Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The point many have made that unpredictability of workload is far worse than the aggregate hours is well taken.

Which areas of practice are typically the most predictable from time standpoint? Or are they all just about the same?


Corporate work is generally thought of as more unpredictable. When your client wants a deal done, you better drop every fucking thing in your schedule and do it or you won't have a job.

Litigation lives my court schedules which are at least someone planned out in advance and somewhat predictable. But if the client wants to settle or mediate or file 45 lawsuits tomorrow in different states, you're fucked just as bad as the M&A dudes.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Curious1 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:22 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The point many have made that unpredictability of workload is far worse than the aggregate hours is well taken.

Which areas of practice are typically the most predictable from time standpoint? Or are they all just about the same?


Corporate work is generally thought of as more unpredictable. When your client wants a deal done, you better drop every fucking thing in your schedule and do it or you won't have a job.

Litigation lives my court schedules which are at least someone planned out in advance and somewhat predictable. But if the client wants to settle or mediate or file 45 lawsuits tomorrow in different states, you're fucked just as bad as the M&A dudes.


Tagged for reference.

Thanks for the insights.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:45 pm

So. I was at a V20 firm (non-NYC headquarters, think Latham or Sidley or Wilmer) for 5 years. Setting aside a slow first year, my billables ranged from 2000 to 2500. I since relocated to a secondary market for family reasons, and quickly made my way to the government. (Outside of the major markets, the private sector work SUCKS -- government pays crap, but you get to do really fun stuff for 45 hours a week).

Here's what a 2500 year looks like for a litigator:

Non-busy day: Get in at 9:00. Leave the office at 7:00. Lots of down time. Maybe bill 7 hours.

Busy day: Get in at 9:30 (because you were working late the night before). Leave at 11:00 PM. Bill most of that time, probably 12 hours. Busy days tend to come in clumps, maybe two weeks worth at a time, usually around trial (yes, I went. A lot a few years.) or major briefing. This happens every three months or so.

Weekends: Typically half a weekend day (3-4 hours) every weekend to catch up on emails, admin stuff, etc. Once a month, a full day for substantive work. Every three months, a bad stretch where you'll be lucky to get a full day off over a three week period.

Trial: Sometimes you have none in a year, sometimes three (my record). Starting a month before trial, you are in "busy" mode. Starting a week before, you are in "hell" mode. From a day before until closing, you are working 18 hour days. At least. I had stretches where I worked maybe 65 hours over a three day (72 hour) period. I'm sure I was incoherent by the end. Luckily I wasn't closing. (Which I've done on several occasions since. Much easier when you've slept 7 hours and can think straight.)

Travel: Maybe once a month for a one-off dep. Every three months a dep trip where you're gone for 3-4 days. Those suck, because the deps typically last until 4:00 or so, but then you have another 5-6 hours of work (handling other cases, then prepping for the next dep).

This probably doesn't seem so bad. 70% of the time, you are working 10 hours a day in a low stress environment making obscene amounts of money. 20% of the time, you're uncomfortably busy. 10% of the time you're traveling, which is kind of fun. It's a bit deceiving. A job where you are working 55 hours a week during good times, 70 hours a week for two weeks every few months during moderately busy times, and 100 hours a week two or three times a year when it gets really bad, kind of sucks. I'll just put it this way: After maybe 18 months of this (when I was a third and fourth year), my spouse was about to leave me. It really does start to wear, even despite the fact that the work is usually pretty interesting. (Though not compared to a government. I'll just put it this way -- the motion I filed a few hours ago included Eleventh Amendment defenses, Twombly/Iqbal defenses, and run-of-the-mill Article III standing issues.)

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sunynp
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby sunynp » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't get the "work with no sleep" part. Who would want to rely on that work product?

It is your job to make sure it is right. Everyone relies on that work product. The deadlines are there because of market or other timing concerns (like tax -year end is terrible). You don't get to choose to do it later after you've slept. The client wants it done ASAP. But at big firms if you need help you can sometimes get it, at least for the easy stuff.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Curious1 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So. I was at a V20 firm (non-NYC headquarters, think Latham or Sidley or Wilmer) for 5 years. Setting aside a slow first year, my billables ranged from 2000 to 2500. I since relocated to a secondary market for family reasons, and quickly made my way to the government. (Outside of the major markets, the private sector work SUCKS -- government pays crap, but you get to do really fun stuff for 45 hours a week).

Here's what a 2500 year looks like for a litigator:

Non-busy day: Get in at 9:00. Leave the office at 7:00. Lots of down time. Maybe bill 7 hours.

