prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:01 pm

I'm lucky, and incredibly grateful to be starting a job in biglaw this year, but because the lean years have trained me well, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am wondering whether anyone has a sense of how many people are still with the law firms at which they began working by their 4th year (approx). I know that the audience here is mostly folks in law school or recent grads, so all I'm really hoping for is a reference to an article, book, or anecdotal information.

For everyone who is still looking, good luck. I was a jobless 3L until October last year, so I am happy to provide advice if you think it will help. Feel free to post a private response with your email and I can be in touch.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:03 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Well, I finally got my hands on The NALP Foundation’s “2012 Update on Associate Attrition for Calendar Year 2011,” and I even made some kick-ass Google spreadsheets from the data, but I was denied access to share them by NALP. So… I am going to have to simply state points that I thought were interesting here. Before that, however, I would highly recommend that anyone who is considering going to law school read their report as it is literally a goldmine of information; it shows what percentage of associates (broken down into categories of new-hires, lateral hires, male, female, minority, etc.) leave what size firms and after how many years, as well as why they leave and where they end up going.

Synopsis:
Biglaw firms lost roughly 69% of their entry-level associates within the first 5 years, but only a quarter within the first 3 years. Apparently only about a quarter of the associate departures were desired by the law firms, whereas roughly half of the departures were unwanted (the remaining attrition was viewed neutrally). As for where the entry-level associates ended up after leaving their firms, slightly less than half moved to associate positions at other legal firms, and one-fifth of them moved in house with corporate counsels. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how many of these associates that lateraled into other law firms went to a smaller firm (biglaw to midlaw, midlaw to shitlaw, etc.). Additionally, only 2% of departing associates went to judicial clerkships, and NALP doesn’t break this down into “type” of clerkship, so there is no way to tell how many of these were AIII clerkships, although we know it is a max of 2%. In conclusion, it looks like roughly 31% of entry-level associates are still with their firms after 5 years when it comes to the largest firms (501+ attorneys); this number is slightly higher for other large firms (101-250 attorneys). Of the 69% that leave, approximately 73% end up in decent legal employment such as law firm associate, law firm partner, judicial clerk, other governmental legal job, and corporate in-house counsel. Accordingly, 31% + 50% (73% of 69%) = 81% of entry-level associates are still in some sort of (presumably) decent legal position at the end of year 5.


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BostonLove
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Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Re: prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

Postby BostonLove » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm lucky, and incredibly grateful to be starting a job in biglaw this year, but because the lean years have trained me well, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am wondering whether anyone has a sense of how many people are still with the law firms at which they began working by their 4th year (approx). I know that the audience here is mostly folks in law school or recent grads, so all I'm really hoping for is a reference to an article, book, or anecdotal information.

For everyone who is still looking, good luck. I was a jobless 3L until October last year, so I am happy to provide advice if you think it will help. Feel free to post a private response with your email and I can be in touch.


I can't message you (you are anonymous), but I'd be interested in hearing about how you landed BigLaw 3L if you don't mind messaging me.

Unfortunately, I don't have any solid data in response to your question.

iamwallacestevens
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:56 pm

Re: prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

Postby iamwallacestevens » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:04 pm

Tiago Splitter, Thank you so much. That was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. I will appreciate the frame of reference going forward.

Boston Love, Sorry for the tease. I am new to this forum-posting thing, and I didn't realize that this was how anonymous works. Hopefully this clears up the fact of my e-identity.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: prospects for remaining employed in biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:06 pm

From somewhat more anecdotal experience, I'd chime in that firms that tend towards higher average workloads have significantly more attrition that the NALP sample as a whole. In recent history, my firm (V10 NYC) has come in at 40-45% attrition at the end of three years (Roughly 25-30% after two) and while I can't personally verify their numbers my friends at some other V10s/V20s say that they're roughly on par with that.




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