dood wrote:no law firm is "prestigious". goldman sachs might be prestigious. buy side private equity, aka making millions before age 30 is prestigious. get this in ur head and u'll be alot happier. if you took "prestige" into account when interviewing/deciding on offers, u made a mistake and as u say "got the worst of both worlds." QoL is the ONLY consideration, assuming basic needs are met ($160K, no Howrey scenarios, etc).
Completely disagree. Of course no 1st year associate at any law firm is prestigious. Although I would argue that some first year analyst at GS isn't prestigious either. You do realize that GS runs the up or out system, right? You're give 3-4 years to prove yourself, if you don't make it - goodbye. Then you're given a few more years to prove yourself at that level - up or out. It continues like this for 95% of the employees of an investment bank (at least for the bankers). They won't fire straight away, but you'll be getting crappy bonuses and the writing will be on the wall.
Investment banking as a whole generally has higher salaries than law, but no investment bank can survive without their legal "paper pushing" counterpart. Investment banks are in the service industry as well - they need clients to want to use them. If you're equating prestige with money, then perhaps no law firm is prestigious.
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Regarding prestige and exit opportunities, I think the conventional wisdom on this board is a little misplaced. People from Cravath don't have better opportunities than people from Nixon Peabody because Cravath is more "prestigious" - it is a function of the types of deals and clients that Cravath has that Nixon Peabody doesn't have. If you're working at Cravath, you're probably working with the major investment banks and corporations of the world. You are doing highly sophisticated work for clients willing to pay top dollar. It is the level of sophistication that makes your exit opportunities "better". You are a better candidate to going in-house at bank X because well, you know the type of work and legal complexities that bank X deal with on a regular basis. The thought, whether accurate or not, is that you will need less on-the-job training than an associate from a firm who doesn't regularly deal with such complex matters. Another factor is client base. Cravath likely gets a substantial amount of work from X investment bank because it regularly advises X investment bank. The investment banks inhouse legal team will be composed of former Cravath associates. So, X investment bank will say, let's hire an inhouse guy/girl from Cravath because we know they are smart people and know how to get jobs done quickly and accurately. Nixon Peabody has their own set of clients who would hire from Nixon Peabody because the associates know that client.