Busy day: Get in at 9:30 (because you were working late the night before). Leave at 11:00 PM. Bill most of that time, probably 12 hours. Busy days tend to come in clumps, maybe two weeks worth at a time, usually around trial (yes, I went. A lot a few years.) or major briefing. This happens every three months or so.

Weekends: Typically half a weekend day (3-4 hours) every weekend to catch up on emails, admin stuff, etc. Once a month, a full day for substantive work. Every three months, a bad stretch where you'll be lucky to get a full day off over a three week period.

Trial: Sometimes you have none in a year, sometimes three (my record). Starting a month before trial, you are in "busy" mode. Starting a week before, you are in "hell" mode. From a day before until closing, you are working 18 hour days. At least. I had stretches where I worked maybe 65 hours over a three day (72 hour) period. I'm sure I was incoherent by the end. Luckily I wasn't closing. (Which I've done on several occasions since. Much easier when you've slept 7 hours and can think straight.)

Travel: Maybe once a month for a one-off dep. Every three months a dep trip where you're gone for 3-4 days. Those suck, because the deps typically last until 4:00 or so, but then you have another 5-6 hours of work (handling other cases, then prepping for the next dep).

This probably doesn't seem so bad. 70% of the time, you are working 10 hours a day in a low stress environment making obscene amounts of money. 20% of the time, you're uncomfortably busy. 10% of the time you're traveling, which is kind of fun. It's a bit deceiving. A job where you are working 55 hours a week during good times, 70 hours a week for two weeks every few months during moderately busy times, and 100 hours a week two or three times a year when it gets really bad, kind of sucks. I'll just put it this way: After maybe 18 months of this (when I was a third and fourth year), my spouse was about to leave me. It really does start to wear, even despite the fact that the work is usually pretty interesting. (Though not compared to a government. I'll just put it this way -- the motion I filed a few hours ago included Eleventh Amendment defenses, Twombly/Iqbal defenses, and run-of-the-mill Article III standing issues.)


This is incredibly helpful, thank you so much. It seems like the work was pretty much the same (amount and intensity) over the 5 year period--does that sound about right? You didn't work gradually more or gradually less as you went on.

Does anyone have a similar account for corp work?

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Weekends: Typically half a weekend day (3-4 hours) every weekend to catch up on emails, admin stuff, etc. Once a month, a full day for substantive work. Every three months, a bad stretch where you'll be lucky to get a full day off over a three week period.

Thanks for a great post. These couple of hours of weekend work, must they be spent at work? I'd imagine that depends on the firm, but I can live with working in my pajamas on Sat and Sun mornings.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:23 am

It seems like the work was pretty much the same (amount and intensity) over the 5 year period--does that sound about right?


(Litigator from above.)

For me, it took a year or two before I was really in the swing of it -- which makes sense, given that this is about the time for cases to really get percolating. But at that point, it was really pretty standard within a reasonable MOE. I think my billables from year 2 on were roughly: 2050, 2500, 2150, 2250, on pace for 2400 when I quit. For litigators, the differences between 100 hour bands really are dictated by trials -- add 100 hours for each one in a given year, 200 hours for big ones.

I should note that the big drop between years 3 and 4 was largely intentional -- my spouse basically threatened to leave me, I went and told my bosses I couldn't do that again, they gave me an easy year, everything worked out OK. The last year would have been touch-and-go; I quit shortly after being the upteenth chair on a two month out-of-town trial. But I wouldn't trade any of it. I have more civil trial experience than most of my colleagues, and many of them are former DAs. (Who, by the way, can't write. But I digress.)

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby TXIPLitigator » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:46 am

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Last edited by TXIPLitigator on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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blurbz
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby blurbz » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:52 am

What are the differences in primary vs. secondary markets? Thinking like NYC and Chicago vs. St. Louis and Atlanta, for example.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:48 am

I consider primary markets to be V10 in NYC, and the tip-top firms in the next tier of cities. So W&C and WH in DC; Kirkland, Sidley and Mayer in Chicago; OMM, Latham and Gibson in LA; and Ropes in Boston. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.)

Then there are smaller firms -- mostly from California -- that have very high hiring standards (Irell, Munger, Q&E) but I don't interact with much. Ditto larger firms in Texas and the south, which I suspect are good but I don't have firsthand experience. Finally, there are national firms located outside the major cities (without naming names, they are located in the Midwest/Great Lakes region), which I have practiced against, but my mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say....

(Seriously, the difference in quality of attorneys from even the mid-tier NY or Chicago or LA firms and the top tier firms in Cleveland or Minneapolis or Denver is stunning. The latter markets are getting the really smart T6-plus-clerkship grads, so I have to think it is a training issue.)

