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Author Topic: Life As An Associate  (Read 173185 times)

intent06

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #100 on: January 11, 2007, 03:42:55 PM »
they are not in at the moment, that's why I was inquiring with you knowledgeable people here!!  I am going to stop by there tomorrow.  My interview went great, but I just want to be prepared just in case everything turns out positively.
Damn...it's the third year already!!

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #101 on: January 11, 2007, 03:45:35 PM »
they are not in at the moment, that's why I was inquiring with you knowledgeable people here!!  I am going to stop by there tomorrow.  My interview went great, but I just want to be prepared just in case everything turns out positively.

what did they ask you in your interview? glad it went well!
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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #102 on: January 11, 2007, 04:04:28 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...

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #103 on: January 11, 2007, 04:11:32 PM »
"Thinking they don't exist is the same mentality that keeps people in law firms that run like sweatshops..."

And not sharing which firms do have better quality of life only serves to perpetuate that mentality  ::)


Yeah there is a firm out there guys... I swear it (I just can' tell you cause the boogieman will come get you)!

A.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #104 on: January 11, 2007, 04:13:11 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?

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #105 on: January 11, 2007, 04:25:38 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.
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2007, 04:36:18 PM »
cost of living is also double that of NYC.  if you are going to the firm I think you are going to they have a lovely new office (have to love the cafe terrace!).  that said, the American team works hard--not New York hours but definitely much harder than their UK counterparts.

I should say both firms I've worked/will be working for definitely are "lifestyle friendly."  But work is work and when it creeps up on you and there is a deadline all the apologies in the word doesn't make up for the fact that you are in the office on the weekend or that you find yourself checking your blackberry constantly.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #107 on: January 11, 2007, 04:47:19 PM »
cost of living is also double that of NYC.  if you are going to the firm I think you are going to they have a lovely new office (have to love the cafe terrace!).  that said, the American team works hard--not New York hours but definitely much harder than their UK counterparts.

I should say both firms I've worked/will be working for definitely are "lifestyle friendly."  But work is work and when it creeps up on you and there is a deadline all the apologies in the word doesn't make up for the fact that you are in the office on the weekend or that you find yourself checking your blackberry constantly.

not quite double, but you make a valid point. still, i think if you live frugally, making that much money you can save a lot, regardless of where you are in the world.
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intent06

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #108 on: January 11, 2007, 05:51:25 PM »
they are not in at the moment, that's why I was inquiring with you knowledgeable people here!!  I am going to stop by there tomorrow.  My interview went great, but I just want to be prepared just in case everything turns out positively.

what did they ask you in your interview? glad it went well!

She asked me why I was interested in coming to the agency and what I could contribute to the organization.  She also asked about my writing and research skills.  The summer clerks end up doing about 20-25 appellate reviews/decisions so I was excited about that.  Overall, I think she was impressed and now I am about to forward her my closed legal memo from last semester as my writing sample.

Sounds like a great opp for an unpaid position.  Now its time to get ready for the BIGLAW firms and see what they are going to talk about :)
Damn...it's the third year already!!

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Life As An Associate
« Reply #109 on: January 11, 2007, 08:11:22 PM »

B - From one hustler to another, I feel what you're saying. From the outside looking in BigLaw seems to be the ultimate come up for somebody applying to law school, and $145k in New York, at first glance, seems like the lottery if you've never made that kind of money before.  However, its been said 1000 times but its worth repeating, there are far easier ways to make 6 figs if making 6 figs is your goal.  In other words, if you do go the BigLaw route strictly for the money then you are probably going to hate life and be counting down the days until you leave.  Many of the blue chip associates make about 25 to 35 bucks an hour when you break it down by the amount of time they put into it. Most plumbers make twice that and still go home at 3pm.  Not to discourage you, but just make sure you know what you're getting into, which it sounds like you do.

I think law firms have such a high turnover rate because it seems like both law students and pre-laws alike suffer from this dillusion that working at a law firm is going to be like working at Mickey D's or whatever limited work experience they have had thus far - which is then further exacerbated, as OSA pointed out, by the wining and dining that the law firms put out for the summer associates so that you leave thinking that sh!t is sweet. Then you come back as a full time associate and POW they smack the big d!ck on you.  That's when many cats start to hate their life and start looking for a new line of work with this law degree that they just dropped $100k on in loans.

Personally, I may be one of the few strange legal nerds who actually LIKES litigation and the law in general, so I'm sort of looking forward to this Biglaw experience, keeping in mind that this is only a stepping stone to help me get my own stuff going in the not-so-distant future.  As long as you know wsup from the gate you should be ok.


I usually agree with your comments, but I find the bolded argument to be specious. In order for a plumber, or anyone else at a $30/hr wage, to make $145k/yr (the starting salary in most of biglaw), they would have to work a grip of overtime. Even if they wanted to, they probably couldn't because their employers wouldn't let them.


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.
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