1l sa why this system?

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bigbirdfly
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1l sa why this system?

Postby bigbirdfly » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Why don't firms offer more 1L SA positions while paying each one less? $20000-$30000 for a 10-week internships for 1Ls seems high for the value they are able to add.

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ph14
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby ph14 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:30 pm

bigbirdfly wrote:Why don't firms offer more 1L SA positions while paying each one less? $20000-$30000 for a 10-week internships for 1Ls seems high for the value they are able to add.


Because they are trying to recruit top candidates.

Agent
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby Agent » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:01 pm

+1.

ph14 wrote:Because they are trying to recruit top candidates.

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IAFG
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby IAFG » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:05 pm

oh yes, more know-nothing SAs, just what every firm needs.

bdubs
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby bdubs » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:08 pm

A few do have two tiered pay, but that doesn't mean they take a lot of 1ls

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dingbat
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:17 pm

bigbirdfly wrote:Why don't firms offer more 1L SA positions while paying each one less? $20000-$30000 for a 10-week internships for 1Ls seems high for the value they are able to add.

Why should they? 1Ls add no value whatsoever and I'm fairly certain 2Ls don't add any either.
As a matter of fact, even if 1Ls and 2Ls worked for free, they'd still be costing the firm money

the lantern
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby the lantern » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:10 pm

I would say I'm fairly confident that I was net gain for my firm as a 2L. Not sure how a 1L could ever be useful though. You need that 2L year to learn how to do things right.

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ph14
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:15 pm

the lantern wrote:I would say I'm fairly confident that I was net gain for my firm as a 2L. Not sure how a 1L could ever be useful though. You need that 2L year to learn how to do things right.


This is a joke, right?

the lantern
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby the lantern » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:12 pm

Nope. Learned how to actually write in 2L year w/ law review and seminar paper. As an editor, I can tell you that I have seen the progress in my 2Ls over the fall semester quite clearly. Following 1L year, I was pretty much useless. After 2L year (l rev, clinic, 2 internships), I knew i could do anything and then went out and did it. Would imagine it is the same for others.

rad lulz
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:13 pm

the lantern wrote:Nope. Learned how to actually write in 2L year w/ law review and seminar paper. As an editor, I can tell you that I have seen the progress in my 2Ls over the fall semester quite clearly. Following 1L year, I was pretty much useless. After 2L year (l rev, clinic, 2 internships), I knew i could do anything and then went out and did it. Would imagine it is the same for others.

lawl

I hear complaints from attys constantly about how 1st and 2nd yr associates are net money losers

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IAFG
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby IAFG » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:25 pm

1Ls are useless. But 2Ls? Yeah that's where the talent's at.

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wiseowl
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby wiseowl » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:06 pm

rad lulz wrote:
the lantern wrote:Nope. Learned how to actually write in 2L year w/ law review and seminar paper. As an editor, I can tell you that I have seen the progress in my 2Ls over the fall semester quite clearly. Following 1L year, I was pretty much useless. After 2L year (l rev, clinic, 2 internships), I knew i could do anything and then went out and did it. Would imagine it is the same for others.

lawl

I hear complaints from attys constantly about how 1st and 2nd yr associates are net money losers


this would only be true in a micro firm where pay is too high and billing rates are too low.

if i make my hrs reqt with anything approaching a reasonable realization rate, there is literally no way I could lose the firm money short of me directly causing a malpractice suit or constant top-level models and top-level bottles.

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IAFG
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:17 pm

wiseowl wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
the lantern wrote:Nope. Learned how to actually write in 2L year w/ law review and seminar paper. As an editor, I can tell you that I have seen the progress in my 2Ls over the fall semester quite clearly. Following 1L year, I was pretty much useless. After 2L year (l rev, clinic, 2 internships), I knew i could do anything and then went out and did it. Would imagine it is the same for others.

lawl

I hear complaints from attys constantly about how 1st and 2nd yr associates are net money losers


this would only be true in a micro firm where pay is too high and billing rates are too low.

if i make my hrs reqt with anything approaching a reasonable realization rate, there is literally no way I could lose the firm money short of me directly causing a malpractice suit or constant top-level models and top-level bottles.

