V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm keep statistics on associate turnover (and/or exit outcomes for those who leave)? Is it reasonable for 2Ls holding offers after OCI to ask for this stuff or is it just not done?

Firms are such a black box of anecdotes; it would be nice to get good data but I don't want to look like an ass.


Not really re: statistics as far as I know. I think you can talk to associates you've met with and see their thoughts post-offer - anectdotes but pretty revealing

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:08 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? Do you think this would be different for someone form a V5/10 firm?


"Partnership track" is just wrong. You have no idea whether you're "partnership material" as of today - regardless of your market. And "secondary market" is not what I'd call TX or CA, unless you mean Austin or Sacramento or something.

But if you are at a top-tier firm (in NY I'm assuming) and wanted to lateral to a firm in TX or CA, probably not the hardest to do assuming strong ties.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby anon168 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:31 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm keep statistics on associate turnover (and/or exit outcomes for those who leave)? Is it reasonable for 2Ls holding offers after OCI to ask for this stuff or is it just not done?

Firms are such a black box of anecdotes; it would be nice to get good data but I don't want to look like an ass.


Not really re: statistics as far as I know. I think you can talk to associates you've met with and see their thoughts post-offer - anectdotes but pretty revealing


Most biglaw, if not all, certainly do keep track of associate turnover. Not so much for statistical purposes, but for creating an alumni base and networking purposes.

So, if you wanted to know the average # of years an associate spends at a firm before leaving, a firm can certainly get that information for you, even though it might have it handy and tracked on a tidy Excel spreadsheet.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:45 pm

How many hours did attorneys in your firm (that you know of) bill last year?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Danger Zone » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:12 pm

Tag. Thanks for all the valuable info, OP.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby colonelnerd » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:24 pm

epic. tag

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:How many hours did attorneys in your firm (that you know of) bill last year?


enormous range. probably anywhere between 1600/1800-3000+. not as many at the extremes, most people probably around 2000-2200

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:33 am

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm keep statistics on associate turnover (and/or exit outcomes for those who leave)? Is it reasonable for 2Ls holding offers after OCI to ask for this stuff or is it just not done?

Firms are such a black box of anecdotes; it would be nice to get good data but I don't want to look like an ass.


Not really re: statistics as far as I know. I think you can talk to associates you've met with and see their thoughts post-offer - anectdotes but pretty revealing


Not that same anon, but similar question: do you know what a "normal" annual turnover ratio is for an NY BigLaw firm? I happen to know how many associates left from my future SA firm last year, and I'm wondering whether it's more than is healthy/indicates problems.

To the quoted anon, this probably isn't anything you don't know, but I find that one useful strategy to get vaguely towards that kind of info is to combine reports of lawyers leaving (sometimes they're posted on AmLaw, for instance) with searching your firm's name on LinkedIn and seeing when/to where people exited.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:55 am

Something one associate mentioned to me during OCI that led me to picking that firm is that he has never seen an associate leave the firm to go to another biglaw firm. Yeah, lots of exits to boutiques/midlaw/small law, in-house, government, etc., but in the two-three years he'd been there, he'd never seen a departure email that had someone leaving for a "peer firm." Maybe he was just trying for a hard sell, but that anecdote stuck with me.

Some questions to ask that might elicit useless responses (I would ask these post-offer, not at the CB, and word as carefully as possible):
-Of the associates who started with you, how many are still around?
-Of those that left, what types of opportunities did they leave for?
-Specific to your practice area, what types of exit options are most common for associates?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby thelawyler » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:00 pm

tag

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 03, 2013 12:00 pm

I'm from a smaller state that doesn't have any firms that approach biglaw size. Seriously, no firm even has 100 attorneys. The pay scale at even the largest firm starts out at $80k or so. On the bright side, cost of living is ridiculously low here compard to large markets ($80k is roughly equal to $200k in Manhattan). Also, from what I've been told by the attorneys who work there, the average hours put in are much lower. Expected billables are much lower than the 2000+ required in the big firms, so much lower that most people don't work weekends unless they have a trial to prepare for or some comparable transactional situation.

