1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

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Anonymous User
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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for taking the time to do this OP.

Another question:

Does your firm give you a lot of opportunities to really develop your research, writing and advocacy skills?


Anon #2 - we have several training programs that allow me to develop those skills with large amounts of feedback, and the training goes towards billable goals.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:26 pm

I'm headed to a 30ish person firm in a tertiary market that pays just under market for the city. The firm touts itself as a lifestyle firm. The billable requirement is around 1900. I broke that down to a weekly basis, and factoring in inefficiency, it still seems like I'm gonna be working a lot of hours. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just gone for the NYC salary (setting aside higher COL) because the stated hours requirements at those firms aren't much higher. But then, maybe the difference is that 1900 hours isn't really too bad if that's the actual requirement, whereas the NYC firms say 2000 but really require 2500. I guess I'll just be annoyed if I work the same hours for a lot less money. Thoughts?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:03 am

TatteredDignity wrote:I'm headed to a 30ish person firm in a tertiary market that pays just under market for the city. The firm touts itself as a lifestyle firm. The billable requirement is around 1900. I broke that down to a weekly basis, and factoring in inefficiency, it still seems like I'm gonna be working a lot of hours. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just gone for the NYC salary (setting aside higher COL) because the stated hours requirements at those firms aren't much higher. But then, maybe the difference is that 1900 hours isn't really too bad if that's the actual requirement, whereas the NYC firms say 2000 but really require 2500. I guess I'll just be annoyed if I work the same hours for a lot less money. Thoughts?


Anon #2 - the goal at my firm is 1900 also. Part of the key is how that goal is emphasized. It may be a hard goal you will need to hit in order to maintain development. At some firms, like mine, it may be more of a guideline. You'll want to feel out whether it is the primary concern or if it is less emphasized. For this, I would discuss with other associates. They will be able to tell you how it is discussed in reviews.

As for the actual requirement, 1900 is actually fairly reasonable. Depending in your practice area, efficiency may innately be higher or lower (whether you have hard budgets to conform to, how much file switching you do, etc.). At 50 weeks, you're looking at 36 billable a per week. For me, an average of around 7/day gets me home in time for dinner. Your mileage may vary. If you can put an hour or two in from home after dinner, you'll find that the goal is easier to reach than it seems. Personally, I keep the work at the office for the most part. Personal preference.

I think you may find that much under 1900 feels like you aren't busy enough. I may be wrong.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:50 am

Thanks for taking questions,

Are either of your corporate/transactional? I am heading to "midlaw=biglaw" in a secondary market for corporate only and have been looking for someone to give me some insight into the type of work as compared to NYC etc.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:I'm headed to a 30ish person firm in a tertiary market that pays just under market for the city. The firm touts itself as a lifestyle firm. The billable requirement is around 1900. I broke that down to a weekly basis, and factoring in inefficiency, it still seems like I'm gonna be working a lot of hours. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just gone for the NYC salary (setting aside higher COL) because the stated hours requirements at those firms aren't much higher. But then, maybe the difference is that 1900 hours isn't really too bad if that's the actual requirement, whereas the NYC firms say 2000 but really require 2500. I guess I'll just be annoyed if I work the same hours for a lot less money. Thoughts?


Anon #2 - the goal at my firm is 1900 also. Part of the key is how that goal is emphasized. It may be a hard goal you will need to hit in order to maintain development. At some firms, like mine, it may be more of a guideline. You'll want to feel out whether it is the primary concern or if it is less emphasized. For this, I would discuss with other associates. They will be able to tell you how it is discussed in reviews.

As for the actual requirement, 1900 is actually fairly reasonable. Depending in your practice area, efficiency may innately be higher or lower (whether you have hard budgets to conform to, how much file switching you do, etc.). At 50 weeks, you're looking at 36 billable a per week. For me, an average of around 7/day gets me home in time for dinner. Your mileage may vary. If you can put an hour or two in from home after dinner, you'll find that the goal is easier to reach than it seems. Personally, I keep the work at the office for the most part. Personal preference.

