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Messages - Krisace

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Definitely choose USF.  The Sacramento legal market is in even worse shape than SF and McGeorge does not carry much of a name.

Congratulations on admission.

Kris Kaiser
Co-founder, Alchemy Admissions Advisors

Alchemy Prep - the only pay-for-performance admissions advisors

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Ask Alchemy Prep
« on: May 11, 2009, 08:28:52 AM »
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Incoming 1Ls / Ask Alchemy Prep
« on: May 11, 2009, 08:27:56 AM »
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Choosing the Right Law School / Ask Alchemy Prep
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Job Search / Ask Alchemy Prep
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Transferring / Ask Alchemy Prep
« on: May 11, 2009, 08:24:47 AM »
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Job Search / Re: Are NY firms going to $190K
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:56:17 PM »
The short answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.

The supposed "NY to 190" rumor was talked about a year ago but now the economy is in a rough spot that will take at least a year and a half to even BEGIN to work out of. 

It'll be at least three years before we see the next pay hike. And at that point we may have lost a dozen or so of the Amlaw 100 with another dozen having merged, deparately trying to make it into the global elite (see below).

So skip ahead to 2011.  At that time it will begin to be clear that we have 20 or so mega-players (global high-end work firms as well as a handful of NY firms such as Wachtell) who have separated themselves from the rest of the bunch.  Another 50 or so firms will be hanging in there with mid-level profitability work (see DLA Piper and Baker & McKenzie).  The latter will not be able to raise salaries, or if they do it will not match the raises seen at the elite 20.

Skip ahead another five or ten years and the rainmakers from these mid-level profitability firms will have jumped ship to the elite 20. The dust will settle and we'll be left with 20 super-power firms and dozens of national/regional firms who have lost large chunks of high-end work to the elite 20 but can hang around with the mid-level work.

In short, pick your firm wisely.  If you have a choice you should choose to either be at a high-end NY shop or a large global law firm with profits per partner currently around $1.5M or more.

Job Search / Re: How about DLA piper
« on: November 11, 2007, 05:34:59 PM »
I disagreee as to salary.  Come this next spring or soon thereafter, a bunch of firms will jump.  Pretty soon, we're going to have a two or three-tiered market salary structure and DLA will be in the middle or lower-middle of that bunch.

It'd be worth looking into whether DLA even pays lockstep salary (guaranteeing the 10-15K increases in salary by year).  Some firms don't.  People don't talk abotu this enough. 

Buyer beware...

Job Search / Re: Big Law
« on: September 16, 2007, 11:19:14 PM »
I went to a mid T1 in a major market.  I transferred as top 5% from a very very low T2.  Out of 22 screenings, I got 2 call-backs and 1 offer (and I'm from the major market area too).  It sucks to be a transfer student because most recruiters/attorneys don't realize that according tot he data, transfer students generally keep almost precisely their same GPA once they get to their higher-ranked school.

Thus, there I was a year later as a 3L and top 5%.  I was selective in who I screened with and got 5 callbacks out of 6 screenings (all but Latham). Got two offers out of that and made a good decision.  Transfers who are a year behind me and now interviewing as 3L's had, and are having, precisely the same sort of experience.  They did not work for large law firms last summer.

My point is, it's tough and it'll be discouraging.  But even if things don't work out this year, it's far from over. 

Job Search / Re: Freaking out
« on: September 16, 2007, 10:28:23 PM »
As for raising salaries, salaries had been stagnant for the last 6 years or so until the bump in February 2006.  Even with the recent increases, the ratio of avg. profits per partner:associate salaries is much higher than it was ten or twenty years ago. 

Some firms can most definitely afford to raise.  Some can but won't and thus in the next 1-2 years the market will be segmented between the top 50 firms and the rest.

In choosing your firm, you should be aware of (1) whether they are on a locktep salary system and (2) what their bonus structure is.  For the first time in a long time, bonuses have become a huge diferentiating factor.  For example, NY-based firms will pay about $40K for a first year bonus. MoFo is at $15K if you work 2,100 hours or so (I think).  Cooley - $17K, O'Melveny/Gibson $25K; Orrick $25-45K.

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