What do people do after Biglaw?

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IncorrectReversal
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What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby IncorrectReversal » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:34 am

Not sure if this is the right thread, but ive had a burning question. What do people do after biglaw?

If its not uncommon to work in biglaw for a few years to pay off loans, like i hope to do, what do those people do after they leave? Ive heard of people working as/for an in house counsel, but this cant be everyone. Do people transfer to midsize firms? Id really appreciate any insight.

Also, i know there is an obvious salary cut, but how much is typical when people leave biglaw for other things?

Thanks again!

BlueDiamond
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby BlueDiamond » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:35 am

IncorrectReversal wrote:Not sure if this is the right thread, but ive had a burning question. What do people do after biglaw?

If its not uncommon to work in biglaw for a few years to pay off loans, like i hope to do, what do those people do after they leave? Ive heard of people working as/for an in house counsel, but this cant be everyone. Do people transfer to midsize firms? Id really appreciate any insight.

Also, i know there is an obvious salary cut, but how much is typical when people leave biglaw for other things?

Thanks again!


too general.. there are many exit options and many different salaries.. the typical amount depends on the exit option you choose

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Moxie
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Moxie » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:49 pm

Midlaw, Small-law, government work, in-house, non-legal fields, etc.

There are a ton of exit options, but most of them lead to significant pay cuts.

bigben
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby bigben » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:55 pm

Another common one is unemployment.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:55 pm

Go to med school.

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afc1910
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby afc1910 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:14 pm

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Last edited by afc1910 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby FiveSermon » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:16 pm

afc1910 wrote:They move on to another biglaw position? I find that once you get used to a certain lifestyle, it is hard to justify taking a job with a lower salary, where you will likely put in the same amount of work. From three firms that I have worked in, I only know two associates who went in-house after few years in biglaw (and one of them "married well" and had children, so she didn't care about the paycut but wanted better hours). Most associates stay on to become senior associates and eventually make partner. Where does this idea that biglaw is a temp job come from?


From the fact that in a 5 year period there is an 80% attrition rate. "Most" biglaw lawyers do not stay.

Rule11
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Rule11 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:18 pm

afc1910 wrote:Most associates stay on to become senior associates and eventually make partner. Where does this idea that biglaw is a temp job come from?


Surely you didn't mean this. "Most associates stay on ... and eventually make partner" is a risible statement. Where did you work? That is absolutely not typical for biglaw, if true (which I doubt).

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BruceWayne
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:21 pm

afc1910 wrote:They move on to another biglaw position? I find that once you get used to a certain lifestyle, it is hard to justify taking a job with a lower salary, where you will likely put in the same amount of work. From three firms that I have worked in, I only know two associates who went in-house after few years in biglaw (and one of them "married well" and had children, so she didn't care about the paycut but wanted better hours). Most associates stay on to become senior associates and eventually make partner. Where does this idea that biglaw is a temp job come from?


LMAO! Most people who go into big law DO NOT make partner. Most don't last longer than 3 years! I think a lot of people believe that since it's so difficult to get biglaw straight out of law school, making it must be a golden ticket. It's not. For many who do make it working 60+ hours a week as an associate for a 3-4 years is the highpoint (salary wise) of their career. Most don't make partner; this is doubly true at the high ranking NYC "Vault" firms pushed on here as being the holy grail.

FiveSermon
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby FiveSermon » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:23 pm

Question still remains...what happens to the people who don't get an in house position?

I realize they take a salary cut but do they go from biglaw to shitlaw? Or is it something in between.

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afc1910
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby afc1910 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:28 pm

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Last edited by afc1910 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RVP11
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:31 pm

The UVA study of the class of 1990 I think said ~30% were still in big firms (100+ attorneys) 20 years after graduation. I'd assume that ~75% of the class started their careers with firms of that size. (If someone wants to find the study and correct these numbers, feel free.)

So though it's true that MOST people leave the BigLaw lifestyle, a significant minority sticks it out and probably makes partner somewhere.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Alex-Trof » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:35 pm


Black-Blue
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Black-Blue » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:39 pm

RVP11 wrote:The UVA study of the class of 1990 I think said ~30% were still in big firms (100+ attorneys) 20 years after graduation. I'd assume that ~75% of the class started their careers with firms of that size. (If someone wants to find the study and correct these numbers, feel free.)

So though it's true that MOST people leave the BigLaw lifestyle, a significant minority sticks it out and probably makes partner somewhere.

The attrition rate is much higher today than it was for the class of 90. That was when biglaw was actually growing.

bigben
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby bigben » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:39 pm

afc1910 wrote:They move on to another biglaw position? I find that once you get used to a certain lifestyle, it is hard to justify taking a job with a lower salary, where you will likely put in the same amount of work. From three firms that I have worked in, I only know two associates who went in-house after few years in biglaw (and one of them "married well" and had children, so she didn't care about the paycut but wanted better hours). Most associates stay on to become senior associates and eventually make partner. Where does this idea that biglaw is a temp job come from?

lol. At most biglaw firms, fewer than 5% of incoming associates make partner.

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afc1910
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby afc1910 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:40 pm

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Last edited by afc1910 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hannibal
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby Hannibal » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:44 pm

Anecdotally, all of the people that I met who recently left biglaw went to smaller firms (5-10 people), which were mixes of kids recently out of biglaw and older veterans. They all made more money than they did in biglaw because they were partial owners of the firm. I went to three firms that were like this.

This was in the SF Bay Area.

bigben
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby bigben » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:48 pm

RVP11 wrote:The UVA study of the class of 1990 I think said ~30% were still in big firms (100+ attorneys) 20 years after graduation. I'd assume that ~75% of the class started their careers with firms of that size. (If someone wants to find the study and correct these numbers, feel free.)

So though it's true that MOST people leave the BigLaw lifestyle, a significant minority sticks it out and probably makes partner somewhere.

The class of 1990 is pretty irrelevant. I'm not saying that the results will be vastly different, but the industry in general is different enough that you shouldn't take this as indicative of anything going forward.

bigben
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby bigben » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:49 pm

FiveSermon wrote:Question still remains...what happens to the people who don't get an in house position?

I realize they take a salary cut but do they go from biglaw to shitlaw? Or is it something in between.

The answer is...anything you can imagine. Unemployment, fancy F500 general counsel, compliance roles, high school teacher, journalist, etc.

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romothesavior
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Re: What do people do after Biglaw?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:50 pm

Usually retire. After three years of making six-figures, most biglaw castoffs just buy a yacht and move to the Keys.




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