I think you may find that much under 1900 feels like you aren't busy enough. I may be wrong.


Thanks for the insight. Does that calculus change between litigation and transactional?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:44 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:Thanks for the insight. Does that calculus change between litigation and transactional?


Anon #2 (what happened to Anon #1?) For litigation, I would generally tend to think that billing is easier, as you can get billable hours for things like driving to meetings. I work in a more transactional practice area, and budgets tend to make billing for those activities less feasible. As a result, a goal of 1900 is a bit more difficult than it might be in litigation. On the flip side, my work is a bit steadier than lit can sometimes be, meaning that I can regulate my hours more. It's all give and take.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby dusk2k2 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:20 pm

OP, where do you get those hours from? 36*50 = 1800, so still 100 hours short. You'd need to bill closer to 8 hours a day which means more like 10 hours or more at work, assuming you have a steady work flow.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:42 pm

dusk2k2 wrote:OP, where do you get those hours from? 36*50 = 1800, so still 100 hours short. You'd need to bill closer to 8 hours a day which means more like 10 hours or more at work, assuming you have a steady work flow.


Typo. I meant 38. I tend to bill 7 or so at work, and make up the difference at home.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:10 am

TatteredDignity wrote:I'm headed to a 30ish person firm in a tertiary market that pays just under market for the city. The firm touts itself as a lifestyle firm. The billable requirement is around 1900. I broke that down to a weekly basis, and factoring in inefficiency, it still seems like I'm gonna be working a lot of hours. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just gone for the NYC salary (setting aside higher COL) because the stated hours requirements at those firms aren't much higher. But then, maybe the difference is that 1900 hours isn't really too bad if that's the actual requirement, whereas the NYC firms say 2000 but really require 2500. I guess I'll just be annoyed if I work the same hours for a lot less money. Thoughts?


Anon #1. Lifestyle firms don't exist. 1900 hour midlaw just means you get to have a life. And you're dead on the money, 1900 in midlaw really means 1900 and that is roundabouts what most people end up doing.

Edit: And obviously to all the people asking, the best way to get midlaw out of school is SA. Firms that hire 1st years but have no SA program are not midlaw (plenty of midlaw, however, hires only experienced lawyers and does no entry level recruiting or has an SA and also recruits entry level in other ways).

Edit 2: The low-stress way to hit your hours on a slow week is to work regular days and then bill 5 hours or so on the weekend. I mean, were you really going to be doing anything important between 1 and 6 on a Sunday?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Amity » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:32 am

My status is 3L, offered at a prominent mid-law 40 attorney firm in a top 10 market.

At what point are you expected to bring in new in clients? Have any of the younger attorneys (1st-3rd years) swcured any new clients? Assuming that your firm (like mine) mainly serves large players (corps, gov’t, hospitals etc.) and doesn’t solicit walk-ins, I’m not certain how one goes about securing new clients.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:34 am

Amity wrote:My status is 3L, offered at a prominent mid-law 40 attorney firm in a top 10 market.

At what point are you expected to bring in new in clients? Have any of the younger attorneys (1st-3rd years) swcured any new clients? Assuming that your firm (like mine) mainly serves large players (corps, gov’t, hospitals etc.) and doesn’t solicit walk-ins, I’m not certain how one goes about securing new clients.


Anon #2 - That's a question we all struggle with. This is something you will want to discuss at length with your supervising attorneys. No one is going to expect you to make it rain on day 1. Most firms worth their salt will have you focus first on work quality, and once that's in the right place, to shift your focus on other factors. As a new associate, your "marketing" efforts will primarily be focused on doing things that put you out in the business world. Maintaining your pre-existing network and just meeting people.

The reality is that business comes to attorneys who have shown an ability to provide results. You won't have that as a new associate.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:53 am

Amity wrote:My status is 3L, offered at a prominent mid-law 40 attorney firm in a top 10 market.

