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.
User avatar
NDJ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby NDJ » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:06 pm

If I am a Canadian attending a T6 (or lower T14), do I have the same, or roughly the same, chances of getting a biglaw callback in NYC than my American peers? When you are conducting interviews do you give foreigners, or Canadians specifically, the same amount of consideration as American students? If I had a green card, would this be different?
Thanks a lot!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:26 am

I will be heading to a firm for a 1L SA (lucky, I know). But I worry about my work product. I am going to split between lit and transactional. I go to a school with ungraded LRW, didnt do well in it (based on comments). What should I be doing to make sure that my work product doesnt lead to a no offer? My grades are very good... just really worried about work product. Dont know how to even prepare...

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:17 pm

NDJ wrote:If I am a Canadian attending a T6 (or lower T14), do I have the same, or roughly the same, chances of getting a biglaw callback in NYC than my American peers? When you are conducting interviews do you give foreigners, or Canadians specifically, the same amount of consideration as American students? If I had a green card, would this be different?
Thanks a lot!
From what I have seen, Canadians don't have a harder (or easier) time getting into big law than green card holders and citizens do.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will be heading to a firm for a 1L SA (lucky, I know). But I worry about my work product. I am going to split between lit and transactional. I go to a school with ungraded LRW, didnt do well in it (based on comments). What should I be doing to make sure that my work product doesnt lead to a no offer? My grades are very good... just really worried about work product. Dont know how to even prepare...
I can't give you much advice because I have no way of knowing what is wrong with your writing. Work on whatever the comments you received during legal writing suggested and if you're at a loss, go back to your professor or ask classmates who seem to be good writers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:22 pm

NDJ wrote:If I am a Canadian attending a T6 (or lower T14), do I have the same, or roughly the same, chances of getting a biglaw callback in NYC than my American peers? When you are conducting interviews do you give foreigners, or Canadians specifically, the same amount of consideration as American students? If I had a green card, would this be different?
Thanks a lot!


No visa issues, as you probably know, so that helps (though the people hiring don't always know the specifics because they don't really deal with it, or so I gathered from some of the questions). My callbacks were the same as others with similar grades at my T6. I will say that I got asked a lot about why I wanted to work in NYC vs go back to Canada. I thought it was easy enough to explain given that I was at a U.S. law school, but I think there was some skepticism. In their defense, a ton of Canadians (mostly Torontonians) who summer at NYC firms end up turning down offers and instead staying in Toronto, so I get that we can be seen as a bit of a flight risk. The people who do that are from Canadian schools and it is obviously harder for us U.S. grads to go back even if we want to, but I think the sentiment is sometimes still there. That said, firms hire many Canadians anyway, so this isn't a huge issue. I'd just have some good, believable reasons for why you want to be in NYC/the U.S.

It's also possible that this wasn't really that huge a factor and people were just curious. It just struck me as odd because I didn't think people really needed to show regional ties to work in NYC. I still got v10 offers, though seemingly had a lower ratio of offers overall than peers with similar grades. I really did not do well with firms outside maybe v20ish, which was odd, but I wonder if some were looking more at fit (Canadian potential flight risk not an advantage) vs taking the people with high grades. I may just have been a poor interviewer, though.

I don't know if this is helpful and I just realized this is in a thread where another person is answer questions (so, sorry for chiming in, v10 midlevel). But, from my experience, don't worry too much.

User avatar
NDJ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby NDJ » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:46 pm

Torney12 wrote:From what I have seen, Canadians don't have a harder (or easier) time getting into big law than green card holders and citizens do.
Anonymous User wrote:
No visa issues, as you probably know, so that helps (though the people hiring don't always know the specifics because they don't really deal with it, or so I gathered from some of the questions). My callbacks were the same as others with similar grades at my T6. I will say that I got asked a lot about why I wanted to work in NYC vs go back to Canada. I thought it was easy enough to explain given that I was at a U.S. law school, but I think there was some skepticism. In their defense, a ton of Canadians (mostly Torontonians) who summer at NYC firms end up turning down offers and instead staying in Toronto, so I get that we can be seen as a bit of a flight risk. The people who do that are from Canadian schools and it is obviously harder for us U.S. grads to go back even if we want to, but I think the sentiment is sometimes still there. That said, firms hire many Canadians anyway, so this isn't a huge issue. I'd just have some good, believable reasons for why you want to be in NYC/the U.S.

