Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

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Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:24 pm

mickey_mouse wrote:IIRC somewhere earlier you said your job doesn't entail much creativity.

That said, how challenging is your work on a daily basis? e.g. how much problem solving, developing solutions, etc. do you do for your clients? Is it intellectually stimulating?


Work in biglaw is typically not challenging on a daily basis, at least not for me. It has its moments where there are difficult issues to maneuver, and details matter more than most if not all other professions. I am getting to do more and more problem solving now and as an associate I did some but for the most part there were not many problems for me to solve at that level. Like I said, I am doing more of that now and advising clients is far more interesting than papering bond deals. Capital markets is maybe one of the least creative areas because you really are not reinventing the wheel as an attorney. You try to find precedent and do deals the way others have before you. The finance people can get creative and sometimes you find a solution for some wild idea. Right now we are trying to structure a portfolio company that is going public in a way that is different from most sponsor/parent driven IPOs. Intellectually stimulating? Sometimes but I would say probably not most of the time, at least for me. It is interesting to me, however, but not intellectual, just interesting from the standpoint that I like to reshape companies and dabble in finance and the way companies operate.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:33 pm

I apologize if this has already been asked, but can you talk about the equity vs. income partner distinction and how that both impacts your work and how that factors into the weeding out process? For example, if you make income partner at your firm, and continue to work hard, are you more than likely going to make equity partner? Is most of the weeding out done before people get to income partner status? I am going to a firm that only has single equity partner track, but I am thinking about going to a firm with the other structure, and I am curious about it. Thanks.

Edit: I saw you somewhat answered this question on the first page, but can you speak to the weeding out process a bit more and whether the 15% chance you have is comparable to other income partners in your firm?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:33 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What made you pick your anonymous firm, that may nor may not SHATTER market bonuses? Were you considering other firms in the area?


I knew I wanted to live in Chicago because I grew up in the area and I wanted to be at a big firm; there are a few choices so I interviewed with them all and took the first offer. My firm is notorious for making fast offers to candidates they like. So yes, I considered all the other major firms here with a decent footprint in the area.

How did you and associates you see bringing in business actually find clientele? In addition, who would one talk to at your firm about bringing a client in without appearing too gunnery?


My first client was a small market private equity firm that had like three portfolio companies and was looking to take one public. I knew a director there from a relationship I formed back in my public policy days, just kind of kept in touch with the guy for a few years. We had conversations about the IPO process but he was not a decision maker and our rates were probably too high to swallow at first. I arranged a meeting between a partner in cap markets and a more senior guy at the PE firm (and my contact and me joined), plus we brought along a PE partner. The meeting went well, we were invited to bid and ultimately we got the business (we negotiated on rates a bit though).

If you have a pitch idea, go to a partner you trust and explain your contact or whatever, and ask how they would approach it and if they would help you. Most partners I work with are really happy to help in this area. I will note that it is very difficult to bring in new clients and I have brought in two total my entire career so far. The real key is to establish great relationships with your current clients and the people you work with there. They will think of you when they need something. Also, make introductions that you think would be valuable for both parties. Keep in touch with people without asking for things. Finally, work well with opposing counsel in transactions. We get a good bit of business from underwriter's counsel (and we return the favor).

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:35 pm

mvp99 wrote:Anyone could probably answer this question... is 6 hours of sleep typical for the average big law attorney?


I would say that it depends on if single or family but 6 hours seems to be the norm from my conversations.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:37 pm

2014 wrote:As a Capital Markets attorney did you ever feel any temptation or pressure to do a stint in New York? Either with your firm or another.


Yes (temptation, not really pressure) and I have spent a considerable amount of time in our NY office and in London. The difference is that most of the work I have done out of NY is underwriter side and I prefer issuer side work in deals.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks so much for posting.

