Help me pick an SA firm

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Which Firm?

Firm 1
31
79%
Firm 2
7
18%
Firm 3
1
3%
 
Total votes: 39

Anonymous User
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Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:32 am

Background: All are in the region where I want to be, and I would be fairly happy with any of them. I'm leaning towards 1 & 2, and I expect the majority of folks to suggest 1. I thought it was worth asking though.

1. Firm around the 50s in the Vault rankings with a huge international presence (which I don't really care about). Salary around $2000-2200 per week before taxes. Firm didn't have a summer program in this location last year, so I have no idea what to expect as the offer rate. I believe that I will be the only SA and will have a good shot at an offer though. Although the firm is huge, this particular office is relatively small. One con: the hours will probably be horrible. Positive- the firm has all the practice areas I want.

2. Medium regional firm that pays approximately $1500-1600 per week. I LOVE the people there, and the firm has a few offices that are all in locations that I prefer over the V50 firm. The firm generally hires 4-5 SAs but almost always only offers 1-2 of them. All of the offices are small (~30 people), and I would get to work in all of them over the summer. Another con: the firm has a reputation for working the associates as hard as any biglaw firm (with salary being closer to $85,000 than the $115,000-$125,000 of firm 1). Like firm 1, it has all the practice areas I want.

3. Medium regional firm that pays around $1000 per week. The people are nice, and it's a location I like. The firm itself is pretty dedicated to tort-law work (mostly defense), and I'm indifferent to that. It's not really my end-goal to do that type of work, but I would be fine doing it if I had to. The firm has a tendency to hire most, if not all, of its SAs, which is a definite positive. Con: the type of work and the pay. Based on the SA pay, I assume that the overall base salary would be fairly low (like the SA) with the "eat what you kill" type system.

I'm definitely leaning towards 1 & 2, with most of that being 1. I would prefer to work at 2 just based on my familiarity with the firm, region, practice areas, etc., but I don't think I can justify it given the firm's tendency to hire only a couple of their SAs. I expect that the majority of folks will say to do firm 1, but I don't know how well my personality will mesh with a biglaw firm's atmosphere. I liked the people at firm 1, but I don't know how well 2 meetings with them can give me an idea of the firm overall. The big issue is that I only have until next week to decide because none of the firms wanted to give me the 28 days under the NALP rules despite being NALP firms.

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Grizz
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Grizz » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:38 am

For the love of all that is holy, 1.

2 has shit offer rates

3 has an eat what you kill system, which I would NOT want starting out ITE.

kahechsof
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby kahechsof » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:45 am

No question- it's firm 1. Really, this is not even a question. You should feel lucky to not need to make a hard decision.

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:50 am

Definitely what I thought and am thinking. Just wanted to make sure. Although the firm's office in this area didn't have a program last year, the offices that did have programs had a 100% offer rate (but should I question whether they were cold offers?). That pretty much sealed the deal. One question though. The firm only has a 6 week program. How are you all finding firms for the second half of the summer? I've interviewed with dozens of firms and had >25 CBs, but only ONE firm will do a split summer and take the second half. I've got a couple of really small firms that I've worked for in the past that would let me do the second half, but neither really has job prospects for after graduation.

kahechsof
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby kahechsof » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:One question though. The firm only has a 6 week program. How are you all finding firms for the second half of the summer? I've interviewed with dozens of firms and had >25 CBs, but only ONE firm will do a split summer and take the second half.


Go backpacking. See Glacier National Park before the it is called Bare Mountains National Park.

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Grizz
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Grizz » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Definitely what I thought and am thinking. Just wanted to make sure. Although the firm's office in this area didn't have a program last year, the offices that did have programs had a 100% offer rate (but should I question whether they were cold offers?). That pretty much sealed the deal. One question though. The firm only has a 6 week program. How are you all finding firms for the second half of the summer? I've interviewed with dozens of firms and had >25 CBs, but only ONE firm will do a split summer and take the second half. I've got a couple of really small firms that I've worked for in the past that would let me do the second half, but neither really has job prospects for after graduation.