oh, you know your overhead cost? pls share

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wiseowl
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby wiseowl » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:26 pm

IAFG wrote:
wiseowl wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
the lantern wrote:Nope. Learned how to actually write in 2L year w/ law review and seminar paper. As an editor, I can tell you that I have seen the progress in my 2Ls over the fall semester quite clearly. Following 1L year, I was pretty much useless. After 2L year (l rev, clinic, 2 internships), I knew i could do anything and then went out and did it. Would imagine it is the same for others.

lawl

I hear complaints from attys constantly about how 1st and 2nd yr associates are net money losers


this would only be true in a micro firm where pay is too high and billing rates are too low.

if i make my hrs reqt with anything approaching a reasonable realization rate, there is literally no way I could lose the firm money short of me directly causing a malpractice suit or constant top-level models and top-level bottles.

oh, you know your overhead cost? pls share


I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.

BeenDidThat
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby BeenDidThat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:45 pm

wiseowl wrote:
IAFG wrote:
wiseowl wrote:
rad lulz wrote:lawl

I hear complaints from attys constantly about how 1st and 2nd yr associates are net money losers


this would only be true in a micro firm where pay is too high and billing rates are too low.

if i make my hrs reqt with anything approaching a reasonable realization rate, there is literally no way I could lose the firm money short of me directly causing a malpractice suit or constant top-level models and top-level bottles.

oh, you know your overhead cost? pls share


I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.


Hint: your idea of 'reasonable realization rate' has no relation to the ideas on that topic held by partners for whom you'll work.

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IAFG
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:50 pm

wiseowl wrote:I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.

So you're pretty much talking out your ass. Do you know what DPW's lease costs? Cravath's?

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wiseowl
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby wiseowl » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:30 pm

IAFG wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.

So you're pretty much talking out your ass. Do you know what DPW's lease costs? Cravath's?


Congrats on picking two awesome strawm...examples. Those firms also have billing rates and clients that compensate for that.

You'll also note that my initial post before the passive aggressive train rolled in said "I." I know my billing rate, my realization rate, and at least a rough idea of my firm's finances. I don't know those things for a kid slaving away at Cravath. I do know that that kid is also billing 2500 at ~400/hr. That's what's paying that rent.

The statement was made above (secondhand, by a law student) that 1st and 2nd year associates are money losers. Yes, they can be, especially at small firms in secondary markets, where they almost certainly are money losers. They all are not.

Renzo
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:09 pm

IAFG wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.

So you're pretty much talking out your ass. Do you know what DPW's lease costs? Cravath's?


It's not just "pretty much." He/she is full-on, hard core talking out the ass.

All in, when you count the cost of OCI, callbacks, firm recruiting events, offer dinners, the summer program, Bar study costs, creditable hours for attorneys spent on recruiting, etc.; my firm's recruiting folks say that each first year costs the firm $100,000 each before they walk in the door.

My malpractice policy costs the firm a fortune because a) the matters are complex and b) while claims are almost never made, if there ever was a malpractice claim, it could be billions of dollars in alleged damages.

Commercial real estate in midtown runs from $80-120/sq. ft. If I assume $90 a square foot, and divide my floor's size by the number of lawyers on it, my office costs the firm about $60,000 a year before the lights, heat, and cleaning. And, this is an atrocious underestimate because there are at least six floors where no lawyers sit, where IT, reproduction, the mailroom, accounting, the cafeteria, etc., are located. Oh, and there's the conference center and reception, which is a few more floors.

Then, there's my secretary, my laptop, my blackberry... Oh, and there are costs for things like my Westlaw/Lexis account which are theoretically billed to the client, but in practice very few clients will actually pay.

Add all this to my salary, bonus, and (generous) benefits, and $300k a year is a rather conservative estimate of my cost to the firm.

If we use this number, and assume that the firm is billing every client at my published hourly rate (they aren't, clients get discounts) the firm needs to realize 2400 hours from me to break even. This would be like 125% of what I need to make my bonus, assuming 100% collections. There is no fucking way on earth I am going to work that much. Thus, there is no fucking way on earth the firm is going to make money off me this year.

