Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

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anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a partner at a plaintiff's firm (think RGRD, Lieff, Sussman, Labaton), and was formerly at BigLaw (think Gibson Dunn, OMM, Latham, Paul Hastings), and did a stint as an AUSA for a while before joining a plaintiff's firm.

If you have questions, I'd be happy to share insights on what it's like to work at a plaintiff's firm vis-a-vis biglaw, and how to get a job at either place. Just post and I'll be here for the rest of the week or so.

No flames please. Just trying to be helpful.


Thank you for taking questions.

What is the PPP like at your (or other) top plaintiffs' firms? Curious as to how it compares to Vault 50 PPP. Due to the nature of the work, do some partners take home much more than others?

Big firms rely on institutional clients for the majority of their work, but plaintiffs' firms require a study influx of new, often one-time clients. How does the firm market to or find clients?


Plaintiff's firms don't really use PPP -- at least not in the way that BigLaw does. Profits at plaintiff's firms will vary great from year to year that it is almost impossible to quantify. I can tell you that from speaking with folks at my place and other partners at similar firms (e.g. those at major, coastal metro cities), jr. will make anywhere between 250k to 350k plus profits and sr. will be 400k+ with profits. But that can vary greatly.

At our firm, profits are shared equally. Just because you settle a case for 600M and get a fees award of (for example) 60M doesn't mean you necessarily get a bigger bonus that year. It just means everyone at the firm (from the mail clerk to the legal assistants to the associates to the partners) all get a nice cut. It's pretty egalitarian in that respect.

Contrary to popular belief, a serious plaintiff's firm's bread-and-butter client roster will be compromised mostly of institutional clients -- e.g. pension funds, VCs, unions, mutual funds, etc. Run far far away from plaintiff's firm that rely solely on individuals. Of course every plaintiff's firm will have their stock of cases headed by a sole plaintiff, but they better have a lock-stock stable of institutional investors if they want to be stable long-term.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a partner at a plaintiff's firm (think RGRD, Lieff, Sussman, Labaton), and was formerly at BigLaw (think Gibson Dunn, OMM, Latham, Paul Hastings), and did a stint as an AUSA for a while before joining a plaintiff's firm.

If you have questions, I'd be happy to share insights on what it's like to work at a plaintiff's firm vis-a-vis biglaw, and how to get a job at either place. Just post and I'll be here for the rest of the week or so.

No flames please. Just trying to be helpful.


I'm the poster above that was considering an offer from a top plaintiffs' firm. What I'm concerned about is going to the plaintiffs' firm and then not having transferable skills.

(1) If I go to a top plaintiffs' firm and it's not me, how difficult would it be to go to biglaw or a USAO? What if I spend 5 years at the plaintiffs' firm. Will I be stuck on that side of the aisle?

(2) What is realistic future salary/bonus expectations for someone at a plaintiffs' firm with solid biglaw credentials (e.g., top-6 law school; top 15%; law review; no ed. board; no clerkship).

Also, I'm not talking abous Susman or Boies, which I think are a different story because they do defense work as well.


(1) Hard to say. Let's say you go to Quinn, Emanuel, Susman or Lieff, then you can go to a USAO or even a BigLaw pretty easily. But generally it's pretty hard to go from plaintiff to defense side -- one because of conflicts (you are now representing clients you once sued on a regular basis), and two because there's always a bad taste that most biglaw partners have with securities-side plaintiff's lawyers. I can honestly say, however, that having been on both sides, if you don't enjoy plaintiff side work, you will utterly hate defense side BigLaw work.

(2) Impossible to say. Depends on market, type and size of firm, etc. More details (if possible) without outing yourself. Or PM me.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:05 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a partner at a plaintiff's firm (think RGRD, Lieff, Sussman, Labaton), and was formerly at BigLaw (think Gibson Dunn, OMM, Latham, Paul Hastings), and did a stint as an AUSA for a while before joining a plaintiff's firm.

