V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

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Anonymous User
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V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:50 am

I've conducted a lot of interviews for my firm.

I'll identify myself as "V10 anon" when answering questions.

Ask away.

Update: No longer anonymous. Torney12 is my username. Also, whether I was a "midlevel" was questionable when I made this thread, but nowadays, I'm firmly in the "senior" associate category.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

redbullvodka
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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby redbullvodka » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:52 am

From your perspective, has the legal market (hiring and demand for services) changed much from this time last year?

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:54 am

What's more important for exit options - name of the firm or strength of the practice area?

Regarding practice areas, do you think it's better to specialize early or to remain as general as possible? Does this depend on whether or not you think you can make partner?

Thanks!

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:00 am

redbullvodka wrote:From your perspective, has the legal market (hiring and demand for services) changed much from this time last year?
Changed for whom and by what measure? Your question is pretty broad but I'll give it a go.

For law students, hiring has increased from last year to this year (but is not likely to increase from this year to next year unless law firms start doing better -- first half of this year was not great).

For associates, lateral hiring has picked up significantly for those at top firms. Lower ranked firms are looking to hire top firms' associates. At this time last year, I received maybe 1 recruiter call a month. Nowadays, I get several recruiter calls and e-mails every single day. Top firms have not yet picked up their lateral hiring significantly, however, because they do not have confidence that the economy will remain at a level that will permit them to sustain additional associates. The result is that associates at top firms are leaving, but not being replaced. Those who are staying have more work and less fear of being laid off than we did at this time last year, but the demands being made on us are incredible.

For law firms, the first half of this year was fine but not great. They are watching and waiting. If this continues, associate heads will roll because partners are not going to take one for the team compensation-wise.

Ultimately, everyone lives day to day and is hesitant to make plans for the future.

rad lulz
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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby rad lulz » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:02 am

What is a midyear associate.

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:09 am

V10 anon here.

Anonymous User wrote:What's more important for exit options - name of the firm or strength of the practice area?
Both. But most important of all is what you have done. Exit options for a doc review/due diligence veteran are not as good as exit options for someone who has second-seated or conducted depositions/trials or run deals. Those hiring from firms are scrutinizing their hires a lot more closely than they used to. In a good economy, a good firm name is enough. In an okay economy, a good firm and strong practice are enough. In this economy, no one is looking at you unless you're from a good firm known for a strong practice in your area and you have done substantive, impressive work at that firm. They want you to hit the ground running and need as little hand-holding as possible.

Anonymous User wrote:Regarding practice areas, do you think it's better to specialize early or to remain as general as possible? Does this depend on whether or not you think you can make partner?

Thanks!
From years 1-4, do whatever will get you the most substantive experience. You want to be as independent as possible. If you are a corporate associate, you want to hit year 4/5 able to run small deals and take a major role w/ little supervision in larger deals. If you are in litigation, you want to hit year 4/5 able to draft dispositive briefs with little assistance, comfortable with taking depositions of smaller players in a case, and comfortable with second-seating at trial. Skills are transferrable; languishing in a practice area is not. In this economy, you need to get to the point at which you can be staffed on a case/matter and start adding value with little supervision and few questions asked. Now, if you can do all this while becoming a whiz in a highly relevant area of law, great. But don't zero in early on a small number of cases early on in your career if this comes at the cost of doing a lot of work or taking a substantive role in the work you do.

Revised: oh and specializing is overrated until you're 7+ years out. It will take you that long to master an area enough to be a true specialist.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:12 am

V10 anon.
rad lulz wrote:What is a midyear associate.
Traditionally, years 4-6. I fall in that traditional range. (In this economy though, there are so few midyears that a midyear is now whoever does midyear work, lol, and by year 6, you should be able to do senior work because the real senior associates have probably all been fired.).

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby rad lulz » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
rad lulz wrote:What is a midyear associate.
Traditionally, years 4-6. I fall in that traditional range. (In this economy though, there are so few midyears that a midyear is now whoever does midyear work, lol, and by year 6, you should be able to do senior work because the real senior associates have probably all been fired.).

Ah. You're the only person I've ever heard say "midyear" as opposed to "midlevel."

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby anon168 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:20 am

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
rad lulz wrote:What is a midyear associate.
Traditionally, years 4-6. I fall in that traditional range. (In this economy though, there are so few midyears that a midyear is now whoever does midyear work, lol, and by year 6, you should be able to do senior work because the real senior associates have probably all been fired.).

Ah. You're the only person I've ever heard say "midyear" as opposed to "midlevel."


I was flummoxed by that as well, seeing how we're already well into September.

redbullvodka
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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby redbullvodka » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:28 am

How have you enjoyed your years at your v10 thus far? Are you thinking of pushing for partner or leaving for another opportunity?

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:30 am

V10 anon.
rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
rad lulz wrote:What is a midyear associate.
Traditionally, years 4-6. I fall in that traditional range. (In this economy though, there are so few midyears that a midyear is now whoever does midyear work, lol, and by year 6, you should be able to do senior work because the real senior associates have probably all been fired.).

Ah. You're the only person I've ever heard say "midyear" as opposed to "midlevel."

Old fashioned term v. more current term. Use your common sense. I'm not here to quibble over word choice.

