Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

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bk1
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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby bk1 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:19 pm

keg411 wrote:Well, yeah. I'm just saying that I know firms that have 1800/1900 billable requirements that aren't even Vault ranked (and aren't in NYC) and people still complain about how bad the hours are. I think it's really hard to get a good comparison, unless you ask laterals (and even they're going to have biases).

I just think it's better to have a general rule that, "yes the hours are going to suck. That's why you get paid."


I'm not referring to requirements because they generally seem to be a flame.

While that's a safe general rule, if you're actually talking about 2 firms where it is different (e.g. Boies vs MTO) then I don't think it's that absurd to take it into account. That being said it's hard to get a handle on what the truth is for these sorts of things.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Cavalier » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:47 pm

Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:14 pm

Cavalier wrote:Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.


OP here. Not a lifestyle firm but the people seemed to be super friendly and mesh well with me. Im not the super nerdy harvard law type. Also it seemed to be more like a 9-7/7:30 firm rather than a 9-10:30 firm (other than due dates and fire drills of course).

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:55 pm

Cavalier wrote:Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.


They might all be sweatshops, but I think some lower-ranked firms you can be a star at 2400 hours, whereas V5s can easily surpass 3000.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby thelawyler » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Cavalier wrote:Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.


They might all be sweatshops, but I think some lower-ranked firms you can be a star at 2400 hours, whereas V5s can easily surpass 3000.


Any people who are working who can speak to this?

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby anon168 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:20 am

thelawyler wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Cavalier wrote:Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.


They might all be sweatshops, but I think some lower-ranked firms you can be a star at 2400 hours, whereas V5s can easily surpass 3000.


Any people who are working who can speak to this?


Surpassing 3000 hours, while theoretically possible, is hardly practically feasible. Maybe you do it once in your associate career, but consistently? Not unless you are padding.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:42 am

anon168 wrote:
thelawyler wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Cavalier wrote:Working at any Vault firm will involve long hours and lots of doc review. Don't fool yourself into thinking you found a lifestyle firm buried in the Vault rankings; they're all sweatshops (in major markets). That said, some firms are more pleasant than others, some firms may suit your personality better, and so on. If I were doing corporate work in NYC I'd be reluctant to turn down a V10 for a V100, but for other practices and regions the Chambers practice area rankings are generally much more important than the Vault rankings. Definitely do a lot of research into the firms before making your decision; don't base it solely on the fact that you happened to meet a more cheerful group of attorneys at the V100 than the V10.


They might all be sweatshops, but I think some lower-ranked firms you can be a star at 2400 hours, whereas V5s can easily surpass 3000.


Any people who are working who can speak to this?


Surpassing 3000 hours, while theoretically possible, is hardly practically feasible. Maybe you do it once in your associate career, but consistently? Not unless you are padding.


Since this thread has kind of devolved into a discussion about hours:
What I've always wondered is how many associates are actually taking the 4+ weeks of vacation time firms offer. How does this factor into the equation?
Is it safe to assume associates billing 2500-2600 hours a year are taking no more than a few days off per year? Or is it still possible to bill that much and take the vacation time offered? How much vacation will a typical associate on the partner track actually take?

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:57 am

I'm in a similar boat here and though I know I have no direct experience with this, I must say that I believe there will be a real difference in your life between some firms, even in NYC. When one firm tells you that they work til 9 and 1am is a late night and another says they work til 7:30 and 10 is a late night, this is a real difference. When this characterization shows up in almost every source about the two firms, it's hard to believe that it's not true.
Also, the laterals at many V100 have told me time and time again that their old life at Skadden or White and Case or Shearman was truly different than their life at current firm. Where I most often (though not always) hear that there is no difference is from people at higher ranked firms, which leads me to believe that there might be a measure of justification involved.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby anon168 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Surpassing 3000 hours, while theoretically possible, is hardly practically feasible. Maybe you do it once in your associate career, but consistently? Not unless you are padding.


Since this thread has kind of devolved into a discussion about hours:
What I've always wondered is how many associates are actually taking the 4+ weeks of vacation time firms offer. How does this factor into the equation?
Is it safe to assume associates billing 2500-2600 hours a year are taking no more than a few days off per year? Or is it still possible to bill that much and take the vacation time offered? How much vacation will a typical associate on the partner track actually take?


I'm going to answer your question by giving you this example.

If you take no vacation days, except for the holidays (e.g. Xmas, NY, Thanksgiving, federal holidays, etc.), that would essentially mean you are working 50 weeks a year (2 weeks for those holidays).

To bill 2500 hours in a 50 week year, that would mean you are billing 50 hours a week.

That's hours billed, not hours worked.

Your typical associate will generally (and I stress "generally") bill 3/4 of every hour worked, if they are (1) efficient and (2) not padding.

So that means, roughly, if you are billing 2500 hours a year -- and using all the metrics above (no padding, 3/4 ratio, etc.) then that means you are working about 66-70 hours a week, or working about 3300 to 3500 hours a year.

Think about that for a minute. For 50 weeks a year, you are going to be averaging 10 hour days, every day, non-stop, just to bill 2500 hours.

Granted, there will be peaks and valleys in your billables (some months are higher, some lower) but still you get the picture.

Billing 2500 hours is alot. When people say that they are routinely billing 3000 hours -- they are either prone to hyperbole, lying, padding, bragging, or all of the above.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:41 am

Eh. A lot of associates at my V10 just make up work for themselves because they are gunners and end up billing 3000 hours that way.

Also, when you're doing a big deal and it's closing, you can easily hit 350-400 months. I didn't go to sleep many nights during a closing, and those days provided me with nearly 22 billable hours per day. They add up.

So yes. Lots of associated pad. But 3,000 genuine billable hours is not categorically something that's not happening.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:43 am

yea i was told by an associate at my firm that she bills every minute she's in the office past like 6 or something. so even if shes waiting around for someone or something, if she has to be in the office after normal hours, thats all billable.




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