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Author Topic: Family Law BIGLAW?  (Read 876 times)

NeoElle

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Family Law BIGLAW?
« on: March 06, 2007, 09:30:32 AM »
Hi Everyone I'm new to the board.  I really want to go into Family law but don't know if it's worth it financially.  I'm definitely more drawn to the personal/counselor side of the law, rather than the merger/acquisition or financial side.  However, it seems that BIGLAW only goes for the latter. 

Are there BIGLAW (high-paying firm jobs) available in Family Law ?
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LawLady

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 10:05:09 AM »
Big firms cater to everything that their rich clients want.  If the CEO of Coca Cola wants a divorce, they are sure to handle it for them.  Also, the little firm I used to work at shared an office suite with a solo practitioner who was considered one of the best family lawyers in the city.  She made a TON of money.  Make yourself the "best" and you will always get compensated accordingly.

GA-fan

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 10:34:14 AM »
Lol. Not likely. There are probably family law boutiques that cater to wealthy clients (just as there are estate law boutiques), but I'd suggest you go on Vault or NALP and look at the practice areas most NALP firms list for a reality check.

NeoElle

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 12:59:29 PM »
Big firms cater to everything that their rich clients want.  If the CEO of Coca Cola wants a divorce, they are sure to handle it for them.  Also, the little firm I used to work at shared an office suite with a solo practitioner who was considered one of the best family lawyers in the city.  She made a TON of money.  Make yourself the "best" and you will always get compensated accordingly.

Hm, ok.  So you're basically saying there's money to be had but it will most likely be in solo practice rather than with a firm.  So in that case do you recommend that I spend my summers with a successful family law solo practitioner rather than a top firm?
OSU Moritz College of Law c/o 2010 --I think, see below =(

Waitlisted: ND, GW, UIUC & WUSTL

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NeoElle

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 01:00:03 PM »
Lol. Not likely. There are probably family law boutiques that cater to wealthy clients (just as there are estate law boutiques), but I'd suggest you go on Vault or NALP and look at the practice areas most NALP firms list for a reality check.

I know what the NALP is but how would I search for that?
OSU Moritz College of Law c/o 2010 --I think, see below =(

Waitlisted: ND, GW, UIUC & WUSTL

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Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 01:39:47 PM »
http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_advanced.asp

Search by practice area... mind you this is just a rough guide because firms don't always report every single practice area they might cover.

I would say, in general, that you will be hard-pressed to find the major law firms doing family law. Their primary clients are large corporations with almost unlimited supply of money (to pay $700/hr for a partner to supervise a document written and researched by $350/hr mid-level associates). These clients simply don't have a demand for family lawyers.

NALP does have a limited number of mid-law and boutique firms, however, so you might find something in there that interests you. If you are into family law, you will probably need to expand your search beyond NALP and Vault.   
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UChi2L

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 07:14:10 PM »
Big firms cater to everything that their rich clients want.  If the CEO of Coca Cola wants a divorce, they are sure to handle it for them.  Also, the little firm I used to work at shared an office suite with a solo practitioner who was considered one of the best family lawyers in the city.  She made a TON of money.  Make yourself the "best" and you will always get compensated accordingly.

Not necessarily.  Most family law shops are smaller and specialized.  There are a lot of great family lawyers who work as solo practitioners.  I don't know of a single BIGLAW firm that does family law, because the malpractice insurance is WAY higher and for most of them the money coming in from that type of a practice isn't worth the huge jump in insurance premiums firmwide.
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jacy85

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 12:03:02 AM »
Big firms represent the corporations, not the CEOs.  There's a huge difference.

A UChi said, family law tends to be smaller and more specialized.  An alum I met at a networking event told me that he got his job with his firm through a guy he played basketball with.  He's now a partner, and his firm is one of the largest family law firms in the city.

He said if I was interested in family law, I should find out when the fam law section of teh local bar assoc. met (the one here has monthly breakfast meetings), and attend.  Start meeting people, asking them how they got into the business, and network.  It's probably the best way to find out for sure if family law is for you, and also will help you get a job.

NeoElle

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 01:08:55 AM »
Big firms cater to everything that their rich clients want.  If the CEO of Coca Cola wants a divorce, they are sure to handle it for them.  Also, the little firm I used to work at shared an office suite with a solo practitioner who was considered one of the best family lawyers in the city.  She made a TON of money.  Make yourself the "best" and you will always get compensated accordingly.

Not necessarily.  Most family law shops are smaller and specialized.  There are a lot of great family lawyers who work as solo practitioners.  I don't know of a single BIGLAW firm that does family law, because the malpractice insurance is WAY higher and for most of them the money coming in from that type of a practice isn't worth the huge jump in insurance premiums firmwide.

I'm wondering something...  If BIGLAW can't afford the cost-benefit downside, how do solo practitioners swing it?
OSU Moritz College of Law c/o 2010 --I think, see below =(

Waitlisted: ND, GW, UIUC & WUSTL

Haven't heard from: UCLA

UChi2L

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Re: Family Law BIGLAW?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 07:11:12 AM »
It's not that BIGLAW can't afford it, it's just not worth it to them to have to pay the higher premiums when individual clients (as opposed to institutional ones, with whom they normally deal) don't bring in the major money.  Plus, BIGLAW partners bill upwards of $600/hr, and most individuals aren't willing to pay that much even for the best divorce attorney. Solo practitioners and smaller firms (that do primarily family law) deal with the higher cost of malpractice insurance because family law is all they do.
I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah.