LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

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Nomo
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LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Nomo » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:05 pm

Deborah Merritt just came out with an article that looks at employment outcomes for Ohio lawyers 5 years after passing the bar. Most of the data is about what I would expect it to be, but this caught me off guard:

"A significant number of the 2010 graduates remaining at the very largest law firms in
December 2014, finally, worked as staff attorneys rather than conventional associates. These
positions were unusual before 2005, but have been expanding in recent years. Staff attorneys
receive much lower salaries than traditional associates, perform a narrower range of lawyering
tasks (usually document review), and are not eligible for partnership.109 Within the research
population, 43.5% of graduates working at firms of more than 500 lawyers held staff attorney
positions rather than associate ones
."

Law School Transparency specifically mentions that its large firm score does include support positions and administrative staff. But I had not idea the number of staff attorneys was this high. I'm not exactly sure how a prospective student should use this data when picking a law school. We don't know if Ohio is normal in this regard (things could be better or worse in other states). We also don't have school specific data.

Thoughts?

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jenesaislaw
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:10 pm

Here's her first (of many) blog post on the paper: http://www.lawschoolcafe.org/thread/wha ... s-of-2010/

I agree that her findings are very concerning for the utility of our large firm score. I know NALP is considering what to do about it, but to date, they have not announced a change to the data. The best we can do, unless others have other ideas, is look at the salary information.

See OSU's salary info for 501+: http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/osu/sals/more/

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JohannDeMann
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:22 pm

Non NYC biglaw to 75k!!!

03152016
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby 03152016 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:29 pm

really interesting. there's been some discussion in the threads about this topic recently, but i had no idea the number was that high (at least in OH).

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:35 pm

Brut wrote:really interesting. there's been some discussion in the threads about this topic recently, but i had no idea the number was that high (at least in OH).

yeah this is concerning

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Desert Fox
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:01 pm

Didn't know Ohio had biglaw.

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rpupkin
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Didn't know Ohio had biglaw.

Justice Scalia knows:

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/02/justice- ... cleveland/

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JohannDeMann
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:35 pm

Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.

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Desert Fox
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:39 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.


I figured my firm just made very few people partners, but it turns out even the few they are making are "non-equity."

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bearsfan23
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby bearsfan23 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:42 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.


Sounds like you should quit now, go do one of those $250k 40/hour a week jobs that you post about in every thread

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JohannDeMann
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:00 pm

bearsfan23 wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.


Sounds like you should quit now, go do one of those $250k 40/hour a week jobs that you post about in every thread


The sad thing is you are being sarcastic but I spend a pretty significant amount of my time evaluating exit options and business ideas. It's not too early to start bro. Hopefully the economy doesn't falter in the next 3 years 0L or else you'll be on the outside looking in aka banging on the top shelfed porta potty door.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:01 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.


I figured my firm just made very few people partners, but it turns out even the few they are making are "non-equity."


Yeah my firm is doing this too. I'm trying to figure out what the time frame is for non-equity partners to get to equity level.

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Desert Fox
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:12 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:Pretty good article summing up the bigger theme - cost cutting anywhere, including non-equity partners, to pay the rainmakers a few extra bucks. http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... 0216171914

Basically, law is moving to a model where the rainmaker partners are bringing in all the money and costs must be cut eveyrwhere else to bringi n rainmakers. One of the most notable places costs are being cut is non-equity partner. Partner track is getting longer and longer and less lucrative and less lucrative. Then when you do make partner, you better hope you are one of the few who is responsible for the client connection.


I figured my firm just made very few people partners, but it turns out even the few they are making are "non-equity."


Yeah my firm is doing this too. I'm trying to figure out what the time frame is for non-equity partners to get to equity level.


