Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

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Veyron
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:27 pm

alumniguy wrote:
Veyron wrote:This sounds horrible. . . and I'm trying so hard to keep an open mind about transactional law heading into OCI.


I MUCH prefer transactional over litigation. It isn't that horrible either (and it much more collaborative than litigation). I find myself being a bit negative about biglaw on these boards but I think that is primarily to counter all of the biglaw hype. Biglaw, if you are working with the right people, can be a great working experience most of the time.

The pure and simple fact is that law school doesn't teach you anything about the practice of law - especially in the transactional world. Biglaw transactional work is complex stuff that requires a litany of documents. You may understand the concept of a loan agreement, but you have no idea how much additionally paperwork is involved (much of it is pretty useless in my opinion) - we are talking massive amounts of schedules attached to the loan agreement, a security agreement, guarantees, corporate resolutions, amendments to corporate formation documents, shareholder agreements, warrant subscriptions, etc. If you are like the average first year, then it'll take you a few "deals" to get to know what all if involved. You job as a junior is to get to know these documents intimately so you know both what they do and how to draft/negotiate them. For the primary documents (e.g., a loan agreement) it will take you a few years before you are even ready to draft/negotiate and even then, you'll need a bunch of hand holding your first time through.

The same goes for a real estate transaction or an M&A transaction. You will be amazed at the type (and number) of documents required to close many biglaw deals.


Good info, thx.

Is real estate considered transactional work or is it its own thing?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:33 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
Cavalier wrote:I can think of 160,000 reasons.

I was hoping for something closer to 190,000 reasons.


I only need 1 reason.

With a 2 million dollar bonus.

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AreJay711
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:37 pm

Veyron wrote:
alumniguy wrote:
Veyron wrote:This sounds horrible. . . and I'm trying so hard to keep an open mind about transactional law heading into OCI.


I MUCH prefer transactional over litigation. It isn't that horrible either (and it much more collaborative than litigation). I find myself being a bit negative about biglaw on these boards but I think that is primarily to counter all of the biglaw hype. Biglaw, if you are working with the right people, can be a great working experience most of the time.

The pure and simple fact is that law school doesn't teach you anything about the practice of law - especially in the transactional world. Biglaw transactional work is complex stuff that requires a litany of documents. You may understand the concept of a loan agreement, but you have no idea how much additionally paperwork is involved (much of it is pretty useless in my opinion) - we are talking massive amounts of schedules attached to the loan agreement, a security agreement, guarantees, corporate resolutions, amendments to corporate formation documents, shareholder agreements, warrant subscriptions, etc. If you are like the average first year, then it'll take you a few "deals" to get to know what all if involved. You job as a junior is to get to know these documents intimately so you know both what they do and how to draft/negotiate them. For the primary documents (e.g., a loan agreement) it will take you a few years before you are even ready to draft/negotiate and even then, you'll need a bunch of hand holding your first time through.

The same goes for a real estate transaction or an M&A transaction. You will be amazed at the type (and number) of documents required to close many biglaw deals.


Good info, thx.

Is real estate considered transactional work or is it its own thing?


Does real estate even still exist?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:38 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
alumniguy wrote:
Veyron wrote:This sounds horrible. . . and I'm trying so hard to keep an open mind about transactional law heading into OCI.


I MUCH prefer transactional over litigation. It isn't that horrible either (and it much more collaborative than litigation). I find myself being a bit negative about biglaw on these boards but I think that is primarily to counter all of the biglaw hype. Biglaw, if you are working with the right people, can be a great working experience most of the time.

The pure and simple fact is that law school doesn't teach you anything about the practice of law - especially in the transactional world. Biglaw transactional work is complex stuff that requires a litany of documents. You may understand the concept of a loan agreement, but you have no idea how much additionally paperwork is involved (much of it is pretty useless in my opinion) - we are talking massive amounts of schedules attached to the loan agreement, a security agreement, guarantees, corporate resolutions, amendments to corporate formation documents, shareholder agreements, warrant subscriptions, etc. If you are like the average first year, then it'll take you a few "deals" to get to know what all if involved. You job as a junior is to get to know these documents intimately so you know both what they do and how to draft/negotiate them. For the primary documents (e.g., a loan agreement) it will take you a few years before you are even ready to draft/negotiate and even then, you'll need a bunch of hand holding your first time through.

The same goes for a real estate transaction or an M&A transaction. You will be amazed at the type (and number) of documents required to close many biglaw deals.


Good info, thx.

Is real estate considered transactional work or is it its own thing?


Does real estate even still exist?


I hear that real estate and probate are correlated.

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romothesavior
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:27 am

dkt4 wrote:bruce wayne

[ ] gets it
[x] doesn't get it

You wanna go anecdote for anecdote?

I put in serious hours but nothing like firm life.


AUSAs don't work anywhere even approaching big firm hours. Period.

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RVP11
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:55 am

Veyron wrote:Is real estate considered transactional work or is it its own thing?


