For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

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NYC Law
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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby NYC Law » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:41 pm

I've never met anyone so hilarious and at the same time enraging as areyouinsane. I almost feel like starting a thread that has the word 'New Jersey' in the title just to bait him for more stories.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby dr123 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:45 pm

NYC Law wrote:I've never met anyone so hilarious and at the same time enraging as areyouinsane. I almost feel like starting a thread that has the word 'New Jersey' in the title just to bait him for more stories.


areyouinsane needs a book/movie deal ASAP

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby NZA » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:26 pm

Greatest fucking thread this summer, possibly eclipsed only by that WFU blog thread

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby Reedie » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:42 pm

Word of the day: shitcourt.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby AssociateX » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:06 pm

I think i know areyouinsane, he may be the Law is 4 Losers from JDU and was outed in a 2007 Wall Street journal Law blog article. He speaks the truth except with a few exaggerations and factual errors. Wilson Elser pays $ 72-80k for attorneys with at least 1 year of experience, and upwards of $ 80-100k with 3-6 years experience. I agree the environment there is not conducive to long term happiness (i wont elaborate further since i still have friends working there).

I worked for my share of shitlaw firms in NYC, i was not fortunate to graduate in the top 1/2 of my class and to make matters worse, completely bombed the bar exam...but even with these gaffes, I did my time (like a real prisoner, lol) and now work in house for an insurance company. I still do trials and motion practice but most of my office time is spent at meetings, discussing strategy with management and writing appeals (most are in the Appellate Term and Appellate Division). My base salary is a little over 80k but the bonuses at my firm are decent by shitlaw standards ($5-15K). Unfortunately, i still have billable hours to deal with but they are less than 2,000/year. With smart financing and saving, i am nearly 80% done with repaying my student loans (i owe a little under 30K which will be paid off by 2013).

Areyouinsane does need a book deal, the clueless 1Ls need to hear his message because a majority of my classmates started out the same way as he describes law practice in NYC.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby flcath » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:15 am

tag

ksllaw
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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:13 pm

areyouinsane wrote:
Ok, you are saying you expect more with that education. Maybe. But 80k still puts you way above the median income in this country.


But it's a hard 80 K. Grinding your way thru traffic to shitcourt every morning, bickering over garbage cases, then back to the office for hours of cut n' paste.

Another thing about ID shitlaw is the lack of perks.



Hello,

As a relatively new TLS member, who is just beginning the research process into law school, I stumbled upon this older thread and was unfamiliar with the terms being used here....so thought I would politely ask about them - albeit quite late!!

I hope you all don't mind (if anyone reads this), but I was curious about what exactly "shit law" ..."cut n' paste" ...and "shit court," etc. refer to in the legal world?

And, lastly, is document review being categorized in this thread under "shit law" as well or another form of law? I confess I'm embarassed to even be asking about these vulgar terms, but have seen them crop up in a number of places that I just wanted to clarify and be sure of their meaning (in internet parlance).

Thank you for your time. I appreciate your help here!
Last edited by ksllaw on Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:51 am

ksllaw wrote:
areyouinsane wrote:
Ok, you are saying you expect more with that education. Maybe. But 80k still puts you way above the median income in this country.


But it's a hard 80 K. Grinding your way thru traffic to shitcourt every morning, bickering over garbage cases, then back to the office for hours of cut n' paste.

Another thing about ID shitlaw is the lack of perks.



Hello,

As a relatively new TLS member, who is just beginning the research process into law school, I stumbled upon this older thread and was unfamiliar with the terms being used here....so thought I would polite ask about them - albeit very late!!

I hope you all don't mind (if anyone reads this), but I was curious about what exactly "shit law" ..."cut n' paste" ...and "shit court" ...refer to in the legal world?

And, lastly, is document review being categorized in this thread under "shit law" as well or another form of law? I confess I'm embarassed to even be asking about these vulgar terms, but have seen them crop up in a number of places that I just wanted to clarify and be sure of their meaning (in internet parlance).

Thanks so much for your help!


Shitlaw: Depending on who you ask, it can mean either the type of law people think of when they think of the ambulance chaser lawyer, slip and falls, car crashes, workplace accidents, etc, or is a catch all term for small time private sector law practice such as divorce, wills and trusts, bankruptcy, criminal law, etc etc. ITT it means insurance defense, which is representing insurance carriers in suits by injured people.

Cut n paste: Especially in insurance defense you are going to have a lot of similar cases. When that happens, you don't write motions and briefs from scratch- you grab a template and fill in the facts of your specific case. For example, you need to request plaintiff's medical records, so that's a form motion where all you do is change the plaintiff's name and the date.

Shit court: County civil court where these cases are heard.

