V10 Associate Taking Questions

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:57 am

5ky wrote:You mentioned that about 25% of associates are at your level of billing or higher -- are they all in it for the long haul, too? What's the billable range for those not looking to stick around long term?


I don't know the answer to your first question, as I don't like to ask people for their long term plans unless I'm very close to them. For the associates I am close to who are billing more, their goal is also to stay for the long haul.

For those who don't want to stick around, all bets are off. I bet there are a few coasting with fewer than 2,000. I honestly think that's damaging in its own way. The amount of valuable training you forego by billing that many hours is a little silly. That said, when you approach 3,000 hours, your 3,000th hour probably isn't nearly as good as your 1st billed hour. There's a sweet spot somewhere in there. But I view a prestigious firm not as a great name on a resume, but more as a great conduit for good training and exposure to complex matters that smaller or less prominent firms don't have.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:02 am

foxtrottortxof wrote:What's your strategy for getting work? (Do you have a regular partner(s) then dabble elsewhere? take whatever you can get? How picky are you with assignments? How many do you turn down before taking one? Are you able to negotiate for certain work/experiences?)


I initially worked with the assignment coordinator, but fell into certain relationships with certain partners. I do try to go outside my comfort zone, since doing good work for more partners brings you more allies when you need them. Whether I'm picky depends on what I'm doing. If I'm doing doc review, I'll typically seek more substantive work to supplement it. If I'm on a matter that has me doing substantive work from the beginning, I don't really care--I just take whatever.

I don't really "negotiate" for my experiences. That's sort of a flawed way to approach things. You can't expect a partner to go through with a promise of giving you a deposition in six months. The best way to approach it is to take the higher responsibility when the opportunity arises.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:03 am

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
shoeshine wrote:Are you married? Girlfriend or Boyfriend? Kids?


I have a significant other, though I'm not married.


How much time do you get to spend with him/her on a particular weekday and on weekends?


I strive to do as many hours on the weekdays so I can dedicate my whole weekend to my SO. Even though I do end up working most weekends, I don't put in that many hours.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:05 am

I'll take questions for 10 minutes before hitting the bed. I'll resume tomorrow night if I'm not super tired.

foxtrottortxof
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby foxtrottortxof » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:08 am

How many people from your original class are still there? any sense as to why those who are gone left?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:10 am

foxtrottortxof wrote:How many people from your original class are still there? any sense as to why those who are gone left?


Most are still there. The people who left had their foot out the door the moment they started working.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby foxtrottortxof » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:12 am

Anything you wished you would have known before starting?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:13 am

foxtrottortxof wrote:Anything you wished you would have known before starting?


Try to get your SO situation sorted out before starting, if you're into having an SO. I'm glad I did. I couldn't imagine trying to date and get to know someone while working in biglaw. Too many hours, too much unpredictability. I'm so happy and lucky to have what I have.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:I really like my firm. The work is grueling, but my attitude toward it all is that there's no way I should be cross-examining key witnesses this early in my career; you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. A lot of people bemoan doc review, but you've got to do it and have faith that if you do good work, you'll eventually be rewarded with more responsibility. I think a lot of juniors these days come in expecting to do depositions and trials from day one. That's not going to happen and a client would flip out if they learned that a dispositive event in their case was lead by a junior (or even a midlevel associate, for that matter).

That's not to say that I haven't had substantial responsibility. But it is just to say that I've had to do some of the work that people complain a lot about in biglaw. And it's also just to say that if you put it into perspective, your experience as an associate at a big firm will be significantly more pleasant.


I would like to learn more about this. I turned down some bigger v10s for the litigation boutique I will be at on this ground and may have to revisit this issue next summer. What do you consider getting substantial responsibility? I do not expect to take depositions from day 1, but I would like to know that I have the ability to do so, my cases allowing, within my first few years. I would also expect to be writing large portions of briefs within a year or so and arguing simple discovery motions within first few years. Having talked to associates at my firm, I do not think these are unreasonable expectations. The firm and the associates who I spoke to's attitude is that you can never learn this stuff before doing them. The client (which is probably smaller than the clients you are talking about) may be hesitant, but in the end, the associate who is super focused (and maybe nervous) about his first-ever discovery motion is going to prepare really hard and at the end of the day do a good job (especially if there is guidance from partners). And that associate is going to cost the client significantly less. Some firms are able to tell clients that this is their model and clients accept that and like the results. I understand everyone has to do document review, but I would rather do that as an incidental part of the case I am working on, rather than become a "discovery" specialist.

