What does "biglaw" mean to you?

(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.
User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:43 pm

I think the criteria are: size and range of practice areas. "Big law" means big and full service. I think within "big law" you have have regional big law, which might be big (for the region), but still offering a full range of services.

I think outside of big law, you've got a "mid law" versus "boutique" distinction based on geographic reach and type of work. Boutiques work on similar work as big law firms, and might work opposite them, while mid law tends to work on different type of work (say labor, or routine commercial lit). I think RPL and salaries are a reasonable proxy for this: boutiques have RPL comparable to big law firms (say $500k+) while mid law firms have much lower RPL.

As a practical matter the "big law" versus "boutique" distinction is about specialization. Are you willing to specialize in IP, tax, or whatever? Or do you want to go into your summer and see what's out there? The "big law" versus "mid law" distinction is one of salary/workload.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:44 pm

keg411 wrote:My own "arbitrary line drawing" was pretty freakin' accurate based on Helm's chart.
Difference between Seattle and Miami is close to 1k and SV is nowhere to be found (unless they included it with SF :D).


Eureka, dumb conjecture list matches dumb chart.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Median legal salary for Miami doesn't go as far as in Seattle. Also Palo Alto is not only separate from SF, but also from Menlo Park here.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby keg411 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:01 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
keg411 wrote:My own "arbitrary line drawing" was pretty freakin' accurate based on Helm's chart.
Difference between Seattle and Miami is close to 1k and SV is nowhere to be found (unless they included it with SF :D).


Eureka, dumb conjecture list matches dumb chart.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Median legal salary for Miami doesn't go as far as in Seattle. Also Palo Alto is not only separate from SF, but also from Menlo Park here.


If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:06 pm

keg411 wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
keg411 wrote:My own "arbitrary line drawing" was pretty freakin' accurate based on Helm's chart.
Difference between Seattle and Miami is close to 1k and SV is nowhere to be found (unless they included it with SF :D).


Eureka, dumb conjecture list matches dumb chart.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Median legal salary for Miami doesn't go as far as in Seattle. Also Palo Alto is not only separate from SF, but also from Menlo Park here.


If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.

inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:09 pm

keg411 wrote:
If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.


NYC is TTT. Longer hours but same pay as cheaper cities - only bonus is preftige points. Less hours, more change in pocket >>>> z'omg V10!!!

Sincerely,

Boston troll

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:11 pm

IAFG wrote:inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


It's funny how differently law students at top schools think from a normal person. Anyone else would see that list and think "I'm trying to get a firm job in Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta and live like a king". Law students at top schools think "I want the prestige of a Vault 10 in NYC where my salary will buy me less and I'll live OK!!!" :lol:

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:16 pm

keg411 wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
keg411 wrote:My own "arbitrary line drawing" was pretty freakin' accurate based on Helm's chart.
Difference between Seattle and Miami is close to 1k and SV is nowhere to be found (unless they included it with SF :D).


Eureka, dumb conjecture list matches dumb chart.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Median legal salary for Miami doesn't go as far as in Seattle. Also Palo Alto is not only separate from SF, but also from Menlo Park here.


If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.


On this, we can agree. 8)

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby keg411 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:23 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
keg411 wrote:
If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.


NYC is TTT. Longer hours but same pay as cheaper cities - only bonus is preftige points. Less hours, more change in pocket >>>> z'omg V10!!!

Sincerely,

Boston troll


I actually wasn't anti-NYC trolling since I <3 it and will be in BigLaw there this summer.

My main point was that the NALP "buying power" chart has absolutely zero to do with whether something qualifies as National vs. Regional BigLaw. Or whether SF/SV/Menlo Park are one market or multiple markets.

I partially agree with Rayiner that the full-service aspect has something to do with it, but then that pushes Quinn/Boies/Kasowitz/PBWT and even Wachtell out of the "BigLaw" sphere, which I'm not quite willing to do.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:24 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
IAFG wrote:inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


It's funny how differently law students at top schools think from a normal person. Anyone else would see that list and think "I'm trying to get a firm job in Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta and live like a king". Law students at top schools think "I want the prestige of a Vault 10 in NYC where my salary will buy me less and I'll live OK!!!" :lol:


Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:26 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.

