Boutique v BigLaw?

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Anonymous User
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Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:57 pm

Title pretty much says it. Boutique is small and feels like a startup. It seems strong financially, has a great lifestyle, offers above market pay, and is decently well known in the area, both geographically and practice area-wise. Biglaw choices are pretty similar, mostly V10-20 firms. Would you take the boutique?

blsingindisguise
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Title pretty much says it. Boutique is small and feels like a startup. It seems strong financially, has a great lifestyle, offers above market pay, and is decently well known in the area, both geographically and practice area-wise. Biglaw choices are pretty similar, mostly V10-20 firms. Would you take the boutique?


What do you mean "above-market pay" -- above biglaw pay? Nothing that offers more than biglaw has a "great lifestyle." What do you mean "feels like a startup"? You think you're going to be sitting on a balance ball and riding around your office on a segway?

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:07 pm

Biglaw. Without a lot of info on offer rates, the boutique is too big a gamble IMO.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:09 pm

If the boutique hasn't consistently made 100% offers (or very close to 100%) forget it.

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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:12 pm

above biglaw. I understand the skepticism but I spent some time there and I'm pretty sure the lifestyle is as advertised. "Feels like a startup" in terms of size and "passion", corny as that sounds.

I have an offer from both, I'm choosing between offers for full time right now.

And is the risk mitigated if I'm in IP? Is lateral hiring for IP better than general lateral hiring?

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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:16 pm

Heh, I think we worked together this summer. I would take the boutique because 1) you seem to have liked it a lot better and 2) if it's the one I'm thinking of you'll get a lot of meaningful experience early on that you can sell to biglaw later if it comes to that.

NYstate
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:45 pm

Ask about their intentions with offers. Also find out if they only hire summers. I would have a hard time turning down a great boutique focused on the work I want for biglaw.

But if you don't get an offer, you might not end up in biglaw. Although I don't trust biglaw to give offers, they generally seem to try to keep people if they can.

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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:06 pm

NYstate wrote:Ask about their intentions with offers. Also find out if they only hire summers. I would have a hard time turning down a great boutique focused on the work I want for biglaw.

But if you don't get an offer, you might not end up in biglaw. Although I don't trust biglaw to give offers, they generally seem to try to keep people if they can.

Not OP, but he said he already got full time offers from both the boutique and the biglaw firm.

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hipstermafia
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby hipstermafia » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Desmarais? If so, pm me please :)

NYstate
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby NYstate » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYstate wrote:Ask about their intentions with offers. Also find out if they only hire summers. I would have a hard time turning down a great boutique focused on the work I want for biglaw.

But if you don't get an offer, you might not end up in biglaw. Although I don't trust biglaw to give offers, they generally seem to try to keep people if they can.

Not OP, but he said he already got full time offers from both the boutique and the biglaw firm.


Then why is this even a question? Take the boutique.

truevines
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby truevines » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Title pretty much says it. Boutique is small and feels like a startup. It seems strong financially, has a great lifestyle, offers above market pay, and is decently well known in the area, both geographically and practice area-wise. Biglaw choices are pretty similar, mostly V10-20 firms. Would you take the boutique?


Before you accept, make sure you understand the boutique's business model. Some boutiques use a "billed hours" system or a "collected hours" system, as opposed to the common "billable hours" system. It makes a great difference.

In addition, I find it hard to believe to have a lifestyle and getting above-market pay. For example, Knobbe often touts itself as a lifestyle firm with less hour requirements. But Knobbe uses a "billed hours" system and an associate's actual working hours are similar to or even higher than those at the other firms.

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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Heh, I think we worked together this summer. I would take the boutique because 1) you seem to have liked it a lot better and 2) if it's the one I'm thinking of you'll get a lot of meaningful experience early on that you can sell to biglaw later if it comes to that.


Hmm, were you based in TX? If so, we might have been coworkers! haha I hope I'm not that transparent though

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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:36 pm

hipstermafia wrote:Desmarais? If so, pm me please :)


haha sorry not Desmarais but I've heard great things about them too professionally! I don't think they have a "great lifestyle" as I understand that phrase. After all, they are based in NY :wink:

Anonymous User
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Re: Boutique v BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:above biglaw. I understand the skepticism but I spent some time there and I'm pretty sure the lifestyle is as advertised. "Feels like a startup" in terms of size and "passion", corny as that sounds.

I have an offer from both, I'm choosing between offers for full time right now.

And is the risk mitigated if I'm in IP? Is lateral hiring for IP better than general lateral hiring?


Is there chance of making partner or staying long term with the firm as counsel or otherwise? I think one of the reasons people push Big firms are for the "exit options." And because the big law firm model pretty much requires you "exit" at some point, this is important. If the boutique is somewhere you could stay long term, exit options are less important.

I may be facing a similar situation, only not with an IP firm. Personally I'm leaning towards the boutique. Above market compensation, better hours (1800 vs 2000), plus the firm explicitly boast about not having an up and out model. Also boutiques seem to be more flexible and cutting edge in many ways. I like to think of Big Law as a Battleship ( reliable, strong, and proven). Where boutiques are more like speed boats ( able to adapt quickly, smaller, more nimble).

At the end it's really about your long term plans and your risk tolerance I suppose.

Good Luck!




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