Why are so many people on TLS obsessed with Biglaw?

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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 7:36 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
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.


Try to be clearer.

So they were involved in financing deals. But so are tax people, at times.

Are you implying that zoning/land use work involves finance?

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

Postby RVP11 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:37 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
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 ;).


You're wrong. I don't care if you're a partner at Cravath. You're still wrong. Most firms do NOT have rotation systems in the first year.

You might be right if you restrict "BigLaw" to "V10s in New York."

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

Postby things fall apart » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:02 am

As someone who works at a large in-house, true most people have come from biglaw to here(working 9-6 making good money), there is not a single person who prefers biglaw.

It's a ****hole, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, the hours are awful and the work you do is only stimulating unless you have an intense interest in the subject or you fool yourself into it.
As someone who is vaguely around it, it is not what I'll seek after school...and I do truly believe anyone who does is purely after money and prestige...because when you truly devolve the thought process and rationale there is nothing more to biglaw. You are a cog in a vapid system that offers draining working but extraordinary money and prospects.

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

Postby thecilent » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:28 am

things fall apart wrote:As someone who works at a large in-house, true most people have come from biglaw to here(working 9-6 making good money), there is not a single person who prefers biglaw.

It's a ****hole, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, the hours are awful and the work you do is only stimulating unless you have an intense interest in the subject or you fool yourself into it.
As someone who is vaguely around it, it is not what I'll seek after school...and I do truly believe anyone who does is purely after money and prestige...because when you truly devolve the thought process and rationale there is nothing more to biglaw. You are a cog in a vapid system that offers draining working but extraordinary money and prospects.

You just said most people at the in-house came from biglaw, then go on to say ppl only do biglaw for the money/prestige. ?

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

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:08 am

thecilent wrote:
things fall apart wrote:As someone who works at a large in-house, true most people have come from biglaw to here(working 9-6 making good money), there is not a single person who prefers biglaw.

It's a ****hole, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, the hours are awful and the work you do is only stimulating unless you have an intense interest in the subject or you fool yourself into it.
As someone who is vaguely around it, it is not what I'll seek after school...and I do truly believe anyone who does is purely after money and prestige...because when you truly devolve the thought process and rationale there is nothing more to biglaw. You are a cog in a vapid system that offers draining working but extraordinary money and prospects.


You just said most people at the in-house came from biglaw, then go on to say ppl only do biglaw for the money/prestige. ?



His point is valid. BIGLAW is the quickest route one can take without having experience to make enough money and pay off debt. Once debt is out the way and you've gained enough substantive experience (at least 4 to 5 years) you have a variety of options, in-house included. In-house often requires BIGLAW experience.

That said, I disagree with his opinion that BIGLAW is a ****hole. I'll conclude that it heavily depends on the firm culture and the people you work with.

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

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:38 am

BlaqBella wrote: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.


Traditionally, finance is lumped together with corporate (at least at a majority of the firms I interviewed with - i.e., the distinction was drawn between lit/corp not lit/corp/finance/etc.). Once you start practicing, the overarching term "corporate" doesn't mean anything in so far as each practice area is truly different. You're either an M&A attorney, a bank finance attorney, a capital markets attorney, a tax attorney, a real estate attorney, an antitrust attorney, etc...). Although, plenty of firms utilize the term "general corporate". I'd be curious to hear what your experiences have been like as a "corporate" junior.

My firm is a finance/capital markets focused firm - but most biglaw firms do a substantial amount of finance work because finance is typically involved in most deals (whether it is a typical asset backed loan, or a real estate acquisition or a hostile M&A takeover, or an IPO).

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

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:54 am

Veyron wrote:Good info, thx.

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


It is definitely transactional. Anything that is NOT litigation is generally presumed to be transactional - however, once you're in biglaw, you almost never say you are a "transactional" attorney. You are a real estate attorney, or an M&A attorney or a finance attorney.

This actually brings up a good point for aspiring biglaw associates - you need to do your diligence before interviewing with firms. Some firms subscribe to the "generalist" view and as a junior you are NOT assigned to a particular practice area. You do general corporate work - that means you may be involved in an M&A deal, followed by a fund formation deal, followed by a real estate deal, etc. It is only after a few years that you get to "choose" which practice area you want to focus on. This is the Cravath model.

Other firms require you to choose your practice area before you start at the firm and you work only on those deals.

