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Author Topic: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?  (Read 12952 times)

tracigu3

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'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« on: May 10, 2005, 01:51:17 PM »
This thread is meant to be a discussion of the so-called 'BigLaw' Firms throughout the U.S.

Who works there now, and/or knows someone who works there now?
Which Firms do you like/dislike?
Why do you or don't you want to work there now or when you finish law school?
How do you plan on getting there?

Let the discussing begin...

tracigu3

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 02:24:51 PM »
Alright, I'll start.

I like the idea of 'biglaw' job after law school.  Good Money.  Good connections.  Great Experience.  Good exposure to different types of law.


BoscoBreaux

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005, 02:32:03 PM »
This thread is meant to be a discussion of the so-called 'BigLaw' Firms throughout the U.S.

Who works there now, and/or knows someone who works there now?
Which Firms do you like/dislike?
Why do you or don't you want to work there now or when you finish law school?
How do you plan on getting there?

Let the discussing begin...
I know two persons who work BigLaw, and it suits them fine: they love living and working in huge cities and love the "prestige" of working for well-known firms. They absolutely hate the 60 hour/week minimums and the 70 hour averages. While they like the $150Kish salaries, they hate that they can't afford to buy a house/apartment in the cities in which they work. And, they hate the fact that, at least for the first few years, you do a lot of uninteresting, grunt work for the upper associates and partners. Most of their co-workers get burned out before they get enough time in the firm to start doing interesting work. Of course, if you last that long, you can make a lot of money and start doing the type of work that you envision is done in a "BigLaw" firm.

tracigu3

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 03:43:14 PM »
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?  Of course it is, atleast as long as you don't go in with your head in the clouds.

limonjello

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 04:37:23 PM »
I'm pretty much in this boat.  I did the Big 6 consulting thing and know the workload and partner route routine, and it's not that big a deal overall if your temperament fits it.  It would suck to live in areas where you still can't afford to live so nicely, but I am not worried about that in Austin or Texas.

taterstol

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005, 06:59:01 PM »
I'm working at a biglaw firm this summer. Haven't started yet, so I can't speak to the specifics of the day to day (summer isn't day-to-day anyway, it's like a big party). But I'm excited.

F05HOPEFUL

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2005, 07:22:38 PM »
Alright, I'll start.

I like the idea of 'biglaw' job after law school.  Good Money.  Good connections.  Great Experience.  Good exposure to different types of law.



You are correct about the money, connections, but VERY VERY WRONG about experience and exposure.  I have worked in Biglaw (National firm).  Most attorneys (bar licensed attorneys, not summer associates) are not allowed to talk to clients or go to court.  Most do legal research for about 60-70 hrs per week.  Also, there is not much exposure to different areas of law.  Big firms try to capture economies of scale and you will work in a very specific specialty area with little or no deviation.

True, connections and money are very good, but it is MUCH MUCH different than you probably imagine.  One of my collegues (an attorney about 1.5 years out of BU) was so excited one day because he got to talk to a client for the first time -- 1.5 years!!


bacchus

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 07:52:24 PM »
Tater- From what I've read it's pretty tough to get a summer job after 1L.  Can you give us any advice?
A zen philosopher once said, "A flute with no holes is not a flute, a doughnut with no hole is a danish"

taterstol

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2005, 08:39:58 PM »
Tater- From what I've read it's pretty tough to get a summer job after 1L.  Can you give us any advice?

There's two kinds of jobs for first summer. Law firms and everything else. (this is oversimplifying it but not by a ton). The standard advice for law firms is to get really good grades, but I think more realistic advice is that it's just random and the more interviews you can get the better chance you have. I got hired by one out of the six firms I interviewed with; it's by far the best of the six, but I still got big fat rejections from the other five. I probably didn't interview well at some, or they didn't think I'd come back after law school maybe.

For all the non-law firm jobs, it of course helps if you have a connection somewhere, but things don't get really serious until february or so, which is when most places start looking for law students. A lot of schools give fellowships to students taking unpaid work. There are international internships you can do. Lots of government work if you're in the DC area, and local government/non-profit work for everywhere else. You could do work in-house for a corporation, too. Or you could be a research assistant for a law professor.

The point is to just get legal experience on your resume. There's really nothing that looks better than anything else, as long as you had a legal job. After that it's a function of what type of experience you want and how much (or little) you're willing to be paid.

texas1

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Re: 'BigLaw' Who Wants it? Who has it? Why?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2005, 09:58:27 PM »
Biglaw in TX doesn't seem like it will be so bad. The billable hour standards are much lower than in other large cities, and the cost of living is so much lower that your salary actually is Big out here.

I have a cousin who works for one of the top 5 in san antonio, and a friend who is a recruiter at one of the biggest firms in the state, and neither have tried to talk me out of it....yet.