Define Midlaw

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:27 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
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. 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.


So I should care that the firm is a major player on major cases because the prestige will give me better exit options?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:31 pm

Veyron wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
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. 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.


So I should care that the firm is a major player on major cases because the prestige will give me better exit options?


Yes...

If you really want a ton of responsibility upfront, but don't care about working on very challenging cases (ever), you could just go work at a small law firm. They'll throw you into the ring real quick.. On the other hand, with the large firm, there is some possibility that you'll eventually get to have a big role in a large challenging case (i.e. if you don't get canned in the first few years), which is something a lot of people want.

lawfirmrecruiter
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:38 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
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.


Not sure I agree with this. We have seen many prestigous BigLaw lateral candidates but because they have not had much hands on experience, we took a pass. Laterals are hired because of their tangible skills. While a big firm name can get attention, if the candidate has not really done much heavy lifting on the matter, it does not help.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:51 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
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.


Not sure I agree with this. We have seen many prestigous BigLaw lateral candidates but because they have not had much hands on experience, we took a pass. Laterals are hired because of their tangible skills. While a big firm name can get attention, if the candidate has not really done much heavy lifting on the matter, it does not help.


Interesting. So, in terms of exit options, is there no benefit of going to a large firm, unless you make it a number of years out (where you actually get some more responsibility)? ... If hands on experience is more important that prestige, in terms of exit options, it seems like a small firm would be better (unless, of course, you make it a large number of years out at a large firm).

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:03 pm

Dow Lohnes in DC or ATL?

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drylo
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby drylo » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:41 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:If you really want a ton of responsibility upfront, but don't care about working on very challenging cases (ever), you could just go work at a small law firm. They'll throw you into the ring real quick.. On the other hand, with the large firm, there is some possibility that you'll eventually get to have a big role in a large challenging case (i.e. if you don't get canned in the first few years), which is something a lot of people want.


I think you are being too hard on mid-sized legal markets. You will not be handling billion-dollar deals in Nashville, for instance, but that does not mean that you won't work on big deals and it definitely does not mean that you won't work on challenging deals. I believe that the main reasons that people go to NYC biglaw are (1) paying off school debt, and (2) some kind of peer pressure and/or ego related to perceived prestige.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:49 pm

drylo wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:If you really want a ton of responsibility upfront, but don't care about working on very challenging cases (ever), you could just go work at a small law firm. They'll throw you into the ring real quick.. On the other hand, with the large firm, there is some possibility that you'll eventually get to have a big role in a large challenging case (i.e. if you don't get canned in the first few years), which is something a lot of people want.


I think you are being too hard on mid-sized legal markets. You will not be handling billion-dollar deals in Nashville, for instance, but that does not mean that you won't work on big deals and it definitely does not mean that you won't work on challenging deals. I believe that the main reasons that people go to NYC biglaw are (1) paying off school debt, and (2) some kind of peer pressure and/or ego related to perceived prestige.


After adjusting for cost of living, NYC biglaw doesn't seem to pay better than other markets.

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drylo
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby drylo » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Veyron wrote:
drylo wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:If you really want a ton of responsibility upfront, but don't care about working on very challenging cases (ever), you could just go work at a small law firm. They'll throw you into the ring real quick.. On the other hand, with the large firm, there is some possibility that you'll eventually get to have a big role in a large challenging case (i.e. if you don't get canned in the first few years), which is something a lot of people want.


I think you are being too hard on mid-sized legal markets. You will not be handling billion-dollar deals in Nashville, for instance, but that does not mean that you won't work on big deals and it definitely does not mean that you won't work on challenging deals. I believe that the main reasons that people go to NYC biglaw are (1) paying off school debt, and (2) some kind of peer pressure and/or ego related to perceived prestige.


After adjusting for cost of living, NYC biglaw doesn't seem to pay better than other markets.


