V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

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Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Question about the firm I'll be summering at regarding career development, since I would potentially like to go in-house one day.

I'm going to be working this summer at a small (~25 lawyer) secondary market satellite office of a NLJ250 BigLaw firm HQ'd in one of the primary markets (NY/CHI/DC). The secondary market I'm in is pretty big, but not huge (think Philly/Houston/Atlanta). The firm is still a nationally known BigLaw firm, although this office isn't particularly well-established my city since the office is relatively new. Because the office is so small, the cases will be pretty leanly staffed and I'll take on responsibility pretty quickly, and the firm is not highly-leveraged at all so being on the partner track is a real possibility. I will have several practice areas to choose from, so I'm not going to forced to work in any particular niche, although I will likely be on the transactional side.

My question: in terms of career development and potential in-house exit options in my secondary market, is it better to be at a smaller office like this and have potentially greater experience and responsibility, or to be at one of the biggest firms in the city with a better reputation, even if your experience may not be quite as substantial. I worry that because my firm isn't as well-known in my secondary market as it is in it's primary city, it might hurt me in the long run.

This is a great question and I can't responsibly give you a categorical 'A matters more than B' answer. Experience strongly affects your lateral options, especially in-house. If you can get a lot of amazing experience in a smaller city the next few years, this should be more helpful to you than being another warm body in a major city. At the same time, however, being from a major city office tends to look good on the resume because people in our profession tend to assume (probably fairly) that the work, hours, and training are more challenging in, for instance, New York than in Houston. Also, are you sure that the caliber of work available is the same in the smaller city as it is at your firm's main office? Is the smaller office stable and established despite its newness or is it still in that take whatever work you can get to survive mode? Taking a lot of responsibility on deals that are less important, less diverse, and less difficult is not necessarily that great. Obviously, the best option is to get great experience in a major city so that you have everything working to your advantage. Think carefully about whether that is an option and how you can make that happen for yourself. If you think you will absolutely get far better experience in the firm's smaller city office than in the firm's primary office, however, then I would go with the smaller city.

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:35 am

john7234797 wrote:Do you have to be super extroverted (the kind of person that can carry a room) to be successful in BigLaw or can you be quiet but friendly and polite and still be able to find success in BigLaw?

You most definitely do not have to be extroverted. There are a surprising number of introverted partners. You might not meet them at summer associate events, but they're out there and doing very well. In order to be successful in big law, as in anything else in life, you have to play to your strengths. If you're a quiet, thoughtful person, then don't try to beat super extroverts at their own game. A super extrovert might do well monopolizing partners' attention at the holiday party, but an introvert might observe the partners, make note of some topics each partner finds interesting, and go to each partner's office to say hello. An extrovert might stand out by helping plan social events, but an introvert might stand out by being an excellent mentor to junior associates and summers. An extrovert might stand out by talking incessantly in front of the client (if more senior) or partner (if more junior) and seeming really knowledgeable, but an introvert can note the client/partner's concerns (that the extrovert missed while talking) and stand out by asking questions about what the team/firm can do better to meet the client/partner's needs.

The way to get ahead is to first, add value and second, make sure people know you have added value. Introverts don't struggle any more than extroverts with the former. Mobilize your strengths (better listening skills, thoughtfulness, ability to let others shine instead of competing with superiors etc). Introverts tend to struggle with the latter, however, because they can be self-focused and very internal. As long as you make sure to play to your strengths and then bring to others' attention the contributions you make, you will be fine.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:25 am

Torney12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Question about the firm I'll be summering at regarding career development, since I would potentially like to go in-house one day.

I'm going to be working this summer at a small (~25 lawyer) secondary market satellite office of a NLJ250 BigLaw firm HQ'd in one of the primary markets (NY/CHI/DC). The secondary market I'm in is pretty big, but not huge (think Philly/Houston/Atlanta). The firm is still a nationally known BigLaw firm, although this office isn't particularly well-established my city since the office is relatively new. Because the office is so small, the cases will be pretty leanly staffed and I'll take on responsibility pretty quickly, and the firm is not highly-leveraged at all so being on the partner track is a real possibility. I will have several practice areas to choose from, so I'm not going to forced to work in any particular niche, although I will likely be on the transactional side.