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:56 am

There are plenty of relatively dumb people working in V10s in NYC compared with most of the other firms you listed in your "top tier." V5 is closer to being top tier, but even then you get the 6' 4'' alpha softball bros with 3.4s from UVA working in Skadden's M&A department.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:I consider primary markets to be V10 in NYC, and the tip-top firms in the next tier of cities. So W&C and WH in DC; Kirkland, Sidley and Mayer in Chicago; OMM, Latham and Gibson in LA; and Ropes in Boston. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.)

Then there are smaller firms -- mostly from California -- that have very high hiring standards (Irell, Munger, Q&E) but I don't interact with much. Ditto larger firms in Texas and the south, which I suspect are good but I don't have firsthand experience. Finally, there are national firms located outside the major cities (without naming names, they are located in the Midwest/Great Lakes region), which I have practiced against, but my mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say....

(Seriously, the difference in quality of attorneys from even the mid-tier NY or Chicago or LA firms and the top tier firms in Cleveland or Minneapolis or Denver is stunning. The latter markets are getting the really smart T6-plus-clerkship grads, so I have to think it is a training issue.)

That is not at ALL what "primary market" means. "Markets" are cities/regions.

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IAFG
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:40 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:There are plenty of relatively dumb people working in V10s in NYC compared with most of the other firms you listed in your "top tier." V5 is closer to being top tier, but even then you get the 6' 4'' alpha softball bros with 3.4s from UVA working in Skadden's M&A department.

:roll:

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby NinerFan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:So. I was at a V20 firm (non-NYC headquarters, think Latham or Sidley or Wilmer) for 5 years. Setting aside a slow first year, my billables ranged from 2000 to 2500. I since relocated to a secondary market for family reasons, and quickly made my way to the government. (Outside of the major markets, the private sector work SUCKS -- government pays crap, but you get to do really fun stuff for 45 hours a week).


I'm curious to know more about your secondary market experience. I worked in a non-major market firm over the summer and the work they did didn't seem to bad. Hours seemed reasonable if a trial wasn't imminent. 1st and 2nd year associates had their own cases (relatively minor ones, but hey, experience is experience). Corporate deals were in the millions or tens of millions generally instead of hundreds of millions or billions, but the issues still were pretty interesting.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby thelawyler » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:35 am

Interested in possibly doing litigation so that was very helpful.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby redbullvodka » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:So. I was at a V20 firm (non-NYC headquarters, think Latham or Sidley or Wilmer) for 5 years. Setting aside a slow first year, my billables ranged from 2000 to 2500. I since relocated to a secondary market for family reasons, and quickly made my way to the government. (Outside of the major markets, the private sector work SUCKS -- government pays crap, but you get to do really fun stuff for 45 hours a week).

Here's what a 2500 year looks like for a litigator:

Non-busy day: Get in at 9:00. Leave the office at 7:00. Lots of down time. Maybe bill 7 hours.

Busy day: Get in at 9:30 (because you were working late the night before). Leave at 11:00 PM. Bill most of that time, probably 12 hours. Busy days tend to come in clumps, maybe two weeks worth at a time, usually around trial (yes, I went. A lot a few years.) or major briefing. This happens every three months or so.

Weekends: Typically half a weekend day (3-4 hours) every weekend to catch up on emails, admin stuff, etc. Once a month, a full day for substantive work. Every three months, a bad stretch where you'll be lucky to get a full day off over a three week period.

Trial: Sometimes you have none in a year, sometimes three (my record). Starting a month before trial, you are in "busy" mode. Starting a week before, you are in "hell" mode. From a day before until closing, you are working 18 hour days. At least. I had stretches where I worked maybe 65 hours over a three day (72 hour) period. I'm sure I was incoherent by the end. Luckily I wasn't closing. (Which I've done on several occasions since. Much easier when you've slept 7 hours and can think straight.)

Travel: Maybe once a month for a one-off dep. Every three months a dep trip where you're gone for 3-4 days. Those suck, because the deps typically last until 4:00 or so, but then you have another 5-6 hours of work (handling other cases, then prepping for the next dep).

This probably doesn't seem so bad. 70% of the time, you are working 10 hours a day in a low stress environment making obscene amounts of money. 20% of the time, you're uncomfortably busy. 10% of the time you're traveling, which is kind of fun. It's a bit deceiving. A job where you are working 55 hours a week during good times, 70 hours a week for two weeks every few months during moderately busy times, and 100 hours a week two or three times a year when it gets really bad, kind of sucks. I'll just put it this way: After maybe 18 months of this (when I was a third and fourth year), my spouse was about to leave me. It really does start to wear, even despite the fact that the work is usually pretty interesting. (Though not compared to a government. I'll just put it this way -- the motion I filed a few hours ago included Eleventh Amendment defenses, Twombly/Iqbal defenses, and run-of-the-mill Article III standing issues.)