Honestly, I think I'm more suited for this environment than biglaw. My only concern is what a partnership would look like. At the specific firm I'm looking at, associates are hired with the expectation of making partner and there are about 3 partners to every associate. The other firms in this market run similar shops. Given that, it would seem that partner profits would be really, really low. I don't want to work at a firm where I would only make $200k or so as a partner, even with the low cost of living here (Atlanta has a similar COL and would have a much larger pay scale). Is there any good way to go about asking about this? I'm a 0L, but if making partner wouldn't be worth the pay in this market, I'll have to significantly alter my summers, approach to OCI, etc. to get into a market that fits me better. I'm attending a well-regarded T20 school that will get me into this market, as well bigger ones if my grades are good.

I'm not close enough with any partners to candidly ask them what their firm's profits look like. Any ideas?

Edit: just to clarify, I don't expect to work the fewer hours and still make it in markets such as Atlanta. I realize that if I want the bigger salary I'll have to put in for it. Even if I don't eventually make partner, I'd rather work as an associate in Atlanta until I'm pushed out if I'm going to make a lot more than partners here.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri May 03, 2013 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Fri May 03, 2013 12:22 pm

tag body spray for men

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed May 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm from a smaller state that doesn't have any firms that approach biglaw size. Seriously, no firm even has 100 attorneys. The pay scale at even the largest firm starts out at $80k or so. On the bright side, cost of living is ridiculously low here compard to large markets ($80k is roughly equal to $200k in Manhattan). Also, from what I've been told by the attorneys who work there, the average hours put in are much lower. Expected billables are much lower than the 2000+ required in the big firms, so much lower that most people don't work weekends unless they have a trial to prepare for or some comparable transactional situation.

Honestly, I think I'm more suited for this environment than biglaw. My only concern is what a partnership would look like. At the specific firm I'm looking at, associates are hired with the expectation of making partner and there are about 3 partners to every associate. The other firms in this market run similar shops. Given that, it would seem that partner profits would be really, really low. I don't want to work at a firm where I would only make $200k or so as a partner, even with the low cost of living here (Atlanta has a similar COL and would have a much larger pay scale). Is there any good way to go about asking about this? I'm a 0L, but if making partner wouldn't be worth the pay in this market, I'll have to significantly alter my summers, approach to OCI, etc. to get into a market that fits me better. I'm attending a well-regarded T20 school that will get me into this market, as well bigger ones if my grades are good.

I'm not close enough with any partners to candidly ask them what their firm's profits look like. Any ideas?

Edit: just to clarify, I don't expect to work the fewer hours and still make it in markets such as Atlanta. I realize that if I want the bigger salary I'll have to put in for it. Even if I don't eventually make partner, I'd rather work as an associate in Atlanta until I'm pushed out if I'm going to make a lot more than partners here.


Choosing a firm based upon how partners are doing is frankly silly. Look at mid-levels / senior associates. What's their pay at? Assume partners will be, well, more. What's their lifestyle? Debt situation? You can ask questions like that post-offer.

AmLaw may publish that type of info.

Find out legal positions / pay in the market. Check in-house jobs that you're not qualified for (5-8years out). What's that salary? Good barometers there.

Once you say "I'm more suited for this environment that biglaw" there are tradeoffs that come with it

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Danger Zone » Wed May 08, 2013 4:42 pm

But seriously, how important is law review?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 08, 2013 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At the specific firm I'm looking at, associates are hired with the expectation of making partner and there are about 3 partners to every associate. The other firms in this market run similar shops. Given that, it would seem that partner profits would be really, really low. I don't want to work at a firm where I would only make $200k or so as a partner, even with the low cost of living here


I'm a 3L going full time at the firm I have worked with two summers in a flyover/vacation state. It has around 20 attorneys. The expectation is that all associates eventually become partners if they stick around for 7 or 8 years. I think that what you need to understand about firms like this is that what partners take home is very nearly proportional to what they bring in -- and because the vast majority of the attorneys here are partners, the partners do most of the actual work on every case. I am not exactly certain how my firm does it, but due to my involvement in litigation involving other similar firms (which was awesomely instructive in how law firms around here work, BTW), it's clear that the general idea is that the originating attorney gets a slice and the responsible attorney gets a slice of all the money that comes in from a file. Then, the partners essentially get to take home the vast majority of what they bill or win.

