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Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:41 pm
by PwnLaw
Anonymous User wrote:What's your perception of leaving / being pushed out?


In terms of what? What it was like for people? What it was like to look at it happen to friends? How I think firms view people that were pushed out?

My personal perception is that it generally sucks for the person in the short-term but often helps them move on the a better stage in their life. The months leading up to getting pushed out are pretty miserable for people. They see their hours dropping, but there's nothing they can really do to change it. The tenor of their interactions with their colleagues changes substantially (as they whisper about the lower hours that person has had or even resent the person for working less but getting paid the same).

Eventually the person has the talk, there's an awkward period of a month or two while they look for something else and then life moves on. It's rare to ever hear from that person again unless you had a very strong relationship prior to their exit.

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:43 pm
by Transferthrowaway
What's a "skyrim"?

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:47 pm
by PwnLaw
c3pO4 wrote:Do you miss having multiple clients? Would you go back to biglaw?


I liked having a lot of clients, but in my current role I still spend a lot of time interacting with my friends/clients. Just from a business development angle. I sit on a few boards of advisers so I get some exposure through that as well.

Sure, I'd go back under certain circumstances. If I decided I really wanted stability or really needed to higher income. I could also go if the start-up scene turns a bit sour and there aren't any small companies I find particularly compelling.

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:49 pm
by PwnLaw
Transferthrowaway wrote:What's a "skyrim"?


Lol. The 5th installment in the Elder Scrolls video game series. RPG. Crushing it on metacritic right now. I just picked up a new rig so I'm pretty excited to give it a whirl.

I'm sure it'll also get you something entirely different in certain institutions that peddle in more scandalous wares.

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:18 pm
by agentzer0
obviously the risk profile is hugely different, but do you think going the start-up route will be + or - earnings EV for your career?

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:29 pm
by SkyRiver
First of all, thanks so much for the thread! I want to echo what a previous poster said about wanting to have your life :P

Now that you've made it as a start-up exec, do you have any suggestions for a current 2L (going to school on the East Coast)? Based on your previous responses, I can certainly start acquainting myself with trade publications and the like. What else would you recommend?

Also, I will be working as a biglaw SA in SF this summer, most likely doing IP lit. and transactional work. Is there any advice you would give to a SA in the Bay Area who wants to hit the ground running in terms of networking?

Lastly, do you mind describing a typical day-at-work at your startup? Are you basically acting as general counsel, or perhaps a mix of several roles? To what extent are you using "legal" skills? Which skills are you using, or forced to learn, that aren't normally developed in law school / big law?

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:05 pm
by Veyron
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Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:02 pm
by PwnLaw
agentzer0 wrote:obviously the risk profile is hugely different, but do you think going the start-up route will be + or - earnings EV for your career?


Hard to say. I think I could have made quite a bit in law given the trajectory of my book of business. I'd say there is a 30% chance I out-earn what I could have made in law. 10% chance I decimate my potential earnings.

I have equity in a few different start-ups, so if any of them hit, it could be pretty awesome. Speculative.

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:14 pm
by PwnLaw
SkyRiver wrote:First of all, thanks so much for the thread! I want to echo what a previous poster said about wanting to have your life :P

Now that you've made it as a start-up exec, do you have any suggestions for a current 2L (going to school on the East Coast)? Based on your previous responses, I can certainly start acquainting myself with trade publications and the like. What else would you recommend?

Also, I will be working as a biglaw SA in SF this summer, most likely doing IP lit. and transactional work. Is there any advice you would give to a SA in the Bay Area who wants to hit the ground running in terms of networking?

Lastly, do you mind describing a typical day-at-work at your startup? Are you basically acting as general counsel, or perhaps a mix of several roles? To what extent are you using "legal" skills? Which skills are you using, or forced to learn, that aren't normally developed in law school / big law?


Haven't "made it" yet, but I will say I'm pretty happy with how things are going. :D

What's your goal? If your objective is to be a BigLaw associate then my advice is probably different than if you're looking to transition quickly to a start-up.

You can probably track me down with a few basic searches. Happy to meet up when you make it out to SF. Otherwise, I'd suggest targeting industry related events that don't cater to lawyers. For games, it'd be things like GDC, Social Games Summit, the GAME Meetup, and events put on by YetiZen. Always go where the lawyers aren't (at least for this type of law, things like antitrust are done differently).

I have a mix of different roles. I handle Business Development, Legal, Operations and Public Relations. I'm basically the business guy on a team of engineers. My days are generally a mix of meetings, negotiations, dotting i's and crossing t's and playing some video games with the team.

I use my legal skills very often. It is particularly relevant in negotiations where I want to shape the business terms to maximize financial upside while minimizing risk exposure. I also take a look at all contracts before they're signed and manage outside counsel.

Law school teaches you very little about the practice of law. Just a fact of life. Skills that I found important that weren't particularly emphasized in law school: being able to come to a definitive answer (client's don't want you to get to maybe), networking, ability to work within a value system (don't spend 30k on a 5k deal), and, perhaps most importantly, being able to distill complex legal and statutory frameworks into very simple suggestions (Privacy: Don't send their stuff to other people. But if you have to, tell them about it.)

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:37 pm
by PwnLaw
Anything else? If not, I'll probably disappear for another 6 months. :D

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:41 pm
by c3pO4
PwnLaw wrote:Anything else? If not, I'll probably disappear for another 6 months. :D


Would you be open to a lunch or beers with startup-interested TLS SA's in SF/SV this summer?

Re: Was BigLaw Associate, Now Start-Up Exec. Answering Questions

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:38 am
by PwnLaw
c3pO4 wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:Anything else? If not, I'll probably disappear for another 6 months. :D


Would you be open to a lunch or beers with startup-interested TLS SA's in SF/SV this summer?


Sure, so long as it's not painfully awkward. I set low bars.