Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:11 pm

nealric wrote:
Any idea what top 1/3 at Albany could land, NY gov-wise?
Again, we're assuming I will be top 1/3 for the sake of discussion


Public defender, DA's office


Any insight into the work, hours, & pay?

Also, might top 50% still be good enough with good grades & LOR's?

Also, how much upward mobility is there in governmental law? I would only be a public defender if I knew that solid performance could move me up relatively soon.

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Grizz
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Grizz » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:12 pm

lostjake wrote:Sorry about the above picture, I think they have it protected, here's the webpage:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html

Also where you want to practice is going to make a difference. I'm from Michigan and in rural areas you'll see Prosecutors and PD that graduated from Cooley. If you want to go that route its going to have a lot to do with your hustling/interview skills (your GPA/school will still matter, but less)


Lulz at "salary wars" on that old article. NY to 190!

yabbadabbado
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby yabbadabbado » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:14 pm

My advice would be to forget law school. There are too few jobs out there that meet your criteria and there is no guarantee you'll be able to get one of those. Pretty much all legal jobs are either client or litigation driven in some way. If the client wants to the work done by day X or you have a trial to prep for, or a deadline to meet, you WILL be doing weekend work and/or working late. Even the attorneys I know that have the best schedules I have seen are doing this.

If you're thinking of taking a conditional scholarship deal, be very careful. A substantial portion of people who take those end up losing them, and have to pay full ticket for 2L and 3L.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby ggocat » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:15 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:So, building off this: is there such a thing as small/boutique/mid law firms in non-primary markets with an 8-6 workday, Mon-Fri?

I can't speak for NY, but such firms do exist, so long as you are willing to work nights and weekends when necessary. As a lawyer, you will have a hard time avoiding this. Hell, this applies even for non-lawyer jobs. Many professionals put in extra time as necessary. That's part of being a salaried employee.

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Tree
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Tree » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:16 pm

nealric wrote:
Any idea what top 1/3 at Albany could land, NY gov-wise?
Again, we're assuming I will be top 1/3 for the sake of discussion


Public defender, DA's office



Absolutely PD FTW.

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crazycanuck
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:16 pm

I work at a big 4 accounting firm, we had our audit end of busy season wrap up on friday, the average billables for a senior (3-4 years experience) was 1250 for the entire year last year, (One of the months was 50 hours less than usual due to special events, and the average around the country was 1311), seniors make about 60-70k and bill at about 80% efficiency, and the work is not nearly as boring as people think it is.

You also have to remember that like half of those billables are in the first 4 months of the year. During the summer it's 9-3.
Last edited by crazycanuck on Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby BunkMoreland » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:18 pm

can't you just become a psychologist and skip out on the law? There are already way too many law students out there fighting for jobs that promise 80 hr work weeks for 45k.

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pjo
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby pjo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:18 pm

ggocat wrote:
Scallywaggums wrote:So, building off this: is there such a thing as small/boutique/mid law firms in non-primary markets with an 8-6 workday, Mon-Fri?

I can't speak for NY, but such firms do exist, so long as you are willing to work nights and weekends when necessary. As a lawyer, you will have a hard time avoiding this. Hell, this applies even for non-lawyer jobs. Many professionals put in extra time as necessary. That's part of being a salaried employee.



Yea this should really be a given. I mean no matter what, if you want to be good at something or really even be taken seriously, sometimes you're going to have to work long hours and or weekends. I just didn't explicitly state this bc I though OP already knew, but just in case not then I'd like to reiterate this point for the sake of certainty. I mean if you just want to clock in and leave at 5:00 on the dot no matter what, you should be working for a union, not a law office.

