What does "biglaw" mean to you?

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IAFG
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What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:16 am

I thought about making a poll but there are too many variables.

Do you mean V100? NLJ250?

Do you judge by pay, and if so, only $160k/$145k/$120k/$100K+?

Do you judge by number of attorneys, and if so, only 160+ (which is the smallest NLJ250 firm) or would you count a firm with 150 attorneys? 100?

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:19 am

V100 + the elite boutiques (Keker, Bartlitt, Susman, etc.)

Any NLJ 250/Amlaw 200 that matches NYC lockstep. (160k etc.)

Edit or any satellite or non-satellite office that sets or matches market pay in a major metro area.
Last edited by c3pO4 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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johansantana21
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby johansantana21 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:20 am

Anything that pays market.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:28 am

NLJ 250.

I don't really understand the 160-or-bust definition given the fact that 130k at a McGuire Woods in Richmond or K&L Gates in Charlotte will go twice as far as 160k in NYC.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:32 am

c3pO4 wrote:V100 + the elite boutiques (Keker, Bartlitt, Susman, etc.)

Any NLJ 250/Amlaw 200 that matches NYC lockstep. (160k etc.)


This is way too narrow. It also makes no sense. By your criteria, Any V100 satellite office in a secondary is "BigLaw" but a NLJ250 in the same city, paying the same salary, and perhaps having a much bigger presence in the city, is somehow not BigLaw.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:34 am

Also, boutiques like Susman are, almost by definition, not BigLaw. c3p04 just seems to be listing firms he likes.

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patrickd139
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:38 am

johansantana21 wrote:Anything that pays market.

Pretty much this, but I only include the following markets (in no particular order):

NYC, DC, Chicago, LA, SF/SV, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Miami, St. Louis, KCMO, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Philly (I'm probably forgetting one or two, but you get the gist)

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, boutiques like Susman are, almost by definition, not BigLaw. c3p04 just seems to be listing firms he likes.


Or she. Anyway, amend my definition to include any office that pays top of market in their market. So, a satellite office of K&L as you mentioned or a firm like Bondurant would still be considered biglaw in this definition.

IMO it's defined by a certain caliber of work/clients that can justify paying top of market, not the "size" of the organization.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Curious1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:43 am

What's a boutique anyway? I've only heard it used in the context of I-Banking--which distinguishes it strictly on size. So by that logic...WLRK becomes a boutique...of course this isn't true...so what's the criteria TLS (or everyone) uses?

For the question OP raises, I would say V100 + market pay.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:50 am

How about a firm of a hundred lawyers paying market... in Delaware?

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rayiner
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:52 am

Curious1 wrote:What's a boutique anyway? I've only heard it used in the context of I-Banking--which distinguishes it strictly on size. So by that logic...WLRK becomes a boutique...of course this isn't true...so what's the criteria TLS (or everyone) uses?

For the question OP raises, I would say V100 + market pay.


Boutique is a smaller firm focusing on a particular niche of law, as opposed to a V100 which has a broad array of practices.

WLRK at ~200 attorneys, is pretty close to being an M&A boutique. I wouldn't hesitate to call it that except for the fact that they do have an array of other practices (full-service lit, tax, restructuring, etc).

I would definitely call Williams & Connolly a litigation boutique, though on the top end of the size range.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Curious1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:56 am

rayiner wrote:
Curious1 wrote:What's a boutique anyway? I've only heard it used in the context of I-Banking--which distinguishes it strictly on size. So by that logic...WLRK becomes a boutique...of course this isn't true...so what's the criteria TLS (or everyone) uses?

For the question OP raises, I would say V100 + market pay.


Boutique is a smaller firm focusing on a particular niche of law, as opposed to a V100 which has a broad array of practices.

WLRK at ~200 attorneys, is pretty close to being an M&A boutique. I wouldn't hesitate to call it that except for the fact that they do have an array of other practices (full-service lit, tax, restructuring, etc).

I would definitely call Williams & Connolly a litigation boutique, though on the top end of the size range.


All right. But W&C is pretty high on Vault...from one of the above posts, it seems to be implied that boutiques are not usually ranked on Vault? Isn't Susman, for example, very prestigious and pays market?