Still other firms may section off certain "transactional" groups from the rest of the general corporate group - for example a few firms do this with real estate I believe.

If you are strongly inclined to be a generalist, then you should figure out which firms have that model (it would be a great question to ask in an interview IMO).

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

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:09 am

BlaqBella wrote:His point is valid. BIGLAW is the quickest route one can take without having experience to make enough money and pay off debt. Once debt is out the way and you've gained enough substantive experience (at least 4 to 5 years) you have a variety of options, in-house included. In-house often requires BIGLAW experience.

That said, I disagree with his opinion that BIGLAW is a ****hole. I'll conclude that it heavily depends on the firm culture and the people you work with.


I third the original point. Biglaw is the quickest route to in-house (unless you get extremely lucky and land in-house at a major company that does entry level hiring - very few do this though).

Most law school students look at biglaw for the money/prestige, it is true (I would argue there is a general lack of understanding about what biglaw entails as well). Then after 3-5 years, MOST biglaw associates either (i) are informed that they aren't partnership material (i.e., mediocre or bad reviews, given poor work) or (ii) realize they don't want to make the sacrifices that it will entail to try for partnership. This is when mid-levels start to jump ship in-house or move to non-legal careers. The lifestyle in-house is generally much better (typically working on the same type of deals or moving to a compliance type role) and while the pay is less, it is still a good salary (especially if you've fully paid back your loans).

As someone who is still in biglaw and hasn't moved in-house yet, I imagine the work is very similar - which is to say it isn't the most stimulating work out there, but when you have traditional hours it is a very managable job. Compared to biglaw where your work is your life - i.e., you don't get to have much of a personal life and since the work isn't the most stimulating, your life tends to be pretty awful.

Whether biglaw is a s***hole or not, I would argue that best case scenario is that some days it is, some days it isn't. Almost every biglaw lawyer out there will have periods where they want to quit and think the pay isn't enough for the personal sacrifices being made. However, then the deal closes or the case settles and you have a week of 9-5 "work" (where you maybe bill 20 hours a week). These periods of slow time make biglaw tolerable for many people. It is the people that don't get these breaks that I think generally dislike biglaw. Working 6 (or 7) days a week for months on end will generally destroy MOST people. But, I think many biglaw shops are cognizant of burn out and try to give associates a break after major deals close. However, sometimes there is just too much work and breaks aren't possible.

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

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:58 am

Desert Fox wrote:All the reasons big law sounds miserable exist in shit law, and good PI. Long hours and stress aren't just a big law thing. It's a profession wide thing.

Also big law is like the law version of the medical residency. It opens doors. It's one of the few job types that really trains lawyers at an entry level. Most government agencies don't hire direct from law school. Even PI orgs like a couple years in big law.

It also has most of the interesting private sector work. Do people really want to go into law to have a career litigating grocery store accidents?

But really models and bottles.

A couple things here are pretty incorrect. Any small or midlaw firm of gov gig will tend to offer MUCH better training at the entry level than biglaw because you get more responsibility. Also, from the perspective of the new associate, biglaw work is the LEAST interesting. That changes at the higher levels. Of course, it's also not easy to get small law or midlaw or gov in the more interesting and lucrative practice areas. I agree biglaw is a default and somewhat like a residency. People do it for the money and the promise of broader exit options in the future.

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

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:11 pm

glitched wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:All the reasons big law sounds miserable exist in shit law, and good PI. Long hours and stress aren't just a big law thing. It's a profession wide thing.

Also big law is like the law version of the medical residency. It opens doors. It's one of the few job types that really trains lawyers at an entry level. Most government agencies don't hire direct from law school. Even PI orgs like a couple years in big law.

It also has most of the interesting private sector work. Do people really want to go into law to have a career litigating grocery store accidents?

But really models and bottles.


is this true? i've just been reading about how it is impossible these days to make partner and that kind of worries me bc i don't know really have a plan for my life past 7 years working biglaw and i'm trying to get a sense of what to do.

While biglaw gives you the best exit options, it seems that good exit options aren't a cake walk these days for biglaw associates. While you are an associate it doesn't seem too difficult to find another biglaw firm to lateral to if you want. But that's not really an exit. At some point you hit the up or out ceiling no matter where you are, and there isn't always some great option waiting. And of course you may get laid off or asked to leave long before you get that far.

