box after box tagging stuff for privilege or vainly looking for new causes of action.  I would hate that.  On the other hand, I enjoy legal research / memo writing.  I do mostly appellate stuff where I'm summering and I enjoy the work, but I realize that appellate work is a very niche field and I most likely won't get it (especially since I'm not considering DC). 

I just want to make sure I end up in a practice group / location where I can get the most exposure to memo writing / legal research / strategy type stuff as opposed to heading up a doc review full of contract attorneys.  I would hate that.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 07, 2009, 02:03:19 PM
on a semi-related note, the quality of K attny on my doc review team is insane. in the "good 'ole days," it's my understanding that most k attnys were basically what you'd expect t2-t4 grads with below the median type grades. my review is staffed almost exclusively with t20 (many t14) grads, many of whom have 4-8 yrs WE. believe me, they're not doing DR because they want to. i hate to say it, but it appears to me that this ship be sinkin'.


Mr. Durden speaks the truth!!!!!

A bit of disclosure about my own personal experience, I was one of the many (I think the count was up to somewhere around 4,000 last time I checked) Biglaw associates that lost our jobs due to the economy.  Let me tell you, it is not a good experience. This economy has really done a number on all professions, and the legal profession is apparently in no better position to avoid lay-offs and office closures than any other profession.

That said, after several months of being unemployed, pounding the pavement, shaking every tree and leaving no stone unturned, I finally got picked up by another Biglaw firm where I am at now.

However, during that time period where I was out of work I personally saw exactly what T. Durden described above on the doc review scene with respect to all the talent that was in the room reviewing documents.  

It's a little different being on the other side - if you didn't have it before, you develop a serious appreciation for what contract attorneys have to go through on daily basis.  The hours suck just like they sucked when you were an associate except you are getting paid MUCH MUCH LESS money.  A lot less.  Like just enough to make my rent payment less. There are no benefits, no dental, no 401k, no health insurance. You just get a flat rate of around $30-or-so bucks an hour, which sounds great at first until you realize your take home in NY at that rate is about 70% of your total earnings.  Oh and BTW, your hours are at the mercy of the firm producing the doc's.  So, for example, they could tell you that the production will only run between the hours of 9 to 6, M-F and you must take at least a 30 minute lunch break each day.  So, in that situation (which is based on a true story), you're getting at most 8.5 hours a day max, or 42.5 hours a week.  (which as I recall, came out to about $900 a week in take home).  But on the bright side, thank goodness that our profession has something like doc review to fall back on for those who lost their jobs in Biglaw.  Other professions don't have things like that.

Getting back to Durden's point above though, I was on 2 different doc reviews as a contract attorney.  The first one that I did was a relatively small production of about a dozen or so people, but of that dozen there were 7 former Biglaw associates in the room.  The second doc review I did was bigger, and had about 50-60 doc reviewers.  I'm not sure where everybody was from, and judging by the familiarity that some of the reviewers had with each other I'm sure that some of them were the regulars you would expect to see that Durden mentioned above, but at my table alone there was a former 2nd year from Skadden who graduated from a T-14, two former 2nd years from Latham who each graduated from T-14's, a girl from Kaye Scholer (didn't catch her school), a former 4th year from Morgan Lewis, and (I kid you not!) a former General Counsel for a Wall Street Hedge Fund that had collapsed!!!  This guy had like 20 years of work experience by himself, and there he was right next to the rest of us, reviewing documents.

That had to have been the best damn review of documents in the history of doc review going on in that room. :D

But the scary part is that scene, in today's economy, is very typical right now.  There are a lot of T-14 law grads doing doc review right now in order to make ends meet.  But, as was the consensus among the folks I worked with who had come from Biglaw, you gotta do what you gotta do to ride this thing out for as long as it takes until something better comes along.  If you're lucky, that will only be a few months.  However, I have friends who used to be in Biglaw who have been out of work since October or November of last year and still haven't found a job yet.  

It's a humbling experience, and nobody is safe.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 07, 2009, 02:16:25 PM
Quote
But if you donít want to review ďdocumentsĒ be they contracts, wills, merger agreements, statutes or regulations, or something else law may not be what you expect. Most lawyers spend the vast majority of the time reviewing stuff and writing about what they have reviewed and very little in an actual courtroom.

I was referring to going through box after box tagging stuff for privilege or vainly looking for new causes of action.  I would hate that.  On the other hand, I enjoy legal research / memo writing.  I do mostly appellate stuff where I'm summering and I enjoy the work, but I realize that appellate work is a very niche field and I most likely won't get it (especially since I'm not considering DC). 

I just want to make sure I end up in a practice group / location where I can get the most exposure to memo writing / legal research / strategy type stuff as opposed to heading up a doc review full of contract attorneys.  I would hate that.

Well now a days, you would be going through boxes so much as you would be going through screens and screens of PDF's on some doc review software, but I hear what you're saying. Looking at the same type of document all day long can be pretty mind numbing.  When I was doing doc review, I could almost feel my brain lose IQ points every day.

But Matthies is right, even if you were at a firm or in a practice group that doesn't hire contract attorneys, as a lawyer you're still going to be have to review documents all day long for living.  That is what the practice is all about.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 07, 2009, 05:49:02 PM
This guy had like 20 years of work experience by himself, and there he was right next to the rest of us, reviewing documents.

Not to divulge too much detail, but I currently have a guy with 20+ yrs WE who used to be GC for one of the nation's major corporations on the K attny staff. In a fair and just world, I'd be getting this guy his coffee in the AM; instead, he asks me for permission to take lunch at 12:50 as opposed to 1. I can't help but wonder what I have gotten myself into.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 07, 2009, 05:51:04 PM
To echo the post above, do all major markets have as much doc review?  I'm planning on using all of my bids on LA and maybe a few on secondary markets.  The good news is that most firms in LA seem to have large employment/labor groups so I imagine I could always request to be there if I want to avoid it.

This is going to depend on what is considered the ďpractice of lawĒ in each jurisdiction. As I mentioned in the other thread NYís law is pretty explicate and says doc review HAS TO BE DONE BY A LAWYER. Hence you have tons of contract lawyers in a state like NY. Not every state has that same rule, so in some states doc review can be done by paralegals or just about anyone in some cases. Thatís how it is in Colorado. You donít need to be a lawyer so I never actually met a contract lawyer and as far as I know we donít even have companies that set up such services here (like in NYC). So you need to check what the practice requirements are in the jurisdiction you want to work in to find out if there is a lot of contract lawyer/doc review work going on there or itís not something they normally have lawyers do.

All that being said, reviewing documents IS WHAT LAWYERS DO. Yes there is a difference between the lawyerly doc review and just clicking yes/no a screen in some firmís basement. But if you donít want to review ďdocumentsĒ be they contracts, wills, merger agreements, statutes or regulations, or something else law may not be what you expect. Most lawyers spend the vast majority of the time reviewing stuff and writing about what they have reviewed and very little in an actual courtroom.

haha and M Cool this is where you call out the 4 yr grad from the Uni of Denver who is currently prepping for the CO bar so that he can start his stay-at-home environmental interest job for lecturing you on what it means to be a lawyer
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 07, 2009, 05:56:59 PM
To echo the post above, do all major markets have as much doc review?  I'm planning on using all of my bids on LA and maybe a few on secondary markets.  The good news is that most firms in LA seem to have large employment/labor groups so I imagine I could always request to be there if I want to avoid it.

This is going to depend on what is considered the ďpractice of lawĒ in each jurisdiction. As I mentioned in the other thread NYís law is pretty explicate and says doc review HAS TO BE DONE BY A LAWYER. Hence you have tons of contract lawyers in a state like NY. Not every state has that same rule, so in some states doc review can be done by paralegals or just about anyone in some cases. Thatís how it is in Colorado. You donít need to be a lawyer so I never actually met a contract lawyer and as far as I know we donít even have companies that set up such services here (like in NYC). So you need to check what the practice requirements are in the jurisdiction you want to work in to find out if there is a lot of contract lawyer/doc review work going on there or itís not something they normally have lawyers do.

All that being said, reviewing documents IS WHAT LAWYERS DO. Yes there is a difference between the lawyerly doc review and just clicking yes/no a screen in some firmís basement. But if you donít want to review ďdocumentsĒ be they contracts, wills, merger agreements, statutes or regulations, or something else law may not be what you expect. Most lawyers spend the vast majority of the time reviewing stuff and writing about what they have reviewed and very little in an actual courtroom.

haha and M Cool this is where you call out the 4 yr grad from the Uni of Denver who is currently prepping for the CO bar so that he can start his stay-at-home environmental interest job for lecturing you on what it means to be a lawyer

Well I have been pretending to be a law clerk for the last four years doing lawyer stuff in a law firm place where some real lawyers work so maybe I picked up something on the side once in a ahwile about what you guys actually do
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 07, 2009, 07:18:45 PM
This guy had like 20 years of work experience by himself, and there he was right next to the rest of us, reviewing documents.

Not to divulge too much detail, but I currently have a guy with 20+ yrs WE who used to be GC for one of the nation's major corporations on the K attny staff. In a fair and just world, I'd be getting this guy his coffee in the AM; instead, he asks me for permission to take lunch at 12:50 as opposed to 1. I can't help but wonder what I have gotten myself into.

It's bananas out there, man.  Straight bananas.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: rolen27 on July 08, 2009, 06:09:42 AM
I have a quick question, do you know anything about markets outside of NYC? ie how is the work and QOL different in other cities such as Chicago, DC, Boston, in the South (Dallas or Atlanta), and in the West (LA, SF)?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 08, 2009, 07:54:19 AM
I have a quick question, do you know anything about markets outside of NYC? ie how is the work and QOL different in other cities such as Chicago, DC, Boston, in the South (Dallas or Atlanta), and in the West (LA, SF)?

California firms tend to have a rep as more "lifestyle" type firms.

DC, from what I hear, is not half bad.  A lot of political law practice groups are developing into biglaw as they adopt or acquire the DC lobbying firms.

Outside of NY, DC, NJ, and CA I'm not too familiar with the other markets personally but can ask around.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 08:29:17 AM
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: botbot on July 08, 2009, 08:41:34 AM
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

The majority of Houston biglaw either 145 or 160.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 09:01:23 AM
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

The majority of Houston biglaw either 145 or 160.

Nice, we are lagging behind then
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on July 08, 2009, 09:10:11 AM
tag/
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 08, 2009, 09:31:39 AM
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

[ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
OK, now the question - why do we stay in New York?

Well as your answer clearly indicates, you have never been to New York.  I grew up in Kansas and Missouri.  I live in New York City.  I will NEVER move back to Kansas or Missouri.  

'nuff said


[/ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 10:00:25 AM
My question is WHY DO YOU GUYS PUT UP WITH IT? Iíve never been to NYC maybe I would understand if I had. But why do you guys stay with the uncertainty of the legal profession, the layoffs, the crappy hours, the high cost of living, the taxes, the astronomical rents, being target city number one for every terrorist out there, the traffic, not being able to own a car, I guess I just donít see the attraction vs. the hassels. What is it that makes so many lawyers want to live and work there? Granted we donít pay $160 to start, but market is $120 and that will buy you a lot in cities like Denver or Phoenix or Houston.

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

[ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]
OK, now the question - why do we stay in New York?

Well as your answer clearly indicates, you have never been to New York.  I grew up in Kansas and Missouri.  I live in New York City.  I will NEVER move back to Kansas or Missouri.  