At what point are you expected to bring in new in clients? Have any of the younger attorneys (1st-3rd years) swcured any new clients? Assuming that your firm (like mine) mainly serves large players (corps, gov’t, hospitals etc.) and doesn’t solicit walk-ins, I’m not certain how one goes about securing new clients.


origional anon: as a general rule, the larger the clients the longer you have. If the clients are super-large you may only be expected to generate more buisness from existing clients when the time comes. A good clue is whether bz generation factors into your bonus.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby bld2414 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:12 pm

Any insight into bonus amount or structure yet?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:53 am

Anon #2 - my firm has a pay structure based essentially entirely on salary and ability to advance outside of a lockstep regime. As a result, bonuses are pretty much nonexistant. This is not the case everywhere. The other firm where I was offered paid bonuses tied directly to firm health, rather than associate hours. Generally these bonuses were <10% of gross compensation.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:27 pm

Does your firm hire give offers to 2L SA's like biglaw firms, or do they hire differently? In the secondary market I'm targeting, from what I know the firms only hire 3L's, people who are finishing clerkships, and laterals. Hiring two years out isn't generally feasible for them, I guess. The firms are between 50-100 attorneys. If this is like your market, can you give me any advice as to how to secure an offer earlier? My CSO said just to ask them if they would consider extending an offer earlier than they usually would, but that just sounds strange. I'm planning on doing my 1L summer split between a couple firms in this market and would like to return for 2L, but if there's no chance of getting an offer, I might end up targeting other markets so that I at least can have an offer after 2L summer. Then I guess I could try and get hired as a 3L and just renege on the other offer. That said, I'd rather not have to wait around my entire 3L year to figure out where I'm going to be working after graduation if I can help it. Any advice?

Also, any way to find out what the salary is like? They don't post it publicly and the only publication I've been able to find was from quite a few years ago.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does your firm hire give offers to 2L SA's like biglaw firms, or do they hire differently? In the secondary market I'm targeting, from what I know the firms only hire 3L's, people who are finishing clerkships, and laterals. Hiring two years out isn't generally feasible for them, I guess. The firms are between 50-100 attorneys. If this is like your market, can you give me any advice as to how to secure an offer earlier? My CSO said just to ask them if they would consider extending an offer earlier than they usually would, but that just sounds strange. I'm planning on doing my 1L summer split between a couple firms in this market and would like to return for 2L, but if there's no chance of getting an offer, I might end up targeting other markets so that I at least can have an offer after 2L summer. Then I guess I could try and get hired as a 3L and just renege on the other offer. That said, I'd rather not have to wait around my entire 3L year to figure out where I'm going to be working after graduation if I can help it. Any advice?

Also, any way to find out what the salary is like? They don't post it publicly and the only publication I've been able to find was from quite a few years ago.


Anon #2 - my current firm frequently offers 2L SAs as a biglaw firm might. My situation was different, somewhat more similar to a 3L OCI offer, but on a different timeline for various reasons. The other firm where I was offered has no SA program, and hiring is erratic and entirely dependant on shorter-term needs.

At many firms, particularly <100 attorneys, it's damn near impossible to predict needs beyond a few months out. If you have a good relationship with a decision making partner, then you can always ask about the full time offer, but there is probably little that can be done about speeding it up.

As for finding salary data, all you can really do is use old data and get a feel for what the market bears for mid-sized firms. Associate compensation at firms <100 attorneys can vary (I have heard everything from 60k-130k), and unfortunately they don't release much data. If you have an associate you feel close to, you may be able to discuss it with him/her.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Summerz » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:29 am

How is business pacing against last year? Up — down — meh?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:57 am

Summerz wrote:How is business pacing against last year? Up — down — meh?


Anon #2 - Up, but not a lot.

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Amity » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:21 pm

Are your firms inviting offered SAs to your Christmas party? I suppose another way to ask, as an offered SA did you attend the firm's Christmas party?

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Re: 1st Year 2ndary Market Midlawyer Takin Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:45 am

Amity wrote:Are your firms inviting offered SAs to your Christmas party? I suppose another way to ask, as an offered SA did you attend the firm's Christmas party?


Anon #2 - I did not SA here, so I wouldn't know what the protocol is. Since I am in a satellite office, we don't have an SA every year. We didn't last year, we will this year.




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