It's also possible that this wasn't really that huge a factor and people were just curious. It just struck me as odd because I didn't think people really needed to show regional ties to work in NYC. I still got v10 offers, though seemingly had a lower ratio of offers overall than peers with similar grades. I really did not do well with firms outside maybe v20ish, which was odd, but I wonder if some were looking more at fit (Canadian potential flight risk not an advantage) vs taking the people with high grades. I may just have been a poor interviewer, though.

I don't know if this is helpful and I just realized this is in a thread where another person is answer questions (so, sorry for chiming in, v10 midlevel). But, from my experience, don't worry too much.


Thanks a lot for the answers guys! definitely relieving to hear..
As far as being perceived as a potential flight risk, if I did my undergrad in the US and will have been living in NYC for 2 years before law school, do you think that would play to my advantage?
When you say that there is 'no visa issue' - is that because the TN visa is simple/cheap to process for a firm? Might it also be seen as a negligible expense for smaller firms, in the event I don't get hired to biglaw, or would I be out of luck for legal employment in the US barring getting biglaw out of school? (this seems like it would make anything other than HYS a huge gamble....)
Thanks again guys!!

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2086
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:47 pm

I'm going to go back and address something that was said earlier in this thread.

I believe the OP or someone suggested that, in order to be a "top" associate, you're supposed to anticipate next steps, propose alternatives, etc. While I think it's good to do this (as long as you keep your thoughts to yourself for the most part), in my experience over the past few months (and I'm only a first year, so take this FWIW), I think most senior associates and partners are looking for exactly what they want and nothing more. In fact, I think most of them would be upset at you spending a lot of time on things that might not matter at all. Unless you are 100% certain that what you're going to propose will 1) make the time that you have to spend investigating it worth it to the partner/associate over other things you could have been doing and 2) that the actual proposal is rock solid from a legal and factual perspective (which is often impossible because a junior associate generally doesn't have a "big picture" perspective of the case), then you shouldn't waste your time exploring alternatives or next steps. The best case scenario is that you get a senior associate who has totally missed something important, which is rare. The worst case scenario is that you waste a lot of time and piss of the senior associate for doing something that might be perceived as their responsibility: considering alternative courses of action and choosing one.

That said, i think it's fair to say you should constantly be updating your knowledge of the matter as a whole to make yourself more useful in the long run. But, for the most part, I think it's best to focus on doing exactly what you're told and making sure you do a damn good job.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:55 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to go back and address something that was said earlier in this thread.

I believe the OP or someone suggested that, in order to be a "top" associate, you're supposed to anticipate next steps, propose alternatives, etc. While I think it's good to do this (as long as you keep your thoughts to yourself for the most part), in my experience over the past few months (and I'm only a first year, so take this FWIW), I think most senior associates and partners are looking for exactly what they want and nothing more. In fact, I think most of them would be upset at you spending a lot of time on things that might not matter at all. Unless you are 100% certain that what you're going to propose will 1) make the time that you have to spend investigating it worth it to the partner/associate over other things you could have been doing and 2) that the actual proposal is rock solid from a legal and factual perspective (which is often impossible because a junior associate generally doesn't have a "big picture" perspective of the case), then you shouldn't waste your time exploring alternatives or next steps. The best case scenario is that you get a senior associate who has totally missed something important, which is rare. The worst case scenario is that you waste a lot of time and piss of the senior associate for doing something that might be perceived as their responsibility: considering alternative courses of action and choosing one.

