At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

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JCougar
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Previous poster you are insane if you think Lieff and Altshuler attys leave at 5. I like those firms but don't take this too far. This is a great thread with a lot of heart. We lawyers care for each other! Good luck ts


When I said "leave at 5," I was talking plaintiff-side law in general. Altshuler and Lieff are obviously high-end exceptions.

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Borg
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Borg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:04 am

JCougar wrote:
Borg wrote:OP, if you don't need the money, I'd suggest looking for something cooler and giving it a shot. There are litigation boutiques that specialize in civil rights or class actions that have better hours, extremely high upside as a partner, and probably much better cultures than where you are now. The one thing is that some of them don't hire straight out of school, so you might have to do some more digging to figure out which ones will. Caveat: get your offer, hold off on accepting, and then do what I'm about to tell you to do in the interim period before they require a response. Hustle hard.

If I were you, my first step would be to check out this firm called Cohen Milstein. They do antitrust class actions in New York, and the people I met a few years ago who worked there were awesome. I don't think they hire straight out of law school, but you should comb the site to see if an alum from your law school or undergrad is at the firm and reach out to see if they would be willing to have coffee and give you tips on how to get on track to go to a firm like that. Make a good impression, stay in touch, and see if it's possible to jump from Skadden or wherever you are in a year or two. http://www.cohenmilstein.com/home.php.

Otherwise, go to career services and see if they can help you find other firms with a similar profile. Google a lot. Send resumes out even to the ones that claim not to take fresh law school grads. If you don't need to deal with these sociopathic losers in a firm you hate for the money, find a way out.


Firms like Cohen Milstein are harder to get into than Biglaw. I know people from Harvard that couldn't get an interview there. Firms like that generally only hire from the T6 on up (the SF/Oakland area might drop down to Berkeley). For firms like Altshuler Berzon, top 15% at NYU is even a long-shot. Lieff Cabraser has hired people outside of the T6, but generally only those who have solid experience. These firms also tend to hire people who have public interest/government work in their background. Summering at Biglaw is actually a detriment to OP's resume in this case, as they look for people that were PI focused from the get-go.

But that doesn't mean OP shouldn't examine plaintiff-side work. The people I've met that are doing this are MUCH happier than the Biglaw people I've met. There's assholes on each side, but in general, Biglaw people are more antisocial, insecure, and tired. It's a product of their work environment. You might start out at $60K at a decent plaintiff-side firm, but you can wear shorts to the office and actually leave at 5pm. And you can make partner far easier and faster. Plaintiff-side work gets thrown in with "shitlaw" a lot on TLS, but it's actually one of the best experiences out there: better training and better work environment.


This is hyperbole.

(1) I know for a fact that a lot of these firms have people from Fordham, NYLS, Cardozo etc. Not gunning for it because someone might say no is a mistake that thin skinned little pedigree obsessed wusses in law school constantly make, and it's why so many people wind up unhappy. Everyone's afraid to take control or have someone say no to them. Yes, it is going to take more digging and legwork than getting a biglaw job, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily going to be harder to score it once OP has made contact. Hit up a lot of firms and be a little bit less geographically restrictive and someone will bite.

(2) Biglaw isn't necessarily a detriment, particularly if it was only for a summer. The people I know at Cohen Milstein were biglaw associates at Vault firms before moving there. I'd venture to say that the best thing to show an antitrust firm is a solid understanding of economics along with the right attitude about PI, not just some blind commitment to government work.

(3) You can't wear shorts at a lot of these places, and it's by no means easier to make partner. Dress code is probably office dependent. The whole idea that you can waltz in and become a partner without being an absolutely stellar lawyer is absurd, no matter which firm you're talking about.

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JCougar
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:13 am

Borg wrote:This is hyperbole.

(1) I know for a fact that a lot of these firms have people from Fordham, NYLS, Cardozo etc. Not gunning for it because someone might say no is a mistake that thin skinned little pedigree obsessed wusses in law school constantly make, and it's why so many people wind up unhappy. Everyone's afraid to take control or have someone say no to them. Yes, it is going to take more digging and legwork than getting a biglaw job, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily going to be harder to score it once OP has made contact. Hit up a lot of firms and be a little bit less geographically restrictive and someone will bite.

(2) Biglaw isn't necessarily a detriment, particularly if it was only for a summer. The people I know at Cohen Milstein were biglaw associates at Vault firms before moving there. I'd venture to say that the best thing to show an antitrust firm is a solid understanding of economics along with the right attitude about PI, not just some blind commitment to government work.