Doc review is not shit law. It's not really and law. You don't have clients. You're not learning anything. You do nothing but click responsive/non-responsive over and over again. It used to be decent money if you could get the hours, though.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby JCougar » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:33 am

This thread is fantastic and needs another bump. areyouinsane needs to write a book.

His stories are actually slightly less hyperbolic than the empty promises law firms make to incoming students about their career prospects--including T25 schools, and including T14 schools. There's plenty of people at the bottom of the class in schools like Michigan, Virginia, Cornell, Berkeley, and especially my school that will be begging for jobs like the ones areyouinsane describes.

The dirty little secret is that some law students absolutely have to fail in order to create the illusion that others are "elite." Without this notion of some being "elite," Biglaw firms would never be able to bill a novice first-year associate's work out at $300/hour to naive clients--when the type of work these associates could have done is largely stuff they could do with about two years of college education.

Clients have largely caught on that Biglaw is a giant money extraction scheme, and have been demanding lower bills and less work delegated to first year associates--which is why there has been such a drop in these jobs. The economic incentives created by the billable hour are perverse: the less efficient you are, the more money you make. That's why it used to be common practice to have 8 associates for every partner, most of which were doing make-work, filing bogus motions for the sole purpose of delaying to create more billable hours, or document review, with each hour generating profit that went straight to the partners.

I don't see how the Biglaw economic model is sustainable. It only really works with clients that have so much money to begin with and where so much money is at stake that they could care less if they're getting scammed a little bit here and there. But the attitude has begun to change. In 10 years, more clients will be asking for legal services in exchange for flat fees. And then the premium will be put on people who do effective and precise work rather than on an artificial sense of elitism. The goal then will shift towards getting problems solved rather than creating volumes and volumes of pages of delay, obfuscation, and bullshit. Lawyers will make less money, but everyone will be happier.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:16 am

I genuinely think that biglaw could potentially be a happier and even more productive place if associates were given slightly less hours and lower pay to have more time for a personal life.

This would open up more associate positions for others as well (to fill in the extra work needs).

Rather than working a person 70 hours a week for $160K/year, why not have associates earning $125k/year at 55 hours a week? Working fatigued and being depressed leads to slower work. Studies have shown that people who are depressed have reduced mental functioning capacity.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby JCougar » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:52 pm

ksllaw wrote:I genuinely think that biglaw could potentially be a happier and even more productive place if associates were given slightly less hours and lower pay to have more time for a personal life.

This would open up more associate positions for others as well (to fill in the extra work needs).

Rather than working a person 70 hours a week for $160K/year, why not have associates earning $125k/year at 55 hours a week? Working fatigued and being depressed leads to slower work. Studies have shown that people who are depressed have reduced mental functioning capacity.


There's no incentive to have associates work efficiently. The more inefficiently they work, the more profit...as long as you don't cross the threshold of pissing off the client. It helps if you can fill volumes and volumes of pages with speculative but just-plausible-enough legal arguments and have good grammar and punctuation. They don't even have to be good arguments. The shit I've seen filed boggles my mind. It's stuff that has an intellectual value of close to zero, but as long as it fills up pages and isn't completely frivolous, you can bill the hours and claim you "took a shot" at striking a count or dismissing a case or getting the case removed, etc. Attorneys express disappointment when the cases against their clients are dismissed too soon. You want to win, but you also want it to take forever so you can rack up fees.

God forbid you get a "novel question of law." The firm will no doubt file a continuance so they can overdo a bunch of research that goes nowhere.

The more I get exposed to this system, the more it just makes me sick. It's a nihilistic system where everyone profits from taking forever to actually solve practical problems. It's a giant circle-jerk of everyone creating more business for everyone else through delay. I think in retrospect, I might prefer a life of manual labor or something. Everyone that works in this field that I've met so far is depressed. The ones that are the least depressed are the ones that don't have to spend a lot of time in it, i.e. professors and small-firm attorneys that go home at 5pm and hang out with their families. I just don't see how the promise of a Biglaw job could justify going to law school these days.

To be fair, most white-collar management jobs consist of filling out pointless paperwork and composing meaningless reports and editing them ad nauseam so they're grammatically perfect--only to have them sit on some hard drive somewhere never to be read, used, or taken seriously. So in that sense, a small or mid-sized firm job might be pretty decent given the other options out there, because, despite not being Biglaw pay, these jobs still pay more than your average corporate office drone makes.

At this point, I'm jealous of all my friends that skipped college and became mechanics, carpenters, or truck drivers. They have no debt, have made 10 years of home payments already (albeit in small homes), and they come home from work knowing they actually made something of value or fixed some problem. By the time I can even think about buying a home after paying off my school debt, they will have less than 10 years left on their 30-year mortgage.
Last edited by JCougar on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:11 pm

JCougar wrote:
ksllaw wrote:I genuinely think that biglaw could potentially be a happier and even more productive place if associates were given slightly less hours and lower pay to have more time for a personal life.

