Law School Discussion

Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE


Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« on: October 14, 2008, 03:01:02 PM »
Right now I'm literally 50-50 on this.  Thanks in advance!

1.  Both in my location preference.
2.  Both are 50-200 attorneys (the size I'm looking for).
3.  No real preference as far as "vibe" or cooler/nicer people.
4.  Firm A is more estbalished and renowned (Vault "Power 500" firm); Firm B is a pretty young firm, less established, but still top 5 in the area. 
5.  Firm A offers more practice areas in general, and more practice areas I'm interested.  Firm B has a couple areas I'm interested in, so that's not really a problem.  But I'm thinking Firm A is more stable since Firm B only has 3-4 practice areas. 
6.  The big one in Firm B's favor - much lower hours.  I'm pretty big on having a life outside work.  Based on testimonials and billable hour requirements, I'd work 45-50 at Firm B, and 50-60 at Firm A. 

Re: Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 07:53:19 PM »
If you like the city, and don't want to go elsewhere, I would just take the one with the lower hours and call it day. Here are somethings that are nice about Firm B:

1) Lower hours
2) Young firm + good rep = potential to grow.

Throw the Vault stuff out the window. If B is a "top 5" for the area, and you like the area, I think that shouldn't make a difference.

I guess the only downside after that is practice areas. While A may have more practice areas, are they well developed? I sort of think its better to be excellent at 3 than good to very good in 10. (Not sure if that is the case, but something to think about). One caveat: if Firm B's PAs are cyclical or volatile (real estate for example), if they all hit a rough patch you might be in trouble.

However, if you step back for a second, I think you may be in a "can't go wrong situation." What is the downside to picking the "Wrong" firm? Doesn't seem like there is one. Good luck.


Re: Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 08:14:32 PM »
^Thanks, that's very helpful.

Your comments about the practice areas actually make this even tougher. 

If Firm B were excellent at their 3 areas, and Firm A was just "good" at all 10 of their areas, this would be over.  But Firm A is easily top 3 in the state in a couple areas (and practice areas that are very, very stable).  Firm B only has 3-4 practice areas, but isn't OUTSTANDING at any of them.  A couple of those areas also might be cyclical (estate planning, real estate, M&A, general business litigation).

But with that said, Firm B, while young, has had pretty solid and consistent growth over the last 10 years.  And I guess the fact that they haven't cancelled their summer program (or even made it smaller) this year says something. 

Re: Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 08:20:59 PM »
Hmm ... I'm not sure what you are interested in, but now that I think about it, maybe the opportunity to explore many practice areas is a better option?

If you are really concerned about 1) stability or 2) practice areas, maybe you could ask someone at B if they had plans to expand practice areas and what there strategy is to keep the firm going in such trying times. Something to think about. Also, if you can, try and meet more people from both firms and see if something all of the sudden clicks.

As I said, tough choice, good luck, but you are probably OK either way.