(3) You can't wear shorts at a lot of these places, and it's by no means easier to make partner. Dress code is probably office dependent. The whole idea that you can waltz in and become a partner without being an absolutely stellar lawyer is absurd, no matter which firm you're talking about.


Actually, your characterization of what I said is hyperbole. You can't wear shorts at Cohen Milstein, but you can at quite a few plaintiff firms. Cohen Milstein is in the top 1% of plaintiff firms (along with Altshuler Berzon, Motley Rice, Lieff Cabraser, Lewis Feinberg, Outten & Golden, Robbins Geller, etc.) so these are the exception rather than the rule. I wasn't talking about these firms when I said you could wear shorts.

And trust me, Biglaw is a detriment. It's not a bar, but it's a detriment. You are better off having worked in a PI job than done a biglaw summer. And it is easier to make partner. Just take a look at any of their websites. These firms are leveraged at 1:1 partners per associate. The numbers are simply more in your favor, especially with some Biglaw offices leveraged close to 10:1.

Cohen Milstien does hire from outside the T14, but if you look at those people, they're usually magna cum laude with a federal clerkship on their resume, or they have like 10 years of awesome experience before joining. Other than that, it's a lot of HYS with a bunch of lower T14 mixed in. Altshuler Berzon has one single attorney outside the T5, and he was a Supreme Court clerk that went to Georgetown.

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quakeroats
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby quakeroats » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know this is BigLaw in NY and yes, I know I "should have known." Besides this, I am at a point now where even as a summer associate, the future of the next 5 years in BigLaw, should I get an offer from this summer, brings tears to my eyes everyday. It wouldn't be so if I knew that BigLaw guaranteed me substantive experience, crafting me to be the best that I can be as a practitioner. Instead, its more about playing politics to "get the best work" and everybody who fails at the game can expect 16 hour diligence runs for the next few years. This is a game that I would prefer not to play.


Skadden won't be a pleasant experience. Considering you're young and don't know what you want to do, you'll be staffed in Litigation/M&A/another big practice. You're quite likely to spend your time there doing little but diligence/discovery. The only way up requires more networking, hours, and interest in the subject matter than you appear willing or able to put in. If you can take a year or two of bordom then by all means. But Skadden's better than most at separating wheat from chaff, so understand that you'll be cut loose when there's a slowdown or you're otherwise unprofitable. Besides, do you really want to work in Times Square?

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Borg
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Borg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:26 am

JCougar wrote:
Borg wrote:This is hyperbole.

(1) I know for a fact that a lot of these firms have people from Fordham, NYLS, Cardozo etc. Not gunning for it because someone might say no is a mistake that thin skinned little pedigree obsessed wusses in law school constantly make, and it's why so many people wind up unhappy. Everyone's afraid to take control or have someone say no to them. Yes, it is going to take more digging and legwork than getting a biglaw job, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily going to be harder to score it once OP has made contact. Hit up a lot of firms and be a little bit less geographically restrictive and someone will bite.

(2) Biglaw isn't necessarily a detriment, particularly if it was only for a summer. The people I know at Cohen Milstein were biglaw associates at Vault firms before moving there. I'd venture to say that the best thing to show an antitrust firm is a solid understanding of economics along with the right attitude about PI, not just some blind commitment to government work.

(3) You can't wear shorts at a lot of these places, and it's by no means easier to make partner. Dress code is probably office dependent. The whole idea that you can waltz in and become a partner without being an absolutely stellar lawyer is absurd, no matter which firm you're talking about.


Actually, your characterization of what I said is hyperbole. You can't wear shorts at Cohen Milstein, but you can at quite a few plaintiff firms. Cohen Milstein is in the top 1% of plaintiff firms (along with Altshuler Berzon, Motley Rice, Lieff Cabraser, Lewis Feinberg, Outten & Golden, Robbins Geller, etc.) so these are the exception rather than the rule. I wasn't talking about these firms when I said you could wear shorts.

And trust me, Biglaw is a detriment. It's not a bar, but it's a detriment. You are better off having worked in a PI job than done a biglaw summer. And it is easier to make partner. Just take a look at any of their websites. These firms are leveraged at 1:1 partners per associate. The numbers are simply more in your favor, especially with some Biglaw offices leveraged close to 10:1.

Cohen Milstien does hire from outside the T14, but if you look at those people, they're usually magna cum laude with a federal clerkship on their resume, or they have like 10 years of awesome experience before joining. Other than that, it's a lot of HYS with a bunch of lower T14 mixed in. Altshuler Berzon has one single attorney outside the T5, and he was a Supreme Court clerk that went to Georgetown.


