Who Really Wins?

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Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:14 pm

Cue :rolleyes:, but here's a bit of a philosophical thread.

I ask this in a way most relevant to this Legal Employment forum: What is the ideal outcome? We're not talking law school outcome, end of your clerkship outcome, 4-5 years into biglaw outcome, but for the long haul. Before any Captain Obviouses get their panties in a bunch, we should acknowledge this is a subjective question. Of course, that makes it all the more interesting.

TLS loves to point out major flaws, whether in conventional wisdom, advertisements by law schools, representations by the ABA, logic of potential law students, thought processes of current students, or any presentation that claims to be empirically-sound. Yet the elephant in the room in TLS is that we lack input from late-career lawyers. We have this perspective to which we lend authority, and we brag that is NOT a 1L or 0L perspective but instead the perspective of a public defender or law firm associate or a clerk or a young in-house attorney, but we gloss over the fact that, in the context of a whole career, that person is closer to a 0L than a retiree. She is closer to a 0L than a person even 20% through a legal career, at least chronologically.

What comes next?

Perhaps the default preferred answer is biglaw --> in house. Is that superior to career prosecution? Federal government work (in all of its forms)? Small law partnership? How about, out of left field, being of counsel in an insurance defense firm? A bit of devil's advocate here, but wouldn't that be easier to obtain than any ability to be part-time in biglaw, and be a pretty good gig in the end? What about a part-time legal practice while also teaching at a private high school or college? Magistrate in rural Ohio with a civil practice on the side? Being a judge in ... um, Utah? Adjunct professor or clinical professor in a college town while also doing basically only DUI's in the same college town? Being the expert on commercial construction cases as a senior associate in Minneapolis? Being the most junior partner at the lead PI firm in Tallahassee or Jefferson City, Missouri or Peoria, Illinois or Spokane, Washington?

These are real jobs, real situations, so consider this a "fishing expedition" as far as discovery goes. Would love to hear from people who are involved in these types of careers, or know people who are, that vary from biglaw --> inhouse, clerking, etc. These jobs are not only existent, but they perhaps form the majority of law practice. What's your ideal subject matter, work load, hours, work environment? Ignoring the conundrum of how a person could prospectively strategize to maximize the chances of taking any given path to any given end state, acknowledging without being a slave to concepts such as nepotism, connections, and blind luck, which outcomes appeal to you and which don't?

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sublime
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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby sublime » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:22 pm

..

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:28 pm

As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby ggocat » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:34 pm

I'm in my 5th year as a career clerk at a state COA. A non-law friend asked me recently if I had a successful outcome. I think yes, even if this is all I do for the rest of my career.

Edit: TTT grad checking in.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby PvblivsScipio » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


I thought the same way until I worked for a semester at a small plaintiff's side firm. They were great attorneys and doing very well financially, it completely dispelled these (admittedly snobish) preconceived notions I had.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.

No wonder so many lawyers are unhappy.

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ggocat
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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby ggocat » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:52 pm

PvblivsScipio wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


I thought the same way until I worked for a semester at a small plaintiff's side firm. They were great attorneys and doing very well financially, it completely dispelled these (admittedly snobish) preconceived notions I had.

FWIW, one of my TTT classmates is making 7 figures in plaintiff work. Five years out.

Edit, not making... bringing into the firm (where he's partner) net seven figures.
Last edited by ggocat on Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

TTTooKewl
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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby TTTooKewl » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:20 pm

I think this is a much-needed thread on the forum, which is lacking the wisdom of mid- to late-career attorneys. Unfortunately, I am skeptical the thread will deliver. The vast majority of these attorneys simply aren't trolling around forums.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


I think a lot of success depends on the expectations you and your peers set for yourselves. A good friend of mine went to a lower-ranked law school simply because he did not push himself as hard as I did studying for the LSAT. His family and friends were not well off, and they did not push him as hard as my family and friends pushed me. As a result, I ended up with a more "successful" career, even though I know he's smarter than me. This same mentality holds people back with regard to grades and, later on, their actual careers. There is an intrinsic intensity that pervades the attitudes of the "upper echelon" you talk about. In some cases, it might not even be something that a person can teach him/herself (after so many years of having a "chill" lifestyle).

