Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

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anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:50 pm

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


Certainly better than biglaw. If you can demonstrate an ability to investigate, prep and possibly try a case, you'll be considered for partner. This isn't always the case with biglaw, where alot of your partnership prospects hinge on your ability to generate business.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:23 pm

What does it take to get into a plaintiff firm? For example, I have recently taken an interest in Lieff as it's in my hometown of SF (but I attend a T-30 on the opposite coast but have competitive grades).

What are the hours like?

What are the biggest downsides?

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What does it take to get into a plaintiff firm? For example, I have recently taken an interest in Lieff as it's in my hometown of SF (but I attend a T-30 on the opposite coast but have competitive grades).

What are the hours like?

What are the biggest downsides?


Not do derail, but why are you interested in Lieff?

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does it take to get into a plaintiff firm? For example, I have recently taken an interest in Lieff as it's in my hometown of SF (but I attend a T-30 on the opposite coast but have competitive grades).

What are the hours like?

What are the biggest downsides?


Not do derail, but why are you interested in Lieff?


I like the idea of representing plaintiffs, especially with regard to environmental protection (I worked a number of years before law school in the environmental policy field, and I didn't particularly enjoying working with the fossil fuel clients that wanted to get rid of every environmental regulation). I know Lieff has been involved with the BP spill case (and Exxon Valdez in the past) representing plaintiffs. I have also heard that they are involved with the Facebook IPO. That seems to suggest that they do interesting work. They're also based in my hometown of SF, and I'm not sure what other big plaintiff firm there is in SF. I'm definitely trying to learn more.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I like the idea of representing plaintiffs, especially with regard to environmental protection (I worked a number of years before law school in the environmental policy field, and I didn't particularly enjoying working with the fossil fuel clients that wanted to get rid of every environmental regulation). I know Lieff has been involved with the BP spill case (and Exxon Valdez in the past) representing plaintiffs. I have also heard that they are involved with the Facebook IPO. That seems to suggest that they do interesting work. They're also based in my hometown of SF, and I'm not sure what other big plaintiff firm there is in SF. I'm definitely trying to learn more.


I think the Bay is where a large chunk of the respectable plaintiffs' firms are. Lewis Feinberg and Altshuler Berzon come to mind.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I like the idea of representing plaintiffs, especially with regard to environmental protection (I worked a number of years before law school in the environmental policy field, and I didn't particularly enjoying working with the fossil fuel clients that wanted to get rid of every environmental regulation). I know Lieff has been involved with the BP spill case (and Exxon Valdez in the past) representing plaintiffs. I have also heard that they are involved with the Facebook IPO. That seems to suggest that they do interesting work. They're also based in my hometown of SF, and I'm not sure what other big plaintiff firm there is in SF. I'm definitely trying to learn more.


I think the Bay is where a large chunk of the respectable plaintiffs' firms are. Lewis Feinberg and Altshuler Berzon come to mind.


Cool, thanks. I admittedly have only just started looking into plaintiff firms the past week. I thought I didn't really have a choice other than go into big law, and I only heard about Lieff from a lawyer friend recently. I looked at a couple of firms that are on the list on page 1 of this thread, and they seemed to be in NYC. I just assumed that there wouldn't be a whole lot of them in SF, but I'm glad to have a couple of more recommendations. :-)

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does it take to get into a plaintiff firm? For example, I have recently taken an interest in Lieff as it's in my hometown of SF (but I attend a T-30 on the opposite coast but have competitive grades).

What are the hours like?

What are the biggest downsides?


Not do derail, but why are you interested in Lieff?


I like the idea of representing plaintiffs, especially with regard to environmental protection (I worked a number of years before law school in the environmental policy field, and I didn't particularly enjoying working with the fossil fuel clients that wanted to get rid of every environmental regulation). I know Lieff has been involved with the BP spill case (and Exxon Valdez in the past) representing plaintiffs. I have also heard that they are involved with the Facebook IPO. That seems to suggest that they do interesting work. They're also based in my hometown of SF, and I'm not sure what other big plaintiff firm there is in SF. I'm definitely trying to learn more.


