Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

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Anonymous User
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Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:44 pm

The term "shit law" gets thrown around here a lot. Now I understand that outside of big law and a few boutiques, most people, if they are lucky to even find a job, will probably not start off making 6 figures, but does this mean these people are destined to making between 40-50k for the rest of their lives? Even in "shit law" wouldn't an attorney eventually hit the 100k mark at some point in his/her career? This site is so big law heavy I get the feeling that outside of those jobs everyone is unemployed or working as document review drones. This can't be true (can it?). Does anyone have any perspective on the type of work that exists outside of big law at law firms?

crit_racer
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby crit_racer » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:49 pm

yes there are many firms and practice areas that fit this bill. There are many firms that have between 10-20 attorneys specializing in things like wills & estates, real estate, etc. I imagine pay at these firms will vary considerably, but I'm sure a senior partner would have the potential to do quite well for herself.

Part of the problem w/ these firms is that they are less structured in their hiring practices. This means it can be difficult to get an SA job with them, and if you do, it might not lead to full time employment. Best way to get jobs at firms like this is through "networking" (i hate using that word, but it's true in this case). Find a specialty that suits your background/interests, join that section of the bar, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:53 pm

crit_racer wrote:yes there are many firms and practice areas that fit this bill. There are many firms that have between 10-20 attorneys specializing in things like wills & estates, real estate, etc. I imagine pay at these firms will vary considerably, but I'm sure a senior partner would have the potential to do quite well for herself.

Part of the problem w/ these firms is that they are less structured in their hiring practices. This means it can be difficult to get an SA job with them, and if you do, it might not lead to full time employment. Best way to get jobs at firms like this is through "networking" (i hate using that word, but it's true in this case). Find a specialty that suits your background/interests, join that section of the bar, etc.


OP here. Thanks for the advice. After striking out at OCI, T2 school so wasn't expecting too much, I've been trying to figure out if this whole employment thing is even a reality at this point. Have been "networking" as you've suggested but so far mostly just gotten the same responses where I've met with people. "You should really join this section of the bar" haha...it's a long process I guess.

LawIdiot86
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:05 pm

Once you leave the world of biglaw for small law or shit law, it isn't a sure thing a lawyer will hit 100k in their career. For one thing, your rates won't go up as fast because so much of your world will be repetitive (the 100th DUI will pay about as much as the 10th and you can only handle so many in a year). For another thing, you'll rarely move into a position of leveraging associates to take your share of their billables as a partner. At small or shitlaw, moving from 40k to 70k or 80k is probably the norm, with some going to 100 or 120 if they end up being a bigshot (the DUI lawyer that everyone uses in a town).

Anonymous User
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:17 pm

So essentially it might be better for law students outside of a select few schools to have pursued different careers? I'm pretty sure in most white collar jobs hitting 80k is possible without all the law school debt. That's pretty depressing.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The term "shit law" gets thrown around here a lot. Now I understand that outside of big law and a few boutiques, most people, if they are lucky to even find a job, will probably not start off making 6 figures, but does this mean these people are destined to making between 40-50k for the rest of their lives? Even in "shit law" wouldn't an attorney eventually hit the 100k mark at some point in his/her career? This site is so big law heavy I get the feeling that outside of those jobs everyone is unemployed or working as document review drones. This can't be true (can it?). Does anyone have any perspective on the type of work that exists outside of big law at law firms?

The problem with asking about "eventually" is that there's no data on long term salary potential for people in law school now. Things have changed so much, and will continue to change, that any data on long term anything is from a cohort of lawyers who graduated in a world that doesn't look like ours. We do have some data for entry level, and it's both sparse (<50% response rate) and paints a gloomy, bimodal picture:

Image

What are the long term earning potential of those on the left side of the graph? Who knows.

Anonymous User
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:23 pm

kills self :cry:

Anonymous User
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:32 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The term "shit law" gets thrown around here a lot. Now I understand that outside of big law and a few boutiques, most people, if they are lucky to even find a job, will probably not start off making 6 figures, but does this mean these people are destined to making between 40-50k for the rest of their lives? Even in "shit law" wouldn't an attorney eventually hit the 100k mark at some point in his/her career? This site is so big law heavy I get the feeling that outside of those jobs everyone is unemployed or working as document review drones. This can't be true (can it?). Does anyone have any perspective on the type of work that exists outside of big law at law firms?

The problem with asking about "eventually" is that there's no data on long term salary potential for people in law school now. Things have changed so much, and will continue to change, that any data on long term anything is from a cohort of lawyers who graduated in a world that doesn't look like ours. We do have some data for entry level, and it's both sparse (<50% response rate) and paints a gloomy, bimodal picture:

Image

What are the long term earning potential of those on the left side of the graph? Who knows.



This graph is average starting salary, correct?

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paratactical
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby paratactical » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:36 pm

I'm stupid.
Last edited by paratactical on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This graph is average starting salary, correct?

http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib

LawIdiot86
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Re: Are there firm jobs outside of Big Law?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So essentially it might be better for law students outside of a select few schools to have pursued different careers? I'm pretty sure in most white collar jobs hitting 80k is possible without all the law school debt. That's pretty depressing.

Yes. Going to law schol is like playing the lotto.




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