Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

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Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:21 pm

Finished clerkship, turned down top 10 NYC firm, took job in mid-sized firm in smaller city; making over 100k+, but not 145K/160k. Working about 10 hour days; some high quality corporate work, some general litigation. Already have a couple of my own clients. Happy to answer questions for anyone who might be looking for something a little different.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:23 pm

I'm interested in how you developed your own clients so early.

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Grizz
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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Grizz » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:25 pm

Midlaw = midsize firm or in reality secondary market biglawl?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:25 pm

Thanks for taking questions. I have two.

First, I am currently debating between NYC biglaw and midlaw in a market closer to home. Are you happy with your choice, and if so is there anything in particular you are happy with?

Second, what do partners in midlaw make on average (I cant find this info anywhere?)

Thanks!

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby duckmoney » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:26 pm

Currently at T6 school. What's the best way to show secondary market firms that I'm more interested in coming back home and doing more meaningful work with more reasonable hours than staying in the big city and making bank?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:31 pm

[OP]

One was someone needing help starting a business and negotiating contracts; other was referred to me by my assigning partner because the client's needs fit my interests. I will get some guidance on each matter from the partner where needed, but I get to call the shots.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:33 pm

Currently at T6 school. What's the best way to show secondary market firms that I'm more interested in coming back home and doing more meaningful work with more reasonable hours than staying in the big city and making bank?


[OP]

In my experience, if you really have ties to the secondary market, the firms in that market WANT to believe that you want to come back. After all, they don't live in NY, and they want to think highly of their own choices. Plus, secondary markets, if you are making six figures, you can still make bank because cost of living is so much lower.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking questions. I have two.

First, I am currently debating between NYC biglaw and midlaw in a market closer to home. Are you happy with your choice, and if so is there anything in particular you are happy with?

Second, what do partners in midlaw make on average (I cant find this info anywhere?)

Thanks!



[OP]

Very happy with the choice. Living within a couple miles of the office, I see daylight at both ends of the day, and the mix of work - including sophisticated cases that are good training and small matters that i can cut my teeth on (I will get into court to argue within a couple months) - is something I wouldn't get as a first/second year associate in NYC biglaw.


Partners at my firm and at others I looked at vary a great deal; with a smaller firm, the partners' shares more dependent on the outcomes of a smaller number of cases. A baseline year might be $$350-450k, with 800k to million being a very good year.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:41 pm

Grizz wrote:Midlaw = midsize firm or in reality secondary market biglawl?


[OP] Less than 75 attorneys in the whole firm; not aware of an official definition of midlaw, but that what I would call it.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:03 pm

10 hour work days seem pretty harsh for a pay lower than 145k.
Benefits?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:07 pm

10 hour workdays are pretty common in most professional jobs. People who've spent time working before law school know this to be true. Hell, even working in retail jobs I was in I put in 10-12 hour days mostly. If you want 8 and that's it, go government or work somewhere where you punch a clock.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:10 hour work days seem pretty harsh for a pay lower than 145k.
Benefits?


[OP] If you say so; that's only 50 hours per week, though, which I would think is about the minimum someone should expect for a six figure job. Its pretty close to, if not less than, what I was working as a clerk for much less. Benefits are good, in line with what one would expect.

Again, cost of living of the area makes the buying power of the lower salary quite a bit higher. Been there two months now. I'm paying my loans at an accelerated rate and, at current savings rate, I will still have enough for a down payment on a nice house within 18 months.

Social options are not as good as NYC, of course, but I have time to take advantage of those options that do exist.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby beachbum » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:15 pm

Can you speak more on how you got this position? Common wisdom on TLS is that secondary markets are tough, and midlaw is near-impossible. Is it simply a favorable combination of grades + ties, or is there more to it? Any general pointers for those of who would love to follow a similar career path?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:29 pm

beachbum wrote:Can you speak more on how you got this position? Common wisdom on TLS is that secondary markets are tough, and midlaw is near-impossible. Is it simply a favorable combination of grades + ties, or is there more to it? Any general pointers for those of who would love to follow a similar career path?


Grades and school (MVP) were a part of it, and I used my clerkship year (in this state) to investigate area firms, but I wouldn't say I got the job through preexisting ties. It was not an easy road; I had NYC offers long before I had this one, and I did not get this job until a few weeks before I started. Smaller firms are, I have found warier about hiring because each new associate represents a larger percentage of the bottom line.

