There's some speculation that Mid Law will weather better than Big Law during this downturn b/c, costs being lower for clients, Mid Law might see an uptick in business that would've gone Big Law otherwise.
Quote from: Tetris on February 15, 2009, 01:24:34 AMThere's some speculation that Mid Law will weather better than Big Law during this downturn b/c, costs being lower for clients, Mid Law might see an uptick in business that would've gone Big Law otherwise.This is proving true for my firm. We are getting new business from clients who used to utilized us only for certain areas of our practice, and we are pretty busy. Also, santropez points out an excellent benefit to MidLaw - the partnership track is pretty solid.To answer some questions - I did do my SA work at this firm. My particular firm does not hire 3Ls that were not part of their Summer Associate program, but I know of other mid-size firms that are not as exclusive in this regard. My biggest piece of advice to those seeking MidLaw positions is to research the firm completely before you draft a cover letter or interview so that you can come up with very specific reasons why THAT firm is where you want to be. I interviewed with both BigLaw and MidLaw firms, and the MidLaw firms seemed much more interested in what my personal goals were and how I would be a good match for their firm. (Not that the BigLaw interviewers didn't care about that; it's just that I had to be very specific and precise with the MidLaw firms). Some MidLaw firms do go through OCI (mine did), but most do not, and you have to seek them out. A listing of where the alumni from your school are practicing will likely produce an comprehensive list of MidLaw in your area.
Can you talk about the quality of life/work/balance, etc.? I think a lot of people are curious in trying to figure out the differences between a "Midlaw" firm job and a biglaw job.Do you interact much clients? What are you practicing in? Because you're working for a smaller firm, do you get to be a part of more practice groups?
Quote from: Changed Name on February 17, 2009, 10:26:27 AMCan you talk about the quality of life/work/balance, etc.? I think a lot of people are curious in trying to figure out the differences between a "Midlaw" firm job and a biglaw job.Do you interact much clients? What are you practicing in? Because you're working for a smaller firm, do you get to be a part of more practice groups?Life/Work Balance: Part of the reason I chose my firm was the fact my firm encourages its attorneys to "have a life" because attorney exposure to the "outside world" has proven to be an excellent source of new clients. I think this is a sound business model, and frankly, I have enjoyed the firm's desire to help us new associates develop our practice at such an early stage of our careers. Aside from that, there are weeks that I work like a dog . . . but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The partners generally go out of their way to make sure they are not infringing on our downtime and I rarely have to do work on the weekend. But if they need me to work extra late here and there, I have no problem taking one for the team, and it's usually very appreciated. I think I'm extremely lucky in that I work for some amazing people, so I can't say that this will be everyone's experience in MidLaw. My understanding from my peers in BigLaw is that BigLaw firms OWN their associates 24/7. I have a couple of friends that haven't had a day off in seven or eight weeks . . . and some who had to work on Christmas day. Meanwhile, I took the three days between Christmas and New Years off and no one had any problem with that. Sure, I did a little work from home, but it was a small price to pay for having a week and a half out of the office.Client Interaction: YES - I get to interact directly with clients on a regular basis. Putting it in perspective - I've only been with the firm full time as an associate since September, and I am already the "go-to" associate for two of our clients. In other words, they call me before they call any other attorney at the firm. It's a little intimidating, but so cool. I am a bankruptcy attorney, which is a practice area that affords newer associates many opportunities to draft and interact with clients, since one bankruptcy case can spawn tons of adversary proceedings and motions. I also am involved in my firm's labor and employment practice, which dovetails nicely with my bankruptcy practice. I have found that if I want to get involved with a certain project the firm is handling, all I have to do is ask. But again, this will depend greatly on how the individual firm operates.Hope this is useful information!
You mentioned that you have friends working in Biglaw firms; would you say that because you're more involved in cases, etc. that you are learning more than your peers at the bigger firms or do you think y'all are learning at about the same rate (i understand that things can be vastly different depending on the firms)? My goal, ideally, is to learn as much as I can in the first four-five years and then branch out on my own, and start my own small firm/solo practice.