(1) Your obsession with shorts is stupid. I believe you that dress codes are more relaxed at a lot of PI focused firms, but it's an idiotic detail that should have no bearing on one's choice of firm, and it's definitely not the case at the top shops (which are the ones I was suggesting to OP from the start).

(2) This guy goes to a T-14 and has good grades. He is a good candidate for a clerkship, and he is competitive for just about any job he wants. Just breezing through the Cohen Milstein website, I see A LOT of people who graduated with honors from American University, GW, Cardozo, William & Mary etc. I actually see much more of that than I see HYS. There's definitely no academic bar to OP here, as he is at the top of his class at a better school than those ones.

(3) On the same quick pass through the site, I saw people who worked at Kirkland & Ellis, Wilmer Hale, Cahill, and Gibson Dunn before joining the firm. Yes, it's best if you worked at the ACLU or DOJ, but it's clearly fairly common to come from a firm as well and OP shouldn't be discouraged.

(4) The partner/associate ratio is not meaningful. These firms promote superstars to partner just like biglaw firms do. They don't have some quota of associates that are entitled to partner each year, and they probably don't have as much pressure to have a 7 year track or anything because they don't have to report to Vault or anyone else. Associates can get more direct contact with partners at firms like that, but they do not have to promote people any more easily.

Bottom line is that OP has exactly the kind of pedigree one needs to make a serious run at places like this (especially with a clerkship), and he should try if he's interested.

AllTheLawz
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby AllTheLawz » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:What doesn't make sense to me from watching all of this is why the most prestigious firms can truly then be known to have the best exit options. If you have half of an incoming class being placed on diligence duty, they are not going to get picked up when they get quietly axed in year 3 by a good inhouse job because they have no real legal skills. Is it that the other half will stick it out for 5-6 years and finally get an inhouse job worth having? Seems to me that it would be better to go work for a V50 and maybe try to get some real experience.


It has nothing to do with Vault ranking

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kwais
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby kwais » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:05 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What doesn't make sense to me from watching all of this is why the most prestigious firms can truly then be known to have the best exit options. If you have half of an incoming class being placed on diligence duty, they are not going to get picked up when they get quietly axed in year 3 by a good inhouse job because they have no real legal skills. Is it that the other half will stick it out for 5-6 years and finally get an inhouse job worth having? Seems to me that it would be better to go work for a V50 and maybe try to get some real experience.


It has nothing to do with Vault ranking


That's not entirely acurate. You have a better chance of getting more responsibility early at a firm that is not a V10. There are of course exceptions on both ends.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:12 am

Thanks guys. This has been tremendously helpful, practically speaking it gives me a headache because the search for real work outside of BigLaw is a nightmare (hence why we all flock for one roost to begin with) but psychologically, it is rewarding to see that these are thoughts that others experience, ponder over, and make different choices because of.

I do think there needs to be more threads on TLS that mulls over the existential: "why BigLaw?" (if you don't have debt) in the first place. I'm learning now that BigLaw closes doors too, that it works you to the bone (not 9-2am as I had originally thought, more like 9-7am and then keep working the next day), and that it is a place where some very hardcore people thrive but most just drown. Had I known everything that I knew now going into OCI, I probably would not have been so dead set on NY, so closed to anything outside of the V10, and so certain that everything recruiters were saying could be acceptable as true. Even this then, is a life experience.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks guys. This has been tremendously helpful, practically speaking it gives me a headache because the search for real work outside of BigLaw is a nightmare (hence why we all flock for one roost to begin with) but psychologically, it is rewarding to see that these are thoughts that others experience, ponder over, and make different choices because of.

I do think there needs to be more threads on TLS that mulls over the existential: "why BigLaw?" (if you don't have debt) in the first place. I'm learning now that BigLaw closes doors too, that it works you to the bone (not 9-2am as I had originally thought, more like 9-7am and then keep working the next day), and that it is a place where some very hardcore people thrive but most just drown. Had I known everything that I knew now going into OCI, I probably would not have been so dead set on NY, so closed to anything outside of the V10, and so certain that everything recruiters were saying could be acceptable as true. Even this then, is a life experience.


9-7AM? As a summer associate? Exaggerate much?

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks guys. This has been tremendously helpful, practically speaking it gives me a headache because the search for real work outside of BigLaw is a nightmare (hence why we all flock for one roost to begin with) but psychologically, it is rewarding to see that these are thoughts that others experience, ponder over, and make different choices because of.