Forgive me for being ignorant, but I'm struggling to find the rub here. Sounds like 70% of the year, you get paid too much for what you actually do, and have to make it up the other 30% of the time. Does the above describe a typical biglaw experience? If so, the whining from the few in biglaw on this board seems even more unwarranted than before.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:40 am

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I consider primary markets to be V10 in NYC, and the tip-top firms in the next tier of cities. So W&C and WH in DC; Kirkland, Sidley and Mayer in Chicago; OMM, Latham and Gibson in LA; and Ropes in Boston. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.)

Then there are smaller firms -- mostly from California -- that have very high hiring standards (Irell, Munger, Q&E) but I don't interact with much. Ditto larger firms in Texas and the south, which I suspect are good but I don't have firsthand experience. Finally, there are national firms located outside the major cities (without naming names, they are located in the Midwest/Great Lakes region), which I have practiced against, but my mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say....

(Seriously, the difference in quality of attorneys from even the mid-tier NY or Chicago or LA firms and the top tier firms in Cleveland or Minneapolis or Denver is stunning. The latter markets are getting the really smart T6-plus-clerkship grads, so I have to think it is a training issue.)

That is not at ALL what "primary market" means. "Markets" are cities/regions.


Are you saying that Jones Day and Kirkland people from the midwest are not up to snuff? (not being snarky just trying to clarify)

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:So. I was at a V20 firm (non-NYC headquarters, think Latham or Sidley or Wilmer) for 5 years. Setting aside a slow first year, my billables ranged from 2000 to 2500. I since relocated to a secondary market for family reasons, and quickly made my way to the government. (Outside of the major markets, the private sector work SUCKS -- government pays crap, but you get to do really fun stuff for 45 hours a week).

Here's what a 2500 year looks like for a litigator:

Non-busy day: Get in at 9:00. Leave the office at 7:00. Lots of down time. Maybe bill 7 hours.

Busy day: Get in at 9:30 (because you were working late the night before). Leave at 11:00 PM. Bill most of that time, probably 12 hours. Busy days tend to come in clumps, maybe two weeks worth at a time, usually around trial (yes, I went. A lot a few years.) or major briefing. This happens every three months or so.

Weekends: Typically half a weekend day (3-4 hours) every weekend to catch up on emails, admin stuff, etc. Once a month, a full day for substantive work. Every three months, a bad stretch where you'll be lucky to get a full day off over a three week period.

Trial: Sometimes you have none in a year, sometimes three (my record). Starting a month before trial, you are in "busy" mode. Starting a week before, you are in "hell" mode. From a day before until closing, you are working 18 hour days. At least. I had stretches where I worked maybe 65 hours over a three day (72 hour) period. I'm sure I was incoherent by the end. Luckily I wasn't closing. (Which I've done on several occasions since. Much easier when you've slept 7 hours and can think straight.)

Travel: Maybe once a month for a one-off dep. Every three months a dep trip where you're gone for 3-4 days. Those suck, because the deps typically last until 4:00 or so, but then you have another 5-6 hours of work (handling other cases, then prepping for the next dep).

This probably doesn't seem so bad. 70% of the time, you are working 10 hours a day in a low stress environment making obscene amounts of money. 20% of the time, you're uncomfortably busy. 10% of the time you're traveling, which is kind of fun. It's a bit deceiving. A job where you are working 55 hours a week during good times, 70 hours a week for two weeks every few months during moderately busy times, and 100 hours a week two or three times a year when it gets really bad, kind of sucks. I'll just put it this way: After maybe 18 months of this (when I was a third and fourth year), my spouse was about to leave me. It really does start to wear, even despite the fact that the work is usually pretty interesting. (Though not compared to a government. I'll just put it this way -- the motion I filed a few hours ago included Eleventh Amendment defenses, Twombly/Iqbal defenses, and run-of-the-mill Article III standing issues.)


I just got excited about Big Law again. Thanks for this.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I consider primary markets to be V10 in NYC, and the tip-top firms in the next tier of cities. So W&C and WH in DC; Kirkland, Sidley and Mayer in Chicago; OMM, Latham and Gibson in LA; and Ropes in Boston. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.)

Then there are smaller firms -- mostly from California -- that have very high hiring standards (Irell, Munger, Q&E) but I don't interact with much. Ditto larger firms in Texas and the south, which I suspect are good but I don't have firsthand experience. Finally, there are national firms located outside the major cities (without naming names, they are located in the Midwest/Great Lakes region), which I have practiced against, but my mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say....

