Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

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anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:09 pm

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

1) Significantly fewer hours


I don't know if it is "significantly" fewer hours, but the pressure to bill hours is certainly less (because there are no formal billables), and because of that there's less (or no) incentive to work just to work. I can say that having been on both sides, associates at plaintiffs' firms work less than their counterparts at biglaw.

Anonymous User wrote:2) Significantly lower associate salaries/bonus


Again, not sure what you mean by "significantly" but on average the salaries will be comparable to midlaw v. biglaw. Boni varies. On any given 10 year period, on average your biglaw counterpart will probably have a higher bonus. But in any given year your bonus can be as much as 3x more than your counterpart at biglaw.

Anonymous User wrote:3) Significantly higher partner salaries/bonus


Probably true, but again will vary year-to-year

Anonymous User wrote:4) Less stable earnings (year to year)


Yes no doubt.

Anonymous User wrote:6) More interesting work/more responsibility early


I guess this is matter of personal opinion, but I certainly think the work is more interesting. Certainly more of an adrenaline rush.

Anonymous User wrote:7) Less 'Prestige'


This is an interesting question. It maybe less prestigious to law students, but that certainly isn't the case -- across the board -- for practitioners, judges, etc.

But even for law students, is it always more prestigious to work for, for example, Cravath as opposed to, say, Boies? That's a question only you can answer.

Anonymous User wrote:8) Fewer exit opportunities


Probably true, but most folks go to plaintiffs' side work after exiting from somewhere welse.

Anonymous User wrote:9) Better odds of making partner (?)


I would say so.

Anonymous User wrote:That's a deal I'd take every time. Do law students not aim for these firms because they 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.


Yes, you have to realize that those typical "ambulance chasers" are probably a small percentage of plaintiffs' work. Nobody would say Susman is chasing ambulances, or the Leiff is doing slip-and-fall, or that Altschuler does anything but the most sophisticated type of legal work (Plaintiffs, Defense, or whatever).

Hope that helps.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:34 pm

I interviewed with one of the top plaintiff-side firms last year I don't doubt that they do very sophisticated and interesting legal work. I also believe that that the lifestyle is much more liveable and that new associates get more responsibility sooner. However, the way that they spoke about "case development" (going out and finding problems, then convincing plaintiffs to get on board), class representation as a whole, and their somewhat obvious desire to only take big-money cases made me feel sort of uncomfortable. I'm sure they have their advantages, but I'm not sure that a claim to moral superiority (to defense side work) is one of them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:52 pm

I'm the anon who posted the numbered list:

anon168: Sorry if you took offense at the ambulance chaser thing. I certainly don't see it that way. I was just trying to capture the sort of negative view that might cause someone to prefer working on the defense side.

If I could ask three quick follow-up questions:
1) What do you see as the biggest downside of plaintiffs work vs biglaw?
2) Do you think the two require different personality types?
3) What's the typical path to a Plaintiffs firm? 2-3 years in big law? Straight from school? Does anyone transfer from PI?

Thanks again.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:40 pm

anon168 wrote:Again, not sure what you mean by "significantly" but on average the salaries will be comparable to midlaw v. biglaw. Boni varies. On any given 10 year period, on average your biglaw counterpart will probably have a higher bonus. But in any given year your bonus can be as much as 3x more than your counterpart at biglaw.


Would you say this is true even with an elite mixed-plaintiff firm like Boies? It was my understanding that the only biglaw firm that challenges Boies in terms of total compensation is Wachtell, but is the bonus/total compensation at Boies so variable that it is often below market biglaw in a given year?

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the anon who posted the numbered list:

anon168: Sorry if you took offense at the ambulance chaser thing. I certainly don't see it that way. I was just trying to capture the sort of negative view that might cause someone to prefer working on the defense side.

If I could ask three quick follow-up questions:
1) What do you see as the biggest downside of plaintiffs work vs biglaw?
2) Do you think the two require different personality types?
3) What's the typical path to a Plaintiffs firm? 2-3 years in big law? Straight from school? Does anyone transfer from PI?

Thanks again.


Anonymous User wrote:anon168: Sorry if you took offense at the ambulance chaser thing. I certainly don't see it that way. I was just trying to capture the sort of negative view that might cause someone to prefer working on the defense side.


No offense taken. Just wanted to point out the misconception regarding ambulaance chasing vis-a-vis biglaw.

Anonymous User wrote:1) What do you see as the biggest downside of plaintiffs work vs biglaw?


Biggest downside? Losing all your cases, not getting paid and going out of business. Of course, this never happens in biglaw, right? Just ask your friends at Dewey Ballantine.

Anonymous User wrote:2) Do you think the two require different personality types?


With respect to personalities, yes, no doubt about it. You have to be a risk-taker and enjoy taking them. You also have to be supremely confident in yourself as a lawyer because if you don't win you don't eat.

To take an analogy. There are those that buy T-bills as investments. Then there are those that invest in IPOs. Sometimes you hit on a Google, and other times you hit on a Foursquare or Facebook. Which one are you more comfortable investing in? Uncle Sam's savings account or Google before "Google" became a verb?


