Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

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Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:42 am

Just curious, do people ever move up to a bigger firm within the first 3-4 years of practice? say... top firm in a secondary city to a NY biglaw job like calawader or baker botts. Top firm in a secondary city. NJL250 ranked 175-250. Around 180-220 lawyers.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:17 am

Unlikely, although I did meet one interviewer during callbacks who did not start out in biglaw but in government work. Of course, this person had graduated in the top of his class and clerked.

Also, is the secondary city in the state of New York? Only certain bars can be transferred to other states (New York being one of them). If it isn't, are you planning on taking two bar exams?

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:44 am

Doubtful. I've heard from multiple attorneys that it's better to pursue a government job than midlaw because biglaw firms will take you on for the ridiculous experience that you have. If you come from midlaw, there's really nothing you can offer that laterals and government attorneys can't. As an example, a family friend worked for a major city law department and went into a V5 after six years (post-recession). She said V5 is atypical but a lot of people she worked who wanted biglaw, found it easy to transition.

2LLLL
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:19 am

What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:23 am

2LLLL wrote:What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?


I would assume US Attorneys office. Maybe IRS if the firm you are looking at wants tax attorneys.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:24 am

2LLLL wrote:What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?



The government agencies that would put you in a position to move to biglaw are jobs that are typically harder to get than biglaw jobs in the first place. For instance, a job at the DOJ honors program would absolutely set you up for a spot in biglaw. However, landing a job at the DOJ via the honors program is way harder than landing an SA at a V100 firm.

Midlaw to Biglaw movement is extremely rare. I know of one instance, but this person was also a graduate of a top law school, worked at a high end small shop and likely had biglaw options while in LS, but chose the high end small firm because of the substantive experience it offered her..

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underdawg
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby underdawg » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:08 am

ausa in sdny and edny don't even hire supreme court clerks straight out...most common path is biglaw --> ausua --> biglaw

maybe ftc also might work? iuno

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:41 am

so prob no chance heading to Asia? IE HK, Singapore, Shanghai?
Can Read Chinese + Speak ....

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Bosque
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Bosque » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:53 am

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
2LLLL wrote:What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?


I would assume US Attorneys office. Maybe IRS if the firm you are looking at wants tax attorneys.


AUSA doesn't hire new law grads. You need to do something else first, either Biglaw, or sometimes a DAs office.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby chitown825 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:39 pm

This isn't too far out. I know someone who spent three years at Baker & Daniels in Indy and moved up to Baker & MacKenzie in Chi after 3 yrs. Attended a T30 law school.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:54 pm

what about 4 to 8 years as a JAG officer followed by an attempted jump to biglaw? Is this plausible?

Edit: damn, accidentally hit anon. reply. my bad.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:58 pm

Any federal government agency that has an "honors" program will do just fine for biglaw down the road.

Some non-honors programs will do nicely as well.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby bostlaw » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:44 pm

Bosque wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
2LLLL wrote:What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?


I would assume US Attorneys office. Maybe IRS if the firm you are looking at wants tax attorneys.


AUSA doesn't hire new law grads. You need to do something else first, either Biglaw, or sometimes a DAs office.


catch 22? big law to AUSA to get into big law

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:12 pm

chitown825 wrote:This isn't too far out. I know someone who spent three years at Baker & Daniels in Indy and moved up to Baker & MacKenzie in Chi after 3 yrs. Attended a T30 law school.

not the norm, though
midlaw->biglaw can be done, but switching from minor->major markets is harder. major -> minor is more the norm.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby JOThompson » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:20 pm

what about 4 to 8 years as a JAG officer followed by an attempted jump to biglaw? Is this plausible?

Difficult but not impossible. I think most former JAGs are pigeonholed into government, PI, and small law.

If you don't get BigLaw by graduation, it's unlikely you'll ever get it, with few exceptions.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:32 pm

JOThompson wrote:
what about 4 to 8 years as a JAG officer followed by an attempted jump to biglaw? Is this plausible?

Difficult but not impossible. I think most former JAGs are pigeonholed into government, PI, and small law.

If you don't get BigLaw by graduation, it's unlikely you'll ever get it, with few exceptions.


Yeah by and large I think this is true, I have a close friend of the family who is an Air Force jag and he said despite the tons of litigation experience being a JAG gets you, since the Air Force rotates you through tons of different areas, firms tend to be turned off to hiring a JAG because they have no one area of expertise. I was kind of astounded by this, but I guess once you've practiced for several years having knowledge a mile wide but an inch deep is disfavored. Just telling you what he told me, take it for what it is worth.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:40 pm

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
JOThompson wrote:
what about 4 to 8 years as a JAG officer followed by an attempted jump to biglaw? Is this plausible?

Difficult but not impossible. I think most former JAGs are pigeonholed into government, PI, and small law.

If you don't get BigLaw by graduation, it's unlikely you'll ever get it, with few exceptions.


