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Author Topic: ABA: Downturn’s Losers: BigLaw, ‘Entitled’ Associates, Top Schools  (Read 4500 times)

Naked Promise

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I think that it will be harder to get jobs from top schools, but it will also be harder from lower schools. Hiring will become tougher across the board. So, instead of the entire class at a top ten school, it will be the top half or something. At a lower school it will be top fifteen percent instead of top thirty. I agree with the poster above that said that grads coming from HLS will still be better off, on average, than others.

Frylock

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<---biglaw-bound entitled associate from top school

<---loser, apparently
LSN

Matthies

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<---biglaw-bound entitled associate from top school

<---loser, apparently

you will probabaly end up as a managing partner
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

ISUCKATTHIS

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You're obviously a loser.  Goatees haven't been cool since, like, 1997.

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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I don't understand the gloom and doom predictions.  This is a recession.  Costs get cut during a recession.  There are also boom years.  Things go up.  Companies, especially GCs, are more willing to pay for quality.

There's an odd psychology to it all.  Timemachine old posts from that biglaw board in 1999 and you'll see over-optimism; I assure you that there will be posts about how the internet boom will never end, and everyone should be an IP lawyer.  Timemachine posts from xoxo in 2002 and you'll see horrendous pessimism.  People can never be moderate in their predictions, but what about this one:

In a few years, the economy will improve, and firms will over-hire.  Then the economy might stall and they'll lose some, or recruit less.  Then they'll over-hire again.  This is life.  You can't go nuts about a business model just because of a bad economy.

ISUCKATTHIS

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"In a few years, the economy will improve, and firms will over-hire.  Then the economy might stall and they'll lose some, or recruit less.  Then they'll over-hire again.  This is life.  You can't go nuts about a business model just because of a bad economy."

I think this is right and that everything is cyclical.  I do, however, think that there was a bubble in legal hiring that was fed by the financial services bubble.  I don't think the next upswing will be nearly as high as the last one, a couple of years ago.  The simple reason for that is that a lot of the financial services "profits" paying for all that extra hiring turned out to be bullsh@t.

The present situation reminds of me of the "internet law" bubble in 99 or so.  People in the late ninties were bending over backwards to claim some tangential connection to software and communications technology so they could be "internet lawyers" for all those startups that never actually got to the starting up part.   Those jobs evaporated with the bursting of the bubble and never returned.

Rule of Reason

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re: "Entitled" Associates
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2009, 04:24:33 AM »
At the second tier school I'm at the entitlement thing is really disgusting. I imagine my school isn't even as bad as the norm, but yeah, its like after 1 year of grades, the top students who landed top jobs are "entitled" to everything.. This includes placement on moot court teams, tutoring positions, school-paid trips, easy A's in uncurved courses -- geez, half of the faculty and staff totally buy into it. So its part systematic and part psychological, I guess. And I certainly don't think everyone's like that -- its just a phenomenon that's noticeable. All of the sudden, a few students who seemed normal 1st year think everything's a contest that they have to win, and if they don't, something's not fair because obviously they're better than the others. 

As someone who still gives a darn about school after 2 years (and whose paranoia is perhaps gradually expanding :D) I really felt like some of my classmates were basically messing things up for everyone else on the basis that they felt entitled to school benefits due to their "elite" status. All of the sudden its like there's a lobbying group for people who think they deserve higher grades in a class, and complain that if they don't get the A's, they might lose their big firm job offers.  I am not spiteful - I want people to keep their jobs, but it is rediculous that they think they are entitled to special privileges at the expense of myself and others.  I mean, I might as well write them paychecks if that's the case... oh wait I'm six figures in debt too and major firms aren't even an option, or a "necessary evil" etc. But if someone has that opportunity, they'll fight like hell to maintain it, and expand on it in a number of ways (see above). 

Isn't there an economics principle that the person with more money on the line should always win a dispute? Well, ok, it's something like that...


TheReasonableMan

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One would hope that the surviving firms will come out of this thing with an eye toward more effective recruitment techniques.  In the past, larger firms had mountains of money to train new associates.  Thus, the skill and ability of a first year attorney out of the gate has traditionally been of secondary concern.  99.9% of recruitment has focused on school name and grades, allowing the firm to proudly tout to clients that it recruits only "top talent," but not necessarily resulting in the hire of people who were most prepared to make money for the firm.  Recruitment based solely upon 1L grades has traditionally ignored not only the academic achievements of students in their 2L and 3L years, but also a range of non-academic achievements, such as moot court performance, internship and clinic experience, and law review publication. It has also generally ignored other intangibles, such as prior career experience, or particular non-legal skill, all of which may be indicative of a student who is more prepared for immediate professional success. For most large firms, the pool of potential post-grad hires is limited in the fall of the 2L year, before any true metric other than first year grades is available.

What we should expect to see down the road is a new crop of highly successful law firms rising from the ashes.  These firms will likely seek to recruit hungry law students falling outside of the top 10%, whom big law firms have traditionally ignored. Such firms could find success in a market of shrinking billable rates, by recruiting students who may not have been at the very top of their class, but who have set themselves apart in ways other than being the best at taking a 3 hour final.  These firms can recruit from the rather large pool of above the curve students, who have spent their law school career doing everything they can to soak up experience and build skills, but do not come with the entitlement complex to feel that 80k directly out of school is an insult. I would hazard that young attorneys of this background would produce on a level at or above that of their top 10% peers, but with a fraction of the cost and attitude. 

RonSantoRules

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 I would really like to learn how to be a non useless lawyer when I graduate but I do not see any law school course offerings that will help me accomplish this goal besides "native american arrowhead law" and "gender and the law." who says that 40 grand a year for law school isn't worth it.

uh huh.

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I would really like to learn how to be a non useless lawyer when I graduate but I do not see any law school course offerings that will help me accomplish this goal besides "native american arrowhead law" and "gender and the law." who says that 40 grand a year for law school isn't worth it.

clinics and externships.  they're something, anyway.

You can also try to get a part-time job as a law clerk for a small law firm or solo pratice.  They are always looking for cheap labor, and you'd likely be given the opportunity to do real lawyering type tasks (like drafting parts of memoranda or contracts).  That was my experience when I was a law clerk.