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:10 am

Market pay (for the location or near market pay) and a lot of lawyers for that market.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:How about a firm of a hundred lawyers paying market... in Delaware?


Big lawl.

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Grizz
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Grizz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:55 am

Curious1 wrote:What's a boutique anyway? I've only heard it used in the context of I-Banking--which distinguishes it strictly on size. So by that logic...WLRK becomes a boutique...of course this isn't true...so what's the criteria TLS (or everyone) uses?

For the question OP raises, I would say V100 + market pay.

V100? Lawl too narrow. It's just a list of the 100 most preftigiouf firms.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:07 am

NLJ250, and even then toward the bottom of the list I'm iffy (160-to-200-lawyer firms that start out associates under six figures and are located in markets like Charleston and Syracuse really start to feel more midlawish to me).

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IAFG
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:09 am

Helmholtz wrote:NLJ250, and even then toward the bottom of the list I'm iffy (160-to-200-lawyer firms that start out associates under six figures and are located in markets like Charleston and Syracuse really start to feel more midlawish to me).

Are there NLJ250 firms that really pay 5 figures?

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:25 am

IAFG wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:NLJ250, and even then toward the bottom of the list I'm iffy (160-to-200-lawyer firms that start out associates under six figures and are located in markets like Charleston and Syracuse really start to feel more midlawish to me).

Are there NLJ250 firms that really pay 5 figures?

Yes, see Baker Donalson's NALP range.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby shoeshine » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:28 am

Market Pay + Exit Opportunities.

Fuck the rankings. Outside of the V10, I am not sure they matter. (said the naive 1L)

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IAFG
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:29 am

Huh, that's interesting. The NLJ250s I recognize all pay over $100k even in STL/Milwaukee/etc. I would have said NLJ250 was a good metric before I knew that.

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bk1
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:31 am

Top firms in a given market. Generally means they pay market or close to it (e.g. I would consider a firm that pays $145k in Chicago to still be biglaw).

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IAFG
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:40 am

bk1 wrote:Top firms in a given market. Generally means they pay market or close to it (e.g. I would consider a firm that pays $145k in Chicago to still be biglaw).

But would you say that any given "market" has biglaw at all? Even if you're the biggest firm in Eugene or Salem, OR, I don't think you qualify as "biglaw."

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IAFG
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:41 am

As an aside, this is the circle jerkiest thread I have ever started and I am mildly embarrassed.

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rayiner
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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:42 am

Curious1 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Curious1 wrote:What's a boutique anyway? I've only heard it used in the context of I-Banking--which distinguishes it strictly on size. So by that logic...WLRK becomes a boutique...of course this isn't true...so what's the criteria TLS (or everyone) uses?

For the question OP raises, I would say V100 + market pay.


Boutique is a smaller firm focusing on a particular niche of law, as opposed to a V100 which has a broad array of practices.

WLRK at ~200 attorneys, is pretty close to being an M&A boutique. I wouldn't hesitate to call it that except for the fact that they do have an array of other practices (full-service lit, tax, restructuring, etc).

I would definitely call Williams & Connolly a litigation boutique, though on the top end of the size range.


All right. But W&C is pretty high on Vault...from one of the above posts, it seems to be implied that boutiques are not usually ranked on Vault? Isn't Susman, for example, very prestigious and pays market?


Generally speaking boutiques aren't ranked highly by Vault, largely because Vault is a measure of how well-known firms are among associates. Boutiques, even elite ones, aren't necessarily very well known. W&C is well known, but I don't think that should have much bearing on whether it is a boutique or not.

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Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:45 am

IAFG wrote:
bk1 wrote:Top firms in a given market. Generally means they pay market or close to it (e.g. I would consider a firm that pays $145k in Chicago to still be biglaw).

But would you say that any given "market" has biglaw at all? Even if you're the biggest firm in Eugene or Salem, OR, I don't think you qualify as "biglaw."


Well not any, I think it gets grey at a certain point. Though I probably err towards saying that even smaller markets would still count that other people might say are too small (e.g. Portland/Sacramento/etc).




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