Firms to love

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anon168
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Re: Firms to love

Postby anon168 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:No one, certainly not me, is disputing that Susman Godfrey is a great firm, but to believe that young associates there will be taking cases to trial on a routine basis, or running billion dollar matters day-in and day-out (and, really, how many billion dollar cases are there in the entire legal industry?) is just pure mental Jell-O.


No one ever said that associates are running billion dollar cases. That example was used to show Susman isn't a "glorified slip and fall" firm. That being said, Susman (and Gibbs and Keker and all the rest) definitely offer way more opportunities for young associates. It's amazing that this is even an argument. If you actually knew attorneys at top-level lit boutiques or worked at one you would know that. That's one of the main reasons top students go to boutiques.

Also, the attorneys at these firms average about a trial a year. That's just a fact.


A trial a year? These attorneys average a trial a year?? That's a fact, you say?

Lets suss out that fact for a minute.

Lets take Susman Godfrey as an example (which you yourself have used). There's about 90 attorneys there last I checked. That means, according to your fact, the firm tried 90 cases last year and has probably already tried another 70+ cases this year.

The busiest USAOs in the country do not try that many cases a year. Some of the most seasoned AUSAs do not average a trial a year.

The only institution that I know of that can match and exceed those kind of numbers are local DAs and County Prosecutor offices, and the majority of their trial stats are from doing misdemeanor or felony DUI trials that last at most a day.

And if you are trying 1 case a year, that means that you are probably (conservatively speaking) prepping 3 or 4 cases to go to trial (because if you've practiced law you'd realize not every case that you work on actually goes to trial no matter what everyone says). Which means that on a yearly basis you are prepping 4-5 cases to go to trial every single year. Not humanly possible -- if not entirely laughable.

In fact, I don't know if there are 90 potential cases in any given year that Susman Godfrey would even be interested in taking to trial.

Yes, boutique lit shops do offer more opps for young associates, but let's not let hyperbole become reality.

Step back from the Kool-Aid and save some for the rest of us please.


Wow... how did you make that leap in logic? All I said was that each attorney goes to trial on average about once a year. I never said the firm averages 1 trial per associate/attorney. Two very different figures. Susman is known for having small trial teams, but for your argument to make sense, they would have to have trial teams of one, which they do not. They usually have 1-2 partners and 1-2 associates per case, with about 3-4 total attorneys probably being the most common. The firm currently has 88 attorneys, some of whom are staff attorneys, so they shouldn't be included in this figure. So as a rough estimate, an attorney averaging a trial a year would put the firm at about 20 cases a year.

You are clearly a valued poster and know a lot about practice. All I've maintained is that Susman and susman-caliber boutiques offer a VERY different experience compared to normal big law.


A trial team of 4 people is about how biglaw staffs a trial (generally speaking). So your numbers are off.

And weren't these kids running their own billion dollar cases? If so, why do these legal Einsteins need another 3 attorneys to try the damn case?

And 20 trials a year is still alot, my friend.

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hume85
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Re: Firms to love

Postby hume85 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:48 pm

anon168 wrote:
hume85 wrote:
anon168 wrote:If you didn't sound so ignorant, you'd actually be funny.

Here's the thing. People talk about doing trials as if it's a choice, and a good one at that. In the civil context, going to trial is usually the result of a brain fart -- either yours, the other side's, or both.

Why? Because trials are expensive. If you are typical biglaw, then your client (typically a F500 company) will make the cost-benefit analysis and settle short of trial, even if their case is strong, because typically the costs of going to trial and risks of losing are simply not worth the marginal benefit of "not losing at trial."

Now, turn the tables on the plaintiff side, which is what Susman Godfrey would be. They take a majority, if not all, of their plaintiffs work on a contingency basis. If they are going to trial every day (like you insinuate) then they are either (1) brain farting like a guy after an all-you-can-eat bean and cheese burrito meal or (2) they're bad businessmen. The last thing you want to do if you are working a case is to take it to trial. As I've already mentioned, trials are expensive, and if you are working on contingency, you're laying your own skin on the line. NO matter how good you think you are as a lawyer, or a trial lawyer for that matter, and no matter how good you think your case is, juries and jurors are funny creatures.

So, yes, Susman may try cases but it's not something I would want to necessarily brag about. It's a way to market yourself and the firm as "trial lawyers" but in reality, ask any Susman equity partner if they really want to go to trial, and in their heart of hearts, they'll give you a resounding, "NO FUCKING WAY."

No one, certainly not me, is disputing that Susman Godfrey is a great firm, but to believe that young associates there will be taking cases to trial on a routine basis, or running billion dollar matters day-in and day-out (and, really, how many billion dollar cases are there in the entire legal industry?) is just pure mental Jell-O.