If you have questions, I'd be happy to share insights on what it's like to work at a plaintiff's firm vis-a-vis biglaw, and how to get a job at either place. Just post and I'll be here for the rest of the week or so.

No flames please. Just trying to be helpful.


I'm the poster above that was considering an offer from a top plaintiffs' firm. What I'm concerned about is going to the plaintiffs' firm and then not having transferable skills.

(1) If I go to a top plaintiffs' firm and it's not me, how difficult would it be to go to biglaw or a USAO? What if I spend 5 years at the plaintiffs' firm. Will I be stuck on that side of the aisle?

(2) What is realistic future salary/bonus expectations for someone at a plaintiffs' firm with solid biglaw credentials (e.g., top-6 law school; top 15%; law review; no ed. board; no clerkship).

Also, I'm not talking abous Susman or Boies, which I think are a different story because they do defense work as well.


(1) Hard to say. Let's say you go to Quinn, Emanuel, Susman or Lieff, then you can go to a USAO or even a BigLaw pretty easily. But generally it's pretty hard to go from plaintiff to defense side -- one because of conflicts (you are now representing clients you once sued on a regular basis), and two because there's always a bad taste that most biglaw partners have with securities-side plaintiff's lawyers. I can honestly say, however, that having been on both sides, if you don't enjoy plaintiff side work, you will utterly hate defense side BigLaw work.

(2) Impossible to say. Depends on market, type and size of firm, etc. More details (if possible) without outing yourself. Or PM me.


I probably shouldn't correct you, but I think your list is a little off. Lieff is a completely plaintiff side firm. Susman and Quinn are not. I could see it being much harder to go from Lieff to biglaw than from Susman to biglaw.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a partner at a plaintiff's firm (think RGRD, Lieff, Sussman, Labaton), and was formerly at BigLaw (think Gibson Dunn, OMM, Latham, Paul Hastings), and did a stint as an AUSA for a while before joining a plaintiff's firm.

If you have questions, I'd be happy to share insights on what it's like to work at a plaintiff's firm vis-a-vis biglaw, and how to get a job at either place. Just post and I'll be here for the rest of the week or so.

No flames please. Just trying to be helpful.


I'm the poster above that was considering an offer from a top plaintiffs' firm. What I'm concerned about is going to the plaintiffs' firm and then not having transferable skills.

(1) If I go to a top plaintiffs' firm and it's not me, how difficult would it be to go to biglaw or a USAO? What if I spend 5 years at the plaintiffs' firm. Will I be stuck on that side of the aisle?

(2) What is realistic future salary/bonus expectations for someone at a plaintiffs' firm with solid biglaw credentials (e.g., top-6 law school; top 15%; law review; no ed. board; no clerkship).

Also, I'm not talking abous Susman or Boies, which I think are a different story because they do defense work as well.


(1) Hard to say. Let's say you go to Quinn, Emanuel, Susman or Lieff, then you can go to a USAO or even a BigLaw pretty easily. But generally it's pretty hard to go from plaintiff to defense side -- one because of conflicts (you are now representing clients you once sued on a regular basis), and two because there's always a bad taste that most biglaw partners have with securities-side plaintiff's lawyers. I can honestly say, however, that having been on both sides, if you don't enjoy plaintiff side work, you will utterly hate defense side BigLaw work.

(2) Impossible to say. Depends on market, type and size of firm, etc. More details (if possible) without outing yourself. Or PM me.


I probably shouldn't correct you, but I think your list is a little off. Lieff is a completely plaintiff side firm. Susman and Quinn are not. I could see it being much harder to go from Lieff to biglaw than from Susman to biglaw.


Susman and Quinn are not your typical plaintiff's firm like Labaton or Milberg, who do primarily (or solely) securities side work. But Susman and Quinn make a living off of being on the right side of the V, just like your typical securities-side plaintiff's firm. And Susman and Quinn work on contingency while making a living on the right side of the V.

