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TIKITEMBO
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Postby TIKITEMBO » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:54 pm

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Last edited by TIKITEMBO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Law Sauce
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby Law Sauce » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:57 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:Okay, a little dramatic. Basically I'm looking for legal work before I go into law school but before applying to some of these firms I'd like to know if it's worth my time. I'm not looking to give help to Exxon Mobile and it doesn't necessarily have to be an Erin Brockovich moment, I would be perfectly happy learning from a firm that does pretty neutral business. Unfortunately most terms advertise what type of law they do, but I don't know if words like "Health Corporate" mean and for some reason firms don't seem to advertise that they work for the Legion of Doom, so I'm not sure where to begin looking for that info.

If you have any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.


If you are just trying to get some experience before LS, you need to take whatever you can get. I mean, they are really helping you out more than more than you are helping them out. So you wouldn't really be very valuable in advancing their evil plans or whatever. Thats my opinion.
Last edited by Law Sauce on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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paratactical
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby paratactical » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:58 pm

Both biglaw firms I've worked at (as a paralegal) have had clients I thought were the scum of the earth and clients I thought were the greatest thing ever. I don't know that you can really go around with the hopes of never working for, even in some small part, companies that you don't like if you're working in biglaw, but I've also never tried.

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TTH
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby TTH » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:02 pm

If you want biglaw, you're going to represent corporations of all stripes, with all the warts that they entail.

wojo96
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby wojo96 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:04 pm

Clearly rules out the majority of Big Law firms.

Why do you want legal work prior to law school? It doesn't help with admissions and your actual day-to-day tasks would be more mundane than the doc review to which actual Associates are subjected (that is, IF you land a paralegal job).

It would be more valuable to gain work experience that 1) is elite and increases your admission chances or 2) is intellectually stimulating/you enjoy.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:09 pm

I doubt that as a paralegal or young associate that you will be privy to the inner workings of the legal world.

Anonymous User
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:34 pm

Just make sure the firm's name isn't Bendini, Lambert & Locke. You might get caught up with gangsters from Chicago, or get killed scuba diving in the Caribbean.

wojo96
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby wojo96 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bendini, Lambert & Locke.


Love that movie. +1 for pre-scientology Cruise.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby TIKITEMBO » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:43 pm

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Last edited by TIKITEMBO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dr123
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby dr123 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:50 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:
It would be more valuable to gain work experience that 1) is elite and increases your admission chances or 2) is intellectually stimulating/you enjoy.


This is intriguing to me. What would be an elite position that would increase admission chances? Also, I've heard that it might not help much to work with a firm for admissions, but I was thinking it might help if I don't land a summer associate position during the summer of 1L and I could at least say I had some experience as well as my first year of law school.

I'm not super interested in big law necessarily, I've honestly got my eye on some of those coveted government jobs. Also, does the ACLU pay very much?


Not particularly, but most of their attys work 8-5 everyday and can leave early if need be.

ETA: Also getting an ACLU job fresh out of LS is arguably more difficult than getting BigLaw

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paratactical
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby paratactical » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:54 pm

OP if you want paralegal or assistant type work in Boston or NYC PM me and I'll dish details.

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drylo
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby drylo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:14 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:Okay, a little dramatic. Basically I'm looking for legal work before I go into law school but before applying to some of these firms I'd like to know if it's worth my time. I'm not looking to give help to Exxon Mobile and it doesn't necessarily have to be an Erin Brockovich moment, I would be perfectly happy learning from a firm that does pretty neutral business. Unfortunately most terms advertise what type of law they do, but I don't know if words like "Health Corporate" mean and for some reason firms don't seem to advertise that they work for the Legion of Doom, so I'm not sure where to begin looking for that info.

If you have any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.


Please (please!) tell me this a flame.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:18 pm

Shifty eyes, dramatic music.

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mottainai
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby mottainai » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:37 pm

If their clientele are supernatural non-human criminals from the underworld and the senior partners are from another dimension.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby TIKITEMBO » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:53 pm

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Last edited by TIKITEMBO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cavalier
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby Cavalier » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:23 pm

The good guys can't afford to spend $250-$1000 per hour.

keg411
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby keg411 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:55 pm

mottainai wrote:If their clientele are supernatural non-human criminals from the underworld and the senior partners are from another dimension.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_%26_Hart

icon13
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby icon13 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just make sure the firm's name isn't Bendini, Lambert & Locke. You might get caught up with gangsters from Chicago, or get killed scuba diving in the Caribbean.


And don't mess with Milton, Chadwick & Waters. Al Pacino aka Satan will fuck you up.

wojo96
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby wojo96 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:35 am

TIKITEMBO wrote:What would be an elite position that would increase admission chances?


Banking, consulting, Big Four accounting shops, Fortune 100 general management rotational programs would all be "elite" working experiences giving you a marginal admissions bump at some schools (most notably NU) and a SA hiring bump (all other factors being equal).

TIKITEMBO wrote:Also, I've heard that it might not help much to work with a firm for admissions, but I was thinking it might help if I don't land a summer associate position during the summer of 1L and I could at least say I had some experience as well as my first year of law school.


Ok, but how would the performance of glorified administrative tasks make you more marketable? How would that differentiate your application from the countless other applicants with brief paralegal stints on their resumes?

