Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

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Where should I go?

V10 in NYC
26
70%
NLJ250 in home city
10
27%
V25 in other small city
1
3%
 
Total votes: 37

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RVP11
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Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:14 pm

I need TLS's wisdom. I've whittled my choices down to three options.

Quick description of each firm:

A. V10 in NYC. Mega-prestige, but probably pretty sweatshoppy as well. Very good exit opportunities, has handled the economy very well, and has very nice people. Firm does everything well, but especially corporate work. I enjoyed my callback. I know I would like NYC though probably not nearly as much as being in one of the other two cities. But the prestige is calling.

B. NLJ250 in my home city. Firm with about 450 attorneys, and 250 in my home city (which is the HQ office). Pay = $115k in a cheap city (think Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) but probably a very small bonus. Also loved my callback, and it's a place I could see myself making partner one day (even if I start somewhere else). Firm has a very general practice that seems to be centered on local litigation - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did not weather the economy particularly well and no-offered about half of its 2009 summers (though apparently gave 100% offers to their summers this year).

C. V25 in a different city I love. Small office with about 70 attorneys in a very small legal market (think Portland, Austin, etc.). Pay = 160k in an expensive city. Liked my callback but the fit didn't feel as natural. Firm has a practice that's centered on litigation and tech - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did well in the bad economy and always had conservative summer class sizes so didn't have to no-offer people.

My priorities, in descending order:
(1) Being able to keep my options open on practice area - I don't know what I want to do
(2) Job security
(3) Quality of life
(4) District court clerkship chances
(5) Long-term partnership chances

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:18 pm

You will probably have pangs of regret for the rest of your life if you don't go for the V10 in NYC. More than likely, you'd be able to lateral out of it in to one of the other firms (or something comparable) later in life, but the reverse wouldn't be true.

Anonymous User
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:19 pm

RVP11 wrote:I need TLS's wisdom. I've whittled my choices down to three options.

Quick description of each firm:

A. V10 in NYC. Mega-prestige, but probably pretty sweatshoppy as well. Very good exit opportunities, has handled the economy very well, and has very nice people. Firm does everything well, but especially corporate work. I enjoyed my callback. I know I would like NYC though probably not nearly as much as being in one of the other two cities. But the prestige is calling.

B. NLJ250 in my home city. Firm with about 450 attorneys, and 250 in my home city (which is the HQ office). Pay = $115k in a cheap city (think Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) but probably a very small bonus. Also loved my callback, and it's a place I could see myself making partner one day (even if I start somewhere else). Firm has a very general practice that seems to be centered on local litigation - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did not weather the economy particularly well and no-offered about half of its 2009 summers (though apparently gave 100% offers to their summers this year).

C. V25 in a different city I love. Small office with about 70 attorneys in a very small legal market (think Portland, Austin, etc.). Pay = 160k in an expensive city. Liked my callback but the fit didn't feel as natural. Firm has a practice that's centered on litigation and tech - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did well in the bad economy and always had conservative summer class sizes so didn't have to no-offer people.

My priorities, in descending order:
(1) Being able to keep my options open on practice area - I don't know what I want to do
(2) Job security
(3) Quality of life
(4) District court clerkship chances
(5) Long-term partnership chances


V10 NYC obvi. Lateral to your small market firm of choice in 3-5 years after a dct clerkship and time in NYC. You'll be a local baller in no time.

d34d9823
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:20 pm

IMO (and this applies to everything in life) when you aren't sure what you want to do, you do the thing that keeps the most options open.

Person
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Person » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:24 pm

Congrats on having some great options. V10 is hard to pass up in this instance. If for no other reason than that you want to keep your options open on practice area. That plus the fact it is generally easier to move big to small rather than small to big means you can delay the decision for some more years until you know what you want to do.

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Veyron
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Veyron » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:26 pm

Congrats on the offers. I think I can guess what the NJL250 is but won't for fear of outing. All I can say is I thought it was considered a sweatshop (by local standards) and had one of the lowest hours worked to pay ratios in the country (which is not to say that I wouldn't torture kittens to get an offer from them). You may be better off doing the V10 and lateraling into a better firm. However, if the fit seems right to you, why not take the place you know you can make a career rather than being two and done at the V10.

Either way, congradulations! If you can find it in your heart to PM me the details of your impressions of each firm in your favored market that you had a callback with as well as your guess and what credentials they were looking for out of UVA, I would be most appreciative.

Person
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Person » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RVP11 wrote:I need TLS's wisdom. I've whittled my choices down to three options.

Quick description of each firm:

A. V10 in NYC. Mega-prestige, but probably pretty sweatshoppy as well. Very good exit opportunities, has handled the economy very well, and has very nice people. Firm does everything well, but especially corporate work. I enjoyed my callback. I know I would like NYC though probably not nearly as much as being in one of the other two cities. But the prestige is calling.