I do think there needs to be more threads on TLS that mulls over the existential: "why BigLaw?" (if you don't have debt) in the first place. I'm learning now that BigLaw closes doors too, that it works you to the bone (not 9-2am as I had originally thought, more like 9-7am and then keep working the next day), and that it is a place where some very hardcore people thrive but most just drown. Had I known everything that I knew now going into OCI, I probably would not have been so dead set on NY, so closed to anything outside of the V10, and so certain that everything recruiters were saying could be acceptable as true. Even this then, is a life experience.



viewtopic.php?f=23&t=205718



There have been many threads that discuss life in biglaw. Do people not understand what biglaw expects for their $160,000 salary? I'm surprised by this. I can understand clueless 0Ls not being informed but someone in your position should know what biglaw expectations are like.

Most people on this forum gun for biglaw for the money to repay loans and for possible exit options into careers they would never have come close to touching outside of law.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:45 am

I worked at a NYC V5 last summer, and moved to a non-NYC office of a V10 after I got the offer from the V5. It sounds like your V5 experience is especially bad. Do some interviews after you get an offer this summer. You'll go into the process with your eyes much more open. (Assuming you still think you want to do biglaw at all.)

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JCougar
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:04 pm

Borg wrote:herp derp


I'm not the one obsessed with shorts...it was just a silly figure of speech I threw out there. You're the one that made it into an issue. But the plaintiff's bar is much more relaxed. People wear Hawaiian shirts and jeans to work, sandals, etc. Like I said, probably not at firms like Cohen Milstein, but at 90% of the other plaintiffs firms out there, this isn't out of the question.

Anyhow, check the resumes/previous experience of those people at Cohen Milstein that are from "American University, GW, Cardozo, William & Mary etc." Article III clerkships, extensive non-profit pre-law school experience, co-author of a law treatise, previously a partner at another law firm, etc. These aren't your typical non T-14 grads. I can't find a single person that went straight from one of these schools into Cohen Milstein unless they got a Art III clerkship.

It's not that this poster shouldn't try anyways. I've spoken to a few Cohen Milstein partners myself and given them my resume, and I'm in far worse shape than top 15% at a T14. But I do have pre-law school experience that is perfect for one of their practice groups, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's just that it's not a high percentage play. There's only one or two job openings per year at firms like this, so they can be as selective as they want.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:07 pm

Not all firms are like this (not even within the relatively small universe of large NY firms). The hours are long lots of places, but there are many firms that have positive / supportive / less political cultures. I won't guess which firm you're at, but if it's Cravath, S&C, or Skadden......well, you were warned.

It sounds like your objections are to firm culture, and not the idea of a big firm generally. I would do 3L OCI, but more importantly, reach out to firms that you turned down immediately after the summer, indicate you might be interested in switching, and see if they would like to interview you again. I had several friends who did this, and for the most part the firms brought them in immediately for callbacks (no need to rely on the 3L OCI lottery). Several of them ended up switching.

Getting an offer is important, but if you're merely looking to switch firms, 3L OCI isn't the wasteland it's made out to be, especially if you work informal channels in addition to school-provided ones.

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Borg
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Borg » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:48 am

JCougar wrote:
Borg wrote:herp derp


I'm not the one obsessed with shorts...it was just a silly figure of speech I threw out there. You're the one that made it into an issue. But the plaintiff's bar is much more relaxed. People wear Hawaiian shirts and jeans to work, sandals, etc. Like I said, probably not at firms like Cohen Milstein, but at 90% of the other plaintiffs firms out there, this isn't out of the question.

Anyhow, check the resumes/previous experience of those people at Cohen Milstein that are from "American University, GW, Cardozo, William & Mary etc." Article III clerkships, extensive non-profit pre-law school experience, co-author of a law treatise, previously a partner at another law firm, etc. These aren't your typical non T-14 grads. I can't find a single person that went straight from one of these schools into Cohen Milstein unless they got a Art III clerkship.

It's not that this poster shouldn't try anyways. I've spoken to a few Cohen Milstein partners myself and given them my resume, and I'm in far worse shape than top 15% at a T14. But I do have pre-law school experience that is perfect for one of their practice groups, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's just that it's not a high percentage play. There's only one or two job openings per year at firms like this, so they can be as selective as they want.


Dude, I'm sorry but you're focusing on the wrong things, and I've addressed all of the points you keep reiterating in previous posts. My only claim from the start was that your post was rife with hyperbole, which seems to be your only argumentative tactic. I'm not surprised they weren't interested.

