Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:12 pm

though a Suga Mama prof sounds pretty awesome no matter who you are


Dude. The really, really high paying entry level t-t jobs in the humanities, arts and social sciences pay MAYBE $75k. Most will be in the $55k-$65k range.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby RVP11 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:14 pm

tlstlstls73 wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
mrloblaw wrote:In today's legal world, you get a v10 job, you go. Period. Your spouse deals, or you divorce. Those are the options.


Are you a 0L?

The difference between a V10 and a good firm in a smaller market (or a good government job) is miniscule compared to the difference between tenure-track at a major university and teaching at a community college.

A tenure-track position is the whole goal of the PhD. Implying that a corporate V10 job in NYC is the whole goal of the JD is absurd.


For many people, that is the whole goal of a JD.


For what, 3% of applicants? 5%?

Well over 90% of PhDs are gunning for tenure-track, mayn.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
though a Suga Mama prof sounds pretty awesome no matter who you are


Dude. The really, really high paying entry level t-t jobs in the humanities, arts and social sciences pay MAYBE $75k. Most will be in the $35k-$45k range.


FTFY.

Lol @ suga mama profs. :lol: :lol: :lol:

tlstlstls73
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby tlstlstls73 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
though a Suga Mama prof sounds pretty awesome no matter who you are


Dude. The really, really high paying entry level t-t jobs in the humanities, arts and social sciences pay MAYBE $75k. Most will be in the $55k-$65k range.


This. When a married couple is picking a career, how does it make any sense to pick the career in the low six figure range at the high end over the career starting out @ 160k? How is this good for the collective, comrade?

OP said they cares less about being a V10 lawyer than wife cares about being a t-t prof. Just seems like a lot of work to put in to have that option if you don't really care about it. To each his own, I guess.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:24 pm

Most will be in the $35k-$45k range.


This is unfair. My wife was well below the median, and I think she started at $46k. We think her recently-hired colleague was just above $50k. Her t-t grad school friends (the few who got jobs) generally ranged from about that up to $70k (at a very prestigious undergrad institution). Though the point stands -- almost any legal job that you'd get with a few years of firm experience is going to pay more, and in most cases a lot more, even considering the hit you'll take moving to a college town market.

(Now, if you're talking non-t-t lecturer positions, that salary range is spot on. And if you mean adjuncts, it's more like $3k-$5k per class with no benefits.)

mrloblaw
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby mrloblaw » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:30 pm

RVP11 wrote:
mrloblaw wrote:In today's legal world, you get a v10 job, you go. Period. Your spouse deals, or you divorce. Those are the options.


Are you a 0L?

The difference between a V10 and a good firm in a smaller market (or a good government job) is miniscule compared to the difference between tenure-track at a major university and teaching at a community college.

A tenure-track position is the whole goal of the PhD. Implying that a corporate V10 job in NYC is the whole goal of the JD is absurd.


No, T6 2L.

I dare say that anyone getting a JD at the current going rate ($200k+) for anything other than a six-figure biglaw job is really, really bad at math. And anyone who's planning on lateraling with only 1-2 year experience into a job paying anywhere near the market rate is gunning for a much more far-fetched lottery win than a t-t job.

If OP is a Columbia Hamilton, etc. and got the JD just to have something to do in his spare time for three years, I guess the analysis changes.
Last edited by mrloblaw on Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:34 pm

When a married couple is picking a career, how does it make any sense to pick the career in the low six figure range at the high end over the career starting out @ 160k? How is this good for the collective, comrade?


Two things to say here. The first is that you're not picking the former over the latter on a permanent basis. You're picking it for 5-6 years until the academic spouse gets tenure, at which point things change substantially. At that point, the visiting gigs and sabbaticals and research grants make it a LOT easier to refocus on the other spouse's career. (Sometimes this can even happen prior to that, if the academic spouse is enough of a "superstar" that you can read the tenure tea leaves a few years in advance or even go up early.)

Second, many/most attorneys don't view biglaw as the ultimate goal -- they (we) see it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, like academia, the bench, USAO management, etc. A 4-6 year hiatus where you go and work for a DA or state AG or whatever in the hinterlands may foreclose biglaw partnership (but I'm actually not even sure that this is true -- I bet that a lot of V50 firms would consider hiring back an attorney as "of counsel" or somesuch under this scenario, provided that he or she had truly meaningful experience), but not the other career options.

(edited to finish my thought)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
fact, you should be encouraging her to take 3 years and try to have an article published by the time she's done. That is a good career compromise--it lets her follow her passion on a slightly slower schedule, and lets you save money and develop skills to make yourself more marketable. Then, finding a decent job could easily take a year, and universities often hire in advance (so she'd be interviewing 9 months before she would start).