If you are interested in plaintiff-side enviro work, look at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. One of the preeminent environmental firms in the country, and they're in SF.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:24 am

why are plaintiff firms so fucking tight? they'll pay you your salary and maybe a bonus, but they seem to squeeze the fuck out every penny when it gets beyond that. not just shit a defense firm would pass on to clients. shittier offices. less firm outings. less chance to get reimbursed for things. i cant tell if they make less money than defense firms, or if they pay less because they can be and the talent they look to hire will take it.

relatedly, who makes more - top people at top plaintiff firms (eg lieff) or at similarly situated defense firms (gibson dunn or something like that)? what about junior partners? outside of joe jamail, does it ever pencil out to go plaintiff-side when you can do defense and dont give a fuck about saving the world one strike suit at a time?

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:58 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What does it take to get into a plaintiff firm? For example, I have recently taken an interest in Lieff as it's in my hometown of SF (but I attend a T-30 on the opposite coast but have competitive grades).

What are the hours like?

What are the biggest downsides?


Not do derail, but why are you interested in Lieff?


I like the idea of representing plaintiffs, especially with regard to environmental protection (I worked a number of years before law school in the environmental policy field, and I didn't particularly enjoying working with the fossil fuel clients that wanted to get rid of every environmental regulation). I know Lieff has been involved with the BP spill case (and Exxon Valdez in the past) representing plaintiffs. I have also heard that they are involved with the Facebook IPO. That seems to suggest that they do interesting work. They're also based in my hometown of SF, and I'm not sure what other big plaintiff firm there is in SF. I'm definitely trying to learn more.


If you are interested in plaintiff-side enviro work, look at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. One of the preeminent environmental firms in the country, and they're in SF.


I'm familiar with Schute, and correct me if I'm wrong about that firm. I didn't like the fact that they seem to have only a summer program and then a fellowship program. I was wanting something that was a little more permanent than a fellowship. I'm nervous with the idea that I won't be hired full time. Or do they almost always hire their summer interns or fellows for full-time positions afterwards?

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BruceWayne
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:why are plaintiff firms so fucking tight? they'll pay you your salary and maybe a bonus, but they seem to squeeze the fuck out every penny when it gets beyond that. not just shit a defense firm would pass on to clients. shittier offices. less firm outings. less chance to get reimbursed for things. i cant tell if they make less money than defense firms, or if they pay less because they can be and the talent they look to hire will take it.

relatedly, who makes more - top people at top plaintiff firms (eg lieff) or at similarly situated defense firms (gibson dunn or something like that)? what about junior partners? outside of joe jamail, does it ever pencil out to go plaintiff-side when you can do defense and dont give a fuck about saving the world one strike suit at a time?



I have to say that I'm confused about the salary thing as well. Because, fyi, successful plaintiff's attorneys are the highest earning lawyers--by far. While even a Cravath partner is looking at like $3 million a year max, a successful plaintiff attorney could pull in $1million in one case. Then again, the fact that their pay is often contingency based may have something to do with it.
Last edited by BruceWayne on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:why are plaintiff firms so fucking tight? they'll pay you your salary and maybe a bonus, but they seem to squeeze the fuck out every penny when it gets beyond that. not just shit a defense firm would pass on to clients. shittier offices. less firm outings. less chance to get reimbursed for things. i cant tell if they make less money than defense firms, or if they pay less because they can be and the talent they look to hire will take it.

"relatedly, who makes more - top people at top plaintiff firms (eg lieff) or at similarly situated defense firms (gibson dunn or something like that)? what about junior partners? outside of joe jamail, does it ever pencil out to go plaintiff-side when you can do defense and dont give a fuck about saving the world one strike suit at a time?


On average over, say, a ten year period, I would say the most successfull plaintiffs' partners will make more than the most successful biglaw partners. Some of our partners retired before 50 because they "could". Take that however you want.

Associates at plaintiffs' firms get paid less than their counterparts at biglaw, but partners generally make more at a plaintiffs' firm, all else being equal. The reason being is that plaintiffs' firms do not need associates, or more precisely, not as many as biglaw. Biglaw makes their money through leverage. Plaintiffs' firms mostly stock their cases with one partner, or one partner and one associate. This is why when you scan the attorney profile section of most plaintiffs' firms the ratio of partners:associates are either 1:1 or nearly 3:2. Biglaw is more like 1:3, or 1:4. Plaintiffs' shops have less need for associates, which is why associates there get paid less. Supply and demand.

