How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

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How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:20 am

I have one call back offer post EIW at BIG LAW firm in Manhattan. I have 2 offers from big law firms in my home state (which is near NY).
I am worried about accepting an offer and then they do a Dewey LeBoef on me.
How can I determine the firm's financial stability? I heard Dewey had enourmous debt and that was their problem. No firm is going to tell me they are having problems.
I am also concerned about the work/life balance. All these firms are saying they have great work/life balance. How do I judge? I really don't want to be in a sweat shop. Should I look at billable hours requirement. Two of the firms say they have no billable hr requirement on the nalp, but give recommended ones of 2100/hr. One of the firms I am interested in says the requirement is only 1850. Does that mean I will have more free time at a firm with a billable requirement of only 1850 hrs/yr?
Please help?

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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:29 am

The TLS/Above the Law/Law Student community does tend to hear about when firms are in financial distress, a couple of firms come to mind, if you post the name of the NYC firm you'll probably get better responses.

acrossthelake
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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:47 am

I asked firms, post-offer, if they could tell me about how they structure their financials---do they have any debt, how do they deal with lateral partner guarantees, do they have cash reserves, etc. I've had hiring partners spend a good 20-25 minutes with me on the phone going over in a fair amount of detail how the firm runs their firm financially and what their business strategy is . This wouldn't help with a place like Dewey in which the top leadership was lying to the rest of the firm about what was going on, but I thought it was a worthwhile thing to ask about.

RowJimmy
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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby RowJimmy » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:49 am

acrossthelake wrote:I asked firms, post-offer, if they could tell me about how they structure their financials---do they have any debt, how do they deal with lateral partner guarantees, do they have cash reserves, etc. I've had hiring partners spend a good 20-25 minutes with me on the phone going over in a fair amount of detail how the firm runs their firm financially and what their business strategy is . This wouldn't help with a place like Dewey in which the top leadership was lying to the rest of the firm about what was going on, but I thought it was a worthwhile thing to ask about.


and so you think you're getting straight answers from the firms you asked why?

acrossthelake
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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:52 am

RowJimmy wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I asked firms, post-offer, if they could tell me about how they structure their financials---do they have any debt, how do they deal with lateral partner guarantees, do they have cash reserves, etc. I've had hiring partners spend a good 20-25 minutes with me on the phone going over in a fair amount of detail how the firm runs their firm financially and what their business strategy is . This wouldn't help with a place like Dewey in which the top leadership was lying to the rest of the firm about what was going on, but I thought it was a worthwhile thing to ask about.


and so you think you're getting straight answers from the firms you asked why?


I don't expect that they're going to volunteer "and we have massive partner departures" or "we're drowning", but I doubt that they're lying when they say "first we pay out all the expenses, and then the partners split what's left." or "we don't have any debt". Some firms explicitly put that sort of information on their website.

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yinz
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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby yinz » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:13 am

It doesn't hurt to ask about its financials, but no firm is going to volunteer terrible financial news about their firm to a prospective summer hire. No firm wants to end up on ATL as the next possible Dewey. You'll likely get a scripted answer, talking about how they are the exact opposite of Dewey.

You may be able to infer somethings about the firm's financials from other sources: The number of and ratio hired of summer associates the past couple of years, the reason summers didn't get an odder, the number of laterals hired, changes in firmwide hiring numbers, PPP, etc. This information is very limited, so 3Ls at your school who summered at the same office or the same firm are probably your best bet. Sometimes associates talk to summer associates about this kind of stuff; all firms put on a State of the Union address, to which some summer classes are privy. Another option would be to talk to other attorneys not at that firm with whom you have a solid relationship. Sometimes they know things.

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Re: How do I decide on 2L summer job offers? The firm's finances

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:07 pm

Should you be wary of large lateral hires?




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