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

Postby bigben » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:25 pm

ahduth wrote:1. Does it make you models and bottles rich? No. Will I be able to put my kids through school and guarantee their wellbeing to my satisfaction? I'm hoping so.

I would say it doesn't even do that. You may be there 2 or 3 years. Probably not more than 5 or 6. If you're lucky, you'll be there long enough to recover the cost of law school, whether that means paying off loans or just recouping a cash investment. Then what? Who knows. Biglaw is an opportunity and a launching pad, not an endpoint.

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

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:26 pm

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Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:25 pm

bigben wrote:Any small or midlaw firm of gov gig will tend to offer MUCH better training at the entry level than biglaw because you get more responsibility.


This just isn't accurate either. In fact, I would argue that small/mid law offers much WORSE training than biglaw if you want to move in-house). Biglaw shops have TONS of resources and training opportunities. Small law on the other hand, may (and I think this is potentially a stretch) provide more responsibility, but that doesn't automatically translate into better training. I would argue you are more likely "on your own" in small law than biglaw. If you prove yourself in biglaw early on, then you're going to get plenty of responsibility. Will you be drafting a credit agreement by the time you're a second year? Probably not. It is an issue of complexity and lack of comprehension that prevents second years from leading negotiation of principal documents.

The training is going to be different for sure. The issue is that small law and biglaw frequently don't do the same scope of work. For example, you may be in finance at a small law shop and it is likely that your deals are much smaller and the parties are less sophisticated (e.g., you'll have a 20 page loan agreement instead of 80 pages). Neither really provides "better" training, but the training is different. Is an I-Bank going to hire a small lawyer to handle their complex transactions? Probably not. But to the extent than any law firm is going to be a launching pad for an in-house gig, you'll likely going to get opportunities from your firm's existing clients and/or areas of business that you have translatable experience.

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

Postby alumniguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:38 pm

dooood wrote:Alumni Guy, thanks for your well-thought out responses and insights. Do you have an impression of the best way to go about transitioning from a transactional biglaw associate position into finance? I assume one's only shot is to stay within his specific corporate practice area (e.g. M&A --> I-bank or PE work --> PE shop), but how do you get the ball rolling? Is the best avenue to try to work for one of the firm's corporate clients (with whom an associate already works regularly)? Do you have to tread softly when trying to secure a position that way?
In terms of moving to I-banks, is this a well-trodden path? Specifically, do you know if a bank would automatically start you off as an associate, or is it possible to start as a senior associate or VP?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks for any advice you have


Depends on your question - if you are asking about legal side to business side, I'd tell you to forget law school and do an MBA program or get an entry level job at a bank. VERY FEW lawyers go from legal to business side. It is possible, but you'll really need to understand the business side of things and being a lawyer doesn't always translate into understanding the business side (especially when you are a junior/mid-level). It will likely take you years and years to master the business side of things.

Moving to an in-house legal position is much more traditional. The most well-trodden path is to move from your firm to a client (or at least it was the most traditional pre ITE). It is both firm and practice group specific - meaning that some firms and practice groups encourage this and partners may suggest opportunities to associates when they arise and other firms and practice groups are the opposite and never dialogue on this topic. In either event, you're likely talking about 4-5 years of biglaw before moving to a bank is realistically possible (certainly can be done quicker and I've seen it happen, but it is not usual).

If your firm/practice group don't provide any connections, associates use head hunters and apply for jobs on their own. It is much like a traditional job search. Biglaw is practically uniformly required for most I-banks. Associates are secretive about job searches until they have an offer in hand.

As for your title once you're there, presuming you have 4-5 years experience, I believe most legal positions start at VP.

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

Postby predent/prelaw » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:22 pm

dooood wrote:Alumni Guy, thanks for your well-thought out responses and insights. Do you have an impression of the best way to go about transitioning from a transactional biglaw associate position into finance? I assume one's only shot is to stay within his specific corporate practice area (e.g. M&A --> I-bank or PE work --> PE shop), but how do you get the ball rolling? Is the best avenue to try to work for one of the firm's corporate clients (with whom an associate already works regularly)? Do you have to tread softly when trying to secure a position that way?
In terms of moving to I-banks, is this a well-trodden path? Specifically, do you know if a bank would automatically start you off as an associate, or is it possible to start as a senior associate or VP?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks for any advice you have


If you are any kind of math major or have taken Calc 1 2&3 Stat DE etc do not go to law school!!!! Go to Princeton WUSTL Villinova Vandy or Fordham MSF go to wallstreet and make big law attorneys your bitches

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

Postby nealric » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:57 pm

Any small or midlaw firm of gov gig will tend to offer MUCH better training at the entry level than biglaw because you get more responsibility.


