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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 166854 times)

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2006, 09:41:32 AM »
If you hang around for two years and get this GS-15 position you are making above 120 (you will have time in grade and will likely have moved 1 GS grade up the lader. Is the extra 30-50k at a firm really worth losing 30 days paid vacation which you are usually forced to take.

Well, as you seem to have acknowledged, you can't make $100k immediately after law school.  So by the time you get 2-3 years of experience (which in actuality usually means 3-5), you will be making upwards of $250k in BIGLAW.  So the pay cut is not insubstantial.  That said, our view is rather skewed: only a small percentage of the people in this country make upwards of $100k.  You will have a pretty high standard of living as a government attorney...they're not poor.  But, relative to your BIGLAW friends, you will be making a lot less.

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2006, 09:43:22 AM »
Gov't is boring and slow. Everyone seems bored. I need just a little intensity, excitement, something!

Definitely not the case with my section.  These lawyers are doing some incredibly interesting stuff...something we're doing is in the news every day (literally).

pikey

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2006, 10:05:15 AM »
Now back to my question:

I would like to work for a bank in either trusts or real estate (or maybe even general counsel).  The problem is that they all ask for experienced lawyers.  If anyone knows a good way to get there without working BigLaw for a few years please let me know. 

Experience, is experience, regardless if it's with biglaw. However, if you wish to work in a big city, the banks will want biglaw experience. Perhaps try working in a smaller city for a few years, then work for a bank in a smaller city which will give you experience to work for a bank, in a larger city.

Are biglaw jobs more manageable/interesting in smaller cities (such as Charlotte)?  And is there any way to gain specialised experience in real estate or trust work in biglaw or other firms soon after graduating for ls?
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2006, 10:05:59 AM »
Gov't is boring and slow. Everyone seems bored. I need just a little intensity, excitement, something!

Definitely not the case with my section.  These lawyers are doing some incredibly interesting stuff...something we're doing is in the news every day (literally).

damn got sucked in anyway....^this is exactly right...not to mention how many high priced (Harvard, Stanford) recent grads take the Gov route because of loan forgiveness. I mean who do you think is on the other side of the aisle from defense lawyers in these high profile cases..duh. Of course they wont make as much as lawyers in private laws firms initially but many of them work as Govies for 5-10 years get experience and then walk into big law firms as partners or corporations as in-house councel due to the reputation they've created and the connections they have made. also in relation to the original post which started this entire debate...its a excellent alternative in my opinion to the reality that is biglaw. For those of you who do not have much real work experience you will soon find out ( i learned the hard way) that there is no amount of money in the world large enough  if you hate the job you are doing. as far as the old stereotype about government workers they still hold true in some of the lower priority agencies being a veteran the VA comes quickly to mind but certainly not in any of the Justice or Intelligence agencies. in addition 95-100% of white house assistants, executive  secretaries etc. have law degrees.
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2006, 10:08:51 AM »
Alci, I agree that as time goes on big law attorneys are going to makeing multiple times the govt attorneys but

1) 120K is 120k you are far from broke. Like I said even if your salary is in the 80's you will take home more than 100k because the govt DOES NOT factor in cost of living into their salaries. In addition all bonuses and allowances are TAX FREE. Loan FOrgivess is def worth a cut in salary. You make make 40k less but haveing no loans is def worth it.
2) You are propably going to get more hands on stuff with high profile work simply because the government is understaffed and short on resources.
3) You have to keep that big law job. I cant speak with certainity but I think you may have a little bit more job security around the 5-10 year range than a big law lawyer. In addition promotion potential would probably be higher with the govt from looking at the outside in.
4) Govt loves to hire in house. Govt likes to appoint in house. THis makes getting pigeonholed much more difficult as there are many options to choose from.

5)
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2006, 10:09:31 AM »
Now back to my question:

I would like to work for a bank in either trusts or real estate (or maybe even general counsel).  The problem is that they all ask for experienced lawyers.  If anyone knows a good way to get there without working BigLaw for a few years please let me know. 

Experience, is experience, regardless if it's with biglaw. However, if you wish to work in a big city, the banks will want biglaw experience. Perhaps try working in a smaller city for a few years, then work for a bank in a smaller city which will give you experience to work for a bank, in a larger city.