So, for example, say the firm has a "nut" of $50,000-$75,000 required per partner. You get to keep 50% of what you bill up to sharing $50K with the firm, and then 75% of everything you earn up to an additional 25K, then everything after that minus a small percentage for the firm. So, without doing the math, just assume that at some point rather early in the year, a partner billing $200/hour will essentially take home nearly that much. In other words, a partner billing 1600 hours could conceivably take home well in excess of 200K per year. And 1600 hours is not unrealistic for a smaller firm. Partners where I work coach their kids' sports teams, go skiing regularly, take vacations, almost never work weekends, and the office is a ghost town after 6PM (shit, half leave at 5 on the nuts every day, barring something major).

So anyways, that got long and it may not be relevant to this thread. But if I can generally work a 40 hour work week with people that I like in a place that I love and eventually make $200K, I think I'm OK with that.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Wed May 08, 2013 6:40 pm

Danger Zone wrote:But seriously, how important is law review?


I dont get why people ask questions like this. Are you saying that if you get offered to join law review you might turn it down? If so, that would be really dumb. And if you dont get it you dont get it. So what difference does this make?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:44 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:But seriously, how important is law review?


I dont get why people ask questions like this. Are you saying that if you get offered to join law review you might turn it down? If so, that would be really dumb. And if you dont get it you dont get it. So what difference does this make?

Because he's asking if it actually would be really dumb, as opposed to just another TLSer saying so without giving reasons why.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Wed May 08, 2013 8:14 pm

TrialLawyer16 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:But seriously, how important is law review?


I dont get why people ask questions like this. Are you saying that if you get offered to join law review you might turn it down? If so, that would be really dumb. And if you dont get it you dont get it. So what difference does this make?

Because he's asking if it actually would be really dumb, as opposed to just another TLSer saying so without giving reasons why.


You go to law school to get a job. Being on law review helps you get a job because it either shows that you are at the top of your class, or that you can write better than most others at the school. How could that not be beneficial?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Wed May 08, 2013 8:34 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:But seriously, how important is law review?


I dont get why people ask questions like this. Are you saying that if you get offered to join law review you might turn it down? If so, that would be really dumb. And if you dont get it you dont get it. So what difference does this make?

Because he's asking if it actually would be really dumb, as opposed to just another TLSer saying so without giving reasons why.


You go to law school to get a job. Being on law review helps you get a job because it either shows that you are at the top of your class, or that you can write better than most others at the school. How could that not be beneficial?

Cost-benefit analysis/Return on investment. Is the time spent, etc., worth it? First, employers can see your grades and that shows them that you are at the top of your class, so why would you need law review for that. As far as the second part, the people asking that question are probably trying to figure out exactly what that is worth. I think the people asking probably don't want the commitment for whatever reason (time, etc.) and are trying to weigh that out with the actual advantages of law review because TLSers usually just say "Are you crazy?! You can't turn LR down!" without actually giving solid reasons why.

FWIW, I wouldn't turn down law review, but I can definitely understand why someone would consider turning it down. The people asking that question might just want to know that if they were say top 5% at a T-14, for example, would an interviewer frown on the fact they turned down LR. And I think this is why he/she is asking someone already established in BigLaw.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 08, 2013 11:42 pm

How can I, as a summer associate, figure out who are the people I should want to work with and who I should try to avoid? Would it be a total faux pas to just ask associates who they've enjoyed working with and would recommend?

Or is that a question I shouldn't be worrying about until I start full time?

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 12:21 am

TrialLawyer16 wrote:FWIW, I wouldn't turn down law review, but I can definitely understand why someone would consider turning it down. The people asking that question might just want to know that if they were say top 5% at a T-14, for example, would an interviewer frown on the fact they turned down LR. And I think this is why he/she is asking someone already established in BigLaw.


I'm a 1L at SLS and am curious about how important Law Review is for SLS grads. It's easy to get and it's write-on only; grades are completely irrelevant. According to OCS, firm recruiters know that Law Review doesn't mean much here, but I'm wondering if any actual practitioners could speak to the importance of doing it for longer-term career benefits. For what it's worth, I already have a board position on a secondary journal for my 2L year and am wondering if it's worth it to do the extra work (both in the write-on and the 2L commitment) for Law Review.