That said, i think it's fair to say you should constantly be updating your knowledge of the matter as a whole to make yourself more useful in the long run. But, for the most part, I think it's best to focus on doing exactly what you're told and making sure you do a damn good job.
Did someone suggest that associates should be spending a lot of time on things that might not matter at all in lieu of completing assignments? Your whole post is either a response to something you, yourself, have made up, or is a gross misunderstanding of what has been said in this thread.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NDJ wrote:If I am a Canadian attending a T6 (or lower T14), do I have the same, or roughly the same, chances of getting a biglaw callback in NYC than my American peers? When you are conducting interviews do you give foreigners, or Canadians specifically, the same amount of consideration as American students? If I had a green card, would this be different?
Thanks a lot!


No visa issues, as you probably know, so that helps (though the people hiring don't always know the specifics because they don't really deal with it, or so I gathered from some of the questions). My callbacks were the same as others with similar grades at my T6. I will say that I got asked a lot about why I wanted to work in NYC vs go back to Canada. I thought it was easy enough to explain given that I was at a U.S. law school, but I think there was some skepticism. In their defense, a ton of Canadians (mostly Torontonians) who summer at NYC firms end up turning down offers and instead staying in Toronto, so I get that we can be seen as a bit of a flight risk. The people who do that are from Canadian schools and it is obviously harder for us U.S. grads to go back even if we want to, but I think the sentiment is sometimes still there. That said, firms hire many Canadians anyway, so this isn't a huge issue. I'd just have some good, believable reasons for why you want to be in NYC/the U.S.

It's also possible that this wasn't really that huge a factor and people were just curious. It just struck me as odd because I didn't think people really needed to show regional ties to work in NYC. I still got v10 offers, though seemingly had a lower ratio of offers overall than peers with similar grades. I really did not do well with firms outside maybe v20ish, which was odd, but I wonder if some were looking more at fit (Canadian potential flight risk not an advantage) vs taking the people with high grades. I may just have been a poor interviewer, though.

I don't know if this is helpful and I just realized this is in a thread where another person is answer questions (so, sorry for chiming in, v10 midlevel). But, from my experience, don't worry too much.
No worries. Your advice makes sense and I am sure it's very helpful to NDJ to hear from someone who has been there.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2086
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:32 am

Torney12 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to go back and address something that was said earlier in this thread.

I believe the OP or someone suggested that, in order to be a "top" associate, you're supposed to anticipate next steps, propose alternatives, etc. While I think it's good to do this (as long as you keep your thoughts to yourself for the most part), in my experience over the past few months (and I'm only a first year, so take this FWIW), I think most senior associates and partners are looking for exactly what they want and nothing more. In fact, I think most of them would be upset at you spending a lot of time on things that might not matter at all. Unless you are 100% certain that what you're going to propose will 1) make the time that you have to spend investigating it worth it to the partner/associate over other things you could have been doing and 2) that the actual proposal is rock solid from a legal and factual perspective (which is often impossible because a junior associate generally doesn't have a "big picture" perspective of the case), then you shouldn't waste your time exploring alternatives or next steps. The best case scenario is that you get a senior associate who has totally missed something important, which is rare. The worst case scenario is that you waste a lot of time and piss of the senior associate for doing something that might be perceived as their responsibility: considering alternative courses of action and choosing one.

That said, i think it's fair to say you should constantly be updating your knowledge of the matter as a whole to make yourself more useful in the long run. But, for the most part, I think it's best to focus on doing exactly what you're told and making sure you do a damn good job.
Did someone suggest that associates should be spending a lot of time on things that might not matter at all in lieu of completing assignments? Your whole post is either a response to something you, yourself, have made up, or is a gross misunderstanding of what has been said in this thread.


Nope. I never said anything like this. I know I read something to this effect, however.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:48 am

NDJ wrote:Thanks a lot for the answers guys! definitely relieving to hear..
As far as being perceived as a potential flight risk, if I did my undergrad in the US and will have been living in NYC for 2 years before law school, do you think that would play to my advantage?
When you say that there is 'no visa issue' - is that because the TN visa is simple/cheap to process for a firm? Might it also be seen as a negligible expense for smaller firms, in the event I don't get hired to biglaw, or would I be out of luck for legal employment in the US barring getting biglaw out of school? (this seems like it would make anything other than HYS a huge gamble....)
Thanks again guys!!


