Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:37 pm

OP

I want to thank everyone for your input. Your opinions were very helpful. Working for a firm with nationwide offices is certainly attractive. Especially firms with web sites featuring videos of their associates claiming their firm offers great experiences, especially mentoring and team work. All very enticing.

That said, no one here made it appear that big-law was clearly the obvious choice. With that in mind, I pulled the trigger today on mid-law with a highly respected firm (plenty of super lawyers, etc.) and touts a considerable number of major clientele. Whether this turns out to be the right decision, or not, I will check back after this summer! Again, thanks.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Omerta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:04 am

Congrats OP! I hope you have a great summer.
Anonymous User wrote:Those qualities can also be found in Biglaw offices in smaller secondary markets. At least in the secondary market I'm going to, the few vault/nlj250 firms that are there hire maybe 5 SAs, have close to 100% offer rates, billable requirements around 1900, and seem to have the expectation that you are going to make partner (better than 2:1 partner to associate ratio, very low attrition, no up or out (can be made of counsel), etc.), plus have the big firm pay/benefits. Not saying these jobs are easy to get, but you don't necessarily have to give up biglaw benefits in order to be somewhere where it's not bill 2400 or gtfo.


What do you mean by "Biglaw offices in secondary markets?" If you're talking about, say, K&S Houston this is objectively wrong. If you mean firms like Robinson Bradshaw in NC, then I'd agree.

Veyron wrote:
Those qualities can also be found in Biglaw offices in smaller secondary markets. At least in the secondary market I'm going to, the few vault/nlj250 firms that are there hire maybe 5 SAs, have close to 100% offer rates, billable requirements around 1900, and seem to have the expectation that you are going to make partner (better than 2:1 partner to associate ratio, very low attrition, no up or out (can be made of counsel), etc.), plus have the big firm pay/benefits. Not saying these jobs are easy to get, but you don't necessarily have to give up biglaw benefits in order to be somewhere where it's not bill 2400 or gtfo.


Also this. Although "biglaw" in secondary markets and "midlaw" is often indistinguishable.


Veyron made a good point here. Assuming the firm has a NY office, if you would consider working at the firm's NY office Biglaw, then it's biglaw and not midlaw. Ex. Paul Hastings Atlanta; Dewey Jacksonville (RIP); K&L Gates Charleston.


nevdash wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:not OP, but have a similar question.

In a secondary market is it preferable to work at the main office of a NLJ250 or a satellite office of a V50? Salary is roughly identical.

Better exit options out of the V50, but that only matters if you're trying to for something like an AUSA position down the road. If your exit plan is midlaw, might as well just begin in midlaw.

Wrong. Exit options based on name are grossly over exaggerated on this site. I would choose the main office: (1) it likely originates the most amount of work (2) because of (1), less likely to get laid off (3) better ability to establish connections with important members of the firm (4) for the long run, your odds at partnership are better at the "mothership" office than a satellite.

If your choice is between a great firm and a great firm, whatever future impact of the name is going to depend on what you did at the firm and not the firm's name.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:FYI: hours minimums are very, very different from hours expectations. Most New York biglaw firms have official hours requirements in the 1900-2000 range, and even then usually the only explicit negative repercussion is that you don't get your year-end bonus (which have been pretty paltry the last few years anyways). Realistically, however, you'll have partners constantly pushing work at you, and while it's possible to regularly turn down work and settle in at/near the minimum, that level of effort puts you in a very precarious position with regards to job security, especially ITE. I'd say most New York associates in good standing average around 2200 billables a year (including pro bono), which is a far cry from the 1950 or 2000 or whatever they're pushing on the website/Chambers/etc.

That said, I imagine similar dynamics are at play with the midlaw firm-- I would ask around and see how reliable those hours estimates really are. It's very possible that you might only bill 1500 hours but are expected to put in a lot of hours in business development, administrative hours, etc. which pushes the end result closer to biglaw hours.

