1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:18 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I don't know, you hear things like this...
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:LOL. Biglaw culture is basically the same across all biglaw firms. You are always on call, you need to bill a shitton of hours to stick around, and you can't screw up your assignments without getting fired (eventually).
...pretty frequently. And it's always weird to see, and not really consistent with my experience of how organizations work. The job is more or less the same, but that doesn't mean the office environment is. And that shit matters. It's hard to imagine how anyone who has had more than one job in their life can think that it's irrelevant whether your boss is an asshole or if everyone is trying to steal work from each other or whatever. Really what the "no such thing as biglaw culture" argument seems to be actually saying is that you're just going to hate your life no matter what so don't even worry about it. But I've heard so many law students talk up so many things as the WORST/HARDEST/MOST STRESSFUL THING EVER for so long now (1L year! Law review write on! OCI! Fed courts! Bar prep!) and this ALL BIGLAW IS HELL falls right into that vein so it's tempting just to ignore it.


I think the huge point that you're missing is that you generally don't become a biglaw partner by being a socially retarded asshole. Are they workaholic, type-A, competitive jerks sometimes? Sure. But that doesn't make them socially retarded. Regularly yelling at people you work with is a sign of low intelligence and last time I checked there weren't a lot of low-intelligence partners at my firm. Maybe there are at other firms. In fact, I've never really heard any *verified* stories of biglaw partners regularly yelling at their associates. I think a lot of these stories are blown way out of proportion. In most biglaw firms I'm familiar with, people just want the work to get done. No one has time for drama.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I used to work in corporate HQ role for a F1000 company and I worked 50-65 hrs/wk with constant blackberry contact for about 1/3 of biglaw salary.


I think this sentiment is ignored in too many TLS discussions on this topic. A lot of young people starting their careers will work very hard (at least if they want some reasonable level of success in their given fields) and they will get paid a pittance compared to big law associates. Your 20s/30s is just the time to grind if you want to profit later in life. Just something to think about.

Sorry to contribute to the increasing off-topicness of the original query.

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t-14orbust
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby t-14orbust » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:41 pm

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=214902

this guy bills a ton of hours and seems to be doing just fine

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smaug_
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby smaug_ » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:44 pm

thesealocust wrote:We need a tears index - average number of times any given associate cries per week per firm. That might be a good proxy for culture.


I'm sure you're saying this in jest, but something like that would be helpful. Maybe it's just what I see on my end, but as someone going through the callback process, it seems impossible to tell how nice one firm would be to work at compared to another. You have associates at firms that are said to be sweatshops who seem easygoing and nice. You have people at firms known to be "friendly" or "collegial" and they're aggressive.

I'm willing to believe that there are real differences between firms (and differences between practice groups/areas in firms) but I have no idea how to figure out what those differences are.

vizio24
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby vizio24 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:53 pm

My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.

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t-14orbust
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby t-14orbust » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:55 pm

vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.


That's my goal. Any insight into OC biglaw?

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3|ink
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:56 pm

vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.

Now you tell me. Dammit.

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t-14orbust
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby t-14orbust » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:59 pm

3|ink wrote:
vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.

Now you tell me. Dammit.


From what I gather, it would be pretty hard to break into without significant ties.

I was under the assumption that everyone knew biglaw in NYC was a much more miserable experience than biglaw pretty much anywhere else. Or is this not common knowledge(or true at all)?

aces
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby aces » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:00 pm

vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.

I agree that litigation is generally far more predictable, but the raw number of hours billed per year is comparable to corporate and in the weeks before a hearing/trial, the atmosphere can be just as hectic and all-consuming.

vizio24
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby vizio24 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:01 pm

vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.



One caveat - this excludes firms that are well known to burn through associates like Irell/Quinn/Skadden/SullCrom. I worked at V50.

And I assume OC Biglaw is great. No personal insight into it b/c my firm doesn't have an OC office.

vizio24
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby vizio24 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:05 pm

aces wrote:
vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.

I agree that litigation is generally far more predictable, but the raw number of hours billed per year is comparable to corporate and in the weeks before a hearing/trial, the atmosphere can be just as hectic and all-consuming.


Of course, I completely agree. But you're not gonna have a motion/trial that's gonna suck up your night/weekend on a weekly (or even monthly) basis. Corporate practice groups get slammed with a new deal at 3:00pm on a Friday all the time.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:17 pm

vizio24 wrote:My experience (west coast biglaw - I feel sorry for all NY biglaw associates) confirms the common knowledge that litigation associates have WAYYYY more predictable hours than corporate associates. The entire litigation floors at my office are empty by 630pm. The corporate floors, on the other hand, are busy until about 11pm, because they just picked up a rush deal at 3:00pm that day. This happens on the regular. Lol.

Moral of the story - biglaw litigation on the west coast is awesome. Aim for a non-NY market at OCI and seek a litigation practice group.


Exactly what I did. Headed back to my secondary market to pursue litigation. Hoping it works out. Who knows lol.

aces
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Re: 1 year in, want to leave biglaw - tips?

Postby aces » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:21 pm

t-14orbust wrote:http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=214902

this guy bills a ton of hours and seems to be doing just fine

The advice/information on that thread is spot-on, by the way, and I'd recommend it if you're a law student curious about the details of what biglaw life is like.




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