Define Midlaw

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:02 am

i would consider v&e, h&b, akin gump, f&j, bracewell giuliani as BigTex

midlaw would be more like thompson&knight, jackson walker, gardere -- which all do pay close to market


I should clarify that by market I mean whatever market salary is in that particular market (e.g. 145 in Philly).

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby de5igual » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:13 am

Veyron wrote:
i would consider v&e, h&b, akin gump, f&j, bracewell giuliani as BigTex

midlaw would be more like thompson&knight, jackson walker, gardere -- which all do pay close to market


I should clarify that by market I mean whatever market salary is in that particular market (e.g. 145 in Philly).


texas is unique in that it has two versions of market salary

you have the national firms with satellite offices along with the BigTex firms (national firms based in TX with major satellite offices in NYC, DC, etc) — these pay "NYC Market" of $160K

you also have the smaller, Texas-wide (which is still bigger in size than some "big law" firms in other regions) that pay a scaled-back "Texas Market" of around $130-145K. During boom times, these firms paid $160, and some still do, but a lot started cutting back.

you finally have the true equivalent of midlaw, with maybe 50 or so attorneys and 1 or 2 offices. these pay from 80K-120K.

tl;dr = midlaw equals everything not biglaw in the private sector that won't keep you in the poor house

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:27 am

f0bolous wrote:
you also have the smaller, Texas-wide (which is still bigger in size than some "big law" firms in other regions) that pay a scaled-back "Texas Market" of around $130-145K. During boom times, these firms paid $160, and some still do, but a lot started cutting back.


I know Haynes and Boone cut back to 145K in 09 (don't know if they went back up in 2010). Who else dropped down? I thought fulbright, v&e, baker botts, T&K, AK, Akin Gump, etc. all were still at 160K.

edit: Misread your post where you put bigtex up with biglaw. Now not as panicky.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby de5igual » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:39 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
you also have the smaller, Texas-wide (which is still bigger in size than some "big law" firms in other regions) that pay a scaled-back "Texas Market" of around $130-145K. During boom times, these firms paid $160, and some still do, but a lot started cutting back.


I know Haynes and Boone cut back to 145K in 09 (don't know if they went back up in 2010). Who else dropped down? I thought fulbright, v&e, baker botts, T&K, AK, Akin Gump, etc. all were still at 160K.

edit: Misread your post where you put bigtex up with biglaw. Now not as panicky.


honestly 145K in texas is still pretty damn good. not sure why that would cause panic

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:01 am

*I have not read any other posts in this thread aside from the OP.

"Mid law" includes firms that pay more than $60,000+ that (1) have fewer than enough attorneys to be considered to be part of the NLJ250 ("big law") and (2) regularly hire or consider hiring new attorneys. The former is important to distinguish mid law from big law, and the latter is omit firms that rarely hire (generally "small law"). While yes, this would include some smaller and boutique firms, it is relatively unfair to call a 30 person firm with a six figure starting salary small law (and at least one such firm exists in New Orleans, although it is not the norm for mid law here).

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:59 am

f0bolous wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
you also have the smaller, Texas-wide (which is still bigger in size than some "big law" firms in other regions) that pay a scaled-back "Texas Market" of around $130-145K. During boom times, these firms paid $160, and some still do, but a lot started cutting back.


I know Haynes and Boone cut back to 145K in 09 (don't know if they went back up in 2010). Who else dropped down? I thought fulbright, v&e, baker botts, T&K, AK, Akin Gump, etc. all were still at 160K.

edit: Misread your post where you put bigtex up with biglaw. Now not as panicky.


honestly 145K in texas is still pretty damn good. not sure why that would cause panic


Panic was a little overdramatic. More like concern about the health of Texas firms and the Texas legal market. If all tx firms had always paid 145k, it prob wouldn't make much of a difference to me.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In Nashville-health-care law mecca-Bass, Berry and Sims would be considered a New York (Big Law) firm while Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis would be considered Mid Law. This has more to do with firm atmosphere and billable hours expectation than the firms reputations or clientele. For instance, Waller is arguably the better firm (HCA as client, among others), though they are not a "New York firm."

