Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?  (Read 12944 times)

BoscoBreaux

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2005, 03:10:30 PM »
Except in reality you bill an average of 50% of the time you spend at work.


Bosco, I'm not sure where you got your number from, but the math doesn't reasonably add up.
The math yields a perfectly reasonable result when one knows how much each profession makes, and how many hours each person within the profession works. The math is rather simple.

BoscoBreaux

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2005, 03:16:01 PM »


I guess what I'm trying to say is that biglaw isn't the only way to make a fortune.
It is the easiest way for uncreative persons who have never worked a full-time job, and hence lack a valid comprehension of what it means to toil for a living, to make a few bucks.

taterstol

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
  • Current 1L
    • AOL Instant Messenger - CoolDorky
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2005, 03:29:49 PM »


I guess what I'm trying to say is that biglaw isn't the only way to make a fortune.
It is the easiest way for uncreative persons who have never worked a full-time job, and hence lack a valid comprehension of what it means to toil for a living, to make a few bucks.

Have a look at the bios of the attorneys at any biglaw firm--you'll see many, many attorneys with substantial previous work experience.

I worked at a factory the summer between college and law school--averaging between 50 and 60 hours a week. I can tell you with absolute certainty that sitting at a desk for 60 hours a week doesn't compare. Sixty hours at the firm doesn't make every muscle in your body hurt.

Nobody is criticizing the people who choose not to work at a law firm. I don't understand your need to criticize those who do.

Trel

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 392
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2005, 06:57:14 PM »
I'd suggest everyone google "On being a happy, healthy, ethical member of an unhappy, unhealthy, unethical profession" by Patrick J. Schlitz and read it before you commit yourself to the biglaw route.  It's a very worthwhile read.
You can see my numbers at LSN

taterstol

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
  • Current 1L
    • AOL Instant Messenger - CoolDorky
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2005, 07:04:46 PM »
I'd suggest everyone google "On being a happy, healthy, ethical member of an unhappy, unhealthy, unethical profession" by Patrick J. Schlitz and read it before you commit yourself to the biglaw route.  It's a very worthwhile read.

agreed. very interesting stuff.

BoscoBreaux

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2005, 07:57:24 PM »
[quote author=ziti link=topic=33446.msg531252#msg531252 date=111590642

Nobody is criticizing the people who choose not to work at a law firm. I don't understand your need to criticize those who do.
Agreed. There is nothing wrong with working in a law firm, or BigLaw specifically. It is an admirable profession, provided that you don't aspire to it based on delusions.

BAFF213

  • Guest
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2005, 10:59:41 AM »
Exactly.  Everyone has to 'pay their dues' so-to-speak.  We do it in kindergarten, then freshmen in high school, undergrad, and then 1l in law school; so why should we be suprised when as a new associate at BigLaw we get the shi$% work?  It isn't that expected?

Sounds like a frat.

nekko

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2005, 11:31:24 AM »
I think a 50% estimate of billable time is remarkably low. At least where I work 70% or higher is a good general rule. If you're not billing at that rate then it might just be not taking in enough work.

Why not become an entrepreneur? Most people coming out of law school can't afford to buy a rundown hotel in hawaii. For that matter most people coming out of law school can't afford to buy a bedroom in a rundown hotel. But that aside there's the risk factor. If you want to be an entrepreneur why go to law school? Why not just get an MBA? Also sure you can make money by putting out your own shingle but it's not exactly easy and the likelihood of failure is very high. It's a very competitive market. Plus if you have an interest in a particular area of law you can't exactly graduate and then start getting clients for international work or whatever.

Re: avg. hourly rate comparison
A) That excludes bonuses. If you're averaging 70hours a week with a normal amount billable you should be hitting bonuses for billable hours ranging from 5-15k.
B) So the head janitor or someone likely to have been working several years makes a little bit more than someone who is just starting their career? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

KODIAK

  • Guest
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2005, 11:50:18 AM »
Yeah after telling myself throughout my youth and young adulthood that I would never do "biglaw" I have now found myself very fond of the idea.  My dad works in a big DC firm and I remember watching him work his butt off when I was really young, working tons of hours.  But I think there's something kind of noble, 'manly' if you will, about having a high stress job that pays the bills. 

Also, if you want to eventually try something other than practicing law, like going in house as a general counsel, big law is the ticket.  Our family friends who my dad practiced with as an associate have done everything from becoming partners in the firm to running mutual fund and commercial real estate companies to heading up divisions at the SEC.  But it all starts with proving yourself at a big firm.

jonstern

  • Guest
Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2005, 12:20:09 PM »
HippieLawChick: While BigLaw might help build the skills needed for a successful Public Interest career, it might come at the expense of opportunities to build useful connections for those jobs. At an admitted students' day I attended, I sat at lunch with the school's director of public interest law. Some students asked about doing biglaw for a few years, and she said that it was very possible but harder to do, since a lot of public interest jobs are obtained by connections (not necessarily a problem). Also, a lot of public interest employers want to be sure that you are really committed, and not just burnt out from the longer hours. I would say that you should build a relationship with some of your future potential public interest employers, and make sure you have a good exit strategy before you go in to a big firm.

Also, while my experience in the matter is limited, the first year associates I talked to at two of the big NYC firms told me that they are expected to use all of their vacations. These aren't particularly lifestyle firms either.