Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

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

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:58 pm

thesealocust wrote: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.

This is a pretty NY-centric understanding, but besides that, you're not all that right, my dear.

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

Postby thesealocust » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:32 pm

IAFG wrote:you're not all that right, my dear.


Wouldn't be the first time :P

Regardless of the specifics or nuances, we're all in agreement that "big law to midlaw" is substantially more common than "midlaw to biglaw" though, yes? I'll freely admit my conception of the specifics are warped and/or NYC-centric, but my head isn't on that backward, is it?

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

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:05 pm

thesealocust wrote:
IAFG wrote:you're not all that right, my dear.


Wouldn't be the first time :P

Regardless of the specifics or nuances, we're all in agreement that "big law to midlaw" is substantially more common than "midlaw to biglaw" though, yes? I'll freely admit my conception of the specifics are warped and/or NYC-centric, but my head isn't on that backward, is it?

I mean, that's kind of a silly statement, facially, isn't it? To be able to lateral, you need to be doing the sort of work at your first firm that they're doing at your second, so that does really limit what kinds of "midlaw" are going to give you lateral options. How many midlaw summers and first-year associates are there every year at those kinds of firms? When V20 firms have been hiring giant summer classes and midlaw firms have been taking a handful... yes, the laterals are going to be disproportionately coming from large firms, and specifically from large firms with large classes. So there are just some natural limits on the anecdotal evidence we are going to see.

That aside, it's generally a safe bet, to bet on the snobbery of law firms. It's definitely my impression that coming from a good school and then a good firm is going to help you on the lateral market. But also important is what you've been practicing, how in demand it is, how good you are at networking, all that stuff. I don't know how common it is, but I have heard about people doing it, and not in a tone of, "OMG I can't believe they pulled that off!"

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

Postby rayiner » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:12 pm

I think people overestimate how hard it is to lateral up, or at least ignore how much practice area matters in lateral opportunities. Especially with firms cutting summer classes, lateraling up in in-demand practice areas seems to be reasonably common these days.

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

Postby Veyron » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:44 pm

or at least ignore how much practice area matters in lateral opportunities.


This.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby chewy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:38 pm

what practice area ITE have the best lateral opportunities?

edit for autocorrect ipad
Last edited by chewy on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Veyron » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:41 pm

chewy wrote:what practice hours ITE have the best lateral opportunities?


Above 2k/yr.

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

Postby thesealocust » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:56 pm

chewy wrote:what practice area ITE have the best lateral opportunities?

edit for autocorrect ipad


Eh, it's not really linear. You can say a little about the exit opportunities from various practice areas / kinds of firms / geographic regions, but you can't really call any "the best."

anon168
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby anon168 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:07 pm

chewy wrote:what practice area ITE have the best lateral opportunities?

edit for autocorrect ipad


IP

But there would be very little reason to do it for a patent prosecutor.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Just accepted a bit over $100K/yr for mid-law in a desirable secondary market. So happy right now.



Same. Regional firm in a small market, roughly 140 lawyers, ~$105k to start, no idea what it is after that. Had 4 SAs and hired all of them (though it wasn't as good last year). I've heard of first-year associates getting to take depositions. As a summer, I had work that went directly to the client having been barely looked at by the partner. There's a 1900 number somewhere out there but I'm hearing associates typically bill closer to 1750.

These firms exist (though I think predominantly in smaller markets), you just have to get kind of lucky, and ties are very important. See the anon post on page 2 comparing ML and BL - I think there are some good points in there, though obviously some are firm-specific (e.g., I think my firm's amenities were pretty much on par with BigLaw).

What are the exit options typically like from places like this? i.e., if I'm looking to move across the country in 3 years, will folks there recognize that I got to do some real work even though the name is unfamiliar?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby anon168 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just accepted a bit over $100K/yr for mid-law in a desirable secondary market. So happy right now.



Same. Regional firm in a small market, roughly 140 lawyers, ~$105k to start, no idea what it is after that. Had 4 SAs and hired all of them (though it wasn't as good last year). I've heard of first-year associates getting to take depositions. As a summer, I had work that went directly to the client having been barely looked at by the partner. There's a 1900 number somewhere out there but I'm hearing associates typically bill closer to 1750.

These firms exist (though I think predominantly in smaller markets), you just have to get kind of lucky, and ties are very important.

What are the exit options typically like from places like this? i.e., if I'm looking to move across the country in 3 years, will folks there recognize that I got to do some real work even though the name is unfamiliar?


In your particular case, your pedigree (law school, journal) and GPA will matter quite a bit and more so than a typical lateral candidate.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:09 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just accepted a bit over $100K/yr for mid-law in a desirable secondary market. So happy right now.



Same. Regional firm in a small market, roughly 140 lawyers, ~$105k to start, no idea what it is after that. Had 4 SAs and hired all of them (though it wasn't as good last year). I've heard of first-year associates getting to take depositions. As a summer, I had work that went directly to the client having been barely looked at by the partner. There's a 1900 number somewhere out there but I'm hearing associates typically bill closer to 1750.

These firms exist (though I think predominantly in smaller markets), you just have to get kind of lucky, and ties are very important.