My question: in terms of career development and potential in-house exit options in my secondary market, is it better to be at a smaller office like this and have potentially greater experience and responsibility, or to be at one of the biggest firms in the city with a better reputation, even if your experience may not be quite as substantial. I worry that because my firm isn't as well-known in my secondary market as it is in it's primary city, it might hurt me in the long run.

This is a great question and I can't responsibly give you a categorical 'A matters more than B' answer. Experience strongly affects your lateral options, especially in-house. If you can get a lot of amazing experience in a smaller city the next few years, this should be more helpful to you than being another warm body in a major city. At the same time, however, being from a major city office tends to look good on the resume because people in our profession tend to assume (probably fairly) that the work, hours, and training are more challenging in, for instance, New York than in Houston. Also, are you sure that the caliber of work available is the same in the smaller city as it is at your firm's main office? Is the smaller office stable and established despite its newness or is it still in that take whatever work you can get to survive mode? Taking a lot of responsibility on deals that are less important, less diverse, and less difficult is not necessarily that great. Obviously, the best option is to get great experience in a major city so that you have everything working to your advantage. Think carefully about whether that is an option and how you can make that happen for yourself. If you think you will absolutely get far better experience in the firm's smaller city office than in the firm's primary office, however, then I would go with the smaller city.


Would it be alright if I PM'd you so I can give you a bit more detail? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you knew specifically what I was looking at

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Question about the firm I'll be summering at regarding career development, since I would potentially like to go in-house one day.

I'm going to be working this summer at a small (~25 lawyer) secondary market satellite office of a NLJ250 BigLaw firm HQ'd in one of the primary markets (NY/CHI/DC). The secondary market I'm in is pretty big, but not huge (think Philly/Houston/Atlanta). The firm is still a nationally known BigLaw firm, although this office isn't particularly well-established my city since the office is relatively new. Because the office is so small, the cases will be pretty leanly staffed and I'll take on responsibility pretty quickly, and the firm is not highly-leveraged at all so being on the partner track is a real possibility. I will have several practice areas to choose from, so I'm not going to forced to work in any particular niche, although I will likely be on the transactional side.

My question: in terms of career development and potential in-house exit options in my secondary market, is it better to be at a smaller office like this and have potentially greater experience and responsibility, or to be at one of the biggest firms in the city with a better reputation, even if your experience may not be quite as substantial. I worry that because my firm isn't as well-known in my secondary market as it is in it's primary city, it might hurt me in the long run.

This is a great question and I can't responsibly give you a categorical 'A matters more than B' answer. Experience strongly affects your lateral options, especially in-house. If you can get a lot of amazing experience in a smaller city the next few years, this should be more helpful to you than being another warm body in a major city. At the same time, however, being from a major city office tends to look good on the resume because people in our profession tend to assume (probably fairly) that the work, hours, and training are more challenging in, for instance, New York than in Houston. Also, are you sure that the caliber of work available is the same in the smaller city as it is at your firm's main office? Is the smaller office stable and established despite its newness or is it still in that take whatever work you can get to survive mode? Taking a lot of responsibility on deals that are less important, less diverse, and less difficult is not necessarily that great. Obviously, the best option is to get great experience in a major city so that you have everything working to your advantage. Think carefully about whether that is an option and how you can make that happen for yourself. If you think you will absolutely get far better experience in the firm's smaller city office than in the firm's primary office, however, then I would go with the smaller city.


Would it be alright if I PM'd you so I can give you a bit more detail? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you knew specifically what I was looking at

Sure, PM away.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:44 pm

If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? I will be going to Texas this summer as a 1L at one of the big 3, lived there before LS. Left to attend a MVPB school.

