Lexington, KY firms

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UK_Law
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:00 am

Lexington, KY firms

Postby UK_Law » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:26 am

Hello TLSers! Just signed up for an account to ask you for some advice.

I'm looking at the Lexington, Kentucky market. Does anyone (perhaps current or former UK, UofL, or NKU law students?) know which Lexington firms are considered best? (I'm not asking about any particular practice area -- just a general ranking of basic business law/litigation/etc. firms.) My guess is that the following firms would be somewhere up there:

- Dinsmore & Shohl
- Frost Brown Todd
- Greenebaum Doll McDonald
- Stites & Harbison
- Stoll Keenon Ogden
- Wyatt Tarrant & Combs

How would you rank those firms? Are any considered better or worse than the others? Should other firms (McBrayer McGinnis Leslie & Kirkland? Ward Hocker & Thornton? etc.) be added to the list of "best" firms?

I know much of this comes down to personal preference ... but that's exactly what I'm curious about! Basically, if you were graduating from UK and could take your pick of Lexington firms, what would your ranking be?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:50 am

UK_Law wrote:Hello TLSers! Just signed up for an account to ask you for some advice.

I'm looking at the Lexington, Kentucky market. Does anyone (perhaps current or former UK, UofL, or NKU law students?) know which Lexington firms are considered best? (I'm not asking about any particular practice area -- just a general ranking of basic business law/litigation/etc. firms.) My guess is that the following firms would be somewhere up there:

- Dinsmore & Shohl
- Frost Brown Todd
- Greenebaum Doll McDonald
- Stites & Harbison
- Stoll Keenon Ogden
- Wyatt Tarrant & Combs

How would you rank those firms? Are any considered better or worse than the others? Should other firms (McBrayer McGinnis Leslie & Kirkland? Ward Hocker & Thornton? etc.) be added to the list of "best" firms?

I know much of this comes down to personal preference ... but that's exactly what I'm curious about! Basically, if you were graduating from UK and could take your pick of Lexington firms, what would your ranking be?

Thanks in advance for your help.


I don't know for sure, but I think First Greenebaum, then a tie between FBT and Stites. Although I've heard that FBT and Stites are better places to work. This is based on speaking with lawyers at those firms, so it's completely biased and anecdotal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:11 am

UK_Law wrote:I'm looking at the Lexington, Kentucky market. Does anyone (perhaps current or former UK, UofL, or NKU law students?) know which Lexington firms are considered best? (I'm not asking about any particular practice area -- just a general ranking of basic business law/litigation/etc. firms.) My guess is that the following firms would be somewhere up there:

- Dinsmore & Shohl
- Frost Brown Todd
- Greenebaum Doll McDonald
- Stites & Harbison
- Stoll Keenon Ogden
- Wyatt Tarrant & Combs

How would you rank those firms? Are any considered better or worse than the others? Should other firms (McBrayer McGinnis Leslie & Kirkland? Ward Hocker & Thornton? etc.) be added to the list of "best" firms?


This is very subjective. Here's how I would rank them for Lexington:

Stites
Greenebaum
Dinsmore
Stoll
-------
Frost
-------
Wyatt

The problem is that the differences between Stites and Wyatt really aren't much. Salary-wise, it's Dinsmore ($100K), Stoll & Greenebaum ($95K), Wyatt ($90K), Stites ($85K), Frost ($80K). Dinsmore and Stoll also have higher billable requirements than the others (although the others are close).

These six are the biggest and probably only ones worth considering. It's hard to imagine the salaries at Ward and McBreyer being worth it--they are a very distant 7 and 8. These other firms, listed above, at least have offices elsewhere and should be something to consider (Frost and Greenebaum do really well in Louisville, same with Stoll; Dinsmore is the big fish in Cincinnati).

UK_Law
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby UK_Law » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know for sure, but I think First Greenebaum, then a tie between FBT and Stites. Although I've heard that FBT and Stites are better places to work. This is based on speaking with lawyers at those firms, so it's completely biased and anecdotal.


Can you elaborate on why FBT and Stites are better places to work?

Also, does anyone else have any opinions on which firms they would prefer?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:14 am

bump

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:16 am

FBT has a reducued billable hour for 1st year. I believe that it's about 1600, but you get paid 80k though. After 1st year, them bump you back to 105k i think.

UK_Law
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:00 am

Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby UK_Law » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:30 pm

nm
Last edited by UK_Law on Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:FBT has a reducued billable hour for 1st year. I believe that it's about 1600, but you get paid 80k though. After 1st year, them bump you back to 105k i think.

FBT has a reduced billable of 1000 hours for first year associates, they instituted a first year apprenticeship program where associates get taught legal skills and are placed in-house to gain experience and learn. They get bumped up to market after completion of the first year. Their salary in the larger markets (Cincinnati, Columbus, Indy) is $90k, not sure about Lexington and Louisville.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Their salary in the larger markets (Cincinnati, Columbus, Indy) is $90k, not sure about Lexington and Louisville.


$90k for Year 2? Isn't that below market? Or $90k for the first-year apprenticeship program?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Their salary in the larger markets (Cincinnati, Columbus, Indy) is $90k, not sure about Lexington and Louisville.