This would open up more associate positions for others as well (to fill in the extra work needs).

Rather than working a person 70 hours a week for $160K/year, why not have associates earning $125k/year at 55 hours a week? Working fatigued and being depressed leads to slower work. Studies have shown that people who are depressed have reduced mental functioning capacity.


There's no incentive to have associates work efficiently. The more inefficiently they work, the more profit...as long as you don't cross the threshold of pissing off the client. It helps if you can fill volumes and volumes of pages with speculative but just-plausible-enough legal arguments and have good grammar and punctuation. They don't even have to be good arguments. The shit I've seen filed boggles my mind. It's stuff that has an intellectual value of close to zero, but as long as it fills up pages and isn't completely frivolous, you can bill the hours and claim you "took a shot" at striking a count or dismissing a case or getting the case removed, etc. Attorneys express disappointment when their clients are dismissed too soon. You want to win, but you also want it to take forever so you can rack up fees.

God forbid you get a "novel question of law." The firm will no doubt file a continuance so they can overdo a bunch of research that goes nowhere.

The more I get exposed to this system, the more it just makes me sick. It's a nihilistic system where everyone profits from taking forever to actually solve practical problems. It's a giant circle-jerk of everyone creating more business for everyone else through delay. I think in retrospect, I might prefer a life of manual labor or something. Everyone that works in this field that I've met so far is depressed. The ones that are the least depressed are the ones that don't have to spend a lot of time in it, i.e. professors and small-firm attorneys that go home at 5pm and hang out with their families. I just don't see how the promise of a Biglaw job could justify going to law school these days.

To be fair, most white-collar management jobs consist of filling out pointless paperwork and composing meaningless reports and editing them ad nauseam so they're grammatically perfect--only to have them sit on some hard drive somewhere never to be read, used, or taken seriously. So in that sense, a small or mid-sized firm job might be pretty decent given the other options out there, because, despite not being Biglaw pay, these jobs still pay more than your average corporate office drone makes.

At this point, I'm jealous of all my friends that skipped college and became mechanics, carpenters, or truck drivers. They have no debt, have made 10 years of home payments already (albeit in small homes), and they come home from work knowing they actually made something of value or fixed some problem. By the time I can even think about buying a home after paying off my school debt, they will have less than 10 years left on their 30-year mortgage.

Literally I just did some work on my truck last week and I was like "damn I should have just been a mechanic."

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby JCougar » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:10 pm

rad lulz wrote:Literally I just did some work on my truck last week and I was like "damn I should have just been a mechanic."


I did the same thing! I replaced the starter on my car over Memorial Day, and I felt a sense of accomplishment I haven't felt since...my summer jobs in college.

You can make a lot of money as a mechanic, especially if you learn to work on foreign cars. Plus, if you have your own shop, you can buy a nice German car that has like a broken transmission for next to nothing, swap it out, fix it up, supe it up, and drive in luxury. No car payments and no student loan payments means a bigger home with far less monthly income. And no one can ever outsource your job.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:23 am

Bronx Bum wrote:LOL you think you can get one of those jobs easily? Many of those are harder than biglaw in a sick way because they are not willing to hire a freshly minted JD. They are looking for experience. Midlaw is almost impossible to get out of law school. A respectable small firm is almost impossible. Your next option is true shitlaw. Do they have the $ to hire a new jd? Of course not. You either have to know someone or be extremely lucky.


Would this apply even to T14 graduates? Is there any added advantage if you were a T14 grad applying to small law (I personally really hate the term "sh*t law," so that's why I use "small" instead).
Last edited by ksllaw on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:27 am



But isn't IBR a potential trap?

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=194064
IBR (Income-Based Repayment) - A Boon or Bane?...A Big Trap?

Could a person with significant debt ever get out of IBR once they enter into with a low starting salary?

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:09 am

areyouinsane wrote:
good to know... I've worked in sales so everything you just said about ID really does not sound that bad. I don't mind being the laughing stock... I really just want to product liability/wrongful death on the plaintiff side but I have found that most of the time great plaintiff trial lawyers start in ID defense firms. Like I want to be an "ambulance chaser."


The saddest part of all are the older ID shitlawyers in their late 40s or so, still grinding it out and bickering over these fender-bender files, bouncing from one shitlaw ID boiler room to the next. We used to call them "poors." You hear them bitching in court about how much their kid's college is gonna cost, how expensive dry-cleaning their JC Penney suits costs, shit like that. A lot of these schlubs have serious alcohol problems too. Most of them make in the 70-80 K range, which is pretty piss poor for the NYC/North NJ area, esp. if you have a family.