No shit about the non T-14 guys, no one is disputing that. Point is that this guy IS at a T-14, and he IS Article III clerkship material. He is more qualified than many of their associates from an academic standpoint, so that's not going to be a bar. Your claim that there's a heavy HYS preference is nonsense, and you seem to have finally accepted this, albeit unwittingly.

I never claimed it's a high percentage play, but it can be done with good academic credentials and the right attitude, even with biglaw on the resume for a summer or even a few years (again, proven by a look through their bios). This whole time all I've been trying to do is get you to shut up and stop discouraging OP, because he doesn't need biglaw money immediately and he has more potential to be a successful candidate at CM or another firm like it than the vast majority of applicants. Just knock it off already.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:11 am

Tag.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:12 pm

If you are interested in litigation — apply for every clerkship under the sun, starting right now. You should be highly competitive, especially if you're willing to go someplace off the beaten path. It would give you an easier year to think things through, and would be your best bet for changing firms, or career tracks altogether.

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know I am already in a privileged position to even be asking this question so please keep the trolling to a minimum.

What should I do? I can apply again to 2013 OCI but I know that most firms are the same. Should I try for mid-law? I actually really enjoy the law and can see myself doing either corporate or litigation. I just want a real job even if it does not pay me $160k where I can hone my craft, make a small name for myself, and be happy. Is this too much to ask?

Also, I am in the top 15% of a T14 school so I should be able to easily reapply for something else - its just that this market and the legal world's standardization of finding a job makes me unmarketable (no actual legal skills) and difficult to strike out on one's own (since everybody tends to find a job during 2L job hunt).


Try 3L OCI. I don't know if "most" firms are like this, but mine isn't. If anyone asks you can say you are looking for a more informal culture or something. Not worth being miserable especially if you don't have to give up this opportunity BEFORE you find something else

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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby RationalHeretic23 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:31 am

Borg wrote:
JCougar wrote:
Borg wrote:herp derp


I'm not the one obsessed with shorts...it was just a silly figure of speech I threw out there. You're the one that made it into an issue. But the plaintiff's bar is much more relaxed. People wear Hawaiian shirts and jeans to work, sandals, etc. Like I said, probably not at firms like Cohen Milstein, but at 90% of the other plaintiffs firms out there, this isn't out of the question.

Anyhow, check the resumes/previous experience of those people at Cohen Milstein that are from "American University, GW, Cardozo, William & Mary etc." Article III clerkships, extensive non-profit pre-law school experience, co-author of a law treatise, previously a partner at another law firm, etc. These aren't your typical non T-14 grads. I can't find a single person that went straight from one of these schools into Cohen Milstein unless they got a Art III clerkship.

It's not that this poster shouldn't try anyways. I've spoken to a few Cohen Milstein partners myself and given them my resume, and I'm in far worse shape than top 15% at a T14. But I do have pre-law school experience that is perfect for one of their practice groups, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's just that it's not a high percentage play. There's only one or two job openings per year at firms like this, so they can be as selective as they want.


Dude, I'm sorry but you're focusing on the wrong things, and I've addressed all of the points you keep reiterating in previous posts. My only claim from the start was that your post was rife with hyperbole, which seems to be your only argumentative tactic. I'm not surprised they weren't interested.

No shit about the non T-14 guys, no one is disputing that. Point is that this guy IS at a T-14, and he IS Article III clerkship material. He is more qualified than many of their associates from an academic standpoint, so that's not going to be a bar. Your claim that there's a heavy HYS preference is nonsense, and you seem to have finally accepted this, albeit unwittingly.

I never claimed it's a high percentage play, but it can be done with good academic credentials and the right attitude, even with biglaw on the resume for a summer or even a few years (again, proven by a look through their bios). This whole time all I've been trying to do is get you to shut up and stop discouraging OP, because he doesn't need biglaw money immediately and he has more potential to be a successful candidate at CM or another firm like it than the vast majority of applicants. Just knock it off already.


Wait.... So if I want to work in shorts, which plaintiff-side firm should I be gunning for? Shorts are pretty much non-negotiable for me, so any info is appreciated. Thanks

Torts Illustrated
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Re: At V5 but hate it, what should I do?

Postby Torts Illustrated » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:29 am

Try to get a clerkship for 2017-18 or 2018-19. It's probably too late for 2017-18, but if you can get a 2018-19 clerkship, tough out your V5 for a year (knowing that you have the clerkship to look forward to). Use the clerkship to transition into government.




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