ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby sunynp » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:45 pm

bk1 wrote:
IAFG wrote:I guess when I hear from people late in the game that they aren't really sure how to massmail, I feel like we aren't doing a great job pushing for the right things at the right time. And is there a schedule of career fairs compiled anywhere around here? Really, shouldn't there be?


I agree that it's depressing seeing people who are like "well I started massmailing when OCI started looking grim."

I don't think there is one compiled. There probably should be. But career fairs aren't particularly helpful to people who aren't doing things early since you often have to register in the spring or early summer for them. NU CSO kept us relatively well apprised of them. Not sure how good other schools are at it.


A schedule or plan of when and how to mass mail is a great idea. I know kegs thread specifically addresses what to do after OCI but I haven't seen the push for signing up for job fairs or mass mailing in July. This is a smart ideas and would be a great resource.

Maybe no one should be relying on OCI no matter how great their grades, work experience or charm.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby bk1 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:49 pm

sunynp wrote:Maybe no one should be relying on OCI no matter how great their grades, work experience or charm.


I definitely agree with this.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:29 am

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... 2619814127

Here's a good comment from Campos' blog:

I'm really glad that LawProf and DJM have not just focused on outcomes from the bottom schools but from the top schools as well. I'm a 3L at a top ten school and I can feel the desperation coming from the majority of the class who didn't get BigLaw jobs. I have a one year position lined up for next year but after that I have no idea what I'll be doing.

Yet none of my professors has said anything publicly about the rising tuition compared to the jobs. Many people in my class will be financially ruined for life even though they are some of the smartest, hardest workers out there and they did "everything right" within the system presented to them. At this point they don't even get to shift course after realizing they've been scammed - they are crippled with debt that they will never pay off.

Frankly I have a hard time respecting my professors for not facing this reality, for thinking their "elite" school will be immune, and simply going back to arguing about Obamacare and who helps the poor the most (some of whom will be their own students!).


The gig is up. This bubble is deflating rapidly. Smart people are fleeing law school for industries that don't rely on pyramid schemes and corruption for their sustainability. The drop in admissions standards doesn't mean it's a good time to "buy low." Personally, I think Biglaw hiring is going to continue to get worse. It's an unsustainable business model that makes no sense for the future...and it's a miracle it survived for as long as it had. Most Biglaw firms are severely trimming or completely cutting their summer programs, and instead focusing on laterals. Clients no longer want to pay $300/hour for unproven graduates to do mundane busywork. They want attorneys with experience if they're going to fork out that much dough.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby 09042014 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:35 am

What top ten school doesn't have jerbs for half it's class.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:42 am

Desert Fox wrote:What top ten school doesn't have jerbs for half it's class.


The commenter did say "Biglaw jobs," not just any job. I don't think it's a stretch to believe that at all.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby 09042014 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:04 am

JCougar wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:What top ten school doesn't have jerbs for half it's class.


The commenter did say "Biglaw jobs," not just any job. I don't think it's a stretch to believe that at all.


I believe that it's a stretch, at least for c/o 2013.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:11 am

Desert Fox wrote:
JCougar wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:What top ten school doesn't have jerbs for half it's class.


The commenter did say "Biglaw jobs," not just any job. I don't think it's a stretch to believe that at all.


I believe that it's a stretch, at least for c/o 2013.


I guess we'll see when the NALP numbers come out. Your school probably does better than most due to its policy of admitting people with work experience. It's been below 50% for almost all of them lately.

User avatar
Yukos
Posts: 1774
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Yukos » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:14 am

I'm really glad that LawProf and DJM have not just focused on outcomes from the bottom schools but from the top schools as well. I'm a 3L at a top ten school and I can feel the desperation coming from the majority of the class who didn't get BigLaw jobs. I have a one year position lined up for next year but after that I have no idea what I'll be doing.


It's ambiguous, but I parse this as many "of the people who didn't get biglaw, the majority are now panicking" which seems reasonable (also makes sense that some people who didn't get biglaw aren't panicking, they're just chill bros).

User avatar
Renne Walker
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:12 am

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Renne Walker » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:48 am

JCougar wrote:My favorite solution is to have schools underwrite a portion of the debt they create. Therefore, the more they raise tuition, the more risk they take on. It would no longer be an economically wise decision to charge students what they couldn't concievably pay back given the school's placement.

