Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

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reasonable_man
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Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 am

So for anyone that remembers who I am; I thought I'd give a quick career update as I've always made myself available to curious future lawyers regarding my somewhat unusual career path.

Taking any questions..
Last edited by reasonable_man on Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:51 am

Why?

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:54 am

Better balance between work and life.. A small raise.. Nicer people.. Less firm-politics, more actual lawyering. More opportunity to try cases and handle appeals. More variety in work and more complex cases.

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Burgette
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby Burgette » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:57 am

reasonable_man wrote:Better balance between work and life.. A small raise.. Nicer people.. Less firm-politics, more actual lawyering. More opportunity to try cases and handle appeals. More variety in work and more complex cases.

Do you believe these changes are typical for most who transfer to small law, or unique to your experience?

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:59 am

Burgette wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Better balance between work and life.. A small raise.. Nicer people.. Less firm-politics, more actual lawyering. More opportunity to try cases and handle appeals. More variety in work and more complex cases.

Do you believe these changes are typical for most who transfer to small law, or unique to your experience?



I think that making the move is often risky and has to be done very carefuly. I worked with a recruiter and conducted a small targeted search for more than 4 months before this offer came about. I applied to probably one in twenty-five adds i read. You have to be very careful when leaving a well established midlaw to go to a small law firm.

That said, I believe it is possible to make the move and find these things, but it is not easy and requires a lot of planning and careful consideration.

09042014
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:03 pm

Are you taking a pay cut?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:06 pm

RM, are you expected to do more rainmaking? If so, is this something you find amenable? Also, are you in the same general geographic area? And you mentioned using a recruiter... do you feel there are positive signs in the hiring market for firms of this size?

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ggocat
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby ggocat » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:07 pm

Congrats on the move.

Can you give us a little background about you? (school, grades, types of jobs after school and time at each).

Were you specializing in any particular field--if so, are you staying within that field?

How did you find out about the opportunity? EDIT: I see your post above about working with a recruiter. Can you describe that process? (Who makes the first call, what they do for you / do not do for you, etc.?)

Did you bring any business with you? (I see it repeated over and over that doing so is important for moving firms; I'm interested to know if this was a factor in the new firm bringing you on.)

Thanks!

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:10 pm

Running out to lunch, but will answer questions when i get back..

Re: Money.. Actually got a small raise out of the deal. And in the mean time.. OS will be happy to give you my background info lol.

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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:22 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Are you taking a pay cut?


If you are willing to admit to a small raise, would you be willing to share your approximate salary? Even a range would be helpful to us very curious souls. Thanks again for your candidness.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:26 pm

I know a bit about Reasonable_Man IRL, but I know he wouldn't want me to be too specific, so I'll limit it to things he's previously posted.

He graduated from a real TTT in the northeast, which is why he warns people that attending them is not the best plan in the world. He did pretty well there, but was not top 5%. If pressed, you can get him to admit that he liked the school, but that doesn't alter the first point.

By networking and working during the school year his 2L and 3L years, he landed a pretty sweet midlaw job in the tri-state area. He still often had to work pretty insane hours. Midlaw does not always equal leaving at 6pm. I don't know whether he brought business with him, but I do know he got some pretty sweet experience at his first job, and was there for several years. It always seemed to me he hit the career jackpot.

If this is TMI, I'll edit.

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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:31 pm

Congrats RM on making the move for QOL purposes and the raise :).

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:44 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:I know a bit about Reasonable_Man IRL, but I know he wouldn't want me to be too specific, so I'll limit it to things he's previously posted.

He graduated from a real TTT in the northeast, which is why he warns people that attending them is not the best plan in the world. He did pretty well there, but was not top 5%. If pressed, you can get him to admit that he liked the school, but that doesn't alter the first point.

By networking and working during the school year his 2L and 3L years, he landed a pretty sweet midlaw job in the tri-state area. He still often had to work pretty insane hours. Midlaw does not always equal leaving at 6pm. I don't know whether he brought business with him, but I do know he got some pretty sweet experience at his first job, and was there for several years. It always seemed to me he hit the career jackpot.

If this is TMI, I'll edit.



This is pretty close to accurate. With the exception of the fact that I worked at a mid-sized firm (different than the one im at now), during college and also at a small firm while in law school, in addition to working at the mid-sized one I'm at now and which I worked for during LS. Essentially, I just worked, a lot.

I am a 2008 graduate (passed the bar exam on the first try and was admitted mid-year 2009 -- NY takes forever!). That said, I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of being admitted in NY.

As for the recruiter, he did send me on two interviews, neither of which were a great fit for me. Those interviews really did help though (as they served as a good dry run for the interview with my new employer).

To target my search, I looked for firms that were small, but had interesting practices. The firm I'm going to has been in business for more than 30-years and has a very low rate of associate and staff attrition. I probably responded to 1 out of every 25 or 30 adds I saw and basically remained very patient.

My current practice included commercial litigation, products liability, some mass-tort, some labor and employment, construction litigation and construction accident defense. My new practice will consist mostly of maritime cases, construction liability, general liability and commercial litigation (with some insurance coverage litigation as well along with appeals work).