It was also a more involved process from my said; smaller firm and smaller city means fewer exit options, no doubt. Wanted to make sure I was going to be comfortable with the firm. There were lots of sit downs and lunches, some at my invitation and not the firms'. Eventually things clicked with the person who has since become my assigning partner, and both sides moved quickly after that.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zomginternets
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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby zomginternets » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:30 pm

Circuit or district ct clerkship, and which circuit/district? Did you summer @ midlaw or apply as a clerk? When do you expect to be up for partnership?

Edit: I guess you more or less answered the second question above, but if you can provide any more insight I would be grateful.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:35 pm

zomginternets wrote:Circuit or district ct clerkship, and which circuit/district? Did you summer @ midlaw or apply as a clerk? When do you expect to be up for partnership?

Edit: I guess you more or less answered the second question above, but if you can provide any more insight I would be grateful.


State Supreme, would rather not say which. partnership track depends on building my book of business. Could be as few as 5 years, 7-8 is more realistic.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby RVP11 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:10 hour work days seem pretty harsh for a pay lower than 145k.
Benefits?


A steady 50 hours a week for 100k-135k in a city with low cost of living? That's not harsh at all.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:10 hour work days seem pretty harsh for a pay lower than 145k.
Benefits?


I am not OP, but hope to work at a similar firm after graduation (one of top firms in smaller market, pays a little over 100k). I will work there next summer. I ran a cost of living calculation on bankrate.com, and 160k in Manhattan is equivalent to 90k in my market. NYC taxes are brutal.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:06 pm

Was the clerkship experience helpful? Or would you have rather started with the firm directly after graduation?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Was the clerkship experience helpful? Or would you have rather started with the firm directly after graduation?



Seems pretty obvious that OP wouldn't have gotten this specific job if not for the clerkship that placed him in that city, so of course it was helpful.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:22 pm

[OP] The clerkship was a fantastic experience, and I am 100% happy with the decision to do it; with the experience I got in the clerkship, I am more confident as an associate. I saw good and bad lawyers, and I got to evaluate their written and oral work; I have a good idea of what persuades that court and what doesn't. Further, although I had a good offer after 2L summer, I got better NYC offers during clerkship, and I got the chance to check out the this area's firms, one of which, of course, I ultimately decided to join.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:52 am

One question OP: You say you got better NY offers after working at State Supreme? Assuming it wasn't the NY Supreme Court (which it sounds like it wasn't), that seems a little odd. Did they not ask you why you didn't do a DC / COA clerkship (assuming you could get one on paper)? And were they not concerned with the fact that you lived in a secondary market for a year and presumably might intend to go back there (which you did)?

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:One question OP: You say you got better NY offers after working at State Supreme? Assuming it wasn't the NY Supreme Court (which it sounds like it wasn't), that seems a little odd. Did they not ask you why you didn't do a DC / COA clerkship (assuming you could get one on paper)? And were they not concerned with the fact that you lived in a secondary market for a year and presumably might intend to go back there (which you did)?



[OP] Fair questions. I was borderline for a DC clerkship, and I didn't get one (this was fall 2009). I should have said "better NYC offer" (singular), and that was much more based on personal connections (mine and those of another judge on my court) than finding my job search here was (although my clerkship definitely helped with that too, obviously). To the last point, in my experience NYC law firms never need to be convinced that you want to come to NYC from a secondary market; further, if I had taken the New York job, I would have done so intending to stay there, not intending to come back here in a few years (although I am conscious of the attrition rate at the firm I was looking at and am not sure what my exit plan would have been if I did decide to leave after a few years).

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:11 pm

What are the lateral opportunities like? I am going to a do major-market biglaw with a well regarded firm and am wondering how lateraling into a firm back home (flyover state) would work. Can you lateral in as a partner if you are a senior associate in biglaw? Does a firm like yours actively look for biglaw types coming back home? Thanks.

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Re: Midlaw assoc. in secondary market, taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:34 pm

Roughly what percentage of associates make partner at your firm? What does a first-year partner make? How much, maximum, CAN a partner make, and how long does it take to get to that point?




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