I'm a mid level corporate associate deciding between a strict corporate role that is in house (commercial agreements, financings, 33 Act, governance etc) versus more generalist in house role that includes those elements (minus 33 Act because it's not public) and some litigation management, probably some comp/benefits and working on corporate policies. The latter role is for a younger company that is a subsidiary of a very large corporation - it has a very small legal team. The former had a larger legal team and is more hierarchical. Both businesses seem healthy long term. I don't have much concern in that respect.

I recognize its hard to say, but, in your experience, which in house role will be better for building my career long term? Any other advice you've gleened from your peers that are in house in terms of how to manage a career in house? All of my mentors are at firms and I haven't gotten much helpful advice in this area. I want to ensure my career path remains on an upward trajectory.


I have a few colleagues in house and am close with in house counsel and chat about this a bit (they are always recruiting). I think the strict corporate role would be better if that is what you have built your practice in so far at the firm. Litigation management and comp seem a little out there and can be more monotonous that firm work (although more low key I guess). Policies especially drafting and training sound terrible to me. Then again, a generalist role would probably give you a leg up in other positions because you will have broader experience.

Negotiating agreements is a good skill set to learn and can be interesting. Obviously I favor financings and from the in house side you get to do more advising and structuring. Governance is pure politics in my opinion and can be challenging. I think being in a hierarchy for your first in house role will be better because it really is a new skill set and you need to be trained up a bit.

What are the comp differences and do you get equity in either role?

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I apologize if this has already been asked, but can you talk about the equity vs. income partner distinction and how that both impacts your work and how that factors into the weeding out process? For example, if you make income partner at your firm, and continue to work hard, are you more than likely going to make equity partner? Is most of the weeding out done before people get to income partner status? I am going to a firm that only has single equity partner track, but I am thinking about going to a firm with the other structure, and I am curious about it. Thanks.

Edit: I saw you somewhat answered this question on the first page, but can you speak to the weeding out process a bit more and whether the 15% chance you have is comparable to other income partners in your firm?


Equity partners here are highly influential and respected here where income partners can essentially be either (a) respected and on the track or more likely (b) not either of (a). The weeding out is like half complete before getting to income partner. A lot of people stay at income partner for a while if they are great attorneys but not so good at business development. I will say that income partners are most likely the ones who will be pushed out but the firm makes it very clear to you early on and gives you at least a full year to figure it out (they also help you move on). You get a few years at income partner but it is mostly clear if you can make it or not relatively early because you probably wont just become a great business developer once you hit income partner. Also, politics plays a huge role and luck.

Working hard after making income partner will not make you more likely to make equity. Everyone works hard at income partner, probably harder than associates because you have more responsibilities and varying job requirements.

I think the 15% chance I give myself is based on the age of the equity partners ahead of me in my practice area and the fact that I am at least above average at playing politics and developing business/relationships. I think most people have like a 1% chance, we make a lot of income partners here, essentially if you stay here for 6-7 years you get income partner. Equity is very hard to get here (and anywhere in biglaw for that matter).

Personally, I like the dual track because other firms may not completely understand the distinction especially case by case, so you get the title and then its easier to go somewhere else. Plus there is usually no announcement or way to find out if a partner has equity or not. Also, in house and government really don't know the difference so they seem to pay you better or at least give you more respect/deference once you are looking to leave. But it is kind of a farce on the other hand. I think each firm is different with making partner despite having one or two tracks. Like Latham is dual track but my friends there say it is nearly impossible and if one partner decides you are not good enough he/she can block you out. DPW is single track and hardly makes any new partners anymore, for example.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby mickey_mouse » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:11 pm

Why did you go back to law school after working in public policy and are you ever tempted to get back into the policy world? A lot of people still view a law degree as a way to eventually get into gov/ policy work- what do you say to them?

I'm out of undergrad one year, applied to law schools, and work (very generally) in the public policy realm. I think I perhaps still have the goal of (long-term) using a law degree to get more in the lobbying/ government relations work of a company. I'd love to hear your thoughts on advancing in the policy world in general and what a law degree does for that.