It's not that this is bad advice, it's just that it's unlikely that your wife will have this much control over her career options. At least in my (spouse's) experience, you should plan to go on the market for 3-4 years before you land a job, but you very well may get one the first year.

Though one thing she might look into is a post-doc -- those often can be done at (and sometimes are awarded by) the PhD institution. That would buy you guys an extra year or two.


She doesn't have control over whether she gets a job the first year on the market. She does have control over when she goes on the market, though. She can control finishing her dissertation + an article in a related area in three years instead of just a dissertation in 2. A post-doc is a good choice but only for some fields.


She doesn't have a choice re: timing when she goes on the market. I don't want to say precisely why because it will probably out me, but I can say that she'll lose her funding if it's not done by the end of the 2013 academic year.

She could do a post-doc, but that will be determined by the state of the job market (are there any t-t jobs at places she would be willing to teach) - and, in any event, it would (i) result in a year separation (OK)and (ii) just delay the inevitable, because she still won't be able to get a job in Chi/NYC. That said, the extra year would obviously be helpful for my lateral options - a discussion we have had, and so she will be considering post docs in some circumstances that she may not have otherwise.

Edit: And there is more to "the good of the collective" than "most dollars possible".

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:51 am

First, OF COURSE you move for the spouse's t-t job. One of the consequences of going for an academic career is sacrificing control over geography. If you compare the difficulty of getting a good t-t job and a BigLaw job, it's a no-brainer.

Second, once the job offer happens, the university will be very helpful in spousal placement. I haven't done this as a lawyer, but I was a professor pre-law school and know a lot about academic hiring.) This is particularly the case if you're in law, since it's a relatively mobile profession in the sense that there is at least some litigation and some transactional work happening everywhere -- you may just have to pick up a new practice area or become more of a generalist. While the university will give you some help no matter what, the amount of help you'll get will vary proportionally with the remoteness and smallness of the college town.

In a small college town, a university may even offer you a position with their GC's office or within their administration (non-academic components of isolated universities are packed with trailing spouses), or they will get the local law firm with whom they do a lot of outside business, which will usually be the biggest office in their small college town, to give you a job. These colleges are highly motivated to make couples happy and stable. The pay will be much less than BigLaw, but COL will be low and hours/stress will be great.

One thing to consider might be getting some experience with IP, because unless you're going to a small liberal arts college, that will be a big deal in either the university internally or in firms catering to local tech start-ups. Another consideration is that in many places, small college towns are within commuting distance (say if you live halfway between) of large metro areas where there will be a lot of larger firms where you can lateral in from BigLaw, especially when the college calls in its connections.

tlstlstls73
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby tlstlstls73 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:56 am

This thread makes going for a prof job sound like more of a scam than law school.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:First, OF COURSE you move for the spouse's t-t job. One of the consequences of going for an academic career is sacrificing control over geography. If you compare the difficulty of getting a good t-t job and a BigLaw job, it's a no-brainer.

Second, once the job offer happens, the university will be very helpful in spousal placement. I haven't done this as a lawyer, but I was a professor pre-law school and know a lot about academic hiring.) This is particularly the case if you're in law, since it's a relatively mobile profession in the sense that there is at least some litigation and some transactional work happening everywhere -- you may just have to pick up a new practice area or become more of a generalist. While the university will give you some help no matter what, the amount of help you'll get will vary proportionally with the remoteness and smallness of the college town.

In a small college town, a university may even offer you a position with their GC's office or within their administration (non-academic components of isolated universities are packed with trailing spouses), or they will get the local law firm with whom they do a lot of outside business, which will usually be the biggest office in their small college town, to give you a job. These colleges are highly motivated to make couples happy and stable. The pay will be much less than BigLaw, but COL will be low and hours/stress will be great.

One thing to consider might be getting some experience with IP, because unless you're going to a small liberal arts college, that will be a big deal in either the university internally or in firms catering to local tech start-ups. Another consideration is that in many places, small college towns are within commuting distance (say if you live halfway between) of large metro areas where there will be a lot of larger firms where you can lateral in from BigLaw, especially when the college calls in its connections.



OP here: Thank you, this is incredibly good to know. I kind of assumed the extent of "trailing spouse" help I would receive would be a look from the institution's law school. I do have good credentials, so it's nice to know that they will probably help me reach out to other institutions, give me a look for the university's GC office, etc.

In response to the t-t prof = scam post: The difference is that most (and all of the even remotely qualified) people in Ph.D programs have funding. My wife has $0 in student loans. And of course there's the whole "doing what you love" thing, which is worth a lot of pay on its own.

tlstlstls73
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby tlstlstls73 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:02 am

Oh, you get paid for this stuff? Sign me up. Sadly, I guess, that just make law school look like more of a scam.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:07 am

tlstlstls73 wrote:Oh, you get paid for this stuff? Sign me up. Sadly, I guess, that just make law school look like more of a scam.