'nuff said


[/ANCILLARY DISCUSSION]

$125k was the last offer I heard. Yea, Denver is pretty inexpensive to live in. I got a three story 1880s Victorian row house in downtown for less than $350k, a newer high-end 2 bedroom condo in the same area walking distance to the 17th street firms would be $250-300k. Itís cheaper to buy here than it is to rent here, your mortgage (with a decent down payment) most times would be less than your rent of a decent 2x2 apartment ($9000 -1500 depending on size and location). Same money in the burbs will get you a 3,000 square foot house. Denverís got a decent city life, but it is still a cowtown too. I mean the rodeo is a BIG thing here. Come to Denver I got conections at some of the big firms here.  ;D
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 08, 2009, 11:31:30 AM
I know H&H moved to 135K but the firms there don't have the same lock step pay increases that big law in NY or other major markets have.  A senior associate in CO is probably making like 160-170k vs. the 290k one makes in a major market.

Not to mention that the partners at firms like that have PPP's of like $300-400K so you will never make the really big money and the hours aren't really that much better, especially if you are trying to make partner.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 11:48:27 AM
I know H&H moved to 135K

Holland and Hart or Hogan and Harston? To be honest most of the lawyers I know that have ten years in have all left the larger firms to start their own firms mainly because here you can make more on your own here than with the PPP splits. Denver seems to be able to support a lot of small medium sized firms.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 08, 2009, 11:57:24 AM
holland & hart
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 08, 2009, 01:35:02 PM
I know H&H moved to 135K but the firms there don't have the same lock step pay increases that big law in NY or other major markets have.  A senior associate in CO is probably making like 160-170k vs. the 290k one makes in a major market.

Not to mention that the partners at firms like that have PPP's of like $300-400K so you will never make the really big money and the hours aren't really that much better, especially if you are trying to make partner.


Which reminds me, what M Cool notes here is yet another significant difference between NY Biglaw and Biglaw in other states:  Compensation.

The firms in New Jersey, for example, have many of the same clients as the firms in NY, and in most cases, practice in both NJ and in NY.  They even have pretty high starting market rates (usually $135k-$145k) however their pay increase is not lock step as M Cool mentioned, and furthermore it increases by like 5 or 6k, as opposed to 10 to 15k like NY. 

When I first started in NY Biglaw one of my buddies from my class started in NJ Biglaw and he was always talking about making the move to NY at some point, and at the time it didn't make any sense to me b/c I was operating under the false assumption that NJ firms moved up every year just like NY firms do.  Not the case.  As my friend broke it down for me, it may not seem like a big deal when we start out (he started at $135k) but as we get more senior the gap widens. 

We did the math and (assuming we actually stay in firm life) we figured that by the time we're both 8th year associates he would be making about $180,000/yr whereas I would be making $320,000/yr for doing the exact same thing he was doing about 15 minutes away across the Hudson River.

Doesn't really seem fair when you think about it.

Don't get me wrong, $180k is nothing to sneeze at. If you're a struggling student, and somebody comes along and offers your that much money, you're going to take it. It sure as hell beats contract attorney pay!  But when you know that you could have gotten an additional $140k if you had simply chosen to see what's behind door # 2, I can see how that might keep you up at night.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 08, 2009, 01:43:42 PM

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 08, 2009, 02:10:15 PM

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.

Which is why they pay you so much.  They've put about a 20 grand premium on your social life.


Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 02:20:54 PM

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.


Market in Cleveland is 145, with some 130s bringing up the rear.  Chew on that.  Cleveland.

I'm jealous of the huge cost of living advantage that creates, but not so jealous about the prospect of living in Cleveland though.

Which is why they pay you so much.  They've put about a 20 grand premium on your social life.

For a while there a few firms in twon were offering 10k less, but that included perks like a a season pass to Vail, BC, Keystone and Breck (all about 45-1 hour from denver) and the use of the firms condos up there. Seeing as how a La Quinta will cost you 200 bucks night in season, and vail is getting 120+ for a day pass that adds up if you do some seriouse skiing $. I put in like 23 days last season so without  pass I'd be looking at $2500 or so depending on where I went. I'd be willing to get up 10k pre tax to have the full on unlimted pass and a free place to saty on weekends
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: big - fat - box on July 08, 2009, 03:12:42 PM
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 03:46:20 PM
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.

The was an artcile in the ABA mag a few months ago that said 80% of big law assc are out by year 4 (either by choice or otherwise) it was not just NYC though, that was nation wide
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 08, 2009, 04:13:34 PM
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.

last i heard, less than 1% in nyc biglaw stay long enough to make partner at the firm where they started at

as to the question re total % of nyc biglaw associates who make partner somewhere, i don't know. imagine that it'd be higher, but not by much. the salary structure dictates pretty strict limitations.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 08, 2009, 04:59:16 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 07:39:59 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.

Yea but I wonder where do you go after year 7 and you know your not making partner? Lateral? To what? Seems like your priced out of going anywhere but down in income till you get your own pratice going. I mean if you got overlooked at firm X firm Y's not going to make you partner, unless you got a big book of biz in which case your probably be partner at firm X anyway. Wonder what the exit stragey is like when your top of the pay scale but can't go any higher?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 08, 2009, 08:18:45 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.

Yea but I wonder where do you go after year 7 and you know your not making partner? Lateral? To what? Seems like your priced out of going anywhere but down in income till you get your own pratice going. I mean if you got overlooked at firm X firm Y's not going to make you partner, unless you got a big book of biz in which case your probably be partner at firm X anyway. Wonder what the exit stragey is like when your top of the pay scale but can't go any higher?

See, e.g., T.Durden, Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions, LAW SCHOOL DISCUSSION, 2,
available at http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php?action=post;quote=5350415;topic=4020725.40;num_replies=48;sesc=cc4f2ab79e579bd1373b7554f7ad2db1 ("[M]y review is staffed almost exclusively with t20 (many t14) grads, many of whom have 4-8 yrs WE. Believe me, they're not doing DR because they want to. I hate to say it, but it appears to me that this ship be sinkin.'")

;)
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 08, 2009, 08:32:52 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.

Yea but I wonder where do you go after year 7 and you know your not making partner? Lateral? To what? Seems like your priced out of going anywhere but down in income till you get your own pratice going. I mean if you got overlooked at firm X firm Y's not going to make you partner, unless you got a big book of biz in which case your probably be partner at firm X anyway. Wonder what the exit stragey is like when your top of the pay scale but can't go any higher?

See, e.g., T.Durden, Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions, LAW SCHOOL DISCUSSION, 2,
available at http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php?action=post;quote=5350415;topic=4020725.40;num_replies=48;sesc=cc4f2ab79e579bd1373b7554f7ad2db1 ("[M]y review is staffed almost exclusively with t20 (many t14) grads, many of whom have 4-8 yrs WE. Believe me, they're not doing DR because they want to. I hate to say it, but it appears to me that this ship be sinkin.'")

;)

ouch from parter track to DR track. I guess that's when you loose the trophy wife
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: big - fat - box on July 08, 2009, 08:41:52 PM
What's bizarre to me is that a 4-8 yr assoc. probably doesn't even have enough skills to handle their own cases if they had to, like make their own deals or take a case to a jury trial.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: rolen27 on July 09, 2009, 06:17:54 AM
Thanks for taking our questions.

You mentioned that you did litigation work in NY, I was wondering if there are many firms in NYC focused on Appelate litigation or if it leans more toward corporate litigation. I know appelate work is very concentrated in DC, do NYC firms produce comparable work in that area?

thanks in advance
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:00:44 PM
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.

last i heard, less than 1% in nyc biglaw stay long enough to make partner at the firm where they started at

as to the question re total % of nyc biglaw associates who make partner somewhere, i don't know. imagine that it'd be higher, but not by much. the salary structure dictates pretty strict limitations.

I concur.  I've seen and heard about the same. I think I can count all the 8th year associates at my firm on two hands (heck maybe even one hand).
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:08:13 PM
How many NY biglaw associates are actually going to make it to their 8th year? How many will make partner? I haven't seen any recent stats, but the numbers I looked at a 2-3 years ago were not encouraging.

The was an artcile in the ABA mag a few months ago that said 80% of big law assc are out by year 4 (either by choice or otherwise) it was not just NYC though, that was nation wide


To that point, you guys should realize that Biglaw is a vehicle for most people to get somewhere else (US Attorney's office, In-House, Wall Street Hedge Fund, Private Practice, Political Office, etc.)  It is set up with the understanding (not just an assumption but a veritable expectation) that most of you will leave as soon as you are most marketable, aka Year 4.

When you are a 4th year associate you are the most marketable commodity in the legal profession.  It is generally accepted  that at year 4 you have been at the firm long enough to gain some actual useful experience, you know how to research, you know how to write, you know how to take dep's, you know where to file motions, or if you're on the transactional side - you know how to handle deals, you know where and when to file things with the state, etc.  In other words, you've picked up the basic nuts and bolts of the practice.

It is at that time (year 4) when headhunters will be coming after you FIERCE.  I am only a second year and they have already started coming after me.  As I understand it, it only gets worse until you hit year 4.  After year 4, a presumption attaches that if you are still at a firm you are trying to make partner, so the headhunters sorta dial it back some.  But at year 4, bananas.



Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:22:04 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.


Well, Cravath is in a league of their own so I wouldn't exactly pick them as a model of Biglaw.  Nevertheless, the general pattern among V-100 firms is pretty much what you describe here - few 8th years, many many many first years.

Imagine a pyramid, at the base are all the first years, above them the second years, and so on.  The further you go up on the pyramid, the small the numbers become until you get to the top where there are only a handful of 8th year associates remaining.

Aside from the aforementioned marketability issue, the other reason this occurs is because the more senior you become the more $ you must be billed out at in order for the firm to remain profitable. 

As a first year Biglaw assoc in NY,  you can expect to be billed out at somewhere around $300-$350/hr. This is "cheap" labor from the law firm's perspective.  7th or 8th year associates are billing out at nearly twice that rate. Partners, depending on the firm, are somewhere around $1,000/hr. 

Mind you, these are billable rates, not to be confused with what you get paid.  Rather, this is what the client must pay for your time.

This is important to bear in mind because the more senior you become the less opportunities there are for you because clients are vehemently opposed to paying, for example, 180 hrs a month for their case at the 8th year associate rate when they can get that same amount of time billed at the first or second year associate rate.  This makes it more difficult for those associates who stay beyond the 4th year mark to actually receive work assignments as abundantly as they did when they were right out of law school.  They usually have to piece their hours together from several different client sources.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:29:51 PM
Thanks for taking our questions.

You mentioned that you did litigation work in NY, I was wondering if there are many firms in NYC focused on Appelate litigation or if it leans more toward corporate litigation. I know appelate work is very concentrated in DC, do NYC firms produce comparable work in that area?

thanks in advance

T. Durden can probably back me up on this but I think just about every law firm in NY has at least 1 or 2 "go to" people for appellate practice.  Typically somebody who was a Supreme Court or Circuit Court clerk out of law school, and they might be joined by a few other people.  There's not a huge market for it b/c most Biglaw cases, as you mentioned, are more business/corporation oriented and usually are concluded at the Summary Judgment phase before trial even begins.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:31:33 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.