Bottom line: I think ambition and drive have a lot more to do with success in law than raw intelligence.
Last edited by ExBiglawAssociate on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KM2016
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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby KM2016 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:24 pm

The special snowflakes who actually make partner at top PPP firms win on the backs of overworked and undervalued associates.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Cogburn87 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


OP here. This is a fantastic post that mirrors the purpose of me creating this thread. I wouldn't want to bias the thread or cloud its purpose (and I wouldn't accuse TLS of ever deferring to the OP in any such manner!), but I'd put forth that I've had a similar experience as you from the other perspective. I went to an elite undergrad, scored highly on the LSAT, but then our paths diverged. I realized I didn't want to pursue biglaw or live in the big city, took the road less traveled, passed up T-14's, took a full ride to the T1 school within an hour of my hometown, then transitioned to a non-biglaw career that I find rewarding and promising. Big fish in a small pond type of shit, where I don't work on cases for Fortune 100 companies but find my work interesting enough. I know there are others out there who ended up in jobs like mine, whether in firms or other interesting work. I have noticed that some of my biglaw friends, over the past two years, have taken a much stronger interest in my line of work (away from the "arrogant/snobbish" mentality you peg that they had out of law school), yet it is still not my intent to say that I "win," but to hear other stories and expand the collective knowledge on TLS. Not as some kind of altruistic or patronizing public service, but for the sake of broadening the discourse and presenting other stories to me, other posters, students, and prospective students.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby jchiles » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:45 am

I've worked in a couple small firms during and before law school, and I would be very happy to end up in that sort of environment when I graduate. The attorneys I worked with placed a lot of emphasis on helping new associates build their skills and generate their own business, and I never saw anyone staying late or canceling vacation to get work done. Of course, they weren't working on matters that really had that degree of urgency or biglaw money involved. Partnership, senior associate, or of counsel somewhere like that would be nice, since the money is good, especially in my secondary (tertiary?) market, and I like the idea of working with the same people and businesses I grew up with.

I can definitely see why someone wouldn't want that, and having any law school debt can suddenly make the average area starting salary (70-80k) more difficult to work with. It would also be pretty cool to be a county judge.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby KD35 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:50 am

ggocat wrote:
PvblivsScipio wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


I thought the same way until I worked for a semester at a small plaintiff's side firm. They were great attorneys and doing very well financially, it completely dispelled these (admittedly snobish) preconceived notions I had.

FWIW, one of my TTT classmates is making 7 figures in plaintiff work. Five years out.



But kinda like making big law partner, isn't that more of an anomaly than the norm? That's what I struggle with there. We have similar alums from my school, but they are a rare type of individual.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Dafaq » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:53 am

While LS and SA time has its place the real deal is working with great partners who have the chops to amaze. I love where I work but on the other hand I just had lunch with a few former classmates who could rightly say “they made it” but greatly dislike their firm(s). I heard horror stories that make me think we’re on two different planets. Can’t say this legal adventure is a cosmic dice roll but maybe it is. It certainly would explain the profound difference of opinions often noted here.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby ggocat » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:31 am

KD35 wrote:
ggocat wrote:
PvblivsScipio wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a BigLaw associate, former COA clerk, HYS grad, etc. (which I mention only to clarify which set of experiences I've had), what stands out to me about your suggested experiences (except for career prosecution and federal government work) is the extent to which my immediate mental reaction is "career failure." That fundamentally, people who do the jobs you describe are frankly in a lower echelon of the profession/of a lower caliber: that they disproportionately hail from lower-ranked law schools where they disproportionately did less well, and now they have jobs that are less well-paying, in less desirable parts of the country, where they are less likely to work on complex cases/deals or interact with high-caliber attorneys.

These thoughts are arrogant/snobbish, but I know that they are shared by many in each of the LS/post-LS demographics to which I belong. So I offer them self-reflectively, to question what it means when these perceptions are fairly common among graduates of the top law schools. I wonder what we would learn if we did not disproportionately confine ourselves to narrow slivers of the profession - and country, for that matter.


I thought the same way until I worked for a semester at a small plaintiff's side firm. They were great attorneys and doing very well financially, it completely dispelled these (admittedly snobish) preconceived notions I had.