It is similar in Louisville: Frost Brown Todd, Stites and Harbison, and Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs would be considered Mid Law, and Greenebaum Doll & McDonald would be considered a NY Firm....but Stites or FBT are clearly the better firms.


Question: All three Louisville firms are similar in size and salary (unless GDM just decided to raise its first year associate salary, which I'm positive it didn't); how is GDM more New York/BigLaw? I think you're confused. Your Nashville analysis is equally off, anyone arguing Waller is a better firm than Bass is very uninformed. Bass has 170 attorneys in Nash and pays $110K. Waller has 163 attorneys, cut its summer associate program, and pays $10K less than Bass. Not to mention that Waller has lost 10 partners to other firms in the last 19 months, including five this year.

Bottom line: everything in the South, with the exception of some Atlanta/Charlotte firms, is "midlaw."

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question: All three Louisville firms are similar in size and salary (unless GDM just decided to raise its first year associate salary, which I'm positive it didn't); how is GDM more New York/BigLaw? I think you're confused. Your Nashville analysis is equally off, anyone arguing Waller is a better firm than Bass is very uninformed. Bass has 170 attorneys in Nash and pays $110K. Waller has 163 attorneys, cut its summer associate program, and pays $10K less than Bass. Not to mention that Waller has lost 10 partners to other firms in the last 19 months, including five this year.

Bottom line: everything in the South, with the exception of some Atlanta/Charlotte firms, is "midlaw."

I'm not confused at all. Talk to lawyers in either market and you will get the same information, if you're sharp enough to read between the lines and filter out home-firm-pride. Your response tells me that you completely missed my point. For Louisville, how does salary equivalency or size play in to the definition of NY Firm that I provided? It doesn't. The atmosphere and expectations at GDM give it a NY Firm atmosphere. Unless you've spent time in the offices I've mentioned, or personally know a number of attorney's at each firm, you're the one who's uninformed, not me.

Similarly, I don't think that 7 attorneys makes a difference when you're talking about 150+ firms. And the fact that Waller is cutting dead weight and scaling back tertiary programs doesn't necessarily mean trouble. My understanding is that it's just a smart fiscal move. I don't think that many BBSers would assert that they are a better firm than Waller. Sure, everybody else in Nashville is a distant, distant third...but it's always been understood that Waller's king. Waller has HCA, the Holy Grail of healthcare work in Nashville. Also, have you ever been in Bass? Do you know people that work there? The atmosphere is like Northwestern Mutual/a Gym/a Frat House/a car lot.

...But what do I know...you can look up some numbers on the internet.

Anonymous User wrote:Bottom line: everything in the South, with the exception of some Atlanta/Charlotte firms, is "midlaw."

You speak with such authority. Please justify this laughable "bottom line."

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drylo
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby drylo » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:30 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Veyron wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Veyron wrote:How about a firm that pays 6figs in a 2ndary market (but not market) and has an SA program. Midlaw for sure?


It doesn't matter. The term only has meaning in broad strokes. Most people would consider just about any entry level / SA arrangement with the promise of a 6-figure biglaw though.


Even if the firm is, itself, small?


It doesn't matter.

In the alternative:

There is no answer.


LOL. I agree. We could have a philosophical debate, but the important things are what kind of work you are doing, what kind of money you are making, and how much you are enjoying your job... not whether you should think of your firm as "biglaw" or "midlaw."

Also, LOL at the anonymous argument about Nashville firms. There are a lot of good firms in Nashville paying $110k. Bass and Waller are both very old, large and established, but to reduce the Nashville legal market to those firms and then fight about which is "king" is hilarious.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Question: All three Louisville firms are similar in size and salary (unless GDM just decided to raise its first year associate salary, which I'm positive it didn't); how is GDM more New York/BigLaw? I think you're confused. Your Nashville analysis is equally off, anyone arguing Waller is a better firm than Bass is very uninformed. Bass has 170 attorneys in Nash and pays $110K. Waller has 163 attorneys, cut its summer associate program, and pays $10K less than Bass. Not to mention that Waller has lost 10 partners to other firms in the last 19 months, including five this year.