At most firms, "real estate" really means "real estate finance." It's transactional.

Some include land use as part of real estate if they don't include it as part of environmental law. It is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:38 pm

alumniguy wrote:
Stupendous_Man wrote:One major complaint with biglaw is not just the hours, but it's what you are doing during those hours. Big firms handle matters of such magnitude that they simply can't trust their young associates to take a case all the way to court. So you start at the bottom and you do grunt work and doc review while they develop you as an attorney through pro bono stuff and find out if you have what it takes to take on more responsibility. Especially as a first year associate, everyone is turfing their grunt work down to you, so you are working many, many assignments and only see a small mundane part of any one thing you're working on, which is probably pretty taxing. The trade off is, as you get more and more senior, you start taking on the exciting parts of huge cases/deals, and turf the grunt work down to the people below you. Partners at big firms handle famous and valuable matters, and have the resources behind them to see them through to the end.



I'm not sure I agree with your statement that you are working on many cases/deal to see only a mundane part of what the deal is about. That isn't how cases/deals flow. My background is a transactional attorney, so it is difficult for me to know exactly whether this is the case for litigation, but my experiences in talking to fellow associates is that this isn't true either.

As a junior transactional attorney, you stay on a deal typically from start to finish. A large amount of the work on any deal is going to be fairly standard (i.e., you won't be drafting anything novel, but simply adapting precedent to the specific deal terms). You'll be doing due diligence and drafting corporate resolutions and other ancillary documents that require little to no knowledge of the law. You're essentially filling in the blanks with company names, pulling language from primary deal docs into ancillary docs, etc. The reasons why juniors do this work is two fold: (i) juniors are much cheaper than midlevels/seniors and (ii) it allows the juniors to understand the scope of the deals. As a junior you won't be drafting the credit agreement or purchase agreement (in fact you likely won't even be involved in the negotiation of these documents), but at the very least you know they exist and if your midlevel is good, they'll try to explain bits and pieces along the way. But, you definitely see the deal through to the end. There is so much preparation work for a deal to close that the junior never checks out prior to closing (in fact, the junior is likely the one wrapping up the deal and attending to the post-closing items that need to be resolved - once the deal has closed and the bill has been paid, partners and midlevels tend to move on to the next case while the junior finishes things up and gets a deal bible in the works).

The only time you're getting to see a piece of the deal is if you are a "service" attorney on a particular deal. You may be called in to help with due diligence for a week, you may be asked to help out while others are out on vacation or you may be asked to help as the closing approaches because the deal has not moved as fast as people originally anticipate and their is a ton of work to finish by closing. You're probably seeing this type of work at most 1/3 of your total billables. The majority will be working on "your" deals.


Sounds like you're in leveraged/bank finance. You've pretty much summed up what most transactional first years do, not to mention the fact that you also get to listen in on pre-closing and closing calls/conferences. :mrgreen:

Personally, I prefer the corporate side.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:41 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
Veyron wrote:
alumniguy wrote:
Veyron wrote:This sounds horrible. . . and I'm trying so hard to keep an open mind about transactional law heading into OCI.


I MUCH prefer transactional over litigation. It isn't that horrible either (and it much more collaborative than litigation). I find myself being a bit negative about biglaw on these boards but I think that is primarily to counter all of the biglaw hype. Biglaw, if you are working with the right people, can be a great working experience most of the time.

The pure and simple fact is that law school doesn't teach you anything about the practice of law - especially in the transactional world. Biglaw transactional work is complex stuff that requires a litany of documents. You may understand the concept of a loan agreement, but you have no idea how much additionally paperwork is involved (much of it is pretty useless in my opinion) - we are talking massive amounts of schedules attached to the loan agreement, a security agreement, guarantees, corporate resolutions, amendments to corporate formation documents, shareholder agreements, warrant subscriptions, etc. If you are like the average first year, then it'll take you a few "deals" to get to know what all if involved. You job as a junior is to get to know these documents intimately so you know both what they do and how to draft/negotiate them. For the primary documents (e.g., a loan agreement) it will take you a few years before you are even ready to draft/negotiate and even then, you'll need a bunch of hand holding your first time through.

The same goes for a real estate transaction or an M&A transaction. You will be amazed at the type (and number) of documents required to close many biglaw deals.


Good info, thx.

Is real estate considered transactional work or is it its own thing?


Does real estate even still exist?


Absolutely! Real estate attorneys are still needed to draft mortgages, mortgage amendments, title documents, releases, etc., amongst other things.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:44 pm

I want to do bird law.

Missouri v. Holland FTW.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:46 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Veyron wrote:Some include land use as part of real estate if they don't include it as part of environmental law. It is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.


I disagree. Depending on the (finance) deal, real property can be part of the collateral needed to secure financing. That's where the real estate partners/associates come in.

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nealric
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby nealric » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:55 pm

Does real estate even still exist?


Actually, real estate is going great guns at my firm. You would be surprised how many major projects are going on in the NYC area right now.