Anonymous User wrote:3) What's the typical path to a Plaintiffs firm? 2-3 years in big law? Straight from school? Does anyone transfer from PI?


I'm not sure there's a typical path.

Many, if not most, plaintiffs firms do not have SA classes or participate in OCI. Some do (like Lieff or Susman) but they are small and many do not extend offers for perm employment.

Many people join a plaintiffs firms after a stint in biglaw and this is a route I recommend. Some join after doing criminal prosecution (AUSA, DA, AG, etc). Some join after doing both (biglaw and prosecution, like myself).

I would not recommend joining a plaintiffs firm straight out of law school, however.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by anon168 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Again, not sure what you mean by "significantly" but on average the salaries will be comparable to midlaw v. biglaw. Boni varies. On any given 10 year period, on average your biglaw counterpart will probably have a higher bonus. But in any given year your bonus can be as much as 3x more than your counterpart at biglaw.


Would you say this is true even with an elite mixed-plaintiff firm like Boies? It was my understanding that the only biglaw firm that challenges Boies in terms of total compensation is Wachtell, but is the bonus/total compensation at Boies so variable that it is often below market biglaw in a given year?


Yes, generally speaking although I have no personal knowledge of Boise's recent bonus history.

Also, keep in mind that while a firm like Boies or Susman will pay you mucho $ - and sometimes a lot more than biglaw - the hours worked at those firms can be comparable, if not more than, a typical biglaw associate's 2000-2100 billables.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with one of the top plaintiff-side firms last year I don't doubt that they do very sophisticated and interesting legal work. I also believe that that the lifestyle is much more liveable and that new associates get more responsibility sooner. However, the way that they spoke about "case development" (going out and finding problems, then convincing plaintiffs to get on board), class representation as a whole, and their somewhat obvious desire to only take big-money cases made me feel sort of uncomfortable. I'm sure they have their advantages, but I'm not sure that a claim to moral superiority (to defense side work) is one of them.


Have you ever seen a biglaw partner hustle for business or recruit a new client? And do you think biglaw will take any case but the mostest biggest money cases? :-)

But yes there is that aspect to class actions, but there's significant portion of work that revolves around institutional clients.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:04 pm

To anon168: Why wouldn't you recommend going straight to a plaintiffs' firm from law school?

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:09 pm

anon168 wrote:Yes, you have to realize that those typical "ambulance chasers" are probably a small percentage of plaintiffs' work. Nobody would say Susman is chasing ambulances, or the Leiff is doing slip-and-fall, or that Altschuler does anything but the most sophisticated type of legal work (Plaintiffs, Defense, or whatever).

Hope that helps.


This is just not true. I know this thread is about "top plaintiff side firms," but most predominantly plaintiff side firms are not anywhere close to the level of a Susman, Leiff, or Boies. There are significantly fewer "prestigious" plaintiffs side firms than there are biglaw firms. It's disengenous to characterize those firms as being representative of plaintiff side work.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Yes, you have to realize that those typical "ambulance chasers" are probably a small percentage of plaintiffs' work. Nobody would say Susman is chasing ambulances, or the Leiff is doing slip-and-fall, or that Altschuler does anything but the most sophisticated type of legal work (Plaintiffs, Defense, or whatever).

Hope that helps.


This is just not true. I know this thread is about "top plaintiff side firms," but most predominantly plaintiff side firms are not anywhere close to the level of a Susman, Leiff, or Boies. There are significantly fewer "prestigious" plaintiffs side firms than there are biglaw firms. It's disengenous to characterize those firms as being representative of plaintiff side work.


For plaintiffs securities/class action/whistleblowe, it is reprsentative.

Of course there's all sorts of plaintiffs side work, bit I'm talking about securities, class action, whistleblowe, antitrust, etc type work.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To anon168: Why wouldn't you recommend going straight to a plaintiffs' firm from law school?


Less training, and because of limited exit opportunities if you don't like the work and/or not good at it, you're sort of stuck in a cul-de-sac.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:30 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Yes, you have to realize that those typical "ambulance chasers" are probably a small percentage of plaintiffs' work. Nobody would say Susman is chasing ambulances, or the Leiff is doing slip-and-fall, or that Altschuler does anything but the most sophisticated type of legal work (Plaintiffs, Defense, or whatever).

Hope that helps.


This is just not true. I know this thread is about "top plaintiff side firms," but most predominantly plaintiff side firms are not anywhere close to the level of a Susman, Leiff, or Boies. There are significantly fewer "prestigious" plaintiffs side firms than there are biglaw firms. It's disengenous to characterize those firms as being representative of plaintiff side work.


For plaintiffs securities/class action/whistleblowe, it is reprsentative.

Of course there's all sorts of plaintiffs side work, bit I'm talking about securities, class action, whistleblowe, antitrust, etc type work.



