Chicago Lifestyle Firms

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Anonymous User
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Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:35 am

Big or small. Pay is not my priority--I love law, but I want a job that will allow me to spend time with my family.

I'm doing well--probably top 1/3(ish--we don't have grades or rankings) at HYS, if that helps. I'm a rising 2L, thinking ahead to interviews.

Thanks! I spent a while trying to search the forums here but I'm pretty mediocre with the forum search function, so I apologize if I overlooked something that's already been posted.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:30 am

Generally "lifestyle" and "Chicago Loop" don't go together very well. It's not as intense as the worst of New York, but that's like saying an auto-accident isn't as bad as falling out of an airplane with no chute. You're specifically interested in Chicago so I'm guessing you've been there and you know this.

The one that's reputed to be one of the nicer places to work in Chicago, law or otherwise, is Perkins Coie's branch office. Seattle-based and it brings its culture with its branch offices. But like all the 50ish headcount branch offices and mid-size firms in Chicago, that's not going to be easy to get. All of these hire few or, recently, no summer associates.

That's the other thing - Chicago as a whole has a 2-year hole in legal recruiting. It dropped off to basically nothing. If it's not picking back up (or we re-crash) by the time you do OCI, well, beggers can't be choosers.

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Bosque
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Bosque » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:56 am

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:That's the other thing - Chicago as a whole has a 2-year hole in legal recruiting. It dropped off to basically nothing. If it's not picking back up (or we re-crash) by the time you do OCI, well, beggers can't be choosers.


Was with you up until this point. Top third at HYS is not exactly begging. He probably wont get the lifestyle firm he wants in Chicago for the first reasons you posted-namely, that the job is simply not there for law students. But if the firms were there and hiring summer associates, I would say he would be a shoe in (provided he is not an awkward sob).

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:40 am

Yeah, with OP's credentials he'll be alright and that came across a bit too harsh and non-specific. What I was getting at is the decline in positions in Chicago was really enormous even by ITE standards. Consequently, turning down the places that have decent sized SA classes out of hand because they're brutal - and they are - might not be the best idea if you have to have Chicago.

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Bosque
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Bosque » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:41 am

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:Yeah, with OP's credentials he'll be alright and that came across a bit too harsh and non-specific. What I was getting at is the decline in positions in Chicago was really enormous even by ITE standards. Consequently, turning down the places that have decent sized SA classes out of hand because they're brutal - and they are - might not be the best idea if you have to have Chicago.


Which is as good an argument as I have heard for not having to have Chicago.

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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:24 pm

Thanks! Say I was looking outside of Chicago--are there any firms elsewhere in the country that are particularly well known for being lifestyle firms? I could potentially be persuaded to go elsewhere for the perfect firm. The broader Chicago area (including Madison, Ann Arbor, etc) would be preferable, but I would definitely consider SF or DC or somewhere else.

zuluwarriors
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby zuluwarriors » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:25 pm

op - PM me.

theghostofDrewTate
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby theghostofDrewTate » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:28 pm

Define "lifestyle firm."

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:04 am

I want to work somewhere where I can actually take my vacation time, and won't be expected to work 100 hour weeks or through the weekends regularly. I guess I would define lifestyle firm as a firm where I could do that without hurting my career (and ideally I won't be the only person at the firm who feels that way about work).

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jonas
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby jonas » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:12 am

You might check out Farella Braun & Martel in SF. Interesting work and better quality of life than you'll find at big firms.

Have you considered skipping the firm route altogether and working for the government? If you love the law, money's not a huge concern, and you want to keep your weekends, government might be a good fit. For example, you could clerk, spend a couple years as an honors attorney in DC, then move to Chicago to be an AUSA.

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PDaddy
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby PDaddy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:Big or small. Pay is not my priority--I love law, but I want a job that will allow me to spend time with my family.

I'm doing well--probably top 1/3(ish--we don't have grades or rankings) at HYS, if that helps. I'm a rising 2L, thinking ahead to interviews.

Thanks! I spent a while trying to search the forums here but I'm pretty mediocre with the forum search function, so I apologize if I overlooked something that's already been posted.



Sidley Austin claims to have a relaxed environment, but you never know. Perkins Coie might be good. Kirkland Ellis is hardcore and wants to compete with the nation's big guns. Don't expect a relaxed lifestyle there.

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tome
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby tome » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:05 pm

If you want a firm in Chicago that still gets interesting work and you don't mind taking a haircut, Schiff Hardin has traditionally been pretty good from what I know.

I really think people have a tendency to go a little overboard on the doom and gloom here. I guess it is easy to sensationalize things from behind a computer screen. Getting a SA will be cake at any place you want in Chiacago assuming your personality isn't dogshit. If you are worried about getting an offer, check out NALP. Compare how many associates they have had in past years to this year. Wildman Harrold is a scary example. 17 SAs last year, and only 4 offers. But they are only talking on 3 SAs this year. My bet is all three get offers (I know two of them, so I hope they get offers!).

