Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

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Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Jobs are scarce. I'm at a good school (t20) with good grades but it's been tough. By no means am I at a final decision and I have some interviews with government and with firms lined up.

The question is- I have one interview with a pi/workers comp firm. They're a bigger firm so no weird bus advertisements or anything, but besides that it's exactly what you think (do they call it "shit law" here or something?). Assuming they offer me the job, how does this look on my resume, if I wanted to move to another position later on, i.e. a mid-level firm that does other kind of work (contracts, business etc....)?

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:36 pm

2L or 3L? Either way take it if you have no other options. Bird in hand worth more than two in the bush.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:48 pm

I work at pi firm that focuses on toxic torts/mass torts, it has a nationwide practice and is large for pi firm standards. Partners there make more money than the vast majority of big law attorneys could dream of, while working in a much more relaxing atmosphere.

If you dont get an offer elsewhere, and do get an offer there, take it. Just remember theres many many other students just as qualified as you, some even better, that still dont have jobs.

As for shit law, it has IMO less do to with the type of work you do and more to do the amount of time your working in relation to pay (i.e. shitlaw is working biglaw hrs at 40-50k). In any event, if youre only working there for a summer, or even for the school year, youre not "locked in" to that type of law.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:41 pm

Anon @ 9:30am --

Do you enjoy working at your firm? I'm considering going to a firm like that because that's what I'm most interested in (mass tort litigation). However, it's also important to me that I go to work at a firm where I get to do interesting work, am given responsibility, etc. I understand that life's pretty good for partners at places like that, but I'm most concerned for what my next 2-4 years is going to be like. How's life as an associate? FWIW I'll be coming off fed COA and dct clerkships (only saying in case coming in as a 2nd/3rd year associate changes things).

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:53 pm

The firm I'm at appears to want its younger attorneys to do substantive work on cases, they send them all over the country to attend/help with depos, have them write motions, stay in contact w/ clients and defense counsel, etc. they all do what you'd expect lawyers to do (of course they're supervised), some of the associates who have been there for a year or two do a lot of the work of hiring/overseeing law clerks/summer associates which is kind of cool. I couldn't tell you what the firm you're thinking of does, unless, of course, you're thinking about the same firm I work at.

On another note, from what you've said you seem like you have a very good resume, have you been applying for jobs for awhile? You seem like a good candidate for almost any law firm (t20 school, two fed. clerkships)

Another point, you could always switch to defense side later down if you want to work at a firm people think is prestigious. Many of the v100's have some department that defends against those sort of actions. I think most of the people who work here though, like being a plaintiff's attorney, they like going after the corporations.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby mephistopheles » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:55 pm

tough guy wrote:Partners there make more money than the vast majority of big law attorneys could dream of, while working in a much more relaxing atmosphere.



man, more than they could dream of?! that's like a bazillion dollars!

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Thanks for your answer regarding life at your firm. I'm not the OP, and I have two biglaw offers -- so I'm not asking about the mass tort lifestyle because I don't have other choices. I think being a plaintiffs' attorney at a mass torts shop might be what I want to do (and I don't have a specific one in mind yet -- I'm about halfway through my first clerkship so I have some time still).

How would you characterize the experience (and, heck I'll ask, pay) relative to your biglaw counterparts? I assume the pay's pretty significantly less for young associates, which is fine by me, but I'm curious how much less. And, more importantly, I'm curious what you think of your work and responsibility as compared to what it seems like it'd be like at biglaw. Your description sounds pretty solid, but I'm curious how you think things stack up relative to biglaw.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for your answer regarding life at your firm. I'm not the OP, and I have two biglaw offers -- so I'm not asking about the mass tort lifestyle because I don't have other choices. I think being a plaintiffs' attorney at a mass torts shop might be what I want to do (and I don't have a specific one in mind yet -- I'm about halfway through my first clerkship so I have some time still).

How would you characterize the experience (and, heck I'll ask, pay) relative to your biglaw counterparts? I assume the pay's pretty significantly less for young associates, which is fine by me, but I'm curious how much less. And, more importantly, I'm curious what you think of your work and responsibility as compared to what it seems like it'd be like at biglaw. Your description sounds pretty solid, but I'm curious how you think things stack up relative to biglaw.


starting is around 70k in the area im in vs the 110-130k for the bigger NLJ 250 firms in the area. (I work in a secondary market). I'd say, more responsibility than bigger firms, but they have a bigger firm on their resume for later down the line. Also the lifestyle is very different obviously; I dont wear a tie in the office, you only dress up when you go to the clients, no clients come to our office, which may be minimal but it feels a lot more relaxing. If you have 2 biglaw offers, you're in an amazing position, what type of clerkship if you dont mind? dist. crt, ssc, coa?

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:41 pm

Currently federal appeals. I'll be doing a fed. district court clerkship next year. That's good to hear re pay and lifestyle -- 70k a year is not chump change, and I'll be going to a bigger market so hopefully it'll be a bit more. That actually sounds like exactly the sort of lifestyle/pay I'm looking for. Any tips for how to separate the good firms from the bad? There's not a lot of institutional knowledge at my alma mater regarding plaintiffs' firms in general and, as far as I can tell, none whatsoever in my desired market.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:55 pm

I saw this thread about top plaintiff's firms, I have no idea what sort of things every firm in that thread does (because I didn't read it all), but maybe you can find stuff there.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=131696

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby abl » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:12 pm

tag

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:50 pm

How is the work flow at one of these firms? Stable or random?