B. NLJ250 in my home city. Firm with about 450 attorneys, and 250 in my home city (which is the HQ office). Pay = $115k in a cheap city (think Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) but probably a very small bonus. Also loved my callback, and it's a place I could see myself making partner one day (even if I start somewhere else). Firm has a very general practice that seems to be centered on local litigation - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did not weather the economy particularly well and no-offered about half of its 2009 summers (though apparently gave 100% offers to their summers this year).

C. V25 in a different city I love. Small office with about 70 attorneys in a very small legal market (think Portland, Austin, etc.). Pay = 160k in an expensive city. Liked my callback but the fit didn't feel as natural. Firm has a practice that's centered on litigation and tech - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did well in the bad economy and always had conservative summer class sizes so didn't have to no-offer people.

My priorities, in descending order:
(1) Being able to keep my options open on practice area - I don't know what I want to do
(2) Job security
(3) Quality of life
(4) District court clerkship chances
(5) Long-term partnership chances


V10 NYC obvi. Lateral to your small market firm of choice in 3-5 years after a dct clerkship and time in NYC. You'll be a local baller in no time.



Not sure this is 100% true. In particular, I am far from convinced that a small firms in a small cities are just dying to have big lawyers come and work for them.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:33 pm

2 seems like Cincinnati, 3 seems like NoCal but not San Fran... just a guess.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:34 pm

Person wrote:Not sure this is 100% true. In particular, I am far from convinced that a small firms in a small cities are just dying to have big lawyers come and work for them.

But they do seem to want kids from name schools come work for them that they wouldn't otherwise get.

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RVP11
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2 seems like Cincinnati, 3 seems like NoCal but not San Fran... just a guess.


Both wrong.

I'll PM the correct cities and firms if you're curious. Just didn't want to out myself completely.

Anonymous User
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:41 pm

RVP11 wrote:I need TLS's wisdom. I've whittled my choices down to three options.

Quick description of each firm:

A. V10 in NYC. Mega-prestige, but probably pretty sweatshoppy as well. Very good exit opportunities, has handled the economy very well, and has very nice people. Firm does everything well, but especially corporate work. I enjoyed my callback. I know I would like NYC though probably not nearly as much as being in one of the other two cities. But the prestige is calling.

B. NLJ250 in my home city. Firm with about 450 attorneys, and 250 in my home city (which is the HQ office). Pay = $115k in a cheap city (think Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) but probably a very small bonus. Also loved my callback, and it's a place I could see myself making partner one day (even if I start somewhere else). Firm has a very general practice that seems to be centered on local litigation - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did not weather the economy particularly well and no-offered about half of its 2009 summers (though apparently gave 100% offers to their summers this year).

C. V25 in a different city I love. Small office with about 70 attorneys in a very small legal market (think Portland, Austin, etc.). Pay = 160k in an expensive city. Liked my callback but the fit didn't feel as natural. Firm has a practice that's centered on litigation and tech - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did well in the bad economy and always had conservative summer class sizes so didn't have to no-offer people.

My priorities, in descending order:
(1) Being able to keep my options open on practice area - I don't know what I want to do
(2) Job security
(3) Quality of life
(4) District court clerkship chances
(5) Long-term partnership chances


I don't care much about prestige, but I think V10 is the clear answer because of your priorities. If quality of life and partnership chances were 1 and 2, then I'd pick one of the others.

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Bosque
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Bosque » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:44 pm

I normally do not say this, but I would go with the V10. From your description, it seems that the other two firms have some pretty big deal breakers. Neither does work you actually want to do, one seems to be in the habit of no offering people, and the other didn't feel like a place where you fit. I would be able to say for sure if I knew which firms you are actually talking about, but it sounds like the V10 might be your best option, even with the ridiculous hours.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:22 pm

Go wherever you'll be happiest, not where other people think you should go.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Go wherever you'll be happiest, not where other people think you should go.

While this is true, discussing things with other people is often a good way to figure out where you'll be happiest.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Go wherever you'll be happiest, not where other people think you should go.


A: Why so anonymous?
B: God, I hate it when people spout this useless line. If OP knew where he would be happiest, he wouldn't have asked for advice. FFS.

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dbt
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby dbt » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:27 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:IMO (and this applies to everything in life) when you aren't sure what you want to do, you do the thing that keeps the most options open.

bigben
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby bigben » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:28 pm

Veyron wrote:one of the lowest hours worked to pay ratios in the country

This means great hours for the pay. Not sure if that's what you meant.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't care much about prestige, but I think V10 is the clear answer because of your priorities. If quality of life and partnership chances were 1 and 2, then I'd pick one of the others.