Bottom line: everything in the South, with the exception of some Atlanta/Charlotte firms, is "midlaw."

I'm not confused at all. Talk to lawyers in either market and you will get the same information, if you're sharp enough to read between the lines and filter out home-firm-pride. Your response tells me that you completely missed my point. For Louisville, how does salary equivalency or size play in to the definition of NY Firm that I provided? It doesn't. The atmosphere and expectations at GDM give it a NY Firm atmosphere. Unless you've spent time in the offices I've mentioned, or personally know a number of attorney's at each firm, you're the one who's uninformed, not me.

Similarly, I don't think that 7 attorneys makes a difference when you're talking about 150+ firms. And the fact that Waller is cutting dead weight and scaling back tertiary programs doesn't necessarily mean trouble. My understanding is that it's just a smart fiscal move. I don't think that many BBSers would assert that they are a better firm than Waller. Sure, everybody else in Nashville is a distant, distant third...but it's always been understood that Waller's king. Waller has HCA, the Holy Grail of healthcare work in Nashville. Also, have you ever been in Bass? Do you know people that work there? The atmosphere is like Northwestern Mutual/a Gym/a Frat House/a car lot.

...But what do I know...you can look up some numbers on the internet.

Anonymous User wrote:Bottom line: everything in the South, with the exception of some Atlanta/Charlotte firms, is "midlaw."

You speak with such authority. Please justify this laughable "bottom line."


Not where I am from. Bass and Baker are the top Nashville firms and Waller is third. Also, the word is Waller is an eat-what-you-kill firm (what I suppose you mean by "car lot" atmosphere) moreso than any of the other Nashville firms. Seriously, where is this "it's always been understood that Waller's king" talk coming from? Bass is "king" of Nashville and Baker, Waller and BABC fill out 2-4 however you damn well order them.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:03 pm

LOL. I agree. We could have a philosophical debate, but the important things are what kind of work you are doing, what kind of money you are making, and how much you are enjoying your job... not whether you should think of your firm as "biglaw" or "midlaw."


Yes, but I am a law student and enjoy placing things into tidy little categories. Please take your common sense elsewhere.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Waller has HCA, the Holy Grail of healthcare work in Nashville.


Sweet, what happens when HCA decides to switch firms, locale, or any other business based decision? Or, care to explain how HCA does not benefit the few sharks at Waller?

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby drylo » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not where I am from. Bass and Baker are the top Nashville firms and Waller is third. Also, the word is Waller is an eat-what-you-kill firm (what I suppose you mean by "car lot" atmosphere) moreso than any of the other Nashville firms. Seriously, where is this "it's always been understood that Waller's king" talk coming from? Bass is "king" of Nashville and Baker, Waller and BABC fill out 2-4 however you damn well order them.


You are just focused on the largest firms in Nashville, which is an incomplete picture of the legal landscape in Nashville anyway. There are a lot of good firms in town. I think it is difficult to make a blanket statement that any one firm is "king."
Last edited by drylo on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Waller has HCA, the Holy Grail of healthcare work in Nashville.


Sweet, what happens when HCA decides to switch firms, locale, or any other business based decision? Or, care to explain how HCA does not benefit the few sharks at Waller?


The really humorous part of this thread is how it seems like we are all out to get each other in Nashville or any other MidLaw city. The Nashville bar is very collegial and we all respect each firm a great deal. We all have plenty of challenging legal work and a wonderful client base that extends from the healthcare and automotive industries. Each firm's culture is different and we all respect those differences. Whether you talk about Waller or Bass or BABC or Miller or Baker or whichever, Nashville is an excellent market to practice law and have a life outside the office.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not confused at all. Talk to lawyers in either market and you will get the same information, if you're sharp enough to read between the lines and filter out home-firm-pride. Your response tells me that you completely missed my point. For Louisville, how does salary equivalency or size play in to the definition of NY Firm that I provided? It doesn't. The atmosphere and expectations at GDM give it a NY Firm atmosphere. Unless you've spent time in the offices I've mentioned, or personally know a number of attorney's at each firm, you're the one who's uninformed, not me.