Yea but I wonder where do you go after year 7 and you know your not making partner? Lateral? To what? Seems like your priced out of going anywhere but down in income till you get your own pratice going. I mean if you got overlooked at firm X firm Y's not going to make you partner, unless you got a big book of biz in which case your probably be partner at firm X anyway. Wonder what the exit stragey is like when your top of the pay scale but can't go any higher?

See, e.g., T.Durden, Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions, LAW SCHOOL DISCUSSION, 2,
available at http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php?action=post;quote=5350415;topic=4020725.40;num_replies=48;sesc=cc4f2ab79e579bd1373b7554f7ad2db1 ("[M]y review is staffed almost exclusively with t20 (many t14) grads, many of whom have 4-8 yrs WE. Believe me, they're not doing DR because they want to. I hate to say it, but it appears to me that this ship be sinkin.'")

;)

ouch from parter track to DR track. I guess that's when you loose the trophy wife


 :D :D :D

Pretty much, man.  Pretty much.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 09, 2009, 12:34:21 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.


As a first year Biglaw assoc in NY,  you can expect to be billed out at somewhere around $300-$350/hr. This is "cheap" labor from the law firm's perspective.  7th or 8th year associates are billing out at nearly twice that rate. Partners, depending on the firm, are somewhere around $1,000/hr. 




Really? I thought it was more than that! Iím currently billed out at $150 an hour as a law clerk, will go to $450 an hour if I pass the bar. BUT, and this is a big but thatís billing the g-ment when the statue has an attorney fees provision (which is the only statutes we sue on). For other stuff and other clients bill on sliding scale depending on project/case. Plus incidentals (research costs, paper, ink ect.) of course since I work mostly out of my home office (and the only way I want to work, I'll take less $ not to have to put a suit on and deal with other human beings if I can aviod it).
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 12:52:51 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.


As a first year Biglaw assoc in NY,  you can expect to be billed out at somewhere around $300-$350/hr. This is "cheap" labor from the law firm's perspective.  7th or 8th year associates are billing out at nearly twice that rate. Partners, depending on the firm, are somewhere around $1,000/hr. 




Really? I thought it was more than that! Iím currently billed out at $150 an hour as a law clerk, will go to $450 an hour if I pass the bar. BUT, and this is a big but thatís billing the g-ment when the statue has an attorney fees provision (which is the only statutes we sue on). For other stuff and other clients bill on sliding scale depending on project/case. Plus incidentals (research costs, paper, ink ect.) of course since I work mostly out of my home office (and the only way I want to work, I'll take less $ not to have to put a suit on and deal with other human beings if I can aviod it).


Naw that's about it.  LoL.  Isn't that high enough as it is?  I certainly didn't think my first year associate brain was worth $300+ bucks an hour, but hey so be it.  I remember looking at my billing statement and I believe by about April or May I had already billed enough hours to pay for my entire annual salary twice!

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 09, 2009, 01:26:14 PM
Just look at the incoming associates vs. how many partners a firm makes each year.  I think Cravath has 100+ SA's but only makes like 5 people partners a year?  Not very encouraging.  However, I doubt former Cravath associates are struggling. I'm sure almost all of them have successful careers.


As a first year Biglaw assoc in NY,  you can expect to be billed out at somewhere around $300-$350/hr. This is "cheap" labor from the law firm's perspective.  7th or 8th year associates are billing out at nearly twice that rate. Partners, depending on the firm, are somewhere around $1,000/hr. 




Really? I thought it was more than that! Iím currently billed out at $150 an hour as a law clerk, will go to $450 an hour if I pass the bar. BUT, and this is a big but thatís billing the g-ment when the statue has an attorney fees provision (which is the only statutes we sue on). For other stuff and other clients bill on sliding scale depending on project/case. Plus incidentals (research costs, paper, ink ect.) of course since I work mostly out of my home office (and the only way I want to work, I'll take less $ not to have to put a suit on and deal with other human beings if I can aviod it).


Naw that's about it.  LoL.  Isn't that high enough as it is?  I certainly didn't think my first year associate brain was worth $300+ bucks an hour, but hey so be it.  I remember looking at my billing statement and I believe by about April or May I had already billed enough hours to pay for my entire annual salary twice!



Haha, yea Iím probably only worth minimum wage, but the statutes award ďreasonable attorneyís feesĒ and so long as you can point to someone making $450 or more (even a partner at Cravath) they will award it to you!
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 09, 2009, 02:30:55 PM
As far as appellate practice goes, I'm a 1L summering at a firm (not in a market as big as NYC though) where they have stuck me with the appellate people.  What Burning Sands described is about how it is here.  There is one partner who handles all of the appellate stuff and there are like 2-3 senior associates that are his go to guys.  They also pass stuff to junior associates in the litigation department to help out on sometimes, but that is rather rare except on pro bono matters.  One thing they do give out more freely is the pro bono stuff.  Junior associates love it because they get a lot of control over it (and hence a lot of practical experience running an appellate case).   

On a side note, I love appellate work.  It is very intellectual and it feels a lot like what you do in law school.  It seems very hard to get a lot of it though.  Both the partner + the senior associates doing the appellate stuff here are former SCOTUS / COA clerks. 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 09, 2009, 04:55:26 PM
As far as appellate practice goes, I'm a 1L summering at a firm (not in a market as big as NYC though) where they have stuck me with the appellate people.  What Burning Sands described is about how it is here.  There is one partner who handles all of the appellate stuff and there are like 2-3 senior associates that are his go to guys.  They also pass stuff to junior associates in the litigation department to help out on sometimes, but that is rather rare except on pro bono matters.  One thing they do give out more freely is the pro bono stuff.  Junior associates love it because they get a lot of control over it (and hence a lot of practical experience running an appellate case).   

On a side note, I love appellate work.  It is very intellectual and it feels a lot like what you do in law school.  It seems very hard to get a lot of it though.  Both the partner + the senior associates doing the appellate stuff here are former SCOTUS / COA clerks. 

yeah, sands is right. we have one appellate level "go to guy" who also happens to have the rep of being (hands down) the sharpest guy in the firm (#1 in his class from HYS + yrs and yrs of extensive / impressive appellate ad exp, etc. etc.). i don't know what it takes to break into such a group, but i'm guessing that i don't have it ;). as such, i guess that i'll just have to review my docs and manage my K attnys. 

quick side note: most associates i know generally try to avoid working for the aforementioned sort of hyper achievers like the plague. i'll leave it up to you to figure out the how / why on that one.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Changed Name on July 09, 2009, 08:23:16 PM
Hey, Sands...

You spoke earlier about how at year 4 a biglaw associate is at his most marketable and can move to prestigious government work, etc.

I was wondering a few things.  Firstly, do big firms hire those who went straight into the Federal government and worked there for a number of years?  (For example, somebody who graduates and goes to DOJ through the honors program or something.)

Secondly, do you think those exit options make working four years at a big firm "worth" it? 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 09, 2009, 10:01:54 PM
Hey, Sands...

You spoke earlier about how at year 4 a biglaw associate is at his most marketable and can move to prestigious government work, etc.

I was wondering a few things.  Firstly, do big firms hire those who went straight into the Federal government and worked there for a number of years?  (For example, somebody who graduates and goes to DOJ through the honors program or something.)

Secondly, do you think those exit options make working four years at a big firm "worth" it? 

It has been my observation that big firms will hire anybody who will make them money.

Coming right out of law school, that usually means top law school, top of your class, law review, etc.

But for those who do not enter biglaw directly out of law school, if they are good at what they do, especially in a niche field like IP or Labor & Employment, etc. then a firm will view them as a commodity and bring them on b/c they know that individual will make money for the firm.  If you browse the bios of a few of the V-100 firms you'll see that the majority of people came into the firm straight out of law school, however there are a few outliers here or there that didn't, and those outliers usually have valuable work experience that made them attractive to firms.

Regarding your second question, of course I do or I wouldn't be here.  4 years of making contacts, developing your skills as an attorney, and six-figure salary pay while you make up your mind about what you really wanna do in life - sounds like a good deal to me even if you have to grunt it out for the first couple years doing boring ass doc review.  Life could be worse.





Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 10, 2009, 12:40:16 PM

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

Cost of Living in Colorado is fairly high compared to other States. Granted, it ain't no $2k/mo like Manhattan or close to being as expensive as Miami or Cali, but it is still considerable.

$120k in the south or midwest would carry a person further than in Colorado.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 10, 2009, 12:53:27 PM

before I answer that - Market in Colorado is $120,000/yr???!?!?!?!?!?!!  Say what!?  That's better than Kansas City!  Do you know how far that would go in Colorado. Your rent in CO is what, 6-700 a month?  Wow. I did not know that market was that high there.

Cost of Living in Colorado is fairly high compared to other States. Granted, it ain't no $2k/mo like Manhattan or close to being as expensive as Miami or Cali, but it is still considerable.

$120k in the south or midwest would carry a person further than in Colorado.

I don't I don't think its that bad, no not as cheap as say Lousiville or Indy, but cheaper than most or the more populated western states. Pheonix has good cost of living now that its RE market has tanked as well.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 10, 2009, 01:17:49 PM
Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Call me a waaaaaaaambulance!

Yer makin' $160k, you don't need another $30k to do the same amount of work. I WISH my firm was gonna start me off at $160, 145, hell, even $120 would be great for a single man like myself with no kids, no mortgage and just student loans.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 10, 2009, 02:25:16 PM
Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Call me a waaaaaaaambulance!

Yer makin' $160k, you don't need another $30k to do the same amount of work. I WISH my firm was gonna start me off at $160, 145, hell, even $120 would be great for a single man like myself with no kids, no mortgage and just student loans.

I don't know. Think of it this way: in NYC on the 160k base you're going to pay out 39-41% of your outcome in taxes depending upon how good your accountant is. So, splitting the difference, at 160k you're giving ~64k back to the fed, state, and city govs. That leaves you with ~96k. Liveable studio apts in the city run from 2100-3100; again, splitting the difference you have $2600x12 = ~31k, which leaves you with 65k in take home for the year. Don't get me wrong - this is a decent post tax / rent figure, but compared to other markets @ 160 (DC, TX, CA, IL), NYC associates are at the bottom of the pile in terms of their post tax / rent take home. Of course, this was a "legitimate" complaint when I was a SA in '07 and I remember more than one lunch where a partner was asked if / when we were going to 190 but time has a way of, well, rendering things ... moot. NY (back) to 145! ;)

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 10, 2009, 03:02:42 PM
Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Call me a waaaaaaaambulance!

Yer makin' $160k, you don't need another $30k to do the same amount of work. I WISH my firm was gonna start me off at $160, 145, hell, even $120 would be great for a single man like myself with no kids, no mortgage and just student loans.

Liveable studio apts in the city run from 2100-3100; again, splitting the difference you have $2600x12 = ~31k, which leaves you with 65k in take home for the year.

Thatís just insane, and Iím a slumlord. I have two houses (not renatals one in CO and one in AZ) and combined my mortgages are not that high. How can anyone ever afford to buy there?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 10, 2009, 03:39:30 PM
Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Call me a waaaaaaaambulance!

Yer makin' $160k, you don't need another $30k to do the same amount of work. I WISH my firm was gonna start me off at $160, 145, hell, even $120 would be great for a single man like myself with no kids, no mortgage and just student loans.

Liveable studio apts in the city run from 2100-3100; again, splitting the difference you have $2600x12 = ~31k, which leaves you with 65k in take home for the year.

