Where should I go next fall? / Re: Why does everybody want to do BIGLAW? (obligatory capitalization)« on: April 03, 2007, 09:01:27 AM »
1. Why does everyone think that you have to be in top 1/3 of your class to get BigLaw? That's very much a myth, at least if you go to the T14. What do you think -- the bottom 70% of GULC grads (or even Texas or USC or UCLA grads) all work at midlaw or public interest? I know people who graduated in the 30-20 percentiles at these schools and got multiple V100 firm job offers. Maybe not Wachtell Lipton, but good firms.
2. When people female dog about BigLaw, what are they comparing it to? Banking (90-100 hr weeks, little job security)? Medicine (4 years of hell followed by 4 more years of grueling residency working 80 hr weeks minimum for crappy pay, then get sued for malpractice)? Consulting (work your butt off for the luxury of maybe parachuting into some deadend corporate mgmt job)? People say these jobs suck at least as much! Perhaps private equity is better, but so is being an astronaut or a movie star -- only 3-5% of the very top bschools go into PE or VC.
At least biglaw gives you a very good salary w/ job security and reasonable, somewhat predictable hours (~60 hrs/week). I guess the grass is always greener, especially to 25 yo's who never had an alternative point of reference.
Exactly. Any high end job will require many hours of work. My buddy is an analyst for citi in NY and works 8am-midnight regularly. He says getting home by 9 is a light day. Also, in the end, as a lawyer you're selling a service: legal expertise. This is no different than any other business. Lawyers are in high demand because of the complex nature of the US legal system. I work as a paralegal in a midlaw firm that works biglaw cases. The lawyers there bill about 2100 a year, have great salaries and bonuses, and do a lot of pro bono work that would be tough to find outside the firm. People need to get beyond the Hollywood/popular conception of lawyers and law firms. A lot of the attorneys at my firm really enjoy the work they're doing.