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:How is the work flow at one of these firms? Stable or random?


haven't been there long enough to really say, but so far it seems stable with some periods of more work, i.e. a huge case comes through. Unlike other areas of law, the number of mass tort claims doesn't depend on the economy (or at least not to the same extent). Obviously you don't get a seven figure case every time, but there are and probably always will be people who have been/will be exposed to toxic substances, or get injured by some product, etc.

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.

Postby Myself » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:01 pm

.
Last edited by Myself on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:54 pm

New PI/worker's comp future 1st year associate here. I'm making 65k in a small-ass market. The partners where I work are doing incredibly well and typically work 8-5. Not a bad gig.

Also, I find the work very interesting/rewarding.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:11 pm

What's the general range for "incredibly well?" And how hard is it to make partner at one of these firms? Is there a 6-10 year partner track or are things less standardized than that?

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby mephistopheles » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the general range for "incredibly well?" And how hard is it to make partner at one of these firms? Is there a 6-10 year partner track or are things less standardized than that?



didn't you read, brah?

more than the vast majority of biglaw partners can even dream!!

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:51 pm

At my firm the annual salary for partners exceeds 300k and can be much higher if there is a high-profile, massive case that year. It takes about 6-7 years for partner. These firms are usually niche firms and it can be tough to get into them without connections. BUT, if you get in, you have a tremendous opportunity.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby typ3 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:56 pm

Two of my family members run a PI/Work Comp firm in a small rural metro with around 160k in population.

Their net take home per attorney over the last 30 years has ranged from 1.6m to a low of around 260k. The average take home is around 360-400k the last few years. There's money in PI/Work Comp but I would note that it is not as easy as it once was 15/30/50 years ago.

Make sure if you are doing PI/Work Comp that there is a high volume side feeder practice such as bankruptcy to hedge against slow quarters / years. You don't want to run into a situation at the practice where cases dry up and you're on the chopping block.

FWIW I would say the easiest and most reliable way to make mid 6 to 7 figures in law is small firm plaintiff personal injury with a strong trial practice.
Last edited by typ3 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:02 pm

typ3 wrote:Two of my family members run a PI/Work Comp firm in a small rural metro with around 160k in population.

Their net take home per attorney over the last 30 years has ranged from 1.6m to a low of around 260k. The average take home is around 360-400k the last few years. There's money in PI/Work Comp but I would note that it is not as easy as it once was 15/30/50 years ago.

Make sure if you are doing PI/Work Comp that there is a high volume side feeder practice such as bankruptcy to hedge against slow quarters / years. You don't want to run into a situation at the practice where cases dry up and you're on the chopping block.

True. I know my firm takes a portion of our multi-million settlements and puts them into a trust account to pay salaries in the event a "dry" year occurs.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby typ3 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
typ3 wrote:Two of my family members run a PI/Work Comp firm in a small rural metro with around 160k in population.

Their net take home per attorney over the last 30 years has ranged from 1.6m to a low of around 260k. The average take home is around 360-400k the last few years. There's money in PI/Work Comp but I would note that it is not as easy as it once was 15/30/50 years ago.

Make sure if you are doing PI/Work Comp that there is a high volume side feeder practice such as bankruptcy to hedge against slow quarters / years. You don't want to run into a situation at the practice where cases dry up and you're on the chopping block.

True. I know my firm takes a portion of our multi-million settlements and puts them into a trust account to pay salaries in the event a "dry" year occurs.


Yea this works but most firms / attorneys don't have the restraint to keep their hands off the kitty. There are lots of attorneys I know of who don't even use a trust account despite the obvious disbarment that would occur from an audit.

I know lawyers who've made banner years of 3-4m and then the next raked in 100k despite doing more marketing / hustling etc. It's just how it goes in the PI world. You can be dry for 6 months and then in one month rake in several hundred thousand / few million with slam dunk clear liability policy limit cases.. and in these cases it's all about how fast you can get them settled before the hospital places a lien on the settlement etc.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:02 pm

Op:

Assuming you're a 1L or 2L, the experieince can't hurt, but also keep looking. Am I assuming correctly (that you are still in LS)?

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:55 pm

mephistopheles wrote:didn't you read, brah?
more than the vast majority of biglaw partners can even dream!!



You will likely never make as much as the the partners at a decent plaintiff's mass tort firm do, even in the unlikely event you make partner at a v10, so I don't get why you are mocking that statement as if its ridiculous.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby mephistopheles » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:didn't you read, brah?
more than the vast majority of biglaw partners can even dream!!



You will likely never make as much as the the partners at a decent plaintiff's mass tort firm do, even in the unlikely event you make partner at a v10, so I don't get why you are mocking that statement as if its ridiculous.



as if its ridiculous? you've got to be kidding me.

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Re: Is taking a job at a pi/workers comp firm a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:50 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
as if its ridiculous? you've got to be kidding me.



I do not understand you. You came into a thread only to say that the phrase "more than they could ever dream of" is stupid. Obviously the statement isn't literal, in any event, I really don't understand your issue with saying that partners at a successful plaintiff's firm make more (and it can be much more) than partners at a v100 make.

Why are you so upset by the phrase that you feel the need to comment but offer no advice to OP?

Edit: unless something has changed, the wealthiest attorneys in the US have been plaintiff's attorneys who win large product liabilities/mass tort cases




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