Yes, by "no visa issues," I was referring to the TN, since it only requires $50 and about 5 minutes (for almost everyone in this situation). For smaller firms, I think the bigger issue is ties to the area, since smaller firms are more invested in associates sticking around.

I don't agree that anything outside of HYS is a gamble, but then I don't know your risk tolerance or alternatives. Columbia/NYU/Penn feed very heavily into NYC and my observation of friends at those schools who had trouble landing biglaw is that they were targeting tougher markets (so, pretty much anywhere else). Of course, I have no statistics and don't mean for this to invite anger from those with conflicting experiences. But I digress... to actually answer your question, yes, if you go to school in the U.S., your eggs will largely be in the biglaw basket. Smaller firms don't recruit a lot of recent grads to begin with and clerking/government is largely precluded by citizenship requirements for a lot of agencies and courts (including all federal courts in the continental U.S., though you're free to clerk in Hawaii or Guam or the like). Public interest is still an option, though also competitive. Getting a job on Bay Street from a T10ish U.S. school is also definitely doable as a backup, though a pain because of the qualifying exams (and, of course, lower pay).

That said, if you are interested in NYC, I really wouldn't recommend going to a Canadian school unless it is a lot cheaper for you and/or you are totally okay with staying in Canada. NYC hiring from Canadian schools has dropped a ton in the past few years. It's not as bad as it was 2-3 years ago but the days of 1/3 of the U of T class getting NYC SA positions are gone. Perhaps partly because there is less tolerance these days for giving SA spots to U of T students, given that SO MANY of them turn down NYC offers and instead go to Bay Street after graduation (for reasons I do not comprehend). Even if you are not sure if you want to work in NYC or Canada long-term, I'd go to the U.S. unless it is a ton more expensive (and, if you are considering HYS, you can probably eliminate that issue by taking a scholarship at a slightly lower ranked school). It is about 1000x easier to go NYC->Bay Street than the other way around.

User avatar
reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:53 am

Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?

User avatar
NDJ
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby NDJ » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Yes, by "no visa issues," I was referring to the TN, since it only requires $50 and about 5 minutes (for almost everyone in this situation). For smaller firms, I think the bigger issue is ties to the area, since smaller firms are more invested in associates sticking around.

I don't agree that anything outside of HYS is a gamble, but then I don't know your risk tolerance or alternatives. Columbia/NYU/Penn feed very heavily into NYC and my observation of friends at those schools who had trouble landing biglaw is that they were targeting tougher markets (so, pretty much anywhere else). Of course, I have no statistics and don't mean for this to invite anger from those with conflicting experiences. But I digress... to actually answer your question, yes, if you go to school in the U.S., your eggs will largely be in the biglaw basket. Smaller firms don't recruit a lot of recent grads to begin with and clerking/government is largely precluded by citizenship requirements for a lot of agencies and courts (including all federal courts in the continental U.S., though you're free to clerk in Hawaii or Guam or the like). Public interest is still an option, though also competitive. Getting a job on Bay Street from a T10ish U.S. school is also definitely doable as a backup, though a pain because of the qualifying exams (and, of course, lower pay).

That said, if you are interested in NYC, I really wouldn't recommend going to a Canadian school unless it is a lot cheaper for you and/or you are totally okay with staying in Canada. NYC hiring from Canadian schools has dropped a ton in the past few years. It's not as bad as it was 2-3 years ago but the days of 1/3 of the U of T class getting NYC SA positions are gone. Perhaps partly because there is less tolerance these days for giving SA spots to U of T students, given that SO MANY of them turn down NYC offers and instead go to Bay Street after graduation (for reasons I do not comprehend). Even if you are not sure if you want to work in NYC or Canada long-term, I'd go to the U.S. unless it is a ton more expensive (and, if you are considering HYS, you can probably eliminate that issue by taking a scholarship at a slightly lower ranked school). It is about 1000x easier to go NYC->Bay Street than the other way around.