But that's pretty much top whack for mindless monkey work like insurance defense. Even after decades of fender bender ID 'experience," you'll never even make half what a 25 year old Biglaw kid gets.These schmucks are lower-middle or working class, nothing more. They live in crummy aluminum-sided tract housing in shitty parts of NJ or some outer borough and drive jalopy cars with "Mets" bumper stickers and shit.

There was one funny old drunk I'll call "Bill" who used to come to court smelling like the wrath of John Barleycorn every day. He was short, bald, fat, and about 50 years old. He worked for a notorious shitlaw mill called Leahey & Johnson.

One day he was begging some adjuster via cellphone to settle a nonsense soft-tissue auto case my shitlaw firm had slapped on them. I kept dinging his "offers" and sending him back out to the hallway to beg the adjuster for some kind of decent settlement.

But the bad thing about Leahey & Johnson is that they represent Allstate, and those pricks simply don't cough up $$$ period. Every single case is a "no pay" for them, even if your guy gets hit by a drunk driver with no license and ends up paralyzed & in an iron lung. Not that it really matters since most of the policies are puny little 25 K state minimum coverage anyway (NJ now requires only 15 K, so auto injury cases in NJ are real turds handled only by the most desperate bottom feeders from TTT's like R-N and Seton Hall).

I think he finally came back with $500 bucks, which I turned down. So we went to see the judge to get sent to our jury room to pick and Phil tries telling the judge he has pink eye. He was leaning over the bench and trying to pull his eyelids back b/c the judge didn't believe him. Then the judge gets pissed when Phil knocks over this weird paperweight the judge had, and he starts telling Phil "to call Lawyer Assistance" and sober up, etc. Everyone started cracking up and here's Phil saying he really has pink eye, and can't we do the trial another day, etc. So the judge finally adjourns the stupid thing and Phil rolls out of court and back to his barstool.

Funny thing was that the client with that case got sent to Rikers not long afterwords for stabbing his girlfriend, and when my boss did settle the case I had to go to the joint and get him to sign the releases. We deposited the check in his commissary account when it came.



Is there really no way to move up in the ID world? What about at the ID partner level? Are ID partners able to make $100K+?

I don't necessarily view ID work as too terrible (compared to, say, working in document review or not working at all after gettnig a JD) if one has a low amount of law school debt ($50-60K or below). It's perhaps not great, but not terrible if you can start at $60K and eventually move up to or near $100K+. What is the trajectory like in ID if one is successful at it?
Last edited by ksllaw on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:20 am

A large percentage of the rest of the class ends up on school funded "fellowships" where they beg a public interest legal employer to allow them to volunteer for a year and live off of a 30K stipend from the law school.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:34 am

BruceWayne wrote:A large percentage of the rest of the class ends up on school funded "fellowships" where they beg a public interest legal employer to allow them to volunteer for a year and live off of a 30K stipend from the law school.



What optoins are there after the fellowship ends?

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby JO 14 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:59 am

Apparently things have greatly improved since this thread was created. Going by what I experienced and witnessed, I do not know a person who did not get a solid SA (aside from a few that wanted DC and settled for somewhere else).

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:17 am

ksllaw wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:A large percentage of the rest of the class ends up on school funded "fellowships" where they beg a public interest legal employer to allow them to volunteer for a year and live off of a 30K stipend from the law school.



What optoins are there after the fellowship ends?

Go ahead and ask them. Linkedin should be your friend.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2010/05 ... ships.html

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:48 am

JO 14 wrote:Apparently things have greatly improved since this thread was created. Going by what I experienced and witnessed, I do not know a person who did not get a solid SA (aside from a few that wanted DC and settled for somewhere else).

News flash: the people who don't get one tend not to talk about it

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby grapefruits » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:37 pm

--LinkRemoved--

Not Big Law. Still not bad. People get these jobs, albeit, a very small number.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:09 pm

1. This thread is from 2011. You people are arguing with pisters who no longer exist on TLS.

2. LOL @ "moving up" in the average ID shop. They are generally terrible to their associates, pay terribly, and have terrible long-term prospects. Are there exceptions? Sure. But this is a bad route to plan to take.

3.
rad lulz wrote:
JO 14 wrote:Apparently things have greatly improved since this thread was created. Going by what I experienced and witnessed, I do not know a person who did not get a solid SA (aside from a few that wanted DC and settled for somewhere else).

News flash: the people who don't get one tend not to talk about it

Yup.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Furthermore, I'd posit that people who go around proclaiming that "things are so good; everyone who wanted an SA got one!!!1" are part of the reason why people who didn't get one don't talk ab it.

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Re: For the 50% who do not get big law from T14 and TI schools?

Postby Granfalloon12 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:24 pm

terrifying thread




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