Thatís just insane, and Iím a slumlord. I have two houses (not renatals one in CO and one in AZ) and combined my mortgages are not that high. How can anyone ever afford to buy there?


they don't, esp at $1300 sq. ft.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 10, 2009, 03:41:24 PM
Which, sad to say, is a joke in NY.  Honestly if the going market rate for associates in other cities is in the $120k to $145k range, then New York needs to be at about $190k.  Associates in other markets, even making less money, are still taking home more money than are associates in New York.

Call me a waaaaaaaambulance!

Yer makin' $160k, you don't need another $30k to do the same amount of work. I WISH my firm was gonna start me off at $160, 145, hell, even $120 would be great for a single man like myself with no kids, no mortgage and just student loans.

Liveable studio apts in the city run from 2100-3100; again, splitting the difference you have $2600x12 = ~31k, which leaves you with 65k in take home for the year.

Thatís just insane, and Iím a slumlord. I have two houses (not renatals one in CO and one in AZ) and combined my mortgages are not that high. How can anyone ever afford to buy there?


they don't, esp at $1300 sq. ft.

I'd hate to live there, but I'd like to wown rental properyy there! :P
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 10, 2009, 10:55:01 PM
Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 11, 2009, 09:23:13 PM
Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: T. Durden on July 11, 2009, 11:37:39 PM
Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating

such a hater

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: SEC_2L on July 12, 2009, 10:50:07 AM
You guys are the ones insisting on living in NYC instead of Dallas, Denver, Kansas CIty, Houston, etc. Its hot, but you can start at NYC market in Dallas and have a ridiculously low cost of living...

Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating

such a hater


Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 12, 2009, 10:54:29 AM
You guys are the ones insisting on living in NYC instead of Dallas, Denver, Kansas CIty, Houston, etc. Its hot, but you can start at NYC market in Dallas and have a ridiculously low cost of living...

Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating

such a hater



Yes but its harder to be smug about yourself and your big law job if you donít work in SF or NYC. Thatís a lot of looking down your nose you give up if you move to a mid market. Its an intangable perk. That alone is worth its weight in gold on law school discussion boards.  :P
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 12, 2009, 01:47:50 PM
You guys are the ones insisting on living in NYC instead of Dallas, Denver, Kansas CIty, Houston, etc. Its hot, but you can start at NYC market in Dallas and have a ridiculously low cost of living...

Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating

such a hater



Yes but its harder to be smug about yourself and your big law job if you donít work in SF or NYC. Thatís a lot of looking down your nose you give up if you move to a mid market. Its an intangable perk. That alone is worth its weight in gold on law school discussion boards.  :P

Until you get layed off. . .

But none of this will matter in 5-10 years because law firms will EVENTUALLY go up to 190k and Law students will completely forget about the 6000 jobs that were lost and offers rescinded. Just like in 2001, and just like in the early 90's.

History has a way of always repeating itself.

Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 13, 2009, 01:47:21 PM
Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating


LOL  Yeah, you were hating.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 13, 2009, 01:54:23 PM
You guys are the ones insisting on living in NYC instead of Dallas, Denver, Kansas CIty, Houston, etc. Its hot, but you can start at NYC market in Dallas and have a ridiculously low cost of living...

Durden once again speaks the truth.

If these market rates are based on cost of living for their respective cities, then one of 2 things needs to happen - other markets need to be starting much lower than New York since their cost of living is, accordingly, lower than New York

or

Keep everybody where they are and move the New York associates much higher.

Or..or..or...

NYC Associates learn to live a happier life with $65k take-home pay.

/hating

such a hater



Yes but its harder to be smug about yourself and your big law job if you donít work in SF or NYC. Thatís a lot of looking down your nose you give up if you move to a mid market. Its an intangable perk. That alone is worth its weight in gold on law school discussion boards.  :P


LOL

I'm sure that's true with some Biglaw associates.  The profession here in NY does tend to look down on every other state, including Texas and Illinois, and especially California.  Before I got out here I thought much of that was merely due to NY snobbery, which, of course, some of it is, but most of it comes from the fact that the NY market is just that much larger in terms of the amount and size of cases and transactions that are done here.  When you look at the Am-Law or Vault 100 firms, it is no coincidence that of the top 10 firms listed, 8 of those 10 are in New York. 

A few years back when I was in law school, a lawyer once told me "if  you get an offer from a NY firm, take it, because you can springboard from there to wherever else you want to go."  So far I haven't seen anything that contradicts that proposition.




Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 13, 2009, 02:38:36 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my *&^% outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 13, 2009, 03:35:05 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 13, 2009, 03:57:26 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?

Yikes, I did not think about that, man I hope people will start giving people the benfit of the doubt.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 13, 2009, 05:24:56 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?


Absolutely not.

Look, everybody knows that BigLaw is getting bent over right now.  After I lost my job, every single place I interviewed with knew what time it was and nobody asked me "so why did you leave?"  1 year ago, you would have been asked that if you tried to jump ship from one firm to another.  Today, all the conventional wisdom of Biglaw has been turned on its head.  I've literally seen scores of the best and brightest attorneys in the profession from the best schools get laid off in the blink of an eye like they were nothing.  Once I saw my frat brother get laid off from Skadden, I knew that silly season was in full effect.  This guy was Ivy league undergrad, T-14 law school, Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, came out of law school working for Cravath right off the bat before transferring over to Skadden.  Laid off. 

Bananas I tell you.  Straight bananas.

So no stigma should attach to any summer who is in 3L OCI trying to find a job.  As a 3L you should have the right to smack somebody with the Homey the Clown sock for even suggesting something that stupid in an interview.

Although as a caveat, 3L OCI is traditionally a hard sell even in good economic times.  Most firms don't hire 3L's, as you probably know.  Thus, my advice for folks who get dinged from their SA position, either (i) go into a clerkship or (ii) search outside the V-100.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 13, 2009, 05:35:50 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?


Absolutely not.

Look, everybody knows that BigLaw is getting bent over right now.  After I lost my job, every single place I interviewed with knew what time it was and nobody asked me "so why did you leave?"  1 year ago, you would have been asked that if you tried to jump ship from one firm to another.  Today, all the conventional wisdom of Biglaw has been turned on its head.  I've literally seen scores of the best and brightest attorneys in the profession from the best schools get laid off in the blink of an eye like they were nothing.  Once I saw my frat brother get laid off from Skadden, I knew that silly season was in full effect.  This guy was Ivy league undergrad, T-14 law school, Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, came out of law school working for Cravath right off the bat before transferring over to Skadden.  Laid off. 

Bananas I tell you.  Straight bananas.

So no stigma should attach to any summer who is in 3L OCI trying to find a job.  As a 3L you should have the right to smack somebody with the Homey the Clown sock for even suggesting something that stupid in an interview.

Although as a caveat, 3L OCI is traditionally a hard sell even in good economic times.  Most firms don't hire 3L's, as you probably know.  Thus, my advice for folks who get dinged from their SA position, either (i) go into a clerkship or (ii) search outside the V-100.



I would add spend your 3rd year networking hardcore if you got dumped from your 2L summer SA job. I had several open offers coming out of my last semester all from contacts and all guaranteed jobs if I just said the word. These ranged from being brought in by a managing partner at a big firm in town to work directly under him in his department to clerking for a judge. Who you know can beat just about everything. But it takes TIME and TRUST before you can start calling in favors so start as soon as you get back to school by getting involved in the legal community outside of law schools. Leave the clubs at the school for people who think mass mailing is a good way to find a job. Get out and make your rep in the legal community during your third year and you will have lots of people on the inside to help you find something.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: armyjag on July 13, 2009, 06:33:58 PM
tag
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: TruOne on July 14, 2009, 10:14:38 AM

I would add spend your 3rd year networking hardcore if you got dumped from your 2L summer SA job. I had several open offers coming out of my last semester all from contacts and all guaranteed jobs if I just said the word. These ranged from being brought in by a managing partner at a big firm in town to work directly under him in his department to clerking for a judge. Who you know can beat just about everything. But it takes TIME and TRUST before you can start calling in favors so start as soon as you get back to school by getting involved in the legal community outside of law schools. Leave the clubs at the school for people who think mass mailing is a good way to find a job. Get out and make your rep in the legal community during your third year and you will have lots of people on the inside to help you find something.

I agree, I remember when I started 3L year. It was real depressing. I knew some many people who were smart, sociable, good grades and even PUBLISHED, that came back to school with no offer in hand and had to enter the rat race again. Career Services was absolutely  NO HELP because they recognized that *&^% was hitting the fan and that there was nothing they could do about it.

Of course, they gave the obligatory e-mails "network and make phone calls, join local bar associations to meet more lawyers." and all that crap, but there really wasn't much they could do because the knew that the writing was on the wall that as a new lawyer or a law student you were in one of two categories:

Unemployed

or

About to be unemployed.

and this isn't even counting all the "Deferred start dates" and crap.

Sands:

If you could redo your 1st 6 months as a 1st year associate, what would you do different?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 14, 2009, 11:39:42 AM


Sands:

If you could redo your 1st 6 months as a 1st year associate, what would you do different?


I would have saved every penny of every f-ing paycheck like Scrooge McDuck.

There's a large misconception out there, predicated mostly on what used to be untouchable conventional wisdom about Biglaw:  you go to a good law school, you get good grades, you get into a good firm, and then you're set for life on easy street.  If you haven't been paying attention for the past year, then let me help you out: throw that *&^% out the window! Biglaw is no longer a safe bet.  In fact, it's probably one of the more volatile and risky things you can do right now out of law school.  Your career would be much better served by taking on a meaningful clerkship or some other legal practice in a non-"biglaw" market, and then giving Biglaw a call in a year or two (or three?).

That said, obviously had I known then what I know now I would have saved every last dollar b/c you never know how long you are going to be out of work in a situation like that.  Like I said earlier, I have friends right now with great legal credentials who have been out of work since late 2008.  Nobody is hiring! Headhunters are useless right now. Career Service departments all across America are useless right now. It's like Tru One said, you're either "unemployed" or "about to be unemployed."  that about sums it up.

There was a long period of time towards the end there where I honestly did not think that I would ever work in BigLaw again.  Many of my friends are starting to come to this conclusion now and its saddening to see it manifest itself in people who you know are really talented lawyers.  Even thought I've been blessed with a new opportunity, I still look at my new firm sideways with a skeptical eye.

I find that I'm forever jaded by this whole experience.  It's like falling in love with somebody and finding out they cheated on you, you guys break up, and then later on down the road they want you back.  Can you ever really look at that relationship the same way again?


But again, if I could go back and do it again, that would be my best advice to young padawans starting off in Biglaw - save your loot.  Biglaw is not the lottery.* It never was.  Not even during good economic times. Fortunately for me, when the axe came I had about 3 or 4 month of Manhattan rent stashed away in my checking account but had I known, I would have saved more. Look at your bank account under the following prism: If I lost my job today, how many months of rent/mortgage will I be able to make?



*EDIT - BTW, making $160,000/yr does not make you "rich" by any stretch of the imagination. "Rich" people don't work for bi-weekly paychecks, especially ones taxed at 40%.  $160k means you can pay all of your bills and still have some money left over to go out at night or pick up a few nice items here or there.  It doesn't mean you're driving a Ferrari and living in the Hamptons with a summer home in Martha's Vineyard.  At best classification, even if you're living in the midwest it means you're upper middle class.  In NY you're just average (perhaps even below average depending on which part of NYC you live).  But don't get me wrong, making $160k is nice, but you're not "rich."  Just wanted to clear up that misconception from a point of personal experience. 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 20, 2009, 01:54:33 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?