Thanks so much for the very detailed and very helpful response. My target schools are NYU/CLS, so if as long as I'm not at the bottom of the class I can reasonably count on getting a job in NYC out of those schools, then I wouldn't consider that a gamble. If, as you seem to be saying, I would only be locked off from federal clerkships as a Canadian, for most of the other 90-ish% of outcomes from those schools I would have roughly the same shot as Americans - is this about right? And if a job on Bay Street is attainable out of those schools as well (I have ties in Toronto, lots of family there etc), then that is also very comforting and makes attending these schools on a partial scholarship feel less risky.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:12 pm

reasonable_man wrote:Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?
Of course. Unlike small law firms, however, big law firms have many associates to choose from. Thus, unlike small law firms, big law firms don't have to give sensitive work to the village idiot just because he's the only one around. In big law, some associates, such as apparently the 6th year you dealt with, get shitty work for a very long time. Other associates get challenging, skills-building work. Often, who gets what is decided according to ability (ability to do good work and ability to escape bad work and bad people). Just as often though, luck plays a huge role.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NDJ wrote:If I am a Canadian attending a T6 (or lower T14), do I have the same, or roughly the same, chances of getting a biglaw callback in NYC than my American peers? When you are conducting interviews do you give foreigners, or Canadians specifically, the same amount of consideration as American students? If I had a green card, would this be different?
Thanks a lot!


No visa issues, as you probably know, so that helps (though the people hiring don't always know the specifics because they don't really deal with it, or so I gathered from some of the questions). My callbacks were the same as others with similar grades at my T6. I will say that I got asked a lot about why I wanted to work in NYC vs go back to Canada. I thought it was easy enough to explain given that I was at a U.S. law school, but I think there was some skepticism. In their defense, a ton of Canadians (mostly Torontonians) who summer at NYC firms end up turning down offers and instead staying in Toronto, so I get that we can be seen as a bit of a flight risk. The people who do that are from Canadian schools and it is obviously harder for us U.S. grads to go back even if we want to, but I think the sentiment is sometimes still there. That said, firms hire many Canadians anyway, so this isn't a huge issue. I'd just have some good, believable reasons for why you want to be in NYC/the U.S.

It's also possible that this wasn't really that huge a factor and people were just curious. It just struck me as odd because I didn't think people really needed to show regional ties to work in NYC. I still got v10 offers, though seemingly had a lower ratio of offers overall than peers with similar grades. I really did not do well with firms outside maybe v20ish, which was odd, but I wonder if some were looking more at fit (Canadian potential flight risk not an advantage) vs taking the people with high grades. I may just have been a poor interviewer, though.

I don't know if this is helpful and I just realized this is in a thread where another person is answer questions (so, sorry for chiming in, v10 midlevel). But, from my experience, don't worry too much.


As someone who struck out, my one regret is focusing too much on firms outside of the V-25. For people that might be foreign or have other similar issues, go with the higher ranked firms. Outside of the V-25 firms do not care that much about grades, have smaller classes, so you really are competing with everyone in school for fewer spots and you also stand out, in a negative way, by being foreign.
If you have the grades, and 1/4-1/3 is enough for V10, top half is enough for V-25, go for those firms. Huge classes, more international, more likely to accept you. I think this occurred with me but have also heard of similar stories on this forum and when talking to people. Basically, a guy I know gets no offers from below V-25, but gets Davis Polk.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:24 pm

This may have been asked but I was hoping to get your opinion. If you want to end up in Texas (try to become partner at a firm) what would be more beneficial starting at a big firm there like a Big 3 in Houston or HaynesBoone in Dallas (those are their HQ offices) or going to a V10 firm in NYC or V25 in CA for a few years first and then trying to lateral over?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:16 pm

NDJ wrote: Thanks so much for the very detailed and very helpful response. My target schools are NYU/CLS, so if as long as I'm not at the bottom of the class I can reasonably count on getting a job in NYC out of those schools, then I wouldn't consider that a gamble. If, as you seem to be saying, I would only be locked off from federal clerkships as a Canadian, for most of the other 90-ish% of outcomes from those schools I would have roughly the same shot as Americans - is this about right? And if a job on Bay Street is attainable out of those schools as well (I have ties in Toronto, lots of family there etc), then that is also very comforting and makes attending these schools on a partial scholarship feel less risky.

