Exit options and money

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273517
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Exit options and money

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:48 pm

Completely disregarding QOL, geographic location, etc., would the average person at Quinn LA doing IP lit have more lucrative exit options than the average person at Skadden NY doing M&A? All I care about is money.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Exit options and money

Postby anon168 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Completely disregarding QOL, geographic location, etc., would the average person at Quinn LA doing IP lit have more lucrative exit options than the average person at Skadden NY doing M&A? All I care about is money.


If all you care about money you shouldn't have gone to law school, much less try to be a lawyer (of any stripe).

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Completely disregarding QOL, geographic location, etc., would the average person at Quinn LA doing IP lit have more lucrative exit options than the average person at Skadden NY doing M&A? All I care about is money.


Do you want to exit or do you want to stay at a firm? Lit is higher-risk, higher-reward. If IP lit keeps up, you have a non-trivial shot at lateraling to a lesser firm and making at least income partner. At Skadden, you've got a very good chance of going in-house at a bank or something. The former will make more money, but the latter is probably a somewhat more statistically probable career path.

If you care about money, do the thing you think you'll be better at.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273517
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:55 pm

Skadden associate can also lateral to a lower ranked firm and make income partner. Not sure why that option is foreclosed.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Skadden associate can also lateral to a lower ranked firm and make income partner. Not sure why that option is foreclosed.


And IP lit folks can also go in house. I'm not saying that option is foreclosed, I'm saying that supply/demand being what they are right now I think making partner is more probable in IP lit than in M&A. IP boutiques are still making a ton of partners right now. This is assuming IP lit stays hot for another 8 years obviously.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Exit options and money

Postby thesealocust » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:19 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Completely disregarding QOL, geographic location, etc., would the average person at Quinn LA doing IP lit have more lucrative exit options than the average person at Skadden NY doing M&A? All I care about is money.


Do you want to exit or do you want to stay at a firm? Lit is higher-risk, higher-reward. If IP lit keeps up, you have a non-trivial shot at lateraling to a lesser firm and making at least income partner. At Skadden, you've got a very good chance of going in-house at a bank or something. The former will make more money, but the latter is probably a somewhat more statistically probable career path.

If you care about money, do the thing you think you'll be better at.


I definitely agree with this. A lot of litigators see their careers move towards government, public interest, etc. but plenty also make mega-bucks doing high stakes lit, found their own firms, etc. There are certainly also corporate lawyers who see their earning power flame out, but probably fewer when you're talking about a firm like Skadden, and probably basically none involuntarily.

The average corporate lawyer from the average V10ish NYC firm probably has a bigger chance at pulling down 6-figures and up for the foreseeable future, but it's very hard to say that the "exit options are better" or that there would be "more money" for any individual case. Things just become extremely individualistic - who did you meet, who did you work for, and what happened in the broader economy/to your clients in the time you were a lawyer are going to mean so much that it overshadows things like lit vs. corporate and NYC vs. LA.

But Quinn is a lit powerhouse and skadden is an M&A powerhouse, so both are maximizing your odds at clear monetary sailing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273517
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:21 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Skadden associate can also lateral to a lower ranked firm and make income partner. Not sure why that option is foreclosed.


And IP lit folks can also go in house. I'm not saying that option is foreclosed, I'm saying that supply/demand being what they are right now I think making partner is more probable in IP lit than in M&A. IP boutiques are still making a ton of partners right now. This is assuming IP lit stays hot for another 8 years obviously.


Whether is easier to make partner at a lower ranked form in one practice group versus another is not at all discernible from our perspective and is dependent on a ton of other factors.

Edit: as far as ip vs m&a is concerned

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Skadden associate can also lateral to a lower ranked firm and make income partner. Not sure why that option is foreclosed.


And IP lit folks can also go in house. I'm not saying that option is foreclosed, I'm saying that supply/demand being what they are right now I think making partner is more probable in IP lit than in M&A. IP boutiques are still making a ton of partners right now. This is assuming IP lit stays hot for another 8 years obviously.


Whether is easier to make partner at a lower ranked form in one practice group versus another is not at all discernible from our perspective and is dependent on a ton of other factors.