Having the school cover X% of the tuition if the student strikes out sounds great. It would certainly be of assistance to those in dire straits. Problem is the LS would likely raise their tuition by said percentage, thus everyone else would wind up paying that extra X%.

The elephant in the room is: as long as the gov’t acts as an ATM machine for loans, tuitions will keep skyrocketing. If the gov’t shuts down the loans, many students will be closed out. Feel free to insert a solution.

User avatar
altoid99
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:04 am

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby altoid99 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:17 am

Renne Walker wrote:
JCougar wrote:My favorite solution is to have schools underwrite a portion of the debt they create. Therefore, the more they raise tuition, the more risk they take on. It would no longer be an economically wise decision to charge students what they couldn't concievably pay back given the school's placement.

Having the school cover X% of the tuition if the student strikes out sounds great. It would certainly be of assistance to those in dire straits. Problem is the LS would likely raise their tuition by said percentage, thus everyone else would wind up paying that extra X%.

The elephant in the room is: as long as the gov’t acts as an ATM machine for loans, tuitions will keep skyrocketing. If the gov’t shuts down the loans, many students will be closed out. Feel free to insert a solution.


Theoretically, I think the government needs to incentivize keeping tuition low by rewarding those schools that do by making loans more accessible and punishing those that don't be restricting federal funding. This would require much more government oversight and I'm not sure if it's feasible/cost-effective.

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby kwais » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:01 am

JCougar wrote:http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/09/slow-learners.html?showComment=1346855594590#c5074706432619814127

Here's a good comment from Campos' blog:

I'm really glad that LawProf and DJM have not just focused on outcomes from the bottom schools but from the top schools as well. I'm a 3L at a top ten school and I can feel the desperation coming from the majority of the class who didn't get BigLaw jobs. I have a one year position lined up for next year but after that I have no idea what I'll be doing.

Yet none of my professors has said anything publicly about the rising tuition compared to the jobs. Many people in my class will be financially ruined for life even though they are some of the smartest, hardest workers out there and they did "everything right" within the system presented to them. At this point they don't even get to shift course after realizing they've been scammed - they are crippled with debt that they will never pay off.

Frankly I have a hard time respecting my professors for not facing this reality, for thinking their "elite" school will be immune, and simply going back to arguing about Obamacare and who helps the poor the most (some of whom will be their own students!).


The gig is up. This bubble is deflating rapidly. Smart people are fleeing law school for industries that don't rely on pyramid schemes and corruption for their sustainability. The drop in admissions standards doesn't mean it's a good time to "buy low." Personally, I think Biglaw hiring is going to continue to get worse. It's an unsustainable business model that makes no sense for the future...and it's a miracle it survived for as long as it had. Most Biglaw firms are severely trimming or completely cutting their summer programs, and instead focusing on laterals. Clients no longer want to pay $300/hour for unproven graduates to do mundane busywork. They want attorneys with experience if they're going to fork out that much dough.


This reminds me of the D.A.R.E. program in elementary school. They tell kids that smoking pot once will make their heads fall off. Then they meet someone smoking pot with head attached and they think that D.A.R.E must have made everything up. Why all the hyperbole?
MOST biglaw firms are SEVERELY cutting their classes? That is not the case, so why say it?
SMART people ARE FLEEING law school? Maybe some are, but many are not.

Sunynp, Cougar and a few others I think might actually be doing a disservice lately to the cause of instilling caution. I think a measure of rationale discourse is needed if TLS is going to continue to help inform 0Ls. And that includes a recognition that for many, despite the dangers of law school, the alternatives are fairly depressing as well. So stop saying they are not. Stop saying its impossible to get biglaw from the top schools when I'm watching DROVES of complete idiots at my school fight off offers from the V10. Stop saying that the industry is crumbling when it's simply adjusting. The realities should be enough to make people think twice so there is no need for the Chicken Little schtick of late.

User avatar
Scotusnerd
Posts: 813
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Scotusnerd » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:28 am

This has been one of the better topics on law school information employment, actually. Certainly one of the more civilized. Thanks for posting it and keeping it on track. Us 1Ls are watching as well. :D

I think the challenge of warning people is manifold. One, they won't listen, because they're dumb (been there, done that.) Two: the more you shout, the more they ignore you. Three: The less you shout, the more they don't hear you. It's a balancing act.