Absolutely not.

Look, everybody knows that BigLaw is getting bent over right now.  After I lost my job, every single place I interviewed with knew what time it was and nobody asked me "so why did you leave?"  1 year ago, you would have been asked that if you tried to jump ship from one firm to another.  Today, all the conventional wisdom of Biglaw has been turned on its head.  I've literally seen scores of the best and brightest attorneys in the profession from the best schools get laid off in the blink of an eye like they were nothing.  Once I saw my frat brother get laid off from Skadden, I knew that silly season was in full effect.  This guy was Ivy league undergrad, T-14 law school, Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, came out of law school working for Cravath right off the bat before transferring over to Skadden.  Laid off. 

Bananas I tell you.  Straight bananas.

So no stigma should attach to any summer who is in 3L OCI trying to find a job.  As a 3L you should have the right to smack somebody with the Homey the Clown sock for even suggesting something that stupid in an interview.

Although as a caveat, 3L OCI is traditionally a hard sell even in good economic times.  Most firms don't hire 3L's, as you probably know.  Thus, my advice for folks who get dinged from their SA position, either (i) go into a clerkship or (ii) search outside the V-100.



I would add spend your 3rd year networking hardcore if you got dumped from your 2L summer SA job. I had several open offers coming out of my last semester all from contacts and all guaranteed jobs if I just said the word. These ranged from being brought in by a managing partner at a big firm in town to work directly under him in his department to clerking for a judge. Who you know can beat just about everything. But it takes TIME and TRUST before you can start calling in favors so start as soon as you get back to school by getting involved in the legal community outside of law schools. Leave the clubs at the school for people who think mass mailing is a good way to find a job. Get out and make your rep in the legal community during your third year and you will have lots of people on the inside to help you find something.

Mathies is spot on.  Networking can never be mentioned enough.

The pecking order of Biglaw hiring (and pretty much everybody else as well) is:

1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump
3. Your Grades, which will trump
4. Your Law Review Status, which will trump
5. Your Other Legal Journal Status, which will trump
6. Your Moot Court Status, which will trump
7. All other law school affiliations, clubs, activities, etc.


One good connection and you're in the door, no matter what.  You could be bottom of your class at Mom & Pop Law School, but if the Managing Partner of Biglaw LLP says you're in, then you're in.


Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 20, 2009, 02:03:27 PM


Sands:

When your first firm gave you the Axe, did they do it like in Office Space, or did they leave you a stickey note on your computer and deactivate your fob?


Also, how many SA's at your firm do you think are gonna get No-offered this summer?

I tried to come into work one day and found all my poo outside on the sidewalk.  Just kidding.  :D

Actually, what had happened was...As with many other firms, the rumors and speculation were buzzing long before we got any official word.  Everybody was walking on pins and needles for months.  I officially found out by opening up the Wall Street Journal and reading a headline that our firm was giving folks the axe.  That forced the partners' hand to come clean and so then they broke their silence and gave people official notice.

Re your second question - that is the million dollar question that everybody has been wondering, especially the summer associates.  Wish I knew but I don't make those decisions so I'd hate to speculate and freak people out anymore than they already are.  I can tell you that the morale among the summers is down. They all pretty much expect to get axed regardless of whether this is true or not.


So what advice would you give to a SA that got no-offered and is forced into 3L OCI.

It used to be that only "drunk idiots who did crappy work" got no-offered, but now it is a likely possibility that good SA's will get the axe. Do you think they'll still have that stigma of "what was wrong with you?" surrounding them when they enter the Job hunt/rat race again?


Absolutely not.

Look, everybody knows that BigLaw is getting bent over right now.  After I lost my job, every single place I interviewed with knew what time it was and nobody asked me "so why did you leave?"  1 year ago, you would have been asked that if you tried to jump ship from one firm to another.  Today, all the conventional wisdom of Biglaw has been turned on its head.  I've literally seen scores of the best and brightest attorneys in the profession from the best schools get laid off in the blink of an eye like they were nothing.  Once I saw my frat brother get laid off from Skadden, I knew that silly season was in full effect.  This guy was Ivy league undergrad, T-14 law school, Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, came out of law school working for Cravath right off the bat before transferring over to Skadden.  Laid off. 

Bananas I tell you.  Straight bananas.

So no stigma should attach to any summer who is in 3L OCI trying to find a job.  As a 3L you should have the right to smack somebody with the Homey the Clown sock for even suggesting something that stupid in an interview.

Although as a caveat, 3L OCI is traditionally a hard sell even in good economic times.  Most firms don't hire 3L's, as you probably know.  Thus, my advice for folks who get dinged from their SA position, either (i) go into a clerkship or (ii) search outside the V-100.



I would add spend your 3rd year networking hardcore if you got dumped from your 2L summer SA job. I had several open offers coming out of my last semester all from contacts and all guaranteed jobs if I just said the word. These ranged from being brought in by a managing partner at a big firm in town to work directly under him in his department to clerking for a judge. Who you know can beat just about everything. But it takes TIME and TRUST before you can start calling in favors so start as soon as you get back to school by getting involved in the legal community outside of law schools. Leave the clubs at the school for people who think mass mailing is a good way to find a job. Get out and make your rep in the legal community during your third year and you will have lots of people on the inside to help you find something.

Mathies is spot on.  Networking can never be mentioned enough.

The pecking order of Biglaw hiring (and pretty much everybody else as well) is:

1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump
3. Your Grades, which will trump
4. Your Law Review Status, which will trump
5. Your Other Legal Journal Status, which will trump
6. Your Moot Court Status, which will trump
7. All other law school affiliations, clubs, activities, etc.


One good connection and you're in the door, no matter what.  You could be bottom of your class at Mom & Pop Law School, but if the Managing Partner of Biglaw LLP says you're in, then you're in.




I think this is really important for law students to understand, especially in this economy. OCI and being an SA is not the only way to get into big law. Partners, even some senior associates, at least here, are free to bring in people they want to work under them, summer SA or not. When a partner goes to HR and says I want X working under me, they donít say ďbut heís not a summer!Ē they make it happen. Most lawyers, even big law lawyers will tell you if given their choice they would much rather pick who works under them from law students they know personally then be assigned some random SA that firms says is now going to work in their department. You donít hear about this method of getting into big law as much not because it does not happen, but mostly because the vast majority of law students are so fixated on OCI/SA as the only way in they donít explore other options.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 20, 2009, 03:22:26 PM
The pecking order of Biglaw hiring (and pretty much everybody else as well) is:

1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump
3. Your Grades, which will trump
4. Your Law Review Status, which will trump
5. Your Other Legal Journal Status, which will trump
6. Your Moot Court Status, which will trump
7. All other law school affiliations, clubs, activities, etc.


One good connection and you're in the door, no matter what.  You could be bottom of your class at Mom & Pop Law School, but if the Managing Partner of Biglaw LLP says you're in, then you're in.

what?

shocking huh?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 20, 2009, 03:58:51 PM
You've got to define "says you're in."  Even for an MP, mandating a significantly subpar candidate requires the use of a good amount of political capital.

He can tell a recruiting coordinator or hiring partner, "look out for this guy, good kid."  And that's more than helpful, right, but it's still within the province of the hiring committee to say "sorry Bob, couldn't squeeze him in from (class rank, school, whatever)."  Then at the other end of the spectrum, he can tell a hiring partner, "we need this kid, have to have him."  Probably that'll do the trick, but it's cost Bob a little bit to be that forward and pull rank on a hiring decision.  Let alone if it smells to somebody on the hiring committee like nepotism.

Anyway, in response to Sands' bit, yes and no.

Matthies would say, and would be right, that the thing to do is to have the MP put in the word for you, then to try to build a strong relationship with the HP as well.

(Personal experience here, in re the different degrees of help you can get & nepotism considerations.)

I think its very much depends on the firm. In places like NYC and firms like top vault firms where billings is based on the cravath model its probably much more unlikely. However those are not the majority of big law firms or where the majority of big law lawyers work. My personal experience and the ones I have seen from my friends was offer made and accepted by partner sealed there on the spot. No interview or meeting with hiring committee. I was hired to work directly under the partner in the department he was the head of by him and no one else. I showed up Monday morning went to HR filed out my stuff and reported directly to partner for work.

Both of my offers for big law after law school came the same way, directly by the partner I would be working for as an offer no interaction with HR whatsoever. All three of the firms had 250+ lawyers and where either HQíd in Denver or large regional office of national firms. (A big note here, these where not casual relationships I had worked on bar association projects with these people, helped them author articles for the local law journals, been to games with them, had dinner at their houses, its not like some partner I met one time at some school function I e-mailed three times in three  years. This kid of pull takes people really knowing you well and wanting to grab you before someone else does.)

 From my experience Partners who are ultimately responsible for their departments and what they want more than anything else is someone who can do the work with minimal oversight, and wonít rock the boat and or piss off the staff (the last part is KEY new associates are a dime a dozen but quality paralegals and legal secretaries who are really good at what they do for as low as they get paid are like GOLD). If their billing model is not based on more money for top degrees, they donít really care what the paper says if you can do the job. If they can hire someone they have personal experience with outside the firm, say working on projects with the bar or in an Inn of the court they will take that over an HR ďpaperĒ hire any day of the week. Law, in most firms, is no different that any other business, you want good employees that wonít wreck the moral of the department, if you can pick people you have had a chance to work with over those you have not, most of the time youíll pick the ones you know are going to be good from personal experience. 

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: nealric on July 20, 2009, 08:23:19 PM
Quote
1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump

I would like to add just a tad of qualification here. I don't disagree with matthies at all but-

The strength of connections can vary greatly.

Having a family friend who is a partner will not trump grades/school that does not meet the firm's hiring criteria. It will probably get you an interview if you are on or just over the line.

A connection to a brand new non-equity partner won't mean nearly as much as a connection to the firm's biggest rainmaker. Not all partners can just take someone on without approval- only those with a certain amount of seniority can do that.


Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 20, 2009, 08:41:35 PM
Quote
1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump


A connection to a brand new non-equity partner won't mean nearly as much as a connection to the firm's biggest rainmaker. Not all partners can just take someone on without approval- only those with a certain amount of seniority can do that.




pfft I don't hang with the newbi partners. Named and or mdoels and bottles only, beside the new equity partners are stuck with chaperoning the summer SAs on the booze cruze making sure they pass out face down so as to not drown in thier own vomit.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 20, 2009, 08:42:34 PM
Good grades / good school > All.  That *&^% follows you everywhere and you can always make new connections after you have your grades.  You can't change your grades.  

Sorry, but there is no way a managing partner at a big law firm is going to stick his neck on the line by recommending someone who is completely unqualified.  Connections only matter if you are at least in the ball park.  I think you are overstating it a little.  

Case in point is my buddy.  He went away to BU and is very good friends with several of the partners and associates at the big regional firm I'm at.  He got below median grades (like a 3.0) and now they sent him a letter saying they won't even interview him.  He gave them a call and the hiring partner said that he was sorry but he just wasn't in their grade range to justify interviewing him.  

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 22, 2009, 08:50:54 AM
Good grades / good school > All.  That *&^% follows you everywhere and you can always make new connections after you have your grades.  You can't change your grades.  

Sorry, but there is no way a managing partner at a big law firm is going to stick his neck on the line by recommending someone who is completely unqualified.  Connections only matter if you are at least in the ball park.  I think you are overstating it a little.  