I know. But when you are paying off debt, your debt is in US dollars, not NYC dollars or Nashville dollars. So while (hypothetically) you could have the same standard of living on equivalent percentages of your salary in Nashville and NYC (e.g., you could live "well" on 50% of your salary in either place), cost of living differences still can't make up for the opportunity to pocket an extra $50-60k. If you make $110k in Nashville and live "well" on $55k (which you could do), then you have $55k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. If you make $160 in NYC and live "well" on $80k, then you have $80k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. Unlike differences in home prices and the like, law school tuition does not necessarily cost more in NYC than Nashville. It is because you are (if you are, of course) starting your career with pre-existing debt (unrelated to the cost of living in your chosen market) that NYC biglaw could be advantageous for paying down debt.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:03 pm

drylo wrote:
Veyron wrote:
drylo wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:If you really want a ton of responsibility upfront, but don't care about working on very challenging cases (ever), you could just go work at a small law firm. They'll throw you into the ring real quick.. On the other hand, with the large firm, there is some possibility that you'll eventually get to have a big role in a large challenging case (i.e. if you don't get canned in the first few years), which is something a lot of people want.


I think you are being too hard on mid-sized legal markets. You will not be handling billion-dollar deals in Nashville, for instance, but that does not mean that you won't work on big deals and it definitely does not mean that you won't work on challenging deals. I believe that the main reasons that people go to NYC biglaw are (1) paying off school debt, and (2) some kind of peer pressure and/or ego related to perceived prestige.


After adjusting for cost of living, NYC biglaw doesn't seem to pay better than other markets.


I know. But when you are paying off debt, your debt is in US dollars, not NYC dollars or Nashville dollars. So while (hypothetically) you could have the same standard of living on equivalent percentages of your salary in Nashville and NYC (e.g., you could live "well" on 50% of your salary in either place), cost of living differences still can't make up for the opportunity to pocket an extra $50-60k. If you make $110k in Nashville and live "well" on $55k (which you could do), then you have $55k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. If you make $160 in NYC and live "well" on $80k, then you have $80k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. Unlike differences in home prices and the like, law school tuition does not necessarily cost more in NYC than Nashville. It is because you are (if you are, of course) starting your career with pre-existing debt (unrelated to the cost of living in your chosen market) that NYC biglaw could be advantageous for paying down debt.


115,000 low tax/col market --> Post tax (state, federal, local) 85,000 --> live well 50,000 --> 35,000 to pay down debt

160,000 NYC --> Post tax (state, federal, local, NYC) 95,000 --> live well 80,000 --> 15,000 to pay down debt

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drylo
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby drylo » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:19 pm

Veyron wrote:
drylo wrote:I know. But when you are paying off debt, your debt is in US dollars, not NYC dollars or Nashville dollars. So while (hypothetically) you could have the same standard of living on equivalent percentages of your salary in Nashville and NYC (e.g., you could live "well" on 50% of your salary in either place), cost of living differences still can't make up for the opportunity to pocket an extra $50-60k. If you make $110k in Nashville and live "well" on $55k (which you could do), then you have $55k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. If you make $160 in NYC and live "well" on $80k, then you have $80k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. Unlike differences in home prices and the like, law school tuition does not necessarily cost more in NYC than Nashville. It is because you are (if you are, of course) starting your career with pre-existing debt (unrelated to the cost of living in your chosen market) that NYC biglaw could be advantageous for paying down debt.


115,000 low tax/col market --> Post tax (state, federal, local) 85,000 --> live well 50,000 --> 35,000 to pay down debt

160,000 NYC --> Post tax (state, federal, local, NYC) 95,000 --> live well 80,000 --> 15,000 to pay down debt


Are NYC taxes really that high?

I mean, the taxes are kind of tricky, too, because taxes are sometimes considered as part of the COL difference. I don't really know the exact numbers because I don't really care--I have no interest in practicing in NYC.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:18 pm

drylo wrote:
Veyron wrote:
drylo wrote:I know. But when you are paying off debt, your debt is in US dollars, not NYC dollars or Nashville dollars. So while (hypothetically) you could have the same standard of living on equivalent percentages of your salary in Nashville and NYC (e.g., you could live "well" on 50% of your salary in either place), cost of living differences still can't make up for the opportunity to pocket an extra $50-60k. If you make $110k in Nashville and live "well" on $55k (which you could do), then you have $55k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. If you make $160 in NYC and live "well" on $80k, then you have $80k (less taxes, etc.) to pay down debt. Unlike differences in home prices and the like, law school tuition does not necessarily cost more in NYC than Nashville. It is because you are (if you are, of course) starting your career with pre-existing debt (unrelated to the cost of living in your chosen market) that NYC biglaw could be advantageous for paying down debt.