As another poster echoed above, it's not that Biglaw offers objectively better training, it's that it offers different training (which is often more valuable). Although I am not a litigator, my sense is that the Biglaw advantage is much less with regard to training for litigators. My impression is that you can get great training from doing small litigation matters. Getting a feel for motion practice and trial proceedures is valuable no matter what the amount in controversy is.

By contrast, doing small business incorporations raises almost none of the complicated issues that can come up with nine-figure M&A transactions. It's very hard to learn to work on bigger deals without actually doing them. It's for this reason that you almost never hear of people going from small firms to large firms on the corporate side. By contrast, it's not unheard of (even if it is rare) for solid litigators to go from small to large firms.

This holds true in my specialty as well (as I mentioned previously). Small firms just don't do the same type of tax work as large firms (with the exception of a small handful of elite boutiques). It's true that the government can provide fantastic training in tax, but the quality of that training can be highly dependent on where you end up within the government.



If you are any kind of math major or have taken Calc 1 2&3 Stat DE etc do not go to law school!!!! Go to Princeton WUSTL Villinova Vandy or Fordham MSF go to wallstreet and make big law attorneys your bitches


Lulz. Just do quant bro!

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

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:01 pm

predent/prelaw wrote:
dooood wrote:Alumni Guy, thanks for your well-thought out responses and insights. Do you have an impression of the best way to go about transitioning from a transactional biglaw associate position into finance? I assume one's only shot is to stay within his specific corporate practice area (e.g. M&A --> I-bank or PE work --> PE shop), but how do you get the ball rolling? Is the best avenue to try to work for one of the firm's corporate clients (with whom an associate already works regularly)? Do you have to tread softly when trying to secure a position that way?
In terms of moving to I-banks, is this a well-trodden path? Specifically, do you know if a bank would automatically start you off as an associate, or is it possible to start as a senior associate or VP?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks for any advice you have


If you are any kind of math major or have taken Calc 1 2&3 Stat DE etc do not go to law school!!!! Go to Princeton WUSTL Villinova Vandy or Fordham MSF go to wallstreet and make big law attorneys your bitches


I actually hope to start my own firm one day. I don't think I'd ever be able to start my own bank.

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

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:56 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
predent/prelaw wrote:
dooood wrote:Alumni Guy, thanks for your well-thought out responses and insights. Do you have an impression of the best way to go about transitioning from a transactional biglaw associate position into finance? I assume one's only shot is to stay within his specific corporate practice area (e.g. M&A --> I-bank or PE work --> PE shop), but how do you get the ball rolling? Is the best avenue to try to work for one of the firm's corporate clients (with whom an associate already works regularly)? Do you have to tread softly when trying to secure a position that way?
In terms of moving to I-banks, is this a well-trodden path? Specifically, do you know if a bank would automatically start you off as an associate, or is it possible to start as a senior associate or VP?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks for any advice you have


If you are any kind of math major or have taken Calc 1 2&3 Stat DE etc do not go to law school!!!! Go to Princeton WUSTL Villinova Vandy or Fordham MSF go to wallstreet and make big law attorneys your bitches


I actually hope to start my own firm one day. I don't think I'd ever be able to start my own bank.

It's amazing how many people on tls think getting banking jobs or good business jobs is just that easy. Also lol at some calc and stats classes proving you are good enough for an advanced degree that requires math.

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

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:59 am

[quote="nealric"]As another poster echoed above, it's not that Biglaw offers objectively better training, it's that it offers different training (which is often more valuable). Although I am not a litigator, my sense is that the Biglaw advantage is much less with regard to training for litigators. My impression is that you can get great training from doing small litigation matters. Getting a feel for motion practice and trial proceedures is valuable no matter what the amount in controversy is. quote]

Credited. Not sure there is much, if any benefit in training in biglaw litigation. I am not a litigator, so I often tend to gloss over that significant aspect of biglaw.

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

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:It's amazing how many people on tls think getting banking jobs or good business jobs is just that easy. Also lol at some calc and stats classes proving you are good enough for an advanced degree that requires math.


