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Messages - T. Durden

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Current Law Students / Re: Who else is STILL waiting on bar results?
« on: October 09, 2008, 12:01:03 PM »
NY is mid-late november now? i thought that the scores were slated for release during the first week of nov (?)

Job Search / Re: Are NY firms going to $190K
« on: October 02, 2008, 05:14:26 PM »
Sorry, but raising salaries right now would be absolutely crazy. One major firm just fell apart and another is in serious danger of it, there are layoffs at many firms, and who knows what big client could fall apart next. At this point I am just hoping for a bonus. T. Durden, you pay 2700 a month for a studio in Manhattan? You are getting ripped off.

i dunno. seems pretty average to me. in our first year class, people are paying anywhere from 2200/month to 3500/month.

when i didn't account for was the ridiculous tax rate. i can expect to pay over 40% of my income out in the form of taxes this year. that's ~$64,000 for those of you who are counting. it's obscene ...

i will most likely be taking a 2nd bar exam in feb. NY is just too expensive (from its tax structure to its CoL). i haven't decided on the market yet.

Job Search / Re: Are NY firms going to $190K
« on: September 29, 2008, 06:05:46 PM »
I have been hearing/reading this rumor for a while, and I just do not see how it is possible. I understand that NYC is more expensive than Dallas (where many firms are paying $160K). However, using the starting market in Dallas (or say Atlanta which is 145K) to say that lawyers in NYC should get a raise is slightly erroneous at best. Market dictates salary. If NYC can "only" pay 160K, and students take it, why would they raise. What is their incentive to do so? Fairness? I doubt fairness is considered. Frankly, we are all going to make too much money for what we can do coming out. While I'm not certain, partners most likely think we get paid too much.

Also, where is this money coming from? I doubt it would come out of the pockets of partners. So, you might make more, but you will have to bill more, or they will hire less first years. Either way, you are going to be working harder and you life as a result will be less fulfilling (unless the only way you can define yourself is by being a BigLaw Hotshot Lawyer with a six figure salary and if that is the case I'm not sure "fulfilling" is really an accurate description of your life). Is $30K more a year really worth it?

One poster mentioned he/she wasn't sure what NYC firms have to offer since you are basically getting paid less once you factor in cost of living. That is a fair statement, and one I thought at the start of the job search. However, NYC firms can offer jobs where as some of the smaller markets cannot. Right now, the job market SUCKS. Many, many people with great grades and good personalities cannot get a job here in Atlanta (I go to Emory). However, we can find jobs in NYC and CA. So while Atlanta may offer a better COL/pay ratio at least at first), there are less jobs to go around, so it really isn't an option. I think the big firms here got caught up in the salary raises and now it is starting to hurt them.

well yeah that's another aspect of it. nyc attnys generally work harder than attnys in other markets. so not only do we (i.e. nyc associates) have to deal with the obscene CoL, we also have to deal with the fact that our supervising partners are generally going to demand more. from a career point of view, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, esp if you plan to lateral into something a little more functional after several years of hard on the job training. still, the fact remains that you expect some form of compensation commensurate with the level of effort you're putting into your job. yeah, bonus serves this function but a lot new attnys expect still expect that representative wage... which, depending upon how you look at it, doesn't exist in nyc anymore.

a couple of things that i attempt to remind myself of:
-when i applied to law school in '05, the biglaw wage was 125 and that seemed amazing to me. the fact that i'm now complaining about 160k is (at least on some level) semi-absurd.
-though i have to pay ~6k in city taxes, i don't have to 1) get a car, 2) pay for insurance, 3) spend hours in rush hour per week, and 4) worry about paying for egregious gas fees [i.e. these things have a way of balancing themselves out]
-yeah ok you don't need a car in DC either and you're still getting 160 - ok, fine, but i personally believe that the 6k is more than worth the price paid for living in DC ;)
-if and when 190k actually does happen, it'll happen in nyc first! haha, at least i, uh, have that ..

so what's up with hoboken? i heard that it's semi-quiet / boring and more or less reserved for 30 somethings. is this an unfair mischaracterization? fun place to live? it sounds like it might be a viable alternative to living in the city [my studio apt is 2700 a month ... ridiculous]

Job Search / Re: Are NY firms going to $190K
« on: September 27, 2008, 06:30:36 AM »
it'd be nice to see some sort raise in NY (at least in NYC) as living in NYC is not cheap. for example, only in NYC do you have to pay a "city tax." city tax, at the 160k base pay rate, comes to some 6-7k per year in additional tax revenue taken out of your pay check. this is not a modest sum. true, you can avoid this tax by living in new jersey, but then you're commuting a semi significant distance and, uh, living in new jersey (which, imho, sort of defeats te purpose of being in NYC in the first place).

anyway, the point is the NYC is an incredibly expensive place to live - much more expensive than say DC, TX, TL, and CA (excluding a few select areas in SF). traditioanlly, NYC paid the top market rate for this precise reason. if you wanted to attract the top people, you had to pay the top rate (which, when coupled with the allure of nyc itself and th prestige of the whole "nyc biglaw" thing, made for an attractive package). now, many markets pay the same rate. in a lot of ways, those of us who are earning market in NYC (an turned down other markets which pay at the same wage) are paying a not insignificant sum to be surrounded by the big buildings and the pretty lights. with student loans payments and the like pending, you have to wonder if its really worth it.

i think that a lot of people are saying "no" these days and going elsewhere. unfortunately, as thorc accurately pointed out, most NYC firms are incapable of making bonus this year, let alone raising to some ridiculous first year wage. the reality (and i've heard it form the managing partner of our associates' committee) is that 1) clients are unwilling to subsidize 190 for first years and are grumpy about paying 160 as is, 2) 98% of NYC firms jsut don't have the available capital to legitimize such a move without either firing support staff or lowering your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year pay scales, and 3) the 190k myth is more of a law student driven myth than anything else; very few firms have discussed it in a serious context.

you might it see it at a small handful of NYC firms (i.e. the 2500+ mandatory billables sweat shops) make the move sometime within the next year or two, but generally speaking it isn't happening.