I am very familiar with the Louisville legal market and maybe we just have to agree to disagree, but everyone that I have interacted with has viewed Stites and not GDM as one of the more "stuffy" or "pretentious" firms (second to Stoll). Where you get GDM as one, I don't know, but maybe we just have different views of a New York firm?

Anonymous Waller wrote:Similarly, I don't think that 7 attorneys makes a difference when you're talking about 150+ firms. And the fact that Waller is cutting dead weight and scaling back tertiary programs doesn't necessarily mean trouble. My understanding is that it's just a smart fiscal move. I don't think that many BBSers would assert that they are a better firm than Waller. Sure, everybody else in Nashville is a distant, distant third...but it's always been understood that Waller's king. Waller has HCA, the Holy Grail of healthcare work in Nashville. Also, have you ever been in Bass? Do you know people that work there? The atmosphere is like Northwestern Mutual/a Gym/a Frat House/a car lot.


Now who is the one defending home-firm-pride? First of all, losing 10% of your partnership in a year and a half, combined with cutting your own summer program, isn't a great sign. And if that doesn't mean trouble, I don't know what does.

http://nashvillepost.com/news/2011/7/11 ... rs_parting

I don't know if you're talented enough to read between the lines and see the hypocrisy of you calling someone else out for "home-firm pride" and then completely trashing another firm. I never said Waller was an awful firm, I just stated that Bass currently has a better reputation than Waller and backed it up with facts (or to you, just numbers). You just personally criticized another firm with merit-less (and classless I might add) statements.

And for what it's worth, congrats, Waller has HCA, the "Holy Grail of healthcare work". Great, I hope that makes you sleep better at night. Hopefully the sound of all of your partners jumping ship doesn't wake you up.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby jeeptiger09 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:32 pm

f0bolous wrote:i would consider v&e, h&b, akin gump, f&j, bracewell giuliani as BigTex

midlaw would be more like thompson&knight, jackson walker, gardere -- which all do pay close to market


What's the deal with Bickel & Brewer? they aren't BigTex are they? they have a ridiculous first year associate salary.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby merc280 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:20 am

jeeptiger09 wrote:
f0bolous wrote:i would consider v&e, h&b, akin gump, f&j, bracewell giuliani as BigTex

midlaw would be more like thompson&knight, jackson walker, gardere -- which all do pay close to market


What's the deal with Bickel & Brewer? they aren't BigTex are they? they have a ridiculous first year associate salary.



They say their salary is the highest in the country and they do OCI at Fordham.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:44 am

jeeptiger09 wrote:
f0bolous wrote:i would consider v&e, h&b, akin gump, f&j, bracewell giuliani as BigTex

midlaw would be more like thompson&knight, jackson walker, gardere -- which all do pay close to market


What's the deal with Bickel & Brewer? they aren't BigTex are they? they have a ridiculous first year associate salary.


Lit boutique where they make even the mailroom clerks wear suits.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:37 am

Oban wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:It has always seemed to me that the TLS stance on Midlaw is that it is mostly a myth.



There defenitely firms with about 40-60 attourneys and pay 80-100K, several in Chicago and a lot in NYC/LA etc.

The thing is they still make you bill 1800+ hours. Many only hire 1-2 SA or don't have programs.


So do small firms, and typical pay is closer to $50k at small firms. Obviously, most people should not be aiming for mid or small firms, if they can get biglaw. But if you can't get biglaw, you take what you can get... It's kind of like how most people want to be banging a 10. But if you can't get a 10, you might have to take a 8. If you can't get the 8, you might have to take a 6 (::eek::).

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Now who is the one defending home-firm-pride? First of all, losing 10% of your partnership in a year and a half, combined with cutting your own summer program, isn't a great sign. And if that doesn't mean trouble, I don't know what does.

I do consulting work for firms throughout IN, Southern Ohio, KY, & TN. I have no home-firm-pride. I just call it as I see it.

My purpose wasn't to sit around and rank firms. My purpose was to point out the gulf between the way in which TLS and the way in which practicing attorney's define "big-law" and "mid-law." I tried to illustrate my point with (what I feel are) platitudes about the markets I am familiar with.

