Big-Law vs. Mid Size

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Big-Law vs. Mid Size

Postby ixpresxi » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:03 pm

how different is the pay between a big international firm versus a medium size regional firm with say about 1-3 offices and 30-60 attorneys?

How different is the work?

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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Big-Law vs. Mid Size

Postby LurkerNoMore » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:55 pm

It depends entirely on the type of firm you are talking about. The midsize firm could be a highly specialized boutique that pulls in top graduates and experienced attorneys and pays at or above market rate. Or it could be a firm that does middling work cast off as not lucrative or interesting enough for the big firms and pays accordingly.

Most of what people think of as midsize firms are regional firms. There are "tiers" in regional markets as well. Generally in secondary markets there will be a couple of firms that set a "top" rate. This is often around the $100k mark. These firms generally handle the high-end work for the area that is not large or complex enough for big firms to take on, or where it doesn't make sense to pay BigLaw rates. The work can be interesting and you can wind up with more client contact than you would in bigger firm. On the down side, you will often work hours that are pretty compatible with BigLaw (maybe in the 80-90% hours range) with a significant cut in pay (often 50% less by the time you are a couple years out of school). Also, if you really want to practice on the bleeding edge of the law, you may have a much harder time getting those sorts of projects, since the client base doesn't usually go there, or if the do, they often tend to yank that work and give it to the BigLaw firms.

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