Except that Susman, Boies, etc. tend to take cases that aren't bullshit strike suit crap. Bullshit strike suits comprise 90% of plaintiff class-actions, so eh.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:35 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:Yes, you have to realize that those typical "ambulance chasers" are probably a small percentage of plaintiffs' work. Nobody would say Susman is chasing ambulances, or the Leiff is doing slip-and-fall, or that Altschuler does anything but the most sophisticated type of legal work (Plaintiffs, Defense, or whatever).

Hope that helps.


This is just not true. I know this thread is about "top plaintiff side firms," but most predominantly plaintiff side firms are not anywhere close to the level of a Susman, Leiff, or Boies. There are significantly fewer "prestigious" plaintiffs side firms than there are biglaw firms. It's disengenous to characterize those firms as being representative of plaintiff side work.


For plaintiffs securities/class action/whistleblowe, it is reprsentative.

Of course there's all sorts of plaintiffs side work, bit I'm talking about securities, class action, whistleblowe, antitrust, etc type work.


Agree to disagree then.

Also, half of the people on here are talking about mass tort plaintiff lawyers when they are referencing huge paydays.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Also, half of the people on here are talking about mass tort plaintiff lawyers when they are referencing huge paydays.


They are?

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:08 am

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gyarados
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby gyarados » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:i'm set up to start at a top plaintiff firm and i'm worried as all hell that i screwed up.

i was a summer at a v10, but i didn't accept their offer. it's certainly too late to call back now.

dammit.

(no question here. just venting.)

Can't hurt to call and ask. If they liked you, they may cut you some slack.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:i'm set up to start at a top plaintiff firm and i'm worried as all hell that i screwed up.

i was a summer at a v10, but i didn't accept their offer. it's certainly too late to call back now.

dammit.

(no question here. just venting.)


May I ask why you think that you screwed up? PM if you want.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:05 pm

anon168 wrote:May I ask why you think that you screwed up? PM if you want.


anon168 wrote: because of limited exit opportunities if you don't like the work and/or not good at it, you're sort of stuck in a cul-de-sac.


This has a lot to do with it. (You didn't cause this feeling, it's been all I can think about for the last 6 months).

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:May I ask why you think that you screwed up? PM if you want.


anon168 wrote: because of limited exit opportunities if you don't like the work and/or not good at it, you're sort of stuck in a cul-de-sac.


This has a lot to do with it. (You didn't cause this feeling, it's been all I can think about for the last 6 months).


I would chill dude. You're obviously smart to get a V10 SA position and offer, as well as an offer from you call a "top plaintiff firm" so you obviously know what you are doing. Even if you don't like plaintiff's work or suck at it, you're obviously still young and smart enough to easily transition into something else.

And you never know, you may like it and really kick ass at it.

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beach_terror
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:10 pm

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Last edited by beach_terror on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:33 pm

Anyone know what's considered "market pay" for a plaintiffs securities, antitrust, consumer fraud class action firm? Can't find salary information anywhere.

anon168
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby anon168 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know what's considered "market pay" for a plaintiffs securities, antitrust, consumer fraud class action firm? Can't find salary information anywhere.


Think midlaw for the particular market you are targeting.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby reformed calvinist » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:16 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:You can add Boies and Quinn to that list.

Frankly, it's not necessarily true that these "elite" plaintiffs firms actually get more interesting work. Your vanilla securities class action plaintiffs attorneys are nothing more than glorified ambulance chasers hoping for massive corporations to give them big payouts just to go away.

Wow.


Hey, "ambulance chasers" gotta eat too. We can't all work at Cravath.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby reformed calvinist » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:18 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:This is fine, but a huge chunk of consumer class-action work is total strike suit crap. The PSLRA was enacted for a reason. Corporate derivative cases are entirely lawyer-driven, are generally nothing but a drain on company resources (i.e., the value the shareholders lose due to the litigation almost always surpasses whatever recovery the shareholders receive), and basically do nothing but spawn another reason to purchase insurance. Some of the class actions going on against banks right now are just ridiculous (see: In re Overdraft Fee Litigation, a MASSIVE MDL going on in Florida atm, and In re HELOC loan litigation).


Now, no doubt, some of the mass tort class action stuff has been quite important (the asbestos litigation, for example). But don't try to make it out as if plaintiff firms are hot stuff.

And truth be told, the quality of lawyering that goes on is simply lower. Read the briefs in any big plaintiff case - compare the plaintiff briefs to the defense briefs. While there are obviously exceptions, the difference in quality is really noticeable.


And the rest of law is completely noble? Like Murders and Hackquisitions?

funkyfood1
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Re: Top Plaintiffs' Firms?

Postby funkyfood1 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:23 pm

bump: i have a friend who started at a pretty respected plaintiffs firm last month. he clerked for a year first but makes $125K plus bonus and will receive some sort of raise in january. he's not sure how big the bonuses are and thinks they vary, but expects his total income to approach bigfirm salaries soon. he has no billable hours requirement and the place itself is super laid back (everyone leaving to play sotball at 4:30 during the summer and no one really there very late). in dc.




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