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Messages - LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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31
An employer doing OCI at my school tomorrow has invited all students to stop by their hospitality suite to meet attorneys, learn about the firm, etc.  OCI employers preselect their candidates based on resume, transcript, etc. for interviews at my school.  All students are invited to stop by, but I wasn't invited for an on-campus interview.  Is this essentially an opportunity for an informal on-campus interview?  Or would it just be too awkward to go?

It probably is a good idea to stop by. I went by the hospitality suite of a firm I did have an interview with, but they were not interviewing at my school for the main office, which is the one I really wanted. So I stopped by the hospitality suite and chatted with the recruiter for a while. I wasn't really trying to score an interview, but I did tell her how I wished they were interviewing for said office here. She asked me to fax her my resume and that she would make sure the main office people got it. A week later I had  a callback from them.

32
2L job search / Re: Cocktail reception attire?
« on: August 21, 2008, 05:54:29 AM »
I look so much better in a damn dress... ah well. Thanks for the confirmation :)

A modest, business casual dress or a blouse and tasteful skirt should be fine for most firms. Most of the attendees from the law firm will be going straight from their offices and few firms actually require suits day to day anymore. You'll see some people in suits and some in business casual. If you have to be the most conservatively dressed person there, wear a suit. However, no one will judge you for not wearing something with a jacket if you wear otherwise tasteful business attire.

33
Law Firms / Re: Real deal on law firm life
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:18:07 AM »
Just make sure you know the real deal on how the rest of the world works as well.  There are very few jobs where you can come in, work 40 hours a week, and then completely mentally and physically check out at the end of the day and still get paid extremely well.

This is a great point. I worked in advertising sales for a decade before becoming a lawyer, and my work week now is really no different than it was before. Most jobs worth having are NOT 40-hour per week gigs, no matter what industry you're in.

Worth having in terms of financial or personal satisfaction? Or both?

34
Law Firms / Re: ITT: Accurate answers to questions about biglaw
« on: August 19, 2008, 05:12:45 AM »
My question is this:

Could you really pass up the money that comes with a biglaw job if you are offered such a position?

My personal answer is no, even though money isn't everything.  However, I plan to save as much money as possible so as to keep my options open.

I think due to heavy student debt, the answer for most people is no, at least in the short term. My law school had an excellent LRAP program and I would get virtually all my student loan payments covered that way, but I had some personal debt and other financial responsibilities (putting my counsin in Russia through college, making sure both of my grandmas over there have enough to eat, etc.) that I couldn't take care of making 30k/year, even if my loans were being paid for me.

35
Law Firms / Re: A question for people working in Biglaw...
« on: August 17, 2008, 07:52:25 AM »
Most attorneys prefer to work at home rather than in the office, but that's not always possible with every task/project. Staying late is not an indication that a firm is a sweatshop. My minimum billables are 1500 and few people here bill over 2000, but legal work is cyclical. There are weeks when I stroll in late and go home at 5:30 on the dot because there's nothing to do and there are weeks when I pull several all-nighters a week. It just depends on the group, the project and the market. And while it may not be true across the board, the timelines for most corporate deals are such that work is slow in the summer. It's usually quite busy before the winter holidays though because the banks want to push deals through before the end of the calendar year.

1500 hours per year is a very, very low billable hour requirement.  Is that standard in England?

I don't know and I don't much care. Minimum billables are a poor indicator of how much work you will do. My group's hours are roughly comparable to US groups in the other City firms. I probably bill a bit more because I get "borrowed" by a British partner who does a lot of CIS work and he keeps very long hours. I love working with him, though, so I don't mind.

36
Law Firms / Re: Real deal on law firm life
« on: August 17, 2008, 07:48:25 AM »
FInd out what the billing requirements are at the firms you are interested in, that will tell you how many hours you have to work. A 2000 hour billing requirment is going to run you roughly 60-70 hours a week at work, depending on how much nonbilling stuff you do (like eat, development, firm meeting). 1500 is going to run you about a 40 hours a week, both assuming you take 2 weeks vacation and holidays.

This is exactly why you shouldn't rely on this board to answer your question...ask a real lawyer, somebody in a big firm who actually bills 2000 hours/year.
n
To say that in order to bill 2000 hours you have to work 60-70 a week is utterly retarded.  Let's say you work 48 weeks out of the year...2000/48 = 41.6 hours/week...so assuming that you bill 80% of your time at work (which is a standard at many firms), you would have to work 52 hours per week.  Some weeks may require 60 or more, but average at my firm is ALWAYS under 60, and sometimes under 50...and its still possible to bill 2000.

Don't forget, pro bono work can often be included toward billable requirements (sometimes in upwards of 250+ hours). Think about that.

Actually, Galt's figure is not that far off.  We are discussing the MINIMUM billable hours. What you fail to take into account is that you are not free to stop working as soon as you reach the minimum, nor does your work day tailor neatly to the rigid calculation of 50 hour weeks. Some weeks will be 35 hour weeks, but most will be much longer than that. In reality, the billable minimums are useless as a measure of how much work you actually do. You do all the work that is given to you. When you meet your minimum billable requirement (you WILL do so and you WILL go over it) you are entitled to your bonus and/or you're "safe" for the year.