(Seriously, the difference in quality of attorneys from even the mid-tier NY or Chicago or LA firms and the top tier firms in Cleveland or Minneapolis or Denver is stunning. The latter markets are getting the really smart T6-plus-clerkship grads, so I have to think it is a training issue.)

That is not at ALL what "primary market" means. "Markets" are cities/regions.


Are you saying that Jones Day and Kirkland people from the midwest are not up to snuff? (not being snarky just trying to clarify)


Please, say the not-nice things. Seriously - as someone who goes to school 'outside the major cities', I want to know what the perceived difference is, in training, attitude, whatever.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Shooter » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:31 am

I love all the "70 hr week?? Oh, nbd." going on in this thread. Trust, anything over 50 (and even fifty itself, depending on the work you're doing) is no picnic.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby keg411 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:16 am

I'm doing to try and mostly do lit this summer, so thanks to both the litigators for your posts. :) It sounds absolutely insane and unsustainable as a work load overall, but the trial-related experience/writing experience as a junior sounds way better then I would've expected. I guess that's definitely where the "great training" tradeoff comes in.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:54 am

Shooter wrote:I love all the "70 hr week?? Oh, nbd." going on in this thread. Trust, anything over 50 (and even fifty itself, depending on the work you're doing) is no picnic.


^This. Especially if you are hitting 70%+ efficiency. It's draining. I bet if you took your average "study day" in law school, most people would be lucky to hit 50% efficiency.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby 2LsAPlenty » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:59 am

You really did not think you get paid an abnormally high salary for drinking coffee all day :) Of course it is a grind. Why do you think only 30% are left after 3 years. However, it can be done and somewhat be enjoyable if you have the right job, a good mentor and a good firm culture.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:20 am

(Litigator from above.)

That is not at ALL what "primary market" means. "Markets" are cities/regions.


I understand what "markets" mean. My point is that there are a lot more similarities -- in quality of work, pay, hours, etc. -- between the top firms in the big non-NYC cities and the V10 or V20 NYC firms than there are between those non-NYC firms and their smaller same city counterparts. In other words, an associate at Kirkland in Chicago is going to have a lifestyle a lot closer to an associate at S&C in NYC than she is an associate at SNR Denton.

If you are just looking at geographic locations, NYC is a "primary market" all alone. DC, LA, SF, Boston and Chicago are the "secondary" markets. Then you have a bunch of "tertiary" regional markets that have a firm or three that claim to be "national," but they're really not -- they mostly have NYC and DC offices to service their regional business.

I'm curious to know more about your secondary market experience


My experience was/is that the big cases were handled by out-of-town firms with a local firm signed on as local counsel. And you can definitely tell who handles what. That leaves the worse-quality work for the local firms. And going outside the handful of big regional firms, the trash rolls downhill, so at the next level, you're talking really unsophisticated, low dollar cases. (For those who don't know, the low dollar work sucks because you either have to half-ass it, or cut your hours.)
Are you saying that Jones Day and Kirkland people from the midwest are not up to snuff? (not being snarky just trying to clarify)


Absolutely not. I have worked with/against Kirkland attorneys. They are really excellent. I haven't worked with Jones Day, but I know several people there and I suspect they'd be really good too.

I'm not going to name names. Just that I've been consistently surprised by the mediocre quality of work at some of the "tertiary" regional firms described above -- and again, the attorneys have impressive backgrounds, so it's not a garbage-in problem.

Finally, to the person who suggested that biglaw is basically a situation where you are overpaid 70% of the time, but then you (try to) make it up the other 30%, that's probably a good description.

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Re: Are the Biglaw junior associate stories true?

Postby NinerFan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(Litigator from above.)


I'm curious to know more about your secondary market experience


My experience was/is that the big cases were handled by out-of-town firms with a local firm signed on as local counsel. And you can definitely tell who handles what. That leaves the worse-quality work for the local firms. And going outside the handful of big regional firms, the trash rolls downhill, so at the next level, you're talking really unsophisticated, low dollar cases. (For those who don't know, the low dollar work sucks because you either have to half-ass it, or cut your hours.)
Are you saying that Jones Day and Kirkland people from the midwest are not up to snuff? (not being snarky just trying to clarify)



Hm, but rates are significantly lower in those markets aren't they? The cases are smaller so there's less work involved, and the law firms charge less because their rates are lower to begin with. The partners at the firm I was at had rates, usually, less than 1st year NYC associate.

The impression I got was that each person juggled more cases, but that they required less manpower and some cases could be handled by just one or two attorneys from start to finish unless there was extensive discovery involved.




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