I definitely know where JCougar is coming from with unemployment. It really sucks, and it changes your worldview. You start to realize just how far you'd really go to get a job, and how it gets thrown back in your face. A lot.

I'm a 1L, and I am networking my ass off. Having spent a year in that limbo (after holding a good job), I am not going to let that happen to me on the other side of law school. There are plenty of ways for a mature, careful person to get their foot in the door, if law is what they really want to do. Just don't expect your school, your contacts, or your friends to do it for you.

I've also come to the conclusion that the job I want the most is one where I am not surrounded by assholes. I really don't care what field of law it is.

Also, I don't think a lot of new graduates really understand how difficult getting a job is. It is NOT 'good interview+law degree=jerb'. Here's a more accurate expression:

Employer: Let's see, we have 500 applicants for an entry level position. We said you need experience in securities, but about half of these apps have 2 years plus in the field, so let's get rid of all the first years. All right, now we have 250...oh, here's a bunch with 5 years' of experience, let's get those...here's some with S.E.C. work, here's a couple...oh hey, looks like Bob is looking for work. Hey Jon, do you remember Bob? I met him at the bar the other night, he seemed like a good guy. He's got five years of experience at the S.E.C., plus his cover letter isn't misspelled. I think his old firm paid him 70k, but we can probably get away with 65k, since he got laid off. Let me give him a call!

You: Oh god please hire me I'm fresh out of law school. :(

Welcome to life.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby sunynp » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:57 am

we need to do a post for 1Ls about getting jobs and how no one should rely on OCI. How people must practice interviewing until they are perfect, go to bar association stuff and meet people, mass mail, etc.
And maybe a post for 0Ls really emphasizing the regional nature of hiring. That it isn't grades plus US NEWS rank of your school = job. I got into a bit of an argument yesterday with the October waiters troll about how 50% 9of attorneys don't have jobs and it isn't just the bottom 50% from the worst schools. He refused to read Rayiner's unemployment thread so whatever. ( I probably shouldn't have been in that thread anyway but I first posted from looking at active topics on my phone and didn't realize.)

Honestly I would do these posts and start these threads but:
1. I got my job through OCI. But it is a bigfirm that has a large SA class so it isn't like I even know about interviewing for small class size. Also before he died when I was a kid my dad had offices in the same building and used some of the attorneys for work. So at least I knew the names of a few people and they remembered my dad.

2. I'm from New York and went to school in New York (undergrad and law) and I'm working in New York, so I don't know anything about other regions. I once considered moving to the South with an SO who was in med school there but that didn't work out.

So all I could do would be to parrot what other people have said and I don't think that makes for accurate and reliable advice.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:11 am

sunynp wrote:we need to do a post for 1Ls about getting jobs and how no one should rely on OCI. How people must practice interviewing until they are perfect, go to bar association stuff and meet people, mass mail, etc.


Actually because of your post at the top of this page I did my best to summarize this stuff here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=195630

I'd take your thoughts on changing it (I punt the whole networking thing since I know very little about that). I also didn't include any region-specific info since I only looked at major markets.

User avatar
piccolittle
Posts: 1118
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:16 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby piccolittle » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:41 am

I feel as though TLS definitely pushes the "mass mail early" message - I started mass mailing in June, and got my job (that I eventually accepted) in mid-July. This site is the reason. I think it's true that the kids who are so unwilling to hustle now are inevitably the ones who went straight through from college and probably never applied for a job before. I try to push the message but at this point it's really late for them and I have no idea what to say. Unfortunately, this means they say things like "mass mailing is stupid and pointless" when really what they mean is "I should have been mass mailing before OCI."

I started a thread this summer for mass mailing and career fairs (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=185921) and I think it should be a yearly thing, so we institutionalize the idea that the job hunt starts in May/June and ends when you accept an offer, rather than starting a couple of days before OCI and ending when you give up.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:49 am

kwais wrote:This reminds me of the D.A.R.E. program in elementary school. They tell kids that smoking pot once will make their heads fall off. Then they meet someone smoking pot with head attached and they think that D.A.R.E must have made everything up. Why all the hyperbole?
MOST biglaw firms are SEVERELY cutting their classes? That is not the case, so why say it?
SMART people ARE FLEEING law school? Maybe some are, but many are not.