Case in point is my buddy.  He went away to BU and is very good friends with several of the partners and associates at the big regional firm I'm at.  He got below median grades (like a 3.0) and now they sent him a letter saying they won't even interview him.  He gave them a call and the hiring partner said that he was sorry but he just wasn't in their grade range to justify interviewing him.  




Ehhhhhhh...I think you'd be surprised. 

I have a buddy as well, and I know this guy's GPA b/c we talked about it, it was just barely above a 3.0, like a 3.04 or something like that.  Clearly outside the range of the firm cutoff that he ended up at (a reputable NY V 100) which I believe was somewhere around 3.3 and above  (might have even been 3.5 and above but I could be wrong on that)

Anyway, point being, the managing partner at XYZ law firm was very good friends with his dad.  I think the families were friends.  Long story short, the kid got the job.  Even he (my buddy) was shocked.  He thought they were just giving him an interview just out of respect for his dad but that there was no way he would ever get the job.  But sure enough, he got the job - suspect GPA and all.

Now clearly, this type of situation is not the norm for most people in Biglaw, most people in Biglaw have the requisite criteria under their belts already, but I'm just saying, don't sleep on the power of connections. 

As you guys have noted, it has to be the RIGHT connection, not just any connection, but a connection nevertheless.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 22, 2009, 10:17:33 AM
The pecking order of Biglaw hiring (and pretty much everybody else as well) is:

1. Your Connections, which will trump
2. Your Law School's Ranking, which will trump
3. Your Grades, which will trump
4. Your Law Review Status, which will trump
5. Your Other Legal Journal Status, which will trump
6. Your Moot Court Status, which will trump
7. All other law school affiliations, clubs, activities, etc.


One good connection and you're in the door, no matter what.  You could be bottom of your class at Mom & Pop Law School, but if the Managing Partner of Biglaw LLP says you're in, then you're in.

what?

shocking huh?

i'm curious as to sands's position.  i'm already well aware of yours.  :P


LOL  I'm embellishing of course to make a point, but the point remains that connections trump all.  (see my story about my buddy, supra)
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 22, 2009, 10:33:42 AM
You've got to define "says you're in."  Even for an MP, mandating a significantly subpar candidate requires the use of a good amount of political capital.

He can tell a recruiting coordinator or hiring partner, "look out for this guy, good kid."  And that's more than helpful, right, but it's still within the province of the hiring committee to say "sorry Bob, couldn't squeeze him in from (class rank, school, whatever)."  Then at the other end of the spectrum, he can tell a hiring partner, "we need this kid, have to have him."  Probably that'll do the trick, but it's cost Bob a little bit to be that forward and pull rank on a hiring decision.  Let alone if it smells to somebody on the hiring committee like nepotism.

Anyway, in response to Sands' bit, yes and no.

Matthies would say, and would be right, that the thing to do is to have the MP put in the word for you, then to try to build a strong relationship with the HP as well.

(Personal experience here, in re the different degrees of help you can get & nepotism considerations.)


I agree with that.

There is certainly some political capital involved in such a move, but that's not to say these moves don't exist on a regular basis in Biglaw.  (maybe not so much right now at this precise moment in our nation's history, but in general)

Hiring committees have to sign off on all hires, however, as you noted, if a Mg Partner comes in and says "Hey, take this guy right there" who on the committee is going to say no?


Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 22, 2009, 10:36:05 AM
Good grades / good school > All.  That poo follows you everywhere and you can always make new connections after you have your grades.  You can't change your grades.  

Sorry, but there is no way a managing partner at a big law firm is going to stick his neck on the line by recommending someone who is completely unqualified.  Connections only matter if you are at least in the ball park.  I think you are overstating it a little.  




This is how we want it to work, but its not really how it works. Law stunts have an overactive sense of entitlement (or maybe everyone does but I just see it more in law students because I hang here). There is a strong assumption that based on stats people deserve to get into X or Y school. They get very defensive or upset when they see someone getting ahead of them for something other than stats (see the AA threads). This comes from that of sense entitlement. That sense of entailment carries over to law school. Best grades + best law school = entitled to the best jobs.

Something comes along that challenges that and law students get defensive again, they donít like the idea that connections might trump entitlement. Problem is life does not share this sense of entitlement. It does not always work the way we think itís supposed to work. It does not fallout into neat levels rewarding those for the effort they put in. The simple fact is in life, and in law, who you know beats where you go or what grades you get, if you know the right people. Its not going to change no matter how unfair it might seem to those who think they are entitled to their just rewards based on the standard equation. Denying it exists wonít make it go away any more than bitching about AA will make disappear.

However, there is a good news, entitlement PLUS connections beats everything else. So if youíre already lucky enough to have the entitlement part all you need to add is the connections part and your set. And that, with a bit of effort, is easily done.


PS: Just for funsies do a search by last name on some firms website, all those lawyers with the same name is not just a coincidence. 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 22, 2009, 11:08:33 AM
Quote
This is how we want it to work, but its not really how it works. Law stunts have an overactive sense of entitlement (or maybe everyone does but I just see it more in law students because I hang here). There is a strong assumption that based on stats people deserve to get into X or Y school. They get very defensive or upset when they see someone getting ahead of them for something other than stats (see the AA threads). This comes from that of sense entitlement. That sense of entailment carries over to law school. Best grades + best law school = entitled to the best jobs.

It isn't a sense of entitlement if you EARNED it.  There's nothing wrong with people who went to top schools and got top grades feeling like they deserve a top job... they DO.  A sense of entitlement, to me, is something like acting like you should be rich just because your parents are rich.  Or getting bitchy when you actually have to do work even though you are getting compensated extremely well to do that work.  Stuff like that.

Anyhow, I agree, there are other factors than grades that firms look at, and a solid connection can help you out.  I've always been a big proponent of networking.  To be honest, that's how I got my 1L SA job (though I was in the ball park for what they would hire anyways).  Either way, I'd much rather be in the position of a guy without connections who went to a top school and had top grades than some fool with bad grades who happened to have one solid connection that got him a job.  Not just because then I wouldn't be an idiot, but also because I could actually have my pick of a variety of jobs as opposed to being pigeon holed into a single firm because my dad is the managing partner there. 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 22, 2009, 11:34:14 AM
Quote
This is how we want it to work, but its not really how it works. Law stunts have an overactive sense of entitlement (or maybe everyone does but I just see it more in law students because I hang here). There is a strong assumption that based on stats people deserve to get into X or Y school. They get very defensive or upset when they see someone getting ahead of them for something other than stats (see the AA threads). This comes from that of sense entitlement. That sense of entailment carries over to law school. Best grades + best law school = entitled to the best jobs.

It isn't a sense of entitlement if you EARNED it.  There's nothing wrong with people who went to top schools and got top grades feeling like they deserve a top job... they DO.  A sense of entitlement, to me, is something like acting like you should be rich just because your parents are rich.  Or getting bitchy when you actually have to do work even though you are getting compensated extremely well to do that work.  Stuff like that.

 

Thatís the thing, as far as I see no one earns anything so to think we do is to think we are entitled to something. That, to me, is not the same as we get or donít get breaks based on what we have done. Youíre in the position to be able to get a job, but no one owes you a job no matter where you went to school, who you know or what your parents did. Thinking you earned something and thus life owes something to you to me is a sense of entitlement. Does not mean its good or bad, but itís a sense of entailment just the same. To me there is a difference between saying I got this job over everyone else because I did X,Y, and Z and saying Iíve earned that job over everyone else because I have done X, Y and Z. One is a realization of what it took to get the job you have over everyone else the other is a feeling of entitlement that you should get that job over everyone else. The first is a but for cause, the second is a should be cause, i.e. life owes you something rather than life is what you make of it.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 22, 2009, 12:29:32 PM
Earning good grades is very commendable and one should certainly be proud of that accomplishment, but Matthies is right there, good grades does not automatically mean you are entitled to or have earned a job anymore than scoring a 180 automatically means you are entitled to or have earned a spot at ________ law school.  (The entitlement proposition was specifically rejected by LSAC in the Grutter case BTW)

You earn good grades to show you are skilled.  And of course, one can make the inference that a student graduating with a 4.0 is arguably more skilled than a student graduating with a 3.0 or a 2.0.  When we do well academically we often feel that we have "earned" a certain place in whatever it is we are seeking. 

Nevertheless, even if you earned a 4.0 GPA, law review, order of the coif and graduated summa cum laude, you would have no recognizable cause of action whatsoever to sue, let's say, Paul Hastings, for not giving you a job after you interviewed there. 

None. 

That would be the easiest 12(b)(6) motion in the history of 12(b)(6) motions.

As much as we may subjectively think that we earned that job, our good grades fail to establish any such duty upon any employers out there. 

 
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: M_Cool on July 22, 2009, 12:50:26 PM
I don't think that if you don't get hired somewhere you would have a cause of action.  That would be ridiculous. 

I do think that someone who has stellar grades + law review + top school can think they deserve a top job without necessarily having a "sense of entitlement."  They've earned the right to think they deserve that job.  It's grounded in reality.  It's like a great college athlete (lets say Magic Johnson) thinking he deserves to be an NBA player.  I doubt anyone would call that entitlement.  That's called reality.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Susan B. Anthony on July 22, 2009, 12:55:49 PM
I think the key difference is feeling like you're qualified/are a good candidate for a job vs. feeling like you've earned/deserve a job. The first speaks to your accomplishments and qualifications, and the second speaks to what you think you're owed. Being conscious of where your accomplishments and qualifications should generally place your prospects is important; thinking someone owes you something because of what you've done can make you come across as an entitled feminine hygiene product.

I think often people actually mean/are attempting to express the former, but it comes out sounding like the latter, especially when they're shut out from something for which they're, generally speaking, qualified.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 22, 2009, 01:12:08 PM
I think the key difference is feeling like you're qualified/are a good candidate for a job vs. feeling like you've earned/deserve a job. The first speaks to your accomplishments and qualifications, and the second speaks to what you think you're owed. Being conscious of where your accomplishments and qualifications should generally place your prospects is important; thinking someone owes you something because of what you've done can make you come across as an entitled feminine hygiene product.

I think often people actually mean/are attempting to express the former, but it comes out sounding like the latter, especially when they're shut out from something for which they're, generally speaking, qualified.

This is my point, but you say it better cuase u went to fancy law schoolz.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: kb on July 22, 2009, 01:12:51 PM
I think the key difference is feeling like you're qualified/are a good candidate for a job vs. feeling like you've earned/deserve a job. The first speaks to your accomplishments and qualifications, and the second speaks to what you think you're owed. Being conscious of where your accomplishments and qualifications should generally place your prospects is important; thinking someone owes you something because of what you've done can make you come across as an entitled feminine hygiene product.

I think often people actually mean/are attempting to express the former, but it comes out sounding like the latter, especially when they're shut out from something for which they're, generally speaking, qualified.

This is my point, but you say it better cuase u went to fancy law schoolz.

LOL at suggesting that people learn things in law school!  :)
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 22, 2009, 03:07:35 PM
I think the key difference is feeling like you're qualified/are a good candidate for a job vs. feeling like you've earned/deserve a job. The first speaks to your accomplishments and qualifications, and the second speaks to what you think you're owed. Being conscious of where your accomplishments and qualifications should generally place your prospects is important; thinking someone owes you something because of what you've done can make you come across as an entitled feminine hygiene product.