I am surprised by how definitively people are talking about hours expectations/minimums ITT.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:20 am

Omerta wrote:Congrats OP! I hope you have a great summer.
Anonymous User wrote:Those qualities can also be found in Biglaw offices in smaller secondary markets. At least in the secondary market I'm going to, the few vault/nlj250 firms that are there hire maybe 5 SAs, have close to 100% offer rates, billable requirements around 1900, and seem to have the expectation that you are going to make partner (better than 2:1 partner to associate ratio, very low attrition, no up or out (can be made of counsel), etc.), plus have the big firm pay/benefits. Not saying these jobs are easy to get, but you don't necessarily have to give up biglaw benefits in order to be somewhere where it's not bill 2400 or gtfo.


What do you mean by "Biglaw offices in secondary markets?" If you're talking about, say, K&S Houston this is objectively wrong. If you mean firms like Robinson Bradshaw in NC, then I'd agree.


For example in Miami - Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Akerman Senterfitt meet this description (pretty sure white and case as well but I'm less familiar with it). I'm not talking about Ropes Gray Boston or Dechert Philly

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:33 am

One thing that annoys me about this thread is that a distinction isn't really being made between an offer to work for the summer and a permanent job offer.

If you're choosing between permanent job offers, things like salary, partnership prospects, etc... come into play much much more.

If you're looking at summer job options, you need to be far less concerned with the chances that you'll make partner, firm billable requirements, full time entry level associate salary, etc... and think more about which firm gives you the best shot of actually getting an offer at the end of the summer. A big law firm is more likely than any other firm out there to provide you that type of security (I know someone will quote this and say something like 'herp derp, my midlaw firm has close to 100% offer rate.' Save it...my statement is still true, backed by statistics and, therefore, able to stand up to your futile attempt to make yourself feel better).

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:35 am

Aqualibrium wrote:One thing that annoys me about this thread is that a distinction isn't really being made between an offer to work for the summer and a permanent job offer.

If you're choosing between permanent job offers, things like salary, partnership prospects, etc... come into play much much more.

If you're looking at summer job options, you need to be far less concerned with the chances that you'll make partner, firm billable requirements, full time entry level associate salary, etc... and think more about which firm gives you the best shot of actually getting an offer at the end of the summer. A big law firm is more likely than any other firm out there to provide you that type of security (I know someone will quote this and say something like 'herp derp, my midlaw firm has close to 100% offer rate.' Save it...my statement is still true, backed by statistics and, therefore, able to stand up to your futile attempt to make yourself feel better).

Herp derp if you know the offer rate of the firm you're considering and it's comparable to your biglaw alternative (they're obviously not all at 100% offers) then you don't need to use size of the firm to predict your outcome.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:43 am

IAFG wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:One thing that annoys me about this thread is that a distinction isn't really being made between an offer to work for the summer and a permanent job offer.

If you're choosing between permanent job offers, things like salary, partnership prospects, etc... come into play much much more.

If you're looking at summer job options, you need to be far less concerned with the chances that you'll make partner, firm billable requirements, full time entry level associate salary, etc... and think more about which firm gives you the best shot of actually getting an offer at the end of the summer. A big law firm is more likely than any other firm out there to provide you that type of security (I know someone will quote this and say something like 'herp derp, my midlaw firm has close to 100% offer rate.' Save it...my statement is still true, backed by statistics and, therefore, able to stand up to your futile attempt to make yourself feel better).

Herp derp if you know the offer rate of the firm you're considering and it's comparable to your biglaw alternative (they're obviously not all at 100% offers) then you don't need to use size of the firm to predict your outcome.


I honestly was talking less about size and more about the other factors that make a firm "big law." My firm is 400+ attorneys, but it certainly isn't a big law firm.

Anyway, I'd like to ask a question that speaks to your point because I think it's interesting:

Firm A, a non-nlj250 firm, hires 5 summers, gives 4 offers = 80% offer rate. Firm B, a vault 100 firm, has 50 summers, gives offers to 40 = 80% offer rate. Who do you choose?


(Also, I'll point out that knowing the offer rate is a big IF for pretty much every non NALP firm, but even the NALP firms don't give you a really clear picture. I'll use my firm as an example again. NALP says my class of summers had 12 people, 10 of whom got offers. That doesn't really help when you consider that one person was IP and the first summer and hire in years at a very specialized office, 2 others were counted as having offers extended even though they actually just moved on and found something else because the firm was taking so long to extend them an offer, and another person was again a highly specialized and educated person in a highly specialized office. In fact, only 3 of 8 folks in the main office actually ended u getting an offer to work in that office. So the true rate is 8/12 even though NALP says it is 10/12...then, 2 of those 8 folks are highly specialized, and of the remaining 6--all of whom worked in the main office--only 3 actually ended up getting offers to be in the more desirable main office.)