$90k for Year 2? Isn't that below market? Or $90k for the first-year apprenticeship program?

$90k is for the first year program, it gets bumped up to whatever market is for 2nd year associates (prolly $110-115k)

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:07 pm

Hi UK_Law, not sure if you're still looking at firms, but I found this topic via search & thought I'd add my 2 cents on these firms since I'm somewhat familiar with all of them. (I don't work at any of these firms, but I know people at most of them.) In the order you mentioned them....

- Dinsmore & Shohl -- Large firm (450+), historically an "outsider" in Lexington since it's a Cincinnati-based firm, but currently trying to increase its stature in Lexington. Doubled Lexington office (to 40ish I think?) in late 2000s by acquiring another local firm. Good group of attorneys, but perhaps a bit of a wild-card in terms of employment right now, since you can't be sure to what extent Kentucky will remain a focus area for them. (Also, as of the last time I was there, offices aren't as nice as the others, if that matters to you at all...) Good culture here. Cincinnati focus, which could be good or bad (or neutral I guess) depending on what your preferences are.

- Frost Brown Todd -- Also large, like Dinsmore (450+). I would say this is currently the "best" firm in Lexington in terms of overall reputation (although, like others said, these firms are all somewhat similar). This is at least true for business/corporate, but IMO they are probably considered the best overall as well. Tends to attract more lawyers from the top law schools (Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, UVA, etc.) -- not sure if you're in that boat (Did you go to UK Law? If so, you should probably just talk to career services, not a message board! ), but if you did go to a top school then you might fit in here better than elsewhere. Also a good culture / work environment as far as I can tell. (Also, if you're straight out of school, as mentioned above, they have a seemingly good new first year program: put you in-house with a client for a few weeks, lower (1000?) billable requirement, more training, etc.)

- Greenebaum Doll McDonald -- More of a KY-focused firm, rather than regional like some of the others. Used to be the best business firm in town, but IIRC a lot of their top talent ended up starting their own firms or going to Frost over the past few decades. Has tried to merge with a few others recently, not sure if that's trying to save the firm, or reposition themselves, or what. So anyway, they're riding on their reputation somewhat at this point, but like I said earlier, it's not like any of these firms are night-and-day different from any of the others. Long term, looks like they're in decline, but that's just my impression....

- Stites & Harbison -- A solid firm ... guess I'd put it with Dinsmore and maybe Stoll (?) as a step below Frost? However, as a workplace, apparently it can be a bit stiff, and they pay less ($85k) than any of the others, so that's unfortunate if you're straight out of school.

- Stoll Keenon Ogden -- Another very KY-focused firm. Definitely a good reputation in the state, but its lack of regional presence makes some consider SKO to be on a lower tier than the others. I don't personally know anyone at this firm very well, so I can't tell you much more about it, sorry... :?

- Wyatt Tarrant & Combs -- Kind of reminds me of Greenebaum in that it seems to have declined recently, although it was never as strong as Greenebaum to begin with. I know they have lost a lot of attorneys recently to other firms. Probably the weakest of this bunch, IMO. Unless you like the culture, probably best to look elsewhere.

That's just one person's perspective, so take it all with a grain of salt. Mainly I would say you should get as many interviews as you can, and try to get a feel for the CULTURE of the place. I personally would shoot for FBT, since they have the best reputation & the best overall lineup of lawyers, plus a good culture, but who knows -- you may get to your interviews and really have a good feel for any of these firms.

Bottom line is, you can't go wrong with any of them, but let's just say some will position you better than others in terms of your future success as a lawyer. My advice is to put yourself among the best attorneys & with the best firm, and the rest will take care of itself.

(That being said, if you develop a strong interest in a certain practice area, definitely do look at the attorneys in that particular area at each firm, since that'll make a big difference....)

If you have any Qs, just post a reply. HTH.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi UK_Law ....


Thanks for posting, I had forgotten about this thread ... glad to have your input! I am just trying to get more interviews at this point (I go to school in another state, so hard to get them set up) but am definitely trying to get the right feel for culture like you said.

Thanks again!


Edit: This is OP, accidentally posted under "anonymous" ... please PM if you have any other details you can't share in pubic :wink:

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:54 pm

For what its worth, I know that FBT has made expansion a priority and their long term goals are to make themselves the largest firm between Chicago and Atlanta. Dinsmore just opened a DC office. If I were OP I would look towards FBT and Dinsmore before the other firms listed above.

Anonymous User
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Re: Lexington, KY firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For what its worth, I know that FBT has made expansion a priority and their long term goals are to make themselves the largest firm between Chicago and Atlanta. Dinsmore just opened a DC office. If I were OP I would look towards FBT and Dinsmore before the other firms listed above.


If you're looking at straight numbers, yes. But I would be weary of Dinsmore, it seems to me like it's a big machine where you can be replaced at any second.

I would also advise that you approach these firms and their reputations with caution. The difference in firms and offices between Lexington and Louisville (and for that matter Cincinnati) is really incredible. For instance, Stites has a good reputation in Lexington but is supposedly pretty stiff in Louisville. Stoll is supposed to be good in Louisville but not Lexington.

Hope that helps.




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