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"Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?

MHLM

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"Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« on: November 13, 2007, 09:04:32 AM »
Can someone please explain the distinction between these firm positions? I understand Associate and Partner, but what exactly is the role for those with titles like Senior Attorney, Attorney, and Of Counsel? I assume an "Attorney" would be someone who has senior status to an Associate but isn't technically a shareholder of the firm...am I on the right track? Also, (probably a dumb question) but what is a lateral hire?

Thanks guys.

I am Penny Lane

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Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 09:08:23 AM »
Go see Michael Clayton and all wil be clear.

Actually, I'm not 100% sure, but I thought this would be better then typing "tag."

MHLM

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Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 09:13:55 AM »
Go see Michael Clayton and all wil be clear.

Actually, I'm not 100% sure, but I thought this would be better then typing "tag."

I haven't seen a movie in forever...do you recommend it? Might as well ask while we're off topic.

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Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 09:16:54 AM »
It wasn't AMAZING, but I did enjoy it. If you enjoy going to movies, it is worth seeing. And you can never go wrong with George Clooney (Liz, can I get an Amen?).

Oh and you will find yourself laughing at stuff that the rest of the audience (non lawyers/potential lawyers) does not. 

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 07:28:32 AM »
Can someone please explain the distinction between these firm positions? I understand Associate and Partner, but what exactly is the role for those with titles like Senior Attorney, Attorney, and Of Counsel? I assume an "Attorney" would be someone who has senior status to an Associate but isn't technically a shareholder of the firm...am I on the right track? Also, (probably a dumb question) but what is a lateral hire?

Thanks guys.

The firm I work at, there are three levels: Associate, Of Counsel, and Partner.  People are Of Counsel for a few reasons.  Some are old and are mostly retired or part time, so they don't hold full partner status anymore.  Some are lateral hires who are too senior to come in as Associates but not yet proven enough to become partners.  Some just aren't interested in the partner track (for whatever reason.)  It really depends on the firm.  We don't do "senior associate/junior associate" but some attorneys take it on themselves to call themselves those things anyway. :)

A lateral hire is a hire of someone who isn't coming straight from LS.  So, an experienced atty.

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 02:59:50 PM »
different firms use different titles, but the general framework is the same. a 'counsel' or 'non-equity partner' is an experienced atty who makes more than a senior associate but does not share ratably in the firm's profits. a counsel might be someone who runs deals but does not have his own book of business (or so i have heard). 'of counsel' or something similar might be a 'retired' (but still working) partner or something like that. a lateral is someone who is hired from another firm/legal job.

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2007, 04:13:16 PM »
All true, but it does vary by firm.  For instance, at some firms "counsel" refers to people who are senior attys on the partnership track.

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 04:46:11 PM »
All true, but it does vary by firm.  For instance, at some firms "counsel" refers to people who are senior attys on the partnership track.

i think that's true if you mean all counsel are eligible to become partners if they develop a big enough book of business, but the same holds true for senior associates. if you mean to say that certain senior associates are designated 'counsel' because they are 'on the partnership track' while some other seniors are not, i highly doubt it. that would kill morale. how long would you stay at a firm if you were a senior associate but weren't designated counsel? again, i think it just signifies that you have more experience than the senior associates, and you make a little more, but you're still non-equity.

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 05:04:43 PM »
All true, but it does vary by firm.  For instance, at some firms "counsel" refers to people who are senior attys on the partnership track.

i think that's true if you mean all counsel are eligible to become partners if they develop a big enough book of business, but the same holds true for senior associates. if you mean to say that certain senior associates are designated 'counsel' because they are 'on the partnership track' while some other seniors are not, i highly doubt it. that would kill morale. how long would you stay at a firm if you were a senior associate but weren't designated counsel? again, i think it just signifies that you have more experience than the senior associates, and you make a little more, but you're still non-equity.

Boies Schiller uses this designation to refer to people that are "on deck" to be partners; it's an intermediate position between the two titles but is not the dead end that it is at some firms (where counsel = "you can stay, but you'll never be a partner here").  I have no idea if they make everyone counsel or not; the title of "senior atty" technically exists there, but there aren't any people there with that designation--which could mean it was the kiss of death to those people, and they left, or it could mean that people who aren't going to make partner are left permanently in "counsel" limbo.

Re: "Senior Attorney" v. "Attorney" v. "Of Counsel"...?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2007, 06:37:23 PM »
What do you know about Boies? Do you work there? I've identified it (just from online info) as the number one place I would like to work should I decide to become a corporate associate ever.