V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:V50 junior/mid-level associate chiming in with my 2 cents with respect to turning down work.

In my experience, people who turn down work early on are doomed...however, no one at my firm is billing 2400 hours, or even 2200 (non-NYC, major market). The good associates in my group got to where they are by taking on everything they can and killing themselves for the mid-level/senior associates that gave them work as a junior and their reputation for that "team player"/hard-worker mentality spread. If you are really busy and can still successfully squeeze in a rush assignment for someone important (and starting out that means mid-level and senior level associates), they will appreciate it. You bailed them out of a jam, and they begin to trust you. Once you have had a couple of years of good hours, you can begin to push back a little, or hopefully people start to protect you.

My experience could be very different, because my firm doesn't grind associates to a pulp as quickly as many other firms, but I recommend that incoming associates to never turn down work unless they think it is physically impossible to complete the task.
Yea, you are coming from a radically different perspective.

First, you are a junior associate. I suspect that by "junior/midlevel" you mean a third year since many third years don't like to call themselves junior but can't really be considered midlevel. I also suspect that your perspective on the merits of killing oneself for big law will change radically in two or three years when you have seen some of the brightest, most enthusiastic, and hardest working associates tossed out. There's no bitterness like the bitterness of an associate who has never said no and is still being shown the door.

Second, you are at a v50 where no one bills 2200. I can't even imagine how wonderful billing less than 2200 must be. An associate in your shoes will never have a reason to turn down work because if you're billing only 2000 (or even less?) then you're not working many late nights, certainly aren't working most weekends, and you definitely do have extra time.

Third, since you are billing a lot less than most midlevels at v20s and above (and possibly even peer v50s), the term "swamped," "really busy," and "leanly staffed" mean very different things at your firm than they do at, for instance, mine. I do not advise anyone whose hours and firm culture are more similar to mine to take your advice re: not turning down work. Not turning down work at a firm or group where billing 2400 is no big deal is a great way to get burnt out, turn in poorer quality work, and get pushed out quicker.

Overall, yours is a very useful perspective because most people don't end up at V10s and some firms are more lax on the billing expectations. I am not sure if your perspective will prove helpful to most, however, because there really aren't many firms in this economy that are letting people get away for years with billing less than 2200. Billable requirements (the official numbers used to recruit jnaive associates and never again referred to after that) differ among firms but billable expectations often do not. Often, in order to last past the first year at v10s, and in order to last past the third year outside the v10, you have to be making the firm serious money.

You are entitled to your perspective and I'm sure it is helpful for v10 firms in NYC, but associate surveys tend to indicate that my firm's hours 1800-2000 are more typical than your 2200+... so I think my perspective should prove helpful to many. I added my post to provide a different perspective and hopefully prevent confusion for young associates. I also imagine your firm is heavily leveraged, hence why so few associates make it past 3 years. My firm has a much more even associate/partner ratio so partnership prospects are a bit more realistic (or at least making it to the mid to senior-level associate ranks are reasonable) so my firm is not really looking to push people out too quickly unless you produce bad work, have a bad attitude or are unwilling to work. Once you hit 3 years, you are more profitable.

I wanted to share this perspective because I know some associates in our group that did turn down work early on, got a reputation for it and subsequently was essentially frozen out of a lot of the flow of work.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:41 am

V10 anon here.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.

. . . Often, in order to last past the first year at v10s, and in order to last past the third year outside the v10, you have to be making the firm serious money.


I'm curious about this statement. Why first year at v10s vs. third year outside the v10? I would have thought v10s would be less likely to fire associates after only one year given that these firms shouldn't be struggling as much. Incorrect?
The reasons for which firms push out associates have to do with more than just the firm struggling. Even a perfectly healthy firm will eventually push out associates who are not billing enough and, in my experience, V10s have the least patience for low billers. That is especially the case in this economy because 1) there are so many qualified, experienced laterals and 2) the credentials of junior associates and would-be summer associates are amazing (much better than the credentials of those above them). For instance, four years ago, Yalies tended to turn their noses up at big law and the few who were interested in big law landed top firms relatively easily. Post-crash, top big law firms turn their noses up at Yalies because there are so many in the applicant pool. For the past few years, we've been seeing people with undergrad and law school credentials so good that pre-2008, they would have thought anything less than COA clerkship (possibly SCOTUS) then academia to be beneath them. With first and second years of that caliber being grateful to be in big law and willing to work as hard as possible, top firms really don't have to tolerate associates who aren't billing enough. The rate of associates being helped out the door after one year has gone up considerably.
Anonymous User wrote:
Thanks to you both.
You're welcome!

User avatar
thelawyler
Posts: 902
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby thelawyler » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:10 am

I just want to thank both of you as well. This thread has been amazing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:10 am

V10 anon.
thelawyler wrote:I just want to thank both of you as well. This thread has been amazing.

