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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 166984 times)

intent06

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #110 on: January 11, 2007, 08:12:59 PM »
So are you saying that I should drop out and go to trade school????  Oh no, what have I done!!!!! lmao :D
Damn...it's the third year already!!

EEtoJD

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #111 on: January 11, 2007, 08:20:09 PM »

Ah, but you'll notice that I never claimed that plumbers can make 145k. (union regulations only allow so many hours)  I just pointed out that many get paid 60/70 dollars per hour.  Thus, the compensation for their time is better rewarded on an hourly basis than many law firm associates.

Very true. I was just saying that it's not really possible for them to make that much money... you said that there are easier ways to earn $100k+. While this is true, I think that biglaw is likely the quickest (with the exception of i-banking) and most secure (unlike i-banking) route to this kind of money. Hell, I'd eventually make that much as an EE, but not after at least my Master's and about five years of experience (or Ph.D. and a year or two, either way) -- and there's a ceiling in these professions that lawyers can cross more easily (without an MBA, that is).

Of course, if you're just thinking about the money, you're a soulless, money-grubbling piece of slime anyway, so it sucks to be you (not you, people like this).  ;D
I can't believe these obnoxious Michigan students, who use the board not to share information, but to socialize (as pathetic as that is)

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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #112 on: January 11, 2007, 08:20:33 PM »


SERIOUSLY.

this is an often neglected fact. if you don't love the law, BIGLAW is NOT worth it. you will be working a lot. too much. more than a human being should. if you're the happy hour after work, football game on saturday and sunday kind of guy, you should expect to give those things up, at least for the first few years.

academia it is.


... or find a firm that doesn't think it owns your nights and weekends for 145K (or 300K)... they exist.

Who? Where?

Mine. Here  ;).  I'm not kidding.  We have monthly informal "pay day" happy hours that are well attended (often even by people who've left the firm).  We have a send-off party at a restaurant every time someone quits.  We had a beerfest when 100% of our first years passed the bar, and another for 100% attendance to some silly training program.  At least 2x last month I got invited to lunch by two different partners I don't even work with, and they didn't even pitch work.  I've said no to extra work from partners without feeling that I'd be penalized.  I can count on one hand the number of times in 7 months that I've had to work on a weekend, and I've received an apology each time.  And the best part, they'll pick up 100% of my FT law school tab and I don't even expect my life as a "work-study" law student to be unbearable.  Our starting salary is 145K, in NYC with a billable hour target of under 1900.  I don't know anyone who's not met the target for lack of work.  I'm sure we have our negatives too... like not having free soda in the office, no gigantic bonuses, and no person in the bathroom to hand me towels ;D.  We may have some slave drivers who are not as humane but I don't personally know any and haven't heard or any.

I won't out my firm... but these firms are out there... they may not be the Skaddens, Wachtells or Kirklands (I won't work for any of those if you tripled my salary) but they exist. 

Thinking they don't exist is the same mentality that keeps people in law firms that run like sweatshops...
yes, these firms exist!

i think my firm is pretty good too. since it's not in the US there's not a culture of huge events and lavish spending, but my salary, which is nearly double of NYC market more than makes up for that. there's a nice lady that brings tea twice a day. associates rarely work past 6 and the firm isn't huge on facetime. you have a life and they value that. it's kind of refreshing actually. and i get bonus after just 1500 hrs.

True, there are many "mid sized" to slightly "large" sized firms in NYC that break away from the norm, but the norm for most is still 2100 billable hours if you're talking about $145k.

Our firm only requires 1900 as the min and kicks in bonuses for every 100 hours thereafter, which is pretty cool IMO.  But I haven't heard of too many that go under 1900 and maintain $145k.  (not to say they don't exist)
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intent06

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #113 on: January 11, 2007, 08:25:56 PM »
Congrats Sands....I was in the harsh 1L trenches so I haven't been around much to congratulate you on your job offer.  So...Congrats Sands!!
Damn...it's the third year already!!

ananse

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #114 on: January 11, 2007, 10:03:10 PM »


SERIOUSLY.

this is an often neglected fact. if you don't love the law, BIGLAW is NOT worth it. you will be working a lot. too much. more than a human being should. if you're the happy hour after work, football game on saturday and sunday kind of guy, you should expect to give those things up, at least for the first few years.

academia it is.


... or find a firm that doesn't think it owns your nights and weekends for 145K (or 300K)... they exist.

Who? Where?

Mine. Here  ;).  I'm not kidding.  We have monthly informal "pay day" happy hours that are well attended (often even by people who've left the firm).  We have a send-off party at a restaurant every time someone quits.  We had a beerfest when 100% of our first years passed the bar, and another for 100% attendance to some silly training program.  At least 2x last month I got invited to lunch by two different partners I don't even work with, and they didn't even pitch work.  I've said no to extra work from partners without feeling that I'd be penalized.  I can count on one hand the number of times in 7 months that I've had to work on a weekend, and I've received an apology each time.  And the best part, they'll pick up 100% of my FT law school tab and I don't even expect my life as a "work-study" law student to be unbearable.  Our starting salary is 145K, in NYC with a billable hour target of under 1900.  I don't know anyone who's not met the target for lack of work.  I'm sure we have our negatives too... like not having free soda in the office, no gigantic bonuses, and no person in the bathroom to hand me towels ;D.  We may have some slave drivers who are not as humane but I don't personally know any and haven't heard or any.