Yeah by and large I think this is true, I have a close friend of the family who is an Air Force jag and he said despite the tons of litigation experience being a JAG gets you, since the Air Force rotates you through tons of different areas, firms tend to be turned off to hiring a JAG because they have no one area of expertise. I was kind of astounded by this, but I guess once you've practiced for several years having knowledge a mile wide but an inch deep is disfavored. Just telling you what he told me, take it for what it is worth.

makes sense. inefficient for a firm to pay someone to be a senior (or even mid-level) associate, or an of counsel, without substantive knowledge in a specific field. inflated salaries for someone who is the functional equivalent of a junior associate when it comes to biglaw crap.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby JOThompson » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
JOThompson wrote:
what about 4 to 8 years as a JAG officer followed by an attempted jump to biglaw? Is this plausible?

Difficult but not impossible. I think most former JAGs are pigeonholed into government, PI, and small law.

If you don't get BigLaw by graduation, it's unlikely you'll ever get it, with few exceptions.


Yeah by and large I think this is true, I have a close friend of the family who is an Air Force jag and he said despite the tons of litigation experience being a JAG gets you, since the Air Force rotates you through tons of different areas, firms tend to be turned off to hiring a JAG because they have no one area of expertise. I was kind of astounded by this, but I guess once you've practiced for several years having knowledge a mile wide but an inch deep is disfavored. Just telling you what he told me, take it for what it is worth.

makes sense. inefficient for a firm to pay someone to be a senior (or even mid-level) associate, or an of counsel, without substantive knowledge in a specific field. inflated salaries for someone who is the functional equivalent of a junior associate when it comes to biglaw crap.

Spot on assessment. The military molds its lawyers to be generalists. Unfortunately, that leaves you few options upon leaving the service.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
chitown825 wrote:This isn't too far out. I know someone who spent three years at Baker & Daniels in Indy and moved up to Baker & MacKenzie in Chi after 3 yrs. Attended a T30 law school.

not the norm, though
midlaw->biglaw can be done, but switching from minor->major markets is harder. major -> minor is more the norm.


so respectable midlaw/biglaw firm in pittsburgh to pitt Reed Smith is possible. But going from same midlaw/biglaw to HK or NY is very hard?

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Bosque
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Bosque » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:35 pm

JOThompson wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:Yeah by and large I think this is true, I have a close friend of the family who is an Air Force jag and he said despite the tons of litigation experience being a JAG gets you, since the Air Force rotates you through tons of different areas, firms tend to be turned off to hiring a JAG because they have no one area of expertise. I was kind of astounded by this, but I guess once you've practiced for several years having knowledge a mile wide but an inch deep is disfavored. Just telling you what he told me, take it for what it is worth.

makes sense. inefficient for a firm to pay someone to be a senior (or even mid-level) associate, or an of counsel, without substantive knowledge in a specific field. inflated salaries for someone who is the functional equivalent of a junior associate when it comes to biglaw crap.

Spot on assessment. The military molds its lawyers to be generalists. Unfortunately, that leaves you few options upon leaving the service.


Fortunately there is another field that is very competitive where it pays to be a generalist, at least for one part of the job. Maybe that is why I have seen so many former JAGs that ended up as professors.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby underdawg » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:10 pm

bostlaw wrote:
Bosque wrote:
Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
2LLLL wrote:What government agencies would put you in the best position to get into BigLaw after a few years? I'm guessing that federal is going to be a lot more prestigious than state, but aside from DoJ, SEC, NRC, FERC and the other obvious answers, what are good agencies to target?


I would assume US Attorneys office. Maybe IRS if the firm you are looking at wants tax attorneys.


AUSA doesn't hire new law grads. You need to do something else first, either Biglaw, or sometimes a DAs office.


catch 22? big law to AUSA to get into big law

big law to ausa to become a partner

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:16 pm

So, assuming you're not interested in PI (separating government out of the PI category), you need BigLaw on your resume to do anything interesting. If you don't get BigLaw in OCI, your chances of ever getting it are slim. If you don't get BigLaw by graduation, your chances of ever getting it are none.


Sounds like I'm majorly f-ed

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Zar » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:36 pm

BigLaw hires former clerks, yes? So gun for one of those, then try and get BigLaw.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:55 pm

Zar wrote:BigLaw hires former clerks, yes? So gun for one of those, then try and get BigLaw.


--ImageRemoved--


Thank you for that awesome bit of advice. However, it may come as a bit of a shock, but good federal clerkships that lead to biglaw jobs are usually JUST AS HARD TO GET as getting biglaw.

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Re: Midlaw to Biglaw Jump? What are your chances....

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:07 pm

Yeah, you have to figure that a good chunk of 3Ls w/ BigLaw who are interested in litigation will be gunning for clerkships, as well as people who skipped OCI altogether because they wanted PI.




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