I think often people actually mean/are attempting to express the former, but it comes out sounding like the latter, especially when they're shut out from something for which they're, generally speaking, qualified.


Well stated.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 22, 2009, 04:16:48 PM
I think the key difference is feeling like you're qualified/are a good candidate for a job vs. feeling like you've earned/deserve a job. The first speaks to your accomplishments and qualifications, and the second speaks to what you think you're owed. Being conscious of where your accomplishments and qualifications should generally place your prospects is important; thinking someone owes you something because of what you've done can make you come across as an entitled feminine hygiene product.

I think often people actually mean/are attempting to express the former, but it comes out sounding like the latter, especially when they're shut out from something for which they're, generally speaking, qualified.

This is my point, but you say it better cuase u went to fancy law schoolz.

LOL at suggesting that people learn things in law school!  :)

Yea me studying from the bar is proof I leanred nothing cuase none of this *&^% looks remotly familer to me :-\
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: groundkontrol on July 22, 2009, 07:34:08 PM
Hey, how's it going? I was reading through this post. I will be applying to law school (a bunch of T14s) this fall and I'm mostly interested in NYC Biglaw to some extent. I'm a black URM male and I just graduated from Cornell studying Industrial and Labor Relations. In the first post of your thread you spoke about  a buddy of yours who worked in the Labor & Employment division of your firm. This is ultimately something I would like to do within a big law firm after I graduate from law school. I just wanted to ask you-- how common is it for first year associates to work in a department such as Labor & Employment?  Do you need prior experience in labor to be hired? My entire undergrad career at Cornell was focused around labor.

 You mentioned that the L&E associates didn't do very much document review, while associates did doc review 24/7. When interview for jobs do you get to specify what department you would like to work in or are you automatically placed? I know it's wayy to early to be thinking about this but L&E at a BIGLAW or mid-sized firm is something I'm interested in. Thanks!
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 23, 2009, 07:28:46 AM
Hey, how's it going? I was reading through this post. I will be applying to law school (a bunch of T14s) this fall and I'm mostly interested in NYC Biglaw to some extent. I'm a black URM male and I just graduated from Cornell studying Industrial and Labor Relations. In the first post of your thread you spoke about  a buddy of yours who worked in the Labor & Employment division of your firm. This is ultimately something I would like to do within a big law firm after I graduate from law school. I just wanted to ask you-- how common is it for first year associates to work in a department such as Labor & Employment?  Do you need prior experience in labor to be hired? My entire undergrad career at Cornell was focused around labor.

 You mentioned that the L&E associates didn't do very much document review, while associates did doc review 24/7. When interview for jobs do you get to specify what department you would like to work in or are you automatically placed? I know it's wayy to early to be thinking about this but L&E at a BIGLAW or mid-sized firm is something I'm interested in. Thanks!


Thanks for steering us back on topic.   :)  Great question.

Of course I have to preface that every firm will do things slightly differently, but for the most part, assuming you go the traditional summer associate route, when you are summering at your firm you will be given assignments from various partners.  This represents the minimum of what you are required to do.  For somebody like yourself who knows that they are interested in L&E, it will be incumbent upon you to walk over to the L&E partners' offices and ask for work in L&E. 

Then when they give you an assignment (and they more than likely will if you ask for one), it is imperative that you knock it out of the park - nothing kills a relationship faster than doing bad work for a partner.  Provided you do a decent job for them, they will probably give you a couple more before your summer is over.  This will establish a relationship between yourself and the L&E group so that when you have your exit interview, and as you go through your 3L year and communicate with the firm as to where you might like to be placed, you can have something linking you to the L&E group.  Who knows, by then they might even request you by name if you're lucky.

Again, each firm will do it differently.  Some only give you 2 options when you start:  Litigation or Transactional.  And then you have to do general work within that division for a year or so before you pick a practice group.

My old firm gave associates the choice around the time we were taking the bar exam of which groups we would prefer to work in.  My new firm just places people in either general lit or general trans and allows you to pick your own group after 3 years.



Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: groundkontrol on July 23, 2009, 10:30:10 AM
Great, thanks for the response! A few more questions:

1) What types of "assignments" do SA's do? Is it all doc review as well?

2) Is the pay the same for all 1st year associates across the board? A 1associate working in L&E will make the same as a 1associate in litigation?

3) Are you ever asked during interviews what department you would prefer working in?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 23, 2009, 11:12:56 AM
You've got to define "says you're in."  Even for an MP, mandating a significantly subpar candidate requires the use of a good amount of political capital.

He can tell a recruiting coordinator or hiring partner, "look out for this guy, good kid."  And that's more than helpful, right, but it's still within the province of the hiring committee to say "sorry Bob, couldn't squeeze him in from (class rank, school, whatever)."  Then at the other end of the spectrum, he can tell a hiring partner, "we need this kid, have to have him."  Probably that'll do the trick, but it's cost Bob a little bit to be that forward and pull rank on a hiring decision.  Let alone if it smells to somebody on the hiring committee like nepotism.


Anyway, in response to Sands' bit, yes and no.

Matthies would say, and would be right, that the thing to do is to have the MP put in the word for you, then to try to build a strong relationship with the HP as well.

(Personal experience here, in re the different degrees of help you can get & nepotism considerations.)

TITCR from what I understand.  Reezy is, as usual, spot on.

nepotism is pretty widespred in law firms though, I mean we are not talking about publicaly traded corporations, the only shareholder you have any responseblity to is the other partners, and if you bring in a lot of money for them you'd be suprised what you can get away with.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 23, 2009, 12:23:56 PM
Not always correct, Matthies.  Firms--huge ones, anyway--have very serious nepotism policies.  Known for a fact at three of the V50s.

Hehe, they also have polices against sleeping with the staff. That gets ignored a lot too if you make the firm enough money and you do it so it does not end up on ATL or in court.  :P If there is anything we are all familer with at this point is that for every rule there is an exception. Or at least I hope we are all familer with that by now.


Protip: best sources for gossip about whoís doing in who in firms: the IT guy (yea like he does not read those e-mails heís archiving) and the legal secretary, they screen the calls and e-mails they know when some is calling too much for a business relationship and when your lying to your wife about there you actually are. Donít forget them on secretaries day cause they got all the dirt on you.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 23, 2009, 12:45:28 PM
honestly the "know the right people" or "make enough rain" and therefore "do what you please and have carpet rolled out for you or your kin or just some acquaintance of yours" shtick is cute, but sometimes, swear to god man, there are policies and best practices that are respected.  some firms take their best practices seriously because there's value in not making the place a favor factory; not every firm operates like a 50-lawyer friendship shop.

redated becuase I don't feel like outing myself or dealing with my bat *&^% crazy realtives who might wonder here
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Jamie Stringer on July 23, 2009, 01:14:49 PM
Sands, another question...

I'm not sure if you did a clerkship at all or not, but my question sort of revolves around that. I am thinking I'm more interested in transactional work (says the 0L with no experience), but I'm also interested in clerking. Would you say that it's completely useless for a transactional person to pursue a clerkship or otherwise hinder their chances of being placed in a transactional group at a big firm?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: big - fat - box on July 23, 2009, 02:17:11 PM
Delaware Chancery Court if interested in Corp/Transactional. Very hard to get, as with any competitive clerkship.

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 23, 2009, 03:03:48 PM
Great, thanks for the response! A few more questions:

1) What types of "assignments" do SA's do? Is it all doc review as well?

2) Is the pay the same for all 1st year associates across the board? A 1associate working in L&E will make the same as a 1associate in litigation?

3) Are you ever asked during interviews what department you would prefer working in?

Thanks.

1) Short ones that can be completed within a few weeks.  Typically legal research memo's or the like.

2) I assume that you mean is the pay the same for all 1st year associates within the same firm.  Answer being yes, generally this is true at Biglaw (I've never heard of it being otherwise in Biglaw).  Your firm's market rate applies to everybody by class year, no matter what practice group they belong to within the firm.  Class of '09 gets $160k, class of '08 gets $170k, class of '07 gets $185k, and so on.

3) Good question.  Yes.  This can often be a test to see if you've done your homework on the firm.  Study up before your interview.  Talk to recent graduates from your school at the firm if possible to get a feel for it.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 23, 2009, 03:10:13 PM
Sands, another question...

I'm not sure if you did a clerkship at all or not, but my question sort of revolves around that. I am thinking I'm more interested in transactional work (says the 0L with no experience), but I'm also interested in clerking. Would you say that it's completely useless for a transactional person to pursue a clerkship or otherwise hinder their chances of being placed in a transactional group at a big firm?

I'm surprised to see such an insightful question come from a 0L.

It is true that most people who do clerkships are on the litigation side, but there are some transactional folks to do clerkships as well.

If you have any interest in Bankruptcy, that's a practice group that sort of straddles the fence between Lit and Trans, but can definitely lean more Trans.  A US Bankruptcy Court clerkship would be a good look in that case.

Otherwise I don't think anybody would discourage clerking.  Firms love it, no matter what practice you end up doing.  And if you talk to people who clerked, they all cite it as a valuable experience in their careers; many former clerks keep in touch with their judges for many years after their clerkship is over.

I didn't have the opportunity to do an official clerkship (regret) but I did get the equivalent by doing a judicial externship with 2 different federal judges while in law school, and I still talk to both of them to this day.  In fact, one of them is responsible for my current employment right now.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: EdinTally on July 24, 2009, 06:36:08 AM
So nepotism, money, and knowing the right people can get you into a top law school with sub par numbers but that somehow stops after law school when entering the job market?

OK just checkin...
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Busy on July 24, 2009, 11:14:43 AM
Burning Sands, my question is do you know where I can get materials on Equity and Trust law as well as Mercantile law for common law jurisdiction?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 24, 2009, 09:43:03 PM
Burning Sands, my question is do you know where I can get materials on Equity and Trust law as well as Mercantile law for common law jurisdiction?


ehhhhh...amazon.com?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on July 25, 2009, 03:47:25 AM
Sands, any NY Bar advice?  I am waaay behind on the NY subjects, so I will be doing my best to learn prof resp, sec trans, com paper, and family law all this weekend (ok on ny practice, trusts, and wills).  Should I even bother with partnership and agency, and those little ny subjects?

Even Javits-specific advice would help... I've heard it's a nightmare there.... anywhere I can go to escape the crazy horde of recent law grads for lunch?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 25, 2009, 11:33:26 PM
Sands, any NY Bar advice?  I am waaay behind on the NY subjects, so I will be doing my best to learn prof resp, sec trans, com paper, and family law all this weekend (ok on ny practice, trusts, and wills).  Should I even bother with partnership and agency, and those little ny subjects?

Even Javits-specific advice would help... I've heard it's a nightmare there.... anywhere I can go to escape the crazy horde of recent law grads for lunch?

In re exam day, see here (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,88278.msg2362824.html#msg2362824).

In re NY bar advice, see here (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,88278.msg5349738.html#msg5349738).
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on July 26, 2009, 12:13:00 PM
Sands, any NY Bar advice?  I am waaay behind on the NY subjects, so I will be doing my best to learn prof resp, sec trans, com paper, and family law all this weekend (ok on ny practice, trusts, and wills).  Should I even bother with partnership and agency, and those little ny subjects?

Even Javits-specific advice would help... I've heard it's a nightmare there.... anywhere I can go to escape the crazy horde of recent law grads for lunch?

