OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

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r6_philly
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:18 am

JazzOne wrote:Aren't you gunning for IP. That's a whole other ballgame. lol

Age won't hurt you so much for IP. Graduate degrees will help for IP work, whereas they are virtually meaningless for any other kind of legal work.


Yes IP/Tech/Privacy. So that's different? I am not sure what sort of firm I would be looking at, so I guess biglaw doing the specialty is not out of the question. Want to work in Silicon Valley or back home here in Philly.

So what's in store for me? I guess the answer to this will help me decide where to go school.

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JazzOne
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby JazzOne » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:23 am

r6_philly wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Aren't you gunning for IP. That's a whole other ballgame. lol

Age won't hurt you so much for IP. Graduate degrees will help for IP work, whereas they are virtually meaningless for any other kind of legal work.


Yes IP/Tech/Privacy. So that's different? I am not sure what sort of firm I would be looking at, so I guess biglaw doing the specialty is not out of the question. Want to work in Silicon Valley or back home here in Philly.

So what's in store for me? I guess the answer to this will help me decide where to go school.

There are many big firms with IP departments. So, you can definitely target those firms. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of firms like Akin Gump or Fish & Richardson. But there are also a lot of boutique IP firms. These are smaller firms with unique cultures. There are a lot of IP attorneys with advanced degrees, and they seem to be a quirkier bunch than the corporate types. I was shooting for IP, but I couldn't get in with any of the big IP firms, so I'm working for a corporate litigation boutique firm. Nontrads probably have more success with boutique firms (at least I did). From what I gather, smaller firms don't have the same kind of indoctrination processes that larger firms have, so perhaps that explains why smaller firms are more willing to take on second-career lawyers. Boutique firms often offer some advantages over big firms. Some boutiques are "family" firms with low billable hours requirements. Others focus on narrow fields of interest like IP. Still others pay above market salary.

Do you have an advanced engineering degree?

r6_philly
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:28 am

JazzOne wrote:There are many big firms with IP departments. So, you can definitely target those firms. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of firms like Akin Gump or Fish & Richardson. But there are also a lot of boutique IP firms. These are smaller firms with varying cultures. There are a lot of IP attorneys with advanced degrees, and they seem to be a quirkier bunch than the corporate types. I was shooting for IP, but I couldn't get in with any of the big IP firms, so I'm working for a litigation boutique. Nontrads will probably have more success with boutique firms (at least I did). From what I gather, smaller firms don't have the same kind of indoctrination process that larger firms have, so perhaps that explains why smaller firms are more willing to take on second-career lawyers. Boutiques firms often offer some advantages to big firms. Some are "family" firms with low billable hours requirements. Others focus on narrow fields of interest like IP. Still others pay above market salary.


Thanks for the info, I should have asked you from the start since you are trying for it. So how much (range) should I expect to make in a boutique firm. Quality of life is important, so low hours and casual is probably better for me being a tech guy to begin with (you know we are the ones working in Fortune 50 who don't wear suits). Also, what do you think about my Berkeley vs. Penn situation. Does it make sense to pay more/owe more just to take more classes I like at Berkeley? Would Berkeley give me a huge leg up in SV? Thanks again, you are helping me a great deal.

ETA, no, I will have an MPA. I am eyeing a masters in CS, I am not sure if it is worth it, I have 10+ years of good WE dealing with the issues I want to work on.

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JazzOne
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby JazzOne » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:42 am

r6_philly wrote:
JazzOne wrote:There are many big firms with IP departments. So, you can definitely target those firms. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of firms like Akin Gump or Fish & Richardson. But there are also a lot of boutique IP firms. These are smaller firms with varying cultures. There are a lot of IP attorneys with advanced degrees, and they seem to be a quirkier bunch than the corporate types. I was shooting for IP, but I couldn't get in with any of the big IP firms, so I'm working for a litigation boutique. Nontrads will probably have more success with boutique firms (at least I did). From what I gather, smaller firms don't have the same kind of indoctrination process that larger firms have, so perhaps that explains why smaller firms are more willing to take on second-career lawyers. Boutiques firms often offer some advantages to big firms. Some are "family" firms with low billable hours requirements. Others focus on narrow fields of interest like IP. Still others pay above market salary.