That's what I meant by plaintiff's side firms. Sure both Susman and Quinn do some defense work, but that's not their bread and butter. Quinn, I should add, will probably no longer be a plaintiff's firm in about 5 years if they continue their current growth and business plan model. It's too bad.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:00 pm

anon168 wrote:Susman and Quinn are not your typical plaintiff's firm like Labaton or Milberg, who do primarily (or solely) securities side work. But Susman and Quinn make a living off of being on the right side of the V, just like your typical securities-side plaintiff's firm. And Susman and Quinn work on contingency while making a living on the right side of the V.

That's what I meant by plaintiff's side firms. Sure both Susman and Quinn do some defense work, but that's not their bread and butter. Quinn, I should add, will probably no longer be a plaintiff's firm in about 5 years if they continue their current growth and business plan model. It's too bad.


Are you the plaintiffs' partner? (thinking of PMing you a q). Interesting points about Quinn. Re Lieff, pretty sure they don't have institutional clients, actually, whereas Quinn does.

What made you switch from defense to plaintiffs' side? Do you buy into the ideological differences behind them, and does that philosophy make its way into any of your briefing? Can you explain how you find the work different on the P side?

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Re Lieff, pretty sure they don't have institutional clients, actually, whereas Quinn does.


FYI - Lieff does have institutional clients. Every plaintiff side securities firm has institutional clients. The clients are companies that invest money for other people (e.g. pension funds). When there is a big securities class action, the plaintiff firm notifies all their institutional clients and asks if they hold the investment at issue.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Re Lieff, pretty sure they don't have institutional clients, actually, whereas Quinn does.


FYI - Lieff does have institutional clients. Every plaintiff side securities firm has institutional clients. The clients are companies that invest money for other people (e.g. pension funds). When there is a big securities class action, the plaintiff firm notifies all their institutional clients and asks if they hold the investment at issue.


Ah Lieff - Had them on a case recently... Not particularly impressed to be honest. Not bad attorneys.. I was just expecting a bit more.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Susman and Quinn are not your typical plaintiff's firm like Labaton or Milberg, who do primarily (or solely) securities side work. But Susman and Quinn make a living off of being on the right side of the V, just like your typical securities-side plaintiff's firm. And Susman and Quinn work on contingency while making a living on the right side of the V.

That's what I meant by plaintiff's side firms. Sure both Susman and Quinn do some defense work, but that's not their bread and butter. Quinn, I should add, will probably no longer be a plaintiff's firm in about 5 years if they continue their current growth and business plan model. It's too bad.


Are you the plaintiffs' partner? (thinking of PMing you a q). Interesting points about Quinn. Re Lieff, pretty sure they don't have institutional clients, actually, whereas Quinn does.

What made you switch from defense to plaintiffs' side? Do you buy into the ideological differences behind them, and does that philosophy make its way into any of your briefing? Can you explain how you find the work different on the P side?


What does that mean: "Are you the plaintiffs' partner"?

Like the poster said below, everyone has institutional clients -- and certainly Lieff. Run far far away from any plaintiffs' shop that does not have a stock of institutional clients.

PM me if you want answers to the rest of your question -- e.g. why the switch, difference in work, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:32 pm

bump

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:19 pm

Not sure if you only have the perspective of one firm, but can you describe what compensation is like at top plaintiff firms relative to BigLaw? I've heard the total salary is much lower for associates (like, $100k lower at the top firms...), but that for partners the divided contingency fees push partner compensation way past what BigLaw partners make. Is that true?

(No need to get too specific for anonymity's sake)

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not sure if you only have the perspective of one firm, but can you describe what compensation is like at top plaintiff firms relative to BigLaw? I've heard the total salary is much lower for associates (like, $100k lower at the top firms...), but that for partners the divided contingency fees push partner compensation way past what BigLaw partners make. Is that true?

(No need to get too specific for anonymity's sake)


Yes, that's generally true.

Base salary will be lower (think midlaw v. biglaw), but depending on how well the firm does, an associate at a plaintiffs' shop can have bonuses that are 3x (if not more) than those at biglaw.