FWIW, one of my TTT classmates is making 7 figures in plaintiff work. Five years out.



But kinda like making big law partner, isn't that more of an anomaly than the norm? That's what I struggle with there. We have similar alums from my school, but they are a rare type of individual.

I definitely agree. I guess my theory would be that some of these people are just going to be "successful" wherever they go to school, and especially, regardless of whether they go to law school at all.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby ZyzzBrah » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:24 am

Snowflake checking in (srs, a t50 grad that landed lower v30 from networking)

honestly the my goal is to just end up somewhere that I like the people--I worked at a mid law firm that I enjoyed going to everyday because the people were genuinely nice/funny and the office was in a small downtown area. That's the realistic goal:enjoy who I work with.

the unrealistic goal is (apart from lottery winner) being an adjunct teacher.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:45 pm

ggocat wrote:I definitely agree. I guess my theory would be that some of these people are just going to be "successful" wherever they go to school, and especially, regardless of whether they go to law school at all.


Yup. For example, most people think that YLS is a magical unicorn that turns a bunch of deadbeat losers into awesome candidates for most legal jobs. The truth is that most YLS grads are the type of people who would have been successful no matter where they went to law school (or even if they had not gone to law school at all). Even in the t14, I'd say a large percentage the students are the types of intelligent and ambitious people who would have been successful without the t14 degree. (Obviously, there are also losers who would not have been as successful without the t14 degree, but I suspect a lot of those people are the ones who get weeded out of biglaw within 3-5 years).

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:51 pm

At my T20, those who I know that got biglaw are already driven, put together, and sort of get how the professional world works. Many of those at the bottom of the class are clueless victims of the law school scam. Its tragic.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:14 am

The goal of this post is tough to really accomplish. SO much of a person's success comes from opportunity (i.e., opportunities opening up at at your places of employment, whether it be an opportunity to be promoted because your supervisor moves across the country or several mid to senior level associates leave so you get to do more advanced work for your level). If your goal is to talk to people late in their career about how they got there so you can replicate, it will not be all that helpful (at least, it hasn't been in my experience). Each of them had a unique opportunity open up that propelled them because they had the good sense to recognize it was a unique opportunity and truly seize it.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:24 am

once more:

sublime wrote:Nobody wins.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby fats provolone » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:The goal of this post is tough to really accomplish. SO much of a person's success comes from opportunity (i.e., opportunities opening up at at your places of employment, whether it be an opportunity to be promoted because your supervisor moves across the country or several mid to senior level associates leave so you get to do more advanced work for your level). If your goal is to talk to people late in their career about how they got there so you can replicate, it will not be all that helpful (at least, it hasn't been in my experience). Each of them had a unique opportunity open up that propelled them because they had the good sense to recognize it was a unique opportunity and truly seize it.

no it's 100% merit bro. i have a dream that one day my brothers will be judged not be the color of their skin but by the color of their bootstraps.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:The goal of this post is tough to really accomplish. SO much of a person's success comes from opportunity (i.e., opportunities opening up at at your places of employment, whether it be an opportunity to be promoted because your supervisor moves across the country or several mid to senior level associates leave so you get to do more advanced work for your level). If your goal is to talk to people late in their career about how they got there so you can replicate, it will not be all that helpful (at least, it hasn't been in my experience). Each of them had a unique opportunity open up that propelled them because they had the good sense to recognize it was a unique opportunity and truly seize it.


But each of these things is a form of "luck" created by the hard work of the person in question. If you're the one promoted when your supervisor moves, or you are the one who receives midlevel/senior associate work when those people leave, it's typically because you've done the work to stand out as the most likely person to receive these opportunities.

As a senior associate who works with a number of junior associates, I can tell you that each has positioned themselves very differently, by the quality of their work, by their willingness to "take ownership" and show investment in their cases beyond the specific task assigned (or their failure to do this), and their willingness to work hard, including long hours. I know that the same thing is true at my level, where each of us is viewed by the partnership as differently positioned. And "luck," in terms of plum assignments and opportunities, derives from that.