Having a desire to live in NYC is just perverse. Like a nipple clamp fetish.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:33 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
IAFG wrote:inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


It's funny how differently law students at top schools think from a normal person. Anyone else would see that list and think "I'm trying to get a firm job in Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta and live like a king". Law students at top schools think "I want the prestige of a Vault 10 in NYC where my salary will buy me less and I'll live OK!!!" :lol:


Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.


Idk about Georgia but I've seen enough House Hunters to know living Texas is awesome.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:38 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
IAFG wrote:inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


It's funny how differently law students at top schools think from a normal person. Anyone else would see that list and think "I'm trying to get a firm job in Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta and live like a king". Law students at top schools think "I want the prestige of a Vault 10 in NYC where my salary will buy me less and I'll live OK!!!" :lol:


Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.


Idk about Georgia but I've seen enough House Hunters to know living Texas is awesome.


I have spent enough actual time in Texas to know it's not.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby paratactical » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:48 pm

IAFG wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.

Having a desire to live in NYC is just perverse. Like a nipple clamp fetish.

What's wrong with liking nipple clamps?

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:55 pm

IAFG wrote:
keg411 wrote:
c3pO4 wrote:
Eureka, dumb conjecture list matches dumb chart.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

Median legal salary for Miami doesn't go as far as in Seattle. Also Palo Alto is not only separate from SF, but also from Menlo Park here.


If "buying power index" had anything to do with whether or not something is BigLaw, NYC wouldn't be on the list :lol:.

inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


Nah, Chicago is undoubtedly the best market for big law. $160k lets you live an awesome lifestyle in the city, and you're in a real, dense, liberal urban area with tons of people. Who wants to live in the middle of the desert with a bunch of conservatives?*

*) I'm somewhat conservative, but I'd rather not be surrounded by them TYVM.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Curious1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:59 pm

I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:00 pm

rayiner wrote:Nah, Chicago is undoubtedly the best market for big law.


For QOL, I agree. Unfortunately, the Chicago legal market leaves a lot to be desired.....

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:01 pm

Curious1 wrote:I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.


Is "LA culture" being used here as a plus or minus?

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Curious1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:02 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Curious1 wrote:I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.


Is "LA culture" being used here as a plus or minus?


There's so much of it that everyone can find something to their liking. Even nipple clamp fetishists.

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:02 pm

Curious1 wrote:I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.


LA is a festering hell-hole. Chicago is credited though.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Curious1 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:04 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Curious1 wrote:I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.


LA is a festering hell-hole. Chicago is credited though.


It's not advisable to live in LA if you work there, but the region is very nice.

lawschoolgrapedme
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:12 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby lawschoolgrapedme » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:09 pm

v10 or v20 max...anything else is just another firm

edit: with the exception of some boutiques that would be worth working at, but I consider those in a class of their own (not that they are better or worse, just different)

lawschoolgrapedme
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:12 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby lawschoolgrapedme » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:13 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
IAFG wrote:inorite? if we were judging by how much of a baller your salary made you in your market, TX would be the only "real" biglaw.


It's funny how differently law students at top schools think from a normal person. Anyone else would see that list and think "I'm trying to get a firm job in Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta and live like a king". Law students at top schools think "I want the prestige of a Vault 10 in NYC where my salary will buy me less and I'll live OK!!!" :lol:


Having a desire to live in Texas or Georgia is not normal.


Your right. If only we could all smell our own farts like they do in grand ole SF. Sadly, some of us will never be on that level.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby paratactical » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:16 pm

lawschoolgrapedme wrote:
Your right. If only we could all smell our own farts like they do in grand ole SF. Sadly, some of us will never be on that level.


I'd be satisfied with people who know the difference between your/you're.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273405
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:24 pm

Curious1 wrote:I think LA/west coast in general is being neglected a bit here. There are nice-ish areas downtown now, and lots of firms are in West L.A., which is super nice and not too expensive (you can work in West Hollywood and live in Westwood).

I know a bunch of associates (at Gibson Dunn) who are doing this and they tell me rent is not bad at all. And of course there's the weather and the culture and such.


working in century city and living in Westwood or Malibu isn't a bad choice, esp. given market is $160k but according to the buying power chart, $100k in LA= $160k in NYC. You obviously have to have specific tastes to enjoy the area, but for someone a little older or married, who hates snow, it's a great area.

User avatar
Blindmelon
Posts: 1708
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: What does "biglaw" mean to you?

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 pm

.
Last edited by Blindmelon on Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.