Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

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ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:15 am

Probably true. On the other hand, if clients finally amass enough clout to force a shift away from the billable hour, that same clout is going to keep these kind of shenanigans in check.

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JazzOne
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby JazzOne » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:17 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Jazz:

You don't want billable hours to go away. Billable hours is one of the reasons big firms are able to employ as many people as they employ: they don't have much to gain from increased efficiency.

You know what is going to happen if clients succeed in getting firms off billable hours? Massive layoffs, and the "lucky ones" that survive are going to be working a whole lot more. Getting away from the billable hour would probably be great for the legal profession as a whole, and it would be excellent for clients... but for associates? Awful.

Of course it would be bad for associates, but I'm not in debt, so I really couldn't care less. If big law jobs become even slightly less attractive, I'll go to medical school or do something else. I'm sure others want to keep the status quo so they can make $160K in a few years, but I wouldn't shed a tear if the whole damn thing came crumbling down.
Last edited by JazzOne on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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JazzOne
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby JazzOne » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:17 am

LurkerNoMore wrote:
JazzOne wrote:You may be right. Then again, I was at another interview, and the interviewer started talking to me about billable hours. I thought to myself, "Are you kidding?" That made me very nervous. That model looks like the past to me. There are firms in California now starting to bill per project and doing defense contingency cases. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I see the "billable hour" as a representation of everything that is wrong with big law, and I would love to see some fundamental pricing changes for legal services. I want lawyers to be rewarded for efficiency, not dragging out every step of the litigation process. I guess I had hoped that an economic crisis would be the impetus for that. I read an article today that forecasted another economic downturn resulting from the fact that banks are still engaging in pre-ITE practices. This is going to get interesting.



The billable hours model is not going to go away. There may be an increase in the number of projects that are billed out as a flat rate, but that went on before ITE as well, just more under the radar.

Clients don't want to get rid of the billable hour. Unless a project is routine (which is not the type of work that BigLaw usually does), it is very difficult to predict how long it is going to take. To set up a fixed fee arrangement, both sides have to make a bet on the scope of the project. The fee will be set at a price that the firm believes is greater than or equal to the actual time that will be spent and the client believes is less than or equal to the time needed. Coming to an agreement on that is not generally easy. Further, in a fixed fee arrangement, the definition of the scope of the project becomes very important. Legal work is like trying to map out an iceberg by looking at what is above water. Once you go below the surface and get into the project, the scope often changes. Because of this firms will either insist on a high fixed fee, or a very narrow scope. The first scenario is not usually one the client wants to take, and the second one generally devolves into the typical billable hour arrangement (the parties agree to a fixed fee with a limited scope and then as the project becomes more complex, the additional work gets billed separately).

Interesting points

bigben
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby bigben » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:36 am

crazycanuck wrote:Ringing my usual bell:

There is nothing wrong with having to go to a top school and getting good grades to get a 100k+ job when you are 0 work experience, and the rest pick up 30-40k+ jobs.

What IS wrong is charging 50k+ per year for tuition.

The schools are the real problem with the legal market. That's unlikely to be fixed any time soon.

This is the situation we have in Canada, the top students have the option of getting the 100k jobs in toronto or calgary, or the 80k jobs in Vancouver, and the rest go about getting their 40k or so jobs in small towns and smaller firms. However our tuition isn't out of control, and schools are very heavily regulated in how many students they can allow and whether they can open up a law school)



Yet for some reason you never hear of any groundbreaking legal scholarship coming from Canada.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby bigben » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:47 am

ruleser wrote:For other poster, seriously? Conservatives sold us free trade - from what planet your 'protectionism' comment comes from not sure, but enjoy it up there - when you rejoin reality, enjoy the conservatives who downsized/free traded/outsourced/undercut us into collapse.


News Flash: Economists agree that you're wrong. http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/02/ ... agree.html

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jcl2
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby jcl2 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:11 pm

Aeroplane wrote:Interesting - I thought this year was supposed to have been the upswing, but I guess not.


I think it was expected that 2009 OCI (for 2010 hiring) would be the worst. Firms did their 2009 SA hiring in the fall of 2008 and made their hiring plans before they knew how badly things were going to fall apart. As a result they over-hired the class of 2010, so even though the economy was begining to show signs of recovery last fall overhiring and deferrals in the previous year left them with significantly reduced projected need for new associates. Things should start to return to some approximation of normal for the class of 2012 and more so for the classes of 13 and 14, and by normal I don't mean how things were in 06-07, but more like the first half of the last decade.

edit: somehow I missed that there were 4 pages to this thread already, most of what I said has already been addressed.
Last edited by jcl2 on Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby nealric » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:14 pm

Yet for some reason you never hear of any groundbreaking legal scholarship coming from Canada.


Maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with the fact that U.S. laws don't apply in Canada. What do you expect, Canadian professors as the authority on U.S. constitutional law?

Funny thing, I actually had conlaw with a full-time prof from the U Toronto. This guy: --LinkRemoved--
He was excellent, as good or better than my US trained profs. Plus, how many U.S. profs are experts in the Canadian constitution?

scionb4
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby scionb4 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:38 pm

I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.

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KMaine
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby KMaine » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:41 pm

Except for the fact that you are rollin' in a "b-mer."

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby scionb4 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:43 pm

KMaine wrote:Except for the fact that you are rollin' in a "b-mer."


Most people buy one have no idea why they did because they don't know shit about cars, they're just trying to get into the "in crowd."

09042014
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:44 pm

scionb4 wrote:I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.


Paying back that 150K on a shit law salary is unmanageable.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby Pearalegal » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:51 pm

scionb4 wrote:I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.



Uh, for what its worth, in my firm's parking lot, there are plenty of civics and the like. Your priorities change once you're a grown up with loans, housing and maybe a family to care for.

And I'll be damned if the majority of my associates aren't walking around in the same clothes I am. No one wears a suit everyday...and certainly no one has a wardrobe of them.

This is a case of someone who has no idea what being an associate is really like.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby scionb4 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:54 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
scionb4 wrote:I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.


Paying back that 150K on a shit law salary is unmanageable.


Of course it is, which is why I don't want to go to one. But my point is that just because you are working at a big law firm doesn't mean angels are going to come down playing harps and trumpets and shit . . .

Image

. . . nor does not getting into a firm like that making the big bucks mean you're completely fucked . .

--ImageRemoved--

09042014
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:55 pm

scionb4 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
scionb4 wrote:I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.


Paying back that 150K on a shit law salary is unmanageable.


Of course it is, which is why I don't want to go to one. But my point is that just because you are working at a big law firm doesn't mean angels are going to come down playing harps and trumpets and shit . . .


. . . nor does not getting into a firm like that making the big bucks mean your completely fucked . . ]


If you have 200K of debt it certainly does mean you are fucked.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby SteelReserve » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:21 pm

It will be a minor uptick at best for class of 2012. Firms are very conservative about expanding especially if they're able to pack on the workload to their smaller associate classes.


An extraordinarily minor uptick if at all. Food for thought: OCI interviews for the Class of 2012 start in five and half months.

The simple fact is that there is a devastating bottle-neck in legal employment right now, and it will takes years to unclog, if it unclogs at all. Even though I am high in class rank and on the Law Review at my T2 and have a job lined up for the summer and yadayada yada, I am literally crapping my pants over how competitive even state trial level clerkships are going to be when I start the process next year. Here's a fun fact: at my T2 there are probably 15 or 20 of us 2Ls that are going to be getting paid this summer.

And folks, nothing we can say or do will change that fact. I try to tell my friends with their 155 LSATs to just drop the idea of going to law school because it is economically irrational. But no one listens. No one cares. No one wants to hear it. They just say, 'well I don't have a job now anyway.' I say to them, dude, how will you feel not having a job or being underemployed after you've taken 150k in loans? They respond, 'well, my friend's dad, who is a 55 year old lawyer, makes bank!'

I'm sorry if this is a rant, but it's so frustrating to see how people put so little thought into their futures, and it's frustrating to see so much false hope. Some people would argue no hope is better than false hope.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby miamiman » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:32 pm

SteelReserve wrote:
It will be a minor uptick at best for class of 2012. Firms are very conservative about expanding especially if they're able to pack on the workload to their smaller associate classes.


An extraordinarily minor uptick if at all. Food for thought: OCI interviews for the Class of 2012 start in five and half months.

The simple fact is that there is a devastating bottle-neck in legal employment right now, and it will takes years to unclog, if it unclogs at all. Even though I am high in class rank and on the Law Review at my T2 and have a job lined up for the summer and yadayada yada, I am literally crapping my pants over how competitive even state trial level clerkships are going to be when I start the process next year. Here's a fun fact: at my T2 there are probably 15 or 20 of us 2Ls that are going to be getting paid this summer.

And folks, nothing we can say or do will change that fact. I try to tell my friends with their 155 LSATs to just drop the idea of going to law school because it is economically irrational. But no one listens. No one cares. No one wants to hear it. They just say, 'well I don't have a job now anyway.' I say to them, dude, how will you feel not having a job or being underemployed after you've taken 150k in loans? They respond, 'well, my friend's dad, who is a 55 year old lawyer, makes bank!'

