Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

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Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:15 am

I am having a hard time distinguishing firms on my callbacks.

I am almost positively going to choose biglaw. However, I don't want to perform doc review during my first 3 years. One thing that I have heard in the hallways from other students is that an associate at a firm with a low associate/partner ratio has more opportunities for substantive work early in her career. Is this true? Should an associate fear layoffs when the ratio is high?

Most of the firms that I interviewed with had a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. However, a couple of them were 5:1 and 7:1, while another was big law (satellite office) that was a little more than 1:1.


About me: HYS assuming top 25 but no one can pinpoint exactly where I am at with Hs and Ps system.

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jchoggan
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby jchoggan » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am having a hard time distinguishing firms on my callbacks.

I am almost positively going to choose biglaw. However, I don't want to perform doc review during my first 3 years. One thing that I have heard in the hallways from other students is that an associate at a firm with a low associate/partner ratio has more opportunities for substantive work early in her career. Is this true? Should an associate fear layoffs when the ratio is high?

Most of the firms that I interviewed with had a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. However, a couple of them were 5:1 and 7:1, while another was big law (satellite office) that was a little more than 1:1.


About me: HYS assuming top 25 but no one can pinpoint exactly where I am at with Hs and Ps system.

(Note: this is 2nd-hand info from family and friends who are attorneys in Biglaw)
If you go over 3:1, it's bad news. The result of high leverage like that is two-fold: 1) when times are 'good,' you'll be doing tons of work that's less meaningful than you'd probably like (so what you've heard is true), and 2) when times are bad, your work pool will dry up extremely fast as partners hoard what's left, resulting in junior-associate layoffs. Essentially, high leverage is great for partners to make money, and horrible for entry-level associates.

Of course, pay attention to whether the firms have non-equity partners as well. Some law firms pad their ratios in this way.

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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:25 am

jchoggan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am having a hard time distinguishing firms on my callbacks.

I am almost positively going to choose biglaw. However, I don't want to perform doc review during my first 3 years. One thing that I have heard in the hallways from other students is that an associate at a firm with a low associate/partner ratio has more opportunities for substantive work early in her career. Is this true? Should an associate fear layoffs when the ratio is high?

Most of the firms that I interviewed with had a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. However, a couple of them were 5:1 and 7:1, while another was big law (satellite office) that was a little more than 1:1.


About me: HYS assuming top 25 but no one can pinpoint exactly where I am at with Hs and Ps system.

(Note: this is 2nd-hand info from family and friends who are attorneys in Biglaw)
If you go over 3:1, it's bad news. The result of high leverage like that is two-fold: 1) when times are 'good,' you'll be doing tons of work that's less meaningful than you'd probably like (so what you've heard is true), and 2) when times are bad, your work pool will dry up extremely fast as partners hoard what's left, resulting in junior-associate layoffs. Essentially, high leverage is great for partners to make money, and horrible for entry-level associates.

Of course, pay attention to whether the firms have non-equity partners as well. Some law firms pad their ratios in this way.


OP here: So consider, equity partner:associate/non-equity partner when formulating the ratio?

Thanks for the response.

I am thinking that this ration might be the driving force in my decision

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bwv812
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby bwv812 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:36 am

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Last edited by bwv812 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

spondee
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby spondee » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:41 am

jchoggan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am having a hard time distinguishing firms on my callbacks.

I am almost positively going to choose biglaw. However, I don't want to perform doc review during my first 3 years. One thing that I have heard in the hallways from other students is that an associate at a firm with a low associate/partner ratio has more opportunities for substantive work early in her career. Is this true? Should an associate fear layoffs when the ratio is high?

Most of the firms that I interviewed with had a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. However, a couple of them were 5:1 and 7:1, while another was big law (satellite office) that was a little more than 1:1.


About me: HYS assuming top 25 but no one can pinpoint exactly where I am at with Hs and Ps system.

(Note: this is 2nd-hand info from family and friends who are attorneys in Biglaw)
If you go over 3:1, it's bad news. The result of high leverage like that is two-fold: 1) when times are 'good,' you'll be doing tons of work that's less meaningful than you'd probably like (so what you've heard is true), and 2) when times are bad, your work pool will dry up extremely fast as partners hoard what's left, resulting in junior-associate layoffs. Essentially, high leverage is great for partners to make money, and horrible for entry-level associates.

Of course, pay attention to whether the firms have non-equity partners as well. Some law firms pad their ratios in this way.


How can you find the different number of equity v. non-equity partners? Nalp doesn't break it down that way (unless I'm misreading).

NYAssociate
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:16 am

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jchoggan
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby jchoggan » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:00 am

NYAssociate wrote:
How can you find the different number of equity v. non-equity partners? Nalp doesn't break it down that way (unless I'm misreading).


You can't, for the most part. But it's not hard to go through partner profiles on the website and figure out who the rainmakers are.

It's true that you can't. Firms generally refuse to release those numbers in a shady attempt to hide their true leverage. Generally, if the firm has NEPs, it's a bad thing, IMO.

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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby 270910 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:03 am

jchoggan wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:
How can you find the different number of equity v. non-equity partners? Nalp doesn't break it down that way (unless I'm misreading).


You can't, for the most part. But it's not hard to go through partner profiles on the website and figure out who the rainmakers are.

It's true that you can't. Firms generally refuse to release those numbers in a shady attempt to hide their true leverage. Generally, if the firm has NEPs, it's a bad thing, IMO.


Not necessarily. Being a partner at a law firm entails a lot of responsibility outside of competent practice of law. Some NEPs are just people who are great lawyers but have no interest/skill/talent in business generation or retention, need modified schedules, etc. You still get paid an absolutely ridiculous amount of money, it's not like the NEPs get busted down to junior associate pay scale and start doing doc review.

All that being said, sometimes a lot of NEPs can make the actual partnership just look entirely impenetrable (I'm looking at you, Boies Schiller) so it's definitely worth some effort to figure out how the track works if you have any kind of long term ambition at the firm.

NYAssociate
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:07 am

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trickydicky
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby trickydicky » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:46 pm

bwv812 wrote:
jchoggan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am having a hard time distinguishing firms on my callbacks.


Implicit in this analysis is that many highly leveraged firms are run on the "churn and burn" model, whereby they employ a lot of associates and burn them out quite quickly. Their profit model is based on lots of associates billing lots of hours, and these associates are worked hard and generally burn out after a few years. This works great for partners, because you don't have to pay them midlevel salaries and you still get your grunt work done.

New York firms will often have leverage of around 3:1, while non NYC firms often have ratios of around 1:1.



Other than anecdotal evidence and the rumor mill, now does one figure out what the churn and burn firms are?

NYAssociate
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:50 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trickydicky
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Re: Considering Partner/Assoc. Ration-effect on Respons. & Sec.

Postby trickydicky » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:36 pm

NYAssociate wrote:Pretty much any firm with a massive summer class, for starters.



What is a normal, big, and massive summer class? (What percentage of associates in the office?)




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