Agree. I picked a smaller firm with lower pay over a larger firm with higher pay, because I liked the smaller city, the lower COL, the p'ship chances, being near family and friends, etc. But in this scenario, given OP's priorities, I think the V10 has the edge.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:41 pm

dbt wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:IMO (and this applies to everything in life) when you aren't sure what you want to do, you do the thing that keeps the most options open.

threesomes don't always turn out that well, though.

Anonymous User
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:08 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Go wherever you'll be happiest, not where other people think you should go.


A: Why so anonymous?
B: God, I hate it when people spout this useless line. If OP knew where he would be happiest, he wouldn't have asked for advice. FFS.



B is bull shit.

When law schools are prestige whores, and law students are prestige whores, and law school message board posters are prestige whores, happiness tends to get pushed to the side.

If happiness was part of the equation, the V10 firms would have a hard time recruiting.

I've been in his position: I knew A would make me happiest, but I knew that B is the prestigious choice, so I've asked.

Just from reading his options, it's clear which one he actually wants.

Edit: V10 firms don't let you keep your options open in a practice area, they let you avoid the choice altogether. You're going to be doing bitchwork for 3-4 years regardless of which area you practice, unless the V10 is Wachtell.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:12 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:IMO (and this applies to everything in life) when you aren't sure what you want to do, you do the thing that keeps the most options open.

This is how you end up in a guy guy girl dalmatian foursome.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Action Jackson » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:13 pm

V10. It sounds like you plan on jumping ship in 3 years anyway, so you might as well do your time in NYC and then move to whatever city it is you want to actually work at.

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Action Jackson » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Edit: V10 firms don't let you keep your options open in a practice area, they let you avoid the choice altogether. You're going to be doing bitchwork for 3-4 years regardless of which area you practice, unless the V10 is Wachtell.

Too bad you pussied out and posted anonymously, otherwise TITCR. But since you're anonymous, you suck. Ha!

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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:15 pm

I literally just got off the phone talking to someone about a similar (though not identical) set of choices...

The consensus advice from everyone I've talked to is "go for the experience." Moving to another market from a V10 in NYC isn't quite as trivial as people make it out to be. It really depends on the market, connections, and being able to show that you've done something in the 3-4 years that you've been working there, which is very hard to do at most NYC V10s - and that's the case even if you are willing to kill yourself with hours. You may be fine -- you have the grades/school/experience -- but you would also be fine going to another of the equally well-respected local firms, or going to a firm that's known for being a great place to get experience.

That said, none of your options seem all that optimal. Does the V25 really have the opportunities to get substantive experience in the area you care about? Are you that committed to wanting a long term career in law in that particular small market enough to want to just go there and pursue a partnership track (with all the possible risks of it not working out)? Also, it doesn't sound like you'd want to stay in the V25's market long term. So, I think with this particular set of options, I might go to the V10 in NYC. I just don't think it's quite as obvious as some are implying.

Anonymous User
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Re: Insane to turn down V10 for a small market firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RVP11 wrote:I need TLS's wisdom. I've whittled my choices down to three options.

Quick description of each firm:

A. V10 in NYC. Mega-prestige, but probably pretty sweatshoppy as well. Very good exit opportunities, has handled the economy very well, and has very nice people. Firm does everything well, but especially corporate work. I enjoyed my callback. I know I would like NYC though probably not nearly as much as being in one of the other two cities. But the prestige is calling.

B. NLJ250 in my home city. Firm with about 450 attorneys, and 250 in my home city (which is the HQ office). Pay = $115k in a cheap city (think Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.) but probably a very small bonus. Also loved my callback, and it's a place I could see myself making partner one day (even if I start somewhere else). Firm has a very general practice that seems to be centered on local litigation - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did not weather the economy particularly well and no-offered about half of its 2009 summers (though apparently gave 100% offers to their summers this year).

C. V25 in a different city I love. Small office with about 70 attorneys in a very small legal market (think Portland, Austin, etc.). Pay = 160k in an expensive city. Liked my callback but the fit didn't feel as natural. Firm has a practice that's centered on litigation and tech - not a ton of corporate work. Firm did well in the bad economy and always had conservative summer class sizes so didn't have to no-offer people.

My priorities, in descending order:
(1) Being able to keep my options open on practice area - I don't know what I want to do
(2) Job security
(3) Quality of life
(4) District court clerkship chances
(5) Long-term partnership chances


I don't care much about prestige, but I think V10 is the clear answer because of your priorities. If quality of life and partnership chances were 1 and 2, then I'd pick one of the others.


+1. If you wanted partnership chances and quality of life as your most important priorities, you would probably go with option 2. However, for keeping options open, you definitely go with the V10.




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