I don't mind discussing salary. I was making about 70k and I will be making about 80k and will have my health benefits paid for by the firm. There is also a bonus structure based on profitability. I'll be workin in NYC in a top notch building.

I do not anticipate brining any significant business to the firm at this time. Though I do hope to be doing that sooner rather than later.

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seespotrun
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Re: Reasonable_Man departing Mid-law for small law

Postby seespotrun » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:49 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I know a bit about Reasonable_Man IRL, but I know he wouldn't want me to be too specific, so I'll limit it to things he's previously posted.

He graduated from a real TTT in the northeast, which is why he warns people that attending them is not the best plan in the world. He did pretty well there, but was not top 5%. If pressed, you can get him to admit that he liked the school, but that doesn't alter the first point.

By networking and working during the school year his 2L and 3L years, he landed a pretty sweet midlaw job in the tri-state area. He still often had to work pretty insane hours. Midlaw does not always equal leaving at 6pm. I don't know whether he brought business with him, but I do know he got some pretty sweet experience at his first job, and was there for several years. It always seemed to me he hit the career jackpot.

If this is TMI, I'll edit.



This is pretty close to accurate. With the exception of the fact that I worked at a mid-sized firm (different than the one im at now), during college and also at a small firm while in law school, in addition to working at the mid-sized one I'm at now and which I worked for during LS. Essentially, I just worked, a lot.

I am a 2008 graduate (passed the bar exam on the first try and was admitted mid-year 2009 -- NY takes forever!). That said, I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of being admitted in NY.

As for the recruiter, he did send me on two interviews, neither of which were a great fit for me. Those interviews really did help though (as they served as a good dry run for the interview with my new employer).

To target my search, I looked for firms that were small, but had interesting practices. The firm I'm going to has been in business for more than 30-years and has a very low rate of associate and staff attrition. I probably responded to 1 out of every 25 or 30 adds I saw and basically remained very patient.

My current practice included commercial litigation, products liability, some mass-tort, some labor and employment, construction litigation and construction accident defense. My new practice will consist mostly of maritime cases, construction liability, general liability and commercial litigation (with some insurance coverage litigation as well along with appeals work).

I don't mind discussing salary. I was making about 70k and I will be making about 80k and will have my health benefits paid for by the firm. There is also a bonus structure based on profitability. I'll be workin in NYC in a top notch building.

I do not anticipate brining any significant business to the firm at this time. Though I do hope to be doing that sooner rather than later.


That's pretty sweet, reasonable_man. Congrats and good luck!

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:57 pm

Congrats RM!!!!!!! :D

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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby 98234872348 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:03 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:Congrats RM!!!!!!! :D

+1

Sounds like a great opportunity, I'm sure you'll excel and having more time for that hot girlfriend(wife? I don't recall) will certainly be be advantageous.

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Matthies
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby Matthies » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Congrats RM!

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:29 pm

'grats RM. You're insights and opinions are solid gold around here.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:40 pm

Thanks very much.. Looking forward to the change and trying something new..

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scribelaw
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby scribelaw » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:45 pm

If you don't mind my asking, did you have a heavy debt load after law school?

Do you find a $70k-$80k salary is enough to afford to live in a big city and pay down debt?

Also, congrats on the gig.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:31 pm

scribelaw wrote:If you don't mind my asking, did you have a heavy debt load after law school?

Do you find a $70k-$80k salary is enough to afford to live in a big city and pay down debt?

Also, congrats on the gig.



My debt load sucks... I live in the burbs, so that makes it easier.. But each year, i have made more and more so far, so it seems to be getting better. That said, I have many friends with similar debt loads earning far less that want to jump out of a building.. They are not dumb or inept. They are smart motivated people that were not as fortunate as I was in the whole Law school game.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:38 pm

how many hours a week were you working vs. billing?
how many hours a week will you be working vs. billing?

edit: and thanks for taking questions.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:40 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:how many hours a week were you working vs. billing?
how many hours a week will you be working vs. billing?

edit: and thanks for taking questions.



I billed about 190 to 200 hours a month.. I worked 55 to 75 hours a week...

In the new job, I expect I will be billing 180 to 200 and working about the same..

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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:42 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
pleasetryagain wrote:how many hours a week were you working vs. billing?
how many hours a week will you be working vs. billing?

edit: and thanks for taking questions.



I billed about 190 to 200 hours a month.. I worked 55 to 75 hours a week...

In the new job, I expect I will be billing 180 to 200 and working about the same..


Holy shit. An average of 65 hours /week for $70K /year in NYC... Wow. Isn't $70K /year in midlaw in NYC really low? I'd imagine $70K /year there is like $50K /year in a less urbanized area, and 65 hours /week for that is just mind blowing...

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Re: Reasonable_Man Departing Mid-Law for Small-Law

Postby RVP11 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:06 am

Considering the crap pay, this seems more like a move from SmallLaw to SmallerLaw.




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