Are biglaw jobs more manageable/interesting in smaller cities (such as Charlotte)?  And is there any way to gain specialised experience in real estate or trust work in biglaw or other firms soon after graduating for ls?

I don't know Charlotte. You can specialize easier in a larger firm, but many smaller firms specialize in one practice area alone. Mine solely does PI, plaintiff, mostly car collisions.
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THE BLUE SWEATER

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2006, 10:11:09 AM »
Gov't is boring and slow. Everyone seems bored. I need just a little intensity, excitement, something!

Definitely not the case with my section.  These lawyers are doing some incredibly interesting stuff...something we're doing is in the news every day (literally).

damn got sucked in anyway....^this is exactly right...not to mention how many high priced (Harvard, Stanford) recent grads take the Gov route because of loan forgiveness. I mean who do you think is on the other side of the aisle from defense lawyers in these high profile cases..duh. Of course they wont make as much as lawyers in private laws firms initially but many of them work as Govies for 5-10 years get experience and then walk into big law firms as partners or corporations as in-house councel due to the reputation they've created and the connections they have made. also in relation to the original post which started this entire debate...its a excellent alternative in my opinion to the reality that is biglaw. For those of you who do not have much real work experience you will soon find out ( i learned the hard way) that there is no amount of money in the world large enough  if you hate the job you are doing. as far as the old stereotype about government workers they still hold true in some of the lower priority agencies being a veteran the VA comes quickly to mind but certainly not in any of the Justice or Intelligence agencies. in addition 95-100% of white house assistants, executive  secretaries etc. have law degrees.



Preach.
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Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..  The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

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A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2006, 10:12:46 AM »
Now back to my question:

I would like to work for a bank in either trusts or real estate (or maybe even general counsel).  The problem is that they all ask for experienced lawyers.  If anyone knows a good way to get there without working BigLaw for a few years please let me know. 

Experience, is experience, regardless if it's with biglaw. However, if you wish to work in a big city, the banks will want biglaw experience. Perhaps try working in a smaller city for a few years, then work for a bank in a smaller city which will give you experience to work for a bank, in a larger city.

Are biglaw jobs more manageable/interesting in smaller cities (such as Charlotte)?  And is there any way to gain specialised experience in real estate or trust work in biglaw or other firms soon after graduating for ls?

Technically, BIGLAW only applies to major markets like NYC, DC, ATL (borderline), LA, Chicago.  Charlotte is more Midlaw.  Anyway, Midlaw firms are generally more humane than BIGLAW firms.  With your WE, you can probably set yourself up to go into T&E.  But I doubt too many people here know much about it, so I'd talk to lawyers in the field to get advice.

EDIT: I also suggest doing a search on XO.  I recall some threads about T&E.

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2006, 10:15:21 AM »
Alci, I agree that as time goes on big law attorneys are going to makeing multiple times the govt attorneys but

1) 120K is 120k you are far from broke. Like I said even if your salary is in the 80's you will take home more than 100k because the govt DOES NOT factor in cost of living into their salaries. In addition all bonuses and allowances are TAX FREE. Loan FOrgivess is def worth a cut in salary. You make make 40k less but haveing no loans is def worth it.
2) You are propably going to get more hands on stuff with high profile work simply because the government is understaffed and short on resources.
3) You have to keep that big law job. I cant speak with certainity but I think you may have a little bit more job security around the 5-10 year range than a big law lawyer. In addition promotion potential would probably be higher with the govt from looking at the outside in.
4) Govt loves to hire in house. Govt likes to appoint in house. THis makes getting pigeonholed much more difficult as there are many options to choose from.

5)

I agree with all of your points (except, possibly, 4...I know of a lot of out-of-house gov't appointments).  I was just saying the pay differential is not as small as you initially suggested.

THE BLUE SWEATER

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2006, 10:39:24 AM »
It is small for those intitial years except for those who land the best firms. Not everyone is getting a 130k job starting. As far as appointments maybe not the high profile ones. However if you go on any major executive dept. And look at the low and mid level appointees. (I did state the other day) most of hem came from another government position. The exception are the high profile ones.....which goes to the chief executives buddies.
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Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..  The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

-Fredrick Douglass