Thanks for the info, I should have asked you from the start since you are trying for it. So how much (range) should I expect to make in a boutique firm. Quality of life is important, so low hours and casual is probably better for me being a tech guy to begin with (you know we are the ones working in Fortune 50 who don't wear suits). Also, what do you think about my Berkeley vs. Penn situation. Does it make sense to pay more/owe more just to take more classes I like at Berkeley? Would Berkeley give me a huge leg up in SV? Thanks again, you are helping me a great deal.

ETA, no, I will have an MPA. I am eyeing a masters in CS, I am not sure if it is worth it, I have 10+ years of good WE dealing with the issues I want to work on.

It's hard for me to say what is the lower end of the pay scale for IP firms. I know there are some shitlaw firms out there paying $35K or whatever they can get away with, but I don't think that applies so much to IP boutiques. I'd guess that the lower end for a respectable IP outfit is around $80K for a lifestyle firm (midlaw). There are quite a few biglaw firms with IP departments, and they all pay the market rate ($160K). And then there are a few boutiques that really try to attract talent by paying above market ($175K-$195K). All these are base salaries, of course, and nearly every firm pays bonuses of some sort.

I've heard that Berkeley's biglaw placement lags behind its peer schools', but I'm no expert on T14 placement stats. Perhaps it's different for IP work, particularly in California.

r6_philly
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:49 am

JazzOne wrote:It's hard for me to say what is the lower end of the pay scale for IP firms. I know there are some shitlaw firms out there paying $35K or whatever they can get away with, but I don't think that applies so much to IP boutiques. I'd guess that the lower end for a respectable IP outfit is around $80K for a lifestyle firm (midlaw). There are quite a few biglaw firms with IP departments, and they all pay the market rate ($160K). And then there are a few boutiques that really try to attract talent by paying above market ($175K-$195K). All these are base salaries, of course, and nearly every firm pays bonuses of some sort.

I've heard that Berkeley doesn't place as well as its peers, but I'm no expert on T14 placement stats. Perhaps it's different for IP work, particularly in California.


If I can get in a boutique firm that pays closer to 200k I would be elated. Where are they usually located?

Is there a way to find out IP placement, or should I just not worry too much about it? I feel like I can be competitive with my background and my interview/professional skills, but hearing multiple people mention Berkeley not placing as well makes me a bit nervous. My wife and I are very interested in moving to the Bay Area, but I suppose I can wait until after I graduate from Penn. I guess I should research the boutique firms as soon as I figure out who they are.

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sojasoph
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby sojasoph » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:01 am

checking in.
I'll be thirty in about five years.

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DeeCee
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:04 am

.

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er doctor
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby er doctor » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:48 am

firemedicprelaw wrote:
er doctor wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
er doctor wrote:
I'm a doctor. NOBODY can read my handwriting.


Well played! :lol:


Thank you sir



I have to ask... if you are an ER Doctor... why in the hell do you want to go to law school? More debt for a job that is likely to (at best) pay the same?

Or, if you already answered this, can you show me to the right page?


The answer is, to say the least, complex. I am no longer satisfied in my job and I need a change - something different from medicine altogether. Law has been a passion of mine since med school and feels like the right fit right now. I actually have the option to go to law school with minimal debt.

Actually, from what I can tell, the job I take after law school will pay significantly less than the job I have now. Fortunately, I have the luxury of taking a few years off work to go to school and end up with a lower paying job (no kids to worry about).

In short, I am doing this because it is going to make me happy, which is something my current career is not doing for me.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:38 am

er doctor wrote:In short, I am doing this because it is going to make me happy, which is something my current career is not doing for me.


this is exactly why i'm doing this and i haven't been this excited about something in a long time....and i also have the added benefit of doing this with minimal/no debt and i don't have kids to consider....
accepted at CU Boulder which is exactly where i want to be and now it's time to get real about selling the house and everything else!

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er doctor
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby er doctor » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:40 am

oldhippie wrote:
er doctor wrote:In short, I am doing this because it is going to make me happy, which is something my current career is not doing for me.


this is exactly why i'm doing this and i haven't been this excited about something in a long time....and i also have the added benefit of doing this with minimal/no debt and i don't have kids to consider....
accepted at CU Boulder which is exactly where i want to be and now it's time to get real about selling the house and everything else!


