Choosing my SA today, want to help?

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Anonymous User
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Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:13 pm

Stuffabout offers
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zomginternets
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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby zomginternets » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:18 pm

Is the specific area of practice in firm #2 an area that you really want to practice, or at least see yourself practicing for a long period of time, or are you more on the fence?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:19 pm

That's a tough one.

In my opinion, it hinges on whether you want to work in a large office or not (assuming practice areas, associate happiness, and other factors are equal).

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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:21 pm

zomginternets wrote:Is the specific area of practice in firm #2 an area that you really want to practice, or at least see yourself practicing for a long period of time, or are you more on the fence?


OP. I'm on the fence. While I think I may be more interested in what firm 2 does, firm 1 does that too but on a much smaller scale.

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monkey85
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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby monkey85 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My intentions are to spend a long time at either place that I end up (I'm not one of those who are in it to get in and get out in 2 or 3 years).


Maybe think about the decision in terms of exit options. Despite the above "intention[] to spend a long time" - what if you decide in 1-2 years (or they decide for you) that it's time to go. Which one would give you the best springboard for the city/region/nation?

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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:33 pm

monkey85 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My intentions are to spend a long time at either place that I end up (I'm not one of those who are in it to get in and get out in 2 or 3 years).


Maybe think about the decision in terms of exit options. Despite the above "intention[] to spend a long time" - what if you decide in 1-2 years (or they decide for you) that it's time to go. Which one would give you the best springboard for the city/region/nation?


Exit options in my city would be stronger from firm 2, but only because firm 1 is not quite as well known here.

Nationwide, exit options are probably very similar (firm 1 might even have an advantage there).

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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:44 pm

Even though you want to work at a place for the long-haul, V100 firms are just not structured that way. The only way the firm can operate from a business standpoint is to have a high attrition rate. While some juniors do eventually stay on to become senior associate/partner, the odds are not in your favor. Therefore, you should go to the firm that offers you the most money. Over 3-4 years, making more base each year + larger raises + probably bigger bonuses = a pretty decent chuck of change by the time you end up having to leave. Plus, ITE, any firm that is not able to match market salaries should be looked at more closely -- if they aren't bringing in the work to generate enough revenue to pay associates, there may not be enough revenue to keep rainmakers, which ultimately turns into a vicious cycle (Heller, Thelen, Howrey, etc).

cjw55
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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby cjw55 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:09 pm

First of all, congrats on having two offers to choose from. I know lots of 2L's would kill for an opportunity to choose from two V100 firms. Having said that, you're doing the right thing by taking your time to make the best decision for you. I am trying to do the same exact thing between a V50 and several V100s.

In my humble opinion, here are some things to consider (beyond the TLS focus on Vault rankings):

Return visits. Have you been on return visits to both firms yet? IMHO, meet only with junior associates. Ask how many hours they bill p/year. Ask Recruiting about the SA offer rate, how many SAs have accepted full-time offers and if incoming classes have been deferred in recent years. I assume you've done your homework and checked each firm's financial health in recent years too.

Practice Areas. What practice area are you most interested in? Is Firm A or Firm B stronger in that practice area? Are you undecided between Corporate and Lit, generally? How do SAs and junior associates receive their work assignments (i.e. free market vs. assignment vs. hybrid)? Is there a rotation system in place for SAs and juniors, etc.

Home office. IMHO, this is also a big point. If firm B is a home office, decisions will get made there and firm culture will be driven by the partners with the corner offices. Personally, I'd rather be at a home office than a branch office and I tend to think that home offices generally have stronger reputations in their respective cities than branch offices in that city.

Firm culture. Obviously one of the most important factors. As tough as it is to get a genuine feel for the firm, you have to develop a gut feeling on whether it's a place you'd enjoy working. Having said that, there's no guarantee that you won't be one of those get-in-and-get-out junior associates -- you could end up hating Biglaw; we are, after all, only newly minted 2Ls.

Hope this helps somewhat. Best of luck.

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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:34 pm

Based on what you've posted I would say option 2. Higher pay is an objective measurement. Feel and culture is just really hard to know from TLS, CBs, visits, anecdotes, etc... When in doubt I'd lean towards the higher pay and (maybe) better exit options from 2.

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rayiner
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Re: Choosing my SA today, want to help?

Postby rayiner » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:02 pm

The smaller office versus bigger office thing is extremely over-rated. Even at giant firms, the number of people you actually work with day to day is quite manageable. Think about it: you probably know most people in your law school class, right? Well 200-300 people is probably double the size of the biggest practice groups at the biggest firm offices.

If you want to stick around for awhile, got to the HQ. Making partner at branch offices of big firms tends to be very difficult.




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