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Author Topic: distinguishing one firm from another...  (Read 4029 times)

Krisace

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2007, 08:13:16 AM »
I definitely wouldn't ask about quality of life - you can find that out by getting  info from other former summers from your school,. abovethelaw.com, igreeedy associates, and Vault Gold.  All asking about it will do is make for some generically pleasant conversation.  Every firm will tell you the same thing.  Plus, to the wrong interviewer it may make it look like you aren't there to bill the 2,100 hours they want.

Alamo79

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2007, 09:16:19 AM »
Yeah, QOL has never worked for me in an interview, even w/firms that pride themselves on QOL; many of these firms have inferiority complexes about the quality of the work they do, so I'd emphasize that.

Profits Per Partner is probably about the best inverse measure of QOL you can find.  The higher profits per partner, the more they squeeze out of each associate.  Unless you're hell-bent on making partner and accumulating as much money as possible, you don't want a high-PPP firm, and if you're in a career so much for the money, you may be better suited to i-banking.

If you're just trying to impress interviewers for this summer, use the buzzwords you find on their website.  Some may talk a ton about client service; some may be big on pro bono.  If a firm mentions that it gives junior associates a lot of early meaningful experience, definitely hammer on that.

If you're trying to figure out which firm you actually want to work for, you need to ask people who work there if you have any contacts; if you don't, gauge the people you meet at interviews.  You're going to be spending a lot of time at the office; probably the most important criteria for long-term success is how happy you are working with the people in the firm.  Equally or secondarily important is the nature of the work you're doing; if you're stuck on doc review for several years, that may sour you on lawyering for life.


DISCLAIMER:  This post is not legal advice.  Alamo disclaims any and all liablity for interview gaffes, disastrous career moves, mid-life crises or other consequences of following the advice given above.

Ad oculos

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2007, 10:19:00 AM »
Quote
Profits Per Partner is probably about the best inverse measure of QOL you can find.  The higher profits per partner, the more they squeeze out of each associate.  Unless you're hell-bent on making partner and accumulating as much money as possible, you don't want a high-PPP firm, and if you're in a career so much for the money, you may be better suited to i-banking.

I'm not sure I believe that.  Profitability is influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the amount of work associates do.  But also consider billing rates, steady stream of work, high value clients, amount of dead weight in the partnership, fiscal responsibility of the firm, etc.  Those are all factors that influence PPP.

GA-fan

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2007, 11:47:39 AM »
Yes, PPP can be influenced by a lot of factors, but between looking at that and the Partner to associate ratio, it's the best approximation you can get to estimate how much of a sweatshop a firm is. It's about as foolproof as LSAT/GPA correllating to LS grades. Not spot-on, but a definite correllation.

Alamo, I LOLed over your disclaimer  :D

jacy85

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2007, 05:08:26 PM »
If you really want to ask about QOL, ask after you have an offer.

ANBUDOM

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 10:19:47 PM »
DISCLAIMER:  This post is not legal advice.  Alamo disclaims any and all liablity for interview gaffes, disastrous career moves, mid-life crises or other consequences of following the advice given above.

I do everything you tell me to sensei...

Oh and you may also wanna inquire about how many summer associates are extended permanent offers at the end of their summer clerkship.  Most biglaw firms are close to 100% but if yours isn't, you may wanna reconsider going there
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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2007, 09:40:01 AM »
NALP already has the numbers for all BIGLAW firms re summer associate offers.  Don't ask a question when the answer is available online.

Pmass322

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2007, 10:51:09 AM »
So what does the partner-associate ratio mean?  The fewer associates per partner means higher QOL or lower?
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GA-fan

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2007, 02:11:12 PM »
NALP already has the numbers for all BIGLAW firms re summer associate offers.  Don't ask a question when the answer is available online.

Not quite true- NALP doesn't have the 2007 summer offer data- only 2006. I've heard a couple firms seriously cut their offer ratios this past summer because of the economic downturn fears- and those don't show up on the NALP data. You might want to ask someone at the firm for this past summer's numbers before you accept an offer.

Krisace

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Re: distinguishing one firm from another...
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2007, 02:02:47 AM »
In my opinion, correct me if I'm wrong, I've viewed firms with a 3 or 4 to 1 associate to partner ratio as firms that work their attorneys harder than a firm with fewer attorneys per partner.