Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

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AlanShoreDisciple
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Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby AlanShoreDisciple » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:29 pm

Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:

Do you think it is worth going the biglaw route for a career in litigation?

Is there any possibility of balancing good pay without getting completely worked to death by your firm?

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patrickd139
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:52 pm

Redundancy is redundant.

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PKSebben
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby PKSebben » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:58 pm

AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:

Do you think it is worth going the biglaw route for a career in litigation?

Is there any possibility of balancing good pay without getting completely worked to death by your firm?


Question 1) I'm not sure what you are asking. Biglaw as opposed to... high impact public interest shop? mythical midlaw? small law? mass tort plaintiffs law? I'm a biglaw litigator. What do you want to know?

Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.

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JPrezy87
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby JPrezy87 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:18 pm

PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:


Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.


Ahh...the old "Lawyers are Leeches" cliche :)
Last edited by JPrezy87 on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PKSebben
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby PKSebben » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:24 pm

JPrezy87 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:


Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.


Ahh...the old "Lawyers are Leeches" cliche comes to rear its ugly head :).


Not quite that. It's just hard not to view litigation and legal compliance in general as a unnecessary (in many cases) transaction cost.

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JPrezy87
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby JPrezy87 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:59 pm

PKSebben wrote:
JPrezy87 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:


Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.


Ahh...the old "Lawyers are Leeches" cliche comes to rear its ugly head :).


Not quite that. It's just hard not to view litigation and legal compliance in general as a unnecessary (in many cases) transaction cost.


Oh that it is...that it is...but there wouldn't be all these "unnecessary transaction costs" in the first place if it wasn't for excessive government regulation and the constant threat of lawsuits :)

alumniguy
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby alumniguy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:52 am

JPrezy87 wrote:Oh that it is...that it is...but there wouldn't be all these "unnecessary transaction costs" in the first place if it wasn't for excessive government regulation and the constant threat of lawsuits :)


Not really true re government regulation and litigation - that is more a transactional law problem. The threat of lawsuits is credited re litigation though.

jarofsoup
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:04 am

PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:

Do you think it is worth going the biglaw route for a career in litigation?

Is there any possibility of balancing good pay without getting completely worked to death by your firm?


Question 1) I'm not sure what you are asking. Biglaw as opposed to... high impact public interest shop? mythical midlaw? small law? mass tort plaintiffs law? I'm a biglaw litigator. What do you want to know?

Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.




I was trying to PM but I guess since you are a mod I cannot. I interned at a small litigation law firm in SF and plan on attending law school in the fall(not a top 14 school, but a regional). Does work experience matter before attending law school at all?

It seems that the majority of litigation is "paper litigation" motions, interrogatories, etc...and I really really enjoyed that part of the internship.

To what extent in a big law firm are you as an associate do you get to partake in the civil litigation process? And any general advice for someone who is interested in litigation?

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PKSebben
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby PKSebben » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:13 pm

jarofsoup wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:

Do you think it is worth going the biglaw route for a career in litigation?

Is there any possibility of balancing good pay without getting completely worked to death by your firm?


Question 1) I'm not sure what you are asking. Biglaw as opposed to... high impact public interest shop? mythical midlaw? small law? mass tort plaintiffs law? I'm a biglaw litigator. What do you want to know?

Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.




I was trying to PM but I guess since you are a mod I cannot. I interned at a small litigation law firm in SF and plan on attending law school in the fall(not a top 14 school, but a regional). Does work experience matter before attending law school at all?

It seems that the majority of litigation is "paper litigation" motions, interrogatories, etc...and I really really enjoyed that part of the internship.

To what extent in a big law firm are you as an associate do you get to partake in the civil litigation process? And any general advice for someone who is interested in litigation?


I don't allow PM's because a) questions like this should be posed to the group and b) I don't want to hear any sass over the very few mod decisions I do make.

I do a variety of work, from document review to helping with deposition strategy. I'm not sure how much work experience matters in the hiring process. If you worked someplace prestigious or relevant to a substantive area of law I can see that having an impact. As suspected, school and class rank are the most significant factors in hiring. My general advice for one going into litigation is to work exceptionally hard at writing well. The substantive law is much less important than your ability to convey your key points in a succinct, stylish manner.