Heh, it's not for everyone. I would go absolutely crazy in the academic world, which is why I'm not going to bother adding to my article count (I have some publications aside from my law review comment already) in hopes of getting a look by a law school. I would probably kill myself.

User avatar
bandenjamin
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:25 pm

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby bandenjamin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:29 am

OP:

Work your ass off, be a decent person. In the end you'll have options. Any hiring manager/partner is going to understand moving from a larger city due to a spouse's career. Who knows, the place your wife finds work might just wind up being close enough that you don't need to leave your job, or they may have an office where you can transfer.

If you get the opportunity to work directly with client companies, make nice with their in-house. It could go a long way towards landing the next job. Either way, keep a positive attitude and you'll be fine. Besides, what school is she going to wind up at where there isn't at least a reasonable sized city within a couple hour drive? You could buy a home in the middle so you each have a mildly hellish commute.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:05 am

(Poster from above who did this myself several years ago.)

In response to the t-t prof = scam post: The difference is that most (and all of the even remotely qualified) people in Ph.D programs have funding. My wife has $0 in student loans. And of course there's the whole "doing what you love" thing, which is worth a lot of pay on its own.


Also, most schools are perfectly up front about the fact that there are very few t-t academic jobs. I just had dinner a few weeks ago with a professor in the humanities at an elite graduate institution (think the grad school equivalent of HSY) who said that they haven't had a new PhD student in two years because they advise them that it's probably a 1 in 3 chance that they get a t-t job within the first few years after graduation.

All of that said, it's probably going to get a little better soon, at least in most fields -- though some, like non-Spanish Romance languages, are probably doomed at this point because programs are being cut right and left, and it quickly becomes a self-fulfilling cycle (less students nationally => less need for profs => less new grad students => less undergrad majors => more programs closing). But for most of the mainstream humanities/social science disciplines, the baby boomers will probably start retiring en masse in the next 10 years, which is going to free up a lot of spots.

Second, once the job offer happens, the university will be very helpful in spousal placement.


One word of caution: This is very institution- and field-specific. Yes, a lot of schools in the middle of nowhere are great, but a lot of ones in or near metro areas are not. Similarly, while schools will often go out of their way to find a job for an academic spouse (probably not t-t, though), it's often not the case for non-academic spouses, and especially professional non-academic spouses. (My wife, for example, was expressly told that any sort of spousal hire was going to be impossible for me -- after all, we're in a "big" city [not!], so a well-credentialed lawyer like me should be perfectly capable of finding employment [OK, that was true].) So it's definitely something to think about, but be wary of counting on it.

Besides, what school is she going to wind up at where there isn't at least a reasonable sized city within a couple hour drive?


Off the top of my head, I think it would be very hard to work in a big city if you lived in the following: College Station, TX; Lawrence, KS; State College, PA; Urbana-Champaign, IL; Columbia, MO; Fayetteville, AR; Eugene, OR; Lubbock, TX; Tuscaloosa, AL; and about half of the SUNYs. I mean, yes, if you worked in (say) College Station, I suppose you could literally live somewhere that is about 1:15 or 1:20 away from both Houston and College Station, but (1) shoot me now if I have to make that commute on a daily basis, and (2) that's not really workable with kids even remotely approaching school age.

Though, OP, one thing to think about -- that we discussed if she got a job really in the middle of nowhere -- is negotiating a Tuesday-Thursday only schedule, renting a small apartment in the college town, and then just having her commute back-and-forth to the big city we were living in. Depending on flight times and the airport location, you might be able to swing going out Tuesday morning first thing, then coming back Thursday evening. That's doable even with kids if you have a dependable nanny, and with winter and summer breaks, you'd probably only be doing 7-8 months out of the year anyway. This is very research-dependent, of course (it wouldn't work if the academic needed lab access for research -- though on the other hand, a humanities prof would probably benefit from the proximity to top notch libraries), but it's something you might think about.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273257
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Year 1-2 Exit from biglaw into "no man's land" - options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:55 pm

The world of universities in question here are limited; living "in-between" the university and a larger city wouldn't really be feasible (and, frankly, driving an hour and a half to-and-from a biglaw job is not just a pain - it's probably unsafe, given the number of hours one puts in).

Unfortunately, changing practice groups within the firm is a non-starter, so I'm stuck with my (largely) non-transferable specialty.

Those "relationship issues" are things we will figure out, but I do appreciate some of the suggestions re: how to make myself more marketable as a generalist even after being in a niche transactional group.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.