115,000 low tax/col market --> Post tax (state, federal, local) 85,000 --> live well 50,000 --> 35,000 to pay down debt

160,000 NYC --> Post tax (state, federal, local, NYC) 95,000 --> live well 80,000 --> 15,000 to pay down debt


Are NYC taxes really that high?


I mean, the taxes are kind of tricky, too, because taxes are sometimes considered as part of the COL difference. I don't really know the exact numbers because I don't really care--I have no interest in practicing in NYC.


Yep, the trick is to factor in the NYC municipal tax.

Miller32
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Miller32 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:10 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.


I would throw in Ice Miller too.

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romothesavior
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:36 pm

Miller32 wrote:
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.


I would throw in Ice Miller too.

Yeah I said the same thing. B&D is not the only NLJ250 firm based in Indiana. I believe there are at least 5 or 6 NLJ firms with sizeable offices there, and a couple of them are HQ'd in Indy.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:44 am

Re: the idea that midlaw is a myth: just in general, I find the perspective of TLS posters very narrow, as the board is dominated by T14s.

Few biglaw firms come to my well respected regional T50ish school. A handful of students per class lands a biglaw job in one of the big cities nearby. Otherwise, the firms that top students typically vie for at this school are what I would consider Midlaw: Regional firms with 2-4 offices (with perhaps 1 office out of state), around 50-100 attorneys, that have a summer associate program, and start you anywhere from $90K to $125K.

That may not sound as sexy as the type of firms over which your average TLSer obsesses, but they exist none the less, and I suspect more law students have more contact with similar firms in their markets than with the big national firms.

Also, the idea that the work is less challenging at midlaw is silly (at least for entry level assocs). I don't see why it should be. And if everything I have read about the entry level work at biglaw is true, then midlaw is probably more fulfilling a lot sooner.

However, it is hard to argue against the prestige of biglaw.

EDIT: replaced "Perhaps 1-3" with "A handful of students," that land biglaw jobs.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Re: the idea that midlaw is a myth: just in general, I find the perspective of TLS posters very narrow, as the board is dominated by T14s.

Few biglaw firms come to my well respected regional T50ish school. Perhaps 1-3 students per class lands a biglaw job in one of the big cities nearby. Otherwise, the firms that top students typically vie for at this school are what I would consider Midlaw: Regional firms with 2-4 offices (with perhaps 1 office out of state), around 50-100 attorneys, that have a summer associate program, and start you anywhere from $90K to $125K.

That may not sound as sexy as the type of firms over which your average TLSer obsesses, but they exist none the less, and I suspect more law students have more contact with similar firms in their markets than with the big national ones.

Also, the idea that the work is less challenging at midlaw is silly (at least for entry level assocs). I don't see why it should be. And if everything I have read about the entry level work at biglaw is true, then midlaw is probably more fulfilling a lot sooner.

However, it is hard to argue against the prestige of biglaw.


The type of firm that you are describing would probably count as local biglaw, no?

areyouinsane
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby areyouinsane » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:58 am

It's those firms in New Jersey that pay around 100k that you settle on after getting dinged by the big firms in NYC.


Not anymore. "Midlaw" NJ like McCarter don't even have SA programs anymore:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... r_program/

They shitcanned it for this summer as well.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:19 am

This thread is full of sweeping generalizations and misinformation.

I'm at a firm with 100-200 attorneys, non-major market, pay is equal to major markets (starting 160), cases are big (9 figure verdicts, mainstream press coverage), firm is generally only/lead counsel. Midlaw? Biglaw?

The bottom line is that you have to investigate the individual firm rather than trying to classify the legal profession by variable metrics like pay, number of attorneys or case size/prestige.

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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:21 am

Veyron wrote:The type of firm that you are describing would probably count as local biglaw, no?

I'd say so. I also think that's probably what midlaw means on TLS.

I'd love to work for those firms. Unfortunately, I hate this state have no intention of staying here.

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Veyron
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Re: Define Midlaw

Postby Veyron » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The bottom line is that you have to investigate the individual firm rather than trying to classify the legal profession by variable metrics like pay, number of attorneys or case size/prestige.


Dear sir,

Your advice is very wise. Unfortunately, I am obliged to disregard it since, as a law student, my primary concern is placing everything possible into neat rankings and categories. I wish you the best of luck in your future endevors.

Sincerely,
Veyron




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