Thanks!

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 1:17 am

OCS told you that Law Review doesn't mean much here?

They'd know better than I would, but I can say it almost certainly made a difference for me. Your mileage may vary, I suppose.

EDIT: Also, I wouldn't overestimate its easiness to get. I know too many who didn't get it for that. :P

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 09, 2013 1:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:OCS told you that Law Review doesn't mean much here?

They'd know better than I would, but I can say it almost certainly made a difference for me. Your mileage may vary, I suppose.

EDIT: Also, I wouldn't overestimate its easiness to get. I know too many who didn't get it for that. :P


Thanks, that's really helpful. Yeah, I may have overstated OCS's opinion. After talking with them, I just got the impression that, aside from clerkships, it doesn't really have a big impact. But it's definitely good to hear otherwise from someone who's actually done OCI here.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby 005618502 » Thu May 09, 2013 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OCS told you that Law Review doesn't mean much here?

They'd know better than I would, but I can say it almost certainly made a difference for me. Your mileage may vary, I suppose.

EDIT: Also, I wouldn't overestimate its easiness to get. I know too many who didn't get it for that. :P


Thanks, that's really helpful. Yeah, I may have overstated OCS's opinion. After talking with them, I just got the impression that, aside from clerkships, it doesn't really have a big impact. But it's definitely good to hear otherwise from someone who's actually done OCI here.


Yeah I mean if you are at HYS and jut want big law, I am guessing you dont have to try to hard unless you want one of the top shops

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby arklaw13 » Sat May 11, 2013 3:08 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm from a smaller state that doesn't have any firms that approach biglaw size. Seriously, no firm even has 100 attorneys. The pay scale at even the largest firm starts out at $80k or so. On the bright side, cost of living is ridiculously low here compard to large markets ($80k is roughly equal to $200k in Manhattan). Also, from what I've been told by the attorneys who work there, the average hours put in are much lower. Expected billables are much lower than the 2000+ required in the big firms, so much lower that most people don't work weekends unless they have a trial to prepare for or some comparable transactional situation.

Honestly, I think I'm more suited for this environment than biglaw. My only concern is what a partnership would look like. At the specific firm I'm looking at, associates are hired with the expectation of making partner and there are about 3 partners to every associate. The other firms in this market run similar shops. Given that, it would seem that partner profits would be really, really low. I don't want to work at a firm where I would only make $200k or so as a partner, even with the low cost of living here (Atlanta has a similar COL and would have a much larger pay scale). Is there any good way to go about asking about this? I'm a 0L, but if making partner wouldn't be worth the pay in this market, I'll have to significantly alter my summers, approach to OCI, etc. to get into a market that fits me better. I'm attending a well-regarded T20 school that will get me into this market, as well bigger ones if my grades are good.

I'm not close enough with any partners to candidly ask them what their firm's profits look like. Any ideas?

Edit: just to clarify, I don't expect to work the fewer hours and still make it in markets such as Atlanta. I realize that if I want the bigger salary I'll have to put in for it. Even if I don't eventually make partner, I'd rather work as an associate in Atlanta until I'm pushed out if I'm going to make a lot more than partners here.


Choosing a firm based upon how partners are doing is frankly silly. Look at mid-levels / senior associates. What's their pay at? Assume partners will be, well, more. What's their lifestyle? Debt situation? You can ask questions like that post-offer.

AmLaw may publish that type of info.

Find out legal positions / pay in the market. Check in-house jobs that you're not qualified for (5-8years out). What's that salary? Good barometers there.

Once you say "I'm more suited for this environment that biglaw" there are tradeoffs that come with it


Thanks for the response!

I think my strategy is just going to be to OCI for different markets and call/mail for the firms here. I probably won't be able to do a 1L SA with a firm in Atlanta, but I could probably swing one here. Maybe that will give me an idea. I just don't want to go into a 3L SA here and come out disappointed by the pay-scale and lifestyle, while also missing out on my 3L OCI for firms in other markets.




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