Sunynp, Cougar and a few others I think might actually be doing a disservice lately to the cause of instilling caution. I think a measure of rationale discourse is needed if TLS is going to continue to help inform 0Ls. And that includes a recognition that for many, despite the dangers of law school, the alternatives are fairly depressing as well. So stop saying they are not. Stop saying its impossible to get biglaw from the top schools when I'm watching DROVES of complete idiots at my school fight off offers from the V10. Stop saying that the industry is crumbling when it's simply adjusting. The realities should be enough to make people think twice so there is no need for the Chicken Little schtick of late.


Biglaw hiring is down 50% from 5 years ago, and it hasn't really recovered all that much. It's a permanent structural change rather than a reaction to the recession. Clients have demanded it. There's literally half as many entry level Biglaw jobs as there used to be.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby sunynp » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:09 am

JCougar wrote:
kwais wrote:This reminds me of the D.A.R.E. program in elementary school. They tell kids that smoking pot once will make their heads fall off. Then they meet someone smoking pot with head attached and they think that D.A.R.E must have made everything up. Why all the hyperbole?
MOST biglaw firms are SEVERELY cutting their classes? That is not the case, so why say it?
SMART people ARE FLEEING law school? Maybe some are, but many are not.

Sunynp, Cougar and a few others I think might actually be doing a disservice lately to the cause of instilling caution. I think a measure of rationale discourse is needed if TLS is going to continue to help inform 0Ls. And that includes a recognition that for many, despite the dangers of law school, the alternatives are fairly depressing as well. So stop saying they are not. Stop saying its impossible to get biglaw from the top schools when I'm watching DROVES of complete idiots at my school fight off offers from the V10. Stop saying that the industry is crumbling when it's simply adjusting. The realities should be enough to make people think twice so there is no need for the Chicken Little schtick of late.


Biglaw hiring is down 50% from 5 years ago, and it hasn't really recovered all that much. It's a permanent structural change rather than a reaction to the recession. Clients have demanded it. There's literally half as many entry level Biglaw jobs as there used to be.


Well you may not see the decline in the admission of top scores to not be fleeing law, but to me it seems that way if the very top people decide to go into other fields. If a noticeable number of the people who could get into the top schools are not even applying or attending, what would you call that? These are the people who have the best shot out of undergrad and they are doing something else. If fleeing offends you so much, is there another verb?

I have tried to post the facts of hiring using numbers. I have tried to always link to a source. If less than 6000 people nationwide getting jobs at firms of 50 or more people sounds like good hiring to you, then just ignore me. If I said it was impossible to get biglaw from OCI, then I was incorrect, because I did just that. But I had no debt for law school. I would not have taken the risk if I had to be in debt for the next 20 years should I fail to get a job.

I have been around long enough to see class size plummet from pre-ITE and to have friends fired because of the economy and suffer because of their debt loads. These class sizes are not returning any time soon. Maybe you don't know how good it was comparatively pre-ITE. Things are not good enough now to justify the cost in many cases. The problem is that you can't know if it is justified for you until you are in school.

Also schools have lied for years and the general public, including the current incoming LSAT takers, remain unaware of the seismic shift in law patterns. The special snowflakes may ignore us, but maybe we will get them to do more research. It is simply a mistake to assume that because we know about the law school scam that everyone else does.

If the employment catastrophe were well known, how could new law schools be allowed to open? There is still a lot of cognitive dissonance in terms of employment.

And the idea that law will return dramatically when the economy improves is not supported by more than wishful thinking. The BLS data shows that about twice as many grads as jobs will continue for the next 10 years -even given an improvement in the economy and even those numbers are based on rosy assumptions of retirement patterns.

Of course none of this would matter if law school tuition hadn't increased by a couple thousand percent over the past, what ten or twenty years? I don't have those numbers handy. If tuition had remained at a reasonable level, then I would have no problem with everyone going to law school. That way they could manage their debt if they don't get the job they want. Going to law school and counting on biglaw to save your ass is a risk. It works out great if you are on the right side of it, if you are on the wrong side, you are in trouble for decades.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15457
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:56 pm

JCougar wrote:Biglaw hiring is down 50% from 5 years ago, and it hasn't really recovered all that much. It's a permanent structural change rather than a reaction to the recession. Clients have demanded it. There's literally half as many entry level Biglaw jobs as there used to be.