PM if you want more details.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:14 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Susman and Quinn are not your typical plaintiff's firm like Labaton or Milberg, who do primarily (or solely) securities side work. But Susman and Quinn make a living off of being on the right side of the V, just like your typical securities-side plaintiff's firm. And Susman and Quinn work on contingency while making a living on the right side of the V.

That's what I meant by plaintiff's side firms. Sure both Susman and Quinn do some defense work, but that's not their bread and butter. Quinn, I should add, will probably no longer be a plaintiff's firm in about 5 years if they continue their current growth and business plan model. It's too bad.


Are you the plaintiffs' partner? (thinking of PMing you a q). Interesting points about Quinn. Re Lieff, pretty sure they don't have institutional clients, actually, whereas Quinn does.

What made you switch from defense to plaintiffs' side? Do you buy into the ideological differences behind them, and does that philosophy make its way into any of your briefing? Can you explain how you find the work different on the P side?


What does that mean: "Are you the plaintiffs' partner"?

Like the poster said below, everyone has institutional clients -- and certainly Lieff. Run far far away from any plaintiffs' shop that does not have a stock of institutional clients.

PM me if you want answers to the rest of your question -- e.g. why the switch, difference in work, etc.


Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. = No institutional clients at all. Pretty sure each name partner would slit their wrists if they were only earning a big law partner's salary. The advice of "run far away" from a plaintiff firm with no institutional clients is dumb and shows a lack of knowledge of the field.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby JusticeJackson » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:22 pm

.
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:05 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:15 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. = No institutional clients at all. Pretty sure each name partner would slit their wrists if they were only earning a big law partner's salary. The advice of "run far away" from a plaintiff firm with no institutional clients is dumb and shows a lack of knowledge of the field.


I think he was referring to plaintiff-side securities firms. It would be pretty difficult to have institutional clients as a personal injury firm (at least I can't think of how that would work).


Yes, that's correct. Sorry if I was unclear earlier.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:18 pm

ajax adonis wrote:Does anybody know anything about the law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP? What it's like work there, what the people are like, hours, type of work, etc.?


This maybe the wrong thread for that question. SMW is primarily an environmental firm (both regulatory and litigation) -- a very good one at that -- but not your typical securities-plaintiffs' shop.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:24 pm

What are associate salaries like at places like Motley etc. ?

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:03 am

BruceWayne wrote:What are associate salaries like at places like Motley etc. ?


I am not familiar with Motley Rice's salary structure, but if I were to venture a guess, probably something between 80k-100k for jr. associates.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:09 am

BruceWayne wrote:What are associate salaries like at places like Motley etc. ?


Not very much, even for their comparable markets.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:15 am

anon168 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:What are associate salaries like at places like Motley etc. ?


Not very much, even for their comparable markets.


About 60-70k.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:28 am

BruceWayne wrote:What are associate salaries like at places like Motley etc. ?


I know nothing about Motley, but at the top pure-plaintiff firms I'm familiar with, 1st year associates make $100-110K base salary. Bonuses are fairly close to biglaw bonuses at the junior-associate ranks, and potentially much better at the senior-associate ranks. No idea what equity partners make, but at that point money is not an issue. This obviously doesn't apply to Susman, Boies, or Quinn, where juniors are paid like biglaw.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:24 pm

What's the partnership track like at a typical plaintiffs' firm? Is it longer or the same as V15 firms?

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the partnership track like at a typical plaintiffs' firm? Is it longer or the same as V15 firms?


Generally about 6-8 years. Minimum of 2 years at the firm if you lateral in. But I'm sure it varies from firm to firm.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:46 pm

How are partnership prospects at a top plaintiff's firms versus average biglaw partnership prospects? Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How are partnership prospects at a top plaintiff's firms versus average biglaw partnership prospects? Thanks!


My understanding is that neither will make you partner unless you bring in tons of money, thereby making it worthwhile for them to split their take in order to prevent you from going elsewhere.




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