BigLaw Question

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1coolnerd
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:20 pm

BigLaw Question

Postby 1coolnerd » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:27 pm

How long do biglaw first-year associates stay at biglaw?

Are firings frequent? And is it true that you're either up or out?

anongoodnurse
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: BigLaw Question

Postby anongoodnurse » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:24 pm

I've answered this before, but the long and short is:

Years 0-2: You're usually OK unless you are a massive underperformer. Most firms give you this much time to try to figure stuff out. Maybe 10% max of the class is gone.

Year 3: This is typically the first bloodletting. This is when people who obviously aren't going to hack it based on the first two years are let go. A lot more get the soft talk ("we're not saying that your job is in jeopardy, but you might be happier elsewhere") and are gone within the next year or two. Maybe 40% total of the class is gone be the end of this year.

Years 4-5: This is kind of a lull, because the obviously incompetent people were fired already, but it's too early to start firing the non-partner prospects. Some people do leave through the normal attrition (government for litigators, and in house for corporate), but it's a slower trickle and more or less voluntary. Maybe 65% of the class is gone by the end of the fifth year.

Year 6: And the bloodletting picks up. A lot of firms consider it bad form to fire people just before or after they are up for partner and firms hate passing over a ton of people for partner, so unless you look likely to make partner or your skills are such that the firm wants to keep you around on an "of counsel" basis (and how willing they are to do this varies on a case-by-case basis), your job is in jeopardy. Maybe 80% of the class is gone be this point.

Year 7: Now it's mostly a question of weeding out the previously-marginal partner candidates who fall out on the "no" side. Maybe 85% or even 90% of the class will be gone.

Year 8-9: Partnership vote! Between 33% and 67% of those up for it will make it -- my experience is that it is north of 50% at most shops. Of the ones who are denied the first year (say maybe 5% of the entering class), maybe half will stick around for a second bite, and half will go elsewhere. Of the former, probably about half of those will get it, with most of the remainder gone within six months. A couple might stick around as a permanent "of counsel," but that's pretty rare by then.

1coolnerd
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: BigLaw Question

Postby 1coolnerd » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:10 pm

Thanks for the response.

Also, does your salary increase each year you're there?

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moandersen
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:31 pm

Re: BigLaw Question

Postby moandersen » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:17 pm

1coolnerd wrote:Thanks for the response.

Also, does your salary increase each year you're there?


http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170600

just an assumption based off your questions....

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DCDuck
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:27 pm

Re: BigLaw Question

Postby DCDuck » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:18 pm

Yes, as do bonuses, usually.




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