37
Law Firms / Re: ITT: Accurate answers to questions about biglaw
« on: August 17, 2008, 07:35:43 AM »
How hard is it, really, to get into biglaw coming from outside t14 (I'll be 20 or 22, whatever the hell they ranked us this year). You hear all this stuff about only top 25% of Ivy grads getting plum jobs, but then again you hear conflicting info too. What's the word?

It mattered a lot less 20 years ago than it does now. I know several partners very prestigious firms that went to lower ranked schools. Now it's definitely more difficult. Firms typically limit their OCI schedule to top schools and a few local ones, so if you're outside the market and outside the top 20 or so schools, it's more difficult to get your foot in the door. You might be able to score something through networking, but, again, it's more difficult than the traditional OCI path to employment.

It is absolutely NOT true that only the top 25% of Ivy grads get biglaw or what you are calling plum jobs.

38
Law Firms / Re: A question for people working in Biglaw...
« on: August 17, 2008, 07:29:26 AM »
LRP, are you happy with your decision to go into biglaw?  I recall you went to Berkeley...are you happy with your decision, and with the amount of time you expect to take to pay off your school loans?

Honestly, given my loan burden it would have been difficult to do anything but Biglaw. I have a very tight relationship with a PI organization that I summered and externed with in Florida, and while I could have taken a job there, financially, it made more sense to do Biglaw, at least for a while.

IF I am smart about it, it shouldn't take more than five years, but Biglaw comes with the burden of having to dress and live the part, so I am spending more money on things I wouldn't have before.

Craven, your summer experience is not really indicative of what is expected of you and what is indeed the daily reality once you join. When I summered, between my fancy lunches, dog & pony shows from every practice group and various other activities, I did maybe 2 hours of billable work each day. Now I rarely leave the office before 8 pm.

I summered at two V50 firms this summer, and 80% of the attorneys were bone by 6:30 every night. It really just depends on the market.

That is true, but you also have to keep in mind that summers are much slower for most firms and most practice groups than any other quarter.

My groups at both firms said the summer had been their busiest time of the year. While your point may very well be true generally, it doesn't account for my particular firms. The attorneys left early because a) the firms aren't sweatshops and b) some of them prefer to do extra work at home, rather than at the office.
Most attorneys prefer to work at home rather than in the office, but that's not always possible with every task/project. Staying late is not an indication that a firm is a sweatshop. My minimum billables are 1500 and few people here bill over 2000, but legal work is cyclical. There are weeks when I stroll in late and go home at 5:30 on the dot because there's nothing to do and there are weeks when I pull several all-nighters a week. It just depends on the group, the project and the market. And while it may not be true across the board, the timelines for most corporate deals are such that work is slow in the summer. It's usually quite busy before the winter holidays though because the banks want to push deals through before the end of the calendar year.

39
Just out of curiosity, what kind of moron puts all of their eggs in one basket anyway? It's sad that law school graduates need to be told such things. It's patently obvious that if there are a limited number of jobs in the field now, that another practice area might be a better choice for the short term. However, if someone really wants to practice securities law, I am sure that they will find a way to break into the profession, regardless of how the market performs. If the market doesn't rebound in six months or sixty years, there will still be work... only less of it. Besides, don't failing markets precipitate securities lawsuits? How many class action lawsuits have been brought against a companies because their stock soared?

Sure, that's exactly what I am warning people about.

Regarding more securities work when the markets are bad, well, that's not necessarily true. As you know, most securities suits are on the basis of some form of fraud or misrep. Bad markets are just bad luck and not necessarily fraud by the company/BOD.

wow you are the princess of wrong. Securities fraud suits happen in bad markets because 1) you need to prove loss causation in order to win a fraud case and a plummeting stock price makes it a whole lot easier. Stock prices plummet in bad economies. 2) People often commit securities fraud because their company is struggling and they are trying to boost the stock price to buy themselves time to fix thing. Companies struggle in bad economies. It's no coincidence that Enron/Tyco/Dynegy/Worldcom all happened when the economy went south at the beginning of the decade.

You missed an operative word up there. If you're too dense to see it, I'm not going to waste my time pointing it out to you.

40
"Could change" isn't a lot to hang your hat on. Just letting folks out there know what is happening on the inside and that they should probably look for signs of recovering markets before gunning for a securities job, if there are other options. In most firms (mine is an exception) you can fairly easily go from one practice group to another once you are in, so maybe starting out in litigation or something else that's got business right now would be better. Then you could always move into corporate finance if that's your thing.

thanks for the bad advice, again. While most firms will let you switch practice groups, that does not make it a good idea, since the way you gain value to a firm is by building up expertise in a particular area.

no *&^%? really? i had no idea!

anyway, last i checked job in litigation with plans to move pracitce groups was better than no job at all (because few securities positions are available).

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