I won't out my firm... but these firms are out there... they may not be the Skaddens, Wachtells or Kirklands (I won't work for any of those if you tripled my salary) but they exist. 

Thinking they don't exist is the same mentality that keeps people in law firms that run like sweatshops...

How does your experience differ from, say, a 6th-year associate on the partnership track?

Alci, I don't really know, but I guess they'd be less enthusiastic. Not really sure what it takes to make stay partner at my firm... I figured I'd start caring once I was done with law school.

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #115 on: January 11, 2007, 10:12:32 PM »
Exactly.

ananse

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #116 on: January 11, 2007, 11:08:25 PM »
Exactly.

Well, I didn't think this discussion was limited to the lifestyles of 6th year associates on partnertrack...  How many of those make 145K in NYC? It'd be unreasonable to expect that you can coast your way to partnership anywhere; I don't think I gave that impression with my post. 

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #117 on: January 11, 2007, 11:20:54 PM »
Exactly.

Well, I didn't think this discussion was limited to the lifestyles of 6th year associates on partnertrack...  How many of those make 145K in NYC? It'd be unreasonable to expect that you can coast your way to partnership anywhere; I don't think I gave that impression with my post. 

You gave the impression that your firm didn't work people as hard as other firms.  While perhaps true, I think your impression is clouded by the fact that you're not actually an associate trying to make his way up to partner and dealing with the concomitant pressures.

ananse

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #118 on: January 12, 2007, 09:18:32 AM »
Exactly.

Well, I didn't think this discussion was limited to the lifestyles of 6th year associates on partnertrack...  How many of those make 145K in NYC? It'd be unreasonable to expect that you can coast your way to partnership anywhere; I don't think I gave that impression with my post. 

You gave the impression that your firm didn't work people as hard as other firms.  While perhaps true, I think your impression is clouded by the fact that you're not actually an associate trying to make his way up to partner and dealing with the concomitant pressures.

Alci, you make a valid point.  However, it's also possible that that pressure, while it might exist, isn't pervasive here.  That I've been doing the work of an associate for several months (and will graduate LS as a mid-year second year associate if I stay) and haven't felt any pressure to look into what it takes to make partner (up until now, thanks to you) shows that "partnership-or-bust" is not the general vibe around here.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #119 on: January 12, 2007, 10:50:34 AM »

Ah, but you'll notice that I never claimed that plumbers can make 145k. (union regulations only allow so many hours)  I just pointed out that many get paid 60/70 dollars per hour.  Thus, the compensation for their time is better rewarded on an hourly basis than many law firm associates.

Very true. I was just saying that it's not really possible for them to make that much money... you said that there are easier ways to earn $100k+. While this is true, I think that biglaw is likely the quickest (with the exception of i-banking) and most secure (unlike i-banking) route to this kind of money. Hell, I'd eventually make that much as an EE, but not after at least my Master's and about five years of experience (or Ph.D. and a year or two, either way) -- and there's a ceiling in these professions that lawyers can cross more easily (without an MBA, that is).



I'd have to strongly disagree with that proposition.  I think that's the common misconception that's shared by a lot of undergrads and pre-laws that drives the masses to enter law school.  Law School is perceived as this "get rich quick" scheme or something that anybody with a degree can jump into in order to significantly increase their financial status.

Don't get it twisted, BigLaw makes you upper middle class at best, but not rich by any stretch of the imagination.  Especially in New York City.

As far as being the quickest path to this level of financial status, I can easily point to a few of my friends from back home who have started their own businesses while working for somebody else during the day, and one who has chipped away at the residential real estate market with only a 35k/yr salary who both started around the same time as I started law school - both of whom have since quit their day jobs and are clearing 10 to 15k per month.  Straight chillin. (in the mid-west I might add where cost of living is nada)  No law school loans, no med school loans, no MBA loans to worry about.  No federal or state income tax taking 33% of their checks each month.   Whatever they make is whatever they make.  Truth be told that's where I'm trying to be.  I'm using the law firm to get there.

You brought up stability - As long as you're working for somebody else, regardless of your profession, your financial status is never stable.  You can be fired at any time for no reason at all by your employer. Law firms are no exception.  Associates get canned all the time for a multitude of reasons, or, for no reason at all.  At will employment, baby.  Gotta love it.

So fastest track?  Not hardly.  Most stable?  Not really.  If we limit the scope of our debate to the fastest and most stable among professional/graduate degrees only then I'll concede that the JD's earning potential is usually superior to  that of the MBA, but below that of the MD; and the JD is typically more stable than the MBA but typically less stable than the MD.  But that's if we limit our scope to only consider graduate degrees.  Outside of that, regardless of what degree we all run out and get, that tends to, at best, make us the #1 person to work for somebody else's business/partnership/corporation who probably didn't even finish college (vis a vie Bill Gates).

Just my 2 cents.
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