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Messages - TheMaddRapper

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Is the legal market there as good as people say it is?

Of these I would easily pick UNC as best overall.  If you want to work in Atlanta, go UGA.

I am wondering how people feel about Alabama on this board.  I'm kind of considering it, as I would like to work in Atlanta but I can't get into UGA or Emory.  I know Alabama is best in its own state, but how does it do in the rest of the South (Tennessee, Georgia, Carolinas)?

Where should I go next fall? / Re: ITT: A WUSTL 3L answers your questions
« on: October 15, 2007, 06:49:34 PM »
Good to know.  How does the LRAP compare with those in the T14?

There's something I want to know about Georgia.  They say there are "waivers," one of which seems to be a convoluted way of saying "work for a Georgia company for an indeterminate length of time before going to school."  Is anyone better at decoding this than me?  Any people from GA who know what's up?

Where should I go next fall? / Re: ITT: A WUSTL 3L answers your questions
« on: October 15, 2007, 05:06:41 PM »
I was thinking about WUSTL but with my numbers...I predict I would get in with no money.  That's what it looks like on LSN.  And I can't believe that people really pay the full 40K or whatever per year for WUSTL.

What happens to the people at or below top third?  Are there some 70-110K/year midlaw firms to catch these people or is it straight to the toilet?

And how high up do you have to be to be fairly safe for Biglaw (provided you're not socially inept or very ugly)?  20%?  25%?  I would think top third would have a 50/50 shot at biglaw, but I could be wrong?

Yes, I hate insurance companies too.  It seems like their goal is actually to hurt people.  I definitely think there's a moral reason for being a PI plaintiff.  Yes, PI attorneys have the incentive to take as much from their clients as possible, but the law only allows a certain cut (1/3?) of a settlement.  Any money taken from insurance companies is good money in my opinion.

However, I fear that the kind of path the owner of your firm took may be untenable by the time I graduate law school.  There are so many more TTT law grads now (by TTT, I mean anything below Georgetown/UCLA/Texas or so, for simplicity's sake) that I think the price of billable general practices (like family law, small claims, DUI defense) is going to start going way down.  Meanwhile, tort reform in many states, especially the South, is making PI work unprofitable and limiting the universe of actional torts over which firms can compete to represent.  With more and more PI lawyers, the average settlement goes down because the PI lawyer is just trying to feed himself, and then the insurance company is more likely to take cases to court and the whole business goes downhill.

However, there will always be torts, and I still think if I want to make a living off them it should conceivably be possible.  I just don't know how to do it.

Thanks for all the answers.  There's not a lot of info out there about what life is like at these kinds of firms.

Are you told to expect a sizable bonus or will you always make around the base amount?  Do you have it in writing that you will get your cut for whatever you bring in?

I suppose my end goal would be to have my own PI practice, but I have no idea what I'd need to set that up.  What do you think you might be doing down the road?  Do you think pay goes up with experience?

I'm drawn to PI because it would feel good to "win" my earnings from some faceless corporation.  I suppose that's sort of romanticized but that's why I'm interested in torts and the law.  I have a high LSAT, so I have a good shot at the U of I, or at least a similar school (Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa).

I have no idea what I will end up doing.  Down in St. Louis there's a firm (SimmonsCooper) that does a lot of mass torts/asbestos sort of stuff.  I've heard that sort of business has gone downhill a little lately, but I think I'd enjoy that too.  I guess there's no way to know how it would turn out.

Thanks for your help.  I would like to do plaintiff work eventually, but I'm just trying to figure if I can get a job that pays enough to keep me out of poverty if I go to LS.  Your situation doesn't sound too bad, although I do wonder how you're going to pay it all off in 3 years unless you get a fat bonus or live in a trailer park or something.  My total debt will probably be a little under $100K, and I almost feel like I'm going to need to get biglaw to pay that off.

I think it would be really cool to work for one of the big PI firms in Chicago, but I suppose they don't pay much either.  Do you know any of the people in your class who ended up with firms like that?  How did they get there?  A lot of those firms keep their associates forever, so they must be paying them solid bonuses.

Also, what do you think a PI guy needs to have a good shot at going out on his own?  Lots of contacts for referrals?  You said you refer cases up to the big boys--do they ever refer cases too small for them down to you?  Or do you get most of your leads just from advertising?

I would really like to work for the kind of firm you're working for.  What you describe doing on a daily basis sounds fun.

I'm an 0L considering going to LS next year.  I can probably only get into a T25 or so, which isn't good enough to make very much money, but should be good enough to get a job like yours.

Here are some questions:

1)  I think these days, if you went to a TTT, didn't get top 5% for biglaw, and only delivered 47 resumes, your chances from being gainfully employed are about .0000001%.  Do you feel like you just got lucky?  Did you do anything special to get this job?

2)  Did you get major $$ for DePaul, and if not, how are you dealing with your debt?  Are you just making the minimums now and hoping that salary will go up in the future?  Is your base salary above $45,000?  Have older associates been disappointed by their bonuses?

3)  Are you afraid that if you don't start making money/bringing in business for your firm real soon, they will fire you?  For example, if your "meeting with potential clients" sales stops don't pan out, does it seem like they'll dump you for a better salesman, or are you providing other value to the firm?

4)  What has happened to most of your classmates?  Are they at all satisfied with their work?  Were most median students with no other special qualifications at least able to find paid non-doc review legal work after getting a license?

5)  What sort of work does your PI firm do?  Is it a personal injury player in the mold of Corboy, Anesi, Clifford, etc. that only does contingency cases?  Or does it do other billable work to keep the lights on?  How about mass torts/product liability--does it do any of that?

6)  Does your firm hire laterals from insurance defense, and if so, are such laterals likely to take a substantial pay cut?

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