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:58 am

Aqualibrium wrote:Anyway, I'd like to ask a question that speaks to your point because I think it's interesting:

Firm A, a non-nlj250 firm, hires 5 summers, gives 4 offers = 80% offer rate. Firm B, a vault 100 firm, has 50 summers, gives offers to 40 = 80% offer rate. Who do you choose?

Honestly, I don't think one is obviously more risky than the other. You don't know, as a 2L, how the no-offereds are singled out. Both firms could always cull the herd no matter how competent the whole summer class is.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Aqualibrium » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:00 am

IAFG wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Anyway, I'd like to ask a question that speaks to your point because I think it's interesting:

Firm A, a non-nlj250 firm, hires 5 summers, gives 4 offers = 80% offer rate. Firm B, a vault 100 firm, has 50 summers, gives offers to 40 = 80% offer rate. Who do you choose?

Honestly, I don't think one is obviously more risky than the other. You don't know, as a 2L, how the no-offereds are singled out. Both firms could always cull the herd no matter how competent the whole summer class is.



Agreed. Just wondered how you'd reason through it.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:08 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Anyway, I'd like to ask a question that speaks to your point because I think it's interesting:

Firm A, a non-nlj250 firm, hires 5 summers, gives 4 offers = 80% offer rate. Firm B, a vault 100 firm, has 50 summers, gives offers to 40 = 80% offer rate. Who do you choose?

Honestly, I don't think one is obviously more risky than the other. You don't know, as a 2L, how the no-offereds are singled out. Both firms could always cull the herd no matter how competent the whole summer class is.



Agreed. Just wondered how you'd reason through it.


I'd probably go with Firm B because if I got no-offered there I'd at least have 9 other people to commiserate with.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Omerta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:24 am

Aqualibrium wrote:One thing that annoys me about this thread is that a distinction isn't really being made between an offer to work for the summer and a permanent job offer.

If you're choosing between permanent job offers, things like salary, partnership prospects, etc... come into play much much more.

If you're looking at summer job options, you need to be far less concerned with the chances that you'll make partner, firm billable requirements, full time entry level associate salary, etc... and think more about which firm gives you the best shot of actually getting an offer at the end of the summer. A big law firm is more likely than any other firm out there to provide you that type of security (I know someone will quote this and say something like 'herp derp, my midlaw firm has close to 100% offer rate.' Save it...my statement is still true, backed by statistics and, therefore, able to stand up to your futile attempt to make yourself feel better).

You're right, getting an offer is the most important thing. You're also right in that midlaw firms are generally less hesitant to no offer. Shit, my situation almost exactly reinforces your position. I chose a midlaw firm over a secondary Skadden office and got no-offered. That was a risk I was willing to take considering that the midlaw firm suited my interests and goals far better than Skadden did. Still, the prospects post-summer should very much in the front of your mind. Last time I checked (about 30 seconds ago), 3Ls weren't exactly fighting off firms after working as a SA.

Anonymous User wrote:For example in Miami - Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Akerman Senterfitt meet this description (pretty sure white and case as well but I'm less familiar with it). I'm not talking about Ropes Gray Boston or Dechert Philly

Greenberg Traurig is like the worst example you can give. Their Miami office is known for heavy hours and way less than 100% offers. White & Case is also a bad example. A Miami partner's draw still comes out of the firm's revenue, so it's no cakewalk making partner. If you check their website, there are several 9+ year associates and W&C has a very high associate:partner ratio. Holland and Akerman depend on the office, but H&K no offered slightly less than half their summers in the city that I worked in.

You need a stand alone offices or regional cluster to get the kind of benefits you're talking about.


Aqualibrium wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Anyway, I'd like to ask a question that speaks to your point because I think it's interesting:

Firm A, a non-nlj250 firm, hires 5 summers, gives 4 offers = 80% offer rate. Firm B, a vault 100 firm, has 50 summers, gives offers to 40 = 80% offer rate. Who do you choose?

