Am I naive?

(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: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Am I naive?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:22 am

I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!

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

Re: Am I naive?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!


If you want to stay in a firm then stay as long as you can. People here talk about exit options not because they necessarily want to leave firm work, though a lot of people do, but because lawyers are by nature people who like to make contingency plans. I mean what do you expect people to post about, what they're going to do with their partnership profits?

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:53 am

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!


If you want to stay in a firm then stay as long as you can. People here talk about exit options not because they necessarily want to leave firm work, though a lot of people do, but because lawyers are by nature people who like to make contingency plans. I mean what do you expect people to post about, what they're going to do with their partnership profits?


3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby dingbat » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:22 am

Desert Fox wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!


If you want to stay in a firm then stay as long as you can. People here talk about exit options not because they necessarily want to leave firm work, though a lot of people do, but because lawyers are by nature people who like to make contingency plans. I mean what do you expect people to post about, what they're going to do with their partnership profits?


3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus

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

Re: Am I naive?

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!


If you want to stay at your summer firm for the rest of your life, great. Definitely not naive. Hard, maybe. But not naive.

Never take what the peanut gallery says here on TLS to be conventional wisdom. If it's espoused on TLS it is by definition "not wisdom".

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Am I naive?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:41 am

dingbat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I feel like every other post on this forum is about some form of exit option. I accepted an offer at a v40-60 firm and would love to stay at the firm for the rest of my career. I know this is ambitious but that's what I want to do. If I don't make partner or feel its too many hours I would want to lateral to a mid size firm. I haven't even thought of anything else such as going in house, government, etc. I see myself staying in a firm as long as I work. Is this unrealistic?

It seems like everyone is already planning on leaving their firm before they summer and already have a foot out th door. Is this because they don't want to do biglaw and are just doing it to pay off loans so they are already planning their next move? Or do they think they will be asked to leave? I feel like maybe I'm missing something or not being smart and should be thinking whats next? I know a lot of firms push people out but is it not possible to switch to a mid size firm if this happens?

If anyone could shed some light I would greatly appreciate it. If you think this thread is dumb, Im sorry for wasting your time. Thanks!


If you want to stay in a firm then stay as long as you can. People here talk about exit options not because they necessarily want to leave firm work, though a lot of people do, but because lawyers are by nature people who like to make contingency plans. I mean what do you expect people to post about, what they're going to do with their partnership profits?


3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus


what associate bonus buys a Porsche? :|

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18421
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:42 am

dingbat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus

Making partner doesn't cure prole taste.

User avatar
nevdash
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby nevdash » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:49 am

bk1 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus

Making partner doesn't cure prole taste.

Gotta cop dat Porsche, low-end Rolex, and Hugo Boss suit.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby IAFG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
what associate bonus buys a Porsche? :|

Full-ride recipients living in Texas?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby dingbat » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus


what associate bonus buys a Porsche? :|

Boxster and Cayenne both have models with a below $50k list price. at Boies, last year's bonuses for first year associates was $65k

exitoptions
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Re: Am I naive?

Postby exitoptions » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Until you put real time into a firm you won`t know....

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby dingbat » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:48 pm

nevdash wrote:
bk1 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:3 more wives, a Porsche and a growth stunted bear.

the question was partnership profits, not associate bonus

Making partner doesn't cure prole taste.

Gotta cop dat Porsche, low-end Rolex, and Hugo Boss suit.

I will never own any of those

A Maserati, Patek Philippe and hand-made suit, on the other hand....

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8446
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:52 pm

Surprised nobody has mentioned the main reason to consider exit options: Math

At your average monolithic NYC sweatshop, the firm loses about as many lawyers as they hire. That ballparks to ~100 departing lawyers, or 20% of the law firm, every year. A summer class of 100 will turn into a partnership class of well under 5.

Basically, if you start working at gigantic biglaw firm there is a 95% chance you will leave it and a 50%+ chance it will be within the first 4-5 years.

The numbers usually aren't as severe at many smaller firms, but sometimes are even worse for partnership prospects.

Even if you plan to gun for partner at the firm you start at, you have to acknowledge the long odds.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Am I naive?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:14 pm

thesealocust wrote:Surprised nobody has mentioned the main reason to consider exit options: Math

At your average monolithic NYC sweatshop, the firm loses about as many lawyers as they hire. That ballparks to ~100 departing lawyers, or 20% of the law firm, every year. A summer class of 100 will turn into a partnership class of well under 5.

Basically, if you start working at gigantic biglaw firm there is a 95% chance you will leave it and a 50%+ chance it will be within the first 4-5 years.

The numbers usually aren't as severe at many smaller firms, but sometimes are even worse for partnership prospects.

Even if you plan to gun for partner at the firm you start at, you have to acknowledge the long odds.


OP HERE. That was one of my thoughts of why people start looking at exit options from day one. So i guess my follow up question would be if that is the case and you are a 4-5 year associate and are asked to leave, how much does it matter what firm you go to if you would want to transfer to a mid size firm? I understand other posters on the board saying should I choose a V5 over a V50 to give myself a better chance of going in house or to another big law firm. But if you would want to transfer to mid law does it really matter if you were at a V5,V50,V100? Or does it matter what your work product was while at the law firm, the school you attended, grades, etc? Or is it something where its the whole package?

Thanks.