If someone's goal was to make partner at a big firm in Texas or CA doing corporate work, would it be better to go to a V5/10 firm first for 4-5 years and then lateral to a firm in the other state having that NYC experience? Would this be harder to do than I am thinking? I am just thinking that going to a DPW, or similar firm would make you more marketable than if you go to a V&E/BB once you are looking to get out of that firm (not on partnership track, etc).

TooOld4This
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? I will be going to Texas this summer as a 1L at one of the big 3, lived there before LS. Left to attend a MVPB school.

If someone's goal was to make partner at a big firm in Texas or CA doing corporate work, would it be better to go to a V5/10 firm first for 4-5 years and then lateral to a firm in the other state having that NYC experience? Would this be harder to do than I am thinking? I am just thinking that going to a DPW, or similar firm would make you more marketable than if you go to a V&E/BB once you are looking to get out of that firm (not on partnership track, etc).


Didn't like the answer I gave on the V15 thread huh? :wink:

peter2009
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby peter2009 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:16 pm

Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?

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Danger Zone
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Danger Zone » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:12 pm

Tag. Thanks for all the valuable info, OP.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:07 am

My summer firm gives me the option to rotate through three departments. One of the options is to do a 2 week summer pub interest externship. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you had strong ties to a secondary market like TX or CA, how hard would it be for you to move to a firm there that would likely put you on partnership track (assuming you were looking to leave or told to start looking for another job)? I will be going to Texas this summer as a 1L at one of the big 3, lived there before LS. Left to attend a MVPB school.

If someone's goal was to make partner at a big firm in Texas or CA doing corporate work, would it be better to go to a V5/10 firm first for 4-5 years and then lateral to a firm in the other state having that NYC experience? Would this be harder to do than I am thinking? I am just thinking that going to a DPW, or similar firm would make you more marketable than if you go to a V&E/BB once you are looking to get out of that firm (not on partnership track, etc).
I don't have enough information to answer this question. If you're just a 1L, then you don't know yet what your credentials will look like when you graduate (and it should go without saying that credentials affect lateral opportunities). What specific type of corporate law do you want to spend your career on? Is work in that area as plentiful and high profile in the secondary market as it is in the primary market? If your ties to the secondary market are really so strong then why start first outside that market? Why in the world would you not just go ahead and start practicing where you already know you aim to end up? When you lateral, you potentially disrupt your development and networks. At the very least, you have to reorient yourself, figure out who the powerbrokers and deadends in your new position are and determine how to get in good with them or avoid them. Unless you are lateraling to a firm whose associates and partners you are already very familiar with (and I don't mean just knowing names and saying hello at mixers), you will have to find your footing all over and that can be difficult, depending on how adaptable you are. You have to ask yourself what tangible, practical reasons exist for taking the circuitous route of going to firm A and then stopping midstream to go to firm B when you could have gone to firm B in the first place and spent all those years building at firm B.

One of the things you should do is look up an alum of your school who is where you want to be, offer to take them out to coffee or lunch, and ask them your questions. Those who are where you want to be are the best sources of info. Before seeking out busy professionals, however, make sure you have a real idea of what you want to do with your career so that you don't waste their time by not being able to give meaningful details.

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:28 am

peter2009 wrote:Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?
2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:My summer firm gives me the option to rotate through three departments. One of the options is to do a 2 week summer pub interest externship. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
Not sure why I would have thoughts on this random scenario. If you have a question that you want me to answer, feel free to pose it and add some details that I can use to frame an answer.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:08 pm

Torney12 wrote:
peter2009 wrote:Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?
2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.


So you work on average around 65 hours/week? Calculated by assuming around 3,000 total hours (using the conservative 80% efficiency mentioned above even though I know you said you were more efficient)/46 weeks=65 hours/week

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
peter2009 wrote:Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?
2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.