Honestly, I don't think one is obviously more risky than the other. You don't know, as a 2L, how the no-offereds are singled out. Both firms could always cull the herd no matter how competent the whole summer class is.



Agreed. Just wondered how you'd reason through it.

Easily Firm B. My reasoning is you DO NOT want to be the one guy/girl who didn't get the offer. If you can say 10 people in your class were no-offered, that is comparatively less bad.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:58 am

Omerta wrote:Greenberg Traurig is like the worst example you can give. Their Miami office is known for heavy hours and way less than 100% offers. White & Case is also a bad example. A Miami partner's draw still comes out of the firm's revenue, so it's no cakewalk making partner. If you check their website, there are several 9+ year associates and W&C has a very high associate:partner ratio. Holland and Akerman depend on the office, but H&K no offered slightly less than half their summers in the city that I worked in.

You need a stand alone offices or regional cluster to get the kind of benefits you're talking about.




I don't know where you are getting your info. GT, W&C, and Akerman have 100% offer rates listed on nalp. Holland has no offered one person each of the last two years. I know for a fact that the average billables at GT is less than 2k. Akerman has a goal of 1900 hrs, same for H&K. Akerman has 91 partners (plus of counsel) to 42 associates. GT has 108 partners (plus 6 counsel) to 51 associates. Admittedly W&C is worse with 27 partners (and 7 counsel) to 44 associates, but that's still pretty decent.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Omerta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Omerta wrote:Greenberg Traurig is like the worst example you can give. Their Miami office is known for heavy hours and way less than 100% offers. White & Case is also a bad example. A Miami partner's draw still comes out of the firm's revenue, so it's no cakewalk making partner. If you check their website, there are several 9+ year associates and W&C has a very high associate:partner ratio. Holland and Akerman depend on the office, but H&K no offered slightly less than half their summers in the city that I worked in.

You need a stand alone offices or regional cluster to get the kind of benefits you're talking about.




I don't know where you are getting your info. GT, W&C, and Akerman have 100% offer rates listed on nalp. Holland has no offered one person each of the last two years. I know for a fact that the average billables at GT is less than 2k. Akerman has a goal of 1900 hrs, same for H&K. Akerman has 91 partners (plus of counsel) to 42 associates. GT has 108 partners (plus 6 counsel) to 51 associates. Admittedly W&C is worse with 27 partners (and 7 counsel) to 44 associates, but that's still pretty decent.


I'm getting my info from summer associates and attorneys who work at the firm, which I consider significantly more reliable than NALP. Not to sound snarky, but law school employment statistics, LIBOR etc. have shown us that self-reported statistics are not particularly true. People are not surprised when firms massage their billable numbers down, but staunchly believe that a firm would never do the same to their SA numbers? Hell, a drunk attorney told me that s/he modified the firm's diversity numbers if a female attorney married a man with an ethnic name. I'm going to believe my friend who called me crying after s/he was no-offered, not a fucking self-reported survey.

Lol at any firm's "goal" having any relevance to their hours and Holland & Knight's office in the market I worked in no-offered more than two people. I'm 100% sure because I'm a family friend of a senior/managing partner. How do you know that GT Miami's average billables are 2k or less? Did you work there?

Every shred of evidence (and every senior associate I've ever had an informational interview with) has told me it's better to work in the mothership office. And no matter what the partner/associate numbers are, GT/Akerman/H&K are biglaw firms.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote: If this is indeed the rationale, why not choose mid-law from the start? Your opinion is . . .


nevdash wrote:If your exit plan is midlaw, might as well just begin in midlaw.


There's a huge factor people are missing here: people at smaller/midlaw law firms also run the risk of not fitting in perfectly with their firm, burning out, the firm hitting road bumps and not being able to promote them/make them partner, etc. There's a real chance (though admittedly not as large as at a biglaw firm) that the person who STARTS at a midlaw firm will need to exit to a different firm or job.

Sadly, legal employment is often like a giant plinko board. It's hard to say what will happen to each individual, but by and large if you've worked at a firm for 3 or 4 years and either want - or need - to find another job, you're going to have a better time starting at a mammoth firm with a sterling reputation than a more regional firm with "just" a good reputation.

