URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 12:47 pm

I've been working in big law 5 years (4 as a clerk and one as an associate).

Fire away!

edit: I haven't been on here in awhile and I didn't notice the employment section so feel free to move this thread.

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hiromoto45
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Tue May 18, 2010 12:52 pm

Thanks for answering our questions!
1. How do women fair at your firm?
2.During what year or time does it become seemingly clear which associates are on the partner track and which are not?
3. Are or do the URMs feel that the work they are given is on the same level as non-urms?
4. Do URMs still face a glass-ceiling to partnership even if they excel beyond expectations or are just as productive as non-urms that are on the partner track?
Last edited by hiromoto45 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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merichard87
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby merichard87 » Tue May 18, 2010 12:54 pm

Oh snap you're like me in 5 years.

I'm an EE/CompE UG right now and I'm wondering how you like patent law. I'm scared that I'm going to get into a firm and have a patent put on my desk and not understand wtf is going on. Are you having to analyze circuits or anything? Please tell me no.

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DavidYurman85
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby DavidYurman85 » Tue May 18, 2010 1:14 pm

Do you feel the need to "work twice as hard"?

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hiromoto45
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Tue May 18, 2010 6:45 pm

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Last edited by hiromoto45 on Tue May 18, 2010 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:09 pm

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Last edited by phoenix323 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:15 pm

To OP,

Thanks for taking questions!

What Tier LS did you attend? Did you get your job through OCI?

Can you describe a day-in-the-life for you in the office?

Thanks again.

cubswin
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby cubswin » Tue May 18, 2010 7:31 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
hiromoto45 wrote:Thanks for answering our questions!
1. How do women fair at your firm?
2.During what year or time does it become seemingly clear which associates are on the partner track and which are not?
3. Are the URMs in your firm given work level to yours or is it significantly less demanding?
4. Do URMs still face a glass-ceiling to partnership even if they excel beyond expectations or are just as productive as non-urms that are on the partner track?


Really? I saw you ask this question in another BigLaw thread. Why do you keep asking this? What is it you are actually trying to find out by asking this? Are Big Law firms discriminatory? As it is currently worded, it's hard not to find this question offensive.

Moreover, how would OP know if he/she is being given the "significantly less demanding" work if he/she is a URM?

The asinine nature of this question is astounding.


I don't think it's that hard not to find it offensive. Perhaps one could take it in an offensive way, but I wouldn't say it's astoundingly asinine. When you consider the info provided in the following post:

hiromoto45 wrote:Biglaw takes in a number a URMs but a very inconsequential number of them have a chance at making partner. Some have said URMs get poached from Biglaw to other opportunities like in-house corporate. Through my experience it seems that outside Biglaw, being an URM doesn't matter and the concept is integrated with diversity in general. That including women, people with families, or single people with pets groups.


It doesn't sound like this poster made up this info. It sounds like hiromoto is going off of anecdotes that he/she has heard from people in the legal world and wants to get another perspective on it. He/she seems concerned whether URMs are being hired as "tokens," in an effort to raise a firm's diversity statistics. If the URMs aren't making partner at the same rates as whites, asking whether or not they are given the same opportunities to prove themselves seems like a legitimate question. If a firm was interested in bringing URMs on strictly as associates for the sake of boosting their diversity stats, then it might make sense that the partners might assign them less important assignments.

I'm not arguing that any of what hiromoto seems concerned about is actually happening. But I do think you are getting offended too quickly.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:32 pm

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Last edited by phoenix323 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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20121109
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby 20121109 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Why so mad, Phoenix?

<3

cubswin
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby cubswin » Tue May 18, 2010 7:37 pm

phoenix323 wrote:Third, the asinine factor: Essentially you are asking OP "Hey, do you feel that since you are a URM (perhaps one who was hired with less than stellar qualifications), that you are too dumb to do the work assigned to non-URM associates?"


You are not interpreting that question correctly at all. Whether the person in question is competent enough to handle the work assigned to them has no bearing on the question of whether the work assigned to them is given to them because the partners may have a lower, possibly incorrect estimation of their abilities.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:39 pm

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Last edited by phoenix323 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hiromoto45
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:40 pm

...
Last edited by hiromoto45 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:40 pm

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Last edited by phoenix323 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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phoenix323
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:42 pm

I am going to stop posting on this since I don't want to further derail this thread and possibly alienate the OP as a resource.

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hiromoto45
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:46 pm

...
Last edited by hiromoto45 on Tue May 18, 2010 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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20121109
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby 20121109 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:47 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:I am going to stop posting on this since I don't want to further derail this thread and possibly alienate the OP as a resource.