Presumably whenever you have clients that can justify a cut of profits. And it seems like for many, that is never.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:43 pm

Does this pertain to T14 or just regionals?
ie has anyone heard of T14 grads doing this

Nomo
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Nomo » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:19 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Does this pertain to T14 or just regionals?
ie has anyone heard of T14 grads doing this


This doesn't answer your question, but I don't see why T14 grads wouldn't do this. If biglaw firms are paying staff attorneys 70k, that's a slightly higher salary than what a lot of small firms are paying. And its not like every single T-14 student is getting a legal job. 70k as a staff attorney looks pretty good when you're a jobless 3L or recent grad.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:26 pm

Nomo wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Does this pertain to T14 or just regionals?
ie has anyone heard of T14 grads doing this


This doesn't answer your question, but I don't see why T14 grads wouldn't do this. If biglaw firms are paying staff attorneys 70k, that's a slightly higher salary than what a lot of small firms are paying. And its not like every single T-14 student is getting a legal job. 70k as a staff attorney looks pretty good when you're a jobless 3L or recent grad.


The article I cited said staff attorneys can make up to $175k a year, so the money isn't all terrible. Just no chance at partnership and developing less substantive experience. But the majority of the positions are in places like Dayton, Nashville, Minneapolis, and other cheap cities where 75k can go further. I knew a couple third tier students doing this. One in NYC and one in DC though. One was a staff attorney for a massive firm and is now an associate attorney for a smaller firm. I'm 99% sure he was over six figs as a staff attorney in DC.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:31 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Does this pertain to T14 or just regionals?
ie has anyone heard of T14 grads doing this


Yes, I know of several T14 grads who are staff attorneys. They are better off than some of my classmates who were unemployed after graduation and eventually left the law, so yeah.

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cannibal ox
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby cannibal ox » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:33 pm

Wasn't there an article or topic about how basically all of West Virginia's biglaw jobs were not "true" biglaw positions?

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rpupkin
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby rpupkin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:36 pm

cannibal ox wrote:Wasn't there an article or topic about how basically all of West Virginia's biglaw jobs were not "true" biglaw positions?

I didn't realize there was a state of "West Virginia" until I was like 25. I'm still not entirely convinced it actually exists.

03152016
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby 03152016 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:36 pm

cannibal ox wrote:Wasn't there an article or topic about how basically all of West Virginia's biglaw jobs were not "true" biglaw positions?

“Associate farms” have popped up in lower cost regions, where quality lawyers can use their degree and still live a relatively comfortable life, despite lower pay, less complex work and no partnership on the horizon. Reed Smith and Orrick, for example, have started offices in Wheeling, W.VA., where more routine work such as eDiscovery is performed by highly competent US lawyers at a fraction of NY salaries. WilmerHale did the same thing in Dayton, OH.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidparnel ... ger-games/

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buckiguy_sucks
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:04 pm

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Last edited by buckiguy_sucks on Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:45 am

buckiguy_sucks wrote:Can you jump in house/government from these non-partner track jobs or nah

hell no

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jbagelboy
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:15 pm

This is why OCI success rate (MAJOR CAVEAT - if career services provides transparent data) is a better indicator of placement power/risk than LST for just about every school. (No offense to LST, your services are more than crucial.) Summer Associates at NLJ/market firms don't become staff attys, they become associates. If 60% of your class is getting a large firm offer at OCI, you don't have to worry about those folks winding up as lower paid staff. Whereas Wheeling, WV and Delaware offices will take staff attorneys for large firms, who won't summer.

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Desert Fox
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:28 pm

jbagelboy wrote:This is why OCI success rate (MAJOR CAVEAT - if career services provides transparent data) is a better indicator of placement power/risk than LST for just about every school. (No offense to LST, your services are more than crucial.) Summer Associates at NLJ/market firms don't become staff attys, they become associates. If 60% of your class is getting a large firm offer at OCI, you don't have to worry about those folks winding up as lower paid staff. Whereas Wheeling, WV and Delaware offices will take staff attorneys for large firms, who won't summer.


I wish more schools did what Northwestern does and release more comprehensive salary data. Other than gov and PI chumps, only 15% of the class is making under 100k. I'd imagine if you did that for WUSTL, it'd be closer to 60%.

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buckiguy_sucks
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Re: LST Large Firm Score Does Not Equal Biglaw Associates

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:31 pm

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