Tell me about it. The best times of my life were in school - SO excited to be a student again.

albanach
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby albanach » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:40 am

JazzOne wrote:Also, I should add: I'm not some irrational pessimist. You can definitely find firms that value work experience, but nontrads should be prepared to answer these questions, and they have to understand that the truth isn't necessarily what the firms want to hear.


It's pretty obvious the questions are going to come up - they're the most distinctive thing about the candidate, and the interviewer needs something to talk about. Perhaps if you've only ever worked 8-5 and never worked on a project with folk younger than yourself that might be an issue. I think that's pretty unlikely as a scenario for an ER doctor, and it certainly doesn't describe my background.

I'm still not sure what the 'truth' is that you think firms are afraid of.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:42 am

er doctor wrote:
oldhippie wrote:
er doctor wrote:In short, I am doing this because it is going to make me happy, which is something my current career is not doing for me.


this is exactly why i'm doing this and i haven't been this excited about something in a long time....and i also have the added benefit of doing this with minimal/no debt and i don't have kids to consider....
accepted at CU Boulder which is exactly where i want to be and now it's time to get real about selling the house and everything else!


Tell me about it. The best times of my life were in school - SO excited to be a student again.


me too!!! and my boss just this morning told me that she would be completely eaten up by anxiety even thinking about going to school, taking tests, all that stuff. i've been DYING to go back to school ever since i left!!

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:43 am

soooo...who wants to buy a lovely house in charleston, sc? :mrgreen:

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KMaine
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby KMaine » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:46 am

Taking tests is one of the best things about being in LS. It is such a rush. On another topic, I can tell you the truth that my interviewers did not want to hear: that I left I job that I love in order to make money at a job that I think I will like.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:52 am

i used to love my job. now i love it occasionally, hate it some days, and more often am just burned out. worst case scenario for me, i get a JD with almost no debt and i end up back in my current field but i live in the rocky mountains which is WORLDS better (to me) than where i am now. feels like a no-brainer for me...

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nygrrrl
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby nygrrrl » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:06 am

oldhippie wrote:
er doctor wrote:Tell me about it. The best times of my life were in school - SO excited to be a student again.


me too!!! and my boss just this morning told me that she would be completely eaten up by anxiety even thinking about going to school, taking tests, all that stuff. i've been DYING to go back to school ever since i left!!

Just FYI you guys? Starting the second half of 1L tonight and school is JUST AS GREAT as I thought it would be. :mrgreen: I think you're both gonna love it...

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homestyle28
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:07 am

I plan on saying I got my mid-life crisis out of the way in my twenties. Now I'm ready to work!

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er doctor
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby er doctor » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:09 am

homestyle28 wrote:I plan on saying I got my mid-life crisis out of the way in my twenties. Now I'm ready to work!


I keep having my suspicion that this is all a midlife crisis for me too. However, I figure getting a law degree is better than a porsche and a divorce :)

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:16 am

there is nothing "crisis" about this for me....an awesome opportunity presented itself and i'm taking it!!! :D :D
life's too short to do otherwise!!

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homestyle28
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:16 am

nygrrrl wrote:
oldhippie wrote:
er doctor wrote:Tell me about it. The best times of my life were in school - SO excited to be a student again.


me too!!! and my boss just this morning told me that she would be completely eaten up by anxiety even thinking about going to school, taking tests, all that stuff. i've been DYING to go back to school ever since i left!!

Just FYI you guys? Starting the second half of 1L tonight and school is JUST AS GREAT as I thought it would be. :mrgreen: I think you're both gonna love it...


What about the rest of us? ;) After working a few years post-UG I headed back to grad school. I could've sworn for the first week or so I could actually feel my brain growing! Take that dementia!

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JazzOne
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby JazzOne » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:21 am

albanach wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Also, I should add: I'm not some irrational pessimist. You can definitely find firms that value work experience, but nontrads should be prepared to answer these questions, and they have to understand that the truth isn't necessarily what the firms want to hear.


It's pretty obvious the questions are going to come up - they're the most distinctive thing about the candidate, and the interviewer needs something to talk about. Perhaps if you've only ever worked 8-5 and never worked on a project with folk younger than yourself that might be an issue. I think that's pretty unlikely as a scenario for an ER doctor, and it certainly doesn't describe my background.