What are the exit options typically like from places like this? i.e., if I'm looking to move across the country in 3 years, will folks there recognize that I got to do some real work even though the name is unfamiliar?


In your particular case, your pedigree (law school, journal) and GPA will matter quite a bit and more so than a typical lateral candidate.


Same poster here...

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Lower T-14, median-ish. I'm clerking, though at a state court with some regional prestige and not very well known nationally. I may not have to move, but if I do, I'm thinking it might require a D.Ct. clerkship in my target market to make things smoother. career services at my school says I should be competitive if I need to do that, so I'm not too worried about it.

The other question I'd have is this:

Does the $120k/1800 billables/very good partnership prospects (and 2:1 partner associate ratio) model even exist in places like DC/Chi/LA?

anon168
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby anon168 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just accepted a bit over $100K/yr for mid-law in a desirable secondary market. So happy right now.



Same. Regional firm in a small market, roughly 140 lawyers, ~$105k to start, no idea what it is after that. Had 4 SAs and hired all of them (though it wasn't as good last year). I've heard of first-year associates getting to take depositions. As a summer, I had work that went directly to the client having been barely looked at by the partner. There's a 1900 number somewhere out there but I'm hearing associates typically bill closer to 1750.

These firms exist (though I think predominantly in smaller markets), you just have to get kind of lucky, and ties are very important.

What are the exit options typically like from places like this? i.e., if I'm looking to move across the country in 3 years, will folks there recognize that I got to do some real work even though the name is unfamiliar?


In your particular case, your pedigree (law school, journal) and GPA will matter quite a bit and more so than a typical lateral candidate.


Same poster here...

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Lower T-14, median-ish. I'm clerking, though at a state court with some regional prestige and not very well known nationally. I may not have to move, but if I do, I'm thinking it might require a D.Ct. clerkship in my target market to make things smoother. career services at my school says I should be competitive if I need to do that, so I'm not too worried about it.

The other question I'd have is this:

Does the $120k/1800 billables/very good partnership prospects (and 2:1 partner associate ratio) model even exist in places like DC/Chi/LA?


Yes. I can probably name you 2 or 3 firms in Southern CA off the top of my head.

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

Postby rayiner » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just accepted a bit over $100K/yr for mid-law in a desirable secondary market. So happy right now.



Same. Regional firm in a small market, roughly 140 lawyers, ~$105k to start, no idea what it is after that. Had 4 SAs and hired all of them (though it wasn't as good last year). I've heard of first-year associates getting to take depositions. As a summer, I had work that went directly to the client having been barely looked at by the partner. There's a 1900 number somewhere out there but I'm hearing associates typically bill closer to 1750.

These firms exist (though I think predominantly in smaller markets), you just have to get kind of lucky, and ties are very important.

What are the exit options typically like from places like this? i.e., if I'm looking to move across the country in 3 years, will folks there recognize that I got to do some real work even though the name is unfamiliar?


In your particular case, your pedigree (law school, journal) and GPA will matter quite a bit and more so than a typical lateral candidate.


Same poster here...

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. Lower T-14, median-ish. I'm clerking, though at a state court with some regional prestige and not very well known nationally. I may not have to move, but if I do, I'm thinking it might require a D.Ct. clerkship in my target market to make things smoother. career services at my school says I should be competitive if I need to do that, so I'm not too worried about it.

The other question I'd have is this:

Does the $120k/1800 billables/very good partnership prospects (and 2:1 partner associate ratio) model even exist in places like DC/Chi/LA?


I don't know about billables, but Grippo, Eimer, Neal Gerber and a bunch of others in Chicago have way more partners than associates.

005618502
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby 005618502 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:32 pm

Yes. I can probably name you 2 or 3 firms in Southern CA off the top of my head.


Name them if you can. I am pretty curious as this is exactly what I would be looking for and where I would be looking. I know those are in the south often in smaller markets but I dont know of any in SoCal. How competitive are those for someone coming from a MVP with significant ties to SoCal? any ideas

anon168
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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby anon168 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:26 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
Yes. I can probably name you 2 or 3 firms in Southern CA off the top of my head.


Name them if you can. I am pretty curious as this is exactly what I would be looking for and where I would be looking. I know those are in the south often in smaller markets but I dont know of any in SoCal. How competitive are those for someone coming from a MVP with significant ties to SoCal? any ideas


Payne & Fears
Rutan & Tucker
Greenberg Glusker
Kendall Brill
Cox, Castle
Jeffer Mangels

I think you'd be competitive.

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Re: Opting for Mid-Law over Big-Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:10 am

Was doing some searching and happened across this discussion so I'll bump this old thread and ask - anyone else have any input on what it's like to lateral from one region to another, say from a secondary/tertiary market to Chicago? Assume, e.g., an unspectacular MVP grad 2nd year associate with bulletproof ties. Craps shoot highly dependent on individual circumstances? Easier to go regional midlaw/biglaw -> big city midlaw or boutique than the former -> big city biglaw?

Are legal employers generally attracted to midlaw/regional biglaw associates that get a lot more hands-on work earlier in their careers than their big city biglaw counterparts?




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