Associate vs. Of Counsel vs. Staff Attorney

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augusta1985
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:15 pm

Associate vs. Of Counsel vs. Staff Attorney

Postby augusta1985 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:08 pm

What exactly does "of counsel" mean? Same for "staff attorney." I'm assuming that staff attorneys are precluded from becoming partners and are hired on a project-by-project basis. Also, is it easier to get hired as a "staff attorney" at a biglaw firm?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Associate vs. Of Counsel vs. Staff Attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:22 pm

From what I understand, "of counsel" just means someone who couldn't make partner but they wanted to keep around because he/she does good work.

Staff attorney's are people who are just really good at doc review.

abc12345675
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:27 am

Re: Associate vs. Of Counsel vs. Staff Attorney

Postby abc12345675 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:From what I understand, "of counsel" just means someone who couldn't make partner but they wanted to keep around because he/she does good work.

Staff attorney's are people who are just really good at doc review.


I've seen people come in laterally, be named of counsel, and then get promoted to partner. So I think in some cases it's just an in between step from associate to partner.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Associate vs. Of Counsel vs. Staff Attorney

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:25 pm

Of counsel varies widely. Wikipedia has a pretty good page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_counsel ... efinitions

It could describe someone of relatively high influence (retired partner, respected lawyer with a part-time commitment) or lower influence (a permanent associate-plus or a stepping stone to partner status). But either way they're high in the pecking order.

Staff attorneys do low-level work like document review that might otherwise get contracted out, aren't on partner track, and are paid less than associates.




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