I'm still not sure what the 'truth' is that you think firms are afraid of.

Those questions didn't just "come up." They were posed as an opportunity for me to explain a perceived weakness in my candidacy for the job. Firms are afraid to hire associates who have other job options and who may not appreciate being someone's bitch for a few years. That applies to anyone with an extensive work history. You're a bigger flight risk to a firm if you have attractive alternatives. You don't have to believe me or anyone else, but law is a pretentious field, and legal hiring is not a meritocracy. If you choose not to believe those with experience in the field, then you'll find out the hard way. Being confident that your experience in other fields gives you an advantage in legal hiring can be perceived as arrogance, and hiring partners don't want to deal with some pain in the ass old chap who thinks he knows everything. If you want to break into this club, you have to play by someone else's rules. This is a superstar system where firms gobble up all the young talent. There is plenty of young talent to allow firms to pass on you without a second thought.
Last edited by JazzOne on Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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nygrrrl
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby nygrrrl » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:28 am

homestyle28 wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
oldhippie wrote:
er doctor wrote:Tell me about it. The best times of my life were in school - SO excited to be a student again.


me too!!! and my boss just this morning told me that she would be completely eaten up by anxiety even thinking about going to school, taking tests, all that stuff. i've been DYING to go back to school ever since i left!!

Just FYI you guys? Starting the second half of 1L tonight and school is JUST AS GREAT as I thought it would be. :mrgreen: I think you're both gonna love it...


What about the rest of us? ;) After working a few years post-UG I headed back to grad school. I could've sworn for the first week or so I could actually feel my brain growing! Take that dementia!

:lol: :lol: :lol: This! About a month in, I realized that I was studying so hard my brain was hurting. GOOD PAIN!

edit: AWESOME new tar, Oldhippie! (I really wanted to go to CU but it wasn't realistic, with my job/family. Congrats!!!)

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KMaine
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby KMaine » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:31 am

JazzOne wrote: Being confident that your experience in other fields gives you an advantage can be perceived as arrogance, and hiring partners don't want to deal with some pain in the ass old chap who thinks he knows everything. If you want to break into this club, you have to play by someone else's rules. This is a superstar system where firms gobble up all the young talent. There is plenty of young talent to allow firms to pass on you without a second thought.


This. You need to find the balance between confidence and humility. Hiring is a strange thing. I can guarantee you, I would have had more job offers if I had less experience. That said, it can be done. LS is fun, I am thankful for the opportunity that I have, looking forward to my career in law, and I would take the risk again.

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oldhippie
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby oldhippie » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:43 am

nygrrrl wrote:edit: AWESOME new tar, Oldhippie! (I really wanted to go to CU but it wasn't realistic, with my job/family. Congrats!!!)


thanks :D :oops: :D
excited as a little schoolgirl!

albanach
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby albanach » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:46 am

JazzOne wrote:You're a bigger flight risk to a firm if you have attractive alternatives. You don't have to believe me or anyone else, but law is a pretentious field, and legal hiring is not a meritocracy. If you choose not to believe those with experience in the field, then you'll find out the hard way. Being confident that your experience in other fields gives you an advantage in legal hiring can be perceived as arrogance, and hiring partners don't want to deal with some pain in the ass old chap who thinks he knows everything. If you want to break into this club, you have to play by someone else's rules. This is a superstar system where firms gobble up all the young talent. There is plenty of young talent to allow firms to pass on you without a second thought.


As I said earlier, an associate providing for a family is probably much less of a flight risk than a 24yo who is single. The married associate is unlikely to want to drag their kids to a new school, find a new family friendly neighborhood, find a suitable home. I fail to see why that can't be sold as a strength, nor do I see why selling it as a strength would be arrogant.

I don't see anyone here suggesting their past experience will allow them to perform better as a lawyer than any other graduate. That might be arrogant. Showing that you have worked the hours that will be expected and that you have worked on important projects with younger and older colleagues taking the lead demonstrates your ability to be a functioning part of a team.

Anyone thinking they'll be treated like a 5th year associate or partner because of their prior experience is clearly on a hiding to nothing. I just don't see any evidence of that in this thread.




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