In my conversations with associates across many V10s, it did not seem that you could expect to take a deposition before around the 3 year mark, and it was more a matter of luck than anything else (depends if your case needs a lot of depositions that cannot be done by partners). In my understanding, only a very senior associate or probably more likely junior partner is going to be doing any trial-work. I know you can get responsibility on pro bono matters, which was also a point sold to me, but that limits your exposure to significantly less than 10% of your total hours. I mean this with all due respect, but in terms of litigation skill sets (writing a brief, arguing motions, taking depositions, defending depositions, taking depositions of expert witnesses, second chairing trials), when do you expect you or people in your class will have the opportunity to do these? What percentage of your 2800 billed hours (roughly) is document review?

Thanks for all your help. I do not mean to be snarky. I just want to know if I am misunderstanding how these major market V10s operate. Like I said, having turned down offers, I may think about revisiting next year.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:37 pm

What are some of the challenges you faced when transitioning from law school to big law?

Thanks for taking these questions!

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:05 pm

Have you started getting calls from recruiters? What is your sense as far as exit options for junior associates? Thanks for fielding questions.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:30 pm

As a lit associate, what is your take on how clerking has impacted those in your class? For those in your same class year who clerked, do you think they were ahead or behind those who spent the first year with the firm once they finished the clerkship? Do you think they get any advantage in advancing/remaining at the firm for the long haul?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:38 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are some of the challenges you faced when transitioning from law school to big law?

Thanks for taking these questions!


Staying awake from morning to night. When I was in school, I could always separate my projects with a nice, long nap. Not so in big law.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have you started getting calls from recruiters? What is your sense as far as exit options for junior associates? Thanks for fielding questions.


Yes. So far, it's to lateral to lower ranked firms. I don't think I'll ever want to sacrifice the job security that comes with being at my firm, so I'm happy.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a lit associate, what is your take on how clerking has impacted those in your class? For those in your same class year who clerked, do you think they were ahead or behind those who spent the first year with the firm once they finished the clerkship? Do you think they get any advantage in advancing/remaining at the firm for the long haul?


It's too early to tell. But so far I don't feel any different.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Transferthrowaway » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:10 pm

Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:11 pm

Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Transferthrowaway » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.


MARKET. SHATTERING. BONUSES.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.


That one firm would be Kirkland.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.


That one firm would be Kirkland. I'm at Kirkland, and I have to tell you, I don't know why you're putting up with those hours without better compensation. Plus doc review still?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.


That one firm would be Kirkland. I'm at Kirkland, and I have to tell you, I don't know why you're putting up with those hours without better compensation. Plus doc review still?


Where do K&E associates rank in the social hierarchy of Chicago? One step beneath Booth-to-Citadel bro?

Anonymous User
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:Will you see any increase in your bonus for billing 2800 or are you at a lockstep firm? If you think this narrows down firms too much, don't worry about answering it.


I'm at a lockstep firm. I think there is only one firm in the V10 that isn't lockstep with respect to bonuses, by the way.


That one firm would be Kirkland. I'm at Kirkland, and I have to tell you, I don't know why you're putting up with those hours without better compensation. Plus doc review still?


Where do K&E associates rank in the social hierarchy of Chicago? One step beneath Booth-to-Citadel bro?


Don't forget those working at prop shops like getco, jane street, drw, etc. My friend at DRW made 240K after bonus his first year out of undergrad, working decent hours. (7am-7pm, no weekends)

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Don't forget those working at prop shops like getco, jane street, drw, etc. My friend at DRW made 240K after bonus his first year out of undergrad, working decent hours. (7am-7pm, no weekends)


So we'll say Kirkland is at the top of the attorney band, but still below all of the finance bros.

Big4 Accounting < general biglaw bros = general consulting bros < Kirkland < (or =?) BCG/McKinsey bros < General finance bros < Citadel bros.

Revise freely.

Anonymous User
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Don't forget those working at prop shops like getco, jane street, drw, etc. My friend at DRW made 240K after bonus his first year out of undergrad, working decent hours. (7am-7pm, no weekends)


So we'll say Kirkland is at the top of the attorney band, but still below all of the finance bros.

Big4 Accounting < general biglaw bros = general consulting bros < Kirkland < (or =?) BCG/McKinsey bros < General finance bros < Citadel bros.

Revise freely.


In terms of what? Pay? Lay prestige? Being a bouncer at Paris Club is probably better for getting laid than any of these jobs if that's what you're after. Chicagoans don't care as much about where someone works as they might in DC or NYC.




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