Neither case is likely to leave you unemployed or destitute or anything, but you can't just assume starting at biglaw = exit to midlaw and starting at midlaw = MIDLAW 4 LYFE.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Renne Walker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:19 pm

thesealocust wrote:. . . you can't just assume starting at biglaw = exit to midlaw and starting at midlaw = MIDLAW 4 LYFE.

+1. And while there is only minimal TLS support for this outcome, sometimes starting at BL = staying in BL.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:32 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
thesealocust wrote:. . . you can't just assume starting at biglaw = exit to midlaw and starting at midlaw = MIDLAW 4 LYFE.

+1. And while there is only minimal TLS support for this outcome, sometimes starting at BL = staying in BL.

I think everyone on TLS supports this outcome.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Renne Walker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:02 pm

IAFG wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
thesealocust wrote:. . . you can't just assume starting at biglaw = exit to midlaw and starting at midlaw = MIDLAW 4 LYFE.

+1. And while there is only minimal TLS support for this outcome, sometimes starting at BL = staying in BL.

I think everyone on TLS supports this outcome.

What I meant to infer, there is only marginal consensus that BL is a cradle to grave proposition.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
thesealocust wrote:. . . you can't just assume starting at biglaw = exit to midlaw and starting at midlaw = MIDLAW 4 LYFE.

+1. And while there is only minimal TLS support for this outcome, sometimes starting at BL = staying in BL.

I think everyone on TLS supports this outcome.

What I meant to infer, there is only marginal consensus that BL is a cradle to grave proposition.

I think everyone agrees that some people can and will stay in biglaw their whole career. The problem is, no one knows on this side of their career which way it's gonna go.

To borrow from sealocust, it's a giant Plinko board. Assuming that you will be among those remaining in biglaw their whole careers is about as wise as assuming you're getting biglaw from a lower T1.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:13 pm

As a 2L going through OCI, I was a huge proponent for ML over BL. As a a 3L who split the summer between ML and BL, I can't imagine choosing ML over BL.

Just some random thoughts based on my experience, YMMV. I split the summer between a BigTex firm and a mid-size firm that starts associates below market, but over $120k.

1. The BL work was more complex. My wife observed that I seemed more stressed and engaged at the big firm. I felt like I could dick around more at the smaller firm because the work was a little easier to manage (yes, I know this sounds arrogant).

2. The ML savings don't stop at the salaries. The technology, support staff, facilities, Westlaw/Lexis accounts were all better at the big firm. Everything from location to the phone system was better at the big firm. The summer events were better because the firm was willing to spend more money. This also showed up in important areas like benefits: associates at the big firm had lower health insurance premiums for a better health plan. The cost differential alone was nearly $5k/year (this is on top of the lower starting salary).

3. This is related to point no. 2, but I think it should be mentioned separately. My smaller firm does not have HR/Recruiting/Talent Management like the big firm does. I feel like this made a big difference during the summer. Logistically, my big firm experience was better because of the HR folks. Some of the issues were inconsequential. For example, my kid has special dietary needs and it was nice showing up at summer events knowing that the HR people had taken care of it. In other areas, the difference mattered. The HR people ensured that I got feedback, provided me with any information I needed about the firm (like health insurance info), and generally made sure that my summer experience was top notch.

4. 3L OCI - Most ML SAs at my school had to go through 3L OCI. Most ML firms in my area simply didn't get back to students in time to avoid 3L OCI. Additionally, it seems to me that ML firms are more likely to push out their hiring decisions into late fall/early spring semester. My big firm got back to me the first week of August, exactly when they told me they would get back to me. I ended up withdrawing from consideration with my midlaw firm, but other SAs told me that offer decisions were pushed out four weeks so that the firm could evaluate its hiring needs.

5. This is really a small office vs. big office thing, but I noticed with the midsize firm that if an associate doesn't get along with or like a particular partner it is more difficult for the associate to avoid that partner. At the big firm, there were enough partners and associates that in most cases an associate could avoid working for any particular partner.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that was a huge midlaw/lifestyle proponent last year during OCI. I was pretty close to doing a midlaw/midlaw split last summer, but I couldn't be happier that I went with a big firm for the first half. In fact, a close friend was a SA at the midlaw firm I turned down for the first half and it seems like her experience was very similar to my second-half midlaw firm.

