Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

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3rdYrLitigator
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Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:42 pm

4th year litigator here (I know, I chose a bad screen name) taking questions for a bit. I had a thread a while ago, but don't know how to link back to it for old questions. There's probably a way to search for it or get to it from my username.

Edit: Here's the link thanks to Legends http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3#p3871403
Last edited by 3rdYrLitigator on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fathergoose
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby fathergoose » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:48 pm

Anything you know now that you wish you knew as a 1L at the end of your first year?

legends159
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby legends159 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:52 pm

here you go: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=82732&p=3871403#p3871403

yeah just click your profile and it's the next post before this

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mottainai
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby mottainai » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:54 pm

How difficult was it to last until your fourth year? How many of your peers left before their fourth year? What type of gigs did they get into?

Younger Abstention
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Younger Abstention » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:56 pm

What do exit options look like for you now, as a litigator? Are you glad you chose litigation, or do you wish you had gone into transactional work instead?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:57 pm

fathergoose wrote:Anything you know now that you wish you knew as a 1L at the end of your first year?


Your relationships with your professors and classmates will be way more important to you a few years out than you may think.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:00 pm

mottainai wrote:How difficult was it to last until your fourth year? How many of your peers left before their fourth year? What type of gigs did they get into?


A lot of my peers are out of my firm or Biglaw or the law entirely. If I had to put a number on it, maybe 50%. A lot of the people out of law entirely such as people who have left to be stay-at-home parents and have no plans to get back into the law. Others have gone into business, small law (a few), or government.

I don't think it's been hard otherwise, it's a matter of whether you want to keep doing it more than anything else.

FiveSermon
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:01 pm

What school did you graduate from?

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Knock
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Knock » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:01 pm

Approximate school ranking and class ranking? How difficult would it be to move in-house after biglaw?
Last edited by Knock on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:02 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:What do exit options look like for you now, as a litigator? Are you glad you chose litigation, or do you wish you had gone into transactional work instead?


Exit options are smaller firms, government, or in-house. Transactional would allow an easier transition into in-house, but I found transactional work incredibly boring, so I don't regret it. I'd much rather try to keep doing litigation than do transactional work even if I had a better chance of moving in house.

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romothesavior
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:03 pm

Hire me?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:06 pm

Knock wrote:Approximate school ranking and class ranking?


T15 (no not Texas) top 30%.

It's much much harder these days, my firm used to hire people at the top 40% range, this past year they only even called back people in the top 10% or higher.

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beachbum
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby beachbum » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:06 pm

What's your perception of the current legal market/Biglaw hiring? Improving? And how do you think it will fare over the next few years?

I know you're in litigation, but does it seem that most transactional attorneys are able to transfer in-house fairly easily, or is it a tough gig to get these days?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm

romothesavior wrote:Hire me?


Sorry, not in my power.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:09 pm

beachbum wrote:What's your perception of the current legal market/Biglaw hiring? Improving? And how do you think it will fare over the next few years?

I know you're in litigation, but does it seem that most transactional attorneys are able to transfer in-house fairly easily, or is it a tough gig to get these days?


I think it's more moving sideways than improving, last couple of years recruiting has been really brutal. I think it's going to improve slightly but it's not going to be like it used to be for years, if ever. I will say the lateral market is pretty decent, firms let go of a lot of people who would be mid-levels now and they're starting to realize they need people with those skills.

I think it's easier for transactional attorneys but from what I've heard it's still pretty competitive these days. A lot of people trying to get in-house positions.

Omerta
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Omerta » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:13 pm

What changes from law school to actual practice? Do most lawyers really hate their jobs that much or do they just enjoy bitching on the internet more than other professions?

How do you feel about starting at a high-end trial lit boutique instead of a Vault firm? Do you feel litigators are happier with their career choice than transactional? What things do you know now that you wish you knew when you were going through OCI? Do you feel your classmates' rate of attrition is due to the job market, the fact that they didn't actually want to practice, or that they found better opportunities? Any particular ATL firms with strong litigation departments that I should check out for OCI?

Regarding clerkships: D.C. looked upon more favorably than appellate?
Thank you for taking questions.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:22 pm

Omerta wrote:What changes from law school to actual practice? Do most lawyers really hate their jobs that much or do they just enjoy bitching on the internet more than other professions?

How do you feel about starting at a high-end trial lit boutique instead of a Vault firm? Do you feel litigators are happier with their career choice than transactional? What things do you know now that you wish you knew when you were going through OCI? Do you feel your classmates' rate of attrition is due to the job market, the fact that they didn't actually want to practice, or that they found better opportunities? Any particular ATL firms with strong litigation departments that I should check out for OCI?

Regarding clerkships: D.C. looked upon more favorably than appellate?
Thank you for taking questions.


I guess it depends on your school but actual practice is nothing like law school. You don't have a semester to craft a brief, and there's a lot about litigation that you don't learn anything at all about in school. Many many lawyers really do hate their jobs, and hate their jobs with a passion. It can be a brutal lifestyle and attracts some of the biggest assholes known to man. But overall, if you can keep your work life separate from your personal life and grow a thick skin, you'll be alright.

From what I've heard high-end boutiques are really great for associates, a lot of responsibility and opportunity early. I wouldn't say there's a significant difference in happiness between transactional or litigation. Attrition is mostly due to not wanting to be a lawyer in the first place. I don't have a lot of OCI advice, do some practice interviews with someone who knows what they're talking about. I interviewed so many crappy interviewees it was amazing. I can't believe how poorly some students interview. Strong litigation really depends on the market, take a look at the Chambers rankings, they're pretty much spot on.

I'd say Appellate over DC, but I guess it depends on which circuit.

bmontminy
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby bmontminy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:35 pm

romothesavior wrote:Hire me?


I won't be so greedy. . .Interview me?

But in all seriousness, what market are you in? Can you speak to how the general hiring market in TX is doing (if your firm has a branch there)? Do you feel the same "sideways" comment applies here as well?

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:37 pm

You mentioned leaving for a smaller firm as an exit option. How much of a salary hit are you looking at to go to a smaller firm? Is there a decent reduction in billables?

Didn't mean for this to be anon
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Omerta
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Omerta » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:[.

Thank you for your response, both to my PM and my post.

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mottainai
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby mottainai » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:43 pm

A bit generic, but...what are the best and worst parts of your job?

Also, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish I could push a like button.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby Na_Swatch » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:47 pm

When you say you can't believe you interviewed a lot of crappy students, what made these interviewees so bad? And any good tips about interviewing? Thanks a lot for answering questions!

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romothesavior
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:52 pm

How much do you like/dislike your fellow associates and the partners?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:01 pm

bmontminy wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Hire me?


I won't be so greedy. . .Interview me?

But in all seriousness, what market are you in? Can you speak to how the general hiring market in TX is doing (if your firm has a branch there)? Do you feel the same "sideways" comment applies here as well?


Chicago. I have no idea about TX, but I kind of feel like sideways applies to all major markets.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw Associate Taking Questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You mentioned leaving for a smaller firm as an exit option. How much of a salary hit are you looking at to go to a smaller firm? Is there a decent reduction in billables?

Didn't mean for this to be anon


Salary hit, probably around 50K to 100K depending on year and bonus structure. Billables really depends on the firm, could be pretty similar to biglaw but generally a decent reduction.




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