So you work on average around 65 hours/week? Calculated by assuming around 3,000 total hours (using the conservative 80% efficiency mentioned above even though I know you said you were more efficient)/46 weeks=65 hours/week
Your math is wrong. Most years, I work at least 50 weeks and far more than 3,000 hours. Also, is there a reason the average and total hours worked mean so much to you? Those have little impact on your life. How your work is spread affects your quality of life a lot more than the annual total and weekly average. There are so many different types of schedules in big law. In some groups, it's not unusual for associates to bill 300 hours for a couple of months and then bill 150 for another couple of months. Schedules like those are brutal because your entire life becomes a cycle of depleting all your energy during some months, often getting sick, recovering while you walk around a shell of your former self, and then depleting all your energy again. Far worse are schedules that involve doing nothing all day then getting tons of work at 4pm that requires being up all night. Some associates who work with partners and senior associates who are night owls end up with low billables, but still have no life and no peace. They spend all day chained to their desks waiting for work to be dumped on them and then they suffer all night doing the work. Some people with high billables and hours worked have great quality of life because their hours are evenly spread and predictable. Others with low billables are actually having their lives ruined by work. Billable averages and totals are useful only to naive law students, HR, and Vault.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:42 am

As a summer associate choosing between practice areas, what are the best ways of figuring out which partners/practice groups are least likely to make you miserable? What should I be looking for?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Torney12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
peter2009 wrote:Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?
2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.


So you work on average around 65 hours/week? Calculated by assuming around 3,000 total hours (using the conservative 80% efficiency mentioned above even though I know you said you were more efficient)/46 weeks=65 hours/week
Your math is wrong. Most years, I work at least 50 weeks and far more than 3,000 hours.


Different anon. If this is true you are nowhere near as efficient as you think you are.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate choosing between practice areas, what are the best ways of figuring out which partners/practice groups are least likely to make you miserable? What should I be looking for?

Talk to associates. If your summer was anything like mine, then within a couple of weeks you will notice that a core group of the same associates makes it to most of the summer events. These will be the most social bunch, the "cool crowd," so to speak. By the end of summer, you should have struck up a couple of solid friendships. Things like group and partners to avoid will come out while drinking. Newer and younger associates especially, who were in your shoes only 2-3 years ago, will be most eager to impart their wisdom onto you, both out of a genuine desire to help, and because it always feels good to look down from your rung on the ladder (similar to how 3Ls on journals wistfully reminisce about their 2L days with the newbies).

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.


So you work on average around 65 hours/week? Calculated by assuming around 3,000 total hours (using the conservative 80% efficiency mentioned above even though I know you said you were more efficient)/46 weeks=65 hours/week
Your math is wrong. Most years, I work at least 50 weeks and far more than 3,000 hours.


Different anon. If this is true you are nowhere near as efficient as you think you are.

Thanks for sharing?

Torney12
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Torney12 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate choosing between practice areas, what are the best ways of figuring out which partners/practice groups are least likely to make you miserable? What should I be looking for?

Talk to associates. If your summer was anything like mine, then within a couple of weeks you will notice that a core group of the same associates makes it to most of the summer events. These will be the most social bunch, the "cool crowd," so to speak. By the end of summer, you should have struck up a couple of solid friendships. Things like group and partners to avoid will come out while drinking. Newer and younger associates especially, who were in your shoes only 2-3 years ago, will be most eager to impart their wisdom onto you, both out of a genuine desire to help, and because it always feels good to look down from your rung on the ladder (similar to how 3Ls on journals wistfully reminisce about their 2L days with the newbies).

I do agree that you should talk to associates, BUT:

1. Put less stock in what the associates who consistently show up at events have to say. These associates are often in bed w/ HR and sometimes, especially if they are on the hiring committee or trying to get on the committee (which you will have no way of knowing), they will have even been coached on what to say. These associates often aren't there to get to know you and they couldn't care less about you. They are trying to build their careers by scoring points w/ HR and hiring partners and they will tell you bald-faced lies if they have to. Seek out the associates who aren't grinning in your face and trying to sell you on the firm at every turn. Walk around the floor you sit on and say hi to people in the kitchen/coffee area. Get to know associates staffed on your matters. If you hear of a disgruntled associate, seek him/her out and find out s/he has valid gripes or just has issues. The summer is your chance to get inside info before you're stuck.

