Biglaw vs what???

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gglr24
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby gglr24 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:32 pm

r u sure the NY 25 person firm is not a satellite office?

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rw2264
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby rw2264 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:34 pm

even if they are incredibly rare you can bet there are atleast 100 of them in new york.

starstruck393
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby starstruck393 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:41 pm

It's called mid-law, or boutiques. There are plenty of small to tiny firms that pay better than biglaw with better quality of life as well. While some come without the prestige of a biglaw firm, some are recognized in their particular field as the top of the top (think elite SCOTUS appellate boutiques). Many don't really hire new graduates, and instead pick off biglaw laterals. It all depends on the firm. If you do your research you can uncover these firms, they exist all over the country. So yes, TLS can be naive in this regard.

gglr24
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby gglr24 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:44 pm

That's a good question. I can speculate a few reasons: (1) they don't hire every year, and when they do, its only 1 person (2) most are not listed on NALP (3) a smaller the name and less prestige will always lead to less discussion on boards like this.

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rayiner
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:48 pm

Boutiques exist and are mentioned often on TLS. The problem is that they don't hire very many people overall and it's hard to get a job. Think about it: if the firm has 25 people, they hire maybe a couple of people each year? Even if there are a hundred such firms in NYC, that's a couple of hundred jobs? The biglaw firms in NYC probably hire 10x that many people.

starstruck393
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby starstruck393 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:52 pm

School? wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:It's called mid-law, or boutiques. There are plenty of small to tiny firms that pay better than biglaw with better quality of life as well. While some come without the prestige of a biglaw firm, some are recognized in their particular field as the top of the top (think elite SCOTUS appellate boutiques). Many don't really hire new graduates, and instead pick off biglaw laterals. It all depends on the firm. If you do your research you can uncover these firms, they exist all over the country. So yes, TLS can be naive in this regard.


Thanks for the response. I am very naive, but got confused from reading "Biglaw or shitlaw" and seeing these firms around wondering why they aren't more popular. I guess they are sought after, but hard to land a job.


Or people just don't know about them. TLS has a hive mentality, and thus plays percentages. How a school places at median is the key question thrown around. TLS preaches that it's unwise to assume you'll do well in law school, and that you should assume you'll be around median. Therefore TLS focuses on the greatest points of data concentration, which with employment becomes to bi-modes of the legal employment graph. They focus on the small number of biglaw firms that hire huge classes, and the collective huge number of small law firms that hire small classes. They seem to ignore everything in between. The reality is that many attorneys start out making between ~$60k and $160k, not in biglaw and not in small law; you just need to do the research on your own, since the odds are too small for TLS to bother to do it for you...

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CE2JD
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby CE2JD » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:05 pm

School? wrote:So why aren't firms like this mentioned much? It seems that a smaller firms where you are able to get more involved with cases, and still make good money would be a better job prospect...


Somebody posted a chart somewhere on this site showing that small firms (25-100 people) are disappearing. They're either getting bought up by megafirms or bankrupted by malpractice litigation and competition from solo practitioners.

nycparalegal
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby nycparalegal » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:12 pm

It's funny how far things have swung. Back in the 1950's, most recent law graduates wanted to go solo or work at a smaller firm.

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rayiner
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:39 pm

starstruck393 wrote:
School? wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:It's called mid-law, or boutiques. There are plenty of small to tiny firms that pay better than biglaw with better quality of life as well. While some come without the prestige of a biglaw firm, some are recognized in their particular field as the top of the top (think elite SCOTUS appellate boutiques). Many don't really hire new graduates, and instead pick off biglaw laterals. It all depends on the firm. If you do your research you can uncover these firms, they exist all over the country. So yes, TLS can be naive in this regard.


Thanks for the response. I am very naive, but got confused from reading "Biglaw or shitlaw" and seeing these firms around wondering why they aren't more popular. I guess they are sought after, but hard to land a job.


Or people just don't know about them. TLS has a hive mentality, and thus plays percentages. How a school places at median is the key question thrown around. TLS preaches that it's unwise to assume you'll do well in law school, and that you should assume you'll be around median. Therefore TLS focuses on the greatest points of data concentration, which with employment becomes to bi-modes of the legal employment graph. They focus on the small number of biglaw firms that hire huge classes, and the collective huge number of small law firms that hire small classes. They seem to ignore everything in between. The reality is that many attorneys start out making between ~$60k and $160k, not in biglaw and not in small law; you just need to do the research on your own, since the odds are too small for TLS to bother to do it for you...


It's not a hive mentality. It's statistics.

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NayBoer
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby NayBoer » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:41 pm

I work as a legal assistant at a small tax boutique, so I have a perspective.

We don't do any OCI, never hire SAs, and generally recruit attorneys with a modest amount of experience. None of our attorneys were hired while still in law school, though some were hired with very limited experience (one had non-law WE plus some SA stuff). Virtually every hire has some specific tax knowledge - LLM, CPA, or something akin to the Hastings tax concentration - so it doesn't make sense to interview a big pool of uninformed, undifferentiated 2Ls. I know they do attorney recruiting by posting ads on specific school message boards, including (I think) some LLM boards, and other methods I'm not entirely clear on. They sift through a billion resumes to find promising candidates, then initiate a very lengthy interview process. Our needs are both specific and small, so these methods suffice.

I previously worked as a low-level clerk at a midlaw firm (<100 attorneys across a few offices). I don't know exactly how they did recruiting because I was far removed from the important people, but I know they hired 3 or 4 SAs in 2007. No clue whether this came about from OCI or resume spamming, but I remember at least one was from Boalt. I think first-year associates there start at like 100k, for reference. It was one of the biggest Sacramento firms, so it's likely the smaller firms hired even fewer SAs, if any.

As far as I can tell, the situation is one where a decent number of firms will not train the green JDs and instead elect to recuit more experienced attorneys. A lot of firms are either small boutiques or solo pracs, and do little or no hiring at all (contrarily, I had a friend who did an SA for a solo prac). The midlaw firms seem to not be incredibly numerous and they apparently don't hire green JDs in large volume. Certainly there are options for people who go outside biglaw, but biglaw firms hire and train a lot of the fresh-faced JDs. That training looks good on the resume (better than insurance defense). It also pays a considerable amount of money to get JDs that will not be profitable for some time, making it easier to repay loans.

Alexandria
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby Alexandria » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:12 pm

Keep in mind that the high-paying boutiques are as selective as or more selective than top big firms. So these aren't really viable alternatives for people who can't get biglaw. They're alternatives for people who CAN get biglaw.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Biglaw vs what???

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:15 pm

Essentially Biglaw is hiring people fresh out of law school and paying the costs of training these new graduates. Smaller firms like you're asking about let those big firms give folks a few years of experience and then hire from the ones who want out or who know they won't make partner at the big firm. As such, even if you want to work in a smaller firm in a big city, you'll probably have to start out at a bigger firm anyway.




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