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Author Topic: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?  (Read 2466 times)

cisforcookie

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in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« on: February 28, 2008, 12:06:37 PM »
Do any of you have experience looking for enjoyable work for law firms that fall between these extremes of lowly sucktitude and lofty towers? I'm imagining firms of 15-75 lawyers, but perhaps that is off the mark. Was your job search almost entirely a mail 100 letters for every 1 response jungle? do these sorts of firms usually only hire attorneys who have already passed the bar? Do you know of people who chose this type of work over "biglaw?" Anything that you think might be relevant to a person looking at such work would be much appreciated.

FreddyPharkas

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Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 05:19:30 PM »
Do any of you have experience looking for enjoyable work for law firms that fall between these extremes of lowly sucktitude and lofty towers? I'm imagining firms of 15-75 lawyers, but perhaps that is off the mark. Was your job search almost entirely a mail 100 letters for every 1 response jungle? do these sorts of firms usually only hire attorneys who have already passed the bar? Do you know of people who chose this type of work over "biglaw?" Anything that you think might be relevant to a person looking at such work would be much appreciated.

My school has this thing several times a year where employers come to the school and interview. All you do it submit your resume and they have to interview you. The hardest part is picking which offer to accept. It's called "OCI" at my school, perhaps your school has something similar?

McLovin

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Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 06:53:04 PM »
Do any of you have experience looking for enjoyable work for law firms that fall between these extremes of lowly sucktitude and lofty towers? I'm imagining firms of 15-75 lawyers, but perhaps that is off the mark. Was your job search almost entirely a mail 100 letters for every 1 response jungle? do these sorts of firms usually only hire attorneys who have already passed the bar? Do you know of people who chose this type of work over "biglaw?" Anything that you think might be relevant to a person looking at such work would be much appreciated.

My school has this thing several times a year where employers come to the school and interview. All you do it submit your resume and they have to interview you. The hardest part is picking which offer to accept. It's called "OCI" at my school, perhaps your school has something similar?

It's called OCI at every school.

cisforcookie

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Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 07:17:01 AM »
Yes, I know about OCI. I was under the impression that most OCI firms were larger firms that could afford to hire well in advance. Did you find this not to be the case, that there were many smaller firms at your OCI?

mtfbwy

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Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 09:21:10 AM »
What (I think) you're talking about are either boutique (on the 15 lawyer end of your spectrum) or what I would call "premium midsize" (on the 75 lawyer end of your spectrum).  The boutiques tend to be highly specialized litigation shops; premium midsize firms tend to have mostly "middle market" clients (e.g., local companies, or they handle the local/regional affairs of national/international companies).  Both (generally speaking) tend to have hours requirements of around 1850, rather than the 2000 standard.  Total compensation (generally speaking) at a boutique can equal or exceed biglaw; total comp at premium midsize firms tends to be slightly less than the best biglaw firms (but note also that partnership prospects tend to be better at a premium midsize firm).

Both tend to hire mostly laterals from biglaw.  (Where do you think 50% of biglaw associates, who leave their firms between years 3-5, go? For those who don't go in-house, to the government, to academia, or into politics, boutiques and premium midsize firms are the destinations of choice.) However, boutiques and premium midsize firms do hire a very limited number of summer associates (who then return as associates after graduation).  But note that they are very selective (i.e., those hired at such places tend to have multiple offers from biglaw firms). 

If you're an editor of the law review at a top (i.e., top 6) school, after your prestigious federal clerkship, you might find yourself starting out at a boutique.  Otherwise, you might lateral to one after a few years at a top biglaw firm.  If you're merely on the law review at a top (i.e., top 14-25, depending on the market and just how "premium" the midsize is) school, you might land one of the three or four summer associate positions at a 75-100 lawyer firm.  Otherwise, you might lateral to one after 4-6 years and a good biglaw firm (this will be a highly practice area-driven outcome). 

In sum, it's really not an "either or" situation, i.e., if you are eligible for a job at a boutique or premium midsize (either as a summer and then first year associate or as a lateral), you will also have multiple offers in hand from the leading biglaw firms in your desired market. 

cisforcookie

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Re: in between insurance defense/contract work and v100, what?
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 11:22:50 AM »
the context of my question perhaps is important. I expect that I will have the choice to enter biglaw, but that I will not want to. I do not expect to have any debt, and I enjoy living simply, so, for me, money is not the issue that it might be for some people. I can afford to take much less in salary. What I don't know is whether entry level jobs like this even exist, or how a person goes about getting them.

Is it the case that there is no choice but to go to a biglaw firm? If so, I may decide not to go to law school.