I wouldn't consider Lieff to be a top securities firm -- they are more a lifestyle, policy firm. So their top partnership compensation will be lower than say a Cravath partner. A top partner at a Susman, or Boise, however, will outpace a top Latham litigation partner.
Last edited by anon168 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:14 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:why are plaintiff firms so fucking tight? they'll pay you your salary and maybe a bonus, but they seem to squeeze the fuck out every penny when it gets beyond that. not just shit a defense firm would pass on to clients. shittier offices. less firm outings. less chance to get reimbursed for things. i cant tell if they make less money than defense firms, or if they pay less because they can be and the talent they look to hire will take it.

relatedly, who makes more - top people at top plaintiff firms (eg lieff) or at similarly situated defense firms (gibson dunn or something like that)? what about junior partners? outside of joe jamail, does it ever pencil out to go plaintiff-side when you can do defense and dont give a fuck about saving the world one strike suit at a time?



I have to say that I'm confused about the salary thing as well. Because, fyi, successful plaintiff's attorneys are the highest earning lawyers--by far. While even a Cravath partner is looking at like $3 million a year, a successful plaintiff attorney could pull in $1million in one case. Then again, the fact that they're pay is often contingency based may have something to do with it.


See my answer above.

And really it's hard to compare a corporate lawyer's pay at a firm like Cravath or Wachtell with a litigation partner at any type of firm.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:24 am

In case anyone is interested, I understand Berger & Montague in Philly is hiring.

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manofjustice
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby manofjustice » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:00 pm

Bottom line: Top plantiffs firm. What starting base, what typical bonus, what school + grades?

Reprisal
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Reprisal » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:does it ever pencil out to go plaintiff-side when you can do defense and dont give a fuck about saving the world one strike suit at a time?


It would. But if you think they just file "strike suits," you're probably not temperamentally inclined toward the plaintiff's bar, anyway.


manofjustice wrote:Bottom line: Top plantiffs firm. What starting base, what typical bonus, what school + grades?


I don't think there is a bottom line. Salaries range from 70-110, bonuses are probably 1.5x biglaw bonuses, and plaintiff shops are confusing with regard to school.

When you check firm attorney bios, there's a healthy mix of top, middle, and bottom schools, but Order of the Coif, Phi Beta Kappa, and Editor of [a journal] are consistent inclusions, indicating that the school isn't as important as personal performance. Which makes sense; plaintiff shops eat what they kill, so good hunters are valued, regardless of their training ground.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:09 pm

Anyone know anything about Faruqi & Faruqi? NY based, interested in their Philadelphia office.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know anything about Faruqi & Faruqi? NY based, interested in their Philadelphia office.


I wouldn't go to their Philly office.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:31 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know anything about Faruqi & Faruqi? NY based, interested in their Philadelphia office.


I wouldn't go to their Philly office.

Why not? I'm looking to practice in Philadelphia (office is in Jenkintown) long term. Doubt NYC will be an option for me. Any info would be much appreciated.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know anything about Faruqi & Faruqi? NY based, interested in their Philadelphia office.


I wouldn't go to their Philly office.

Why not? I'm looking to practice in Philadelphia (office is in Jenkintown) long term. Doubt NYC will be an option for me. Any info would be much appreciated.


From second-hand sources, I am told there are some bad personalities at that location.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:08 am

work for a primarily plaintiff firm in CA...fuckers at Faruqi file over us all the time. Haven't interacted with them personally but see the name on a lot of pleadings.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby bedefan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:15 pm

I've seen a few requests in this thread for info on what it's like to work for an upper-level plaintiff's firm. I'd like to hear more about this too. Anyone with experiences to share?

I know culture is going to vary by firm, but I'm specifically wondering if there are shared expectations as to hours on the plaintiffs' side -- e.g. something that compares with the apparently across-the-board BigLaw expectation of 60-70 hour work weeks.

Because, great as my passion is for hunting and killing corporate prey, no amount of money could persuade me to work that much. Life's too short.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:11 pm

bedefan wrote:I've seen a few requests in this thread for info on what it's like to work for an upper-level plaintiff's firm. I'd like to hear more about this too. Anyone with experiences to share?