2. Make an effort to talk to midlevels and senior associates. They know a lot more than newer associates and are a lot more candid because they feel more secure. Older associates will have inside information such as whether the group you are focused on is full of assholes, or doesn't promote women, or isn't supportive of parents, or likes to haze junior associates, or is mostly good but has one partner who you must avoid at all costs. That's the kind of information that can make or break your career at a firm. Junior associates are often still trying to figure it all out themselves and will have more rumor and conjecture than actual wisdom to impart to you.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate choosing between practice areas, what are the best ways of figuring out which partners/practice groups are least likely to make you miserable? What should I be looking for?

Talk to associates. If your summer was anything like mine, then within a couple of weeks you will notice that a core group of the same associates makes it to most of the summer events. These will be the most social bunch, the "cool crowd," so to speak. By the end of summer, you should have struck up a couple of solid friendships. Things like group and partners to avoid will come out while drinking. Newer and younger associates especially, who were in your shoes only 2-3 years ago, will be most eager to impart their wisdom onto you, both out of a genuine desire to help, and because it always feels good to look down from your rung on the ladder (similar to how 3Ls on journals wistfully reminisce about their 2L days with the newbies).


This is clearly the most important thing you can do, especially for capturing variations between firms, but I think there are some themes that hold true across firms.

For example, M&A has the most unpredictable hours / fire drills / ridiculous deadlines whereas on the other end "support" practices like tax or exec comp have the least (within corporate, at least). Capital markets and credit are probably the most "repetitive" practices. Litigation is more steady / predictable than corporate, but involves a lot of solitary work, rather than working in teams. And so on and so forth.

This is not to say M&A is "better" than tax, or vice versa, but if you have an idea of your own preferences, it can be informative. For example, if long nights and unpredictable schedules really get you down, you're probably best off not choosing M&A, since it's the worst in that regard.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a summer associate choosing between practice areas, what are the best ways of figuring out which partners/practice groups are least likely to make you miserable? What should I be looking for?

Talk to associates. If your summer was anything like mine, then within a couple of weeks you will notice that a core group of the same associates makes it to most of the summer events. These will be the most social bunch, the "cool crowd," so to speak. By the end of summer, you should have struck up a couple of solid friendships. Things like group and partners to avoid will come out while drinking. Newer and younger associates especially, who were in your shoes only 2-3 years ago, will be most eager to impart their wisdom onto you, both out of a genuine desire to help, and because it always feels good to look down from your rung on the ladder (similar to how 3Ls on journals wistfully reminisce about their 2L days with the newbies).


This is clearly the most important thing you can do, especially for capturing variations between firms, but I think there are some themes that hold true across firms.

For example, M&A has the most unpredictable hours / fire drills / ridiculous deadlines whereas on the other end "support" practices like tax or exec comp have the least (within corporate, at least). Capital markets and credit are probably the most "repetitive" practices. Litigation is more steady / predictable than corporate, but involves a lot of solitary work, rather than working in teams. And so on and so forth.

This is not to say M&A is "better" than tax, or vice versa, but if you have an idea of your own preferences, it can be informative. For example, if long nights and unpredictable schedules really get you down, you're probably best off not choosing M&A, since it's the worst in that regard.


Can you or anyone else speak to "lifestyle" in hedge funds or private equity groups? (I realize firms call these practices different things so I am just using the obvious finance terms.) M&A and Lit are obviously much more common practices, so the general rep on them tends to be mentioned more often on TLS.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can you or anyone else speak to "lifestyle" in hedge funds or private equity groups? (I realize firms call these practices different things so I am just using the obvious finance terms.) M&A and Lit are obviously much more common practices, so the general rep on them tends to be mentioned more often on TLS.