Even so, I was tired last night and reading over my comments this morning I see that I got nasty. For that I apologize.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:55 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Oban wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:It has always seemed to me that the TLS stance on Midlaw is that it is mostly a myth.



There defenitely firms with about 40-60 attourneys and pay 80-100K, several in Chicago and a lot in NYC/LA etc.

The thing is they still make you bill 1800+ hours. Many only hire 1-2 SA or don't have programs.


So do small firms, and typical pay is closer to $50k at small firms. Obviously, most people should not be aiming for mid or small firms, if they can get biglaw. But if you can't get biglaw, you take what you can get... It's kind of like how most people want to be banging a 10. But if you can't get a 10, you might have to take a 8. If you can't get the 8, you might have to take a 6 (::eek::).



Idk, high paying midlaw (100k +) seems just as attractive as biglaw - there is something to be said for more responsibility earlier and better partnership prospects.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:04 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:In Indianapolis: Baker & Daniels, Barnes & Thornberg, Frost Brown Todd, etc...pay market. B&D is the only NLJ250 firm based in Indiana though.

Wut? Barnes & Thornberg and Ice Miller are both NLJ 250 firms, IIRC. Also, pretty Frost Brown and Taft Stettinius are NLJ 250 and they have big Indianapolis offices, although they are technically HQ'd in Cincinnati.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:02 pm

Veyron wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Oban wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:It has always seemed to me that the TLS stance on Midlaw is that it is mostly a myth.



There defenitely firms with about 40-60 attourneys and pay 80-100K, several in Chicago and a lot in NYC/LA etc.

The thing is they still make you bill 1800+ hours. Many only hire 1-2 SA or don't have programs.


So do small firms, and typical pay is closer to $50k at small firms. Obviously, most people should not be aiming for mid or small firms, if they can get biglaw. But if you can't get biglaw, you take what you can get... It's kind of like how most people want to be banging a 10. But if you can't get a 10, you might have to take a 8. If you can't get the 8, you might have to take a 6 (::eek::).



Idk, high paying midlaw (100k +) seems just as attractive as biglaw - there is something to be said for more responsibility earlier and better partnership prospects.


There's pros and cons to each imo. Midsize firms give you more responsibility earlier on and better partnership prospects, but the work/cases aren't as challenging. You won't get to be a major player in cases that you see on the news, unlike with biglaw firms. You also don't get the prestige on your resume that you do working at a major biglaw firm, meaning it's tougher to exit from midlaw --> in house, or move to another midlaw firm than biglaw --> in house/midlaw.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:13 pm

There's pros and cons to each imo. Midsize firms give you more responsibility earlier on and better partnership prospects, but the work/cases aren't as challenging. You won't get to be a major player in cases that you see on the news, unlike with biglaw firms. You also don't get the prestige on your resume that you do working at a major biglaw firm, meaning it's tougher to exit from midlaw --> in house, or move to another midlaw firm than biglaw --> in house/midlaw


? You won't be a major player in ANY case in biglaw. In midlaw, you may get to be a major player on smaller cases.

I've been a minor player on major cases, trust me, I'd have far more fun running my own itty-bitty little case.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:26 pm

Veyron wrote:
There's pros and cons to each imo. Midsize firms give you more responsibility earlier on and better partnership prospects, but the work/cases aren't as challenging. You won't get to be a major player in cases that you see on the news, unlike with biglaw firms. You also don't get the prestige on your resume that you do working at a major biglaw firm, meaning it's tougher to exit from midlaw --> in house, or move to another midlaw firm than biglaw --> in house/midlaw


? You won't be a major player in ANY case in biglaw. In midlaw, you may get to be a major player on smaller cases.

I've been a minor player on major cases, trust me, I'd have far more fun running my own itty-bitty little case.


I didn't mean you, personally, would be a major player on large cases (probably could have written that clearer in my other message). But a major biglaw firm will be, whereas a midlaw firm won't... This really just boils down to the responsibility upfront v. prestige thing (prestigious firms are prestigious at least partially because of the large challenging cases they work on). The benefit of working at the biglaw firm is that you get the additional prestige on your resume, which leads to better exit options.




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