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kenstokes29
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby kenstokes29 » Mon May 30, 2011 1:17 am

Hoping this message gets to the mod at biglaw. I'm a 0L (UChicago in the fall). I'm wondering how much course selection matters for biglaw. I won't have to choose classes my first year, but I'm wondering if I'll be discounted from biglaw for focussing too much on, for example, con law during 2L and 3L. Any information is appreciated, thanks.

cornellbeez
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby cornellbeez » Mon May 30, 2011 1:19 am

^ Nobody cares, but you will probably be at some disadvantage if you end up in Securities/Tax and have never taken Sec Reg/Tax.

Also, Con Law? Ew. IMO, worst class in law school.

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kenstokes29
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby kenstokes29 » Mon May 30, 2011 1:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:^ Nobody cares, but you will probably be at some disadvantage if you end up in Securities/Tax and have never taken Sec Reg/Tax.

Also, Con Law? Ew. IMO, worst class in law school.


Don't worry, haven't settled on anything yet, kinda just chose something far from business, tax, and the like as an example.

Sup Kid
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby Sup Kid » Mon May 30, 2011 9:14 am

kenstokes29 wrote:Hoping this message gets to the mod at biglaw. I'm a 0L (UChicago in the fall). I'm wondering how much course selection matters for biglaw. I won't have to choose classes my first year, but I'm wondering if I'll be discounted from biglaw for focussing too much on, for example, con law during 2L and 3L. Any information is appreciated, thanks.

Biglaw hiring is done at the beginning of your 2L year, before anyone has taken classes other than the standard 1L ones, and maybe a singular elective at some schools. As a result, your 2L and 3L classes play basically no part in hiring decisions (though as the above poster mentioned, if you decide during your 2L summer that you want to do tax long-term, you probably should take corporate tax your 3L year...)

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 30, 2011 10:35 am

PKSebben wrote:I don't allow PM's because . . . I don't want to hear any sass


I love you let's get married.

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PKSebben
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby PKSebben » Mon May 30, 2011 11:05 am

thesealocust wrote:
PKSebben wrote:I don't allow PM's because . . . I don't want to hear any sass


I love you let's get married.


where the hell have you been?

Renzo
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby Renzo » Mon May 30, 2011 11:32 am

PKSebben wrote:
JPrezy87 wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
AlanShoreDisciple wrote:Hey, I'm an undergrad who is pretty set on a legal career and I've heard a lot of negative things about Biglaw Litigation.

Two Questions:


Question 2) The hours suck in biglaw. It's not completely overwhelming, but long hours doing tedious work for pedants certainly sucks. There is also the unshakable feeling that you are basically an unproductive drain on the economy.


Ahh...the old "Lawyers are Leeches" cliche comes to rear its ugly head :).


Not quite that. It's just hard not to view litigation and legal compliance in general as a unnecessary (in many cases) transaction cost.


Funny; I don't see litigation this way, but I definitely see transactional attorneys this way. Lawyers didn't make the conflict, and if the parties could settle it themselves there wouldn't be litigation. But everything I see deal lawyers doing, I think to myself, "really, the parties could have probably done that themselves, or done without it..."

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PKSebben
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby PKSebben » Mon May 30, 2011 11:39 am

Renzo wrote:Funny; I don't see litigation this way, but I definitely see transactional attorneys this way. Lawyers didn't make the conflict, and if the parties could settle it themselves there wouldn't be litigation. But everything I see deal lawyers doing, I think to myself, "really, the parties could have probably done that themselves, or done without it..."


lawyers have bad incentives in litigation. the incentives are to prolong the dispute. I haven't seen this really in the cases I've worked -- in mine one of the parties or both are just unreasonable or there was too much at stake, but it seems like the gamemanship of litigation is just such a drag on a business. I guess that's all factored in though, you know, and I'm glad to take a rake.

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law Litigation and Salary vs. Decent Quality of Life

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 30, 2011 1:30 pm

PKSebben wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
PKSebben wrote:I don't allow PM's because . . . I don't want to hear any sass


I love you let's get married.


where the hell have you been?


Every now and then I decide that TLS is the darkest place on earth and my life will be better if I can stay away. It never lasts :lol:




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