If you're talking about fund formation, those groups tend to have very regular hours. You can also get a decent amount of responsibility pretty early. The flipside is it's pretty standardized / repetitive (there are only so many ways you can draft an LP agreement), and some people find the regulatory aspects very, very boring (more prominent for hedge fund practice than PE funds). It's also very limited in terms of exit options - not in the sense that the exit options are bad (they aren't), but there's basically only one thing your experience is good for, and that's going in-house at a fund.

If you're talking about PE buyouts / counseling activist hedge funds taking stakes in companies, that's basically M&A. In fact, in most firms the PE buyout practice is just an M&A subgroup.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Torney12 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Torney12 wrote:
peter2009 wrote:Approximately how many hours did you bill last year? How did this compare to how many hours you worked? I've heard anecdotally that biglaw attorneys bill around 80% of the hours they work?
2400+. I am very efficient because I get to work very early, leave rather late, almost never take lunch breaks, and rarely do any socializing during the work day that doesn't relate to work. I haven't the slightest idea what percent of hours worked big law attorneys bill and I couldn't care less about what my colleagues' efficiency rate is because my own efficiency rate is what affects my quality of life. The less efficient you are, the longer you will have to be at work in order to reach your billable goals.


So you work on average around 65 hours/week? Calculated by assuming around 3,000 total hours (using the conservative 80% efficiency mentioned above even though I know you said you were more efficient)/46 weeks=65 hours/week
Your math is wrong. Most years, I work at least 50 weeks and far more than 3,000 hours. Also, is there a reason the average and total hours worked mean so much to you? Those have little impact on your life. How your work is spread affects your quality of life a lot more than the annual total and weekly average. There are so many different types of schedules in big law. In some groups, it's not unusual for associates to bill 300 hours for a couple of months and then bill 150 for another couple of months. Schedules like those are brutal because your entire life becomes a cycle of depleting all your energy during some months, often getting sick, recovering while you walk around a shell of your former self, and then depleting all your energy again. Far worse are schedules that involve doing nothing all day then getting tons of work at 4pm that requires being up all night. Some associates who work with partners and senior associates who are night owls end up with low billables, but still have no life and no peace. They spend all day chained to their desks waiting for work to be dumped on them and then they suffer all night doing the work. Some people with high billables and hours worked have great quality of life because their hours are evenly spread and predictable. Others with low billables are actually having their lives ruined by work. Billable averages and totals are useful only to naive law students, HR, and Vault.


Threads like these confirm that I picked the wrong post-grad degree. Crap.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:14 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you or anyone else speak to "lifestyle" in hedge funds or private equity groups? (I realize firms call these practices different things so I am just using the obvious finance terms.) M&A and Lit are obviously much more common practices, so the general rep on them tends to be mentioned more often on TLS.


If you're talking about fund formation, those groups tend to have very regular hours. You can also get a decent amount of responsibility pretty early. The flipside is it's pretty standardized / repetitive (there are only so many ways you can draft an LP agreement), and some people find the regulatory aspects very, very boring (more prominent for hedge fund practice than PE funds). It's also very limited in terms of exit options - not in the sense that the exit options are bad (they aren't), but there's basically only one thing your experience is good for, and that's going in-house at a fund.

If you're talking about PE buyouts / counseling activist hedge funds taking stakes in companies, that's basically M&A. In fact, in most firms the PE buyout practice is just an M&A subgroup.


I guess I was thinking of both, so thanks.

So I'm assuming at least at the associate level, these groups are strictly separated from one another, and you probably won't get to do regular work in both? (Thinking about "what if you like formation work but want to diversify your exit options?")

- 5:11

imchuckbass58
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I guess I was thinking of both, so thanks.

So I'm assuming at least at the associate level, these groups are strictly separated from one another, and you probably won't get to do regular work in both? (Thinking about "what if you like formation work but want to diversify your exit options?")

- 5:11


At the firms I'm familiar with, they're completely separate.




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