Yeah, it's dependent on a lot of factors, but there are things you can observe. Fish & Richardson is still making as many partners as the whole V5 while hiring a tiny fraction as many people. There are a number of new boutiques opening up doing IP work, and new offices of big law firms opening up doing IP work, which are all going to need partners. You just don't see that activity on the corporate side right now. Who knows if it will keep up, though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273517
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:16 pm

rayiner wrote:Do you want to exit or do you want to stay at a firm? Lit is higher-risk, higher-reward. If IP lit keeps up, you have a non-trivial shot at lateraling to a lesser firm and making at least income partner. At Skadden, you've got a very good chance of going in-house at a bank or something. The former will make more money, but the latter is probably a somewhat more statistically probable career path.

If you care about money, do the thing you think you'll be better at.


Is the idea then that even an income partner at a "lesser" firm makes more than someone in-house at say Goldman?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Exit options and money

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:22 pm

It's not that cut and dry, but a partner at almost any business law firm is likely to see more upside than just-another-guy in the legal department at a bank.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273517
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:10 pm

thesealocust wrote:I definitely agree with this. A lot of litigators see their careers move towards government, public interest, etc. but plenty also make mega-bucks doing high stakes lit, found their own firms, etc. There are certainly also corporate lawyers who see their earning power flame out, but probably fewer when you're talking about a firm like Skadden, and probably basically none involuntarily.

The average corporate lawyer from the average V10ish NYC firm probably has a bigger chance at pulling down 6-figures and up for the foreseeable future, but it's very hard to say that the "exit options are better" or that there would be "more money" for any individual case. Things just become extremely individualistic - who did you meet, who did you work for, and what happened in the broader economy/to your clients in the time you were a lawyer are going to mean so much that it overshadows things like lit vs. corporate and NYC vs. LA.

But Quinn is a lit powerhouse and skadden is an M&A powerhouse, so both are maximizing your odds at clear monetary sailing.


OP here. Thanks for all the helpful comments. This was exactly what I was looking for. There was some discussion about litigators going in-house and corp attorneys lateraling to a smaller firm. Would anyone be kind enough to flush this out more thoroughly for me? I understand that there are smaller firms that do corporate work and might seek a Skadden associate, but is this common? Similarly, do companies often seeks litigators for in-house work, or is it much less common than hiring a corporate attorney? Finally, are there any glaring exit options besides these that I'm missing? Thanks for all the help!

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Exit options and money

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:19 pm

The data I've seen suggest about 2/3 of in-house attorneys were corporate attorneys and about 1/3 were litigators. Likely due to a combination of self-selection and qualification.

There are many more small litigation boutiques than small corporate boutiques. In fact, there are basically no small corporate boutiques that I am aware of. But lots of biglaw firms hire corporate laterals from other biglaw firms.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Exit options and money

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I definitely agree with this. A lot of litigators see their careers move towards government, public interest, etc. but plenty also make mega-bucks doing high stakes lit, found their own firms, etc. There are certainly also corporate lawyers who see their earning power flame out, but probably fewer when you're talking about a firm like Skadden, and probably basically none involuntarily.

The average corporate lawyer from the average V10ish NYC firm probably has a bigger chance at pulling down 6-figures and up for the foreseeable future, but it's very hard to say that the "exit options are better" or that there would be "more money" for any individual case. Things just become extremely individualistic - who did you meet, who did you work for, and what happened in the broader economy/to your clients in the time you were a lawyer are going to mean so much that it overshadows things like lit vs. corporate and NYC vs. LA.

But Quinn is a lit powerhouse and skadden is an M&A powerhouse, so both are maximizing your odds at clear monetary sailing.


OP here. Thanks for all the helpful comments. This was exactly what I was looking for. There was some discussion about litigators going in-house and corp attorneys lateraling to a smaller firm. Would anyone be kind enough to flush this out more thoroughly for me? I understand that there are smaller firms that do corporate work and might seek a Skadden associate, but is this common? Similarly, do companies often seeks litigators for in-house work, or is it much less common than hiring a corporate attorney? Finally, are there any glaring exit options besides these that I'm missing? Thanks for all the help!


It's much easier to go in house from a corporate position than to go in-house from a litigation position. About 2/3 of all in-house positions are for corporate attorneys, while 1/3 are for litigation attorneys. However, there are far more litigation attorneys than corporate attorneys.

User avatar
ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2094
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Exit options and money

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:03 pm

rayiner wrote:It's much easier to go in house from a corporate position than to go in-house from a litigation position. About 2/3 of all in-house positions are for corporate attorneys, while 1/3 are for litigation attorneys. However, there are far more litigation attorneys than corporate attorneys.


While this is true, there has definitely been a movement by large corporations to do more of their litigation work in house. If that trend continues, odds should improve somewhat for biglaw litigators trying to move in house.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.