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RVP11
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:05 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
Veyron wrote:Some include land use as part of real estate if they don't include it as part of environmental law. It is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.


I disagree. Depending on the (finance) deal, real property can be part of the collateral needed to secure financing. That's where the real estate partners/associates come in.


Wait - what are you disagreeing with exactly?

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glitched
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby glitched » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:06 pm

Does your background mean much when choosing a biglaw "specialty?" For ex, do you need an accounting background to do tax or is it all fair game once youre in ls?

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:13 pm

RVP11 wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
Veyron wrote:Some include land use as part of real estate if they don't include it as part of environmental law. It is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.


I disagree. Depending on the (finance) deal, real property can be part of the collateral needed to secure financing. That's where the real estate partners/associates come in.


Wait - what are you disagreeing with exactly?


RVP11 wrote:Some include land use as part of real estate...it is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:16 pm

glitched wrote:Does your background mean much when choosing a biglaw "specialty?" For ex, do you need an accounting background to do tax or is it all fair game once youre in ls?


It helps but isn't required. Patent law, on the otherhand, is another ball game.

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buckilaw
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby buckilaw » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:21 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
glitched wrote:Does your background mean much when choosing a biglaw "specialty?" For ex, do you need an accounting background to do tax or is it all fair game once youre in ls?


It helps but isn't required. Patent law, on the otherhand, is another ball game.


Say you wanted to do tax. If you did not have an accounting background would you be at a serious disadvantage? I guess what I'm asking is how many people who choose to go into tax typically have relevant work experience.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:36 pm

buckilaw wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
glitched wrote:Does your background mean much when choosing a biglaw "specialty?" For ex, do you need an accounting background to do tax or is it all fair game once youre in ls?


It helps but isn't required. Patent law, on the otherhand, is another ball game.


Say you wanted to do tax. If you did not have an accounting background would you be at a serious disadvantage? I guess what I'm asking is how many people who choose to go into tax typically have relevant work experience.


At my BIGLAW firm, the majority in our tax department do not have an accounting/business background. At most BIGLAW firms, your first year is rotation and upon completion of your rotation you get to rank amongst departments. Depending on the need of the firm, you may get your first choice.

AFAIK, unless you have a specific interest or vast work experience in that field, placements are not heavily based on educational backgrounds.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:01 pm

romothesavior wrote:
dkt4 wrote:bruce wayne

[ ] gets it
[x] doesn't get it

You wanna go anecdote for anecdote?

I put in serious hours but nothing like firm life.


AUSAs don't work anywhere even approaching big firm hours. Period.



And as commonly known as that is dk still seems to think that he knows what he's talking about. What's worse is that he's probably an 0L.

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nealric
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby nealric » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:05 pm

Say you wanted to do tax. If you did not have an accounting background would you be at a serious disadvantage? I guess what I'm asking is how many people who choose to go into tax typically have relevant work experience.


Contrary to popular belief, tax law at large firms has little to do with accounting. I had never cracked an accounting textbook when I chose tax. I was a philosophy major, as was one of the partners i work for regularly.

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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:54 pm

Didn't read this entire thread, but weighing in with another consideration-- parents, friends, career services, and classmates in general are quite vocal in urging anyone who could conceivably get a biglaw job to go for it and do OCI. In summer after my 1L year, I was such a person. My friends' excitement was contagious, and I went through the process even though it would have been absolutely wrong for me. When I struck out, I blamed myself exclusively. I am now happily set with my local branch of a PI organization, and I could have saved myself a lot of time if I hadn't second guessed my own decisions about the career I wanted. If biglaw is not for you, you don't have to do it.

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AreJay711
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:44 pm

I always feel dirty when I try to imagine myself doing tax but I always thought it was more similar to accounting and I'd rather be shot in the face than be an accountant. :lol:


I kind of figured real estate probably disproportionately suffered ITE but maybe not. Is that a realistic specialty to aim for if someone is open to other transactional work?

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RVP11
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:58 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
RVP11 wrote:Some include land use as part of real estate...it is also transactional but has nothing to do with finance AFAIK.


So how does this show that land use is connected to finance? IDK of a single zoning or land use lawyer who does financey stuff.

My whole point was to draw a distinction between real estate finance and zoning/land use - two practice areas that are lumped together as "real estate." Then you seemed to try to refute that by saying that real estate lawyers do finance.

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RVP11
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:01 pm

BlaqBella wrote:At most BIGLAW firms, your first year is rotation


No.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:33 pm

RVP11 wrote:My whole point was to draw a distinction between real estate finance and zoning/land use - two practice areas that are lumped together as "real estate." Then you seemed to try to refute that by saying that real estate lawyers do finance.


No. I refuted your statement by suggesting that land use is involved in a number of financing deals that I've been involved.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

Postby BlaqBella » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:36 pm

RVP11 wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:At most BIGLAW firms, your first year is rotation


No.


Ha!

Whatever you say, dude. Then again, I'm in it to know it, but hey, believe what you may ;).




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