Yeah I just don't get it either. I mean things are still looking bleak in most areas and the only reason people should advocate law school is not that it's any worse than any other field (it probably isn't that much worse), but because of the cost involved for ending up with roughly the same chance at employment on average.

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

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:01 pm

alumniguy wrote:
nealric wrote:As another poster echoed above, it's not that Biglaw offers objectively better training, it's that it offers different training (which is often more valuable). Although I am not a litigator, my sense is that the Biglaw advantage is much less with regard to training for litigators. My impression is that you can get great training from doing small litigation matters. Getting a feel for motion practice and trial proceedures is valuable no matter what the amount in controversy is.


Credited. Not sure there is much, if any benefit in training in biglaw litigation. I am not a litigator, so I often tend to gloss over that significant aspect of biglaw.


This is what I've been told as well by a friend of mine that's a pretty successful litigator. Biglaw is a necessity for getting a really good in house position, but if you want to be a litigator there can be some advantages to working at a boutique.

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

Postby bigben » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:37 pm

alumniguy wrote:
nealric wrote:As another poster echoed above, it's not that Biglaw offers objectively better training, it's that it offers different training (which is often more valuable). Although I am not a litigator, my sense is that the Biglaw advantage is much less with regard to training for litigators. My impression is that you can get great training from doing small litigation matters. Getting a feel for motion practice and trial proceedures is valuable no matter what the amount in controversy is. quote]

Credited. Not sure there is much, if any benefit in training in biglaw litigation. I am not a litigator, so I often tend to gloss over that significant aspect of biglaw.

Yes, I was thinking more about litigation when I said that.

I still think that smaller and midlaw firms tend to offer more responsibility on average, which equates to more learning. As you said, this doesn't make it more desirable necessarily, since most small firms do less desirable work. But where small and midlaw firms do similar work or work that you're interested in, it's something to consider.

I do not agree that responsibility in biglaw is usually only limited by knowledge/ability. Biglaw has many menial tasks that need to be done and many people will be largely limited to that for their (probably short) biglaw career. Client contact and responsibility is often far more limited than what is necessary or even reasonably expected. It varies widely by firm and group, of course. Part of it is how well you are perceived or as you say "if you prove yourself early on." But that excludes some people and it's only part of the equation.

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

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:53 pm

bigben wrote:
alumniguy wrote:
nealric wrote:As another poster echoed above, it's not that Biglaw offers objectively better training, it's that it offers different training (which is often more valuable). Although I am not a litigator, my sense is that the Biglaw advantage is much less with regard to training for litigators. My impression is that you can get great training from doing small litigation matters. Getting a feel for motion practice and trial proceedures is valuable no matter what the amount in controversy is. quote]

Credited. Not sure there is much, if any benefit in training in biglaw litigation. I am not a litigator, so I often tend to gloss over that significant aspect of biglaw.

Yes, I was thinking more about litigation when I said that.

I still think that smaller and midlaw firms tend to offer more responsibility on average, which equates to more learning. As you said, this doesn't make it more desirable necessarily, since most small firms do less desirable work. But where small and midlaw firms do similar work or work that you're interested in, it's something to consider.

I do not agree that responsibility in biglaw is usually only limited by knowledge/ability. Biglaw has many menial tasks that need to be done and many people will be largely limited to that for their (probably short) biglaw career. Client contact and responsibility is often far more limited than what is necessary or even reasonably expected. It varies widely by firm and group, of course. Part of it is how well you are perceived or as you say "if you prove yourself early on." But that excludes some people and it's only part of the equation.


You're right that there are many menial tasks, but associates are not for the most part ascribed certain tasks. You area assigned a case/deal and do whatever is required for the junior on that case. Again, there is far less client contact in litigation than in transactional practices. Nevertheless, you're going to be get client contact in biglaw even as a junior. In my opinion, the importance of client contact is overstated. As an aside, I used to get extremely nervous talking with clients until I realized that they don't expect you to know everything. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you need to look into the matter and will get back to them. This is pretty much true for every situation. But back to the point, most biglaw shops have a variety of clients - some vastly more important than others. Partners are usually willing to allow, and usually expect, juniors to take more responsibility on the deals of clients who are not marquee clients. The deals may be smaller in scope, but are still complex matters. Responsibility is really just another word for taking ownership. For example, juniors are tasked with legal research so that you can present the research to the partner. While this may not be thought in the usual way as a high responsibility task, you can be assured that the partner is NOT checking your work. They assume that you are doing the research correctly.