As others have said, thanks again-- easily one of the more valuable threads I've seen recently.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:27 pm

mickey_mouse wrote:Why did you go back to law school after working in public policy and are you ever tempted to get back into the policy world? A lot of people still view a law degree as a way to eventually get into gov/ policy work- what do you say to them?

I'm out of undergrad one year, applied to law schools, and work (very generally) in the public policy realm. I think I perhaps still have the goal of (long-term) using a law degree to get more in the lobbying/ government relations work of a company. I'd love to hear your thoughts on advancing in the policy world in general and what a law degree does for that.

As others have said, thanks again-- easily one of the more valuable threads I've seen recently.


I went to law school because I was going to work on the hill and run legislation but wanted a shiny credential. Things quickly changed for me once I got into law school and started learning and meeting people with knowledge. I would only go back in the policy world at a very high level and I don't think I would be qualified for that at this point. I would be interested in working at the SEC however.

A few of my classmates absolutely went into policy straight from law school and they are maybe the most happy people I know, now that I think of it. They were more passionate about issues than me, however. To be honest, I never thought I would stay in biglaw as long as I have but it's been relatively good me and I kind of like it now/have to see where it leads at this point.

I think a law degree would really help in the policy world, if anything, law school teaches you how to read dense language and understand it better. A lot of our laws are convoluted and dense. Legislative Counsel hires straight from law school if you want to draft legislation, but this is not policy based, just sounds interesting. Mostly, I think you have to make connections and relationships to get into policy jobs. Pretty much everyone I know who is in policy, and that is large number, knew people and got jobs that way. MY former classmates in law school seem to think their law degrees are very helpful.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Ron Don Volante » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:18 pm

OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

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fats provolone
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby fats provolone » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:25 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

stick with tennis. and call your mother.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:59 pm

fats provolone wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

stick with tennis. and call your mother.

Well played.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:05 pm

fats provolone wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

stick with tennis. and call your mother.


This was great/sharp. Probably my actual advice in a few years.

But yeah I will PM you.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby fats provolone » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

stick with tennis. and call your mother.


This was great/sharp. Probably my actual advice in a few years.

But yeah I will PM you.

thanks. totally unrelated question, to what extent can humor and wit overcome a lack of aptitude for legal practice?

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:30 pm

fats provolone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
fats provolone wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:OP would you possibly mind PMing me? I could use a bit of personal advice and don't want to out myself. NBD either way.

stick with tennis. and call your mother.


This was great/sharp. Probably my actual advice in a few years.

But yeah I will PM you.

thanks. totally unrelated question, to what extent can humor and wit overcome a lack of aptitude for legal practice?


The honest answer is that it depends on who your boss/partner/mentor is and how much weight they pull at the firm/employer. I find that if people like you and like working with you generally, they will allow you to fuck up a little more than others. Humor is great to break up the monotony of biglaw especially in certain practice areas like mine when you're at the printers until 3am. But at the end of the day you have to be at least decent at your job. But I love laughing (who doesn't) and I try not to take this job too seriously, as opposed to most young associates. If you are too serious in biglaw, you're going to burn out.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mickey_mouse wrote:Why did you go back to law school after working in public policy and are you ever tempted to get back into the policy world? A lot of people still view a law degree as a way to eventually get into gov/ policy work- what do you say to them?

I'm out of undergrad one year, applied to law schools, and work (very generally) in the public policy realm. I think I perhaps still have the goal of (long-term) using a law degree to get more in the lobbying/ government relations work of a company. I'd love to hear your thoughts on advancing in the policy world in general and what a law degree does for that.

As others have said, thanks again-- easily one of the more valuable threads I've seen recently.


I went to law school because I was going to work on the hill and run legislation but wanted a shiny credential. Things quickly changed for me once I got into law school and started learning and meeting people with knowledge. I would only go back in the policy world at a very high level and I don't think I would be qualified for that at this point. I would be interested in working at the SEC however.