I'm sorry if this is a rant, but it's so frustrating to see how people put so little thought into their futures, and it's frustrating to see so much false hope. Some people would argue no hope is better than false hope.



I work for Kaplan teaching the LSAT. All of my kids, really without exception, are applying to and/or have been admitted to the shittiest T4s in South Florida. I tell them, I urge them, to consider the dramatically reduced employment prospects they will face upon graduation, and the crushing debt that will haunt their existence as they stare down and are forced into low-paying job options, if they are fortunate to have options at all.

They smile, nod that they have considered this, and end the conversation.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby dood » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:43 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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underdawg
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby underdawg » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:58 pm

if law school were cheaper, i wouldn't mind working for less $ after graduation. get your head out of your ass, mr. "$ doesn't buy you happiness" guy

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby scionb4 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:59 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
scionb4 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
scionb4 wrote:I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.


Paying back that 150K on a shit law salary is unmanageable.


Of course it is, which is why I don't want to go to one. But my point is that just because you are working at a big law firm doesn't mean angels are going to come down playing harps and trumpets and shit . . .


. . . nor does not getting into a firm like that making the big bucks mean your completely fucked . . ]


If you have 200K of debt it certainly does mean you are fucked.


Ive never heard of a school where you'd come out with 200k in debt. What school are you talking about?

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby nycparalegal » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:08 pm

scionb4 wrote:
Ive never heard of a school where you'd come out with 200k in debt. What school are you talking about?


Well Brooklyn Law for one: 45,000 per year tuition plus COL (20K) = 195,000, prett darn close to 200k. Add in cost of transportation and car and boom you're over 200k in debt.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby Hiei » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:13 pm

mistergoft wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:
Hiei wrote:When I said good grades I didn't even mean top, I meant more like above median. And to be honest the idea that a 6 figure firm job is something that someone who is below the median is entitled to is a part of the country's problem right now. That last part is just opinion though.


Please list the schools where you know that getting merely "above median" is currently adequate to give a credible shot at a six-figure starting salary.

A school in the top 20.


I fixed the quotes because I know people in that range with six figure positions lined up. One with well below median at MBVP and some above median in the Emory WUSTL range. A lot of it has to do with not fixating one's self on NYC, DC, and Cali as well as interviewing well etc. Jobs don't come down to 100 percent grades and school rank all the time, it can be a mix of things.

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nealric
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby nealric » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:18 pm

I hat to play devils advocate, but why is everyone so obsessed with having a 6 figure job? Do you really think getting paid that much is the ticket to happiness? I know you think that's the only way to pay off your loans, but let's be real here - how many new vault 100 law associates fresh out of law school are able to exercise self-discipline and manage not to buy a new b-mer (after all, who wants to show up to the big-shot law firm in a used civic, it's all about appearance right?), a whole new wardrobe made up of $700 suits minimum, and a condo with a great view near all of the hot night spots? All of this lands you in the exact same position as the TTT graduate struggling to pay off his loans working at a small firm.


Let's see here:

No, I don't think a six figure job is a ticket to happiness. No job is a ticket to happiness at any salary. The issue is lack of reasonable alternatives in my desired practice area.

I'm actually selling my car before starting biglaw, much less buying a BMW. Especially in NYC, very few biglaw associates have a car at all. The ones that do don't drive often, so they almost uniformly drive cheaper cars.

Biglaw is business casual, so no $700 suits here. I did my summer associateship with $15 shirts from TJ Max and $40 slacks from Simms. I see plenty of bigshot partners sporting Joseph A. Bank suits when they need to dress up for court or a client.

Not much for clubs, and am viscerally against the idea of throwing tons of money away on a rented apartment.

In the end, I'm absolutely debt-phobic. Using my biglaw salary to live above (or even at) my means would cause so much anxiety that I couldn't even fathom it.


Ive never heard of a school where you'd come out with 200k in debt. What school are you talking about?


Most big-city private schools (and all T14 schools) are getting to or already at that level- especially accounting for interest accrued while in school.

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A'nold
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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby A'nold » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:20 pm

LULZ at someone not knowing of any school where you come out with 200k in debt.

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby Renzo » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:22 pm

scionb4 wrote:
Ive never heard of a school where you'd come out with 200k in debt. What school are you talking about?


From NYU's website
2008-2009 Cost of Attendance: $67,738


68k x 3 years =$204

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Re: Summer Associate Offers Plummet, Hitting 17-Year Low

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:25 pm

Renzo wrote:68k x 3 years =$204

Yup - and this is actually a softball estimate. At graduation it'll be something like $230K w/all the interest (too lazy to do the math).




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