I know most of this is personal preference. I had ten years pre-LS WE with a F100 company, so the things I value are probably a little bit different from the average summer associate. As I mentioned earlier, YMMV.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:05 pm

How frequently do people go from ML to BL? Is starting a career in ML in any way prohibitive to someone who later wants to lateral into BL? It seems harder (based on anecdotal evidence) to go BL->ML than it is to go ML->BL if a person decides that the grass is greener and tries to make the switch a few years in.

Thoughts?

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby thesealocust » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How frequently do people go from ML to BL?


Very, very close to never. I'd say it never happens, but then somebody would find one fringe case and this would turn into a 15 page semantics debate. Now instead it can be a 2-3 page semantics debate.

Biglaw is characterized by (1) major corporate clients, (2) hiring summer associate classes and/or judicial clerks to fill entry classes, and (3) moderate to very high associate turnover.

They basically have no organizational need for hiring people that aren't law students, and as a consequence lateral hires are nearly always from other biglaw firms when practice areas need to grow or suffer from high attrition.

Midlaw is much harder to define, but associates at such firms typically won't even be on the radar of biglaw firms for hiring.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Veyron » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:15 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How frequently do people go from ML to BL?


Very, very close to never. I'd say it never happens, but then somebody would find one fringe case and this would turn into a 15 page semantics debate. Now instead it can be a 2-3 page semantics debate.


I'd quibble with that and say that going from 2ndary market big/mid --> primary market biglaw was not terribly uncommon during the boom years and I imagine it will not be terribly uncommon in the future. Headhunters used to love to do those kind of raids.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby thesealocust » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:16 pm

Veyron wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How frequently do people go from ML to BL?


Very, very close to never. I'd say it never happens, but then somebody would find one fringe case and this would turn into a 15 page semantics debate. Now instead it can be a 2-3 page semantics debate.


I'd quibble with that and say that going from 2ndary market big/mid --> primary market biglaw was not terribly uncommon during the boom years and I imagine it will not be terribly uncommon in the future.


At that point it all comes down to how one defines midlaw. Certainly lateralling happens, and certainly it happens (but less frequently) from small/medium markets to big/medium markets. But the further a firm is from the biglaw model (and thus the more likely it is to be called midlaw) the less likely somebody from that firm is to be on a traditional biglaw firm's radar for lateral hiring.

I award myself 10 points in advance for calling the semantics debate :D (no offense intended Veyron, your point/perspective is legit)

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Veyron
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Veyron » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:17 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Veyron wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How frequently do people go from ML to BL?


Very, very close to never. I'd say it never happens, but then somebody would find one fringe case and this would turn into a 15 page semantics debate. Now instead it can be a 2-3 page semantics debate.


I'd quibble with that and say that going from 2ndary market big/mid --> primary market biglaw was not terribly uncommon during the boom years and I imagine it will not be terribly uncommon in the future.


At that point it all comes down to how one defines midlaw. Certainly lateralling happens, and certainly it happens (but less frequently) from small/medium markets to big/medium markets. But the further a firm is from the biglaw model (and thus the more likely it is to be called midlaw) the less likely somebody from that firm is to be on a traditional biglaw firm's radar for lateral hiring.


I think that headhunters are generally acquainted with the top firms by reputation in any given market and those are the firms that you need to be at in order to have a shot at making a move.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby thesealocust » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:41 pm

Well... sure, but I wouldn't call the top firms in basically any decently sized legal market "midlaw."

The biggest difference here are clients and practice areas. Biglaw firms hire laterals when they really need to plug a gap in a practice area, and they almost always look "up" the totem-pole. If a V50 in NYC needs a securities associate, they're probably going to do start looking in the V10-15 in NYC.

Maybe it's different for litigators, but there's just such a big difference between the transactions and the recruiting models that "midlaw" and "biglaw" firms use on the corporate end that I have trouble imagining people can make the jump "up" the ladder that often. I'd imagine poking around attorney bios on various firms would prove the point.




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