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romothesavior
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:19 pm

Although I highly doubt you'll be working 40 hours a week at 95%+ lawyer jobs no matter where you are or what you are doing, I think lostjake exaggerates a bit. There aren't necessarily jobs that meet your exact criteria, but some that meet your general goals. My cousin's husband went to a 4th tier school and started out at a 50k-ish job in a mid-sized market in a smaller, but solid firm. He works well over 40 hours a week

I'm saying anything about 3rd and 4th tier schools' job prospects (they suck), but I just want to offer an example of the general type of job you are looking for. There seems to be a "ZOMG THERE IS NO MIDLAW!!!" and "ZOMG THERE ARE NO DECENT-PAYING SMALL FIRMS!!!" mentality on TLS, but most lawyers I know would suggest otherwise, and many of the people on TLS who are actually in the field would disagree as well.

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pjo
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby pjo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:20 pm

crazycanuck wrote:I work at a big 4 accounting firm, we had our audit end of busy season wrap up on friday, the average billables for a senior (3-4 years experience) was 1250 for the entire year last year, (One of the months was 50 hours less than usual due to special events, and the average around the country was 1311), seniors make about 60-70k and bill at about 80% efficiency, and the work is not nearly as boring as people think it is.

You also have to remember that like half of those billables are in the first 4 months of the year. During the summer it's 9-3.


Just wondering, why are you going to law school? It seems like you have a pretty sweet gig as is.

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romothesavior
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:23 pm

But I will reiterate that a standard 9-5 work week is not realistic. Even in-house corporate lawyers, PDs, DAs, and small-firm people do more than 40 hours a week, and possibly 50-60 or 60+ when a big case comes up. Like all lawyers, the workload and the hours ebb and flow. But these jobs often allow you to do some of this from home, so your time in the office may only be 40-50 hours on a slow week.

(note: I'm not trying to offer any hard and fast rules, just giving some anecdotal evidence based on conversations with lawyers in my area.)
Last edited by romothesavior on Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

06072010
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby 06072010 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:24 pm

Man. How come people tell me about Big 4 accounting firms say it's a sweatshop. What am I missing other than the compressed time frame?

yabbadabbado
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby yabbadabbado » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:24 pm

Not all PD and DA offices care about grades to the extent that there is some kind of hard cutoff. You will go through a 3-4 step interview process and will be grilled. In larger cities, you will be competing against thousands of applicants for a relatively small number of positions. Even if you do manage to get through the final interview, there is still no guarantee you'll get hired because all hiring decisions hinge on state budget constraints.

Hours vary from office to office and also depend on what division you're assigned to. Because it's mostly trial work, you will be putting in long hours and weekends sometimes.

Pay is usually a matter of public record and many offices list what their starting salaries are on their websites.

Scallywaggums wrote:
nealric wrote:
Any idea what top 1/3 at Albany could land, NY gov-wise?
Again, we're assuming I will be top 1/3 for the sake of discussion


Public defender, DA's office


Any insight into the work, hours, & pay?

Also, might top 50% still be good enough with good grades & LOR's?

Also, how much upward mobility is there in governmental law? I would only be a public defender if I knew that solid performance could move me up relatively soon.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:25 pm

lostjake wrote:Sorry about the above picture, I think they have it protected, here's the webpage:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html

Also where you want to practice is going to make a difference. I'm from Michigan and in rural areas you'll see Prosecutors and PD that graduated from Cooley. If you want to go that route its going to have a lot to do with your hustling/interview skills (your GPA/school will still matter, but less)


The link works now. I thought you changed it after my PM, but apparently it just... took a while?

I'm totally fine with living in a somewhat rural area, say eastern upstate NY.

To what extent does GPA still matter? Let's say a Cooley grad looking for a PD slot in small-city Michigan. By hustling I'm assuming you mean connections etc.? Are local PD jobs generally given to people who are known, or can you create these connections as you do in less-regional circumstances?

I guess I just really want to have extremely low debt. Going to a T11-20 would be a huge risk since the $'s all on me. Ideally, I could go to Albany at close to a full ride, land a PD job (the likelihood of which I'm trying to gauge), then move up the ladder (again, uncertain about how likely this is).

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:30 pm

pjo wrote:
ggocat wrote:
Scallywaggums wrote:So, building off this: is there such a thing as small/boutique/mid law firms in non-primary markets with an 8-6 workday, Mon-Fri?

I can't speak for NY, but such firms do exist, so long as you are willing to work nights and weekends when necessary. As a lawyer, you will have a hard time avoiding this. Hell, this applies even for non-lawyer jobs. Many professionals put in extra time as necessary. That's part of being a salaried employee.



Yea this should really be a given. I mean no matter what, if you want to be good at something or really even be taken seriously, sometimes you're going to have to work long hours and or weekends. I just didn't explicitly state this bc I though OP already knew, but just in case not then I'd like to reiterate this point for the sake of certainty. I mean if you just want to clock in and leave at 5:00 on the dot no matter what, you should be working for a union, not a law office.


Understood. I'm speaking generally.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:35 pm

BunkMoreland wrote:can't you just become a psychologist and skip out on the law? There are already way too many law students out there fighting for jobs that promise 80 hr work weeks for 45k.


No. The thought processes involved in law are for me. I just have to figure out a very tricky set of needs. I am going to law school. I would rather fall short on one of my 3 reqs than be a psychologist.

Besides, there's no way I'd have a shot at 99th percentile on any standardized test other than the LSAT, and the LSAT is weighted heavily, so this also has to do with my odds at success.

yabbadabbado
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby yabbadabbado » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:38 pm

Another thing to keep in mind about DA/PD jobs is that many will not interview you, and certainly not hire you until after you have your bar passage results in hand(i.e. October/November). For small offices, this is usually the case. And just because an office is small and in a less "desirable" area, doesn't mean the job will be easy to land. Many small DA/PD offices only have a couple openings per year and they aren't always looking to fill those slots with an inexperienced fresh grad, assuming they even have state budget $ to hire in the first place.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:39 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:can't you just become a psychologist and skip out on the law? There are already way too many law students out there fighting for jobs that promise 80 hr work weeks for 45k.


No. The thought processes involved in law are for me. I just have to figure out a very tricky set of needs. I am going to law school. I would rather fall short on one of my 3 reqs than be a psychologist.

Besides, there's no way I'd have a shot at 99th percentile on any standardized test other than the LSAT, and the LSAT is weighted heavily, so this also has to do with my odds at success.

You sound just like me.

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Scallywaggums
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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby Scallywaggums » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:43 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:
Hours vary from office to office and also depend on what division you're assigned to. Because it's mostly trial work, you will be putting in long hours and weekends sometimes.


Agh. Sounds like PD is a no-go. So is gov a no-go then in general, hours-wise?

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby pjo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:43 pm

OP I'm just wondering why your only two options are T11-20 or Albany? I mean if you can get into a T11-20 you should be able to pull a signifcant amount of money from some T1 schools and full rides at T2 schools. I would consider that option over Albany.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:46 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:Another thing to keep in mind about DA/PD jobs is that many will not interview you, and certainly not hire you until after you have your bar passage results in hand(i.e. October/November). For small offices, this is usually the case. And just because an office is small and in a less "desirable" area, doesn't mean the job will be easy to land. Many small DA/PD offices only have a couple openings per year and they aren't always looking to fill those slots with an inexperienced fresh grad, assuming they even have state budget $ to hire in the first place.


The smaller city state's attorney offices in my area don't seem to rely as much on traditional interviewing as other types of law. I'd call it a "quasi-apprenticeship" model. The SA in my city said he hires 1Ls, and if they do well then he re-hires them as 2Ls, and they've basically got a job if they don't mess up that second summer. I got the impression that the other city I have lived in did a similar type of thing, and both of these two offices were full of third tier grads.

FWIW, both cities are about 100,000+. Not sure if this is how they do things in other smaller city SA offices, but I do get the impression that outside of big markets, the hiring process is not nearly as prestige-oriented.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby TUP » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:55 pm

PKSebben wrote:Man. How come people tell me about Big 4 accounting firms say it's a sweatshop. What am I missing other than the compressed time frame?


It's definitely somewhere in between a sweatshop and crazycanuck's description. Those billables are very low relative to what I remember seeing for audit seniors, both in my office and nationally.

However, a busy season of regular 60-70 hour weeks followed by a summer of 9-3s is possible if you're in the right office (not NYC and other large cities) and staffed on the right jobs. Pick up a few clients with year-ends spread throughout the year and you can forget about that, though. Also, 20+ weeks of travel, often to undesirable locations, is not uncommon.

Finally, I strongly disagree with the "not nearly as boring as people think it is" comment, and most auditors I know would back me up. The worst part is it remains boring and unchallenging up to and including the partner level, and the exit opportunities in industry aren't much better. That last fact is particularly discouraging to those that stuck with audit until senior or manager level expecting a more enjoyable career in industry only to be disappointed.

Edit: I just realized crazycanuck is probably talking about a Canada office, which I have no experience with. My view is US-specific.
Last edited by TUP on Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby yabbadabbado » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:56 pm

When I say DA/PD jobs are not easy to land, I'm not necessarily talking about prestige. Those jobs are difficult to get for the reasons I mentioned. And yes, I've seen offices that were packed with t2/3/4 grads, but that still doesn't mean those jobs are easy to get. It just means that some offices will not be so hung up on what school you went to and what grades you got there. They are looking at other things to evaluate you, and there is steady level of competition for these jobs among similarly qualified applicants.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:01 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:When I say DA/PD jobs are not easy to land, I'm not necessarily talking about prestige. Those jobs are difficult to get for the reasons I mentioned. And yes, I've seen offices that were packed with t2/3/4 grads, but that still doesn't mean those jobs are easy to get. It just means that some offices will not be so hung up on what school you went to and what grades you got there. They are looking at other things to evaluate you, and there is steady level of competition for these jobs among similarly qualified applicants.


I agree they are not easy to get, but they are not always looking for top grades. The SA I talked to said grades are important but they are not the number one consideration. They are looking for a whole host of things that a biglaw firm wouldn't care that much about. For example, public speaking skills are much more important than they would be in other areas of law (like biglaw). It also seems like they want people who are dedicated and passionate about prosecuting criminals/defending the accused. It is a thankless, low-pay job (I would even call it a lifestyle), and they want people with the personalities and drive to handle it.

And while they aren't easy to get, if you can land a 1L gig at an SA or PD and do a good job and come back again, you have already put in the majority of the legwork for permanent employment at that office. But I will agree with you that budgetary concerns are always important, especially considering how terrible state and local governments are doing ITE.

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Re: Non-menial work, 8-5, ~$60K start: possible?

Postby northwood » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:20 pm

Scallywaggums wrote:
lostjake wrote:Sorry about the above picture, I think they have it protected, here's the webpage:

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_le ... on-of.html

Also where you want to practice is going to make a difference. I'm from Michigan and in rural areas you'll see Prosecutors and PD that graduated from Cooley. If you want to go that route its going to have a lot to do with your hustling/interview skills (your GPA/school will still matter, but less)


The link works now. I thought you changed it after my PM, but apparently it just... took a while?

I'm totally fine with living in a somewhat rural area, say eastern upstate NY.

To what extent does GPA still matter? Let's say a Cooley grad looking for a PD slot in small-city Michigan. By hustling I'm assuming you mean connections etc.? Are local PD jobs generally given to people who are known, or can you create these connections as you do in less-regional circumstances?

I guess I just really want to have extremely low debt. Going to a T11-20 would be a huge risk since the $'s all on me. Ideally, I could go to Albany at close to a full ride, land a PD job (the likelihood of which I'm trying to gauge), then move up the ladder (again, uncertain about how likely this is).

are you sure about being fine with living in eastern upstate ny? I moved there to teach, and while it is very beautiful in the spring and summer, it is very grey and depressing in the winter ( -20 lots of snow, weeks where you cant see the sun). After 6 months i lieft... iff winter or weather related mental illnesses can be a problem, i would seriously consider going on vacation there for a week in mid january... also, its very rural and getting things like a home depot or a mal is a 2 3 hour drive in some places...




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