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Messages - OnTheRoad

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1
General Board / Re: ITT: i discuss midlaw
« on: April 27, 2009, 08:57:46 PM »
bump, in case anyone is still around. I'm headed to a midlaw firm to summer this year, and love everything that I've seen about it so far.

I'm wondering if any of you know anything about partner pay at midlaw? Any sense of where it is?

2
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 25, 2008, 03:37:55 PM »


 Iíve clerked in both large and small firms, with small firms its almost always the case we had more work then we could do, in large firms it was almost always the case we were always trying to get more work. 

Interesting to hear this. Do you think this is related to the fact that smaller firms keep capital reserves, as opposed to larger firms, who seem to scrape the pot clean every year? Any idea what size the reserves were that the smaller firms were keeping?

Smaller firms seem more likely to keep resvers, you also eat what you kill. Its also easier to cut your own salary with there are only 5-10 employees, or save up a years salary when you deptermine how much your paid. Plus the volume, a lot of the case are pay upfront, rather than bill plus 30 days. I know that he solo I work for now keeps one yearís income on his accounts all the time, which is roughly about 900k. But he spends every dime he makes, so that is his comfort zone, they guy has 3 cars a condo in Vail and travels out of the country at lest once a month, he easily blows 20k a month on just living the good life. So he keeps the resrve and spends the rest as it comes in. In lean times he just spends less, in good times, more.

You and I had some discussion about a year ago about small places out in Denver, and this here just makes me regret not being out there even more. What kind of work does he do?

Criminal defense. And he is your typical flashy criminal defense lawyer, 8k suits made in Europe and most days he drives his Maseratri to work. He does all types of criminal law, but specializes in federal prosecutions under conspiracy charges. And heís not just an aberration, the other solo lawyers I have met through him are all loaded. Iím in an Inn of Court with about 100 lawyers and judges, and the big law guys are always joking about how little they make compared to the small practice guys. When you keep 100% of what you make it adds up fast, and when you gotta split it between 50 other people even big fees become small. Most of the guys I know with their own small to mid size practice left big law to start their own firms because there is more money per hours worked there. I donít know where people get this small/mid law stuff does not pay, maybe its just because they donít publish salary numbers. But my friend a family law attorney with 1 year experience just took a job with a five person firm making $110,000 plus bonus and she is out of there at 5 PM everyday.

:) sounds like your typical criminal defense guy. I figure the assumption about small/mid size firms comes from the starting pay being lower, but I don't know? Do you think the crim law stuff is way more lucrative?

3
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 25, 2008, 02:34:06 PM »


 Iíve clerked in both large and small firms, with small firms its almost always the case we had more work then we could do, in large firms it was almost always the case we were always trying to get more work. 

Interesting to hear this. Do you think this is related to the fact that smaller firms keep capital reserves, as opposed to larger firms, who seem to scrape the pot clean every year? Any idea what size the reserves were that the smaller firms were keeping?

Smaller firms seem more likely to keep resvers, you also eat what you kill. Its also easier to cut your own salary with there are only 5-10 employees, or save up a years salary when you deptermine how much your paid. Plus the volume, a lot of the case are pay upfront, rather than bill plus 30 days. I know that he solo I work for now keeps one yearís income on his accounts all the time, which is roughly about 900k. But he spends every dime he makes, so that is his comfort zone, they guy has 3 cars a condo in Vail and travels out of the country at lest once a month, he easily blows 20k a month on just living the good life. So he keeps the resrve and spends the rest as it comes in. In lean times he just spends less, in good times, more.

You and I had some discussion about a year ago about small places out in Denver, and this here just makes me regret not being out there even more. What kind of work does he do?

4
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 25, 2008, 11:37:35 AM »


 Iíve clerked in both large and small firms, with small firms its almost always the case we had more work then we could do, in large firms it was almost always the case we were always trying to get more work. 

Interesting to hear this. Do you think this is related to the fact that smaller firms keep capital reserves, as opposed to larger firms, who seem to scrape the pot clean every year? Any idea what size the reserves were that the smaller firms were keeping?

5
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 25, 2008, 10:06:34 AM »
Matthies, I totally get what you're saying, and I'm not arguing that the first-year associates are as important a part of the firm as a rain-making partner. I think that what you're saying is much more applicable to small or mid-size firms where the need to bring in business is a much more immediate concern. If you guys want to make it an assumption in the above calculation that a lot of first year hours get cut, I'm fine with that. But for the first year above to be costing the firm money, they would need to have almost 3/4 of their hours cut. Again, I'm not disputing your point that first-years are less profitable and a bit of a drag, and so forth. But the idea that they cost more than they make is a myth that serves the pyramid scheme.

6
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 24, 2008, 03:31:56 PM »
Guys, I'm completely amenable to the argument that early associates don't earn their firms as much money as older associates, and are more inefficient, and are not that smart, and don't actually know that much about being lawyers, and have a sense of entitlement, and shouldn't be getting 160K/yr etc, etc.

All I'm saying is that the story that associates don't make their firms any money is something that has been promulgated by management to hold down wages.

Do the math:

1st Year Associates at big firms are expected to bill (minimum): 2000 hrs/yr

Assuming they manage to bill 80% of the time they spend at the office, that means they work: 2500 hrs/yr (ouch)

So, if they're getting $160,000/yr, that means they're being paid: $65/hr.

Let's just count their billable hours: $80/hr

Not bad, and better than I was getting as a carpenter.

However, top firms are billing 1st-yr associates at $300/hr (!)

This means they're making $600,000 a year on associates that they're paying $160,000/yr - a difference of $440,000. The above posters are right that they're paying for some overhead for associates. That would include: rent, secretarial support, and training. I'd love to break all of that out, but I've got some studying that I have to do. For now can we agree that the firm isn't spending 440K per associate per year in training and overhead? That would be about ten times what a law school spends on it.

7
2L job search / Re: Rescinding Offers
« on: October 23, 2008, 09:57:47 PM »
Back on the boards after a very long time off. Just want to dispute this: firms bill 1st yrs at around 300/hr and pay them 100/hr. There's a site somewhere with a good breakdown with real numbers, but the deal is, firms bill at three times what they pay => they make plenty on 1st years.

Bc first year's don't make the firm money.  In fact, generally second years don't either.  It's a big investment and in bad economic times a dangerous one.  Especially if work is slow.

8
Law School Applications / Re: OK to buy LEEWS used, like on Ebay?
« on: August 14, 2008, 01:08:30 PM »
Well, you're talking about saving yourself a hundred bucks during a time you'll be paying a couple hundred thousand for school.....seems like a bit of a scam to me.

9
Law School Applications / Re: OK to buy LEEWS used, like on Ebay?
« on: August 12, 2008, 04:06:35 PM »
fwiw, I just bought them direct from leews, bc they give you a discount on the live program. It's $50 or so to go to the live program if you already bought the set from them, which you don't get if you buy it used. But now that I'm into the program some, I'm not sure if I see myself going to the live program, so maybe it would have made more sense to get them on ebay.

10
Though obviously, it wouldn't hurt to ask NYU for the money.

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