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sanetruth
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby sanetruth » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:34 am

wojo96 wrote:
TIKITEMBO wrote:What would be an elite position that would increase admission chances?


Banking, consulting, Big Four accounting shops, Fortune 100 general management rotational programs would all be "elite" working experiences giving you a marginal admissions bump at some schools (most notably NU) and a SA hiring bump (all other factors being equal).

TIKITEMBO wrote:Also, I've heard that it might not help much to work with a firm for admissions, but I was thinking it might help if I don't land a summer associate position during the summer of 1L and I could at least say I had some experience as well as my first year of law school.


Ok, but how would the performance of glorified administrative tasks make you more marketable? How would that differentiate your application from the countless other applicants with brief paralegal stints on their resumes?


Uh oh, looks like someone doesn't know what they're talking about.

First of all, it has been noted that while NU likes to claim they take a 'business school' approach to hiring, close to 75% students with work experience there were paralegals or something similar. It is by no means looked down upon by them. Also, schools just like work experience. The vast majority of law school applicants have NONE, so it's not like schools are weeding through the 35% who did, picking out the paralegals and being like 'not good enough'. It depends on where you were a paralegal and what you were doing/how much responsibility you had (see below).

Second, there is no way that someone applying for a SA position who had previously been a paralegal at a V100 or something comparable would be looked upon less favorably than someone who had been a manager at a Fortune 100 firm or something like that. Sure, if you were applying for a SA position at a firm known for ties to banking and you had previously been an analyst at Barclays or something, that might help. But how is being an accountant relevant to working at a litigation shop? Law firms value potential SA's who have experience with law firm culture and processes. I have heard on many occasions that SA's and first year attorneys who were previously paralegals had a much easier time adapting and rising above their peers who had no work experience or experience outside the legal industry.

Lastly, I am a paralegal, and my work is far more substantive than doc review and is by no means a 'glorified administrative' position. I'm sure there are places out there where all you do is photocopy, but i'm pretty sure those are legal assistants as opposed to paralegals and at large but low end firms. The fact is, if your firm does interesting work and does well, as a paralegal you will do interesting work, and if you do your work well, you will be given a lot of responsibility. Just choose your firms wisely, you can tell the kind of places that will stick you in a windowless room to do discovery as opposed to the firms that have out next to the attorneys running calculations and helping put together cases.

Also, OP, sounds like your looking for PI work. Just avoid biglaw altogether.

wojo96
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby wojo96 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:27 am

sanetruth wrote:close to 75% students with work experience there were paralegals or something similar


Blind speculation: there is no need to get defensive about your job.

sanetruth wrote:It depends on where you were a paralegal and what you were doing/how much responsibility you had


TITCR

If you land an elite paralegal position (V50 or whatever), great. But paralegal WE for the sake of paralegal WE is self-defeating because a) the vast majority of paralegals amount to glorified support staff, b) many, many 0L’s follow this path (making it difficult to differentiate your experience from the masses when vying for a job, albeit summer or FT), and c) the opportunity cost is high.

If someone has the grades and credentials to consider a T1 law school, why not pursue an “elite” WE (listed several examples above) where 1) the competitive nature of the application process establishes that you’ve been professionally vetted, 2) you’ll have actual client exposure, and 3) the responsibility bestowed on you is irrefutable?

For the OP, who we’ve distilled is NOT interested in Big Law, I still think my initial feedback holds: “gain work experience that 1) is elite 2) you enjoy” v some run-of-the-mill paralegal position.

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Rooney
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby Rooney » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:38 am

sanetruth wrote:
but i'm pretty sure those are legal assistants as opposed to paralegals and at large but low end firms. The fact is, if your firm does interesting work and does well, as a paralegal you will do interesting work, and if you do your work well, you will be given a lot of responsibility


Pretty sure a legal assistant typically has an undergraduate degree and a paralegal has an eponymous associate's degree.

Edit: maybe you mean legal secretary instead of legal asst. in that sentence?

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paratactical
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby paratactical » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:39 am

Rooney wrote:
sanetruth wrote:
but i'm pretty sure those are legal assistants as opposed to paralegals and at large but low end firms. The fact is, if your firm does interesting work and does well, as a paralegal you will do interesting work, and if you do your work well, you will be given a lot of responsibility


Pretty sure a legal assistant typically has an undergraduate degree and a paralegal has an eponymous associate's degree.

lolwut?

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Rooney
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby Rooney » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:41 am

paratactical wrote:
Rooney wrote:
sanetruth wrote:
but i'm pretty sure those are legal assistants as opposed to paralegals and at large but low end firms. The fact is, if your firm does interesting work and does well, as a paralegal you will do interesting work, and if you do your work well, you will be given a lot of responsibility


Pretty sure a legal assistant typically has an undergraduate degree and a paralegal has an eponymous associate's degree.

lolwut?


I think these days the difference is just semantics, but i work with a litigation paralegal who has a paralegal assoc. degree, and I have a BA degree, and my biznass card says legal assistant.

Edit: just checked the ABA, there's no para/LA difference, they put the titles together in the same definition

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paratactical
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Re: How do you know if a law firm is EVIL?!!!

Postby paratactical » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:11 pm

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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