I've dealt with juniors from midlaw firms on several occasions and in no sense did I ever get the impression that they were better attorneys, let alone better attorneys because they had "more responsibility." On the contrary, I've found them to generally not be as good as juniors I've dealt with at other biglaw firms.

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

Postby Kochel » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:46 pm

alumniguy wrote:[You're right that there are many menial tasks, but associates are not for the most part ascribed certain tasks. You area assigned a case/deal and do whatever is required for the junior on that case. Again, there is far less client contact in litigation than in transactional practices. Nevertheless, you're going to be get client contact in biglaw even as a junior. In my opinion, the importance of client contact is overstated. As an aside, I used to get extremely nervous talking with clients until I realized that they don't expect you to know everything. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you need to look into the matter and will get back to them. This is pretty much true for every situation. But back to the point, most biglaw shops have a variety of clients - some vastly more important than others. Partners are usually willing to allow, and usually expect, juniors to take more responsibility on the deals of clients who are not marquee clients. The deals may be smaller in scope, but are still complex matters. Responsibility is really just another word for taking ownership. For example, juniors are tasked with legal research so that you can present the research to the partner. While this may not be thought in the usual way as a high responsibility task, you can be assured that the partner is NOT checking your work. They assume that you are doing the research correctly.

I've dealt with juniors from midlaw firms on several occasions and in no sense did I ever get the impression that they were better attorneys, let alone better attorneys because they had "more responsibility." On the contrary, I've found them to generally not be as good as juniors I've dealt with at other biglaw firms.


I agree with the above. As an in-house attorney (and former Biglaw associate), I deal with Biglaw junior associates all the time. I get the drill: clients like me need to have relationships with junior associates, if only because partners are often unavailable. And, in fact, for certain matters and after a certain amount of exposure, the junior associate will usually know a lot more than the partner.

The mark of a good junior associate is not whether he knows all the substantive answers, it's how well he knows the specific deal and me as a client--i.e., how familiar he is with my company's organization, policies and workflow, etc. For complicated projects and transactions, it's the junior associate who needs to act as the glue. He's the one who masters the org charts and cap tables, who runs the issues lists and acts as liaison with supporting groups and the other side. Many of these responsibilities are far from menial in nature. A good junior associate will master the skills necessary to keep multiple balls in the air and thereby win the client's (my) confidence. And along the way, the attentive junior associate will also be gaining the substantive knowledge base to justify his ever-increasing billable rate.

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

Postby predent/prelaw » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:52 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
predent/prelaw wrote:
dooood wrote:Alumni Guy, thanks for your well-thought out responses and insights. Do you have an impression of the best way to go about transitioning from a transactional biglaw associate position into finance? I assume one's only shot is to stay within his specific corporate practice area (e.g. M&A --> I-bank or PE work --> PE shop), but how do you get the ball rolling? Is the best avenue to try to work for one of the firm's corporate clients (with whom an associate already works regularly)? Do you have to tread softly when trying to secure a position that way?
In terms of moving to I-banks, is this a well-trodden path? Specifically, do you know if a bank would automatically start you off as an associate, or is it possible to start as a senior associate or VP?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks for any advice you have


If you are any kind of math major or have taken Calc 1 2&3 Stat DE etc do not go to law school!!!! Go to Princeton WUSTL Villinova Vandy or Fordham MSF go to wallstreet and make big law attorneys your bitches


I actually hope to start my own firm one day. I don't think I'd ever be able to start my own bank.

It's amazing how many people on tls think getting banking jobs or good business jobs is just that easy. Also lol at some calc and stats classes proving you are good enough for an advanced degree that requires math.


Lol at your dumb fucking ass cock fuck, those are the average requirements to those programs... yes you also have to take the GMAT and do well. If someone put forth as much effort as needed to enter a T14 law school and has a math/econ/stat/physics degree and does well on GMAT, I would imagine they could break into one of those programs unless they're a shit fuck like yourself. Know this ugly fucker, I will always be better, smarter, hotter, and happier than your pompous dick bag self. O and do you have to be a shit dick every time you post because you're sad and ugly fuck, just don't fuck bag its rude.




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