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

Re: Am I naive?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:01 pm

thesealocust wrote:Surprised nobody has mentioned the main reason to consider exit options: Math

At your average monolithic NYC sweatshop, the firm loses about as many lawyers as they hire. That ballparks to ~100 departing lawyers, or 20% of the law firm, every year. A summer class of 100 will turn into a partnership class of well under 5.

Basically, if you start working at gigantic biglaw firm there is a 95% chance you will leave it and a 50%+ chance it will be within the first 4-5 years.

The numbers usually aren't as severe at many smaller firms, but sometimes are even worse for partnership prospects.

Even if you plan to gun for partner at the firm you start at, you have to acknowledge the long odds.


The numbers are much less severe outside of the NYC sweatshops.

This year, there were 973 new partners (equity and non-equity) in 97 of 200 sampled Am Law 200 firms. If the sample was totally random, that would be 2,000 new partners. I'd imagine the sample skews high, so let's say its somewhere between 1,500-2,000. To cross-check this, consider that there are about 115,000 am law 200 attorneys, of which about 40% are partners of some sort, for about 50,000 partners. 1,500 new partners represents 3% attrition + growth, 2,000 new partners represents 4% attrition + growth. Both these are in the ballpark in an economy where growth is very low.

Now the average time to partnership for this year's crop was 10 years, which puts us around C/O 2002. For C/O 2007, NLJ published a chart showing 12.6% of that year's JD class went to an NLJ 250 firm: http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20080 ... uation.jpg. The NLJ 250 is almost a superset of the Am Law 200. Assuming that number was consistent in 2002, given the 38,000 JD's awarded that year we can estimate ~5,000 new NLJ 250 attorneys that year. We can also guesstimate 1,000-1,500 new attorneys joining firms post-clerkship, for 6,000-6,500. This is probably an overestimate because C/O 2002 was itself during a recession and C/O 2007 was the height of the boom, so the % going to NLJ 250 was probably lower for C/O 2002. That said, let's run with it.

Now I'm not even going to compute a total percentage because these numbers are such wild estimates, but my point is that if you extrapolate from the NYC V10 to the rest of the industry, the numbers just don't work out, not unless you think the Am Law 200 is taking in 15,000-20,000 new attorneys in each class. A lot of people make some sort of partner at some sort of firm if they stick it out. Not enough so you avoid making contingency plans, but not so few that you need to give up on the idea from Day 1.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8446
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:31 pm

rayiner wrote:Now I'm not even going to compute a total percentage because these numbers are such wild estimates, but my point is that if you extrapolate from the NYC V10 to the rest of the industry, the numbers just don't work out, not unless you think the Am Law 200 is taking in 15,000-20,000 new attorneys in each class. A lot of people make some sort of partner at some sort of firm if they stick it out. Not enough so you avoid making contingency plans, but not so few that you need to give up on the idea from Day 1.


Yep, for sure. It's just easiest to see the numbers at the biggest NYC firms, and they employ so many people as a group that they happen to get a pretty big chunk of those who will start at any biglaw firm nationwide. The last time I crunched numbers I got a bit over 5,000 biglaw entry level jobs per year, of which hundreds will be in the V10 alone).

Anonymous User wrote: But if you would want to transfer to mid law does it really matter if you were at a V5,V50,V100? Or does it matter what your work product was while at the law firm, the school you attended, grades, etc? Or is it something where its the whole package?

Thanks.


The quality of your firm and your practice area is the most important factor to your exit options. Whether the vault rankings are an appropriate measure of that depends a lot on the firms, region, and practice area.

School, grades, and work product will not matter very much except in fringe cases (and work product will matter if you're talking about exit options into the legal department of a client).

As a concrete example: Associates in the major corporate groups at top NYC law firms get recruiting calls frequently (possibly daily) from headhunters trying to place them at other major law firms. But it depends on which firms need associates, what practice area they need those associates in, etc. And those opportunities are likely not top-quality.

Still, headhunters exist to place people from one firm to another and people seek out their own options as well. It's a very amorphous process and people generally don't talk about it much since leaving your current employer is always a sensitive decision/topic.

But all else being equal, you want to start your job hunt from the best practice group/firm possible, and your exit options will depend heavily on practice group in particular.

Sorry there isn't more concrete to be said - it would certainly be useful!

aces
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:06 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby aces » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:10 am

The quality of your firm and your practice area is the most important factor to your exit options. Whether the vault rankings are an appropriate measure of that depends a lot on the firms, region, and practice area.

School, grades, and work product will not matter very much except in fringe cases (and work product will matter if you're talking about exit options into the legal department of a client).


How does the degree of responsibility or amount of substantive work experience you've acquired work into the equation? For instance, does working on leanly-staffed deals/cases tangibly improve your exit options?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8446
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Am I naive?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:28 am

aces wrote:
The quality of your firm and your practice area is the most important factor to your exit options. Whether the vault rankings are an appropriate measure of that depends a lot on the firms, region, and practice area.

School, grades, and work product will not matter very much except in fringe cases (and work product will matter if you're talking about exit options into the legal department of a client).


How does the degree of responsibility or amount of substantive work experience you've acquired work into the equation? For instance, does working on leanly-staffed deals/cases tangibly improve your exit options?


Exiting to a client: The more responsibility you have interacting with the client, the better the odds they'll like you and want to hire you.

Exiting anywhere else: If you endear yourselves to partners they might help, but for any arm's-length exit it won't really matter because the person hiring you won't have any way to know how leanly your deals were staffed.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.