Yes, there are a lot fewer jobs, but the loss isn't spread evenly across schools. Law Firm Addict showed that in the summer of 2006 80% of Columbia students had V100 SAs. In 2011, 306 students (out of about 450) accepted V100 offers through OCI. That doesn't include people who got offers outside of OCI and doesn't include firms that didn't respond back to the career services office. So while caution is warranted, a blanket statement suggesting that job prospects are down 50% everywhere is irresponsible.

I'm also not sure we can say that entry level hiring has completely changed in response to the market. The number of attorneys working for NLJ250 firms is nearly unchanged from five years ago. The firms just don't need to hire as many people because the exit options aren't as strong. If the lack of legal hiring from BigLaw is permanently down then maybe we can say there is a structural change negatively affecting BigLaw entry-level hiring. But until the economy picks back up and we see that lateral opportunities remain weak we can't say that BigLaw will maintain these reduced levels of hiring.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:16 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm also not sure we can say that entry level hiring has completely changed in response to the market. The number of attorneys working for NLJ250 firms is nearly unchanged from five years ago. The firms just don't need to hire as many people because the exit options aren't as strong. If the lack of legal hiring from BigLaw is permanently down then maybe we can say there is a structural change negatively affecting BigLaw entry-level hiring. But until the economy picks back up and we see that lateral opportunities remain weak we can't say that BigLaw will maintain these reduced levels of hiring.


It's also been widely reported that clients have been refusing to pay for hours billed to entry-level associates. Maybe retention rates are going up because less people are being pushed out of Biglaw because of this.

The fact is, there's a fundamental change in the thinking in the industry. Clients only want to be billed $300/hour if the attorney actually has experience and has produced a proven work product before. This means less 1L hires, but more retention, and more lateral hires. Which makes a lot more sense -- giving someone who has never worked a day in their life $160K just based on academic performance on such a randomly-graded exam is kind of insane.

I haven't really explored the NYC market much, but in Chicago, firms like Seyfarth Shaw have totally ditched their OCI program and are now only hiring laterals. A lot of other firms have significantly cut down on their 2L classes to do the same.

Furthermore, more and more firms are going to fixed-fee arrangements rather than billing hours. The latter model economically incentivized inefficiency and doubtlessly created a lot of mindless busy work that was thrown to first-year associates solely for the sake of creating more billable hours. With fixed fee arrangements, wasteful work is no longer profitable for law firms, and thus the total amount of hours to be billed will shrink as more and more clients demand fixed fee arrangements. Cutting this inefficiency out of the system means a reduction in the number of associate jobs...which is unfortunate for students, but good for the industry in the long run.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:28 pm

Reports of "structural changes" appear to be a lot of alarmism. Biglaw hiring looks pretty much identical to the century-old Cravath model. Are firms hiring as many people as they did in 2007? Obviously not, that was the height of the bubble. Have clients ever wanted to pay for juniors? Obviously not, and right now it's a buyer's market, but it won't be like that forever, and clients still do end up paying for juniors. If the crash was going to have the impact on hiring that people believed it would, it would have had that impact by now. It's 2012 and everyone is still hiring summer classes and still paying them ungodly sums of money and still recruiting top students from top schools.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:43 pm

IAFG wrote:Reports of "structural changes" appear to be a lot of alarmism. Biglaw hiring looks pretty much identical to the century-old Cravath model. Are firms hiring as many people as they did in 2007? Obviously not, that was the height of the bubble. Have clients ever wanted to pay for juniors? Obviously not, and right now it's a buyer's market, but it won't be like that forever, and clients still do end up paying for juniors. If the crash was going to have the impact on hiring that people believed it would, it would have had that impact by now. It's 2012 and everyone is still hiring summer classes and still paying them ungodly sums of money and still recruiting top students from top schools.


A 50% drop in new positions isn't evidence of structural changes?