There is a whole lot of ignorance in this post. (1) Susman Godfrey has gotten to 3 million+ PPP by going to trial and winning contingency cases. (2) Trials are not uniformly expensive. Most Biglaw firms are bad at managing expenses, but boutiques are much leaner. (3) Trial lawyers have no problem going to trial. Don't project your cowardice.




hume85 wrote:
keg411 wrote:What I don't understand is how 1L's and 2L's think they know more than someone who has been practicing law for years. Sorry for having to deal with that, anon168. Your posts have been really helpful.


My dad is one of the top trial lawyers in California, as well as being one of the most experienced. Which means is he probably one of the better and more experienced trial lawyers in America. He knows more about trial practice than anon168. I have been picking my dad's brain for years. Therefore, I know quite a bit about trial practice. Is anon168 a trial attorney?


No, I'm just some hack trying to scratch out a living practicing law.

But if you want to get into a pissing match about whose dick is bigger, well, then, lets pull out my penis and see what it looks like.

I've tried 18 cases as a federal prosecutor, 3 civil jury trials and 1 bench trial while in private practice at a V5 (as well as an arbitration if that counts). So, all in all, about 20+ jury trials combined. I've probably have more hours in trial than you have hours in class as a law student -- times 3.

But still, with all that said, I concede I probably know a lot less about trial practice than you. And, I'll try and stop projecting my cowardice from now on.
Last edited by hume85 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Old Gregg » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:23 pm

You're a moron.

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bjsesq
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Re: Firms to love

Postby bjsesq » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:10 pm

hume85 wrote:If you really have tried 20+ cases then you know much more about trial practice than the vast majority of litigation partners in Biglaw. And you certainly would be an authority on trying cases, especially because you probably first chaired cases as a federal prosecutor. But you don't seem to know the boutique model enough to be an authority on firms like Susman.


Your dad sounds like a great attorney, but let's be honest: he raised a complete fucking asshole.

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hume85
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Re: Firms to love

Postby hume85 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:26 pm

bjsesq wrote:
hume85 wrote:If you really have tried 20+ cases then you know much more about trial practice than the vast majority of litigation partners in Biglaw. And you certainly would be an authority on trying cases, especially because you probably first chaired cases as a federal prosecutor. But you don't seem to know the boutique model enough to be an authority on firms like Susman.


Your dad sounds like a great attorney, but let's be honest: he raised a complete fucking asshole.


This is true.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:04 pm

Anyone know about Katten Muchin NY? is it supposed to be a good place to work?

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about Katten Muchin NY? is it supposed to be a good place to work?


dont think so... I dont think Katten generally has the reputation to put it on this list

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Old Gregg
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about Katten Muchin NY? is it supposed to be a good place to work?


dont think so... I dont think Katten generally has the reputation to put it on this list


This. The one criteria that let's firms on this list is being able to run trials as a first year. Generally, only Susman and a select other boutiques that nobody has heard of let first years do that. I hear one such boutique let's first years choose the fonts for the flyers to find people for its class action lawsuits.

anon168
Posts: 920
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Re: Firms to love

Postby anon168 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:36 pm

hume85 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
hume85 wrote:If you really have tried 20+ cases then you know much more about trial practice than the vast majority of litigation partners in Biglaw. And you certainly would be an authority on trying cases, especially because you probably first chaired cases as a federal prosecutor. But you don't seem to know the boutique model enough to be an authority on firms like Susman.


Your dad sounds like a great attorney, but let's be honest: he raised a complete fucking asshole.


This is true.


I should probably apologize, hume85. I came off too harsh in reply to you. It probably was my combative nature getting the best of me. I certainly didn't mean it for people to start piling on you.

And like you, I, too, was a victim of the hubris of youth -- probably even more so. If there were message boards in my time I would probably come off sounding even more arrogant and oblivious than you.

With all of that said, I always feel like if you can't provide anything useful, then at least don't be a hinderance.

Look, if you think Susman Godfrey is the next best thing to having a horny Mila Kunis show up at your door in the middle of the night with a pack of rubbers, then so be it.

But just don't attack anyone that thinks different, and please don't make it personal.

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hume85
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Re: Firms to love

Postby hume85 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:04 am

anon168 wrote:
hume85 wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
hume85 wrote:If you really have tried 20+ cases then you know much more about trial practice than the vast majority of litigation partners in Biglaw. And you certainly would be an authority on trying cases, especially because you probably first chaired cases as a federal prosecutor. But you don't seem to know the boutique model enough to be an authority on firms like Susman.


Your dad sounds like a great attorney, but let's be honest: he raised a complete fucking asshole.


This is true.


I should probably apologize, hume85. I came off too harsh in reply to you. It probably was my combative nature getting the best of me. I certainly didn't mean it for people to start piling on you.

And like you, I, too, was a victim of the hubris of youth -- probably even more so. If there were message boards in my time I would probably come off sounding even more arrogant and oblivious than you.