Transferring / Re: GW Transfer Registration
« on: September 22, 2008, 06:53:52 AM »
nah i graduated. in nyc now. work is nice though i'd be lying if i said that i have done more than just doc review at this point. all the same, it's nice to collect that paycheck.

Transferring / Re: GW Transfer Registration
« on: September 20, 2008, 02:51:02 PM »
Banzaf does that closed book multiple choice exam which is crazy difficult.  Just make sure you get a copy of the "rock" early and start going over it.  I didnt have him, but I heard horror stories.

Ill add some to the list of must takes:

1) Peterson (he does civ pro, but he does some upper level class to)
2) Suter (amazing prof, teaches toxic torts classes)
3) Kerr (if you can get him for computer crime, even better)
4) Saltzburg (for any of his classes... easiest prof ive ever had.  Reading is pretty much optional and he teaches straight from power points that he posts online anyway).

Thanks for the tips :)  I have Peterson all year for civpro thank god - he's awesome :)

todd "silver fox" peterson - hands down my best 1L prof (esp entertaining while flirting with the various women in the class)

Transferring / Re: GW Transfer Registration
« on: September 20, 2008, 02:50:32 PM »
4) Saltzburg (for any of his classes... easiest prof ive ever had.  Reading is pretty much optional and he teaches straight from power points that he posts online anyway).

how'd you end up doing in that class? i still haven't checked my 2nd sem 3L grades haha ;)

Job Search / Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« on: September 03, 2008, 12:51:31 PM »
Do you like Phil Collins?

Job Search / Re: Does anyone know anything about Howrey?
« on: September 03, 2008, 11:48:55 AM »
lit-only sweat shop

if that's ok with you, it's a good firm

Job Search / Re: Job Prospects for Tier 2 Schools
« on: September 01, 2008, 08:21:36 PM »
I was talking to my 2L "friend" (well the term friend is being used loosely here as he is an appointed mentor and I am his mentee and this is obviously something that will be put on his resume to bolster it further, which, I suppose in the law school context, doesn't automatically disqualify him from friend status - it's more a probationary measure than anything else) about my post-1L biglaw job anxieties and he informed that if I fail to finish in the top 95% of my class Cravath might not be an option. This was not good news and it took me at least 2 minutes and 34 seconds (I count the seconds off in my head as I'm waiting for my heart rate to drop sub 185 beats per min) to regain the powers of speech. He looked as if the thought of calling for an ambulance crossed his mind. Apparently he is a stranger to full blown panic attacks .. rookie. Needless to say he told me about what to do and what not to do during a job interview. I asked if he had any "nightmare" interviews. He related this story:

"Well there was one firm that I wasn't really all that interested in; only a V20, you know?"

I nod emphatically, knowing exactly what he was talking about

"So I'm sitting there as you'd expect; I don't really mind answering all of their little questions - it's a part of the process, but then the interviewer had the audacity to say:

'Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me?'

Me: 'Are you serious? We have 35 minutes left...'

Interviewer: 'Of course I'm being serious - did I give the impression that I was not?'

Me: 'Well no.. it's just that, well.. 35 minutes for me to ask you questions? Come on, doesn't that strike you in the least bit as maybe being just slightly ridiculous? You and I both know why I am here, and it isn't because I enjoy the industrial chic decor of the lobby - what is this place, by the way, a Chipotle? I know your average first year billables, I know your practice areas, I know your first year salaries, and I know the average bonus per first year - what exactly is there left for us to talk about? Sure, I could waste our mutual time and ask you questions about your practice and you could filibuster about some case that you tried 23 years ago and I could zone out and dream about what it would be like to @#!* your undoubtedly disproportionately hot wife on your desk and I could sit there and nod in feigned interest and then I'd ask you about lifestyle and community and you'd talk about pro bono and I'd smile an impressed smile and raise my eyebrows to show approval and then you'd conclude that really what keeps you going is the caliber of the people that you work with ... except neither of us would believe a single word of it though your delivery would be so slick that maybe, for just a brief minute or two, you'd even have yourself convinced that the poo you're shoveling was grade-A authentic and then you'd give an obvious look at my resume to remind yourself of my name and you'd stand and then I'd stand and we'd shake hands and if you introduced yourself as Pat I'll say 'Good bye Patrick' and you'll say 'best of luck to you Steve' even though the name Sam was lingering on the tip of your tongue...

... and I'll leave your office and there in the hallway, while rejoicing in paroxysm of relief that stems from completing such an extreme exercise in banality, I will meet your secretary who will then guide me to the next office to repeat this horrible crime-of-a-process all over again. So, maybe you were serious, maybe you weren't - either way, it doesn't really matter at this point. I'm qualified and I'll work hard. Why don't we just cut the crap and make a decision now?'

I was escorted out of the building by security."

And now I am afraid to ask the next question as it might prove to myself that despite my (and his) spectacular resume, a V20 might actually turn me (and him) down should the interview be.. well... less than pristine.

"Did you, ummm, well ......... get an offer?"

And as soon as I ask I realize that I have committed a major faux pas, for now I have forced him into either admitting that he was turned by a V20 (God forbid that the word get out about this, his local rep would be ruined!) or lying about his rejection.

His shoulders shrink, and his eyes flash in disappointment - maybe in me asking the question, maybe in himself for not getting the offer .. the eyes move too quickly to get a solid read.

"Hmph, no .. no, no offer."

Awkward silence ensues.

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