Edit: just realized that the 2400 hr estimate assumes I never get admitted in NY, and will be billed out as a legal trainee for the full year, so it's low--but the message is the same.
Last edited by Renzo on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:11 pm

wiseowl wrote:
IAFG wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I don't. But even at the most ludicrous estimates tossed around online with no substantiation ($300,000 plus salary and benefits per attorney LOL), there's still a comfortable profit margin for at least biglaw first years. Again, this assumes said first years meet their hours and the realization is 80-90%.

So you're pretty much talking out your ass. Do you know what DPW's lease costs? Cravath's?


Congrats on picking two awesome strawm...examples. Those firms also have billing rates and clients that compensate for that.

You'll also note that my initial post before the passive aggressive train rolled in said "I." I know my billing rate, my realization rate, and at least a rough idea of my firm's finances. I don't know those things for a kid slaving away at Cravath. I do know that that kid is also billing 2500 at ~400/hr. That's what's paying that rent.

The statement was made above (secondhand, by a law student) that 1st and 2nd year associates are money losers. Yes, they can be, especially at small firms in secondary markets, where they almost certainly are money losers. They all are not.


No first-year on plant earth is being billed at $400/hr. Not even as a headline rate.

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jkpolk
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby jkpolk » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Renzo wrote:No first-year on plant earth is being billed at $400/hr. Not even as a headline rate.


Image

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Sheffield
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby Sheffield » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:29 pm

In its own way it does not make sense NOT to hire a 1LSA. In their first year they know zip (ditto 2SA). By the second year the SA is leaps ahead of the firm across the street that just brought on a newbie 2L. By the third year the SA with three summers of experience is good-to-go. Some firms (ahead of the curve) get this! Why the others don't, hard to understand their logic (perhaps they are managed by boomers. . . which would explain a lot about "why this system").

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ph14
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:31 pm

Sheffield wrote:In its own way it does not make sense NOT to hire a 1LSA. In their first year they know zip (ditto 2SA). By the second year the SA is leaps ahead of the firm across the street that just brought on a newbie 2L. By the third year the SA with three summers of experience is good-to-go. Some firms (ahead of the curve) get this! Why the others don't, hard to understand their logic (perhaps they are managed by boomers. . . which would explain a lot about "why this system").


There are so many problems with this post.

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IAFG
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:32 pm

ph14 wrote:
Sheffield wrote:In its own way it does not make sense NOT to hire a 1LSA. In their first year they know zip (ditto 2SA). By the second year the SA is leaps ahead of the firm across the street that just brought on a newbie 2L. By the third year the SA with three summers of experience is good-to-go. Some firms (ahead of the curve) get this! Why the others don't, hard to understand their logic (perhaps they are managed by boomers. . . which would explain a lot about "why this system").


There are so many problems with this post.

it was exhausting to read.

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Sheffield
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby Sheffield » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:43 pm

IAFG wrote:
ph14 wrote:
Sheffield wrote:In its own way it does not make sense NOT to hire a 1LSA. In their first year they know zip (ditto 2SA). By the second year the SA is leaps ahead of the firm across the street that just brought on a newbie 2L. By the third year the SA with three summers of experience is good-to-go. Some firms (ahead of the curve) get this! Why the others don't, hard to understand their logic (perhaps they are managed by boomers. . . which would explain a lot about "why this system").


There are so many problems with this post.

it was exhausting to read.

No question about it. . .these posts about 1Ls getting SAs are exhausting to read and understand. Good news is that this three day weekend will give you time to recuperate. :roll:

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dingbat
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Re: 1l sa why this system?

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:56 pm

Sheffield wrote:In its own way it does not make sense NOT to hire a 1LSA. In their first year they know zip (ditto 2SA). By the second year the SA is leaps ahead of the firm across the street that just brought on a newbie 2L. By the third year the SA with three summers of experience is good-to-go. Some firms (ahead of the curve) get this! Why the others don't, hard to understand their logic (perhaps they are managed by boomers. . . which would explain a lot about "why this system").

Basically, paying someone $30k+ with no way of knowing if you'll ever see them again does not make sense. They do it for 2Ls because most 2Ls end up working at the firm and it's a "try before you buy" situation




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