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Re: V10 Midyear Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:35 am

V10 anon.
redbullvodka wrote:How have you enjoyed your years at your v10 thus far? Are you thinking of pushing for partner or leaving for another opportunity?
If you mean enjoyed in the sense of singing on my way to work and being happy I've spent my late 20s/early 30s working 80+ hours most weeks and watching my peers being picked off one by one for reasons having little to do with merit, then I've not enjoyed this at all. I have, however, enjoyed getting really good at my job, feeling confident about the work I turn out, and being one of the last people in my class still standing. I might push for partner or leave for another opportunity. It all depends on what comes along, how the firm treats me, and what I value most at any given time (ex: money/prestige/visibility/work-life balance/control over my schedule). It is foolish to commit mentally or otherwise to any one path in this economy and in the legal profession as it is now.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:45 am

Considering you recommend thank yous in your other thread:

Have you ever gone from not recommending someone for a callback (or offer) to actually doing so because someone wrote a thank you?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:47 am

Can you give an example of why your colleagues have been picked off? If it's not merit is it economic reasons, more frivolous reasons like personality/fit or other things entirely?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:48 am

V10 anon.
bk1 wrote:Considering you recommend thank yous in your other thread:

Have you ever gone from not recommending someone for a callback (or offer) to actually doing so because someone wrote a thank you?
Yes. Someone bombed a question I asked but then wrote a really thoughtful thank you letter expanding on the question. I was impressed that he did not just give up on the interview. I gave him a strong recommendation and e-mailed him to ask him to keep in touch with me.

Even when I receive generic letters, they affect my ranking. As I said in the other thread, work doesn't do itself so every interview I make time for means I go home later. Students who acknowledge this with a thank you rise in my esteem.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby AllTheLawz » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:50 am

Im assuming that the three year attrition rate at your firm is about 50% (i.e. of 70 summers 30-40 of them stay around to become 4th years). First, is this accurate? If so, what percentage of attrition is voluntary (discounting mass layoffs)?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:54 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:Can you give an example of why your colleagues have been picked off? If it's not merit is it economic reasons, more frivolous reasons like personality/fit or other things entirely?
Capricious partners. Jealousy. Not billing enough hours (because there was no work). Not getting credit for their good work. Being lied on so a higher-up could be spared. Not being team players (especially when you are junior, sometimes you just have to work harder, take blame that isn't yours, and smile the whole time).

More than anything, you need to know who to avoid and which matters not to get staffed on. There are some partners/counsels/senior associates who eat their young and are not smart enough to be where they are. These types will give you impossible/confusing work, take credit for what you do well, exaggerate what you do wrong, and even invent flaws for you. Avoid at all costs and keep your eyes open.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:02 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:Im assuming that the three year attrition rate at your firm is about 50% (i.e. of 70 summers 30-40 of them stay around to become 4th years). First, is this accurate? If so, what percentage of attrition is voluntary (discounting mass layoffs)?

The attrition rate differs by group. In a group with difficult personalities (there is always one in each firm that is known for cannibalizing - your task as a summer associate is to find out which group that is and then avoid it), the attrition rate can be much higher than what you have describd.

As far as voluntary attrition, it's hard to answer that because in this economy, attrition is often the product of burnout, frustration, or a "jump or we'll push you" situation. It's not often voluntary in the sense of "oh, let me leave this lovely firm where I have friends because I feel like having an adventure elsewhere" (that's how people behave in a good economy). Layoffs are hard to define because if someone leaves due to dishonest reviews and deliberate mistreatment calculated to make them leave so the group can save much-needed funds, is that a layoff? Stealth layoffs are very, very stealthy indeed.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:04 pm

Of course this is specific by firm, but what percent of CB's actually get offers? Does it vary by whether or not they were flown up from outside campuses? Any thought on smaller offices in your firm or externally?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As I said in the other thread, work doesn't do itself so every interview I make time for means I go home later. Students who acknowledge this with a thank you rise in my esteem.


While technically true, aren't you expected by your firm to do a certain amount of recruiting hours per year? So you'd have to do it no matter what and whether you're staying later on that particular day doesn't prevent you from having to fit those hours in some time that year?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:07 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As I said in the other thread, work doesn't do itself so every interview I make time for means I go home later. Students who acknowledge this with a thank you rise in my esteem.


While technically true, aren't you expected by your firm to do a certain amount of recruiting hours per year? So you'd have to do it no matter what and whether you're staying later on that particular day doesn't prevent you from having to fit those hours in some time that year?
No. If I don't want to conduct a single interview, I don't have to and some years I don't. I conduct interviews sometimes to satisfy my curiosity about what the new crop of students is like. There is absolutely not a recruiting requirement. Do you think a firm wants disgruntled associates conducting interviews just to keep their jobs?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:08 pm

What happens after my CB? That is to say, what is the process like with interviewers reviewing me and the hiring committee making their decision?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No. If I don't want to conduct a single interview, I don't have to and some years I don't. I conduct interviews sometimes to satisfy my curiosity about what the new crop of students is like. There is absolutely not a recruiting requirement. Do you think a firm wants disgruntled associates conducting interviews just to keep their jobs?

Ah okay. I had always thought that associates were expected to do non-billable firm stuff (e.g. recruiting). Thanks for clearing it up.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Of course this is specific by firm, but what percent of CB's actually get offers? Does it vary by whether or not they were flown up from outside campuses? Any thought on smaller offices in your firm or externally?
At the top firms, by the time you get a call back, the offer is yours to lose. My guess is that this is true at most firms. A top firm isn't going to pull you out of the hundreds of others they have screened, and then waste HR time, associate time, partner time, a good lunch, and maybe even airfare/hotel expenses on you just for the heck of it. The offer is yours to lose by call back time.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Of course this is specific by firm, but what percent of CB's actually get offers? Does it vary by whether or not they were flown up from outside campuses? Any thought on smaller offices in your firm or externally?
At the top firms, by the time you get a call back, the offer is yours to lose. My guess is that this is true at most firms. A top firm isn't going to pull you out of the hundreds of others they have screened, and then waste HR time, associate time, partner time, a good lunch, and maybe even airfare/hotel expenses on you just for the heck of it. The offer is yours to lose by call back time.


Hope you're right :) Thanks for the input!




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