Just do the smaller firm for the money.

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:36 pm

For the folks picking firm 2: any particular reasons for that vote?

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Heartford
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Heartford » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:49 pm

I wish I had your problems.

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:44 pm

Heartford wrote:I wish I had your problems.


I'm definitely not complaining. It's a good problem to have, but that doesn't make choosing any more fun though.

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:13 pm

As someone in law school with ten years of work experience behind them, I would recommend going with the people you "LOVE" over the V50.

The people you work with on a daily basis make a huge difference in your quality of life. Yes, the money is less and yes the offer rate is lower. However, perhaps that love of the people you're working with, combined with what looks like a stronger desire to work in that area, will cause you to work harder next summer. If you're on here you will probably work hard no matter where you go but perhaps that will be the little push you need for the slight edge required to get an offer at firm 2.

Additionally, the fact that the V50 had no summer class and you'd be the only one this year guarantees nothing in terms of an offer.

Best of luck!

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:39 pm

Would the fact that firm 2's hiring partner recently told me the job is mine "to lose" factor into anyone's decision? The firm still intends to hire only 1-2 of the 4-5 SAs, but it seems that I have a leg-up on the others.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would the fact that firm 2's hiring partner recently told me the job is mine "to lose" factor into anyone's decision? The firm still intends to hire only 1-2 of the 4-5 SAs, but it seems that I have a leg-up on the others.


The cynic in me muttered, "I bet he told that to every potential SA."

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:53 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would the fact that firm 2's hiring partner recently told me the job is mine "to lose" factor into anyone's decision? The firm still intends to hire only 1-2 of the 4-5 SAs, but it seems that I have a leg-up on the others.


The cynic in me muttered, "I bet he told that to every potential SA."


Sadly, I'm every bit that cynical as well. I have reason to believe that he was being honest, but I really don't know whether that should balance out the published stats for their SAs.

lauren_jame
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby lauren_jame » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:14 pm

Is firm#1 K&L Gates? And is the office in SoCal?

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:19 pm

lauren_jame wrote:Is firm#1 K&L Gates? And is the office in SoCal?


Nope.

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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:32 pm

This seems pretty settled, but I'll bump it one time just for anybody else who wants to convince me to go with Firm 2. (It wouldn't take much convincing since that's really where I want to be, but I really don't think I can justify it). My heart says firm 2 because it's always been my goal to work there and because I feel like, if I got a job there in the end, advancement opportunities and job stability would be better than firm 1. My brain, on the other hand, screams that I would be an idiot to risk firm 2 and should go with firm 1. Statistically, firm 1 is the clear winner. How do you guys evaluate this kind of stuff? Heart or brain? (Like before, I fully expect everyone to say "go with statistics/brain," but it doesn't hurt to ask).

Anonymous User
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Re: Help me pick an SA firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This seems pretty settled, but I'll bump it one time just for anybody else who wants to convince me to go with Firm 2. (It wouldn't take much convincing since that's really where I want to be, but I really don't think I can justify it). My heart says firm 2 because it's always been my goal to work there and because I feel like, if I got a job there in the end, advancement opportunities and job stability would be better than firm 1. My brain, on the other hand, screams that I would be an idiot to risk firm 2 and should go with firm 1. Statistically, firm 1 is the clear winner. How do you guys evaluate this kind of stuff? Heart or brain? (Like before, I fully expect everyone to say "go with statistics/brain," but it doesn't hurt to ask).




I go with the place what will provide me the happiest environment that I WANT to be at. For me, that is firm 2. The soul crushing hours are probably not worth the extra money given my personality.

Now that you have nothing to lose go ahead and email alumni at firm 2 and talk about advancement opportunities and stuff like that. You might be surprised and find it is better than you thought.

Also, I prefer local firms over satellite national offices. Just a preference formed by knowing a lot of people at both types.




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