Help me choose a firm?

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Anonymous User
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Help me choose a firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:53 pm

I’ve been offered a practice-specific position at the top firm in my city (I’m calling this “firm x”). I really like the people at the firm, and in the practice group that I would be in, but I can’t say that I’m 100% sure that I want this practice group. I think I would like it, but I’ve never been a lawyer before, and I’ve never done any work in this particular field, so I have no idea if I’d really like it or if I'd even be good at it. At this point, I don’t feel strongly enough about any practice group to say that there’s one particular group that I know I’d be happy in, so the idea of immediately committing myself to one group makes me nervous.

I’ve also received offers from other very good firms in my city. These would not require me to choose a practice group right off the bat, which appeals to me. However, I would prefer to be at firm x (both because it is such a good firm and because I really like the people), and I am concerned about the financial stability of some of these firms. (That New Republic article scared the living daylights out of me. I know that that critique applies to most big law firms, but I think firm x might be in a slightly better position—but I could also be wrong about this.) I also tend to think that even if I have the chance to explore different practice groups next summer, there’s a possibility that the firm will end up putting me in a group that isn’t my very favorite anyway (or even the one I’d be in if I went to firm x, and I'd be fairly upset if this happened).

Splitting between groups is not an option (I've asked). These firms all pay market rates. I had a career before law school that I loved, but I wasn’t making as much money as I wanted to, and loving what I was doing wasn't enough for me, so I’m trying to approach this in a very practical manner. I'm really struggling with this decision, and I’d love to get people’s thoughts on my situation.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:56 pm

Could you link the new republic article?

Practice area choice is kind of an illusion. In broad strokes you can imagine that tax lawyers, litigators, divorce lawyers, and M&A lawyers lead different lives. But you're always serving clients, analyzing rules, hyper-focused on details and deadlines, etc. You really don't have strong reasons to anticipate your affinity to any specific group, but at the end of the day they're all just law... and a few weeks of summer exposure or rotating as a 1st year still might not make the choice obvious.

Basically, I don't think non-committal is the great boon people make it out to be. Just pick something and do it - serendipity is an excellent career counselor.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby brotherdarkness » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:57 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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IAFG
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:05 pm

thesealocust wrote:Could you link the new republic article?

Practice area choice is kind of an illusion. In broad strokes you can imagine that tax lawyers, litigators, divorce lawyers, and M&A lawyers lead different lives. But you're always serving clients, analyzing rules, hyper-focused on details and deadlines, etc. You really don't have strong reasons to anticipate your affinity to any specific group, but at the end of the day they're all just law... and a few weeks of summer exposure or rotating as a 1st year still might not make the choice obvious.

Basically, I don't think non-committal is the great boon people make it out to be. Just pick something and do it - serendipity is an excellent career counselor.

I love my practice area and wanted to blow my brains out in the other area I rotated through. However, many people don't get their first choice area anyway. So if OP went to a certain firm with hopes of getting to do PE and then they tell him "sorry, we are putting you in Cap Markets," well, shit.

Anonymous User
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:11 pm

IAFG wrote:However, many people don't get their first choice area anyway. So if OP went to a certain firm with hopes of getting to do PE and then they tell him "sorry, we are putting you in Cap Markets," well, shit.


This is part of my concern. If I end up in the same practice group I would have been in at firm x (or even any other group that I don't particularly care for), but at a firm that wasn't my first choice, I'm going to feel pretty stupid. Is it common for people not to get the group they want (if they do find they have a preference over the summer)? My rising 2L and 3L friends are making a huge deal about having a choice regarding practice area, but I'm really not sure how important this actually ends up being.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:17 pm

I'd go with firm X

The devil you know

Anonymous User
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:48 pm

Fit/interests matter more than anything else.

Anonymous User
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Re: Help me choose a firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:44 pm

thesealocust wrote:Just pick something and do it - serendipity is an excellent career counselor.


OP here. I love this (it's kind of what I wanted to hear)--thank you. If anyone has anything else to add, I'm listening.




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