Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

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Anonymous User
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Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:52 pm

Currently have offers from 4 Vault ranked firms and one non-NLJ 250 firm. I really like the mid-size firm. Seems like it would be a good fit. People generally stay with the firm. Chances of making partner better. Will be raising a family soon.

I have heard and understand the exit options argument. Clearly more options at the more prestigious firms. "Easy to go down, hard to go up."

Am I not considering other relevant factors? Anyone else in a similar dilemma?

gp86
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby gp86 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:58 pm

I guess the big "other" factor is debt. But if the firm wouldn't be too much of a pay decrease or your debt situation is fine, then why not? If you have a good chance of establishing a career there, then the exit options offered by big firms aren't as relevant.

azntwice
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby azntwice » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:59 pm

there is only one important thing that raises a flag for me. if you are raising a family soon, you need to have two things: time and money. biglaw will give you the money. mid-size will give you the time. if you think you will have enough money with the midsize firm to support the family, and you are very comfortable there and would be happy without the biglaw grind, then go for it.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:18 pm

i think you kind of answered your own question. the fact that you're strongly considering the mid-size over the "prestige" of a highly ranked firm should tell you all you need to know. there must be something about the big law lifestyle that is giving you pause, otherwise you would probably already have accepted one of the vault offers.

if you'd genuinely be happy working at this midsize firm for the rest of your career, than by all means go for it.

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Grizz
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Grizz » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i think you kind of answered your own question. the fact that you're strongly considering the mid-size over the "prestige" of a highly ranked firm should tell you all you need to know. there must be something about the big law lifestyle that is giving you pause, otherwise you would probably already have accepted one of the vault offers.

if you'd genuinely be happy working at this midsize firm for the rest of your career, than by all means go for it.

Basically this

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:15 pm

I work at a midsize firm of about 150 lawyers in a top 15 metro area. We have very little turnover among associates and almost no turnover among senior (equity) partners. I also have friends working at V25 firms in New York and Chicago. Our starting salaries were $55k apart, but almost everyone who is competent at my firm at least makes junior (salary) partner within 6-8 years, and nobody looks at me funny if I have to go home at 5 p.m. for something. My average departure time is between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. I stay later than 8 p.m. maybe once or twice a month.

Needless to say, my friends hours are quite different.

It all depends on what you want out of your life. My friends' financial upside is considerably higher if they make partner, but I'd prefer to have a different kind of life and a better chance of actually having a full career at one place.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I work at a midsize firm of about 150 lawyers in a top 15 metro area. We have very little turnover among associates and almost no turnover among senior (equity) partners. I also have friends working at V25 firms in New York and Chicago. Our starting salaries were $55k apart, but almost everyone who is competent at my firm at least makes junior (salary) partner within 6-8 years, and nobody looks at me funny if I have to go home at 5 p.m. for something. My average departure time is between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. I stay later than 8 p.m. maybe once or twice a month.

Needless to say, my friends hours are quite different.

It all depends on what you want out of your life. My friends' financial upside is considerably higher if they make partner, but I'd prefer to have a different kind of life and a better chance of actually having a full career at one place.

This is really helpful information. Thank you.

ResIpsa21
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby ResIpsa21 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I work at a midsize firm of about 150 lawyers in a top 15 metro area. We have very little turnover among associates and almost no turnover among senior (equity) partners. I also have friends working at V25 firms in New York and Chicago. Our starting salaries were $55k apart, but almost everyone who is competent at my firm at least makes junior (salary) partner within 6-8 years, and nobody looks at me funny if I have to go home at 5 p.m. for something. My average departure time is between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. I stay later than 8 p.m. maybe once or twice a month.

Needless to say, my friends hours are quite different.

It all depends on what you want out of your life. My friends' financial upside is considerably higher if they make partner, but I'd prefer to have a different kind of life and a better chance of actually having a full career at one place.

This is really helpful information. Thank you.


I also found this post refreshing and helpful. Can I ask, how does one go about researching mid-size firms like this? I find it very difficult to get a good grasp of which firms like this are out there...

Anonymous User
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:35 am

whats the pay?

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:whats the pay?

$135k base, about $10k in bonus upon hitting 1950 billable. In NY/LA/Chi.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:whats the pay?

$135k base, about $10k in bonus upon hitting 1950 billable. In NY/LA/Chi.


thats only slightly under market, and you will be happier. Also, it is probably not lockstep so you may have the opportunity to advance quicker. is it worth the extra 25K to be miserable?

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wiseowl
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby wiseowl » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:41 pm

People need to be very careful about the "more time" available in midlaw.

SpiteFence
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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby SpiteFence » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:49 pm

I would be weary of "mid-law" shops in major markets that try to advertize themselves as "lifestyle" firms. It could be they are lying. It could be that the reason for shorter hours is lack of work. I would feel entirely more confident in mid-law in a secondary market.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:56 pm

there are certain mid sized firms that really are less time / more career oriented / and projects are more thinly staffed.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:there are certain mid sized firms that really are less time / more career oriented / and projects are more thinly staffed.

Yeah I think the key is reaching out to several of the attorneys and making sure what they are saying is consistent.

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Re: Accept a non-NLJ 250 offer over several big firm offers?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:I work at a midsize firm of about 150 lawyers in a top 15 metro area. We have very little turnover among associates and almost no turnover among senior (equity) partners. I also have friends working at V25 firms in New York and Chicago. Our starting salaries were $55k apart, but almost everyone who is competent at my firm at least makes junior (salary) partner within 6-8 years, and nobody looks at me funny if I have to go home at 5 p.m. for something. My average departure time is between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. I stay later than 8 p.m. maybe once or twice a month.

Needless to say, my friends hours are quite different.

It all depends on what you want out of your life. My friends' financial upside is considerably higher if they make partner, but I'd prefer to have a different kind of life and a better chance of actually having a full career at one place.


I'm the OP for the quoted post. I agree that you have to be careful. Absolutely. There are places where you would have a different experience in midlaw.

Associates at my place average between 1900 to 2000 hours, some put in more but rarely more than 2100. We do not advertise our place as a "lifestyle" firm. In fact, I'm on the recruiting committee and we are told specifically not to use that phrase. We don't walk SAs to think they won't have to work hard. But "working hard" is relative to your market. Compared to NY/LA/DC we may seem like a lifestyle firm, but in our market putting in 2000+ hours is considered working hard. In some ways, researching your market is as important as researching your firm.




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