You're welcome. I am still available for questions if anyone has any.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:40 pm

I am currently a very junior attorney in the federal government in DC. I was wondering how your firm views lateraling from the federal government into the firm. I am sure this varies by practice area and where you are coming out of in the federal government. However, does this happen at all? If so, when does it happen in terms of years in the federal government.

Thank you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:09 pm

Have you seen any of your colleagues leave the firm for another opportunity that is either immediately or potentially more lucrative than top tier big law? If so, in what areas, and how did they pull it off?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:31 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently a very junior attorney in the federal government in DC. I was wondering how your firm views lateraling from the federal government into the firm. I am sure this varies by practice area and where you are coming out of in the federal government. However, does this happen at all? If so, when does it happen in terms of years in the federal government.

Thank you.
I do not know of any very junior government attorneys who have lateraled to my firm. Almost everyone I know of who lateraled from government to big law had many years (10+) of experience and usually, had big law experience before going to government. The classic example is my firm (or peer firm) to AUSA to my firm. Another is big law to clerkship to government back to big law. One person I can think of had a government-only career before coming to big law, but that person had 10 or 15 years of experience and serious connections.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:49 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:Have you seen any of your colleagues leave the firm for another opportunity that is either immediately or potentially more lucrative than top tier big law? If so, in what areas, and how did they pull it off?
Potentially more lucrative? Anything can be potentially more lucrative. Even if you start a janitorial business, you can potentially land huge clients, grow rapidly, and end up with the walmart of janitorial services. Immediately more lucrative? No. I have seen lawyers leave for great opportunities with room for growth, but in every case, they were taking a pay cut unless they were going to another big law firm. I am sure there has to be a lawyer out there who left my firm for a higher paying opportunity, but I can't think of any. For the vast majority of lawyers, big law is the most that they will make for a long, long time, if not the rest of their careers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:31 pm

How much money do you make a year?

ruski
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby ruski » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:31 pm

can you tell me anything about the credit/financing group at a v10 in terms of stress/nature of work in comparison to other corporate groups. how does it compare?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:48 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:How much money do you make a year?
The big law pay scale is available online.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:54 am

V10 anon.
ruski wrote:can you tell me anything about the credit/financing group at a v10 in terms of stress/nature of work in comparison to other corporate groups. how does it compare?
Every bit as stressful in my experience, if I understand your question. But what exactly do you mean by financing? There are many groups that can be argued to relate to financing and many are very different (though equally stressful).

If you want as little big law stress as possible, then trusts & estates and other random, small groups like those dealing with employment and compensation are the way to go. Of course, those also have the narrowest, trickiest exit options.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:39 am

Can you recommend any books/ articles on succeeding as a young associate?

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can you recommend any books/ articles on succeeding as a young associate?


The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law. http://www.amazon.com/The-Curmudgeons-G ... ide+to+law

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:57 pm

It was toward the end of OCI and I was a stressed. I had two callbacks in the works for a 2L SA. One firm (satellite V50), the second firm was a smaller. . . the smaller firm offered me an SA. I wrote the V50 explaining that I had been offered. A week goes by and I do not hear back from the V-50. I accept at the second firm. A few days later I received an offer from the V50. Turns out HR misplaced my notice. They say they appreciate the fact that I am not reneging on the smaller firm and that if I wanted to contact them next year, please do so. FWIW: The difference in the V50 compensation was around 15% more.

My question to you is: if you offered someone but because of a timing problem you could not connect what might your feeling be if that person contacted you next go-around about a 3L SA? Another way to ask, has this ever happened to you, and what was the result? Many, many thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:33 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:Can you recommend any books/ articles on succeeding as a young associate?

Career Warfare by David D'Alessandro, who is the former CEO of John Hancock is all about political maneuvering in the corporate world and is very applicable to big law. It might make you a bit paranoid, but it's useful.

I really can't recommend books specific to law because I've browsed books such as the Curmudgeon's Guide and they provide generally useful information (such as be nice to the staff, dress professionally, and do good research), but aren't helpful as far as the politics of big law go.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:44 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:It was toward the end of OCI and I was a stressed. I had two callbacks in the works for a 2L SA. One firm (satellite V50), the second firm was a smaller. . . the smaller firm offered me an SA. I wrote the V50 explaining that I had been offered. A week goes by and I do not hear back from the V-50. I accept at the second firm. A few days later I received an offer from the V50. Turns out HR misplaced my notice. They say they appreciate the fact that I am not reneging on the smaller firm and that if I wanted to contact them next year, please do so. FWIW: The difference in the V50 compensation was around 15% more.

My question to you is: if you offered someone but because of a timing problem you could not connect what might your feeling be if that person contacted you next go-around about a 3L SA? Another way to ask, has this ever happened to you, and what was the result? Many, many thanks!
I can't possibly tell you how the firm would feel about you contacting them again. I would just be speculating at best because I have not been in this position before. You'll just have to give them a call next time and see how they feel.