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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:46 pm

Are there any firms in Chicago today that you can make low six figures and work only around 60 hours per week?

desertlaw
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby desertlaw » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are there any firms in Chicago today that you can make low six figures and work only around 60 hours per week?


Are there any of those firms anywhere? Or any jobs anywhere where you only work 60/week and still make 100K?

bdubs
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby bdubs » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:39 pm

Do you want to do litigation or transactional work? There are a few boutiques that offer better hours than the biglaw shops, but there is very little transactional work in that category. Those firms will still require you to work long hours at certain points, but you're much more likely to be able to control whether you take vacation and have flexibility in when you work your hours (i.e. leave early or work from home on some days)

If you want to PM me I can give you the names of a few.

Bumi
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Bumi » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:43 pm

If you love the law, pay is not a priority, you don't want to work 100-hour weeks, and you are top 1/3 at HYS, then why not just be a career clerk?

Some judges will work your ass off and some won't, but I assume your school knows the difference.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are there any firms in Chicago today that you can make low six figures and work only around 60 hours per week?


Clark Hill?

09042014
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:05 pm

I'd imagine other than a few firms, most associates aren't routinely working significantly more than 60 hours on average in Chicago. That's a 2500 billable year right?

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The Brainalist
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby The Brainalist » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:07 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I'd imagine other than a few firms, most associates aren't routinely working significantly more than 60 hours on average in Chicago. That's a 2500 billable year right?


Exactly. Every firm is a lifestyle firm, if you are working and billing effectively. Also, every firm is a lifestyle firm until the annual review if you just stop caring.

I think OP's doing it all wrong, anyway. OP will be giving firms the impression that she is some kind of a work horse. Bring those grades down, OP. It will help you weed out some of the firms with unreasonable expectations. The reward for hard work is just more hard work. Break the cycle.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:28 pm

Not quite a lifestyle firm, but Jenner is pretty humane by biglaw standards (probably moreso than any of the other big Chicago firms) and loves HYS students. It's very lit-oriented, but if that's something you want you should definitely interview there and take them seriously.

target
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby target » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:46 pm

desertlaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are there any firms in Chicago today that you can make low six figures and work only around 60 hours per week?


Are there any of those firms anywhere? Or any jobs anywhere where you only work 60/week and still make 100K?


Yes, there are; just not for law students or recent grads.

Also, this:
Bumi wrote:If you love the law, pay is not a priority, you don't want to work 100-hour weeks, and you are top 1/3 at HYS, then why not just be a career clerk?

Some judges will work your ass off and some won't, but I assume your school knows the difference.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:00 pm

How much do career clerks make on average?

bdubs
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby bdubs » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:10 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:How much do career clerks make on average?


Would depend on tenure and location. I think clerks start at GS-11 right now and then move up and across the scale. Not sure if there is a GS scale cap for clerks.

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversig ... -schedule/

My guess is that it follows the same system as the DOJ.

http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/entry-salary.html

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homestyle28
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:51 pm

I like how we're giving advice to an HYS dude from 2010...it's like time travel.

FWIW my understanding in Chicago in terms of insane work is there's Kirkland and Skadden a notch above everyone else in grinding folks to a pulp

Then: Other NLJ 250 firms depending on practice group (white collar is usually crazier than tax or L&E)..but it's still Biglaw

And Finally: Smaller boutiques who rarely hire law students

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Georgia Avenue
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Re: Chicago Lifestyle Firms

Postby Georgia Avenue » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:16 pm

homestyle28 wrote:I like how we're giving advice to an HYS dude from 2010...it's like time travel.

FWIW my understanding in Chicago in terms of insane work is there's Kirkland and Skadden a notch above everyone else in grinding folks to a pulp

Then: Other NLJ 250 firms depending on practice group (white collar is usually crazier than tax or L&E)..but it's still Biglaw

And Finally: Smaller boutiques who rarely hire law students


this sounds about right

If you really care about lifestyle/hours then do tax/T&E. Long-term planning, no real emergencies, nobody else can really do what you do, blah blah meow chow. If you really crave getting your dick slammed in a drawer on a daily basis and want to trade a family and semblance of a social life for piles of money, Kirkland is probably your spot. Can't speak to Skadden but if Chicago is anything like NYC then good luck.

Granted, there are some I'd throw in the "hours aren't insane for Biglaw but it's still Biglaw" category - Jenner, K&L, MWE. But at the end of the day there's not going to be much of a difference in hours between Winston, Katten, Mayer, the national satellites, etc.




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