Now I know there's nepotism and collusion and various types of unfairness in the world. I wasn't born into and I haven't married into any circles where I'd benefit from any of that. So I have to make my own "luck" and position myself to get the "unique opportunities" you speak about through extremely good and hard work, making my goals and interests clear to the partners who are in a position to advance them (and willing to do so in exchange for lots of my hard work for which they get credit), and jumping on those opportunities even when they come at inconvenient times and have a negative effect on my personal life. We'll see if that turns out to be enough - anyone's guess at this point. So far, it's getting me where I want to go.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:39 am

I'm a later career attorney (about 7-8 years out of school) that started "on track" and veered off. I went to T-14 on a scholarship. Afterwards, I went to BigLaw. I went because I thought the people were smart and I found the opportunity to get an understanding of the internal workings of companies pretty compelling. I also like high stakes situations -- it's just more interesting when the outcome has the potential for great victory or miserable failure.

My firm loved me (I built a decent book of business from well regarded companies as a junior associate) and they let me know that they would be willing to drop a few years off the partner track if I kept going. Making partner didn't seem particularly interesting intellectually or challenging beyond the time commitment, so I left as a midlevel for a non-legal position. People thought I was insane.

I found it very hard to explain to people why leaving was the right decision for me, particularly since I was actually reasonably happy as a lawyer. I basically told people I liked being a lawyer but didn't love it, so I didn't see much point in continuing. Millenial stuff.

This is a very roundabout way of saying that BigLaw is the easy choice but it is rarely the right one. Spending some time to ask why you're going to BigLaw over other alternatives seems like a good place to start. Most people go for money or prestige. They're both pretty terrible reasons since they essentially operate as crappy proxies for actual personal satisfaction. Chasing money and prestige is rough because you're always measuring yourself relative to other people and you're always going to be on the losing end of that comparison. It was easy for me to leave law because I never particularly cared about anything other than working with smart people and learning new things. Once I stopped learning things I valued, I left.

After law, I went into startups. Eventually ran one. Sold the company. Now I'm pretty senior at a company in the middle of massive growth. People seem to think I made the right decision now, but it's largely because I've stumbled back in to money and prestige, which has very little to do with why I'm doing what I'm doing. I enjoy my work because it is complex, varied and skill determinant (rather than time being the primary factor). I'd quit tomorrow if it became something I liked but didn't love.

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Re: Who Really Wins?

Postby TTTooKewl » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a later career attorney (about 7-8 years out of school) that started "on track" and veered off. I went to T-14 on a scholarship. Afterwards, I went to BigLaw. I went because I thought the people were smart and I found the opportunity to get an understanding of the internal workings of companies pretty compelling. I also like high stakes situations -- it's just more interesting when the outcome has the potential for great victory or miserable failure.

My firm loved me (I built a decent book of business from well regarded companies as a junior associate) and they let me know that they would be willing to drop a few years off the partner track if I kept going. Making partner didn't seem particularly interesting intellectually or challenging beyond the time commitment, so I left as a midlevel for a non-legal position. People thought I was insane.

I found it very hard to explain to people why leaving was the right decision for me, particularly since I was actually reasonably happy as a lawyer. I basically told people I liked being a lawyer but didn't love it, so I didn't see much point in continuing. Millenial stuff.

This is a very roundabout way of saying that BigLaw is the easy choice but it is rarely the right one. Spending some time to ask why you're going to BigLaw over other alternatives seems like a good place to start. Most people go for money or prestige. They're both pretty terrible reasons since they essentially operate as crappy proxies for actual personal satisfaction. Chasing money and prestige is rough because you're always measuring yourself relative to other people and you're always going to be on the losing end of that comparison. It was easy for me to leave law because I never particularly cared about anything other than working with smart people and learning new things. Once I stopped learning things I valued, I left.

After law, I went into startups. Eventually ran one. Sold the company. Now I'm pretty senior at a company in the middle of massive growth. People seem to think I made the right decision now, but it's largely because I've stumbled back in to money and prestige, which has very little to do with why I'm doing what I'm doing. I enjoy my work because it is complex, varied and skill determinant (rather than time being the primary factor). I'd quit tomorrow if it became something I liked but didn't love.


Could you explain a little about your transition? How does one "go into startups"? Did you know people in startups from your pre-law network? (I ask these questions because it sounds like you didn't make the typical move in-house to a client of the firm's.) Did you bring relevant, non-legal skills to the table?




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