I don't know if I can tell you that you have the same shot as Americans for other jobs, because I just don't know enough about hiring in other types of jobs. You at least won't be excluded based on citizenship requirements, though. Bay Street is definitely possible. If you take a job there post-graduation, you'll have to take the Canadian qualifying exams. I think this has gotten less burdensome in recent years, though (less exams required). If you are considering Bay Street, it's worth getting in touch early and seeing if you can land a summer position there during your 1L summer. I think this is tough to do but not totally unheard of. If nothing else, get in touch early to figure out how to apply for a 2L summer position. The timing for hiring is weirdly coordinated/specific, which makes it easier for Canadian students but means that you'd want to get in touch before that process starts (ie. not wait to apply until after U.S. OCI).

Anonymous User wrote: If you have the grades, and 1/4-1/3 is enough for V10, top half is enough for V-25, go for those firms. Huge classes, more international, more likely to accept you. I think this occurred with me but have also heard of similar stories on this forum and when talking to people. Basically, a guy I know gets no offers from below V-25, but gets Davis Polk.

Yeah, I had a similar experience to that guy, though I don't know if it was all that related to being Canadian. I definitely had American friends who had the same experience. Perhaps avoiding wasting callbacks on people who are likely to have offers at more prestigious firms? (I realize this is a silly thing to say, but law students do care about prestige of firms, so seems fair.) That said, there are definitely firms that are more Canadian-happy than others, so you'll want to interview with them for sure (Paul Weiss, Skadden, Shearman, and possibly still Davis Polk and White & Case, are the ones that come to mind).

User avatar
reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:13 pm

Torney12 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?
Of course. Unlike small law firms, however, big law firms have many associates to choose from. Thus, unlike small law firms, big law firms don't have to give sensitive work to the village idiot just because he's the only one around. In big law, some associates, such as apparently the 6th year you dealt with, get shitty work for a very long time. Other associates get challenging, skills-building work. Often, who gets what is decided according to ability (ability to do good work and ability to escape bad work and bad people). Just as often though, luck plays a huge role.



We escape assigning work to the village idiot by not hiring him in the first place.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:01 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?
Of course. Unlike small law firms, however, big law firms have many associates to choose from. Thus, unlike small law firms, big law firms don't have to give sensitive work to the village idiot just because he's the only one around. In big law, some associates, such as apparently the 6th year you dealt with, get shitty work for a very long time. Other associates get challenging, skills-building work. Often, who gets what is decided according to ability (ability to do good work and ability to escape bad work and bad people). Just as often though, luck plays a huge role.
We escape assigning work to the village idiot by not hiring him in the first place.

Not to be an ass, but surely, you jest.

Torney12
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:14 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This may have been asked but I was hoping to get your opinion. If you want to end up in Texas (try to become partner at a firm) what would be more beneficial starting at a big firm there like a Big 3 in Houston or HaynesBoone in Dallas (those are their HQ offices) or going to a V10 firm in NYC or V25 in CA for a few years first and then trying to lateral over?
I have colleagues who have left my firm for firms in smaller cities like Houston, but I cannot categorically say that approach is better than just going straight to a firm in a smaller city. Unless you have compelling reasons (such as a serious significant other in NYC/CA or interest in an area of law that is hottest in NYC/CA), I don't see the point of taking a circuitous route to your goal. If you want to spend your career in Texas and have the opportunity to go a top firm there from the outset, then go there. By starting at a different firm outside Texas, you will not gain the connections, inside understanding of a Texas firm, and exposure to a Texas firm's particular clients that you will need to make partner at a Texas firm. Just because you come from a flashy major market firm doesn't mean that a Texas firm will be inclined to promote you over its own home-grown associates. You also shouldn't underestimate the subtle suspicion with which smaller markets can sometimes regard those from bigger markets who are trying to break in.