In re exam day, see here (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,88278.msg2362824.html#msg2362824).

In re NY bar advice, see here (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,88278.msg5349738.html#msg5349738).

Thanks for the links!  Your NY Qs sound horrible.... only 2/5 with a multistate subject mentioned?!  And your MPT scares me... but hopefully the NY Examiners got that out of their systems.  Back to studying...
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on July 26, 2009, 12:43:41 PM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 26, 2009, 07:12:29 PM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!

I think that's one of the most slept on aspects of the entire bar taking process - LUNCH!

Especially around Javits. There is NOTHING around there!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously there are like 2 or 3 little deli places and believe you me, all 8 or 9 thousand people will be there standing in line for the entire hour (or whatever it is) you get for lunch.

I parked my car overnight across the street in a paid parking lot for like $20 bucks, packed my lunch in a cooler and put it in the trunk of my car.  As soon as the lunch break came I walked straight to my car and spent at most 10 minutes eating and then spent the rest of the hour refreshing my memory on the two essay subjects that I knew were coming because they were not tested in the morning (family law and corporations).  Sure enough, those two subjects were the two essays in the afternoon, so I probably earned a few more points on those essays. Hey, every point counts right?

Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Eugene Young on July 26, 2009, 07:41:52 PM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!

I think that's one of the most slept on aspects of the entire bar taking process - LUNCH!

Especially around Javits. There is NOTHING around there!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously there are like 2 or 3 little deli places and believe you me, all 8 or 9 thousand people will be there standing in line for the entire hour (or whatever it is) you get for lunch.

I parked my car overnight across the street in a paid parking lot for like $20 bucks, packed my lunch in a cooler and put it in the trunk of my car.  As soon as the lunch break came I walked straight to my car and spent at most 10 minutes eating and then spent the rest of the hour refreshing my memory on the two essay subjects that I knew were coming because they were not tested in the morning (family law and corporations).  Sure enough, those two subjects were the two essays in the afternoon, so I probably earned a few more points on those essays. Hey, every point counts right?



Damn, Sands! That was remarkably crafty. Did someone advise you to do that, or did you come up with that your own? I never would have thought of that, but best believe that's how I will play it when my turn comes up.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on July 26, 2009, 08:19:10 PM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!

I think that's one of the most slept on aspects of the entire bar taking process - LUNCH!

Especially around Javits. There is NOTHING around there!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously there are like 2 or 3 little deli places and believe you me, all 8 or 9 thousand people will be there standing in line for the entire hour (or whatever it is) you get for lunch.

I parked my car overnight across the street in a paid parking lot for like $20 bucks, packed my lunch in a cooler and put it in the trunk of my car.  As soon as the lunch break came I walked straight to my car and spent at most 10 minutes eating and then spent the rest of the hour refreshing my memory on the two essay subjects that I knew were coming because they were not tested in the morning (family law and corporations).  Sure enough, those two subjects were the two essays in the afternoon, so I probably earned a few more points on those essays. Hey, every point counts right?



This is genius!  My fiance is making the trip with me, so I think I will ask him to meet me for lunch with a good sandwich and some flashcards/outlines.   :)
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 27, 2009, 09:14:01 AM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!

I think that's one of the most slept on aspects of the entire bar taking process - LUNCH!

Especially around Javits. There is NOTHING around there!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously there are like 2 or 3 little deli places and believe you me, all 8 or 9 thousand people will be there standing in line for the entire hour (or whatever it is) you get for lunch.

I parked my car overnight across the street in a paid parking lot for like $20 bucks, packed my lunch in a cooler and put it in the trunk of my car.  As soon as the lunch break came I walked straight to my car and spent at most 10 minutes eating and then spent the rest of the hour refreshing my memory on the two essay subjects that I knew were coming because they were not tested in the morning (family law and corporations).  Sure enough, those two subjects were the two essays in the afternoon, so I probably earned a few more points on those essays. Hey, every point counts right?



This is genius!  My fiance is making the trip with me, so I think I will ask him to meet me for lunch with a good sandwich and some flashcards/outlines.   :)


Ah a trusty sidekick.  Even better.

Good luck tomorrow!
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 27, 2009, 09:16:41 AM
Silly Q but--did you bring your own lunch?  Are there places to eat way out on 12th ave?  I've never been to the Javits.

Also can we bring soda/water in, or only what's in thet little baggie Barbri gave us?

Thanks!

I think that's one of the most slept on aspects of the entire bar taking process - LUNCH!

Especially around Javits. There is NOTHING around there!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously there are like 2 or 3 little deli places and believe you me, all 8 or 9 thousand people will be there standing in line for the entire hour (or whatever it is) you get for lunch.

I parked my car overnight across the street in a paid parking lot for like $20 bucks, packed my lunch in a cooler and put it in the trunk of my car.  As soon as the lunch break came I walked straight to my car and spent at most 10 minutes eating and then spent the rest of the hour refreshing my memory on the two essay subjects that I knew were coming because they were not tested in the morning (family law and corporations).  Sure enough, those two subjects were the two essays in the afternoon, so I probably earned a few more points on those essays. Hey, every point counts right?



Damn, Sands! That was remarkably crafty. Did someone advise you to do that, or did you come up with that your own? I never would have thought of that, but best believe that's how I will play it when my turn comes up.


What made me think of it was my experience during the BarBri practice exam at the Javits.  They simulate an entire day of the bar exam for practice about a month before the real thing and all I could remember was that during lunch we wasted so much time waiting for food along with everybody else.

After that experience there was no question in my mind as to what to do on the real day.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Eugene Young on July 27, 2009, 09:28:58 AM
Sands, as an aside, is it possible to take the Georgia and NY bars together? Not sure if you even know the answer.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 27, 2009, 09:38:45 AM
Sands, at what point in your career do they expect you to start brining in new business and creating business. I mean by what year should you start to have your own book of business if you want to stick around? Also do they give you any clients, like let you take over an account from someone else or do they expect you to bring in all your own book?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 27, 2009, 09:46:15 AM
Sands, as an aside, is it possible to take the Georgia and NY bars together? Not sure if you even know the answer.

No, they test on the same dates so it's not possible to take them both at the same time.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 27, 2009, 09:51:51 AM
Sands, at what point in your career do they expect you to start brining in new business and creating business. I mean by what year should you start to have your own book of business if you want to stick around? Also do they give you any clients, like let you take over an account from someone else or do they expect you to bring in all your own book?

This is such a gray area.

You usually don't get to develop your own book until you are pretty sr., like 7th or 8th year.  It is, of course, possible to develop your own book at any time.  If you are a 1st year associate and you bring in a steady client for the firm I'm sure that would set you up nicely for the partnership track if  you were so inclined.

But they don't really expect you to worry about those things until you become sr.

Nearly 100% of the clients you will deal with will be given to you by the firm and, thus, belong to somebody else's book of business.  It may be possible, however, to develop your own relationship with other individuals within the client's company other than your partner's point of contact there.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Matthies on July 27, 2009, 10:17:04 AM
Sands, at what point in your career do they expect you to start brining in new business and creating business. I mean by what year should you start to have your own book of business if you want to stick around? Also do they give you any clients, like let you take over an account from someone else or do they expect you to bring in all your own book?

This is such a gray area.

You usually don't get to develop your own book until you are pretty sr., like 7th or 8th year.  It is, of course, possible to develop your own book at any time.  If you are a 1st year associate and you bring in a steady client for the firm I'm sure that would set you up nicely for the partnership track if  you were so inclined.

But they don't really expect you to worry about those things until you become sr.

Nearly 100% of the clients you will deal with will be given to you by the firm and, thus, belong to somebody else's book of business.  It may be possible, however, to develop your own relationship with other individuals within the client's company other than your partner's point of contact there.

Most of the lawyers I know are all 10 years plus (just happened that my mentors where older lawyers, introduced me to their friends ect.) Of the ones that are still at larger firms and are partners here in town they say in an average week about 40% of their time is spent ďcreating businessĒ for existing clients. Like interpreting how a new regulation or case decision might impact them, or suggesting a compliance review or other things they suggest to the client legal work wise than the other way around with the clients coming to them with new legal issues. Another 30% of their time is spent overseeing those reporting to them and checking their work. And 30% is either keeping current clients happy (golf, lunch, games) or looking for new clients and only about 10% of their time is actually spent doing legal work. My friends who have their own firms report more actual legal work, but still a lot of time spent creating business and cultivating/keeping happy current clients. Is it like that as much in NYC big firms?
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application" on July 27, 2009, 10:20:56 AM
a legapp sighting?

good luck on tuesday.  wave if you see me.

LOL, might be hard among the 5,000 other people....  ;)
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 27, 2009, 11:06:10 AM
Sands, at what point in your career do they expect you to start brining in new business and creating business. I mean by what year should you start to have your own book of business if you want to stick around? Also do they give you any clients, like let you take over an account from someone else or do they expect you to bring in all your own book?

This is such a gray area.

You usually don't get to develop your own book until you are pretty sr., like 7th or 8th year.  It is, of course, possible to develop your own book at any time.  If you are a 1st year associate and you bring in a steady client for the firm I'm sure that would set you up nicely for the partnership track if  you were so inclined.

But they don't really expect you to worry about those things until you become sr.

Nearly 100% of the clients you will deal with will be given to you by the firm and, thus, belong to somebody else's book of business.  It may be possible, however, to develop your own relationship with other individuals within the client's company other than your partner's point of contact there.

Most of the lawyers I know are all 10 years plus (just happened that my mentors where older lawyers, introduced me to their friends ect.) Of the ones that are still at larger firms and are partners here in town they say in an average week about 40% of their time is spent ďcreating businessĒ for existing clients. Like interpreting how a new regulation or case decision might impact them, or suggesting a compliance review or other things they suggest to the client legal work wise than the other way around with the clients coming to them with new legal issues. Another 30% of their time is spent overseeing those reporting to them and checking their work. And 30% is either keeping current clients happy (golf, lunch, games) or looking for new clients and only about 10% of their time is actually spent doing legal work. My friends who have their own firms report more actual legal work, but still a lot of time spent creating business and cultivating/keeping happy current clients. Is it like that as much in NYC big firms?


I can't speak to that yet as I'm not that senior but it sounds pretty similar from what I've seen so far.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on July 30, 2009, 01:29:27 PM
Sands--your post about the Bar essay Qs completely made my life better.  You mentioned there was a Q about larceny/bad checks on your exam, which made me realize I knew nothing about that subject.  So, I read the NY Distinctions section on bad check laws in NY.  Sure enough, it was the second essay on the exam!  There is absolutely NO WAY I would have gotten that right without you.   :)

Wow, look at that.  Who knew they would resurrect the infamous bad checks essay of '07?!?!  What a bunch of tools. 

Well I'm glad you were prepared for it.  Good stuff!  You were probably 1 of like 10 people to get that one right from what I've been hearing.

About a week before the 07 exam, one of my friends called me up and started going off about commercial paper, saying that she had a bad feeling about it and that we had better know something about it.  Like you, I realized at that moment that I had not even touched the subject, so I breezed through it, picked up some terms of art, and sure enough the very first question on the bar exam - commercial f*cking paper.

Gotta give it to the bar examiners - they have a knack at picking the ultimate sleeper topic every year.
Title: Re: Jr. BigLaw Associate in NY Taking Questions
Post by: Johnny Holiday on December 16, 2009, 06:54:27 PM
lol