I appreciate that Northwestern students don't seem to feel much of an impact, since that school is well-positioned to ride out this change with a lot of students with prior work experience -- but there have been major changes.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby IAFG » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:48 pm

JCougar wrote:
IAFG wrote:Reports of "structural changes" appear to be a lot of alarmism. Biglaw hiring looks pretty much identical to the century-old Cravath model. Are firms hiring as many people as they did in 2007? Obviously not, that was the height of the bubble. Have clients ever wanted to pay for juniors? Obviously not, and right now it's a buyer's market, but it won't be like that forever, and clients still do end up paying for juniors. If the crash was going to have the impact on hiring that people believed it would, it would have had that impact by now. It's 2012 and everyone is still hiring summer classes and still paying them ungodly sums of money and still recruiting top students from top schools.


A 50% drop in new positions isn't evidence of structural changes?

I appreciate that Northwestern students don't seem to feel much of an impact, since that school is well-positioned to ride out this change with a lot of students with prior work experience -- but there have been major changes.

It takes more than a contraction to say, "ah, they're changing how they bring in attorneys." They're still bringing in and training new associates the same ways they always have. And firms still go to the top firms for their legal work. It's fun to speculate about structural changes because honestly, the way it's done is pretty stupid. But even when everything totally went to shit, legal hiring still looked the same.

Listen, this isn't the first contraction the legal industry has seen. Or the first time everyone thought the sky was falling and the Cravath model would get the boot. As much as things suck and as hard as it is to find a job, there isn't much evidence to support the idea that firms are changing how they do their hiring.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:06 pm

IAFG wrote:It takes more than a contraction to say, "ah, they're changing how they bring in attorneys." They're still bringing in and training new associates the same ways they always have. And firms still go to the top firms for their legal work. It's fun to speculate about structural changes because honestly, the way it's done is pretty stupid. But even when everything totally went to shit, legal hiring still looked the same.

Listen, this isn't the first contraction the legal industry has seen. Or the first time everyone thought the sky was falling and the Cravath model would get the boot. As much as things suck and as hard as it is to find a job, there isn't much evidence to support the idea that firms are changing how they do their hiring.


We're going to have to agree to disagree then. I admit that there are still two camps on this issue, and some firms have different philosophies than others. Some are more about sticking with tradition, and some are moving more toward hiring laterals instead of fresh grads. From my experience, I've talked with more partners at firms who are moving in the direction of change. It's going to depend on the firm.

And I don't know if the "fixed fee" stuff I read is bogus or not, but everything I read suggests that's getting more popular. If clients demand fixed fees, the Cravath model becomes less and less advantageous for firms.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby dingbat » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:22 pm

JCougar wrote:And I don't know if the "fixed fee" stuff I read is bogus or not, but everything I read suggests that's getting more popular. If clients demand fixed fees, the Cravath model becomes less and less advantageous for firms.

I think the "fixed fee" stuff is overblown - not that it isn't happening (clients would much rather pay fixed fee) but rather in its effect. Fixed fee predominantly happens in repeatable transactions, where it's easy for a firm to predict roughly how much work it will take. To give an example, if a task typically takes 9-11 hours, and billing is at $400 per hour, this would typically cost from $3,600 to $4,400 to a firm. If there are 100 of these tasks over a year, typically the total cost will approximate $400,000, but no one knows exactly what the end bill will be.

Now imagine this transaction has a fixed fee of $4,000. If it happens to take 9 hours, the law firm is better off, but if it takes 11 hours, the client saves money. If there are 100 of these over a year, the total bill will be exactly $400,000. The client is much happier because they know the bill will be exactly $400,000, rather than somewhere between $395,000 and $405,000. (predictability is important).
Now for a law firm, they know they will make exactly $400,000, so they can allocate 1 First year associate ($160k), 1/3 of a senior associate (1/3*$210k=$70k) and a fraction of a partner's time and still make a decent profit.

Now the first year associate might have to work a few hours more, or a few hours less, but the associate is making the same salary regardlesss. Therefore, it's actually a win for the firm. The issue is when the estimate is wrong.
However, if it turns out that the task, for whatever reason, starts taking up 13 hours, instead of 10, on average, then they'll renegotiation the fixed fee. If a particular transacion is unuaual and ends up taking 20 hours, the firm will need to decide whether to let it fly (because they also had a few that took a lot less time, or relationship building), or if they should discuss it with the client and maybe charge more that one time.

The net/net difference between hourly billing and fixed fee is, on a whole, not going to be significant.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: ATL hires hopeless unemployed 2012 law graduate as blogger

Postby 09042014 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:29 pm

Where are you getting this 50% number.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest