Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
AJRESQ
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:45 pm

Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby AJRESQ » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:25 am

Hello: I don't normally post here, but I do enjoy the JDU / TLS battle from time to time. I came across this place from a solosez list serve, well, I hope I can say things that are helpful.

First, the bad news. Reality check: 90% of you are not going to start off in a mega law firm. Deal with it. That's life. It's not the end of the world, though. BIGLAW is not the land of milk and honey, and it's not the only way to succeed. A close friend of mine just left BIGLAW after two years to be a public defender. He was top of his class from a T5 and saw the writing on the wall. Clients are jumping ship from BIGLAW. Associates aren't billing enough hours. Clients realize they can hire a few small boutique firms at $200 an hour, without paying 3 junior associates prepare a memo on the federal rules of civil procedure, and get the same representation. Technology has evolved to the point where smaller law firms can do everything BIGLAW can. Thanks to Adobe PDF 9 and a scanner, a solo can bate stamp and process 10,000 documents with ease. Law libraries are available at your fingertips. Local rules are available online. The BIGLAW model is dying, and in some respects, you should be pleased that you aren't a part of a model that isn't working anymore.

Along those lines: There are very few law firms that will pay you $75k - $100k right out of law school. Why is this? Because you have no book of business and you have no experience. Most of your research will be very good because it's what you were taught to do in law school. Most of your practical experience will be very bad -- taking depositions, talking with other lawyers, answering discovery requests, bate stamping, etc. Because of that, most of your work will need to be revised and supervised but someone more senior. Why should a client foot the bill for that? Why would a client stay with a law firm where they are expected to subsidize your learning experience? The mid-sized firms that pay $75 - $100k a year usually hire (a) former BIGLAW; (b) lawyers who have profitable practices; or (c) lawyers with a good deal of practical experience. NOT young lawyers with no book and no experience. There are many experienced lawyers who are willing to work for a steady $75k - $100k paycheck and health benefits. Some lawyers just want to lawyer and not worry about business. Some extremely talented experienced lawyers. If your expectations are to make $2k - $3k as a summer or 2L, they're probably unrealistic. A $75k - $100k salary is realistic, I think, for someone with about 5 years experience in practice in a sophisticated area of law.

If you want to make it in law, first you have to be willing to struggle for a few years. If you expect to make $75k right out of the gate that isn't going to happen for most of you. However, if you're willing to make $40k a year for a few years and struggle, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take any job you can to get experience. I don't recommend doc review, however, since the money is better than most entry level job litigation positions. Because of that, many doc reviewers never leave. Ask solos and small firms if you can clerk while in school. You never know when an associate is going to leave and a position will become available. Getting your foot in the door at a firm doing anything is helpful.

Second, long term, you have to learn how to make your practice profitable. I recommend that you read "How to Start and Grow a Law Practice." Even if you have NO intention of ever going solo, your career is going to be about your ability to be profitable. Every young lawyer should, at the very least, understand how a law firm operates. Carolyn Elefant's "Flying Solo" is also good. Winning at Trial by D. Shayne Read is a great book you should read. A lot of BIGLAW partners started out in small firms or as solos. They secured a few great clients, developed a profitable practice, and then decided to merge with BIGLAW. Others like the freedom of having their own practice. Bottom line is, people that make lots of money in law develop profitable practices. They don't just go to school, get a JD, and expect to make a big paycheck by virtue of a JD and law license. Some if you will never be able to do this, and you might spend the next 5 - 10 years struggling. That's the reality -- some of you will develop a client base ad a profitable practice. Others of you will never get the business end of it, never develop clients, and you'll be bouncing around in small firms making $40k a year with no benefits. Profitable practices are mostly practice management skills, some experience, and your ability to generate business -- relationships.

Now, the good news. Recession creates opportunity. Ask yourself this: are the practice areas you're interested in profitable? Are they in growing industries? Is work in that industry realistic for you? For example, think of video stores. How would you like to be a lawyer who represents video stores? That industry is dying. In contrast, consider lawyers who represent companies that maintain REO / bank owned properties. There is so much work in maintaining bank assets right now that it's incredible; foreclosures create all kinds of litigation between subcontractors, former homeowners, etc. Thanks to the failed BIGLAW model and technological advancements, smaller shops can poach clients that would have otherwise gone BIGLAW. While bankruptcy is on the rise, do you think clients who can't afford to pay their bills can pay their lawyers? Litigation will always be profitable because in good times, businesses can afford lawyers. In bad times, no one wants to pay. Constitutional law was fun and interesting in law school, but what type of clients have constitutional law needs (outside, of course, the criminal defense context)?

Law is a saturated market, so your ability to succeed will be based entirely on your relationships. Why are clients selecting you to be their lawyer? Why will they continue to retain you? 10% of lawyers are incredibly smart. 10% of lawyers shouldn't be practicing. The rest of us fall in that 80% category, which is smart enough to pass the bar but the rule against perpetuities is just too much thinking. What separates you is your ability to develop and maintain relationships -- not your knowledge of the evolution of the strict scrutiny test -- and your ability to turn those relationships into profit. Example: a Union says "We need to retain a law firm to do all of our labor law stuff." If you know someone at that firm, you can say "Hey, we offer all that stuff." If the relationship is strong enough, and you push it, they'll probably consider you. If you have good clients, rest assured a law firm won't care WHERE you went to law school. (even Cooley!). Conversely, if you have no book, it doesn't matter if you went to Harvard a few years down the line. Try and develop a client base as soon as you can. Even if it just means keeping in touch with people who are business owners or otherwise involved in an industry that uses legal counsel. Your ability to generate a profit (bring good clients) is paramount. This way you can either open your own shop or you can go work somewhere in exchange for a salary and benefits.

So, my advice to you: make sure you know the basics of how a law practice runs. If you want to go to school, get a fancy degree, graduate, and then make $75k a year by virtue of having a law degree, this isn't the right profession. Law is, for the most part, eat what you kill. You will either succeed as a business person or you won't. Be willing to struggle in order to learn the basics. Develop a client base and a practice that is profitable by developing your network. (I do not mean going to "networking events". I mean keeping in touch with people who are in positions to send you legal work -- including other lawyers). Your approach to law should be that you're a licensed professional trying to develop a profitable practice. Join a listserve like solosez to see what the practice of law is actually like for most lawyers (NOT JDU).

Hope that helps. The market is definitely tough, no doubt about it. However, MANY (most) grads had unrealistic expectations about law and no desire to run a business. When I graduated, a very successful attorney said to me "The problem with young lawyers is there is just too much of a disconnect from the business aspect of law. They don't get that."

Best of luck.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:40 am

I'm not sure how realistic it is to ask younger lawyers to bring "books" to larger or mid-size law firms, since partners seem pretty much to monopolize client retention. I'm also not sure if the Biglaw death sentence isn't a tad over-simplified. Something can be outdated or in need of revamping w/o being 100% useless to clients.

That said, you're right that in-house legal departments and other Biglaw clients are sick of subsidizing associate training, and started looking (long, long before the recession) for ways to cut their legal spend. And it can never hurt to have a few clients to bring along with you when you're looking for a job.

Overall, a decently refreshing take. Thanks.

--ImageRemoved--

User avatar
jayn3
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:21 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby jayn3 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:43 am

thanks for the advice, i appreciate it.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:50 am

While most of the sunshine and lollipops mentality of TLS is off-base, so is this. This was written by a JDU member (notwithstanding the weak attempt to distance himself from JDU, google search AJRESQ and JDU), who didn't even change his name from his JDU name to TLS. This person inaccurately describes both biglaw and the non-TTT realities of law outside of biglaw.

This is a thinly-veiled jab at the legal profession masquerading as advice in the weaksauce and unimaginative styling of most JDUers. The guy who writes the bigdebt blog is a great writer, these guys chasing his coattails are not.

Is the job market crappy? Yes.

As a recent graduate, should you be focusing on "business" or client development? NO, learn to practice first, and law firms still offer the best training for young associates.

If you go to poorly ranked LS and get bad grades, will you make $160k starting in biglaw? No, of course not.

Outside of the T20, will many ever work as lawyers? Maybe, maybe not.

But, if you're going to a good T-14, and work hard, you have a good chance at getting a good job (and no not a $40k no-fault or slip-and-fall law job). If you get lucky and do well, you still even ITE have a chance at biglaw.

Also... this post begs for a "tl;dr" So there it is.
Last edited by Danneskjöld on Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:54 am

Danneskjöld wrote:While most of the sunshine and lollipops mentality of TLS is off-base, so is this. This was written by a JDU member (notwithstanding the weak attempt to distance himself from JDU, google search AJRESQ and JDU), who didn't even change his name from his JDU name to TLS. This person inaccurately describes both biglaw and the non-TTT realities of law outside of biglaw.

This is a thinly-veiled jab at the legal profession masquerading as advice in the weaksauce and unimaginative styling of most JDUers. The guy who write the bigdebt blog is a great writer, these guys chasing his coattails are not.

Is the job market crappy? Yes.

If you go to poorly ranked LS and get bad grades, will you make $160k starting? No.

Outside of the T20, will many ever work as lawyers? Maybe, maybe not.

But, if you're going to a good T-14, and work hard, you have a good chance at getting a good job (and no not a $40k no-fault, slip-and-fall law job). If you get lucky and do well, you still even ITE have a chance at biglaw.

Also... this post begs for a "tl;dr" So there it is.


The OP's prior interwebz posts notwithstanding, "Cultivate a client base" and "temper your expectations" is hardly trolling. Get over yourself.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:56 am

Good perspective. My favorite JDU poster by far.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:58 am

MrKappus wrote:
The OP's prior interwebz posts notwithstanding, "Cultivate a client base" and "temper your expectations" is hardly trolling. Get over yourself.


Telling law students to "cultivate a client base" is like telling recent medical school grad to "just perform brain surgery," because that's how successful doctors make great money! It's not helpful at all.

And, no you are 100% getting trolled, if you can't see that, you deserve the lulz he shall have at your expense.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:59 am

Danneskjöld wrote:While most of the sunshine and lollipops mentality of TLS is off-base, so is this. This was written by a JDU member (notwithstanding the weak attempt to distance himself from JDU, google search AJRESQ and JDU), who didn't even change his name from his JDU name to TLS. This person inaccurately describes both biglaw and the non-TTT realities of law outside of biglaw.

This is a thinly-veiled jab at the legal profession masquerading as advice in the weaksauce and unimaginative styling of most JDUers. The guy who writes the bigdebt blog is a great writer, these guys chasing his coattails are not.

Is the job market crappy? Yes.

As a recent graduate, should you be focusing on "business" or client development? NO, learn to practice first, and law firms still offer the best training for young associates.

If you go to poorly ranked LS and get bad grades, will you make $160k starting in biglaw? No, of course not.

Outside of the T20, will many ever work as lawyers? Maybe, maybe not.

But, if you're going to a good T-14, and work hard, you have a good chance at getting a good job (and no not a $40k no-fault or slip-and-fall law job). If you get lucky and do well, you still even ITE have a chance at biglaw.

Also... this post begs for a "tl;dr" So there it is.


Ad hom much?

Also, this guy may post on JDU, but he doesn't seem to be trolling for them.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:04 am

romothesavior wrote:
Ad hom much?

Also, this guy may post on JDU, but he doesn't seem to be trolling for them.


Eh, not trolling *for* JDU. Trolling you guys. This was sincere, in the same way all the 'scambuster' types write sincerely. But it is still nothing more than trolling.

You guys can disagree if you want, but it's nothing more than the same scambuster type drivel, that was adapted (perhaps more successfully that I thought if you guys are eating it up like this) for TLS consumption.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:07 am

Danneskjöld wrote:Telling law students to "cultivate a client base" is like telling recent medical school grad to "just perform brain surgery," because that's how successful doctors make great money! It's not helpful at all.


Actually, it's cultivating clients is not like brain surgery at all.

Brain surgery requires:
(1) a decade of schooling;
(2) technical training;
(3) physical ability; and
(4) mental acuity.

Cultivating clients requires:
(1) ability to think to yourself, "Hey! That person I know hires lawyers!"; and
(2) being able to interact and socialize w/ other human beings.
Last edited by MrKappus on Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:09 am

Danneskjöld wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Ad hom much?

Also, this guy may post on JDU, but he doesn't seem to be trolling for them.


Eh, not trolling *for* JDU. Trolling you guys. This was sincere, in the same way all the 'scambuster' types write sincerely. But it is still nothing more than trolling.

You guys can disagree if you want, but it's nothing more than the same scambuster type drivel, that was adapted (perhaps more successfully that I thought if you guys are eating it up like this) for TLS consumption.


Let's see what his main points were:

1. Biglaw is dying/outdated/needs changing. Maybe he over-stated it a bit, and maybe he is flat out wrong, but I don't think that is "trolling." Plenty of practicing lawyers and current students take that same position.

2. He discusses the bi-modal distribution of starting salaries. And that is surprising... because?

3. He talks about tailoring your specialties to the changing economy. Clearly bad advice.

4. He reiterates that law is a field that relies heavily on personal contacts and good business skills. Maybe he oversimplifies, but again, this is something that almost any lawyer would agree with.

Maybe his post was nothing new (I certainly didn't hear anything groundbreaking) and maybe his post was an oversimplification of certain aspects of the current legal market, but I certainly didn't see it as "trolling" or (lulz) "scambuster."

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:12 am

MrKappus wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:Telling law students to "cultivate a client base" is like telling recent medical school grad to "just perform brain surgery," because that's how successful doctors make great money! It's not helpful at all.


Actually, it's cultivating clients is not like brain surgery at all.

Brain surgery requires:
(1) a decade of schooling;
(2) technical training;
(3) physical ability; and
(4) mental acuity.

Cultivating clients requires:
(1) ability to think to yourself, "Hey! That person I know hires lawyers!"; and
(2) being able to interact and socialize w/ other human beings.



LOL... Are you kidding me? Yes, meeting and interacting with clients who have any sizable amount of business to offer is just that easy. Yes, pitching a case of any value or having a corporation want you to manage a deal is just as easy as that! This is perhaps the most ignorant post I've ever seen on TLS. This is amazing. Why did I even try responding?

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:16 am

Danneskjöld wrote:LOL... Are you kidding me? Yes, meeting and interacting with clients who have any sizable amount of business to offer is just that easy. Yes, pitching a case of any value or having a corporation want you to manage a deal is just as easy as that! This is perhaps the most ignorant post I've ever seen on TLS. This is amazing. Why did I even try responding?


Edit: nevermind. Not worth arguing w/ you.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:22 am

MrKappus wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:LOL... Are you kidding me? Yes, meeting and interacting with clients who have any sizable amount of business to offer is just that easy. Yes, pitching a case of any value or having a corporation want you to manage a deal is just as easy as that! This is perhaps the most ignorant post I've ever seen on TLS. This is amazing. Why did I even try responding?


As someone that used to advise biglaw clients re: OC retention, I can say w/ confidence that you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Toodles.


What a crock... Most "biglaw clients" are ex-biglaw attorneys who went inhouse. So, they hired you to advise them on how to hire their old firms? And what advice did you give them? What possible advice could you offer them, as a non-lawyer? Pretty sure, you have no idea what you're talking about. LOL... But that was funny, tyft

Edit: LOL, nice editing away. Not that anyone would doubt that you advised biglaw clients on outside counsel retention issues, that's perfectly believable.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:27 am

^ First you said cultivating a client base wasn't about social interaction. Then you said it's just big law insiders socializing w/ each other.

Make up your mind.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273183
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:30 am

Danneskjöld wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:LOL... Are you kidding me? Yes, meeting and interacting with clients who have any sizable amount of business to offer is just that easy. Yes, pitching a case of any value or having a corporation want you to manage a deal is just as easy as that! This is perhaps the most ignorant post I've ever seen on TLS. This is amazing. Why did I even try responding?


As someone that used to advise biglaw clients re: OC retention, I can say w/ confidence that you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Toodles.


What a crock... Most "biglaw clients" are ex-biglaw attorneys who went inhouse. So, they hired you to advise them on how to hire their old firms? And what advice did you give them? What possible advice could you offer them, as a non-lawyer? Pretty sure, you have no idea what you're talking about. LOL... But that was funny, tyft

Edit: LOL, nice editing away. Not that anyone would doubt that you advised biglaw clients on outside counsel retention issues, that's perfectly believable.


What is your basis for stating "most 'biglaw clients'" are ex-biglaw attorneys who went inhouse? How long have you been practicing? In what area of the law? If you have not been practicing, what gives you your insight?

- Current Fed Clerk

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:35 am

IB Lolwut pear

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 am

Danneskjöld wrote:Edit: LOL, nice editing away. Not that anyone would doubt that you advised biglaw clients on outside counsel retention issues, that's perfectly believable.


Google "outside counsel management," "outside counsel consulting," "corporate counsel consulting," or any other permutation of that theme if you actually want to learn something. Companies spend millions each year on consultants, who get paid to analyze OC firms' value propositions and, yes, advise corporate clients on who to retain.

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:LOL... Are you kidding me? Yes, meeting and interacting with clients who have any sizable amount of business to offer is just that easy. Yes, pitching a case of any value or having a corporation want you to manage a deal is just as easy as that! This is perhaps the most ignorant post I've ever seen on TLS. This is amazing. Why did I even try responding?


As someone that used to advise biglaw clients re: OC retention, I can say w/ confidence that you have no fucking idea what you're talking about. Toodles.


What a crock... Most "biglaw clients" are ex-biglaw attorneys who went inhouse. So, they hired you to advise them on how to hire their old firms? And what advice did you give them? What possible advice could you offer them, as a non-lawyer? Pretty sure, you have no idea what you're talking about. LOL... But that was funny, tyft

Edit: LOL, nice editing away. Not that anyone would doubt that you advised biglaw clients on outside counsel retention issues, that's perfectly believable.


What is your basis for stating "most 'biglaw clients'" are ex-biglaw attorneys who went inhouse? How long have you been practicing? In what area of the law? If you have not been practicing, what gives you your insight?

- Current Fed Clerk


2+ years at a V10. Biglaw clients are mostly in-house attorneys, not non-lawyers. Most companies have in-house lawyers, that's who interacts with outside counsel. Most companies don't hire out of lawschools, they mostly hire biglaw folks who want to leave biglaw (or have the decision made for them). For large deals and cases typically more senior in-house folks, sometimes even the GC will choose who gets the deal/case depending on size, but then the primary point of contact will be a non-GC in-house attorney. Whether transactional or litigation, this is typical.

User avatar
Na_Swatch
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Na_Swatch » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:43 am

rad law wrote:IB Lolwut pear


Your wish is my command.

--ImageRemoved--

Danneskjöld
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby Danneskjöld » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:47 am

MrKappus wrote:
Danneskjöld wrote:Edit: LOL, nice editing away. Not that anyone would doubt that you advised biglaw clients on outside counsel retention issues, that's perfectly believable.


Google "outside counsel management," "outside counsel consulting," "corporate counsel consulting," or any other permutation of that theme if you actually want to learn something. Companies spend millions each year on consultants, who get paid to analyze OC firms' value propositions and, yes, advise corporate clients on who to retain.


I don't think google search results showing that there are people out there who will take company's money for such services rebuts what I said about it being unlikely, given the naiveté of what you said, that you personally offered such services. The consulting fallacy is strong, and there are in existence consulting services for just about anything. That said, someone who offered such services in any successful capacity would likely know that for biglaw to court clients is not as simple as chatting up folks you know who may want some legal services.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby MrKappus » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:51 am

Danneskjöld wrote:That said, someone who offered such services in any successful capacity would likely know that for biglaw to court clients is not as simple as chatting up folks you know who may want some legal services.


This is true, sadly. It also involved RFPs, models, and more ppt slides than I care to remember. I was only rebutting your statement that implied Biglaw clients are just ex-biglaw partners that hire their old firms. It's more complicated than that (as you probably know, given where you've worked and for how long).

AJRESQ
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby AJRESQ » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:43 am

Danneskjöld wrote:While most of the sunshine and lollipops mentality of TLS is off-base, so is this. This was written by a JDU member (notwithstanding the weak attempt to distance himself from JDU, google search AJRESQ and JDU), who didn't even change his name from his JDU name to TLS. This person inaccurately describes both biglaw and the non-TTT realities of law outside of biglaw.

This is a thinly-veiled jab at the legal profession masquerading as advice in the weaksauce and unimaginative styling of most JDUers. The guy who writes the bigdebt blog is a great writer, these guys chasing his coattails are not.

Is the job market crappy? Yes.

As a recent graduate, should you be focusing on "business" or client development? NO, learn to practice first, and law firms still offer the best training for young associates.

If you go to poorly ranked LS and get bad grades, will you make $160k starting in biglaw? No, of course not.

Outside of the T20, will many ever work as lawyers? Maybe, maybe not.

But, if you're going to a good T-14, and work hard, you have a good chance at getting a good job (and no not a $40k no-fault or slip-and-fall law job). If you get lucky and do well, you still even ITE have a chance at biglaw.

Also... this post begs for a "tl;dr" So there it is.


No it's not. I post on JDU sometimes the same way I post here. I've said this before on both boards, I enjoy practicing law and frankly, I hope you will too. If you don't learn the business end of it, however, I don't think you will succeed. That applies to biglaw and small law. Again, as I've stressed in all of my posts here and on JDU, you can succeed in small law and fail in BIGLAW. Consider the BIGLAW associate who gets laid off 5 years down the road as "non-partnership material." Do you think he's leaving the firm with Bank of America? American Airlines? No, he's leaving the firm with good contacts and good skills, but no clients. Alternatively, someone in small law has a viable chance of developing a book and bringing clients. It's much more difficult to lay off a BIGLAW employee who happened to bring in a big client, if it means losing that client.

What I'm saying is that everyone here and on JDU is way too obsessed with BIGLAW and where you go to law school. While both can be helpful, what's important is your ability to generate and retain business. You can start growing a client base almost immediately. Imagine: say you start a job in a law firm. Do you have any friends or relatives who are in a position to send you work? Have you called them? If they start sending you work that is profitable, you're going to be very hard to lay off.

And yes, I'm not half the writer of most of the scamblogs. But I'm decent at business. ;)

One more final thought: tailor your practice areas. If you were the guy who represented video stores, tell them you do commercial bankruptcy, do a good job, and then become a commercial bankruptcy guy. That's how you turn a dead practice area into a new profitable practice area.

The benefit of BIGLAW is all the contacts. The downside is right now for associates it's like being a fly on the wall. No one is making their billable hour requirement because there aren't enough clients to sustain it all. I've heard some pretty bad horror stories. Now imagine if your mortgage is based on that salary. Yikes!

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:51 am

AJRESQ, thanks for posting. Don't let that moron deter you from posting here, we could use more practicing lawyers around these parts.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thoughts on employment from a practicing attorney

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:52 am

And you'd have to be a moron to take out a mortgage based on a 160,000k salary if you're a biglaw associate ITE.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.