NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

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TaipeiMort
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NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:02 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magaz ... odayspaper

tldr; Capitalism has led to market efficiencies. The most efficient model for legal employment is the lottery system, which can be analogized to other lottery systems found in Hollywood and (Big) drug dealing.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:23 pm

The "lottery system" pattern this guy claims to have identified doesn't fit the legal profession very well.

The pattern : people will work x years for very little money, for a small chance of "winning the lottery" and making a lot of money.

The pattern doesn't fit law school students - they're not making any money, they're losing a lot of it.

Even ignoring that issue, it doesn't fit students at the elite schools - they have a high chance of "winning the lottery" and landing big law. It doesn't fit students at the TTT and TTTT schools, since they have no chance of landing big law. So, at best, it fits lower T1 and perhaps T2 students. But again, it is more money that is gambled by these students than time (spending 3 years in law school isn't that bad a deal for most people - ending up $200k in debt is).

The pattern doesn't fit junior associates in big law - $160k is hardly a little. The pattern doesn't fit junior associates in shit law - making shit law partner is hardly "winning the lottery." Does it fit first year associates in mid law? Perhaps, but mid law barely exists.

TL; DR version: this is a bad analogy.

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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:09 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:The "lottery system" pattern this guy claims to have identified doesn't fit the legal profession very well.

The pattern : people will work x years for very little money, for a small chance of "winning the lottery" and making a lot of money.

The pattern doesn't fit law school students - they're not making any money, they're losing a lot of it.

Even ignoring that issue, it doesn't fit students at the elite schools - they have a high chance of "winning the lottery" and landing big law. It doesn't fit students at the TTT and TTTT schools, since they have no chance of landing big law. So, at best, it fits lower T1 and perhaps T2 students. But again, it is more money that is gambled by these students than time (spending 3 years in law school isn't that bad a deal for most people - ending up $200k in debt is).

The pattern doesn't fit junior associates in big law - $160k is hardly a little. The pattern doesn't fit junior associates in shit law - making shit law partner is hardly "winning the lottery." Does it fit first year associates in mid law? Perhaps, but mid law barely exists.

TL; DR version: this is a bad analogy.


I think it is a pretty good analogy at deals (M&A, capital markets), big law lit, and Big lit firms (Quinn, Boies). Very high-risk-high-reward, bad odds. I think it is not as good an analogy at business and boutique firms, where it is less of a lottery system and more of a real meritocracy.

t14fanboy
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby t14fanboy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:20 pm

I was expected something interesting. Such a let down.

bball1997
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby bball1997 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:48 pm

t14fanboy wrote:I was expected something interesting. Such a let down.


agreed

dallaslonghorn
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby dallaslonghorn » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:54 am

Saw this article awhile back. Similar idea but uses the NFL Draft as the analogy instead:

http://www.policymic.com/article/show/id/920/op/no

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bk1
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby bk1 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:06 am

Can you read?

He actually specifically does not analogize biglaw to drug dealing. He analogizes law firms in general to drug dealing, but he carves out an exception to the lottery analogy for Wall Street (and biglaw is similar to Wall Street in his example). In what world is biglaw "low-paying drudgery"?

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buckilaw
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby buckilaw » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:43 am

bk1 wrote:Can you read?

He actually specifically does not analogize biglaw to drug dealing. He analogizes law firms in general to drug dealing, but he carves out an exception to the lottery analogy for Wall Street (and biglaw is similar to Wall Street in his example). In what world is biglaw "low-paying drudgery"?


DLA

rad lulz
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby rad lulz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:13 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:05 am

Sorry clicked on anonymous by mistake. automatic reflex... lol

IMO law is actually pretty similar to med and those wall street jobs mentioned in the article. There is a high barrier to entry. The difference is when the barriers come into play. For medicine, the barriers come before med school.
In law, it is the opposite. Everyone can go to law school. However, not everyone can get a biglaw job. So law weeds you out after you spend 3 years of law school. Medical school weeds you out after undergrad.

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Re: NY Times Article analogizes Big Law to Drug Dealing

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:56 pm

Yeah, the lottery aspects would really only apply if entry levels were paid 60K for a 10% chance of being bumped up to 200K midlevel after three years. Even 60K is nothing to sneeze at (obviously not with 150K in debt, but compared to most 25 year olds it's pretty good).

However, I've often thought biglaw firms operated more like the mob in that there are a lot of associates and staff who are pretty easily replaceable and then a smaller group of "made" partners who are bound together in one family but all have their own practices/specialties.




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