TheZoid
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby TheZoid » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:29 pm

Hey Torney 12- thanks for taking questions. It sounds like from what you're saying, if the end goal is to make partner in a secondary market, you're better off heading straight to a firm there, rather than shooting for a V10/20 and lateraling after 3-5 years. Would you say that's right?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:34 pm

reasonable_man wrote:Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?


It can be very practice area specific. Big firm litigation is often more of a pyramid structure for staffing, but a lot of deals have room for enormous "early responsibility." I've heard stories like the guy who ran the structured products work for a major bank like 7 months in, because things played out in a weird way and he had more experience than the alternatives. On some kinds of deals, even major ones, it's not that rare for somebody with 2-3 years experience to be 'the' senior associate with a partner checked out on the day-to-day details and a junior getting grunt work.

Another common refrain, which I have heard multiple times but can't yet really independently verify, is that sometimes well regarded firms have more junior people vis a vis their counterparties, and take it as a matter of pride.

My amorphous understanding has always been that for litigation, the average value of your cases will be higher but average level of responsibility for them lower at a large firm. For corporate, it depends a lot on the transaction, practice area, and location, but some deals allow for huge amounts of responsibility for junior lawyers. I'd imagine it's more true in securities/capital markets than in M&A, of course.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:08 pm

thesealocust wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Thanks for taking questions - good of you to take time out to do so.

I'm a 2008 LS grad and practice at a small firm in NYC. In any of the cases I've dealt with where a biglaw firm is on the other side, it is always the partners that wind up speaking at conferences, taking depositions, etc. I recall a deposition a while back where I was the "lead" for my firm and the "lead" for one of the large firms was a 6th year associate who actually asked the Court reporter "how he did" following the deposition because it was only his third time taking a deposition. In your firm, do mid-level and senior associates take the lead in litigation in any meaningful way or run a deal (on the transactional side), so to speak?


It can be very practice area specific. Big firm litigation is often more of a pyramid structure for staffing, but a lot of deals have room for enormous "early responsibility." I've heard stories like the guy who ran the structured products work for a major bank like 7 months in, because things played out in a weird way and he had more experience than the alternatives. On some kinds of deals, even major ones, it's not that rare for somebody with 2-3 years experience to be 'the' senior associate with a partner checked out on the day-to-day details and a junior getting grunt work.

Another common refrain, which I have heard multiple times but can't yet really independently verify, is that sometimes well regarded firms have more junior people vis a vis their counterparties, and take it as a matter of pride.

My amorphous understanding has always been that for litigation, the average value of your cases will be higher but average level of responsibility for them lower at a large firm. For corporate, it depends a lot on the transaction, practice area, and location, but some deals allow for huge amounts of responsibility for junior lawyers. I'd imagine it's more true in securities/capital markets than in M&A, of course.


In general, I would say it's true that big firm litigation departments are more like Ponzi schemes than corp departments. However, leverage ratios vary widely from firm to firm. A firm like K&E, for example, is extremely leveraged, while a firm like KVN is not. One thing that I think gets downplayed on TLS is the importance of your firm's reputation if you want to be a litigator. TLSers generally assign a lot more importance to firm prestige when you're talking about a corp department, and it's true that firm reputation matters more if you're in corporate. The big NY firms are much better for corp work than other firms. But this is also true to a lesser, but still significant, extent for litigation firms. My firm bills over twice as much per hour for associate work than other firms in the V100, and this is for a reason. General counsel people at big corporations respect the work of my firm enough to pay this much. For similar reasons, people from firms like mine have better exit options from what I've seen than other firms in the V100.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi V10 anon,

Thanks for this thread, it's been very enlightening. A few questions:

1) IYO, who has it good in the law these days? Does anyone in biglaw? Partners are getting paid, but even for them it seems like the money is diminishing and there are serious questions about what it took to get there.

2) Could you shed some light on the "pushing out" mechanism? How exactly are people bumped, short of purely being fired?

Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273179
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:46 pm

How common is it for associates to be fired within their first year? I got an offer, but I'm pretty sure they weren't terribly happy with my work. :( Also, the offer was pretty half-assed. "We'd love to have you but maybe think about doing 3L OCI."




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.