I know culture is going to vary by firm, but I'm specifically wondering if there are shared expectations as to hours on the plaintiffs' side -- e.g. something that compares with the apparently across-the-board BigLaw expectation of 60-70 hour work weeks.

Because, great as my passion is for hunting and killing corporate prey, no amount of money could persuade me to work that much. Life's too short.


I've worked as an associate at a Vault 5 biglaw firm, and am now a jr. partner at a plaintiffs' securities firm.

I can tell you for a fact that the hours are significantly less at our firm for associates than at biglaw. There's really two aspects to that statement.

First, most plaintiffs' firms do not have billable hour requirements like biglaw do. You have to keep track of your hours for the (hopefully) eventual fee's motion, but that's merely an record-keeping tool, and not something that defines your life or bonus (as it is in biglaw). In other words, you do not live your life in 1/10th hour increments.

Second, the expectations of how many hours you actually work (not bill), is actually pretty flexible. The bottom line with us is that you win your cases -- not bill X amount of hours in any given month. Because who cares if you bill 300 hours a month if you lose all your cases, or motions? Those are dead hours that the firm just has to eat. We'd rather you work 30 hours a month, but win all your cases. FWIW, there's no billable hour requirement at our firm. We have more than enough work to go around that making sure everyone is busy and pulling their weight is never a problem.

On a night like this (Friday), just about all the associates are out of the office by 4 or 4:30, unless you have a discovery deadline or something due.

I can't go into more detail without outing myself, so hopefully that helps.

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bedefan
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby bedefan » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:07 pm

anon168 wrote:
bedefan wrote:I've seen a few requests in this thread for info on what it's like to work for an upper-level plaintiff's firm. I'd like to hear more about this too. Anyone with experiences to share?

I know culture is going to vary by firm, but I'm specifically wondering if there are shared expectations as to hours on the plaintiffs' side -- e.g. something that compares with the apparently across-the-board BigLaw expectation of 60-70 hour work weeks.

Because, great as my passion is for hunting and killing corporate prey, no amount of money could persuade me to work that much. Life's too short.


I've worked as an associate at a Vault 5 biglaw firm, and am now a jr. partner at a plaintiffs' securities firm.

I can tell you for a fact that the hours are significantly less at our firm for associates than at biglaw. There's really two aspects to that statement.

First, most plaintiffs' firms do not have billable hour requirements like biglaw do. You have to keep track of your hours for the (hopefully) eventual fee's motion, but that's merely an record-keeping tool, and not something that defines your life or bonus (as it is in biglaw). In other words, you do not live your life in 1/10th hour increments.

Second, the expectations of how many hours you actually work (not bill), is actually pretty flexible. The bottom line with us is that you win your cases -- not bill X amount of hours in any given month. Because who cares if you bill 300 hours a month if you lose all your cases, or motions? Those are dead hours that the firm just has to eat. We'd rather you work 30 hours a month, but win all your cases. FWIW, there's no billable hour requirement at our firm. We have more than enough work to go around that making sure everyone is busy and pulling their weight is never a problem.

On a night like this (Friday), just about all the associates are out of the office by 4 or 4:30, unless you have a discovery deadline or something due.

I can't go into more detail without outing myself, so hopefully that helps.


Yes, it helps. Helps a lot -- working in order to accomplish goals rather than working in order to work. That's what I'm looking for. Thanks for answering the question.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:In case anyone is interested, I understand Berger & Montague in Philly is hiring.

Sent an email a week ago asking about first year associate needs, said they aren't hiring. Just FYI.

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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:32 pm

From reading this thread it seems like Plaintiff side firm (in comparison to biglaw) offer:

1) Significantly fewer hours
2) Significantly lower associate salaries/bonus
3) Significantly higher partner salaries/bonus
4) Less stable earnings (year to year)
6) More interesting work/more responsibility early
7) Less 'Prestige'
8) Fewer exit opportunities
9) Better odds of making partner (?)

That sounds like a deal I'd take every time. Do law students not aim for these firms because students are risk averse and prestige focused? They don't like the unstructured job search, varying salary and being lumped in with ambulance chasers?

What am I missing? Thanks in advance.




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