User avatar
Uncle.Joe
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Uncle.Joe » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:16 pm

Does the school you went to matter after you have the job?

Asking more in the sense of does it give you a slight boost given the network you have/number of people at the firm from that school. Obviously relationships and work product trump but curious if it can be helpful.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:59 pm

Uncle.Joe wrote:Does the school you went to matter after you have the job?

Asking more in the sense of does it give you a slight boost given the network you have/number of people at the firm from that school. Obviously relationships and work product trump but curious if it can be helpful.


Along the same lines, is the "alumni" network from a large NYC firm as valuable as your law school alumni network? Do you approach it any differently?
Thanks

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:52 pm

Many thanks for the very helpful advice in this thread.

2 questions:

Assuming you had sufficient control over partner assignments and were subject to periodic rotations, would you advise working for bigwig partners at any particular point as an associate? (e.g. it might be beneficial to start out working for a big timer in order to establish reputation early on, or it might be better further down the road when partnership consideration is more realistic)

Do you think career strategy for associates is/should be different at lockstep firms? If so, how?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:36 pm

V10 anon.
Uncle.Joe wrote:Does the school you went to matter after you have the job?

Asking more in the sense of does it give you a slight boost given the network you have/number of people at the firm from that school. Obviously relationships and work product trump but curious if it can be helpful.
If your school has a lot of alums at a firm, it can help you get hired there. Once you are hired though, I haven't heard of what school you went to affecting whether you are promoted (I don't even know what school most of my colleagues went to and I don't care) nor have I seen partners or associates helping each other based solely on school affiliation. IME, having gone to the same school is at best an icebreaker through which you can make friends. I've seen people who aren't friends or even friendly to each other looking out for each other solely because they have race, religion, level of religiosity, homosexuality, hometown, friends etc in common, however.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:42 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Uncle.Joe wrote:Does the school you went to matter after you have the job?

Asking more in the sense of does it give you a slight boost given the network you have/number of people at the firm from that school. Obviously relationships and work product trump but curious if it can be helpful.


Along the same lines, is the "alumni" network from a large NYC firm as valuable as your law school alumni network? Do you approach it any differently?
Thanks
Yes, I've found my firm's alum network to be as useful as my school's alum network. Both mostly serve as starting points for research (I look up alums who might be at a company or other organization that I want to know more about) and icebreakers along the lines of "hey, I went to the same firm/school as you and I was just wondering if you could...." I'm not sure what you mean by "approach it any differently."
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273184
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:46 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:Many thanks for the very helpful advice in this thread.

2 questions:

Assuming you had sufficient control over partner assignments and were subject to periodic rotations, would you advise working for bigwig partners at any particular point as an associate? (e.g. it might be beneficial to start out working for a big timer in order to establish reputation early on, or it might be better further down the road when partnership consideration is more realistic)

Do you think career strategy for associates is/should be different at lockstep firms? If so, how?
You're welcome. I would advise working for partners who appear to give a damn about associates or at least aren't going to screw you. Sometimes, these are bigwigs and sometimes, they aren't. The fact that someone is a bigwig doesn't tell you much in itself about how s/he treats his/her subordinates. You have to figure out which partners are good to work with when you get to your firm.

I'm not sure what you mean by your last question. Do you mean lockstep in terms of partner compensation? Most big law firms are lockstep in terms of associate compensation.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby AP-375 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Uncle.Joe wrote:Does the school you went to matter after you have the job?

Asking more in the sense of does it give you a slight boost given the network you have/number of people at the firm from that school. Obviously relationships and work product trump but curious if it can be helpful.


Along the same lines, is the "alumni" network from a large NYC firm as valuable as your law school alumni network? Do you approach it any differently?
Thanks
Yes, I've found my firm's alum network to be as useful as my school's alum network. Both mostly serve as starting points for research (I look up alums who might be at a company or other organization that I want to know more about) and icebreakers along the lines of "hey, I went to the same firm/school as you and I was just wondering if you could...." I'm not sure what you mean by "approach it any differently."

You've answered my question perfectly. By "approach it differently", I was wondering whether you approach law firm alumni from a point of solidarity, like school alumni, or from a point of mere professional coincidence. Sounds like it is the former.

analytic_philosopher
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby analytic_philosopher » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:49 pm

Could you please offer your opinion on biglaw career prospects for foreigners at American law schools (assume JD candidate at T14 school). Do you know any in your professional life? Do you think they faced any special challenges? Also, which market (aside from NYC) would be likely to hire foreign JDs? According to TLS wisdom, when applying for a law firm job in any city other than NYC, it is important to have strong 'ties' to that city (e.g. the city is your hometown, you went to school there, your family lives there, etc.).

Thanks very much in advance!




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.