With all of that said, I always feel like if you can't provide anything useful, then at least don't be a hinderance.

Look, if you think Susman Godfrey is the next best thing to having a horny Mila Kunis show up at your door in the middle of the night with a pack of rubbers, then so be it.

But just don't attack anyone that thinks different, and please don't make it personal.
Last edited by hume85 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:59 am

hume85 wrote:No worries. I don't really mind people piling on, I have thick skin. I am always a bit of a dick, but this past week has been especially bad. My girlfriend took the LSAT on Saturday, and couldn't control her stress leading up to the test. So she took it out on me. And my dad is pressuring me to apply this cycle, because I told him that applications are down and schools are bit desperate for people with high LSAT scores.


Isn't this why 0L's aren't allowed to post in this forum? This has been like a premed student arguing with a physician, because their "know more" because their father is a physician.

One thing that I noticed that people haven't pointed it out, but is one of the oddest things I have seen is this notion that biglaw firms are more likely to settle than a boutique plaintiff's firm because they are scared to go to trial. Generally, the economic incentives are reversed. It is in the plaintiff's attorney's interest to settle to ensure payment, while the biglaw firm will have an interest in running up the costs/fees as much as possible for the plaintiff's attorneys.

Final note, the is a great misestimation by those in love with boutiques with regard to the substantive work of associates in law firms. Clients will simply not pay for junior associates to be doing doc review (though supervising doc review is a different matter), and junior associates, even at biglaw, are not spending their days doing doc review. I know biglaw associates who took depositions in their first year at the firms.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:
One thing that I noticed that people haven't pointed it out, but is one of the oddest things I have seen is this notion that biglaw firms are more likely to settle than a boutique plaintiff's firm because they are scared to go to trial. Generally, the economic incentives are reversed. It is in the plaintiff's attorney's interest to settle to ensure payment, while the biglaw firm will have an interest in running up the costs/fees as much as possible for the plaintiff's attorneys.

Final note, the is a great misestimation by those in love with boutiques with regard to the substantive work of associates in law firms. Clients will simply not pay for junior associates to be doing doc review (though supervising doc review is a different matter), and junior associates, even at biglaw, are not spending their days doing doc review. I know biglaw associates who took depositions in their first year at the firms.


I think you're wrong on both of these counts. First, the practices you're talking about are unethical on both counts. The plaintiffs' attorney should subordinate his interest in a sure settlement payment to the interests of the client. The big law firm should not be "running up" fees by prolonging litigation. Firms avoid these practices because the reputation costs could be devastating and cost them clients down the road.

Ultimately, practicing law is about representing clients and their interests. The reason that young biglaw associates don't get to take depos and run trials as often is that defendant corporations need to be able to tell their shareholders that the best lawyer available argued the case. The reason plaintiffs' firms and boutiques allow young lawyers to argue cases is that their interests are aligned with the client's, they've got fewer attorneys available, and all the client cares about is the money at the end of the road. This is an overgeneralization of course.

All this talk about which kind of firm takes cases to trial more often is beside the point. It takes two to tango, and typically a big firm is on at least one side of any litigation. More to the point is that young associates at boutiques get more substantive, "stand-up" experience right away. They do not write very many memos at all; they spend most of their time preparing for and taking depos, arguing at hearings, writing briefs and motions, participating in trials and arbitrations, etc. They are much more likely to have an active role in trials than their counterparts at big firms. This is a fact, for better or worse.

There is nothing wrong with biglaw firms. Many are excellent. Many of their lawyers are excellent. It's just a different model. There really isn't any need to get overly defensive about either one.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Firms to love

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
hume85 wrote:No worries. I don't really mind people piling on, I have thick skin. I am always a bit of a dick, but this past week has been especially bad. My girlfriend took the LSAT on Saturday, and couldn't control her stress leading up to the test. So she took it out on me. And my dad is pressuring me to apply this cycle, because I told him that applications are down and schools are bit desperate for people with high LSAT scores.


Isn't this why 0L's aren't allowed to post in this forum? This has been like a premed student arguing with a physician, because their "know more" because their father is a physician.

One thing that I noticed that people haven't pointed it out, but is one of the oddest things I have seen is this notion that biglaw firms are more likely to settle than a boutique plaintiff's firm because they are scared to go to trial. Generally, the economic incentives are reversed. It is in the plaintiff's attorney's interest to settle to ensure payment, while the biglaw firm will have an interest in running up the costs/fees as much as possible for the plaintiff's attorneys.

Final note, the is a great misestimation by those in love with boutiques with regard to the substantive work of associates in law firms. Clients will simply not pay for junior associates to be doing doc review (though supervising doc review is a different matter), and junior associates, even at biglaw, are not spending their days doing doc review. I know biglaw associates who took depositions in their first year at the firms.


I like how you call out the 0L for posting but then you post anon for no particular reason.




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