You should have thought about that before posting. The PM really doesn't need to be apart of the thread. Do you mind editing out this correspondence. Since it has to do with your inability comprehend?


Kinda making it a little worse there, Hiro...

*nervous laughter*

ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 8:13 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:Thanks for answering our questions!
1. How do women fair at your firm?
2.During what year or time does it become seemingly clear which associates are on the partner track and which are not?
3. Are or do the URMs feel that the work they are given is on the same level as non-urms?
4. Do URMs still face a glass-ceiling to partnership even if they excel beyond expectations or are just as productive as non-urms that are on the partner track?


Sorry it took me so long to respond. Long day!

Answer to 1:

That is a difficult question to answer since I mostly work with men. I can say that there are a lot of female partners at my firm and a lot of women that have worked there over 8 years or so even though they are not on the partnership track (e.g., of counsel).

Out of the women that I work with consistently, one is doing well and the other did not make her hours the last two fiscal years. That being said, most big law firms would have already laid off the one that has not been making her hours, but my firm has not.

Answer to 2:

It becomes pretty clear who is on partnership track around the 5th or 6th year. Though, I do know of a few associates that have made partner who were not considered by many to be "on track." However, those were unique circumstances and were the result of those associates (now partners) bringing in a substantial amount of business.

Answer to 3:

Hmmm...interesting question. I have to be honest here...some URMs do not receive the same amount of work and/or the same interesting work as non-URMs. I tend to believe that this is the exception and not the rule. From my personal experience, I believe if you work hard and prove yourself early on it will pay off. I have worked on some very interesting cases and with a lot of big clients so I am happy with the kind of work I get. I don't think this is the same for every URM.

Answer to 4:

I don't think there is a glass ceiling at my firm for URMs. But, just like every other firm, it is difficult to make partner. If that is your goal, begin as early as possible developing relationships with individuals that could potentially give you business some day.

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Thirteen
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby Thirteen » Tue May 18, 2010 8:16 pm

Thanks for taking questions!

ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 8:19 pm

merichard87 wrote:Oh snap you're like me in 5 years.

I'm an EE/CompE UG right now and I'm wondering how you like patent law. I'm scared that I'm going to get into a firm and have a patent put on my desk and not understand wtf is going on. Are you having to analyze circuits or anything? Please tell me no.



LOL! I like patent law a lot. But I have to warn you, I do spend a lot of my time looking at intricate technology. In some cases (rare but it happened), I have reviewed source code and analyzed circuit diagrams. However, most technology is manageable and not overly difficult.

If you go into patent prosecution, you will spend A LOT of time reviewing patents, writing patent applications, and writing responses. If you go into patent litigation, you will only have to become familiar with the patents at issue at the beginning of the case.

I do both patent prosecution and litigation, which I think is a nice mixture.

ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 8:24 pm

DavidYurman85 wrote:Do you feel the need to "work twice as hard"?


I think it is important to prove that you can consistently produce a good work product early on. I believe that is the same for URMs as well as non-URMs.

ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 8:32 pm

phoenix323 wrote:To OP,

Thanks for taking questions!

What Tier LS did you attend? Did you get your job through OCI?

Can you describe a day-in-the-life for you in the office?

Thanks again.


I attended a Tier 1 law school. I clerked for 4 years before I become an associate. I did not get my offer to clerk through OCI, but my URM peers got their summer associate positions through OCI.

I get in around 8am or so, I check my emails and respond to whatever is necessary. After that it all depends on the day. Since I do patent litigation and patent prosecution, my assignments vary significantly from day to day. This week I have been working on a claim construction brief (and in between that responding to office actions from examiners at the pto). I take a lot of calls during the day as well. I leave around 6 or so.

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hiromoto45
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:53 pm

1. How do the black women at your firm or in the legal field wear their hair? Is it more conservative for the legal profession and limited to relaxed straight hair?

d34d9823
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby d34d9823 » Tue May 18, 2010 9:02 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:1. How do the black women at your firm or in the legal field wear their hair? Is it more conservative for the legal profession and limited to relaxed straight hair?

Trust a girl to ask about hair :P jk love you hiro

ElecEng_2_IPAtty
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Re: URM Big Law Attorney Taking Questions

Postby ElecEng_2_IPAtty » Tue May 18, 2010 9:49 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:1. How do the black women at your firm or in the legal field wear their hair? Is it more conservative for the legal profession and limited to relaxed straight hair?


Yes.




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