A few of my classmates absolutely went into policy straight from law school and they are maybe the most happy people I know, now that I think of it. They were more passionate about issues than me, however. To be honest, I never thought I would stay in biglaw as long as I have but it's been relatively good me and I kind of like it now/have to see where it leads at this point.

I think a law degree would really help in the policy world, if anything, law school teaches you how to read dense language and understand it better. A lot of our laws are convoluted and dense. Legislative Counsel hires straight from law school if you want to draft legislation, but this is not policy based, just sounds interesting. Mostly, I think you have to make connections and relationships to get into policy jobs. Pretty much everyone I know who is in policy, and that is large number, knew people and got jobs that way. MY former classmates in law school seem to think their law degrees are very helpful.

Thanks. You confirmed my gut feeling. I believe the comp would be better at the strict corporate gig and I would get a little equity. It's not 100% settled at the other role.

Do you have any other general advice to a mid level making the jump? It makes me a little queasy because I have a pretty clear path to income partner, so the uncertainty at a new role kind of kills me. With that said, I know making the jump is the right move... I just want to make sure that I pick the right in house role.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:25 pm

You mentioned earlier something about having a clear path to income partner. Can you expand on that a little? Is it practice group-specific or highly dependent on your mentors?

Also I guess this leads in to another question. Have you noticed any differences between you and the people who left after years 2-4? Was the motivation to support your family determinative? Or do you think you possess other traits that might have helped you to stick it out long term? I ask this knowing how much biglaw sucks so I'm curious if you have any insight into this.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:29 pm

Advice to mid-levels making the jump in house:

I wish I had more to say on this but I have not been in house so I cannot really say. Anecdotal advice I have heard is make sure you like the people you will be working under and attempt to ensure the company is stable. Get equity if you can. For you, if you have a clear path the income partner, why not stay and then get a really senior in house position when you are ready? As a mid level, I feel like I knew a little but not nearly enough to feel comfortable going in house to do anything substantive. Maybe that was just me though.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You mentioned earlier something about having a clear path to income partner. Can you expand on that a little? Is it practice group-specific or highly dependent on your mentors?

Also I guess this leads in to another question. Have you noticed any differences between you and the people who left after years 2-4? Was the motivation to support your family determinative? Or do you think you possess other traits that might have helped you to stick it out long term? I ask this knowing how much biglaw sucks so I'm curious if you have any insight into this.


It's a firm thing, if you stay here for the 6-7 years, you will get income partner. And to stay here you have to do at least average work (hopefully better but no bad reviews) and get close to 1900 hours annually. Practice group wise, the attrition kind of takes care of the problem and there are not too many people left around that 6-7 year mark where some wont get income partner.

Differences between me and those who left: (1) I wanted to stay and they did not (that sounds obvious but it is a big deal); (2) I had a better practice group and leadership in my group than others who left; (3) I already had a family whereas others wanted to start one and thought they could not do so while at the firm (which is questionable); (4) I did not take the job too serious and others did, which led to unnecessary stress (IMO); (5) Others were more "idealistic" and wanted to do different things; (6) Others were either terrified of business development requirements or just did not want to do that.

I think my family situation actually pushes me to leave the firm; I could support them without earning as much as I do now. As far as other traits, I think the most important one is that I just put my head down and go after I commit to something, and I committed to this place after like two years. Plus, like I said, I am able to shake off some of the BS that others take personal. Lastly, I used to want to do "more" with my career but I kind of just put that to the side and accepted that I will be here for 10 years and then figure it out. In 10 years I will have made close to $4 million in salary and bonuses and it is really hard to turn away from that (for me); it's generational money to me. I will be under 40 and have a few good years left.

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Advice to mid-levels making the jump in house:

I wish I had more to say on this but I have not been in house so I cannot really say. Anecdotal advice I have heard is make sure you like the people you will be working under and attempt to ensure the company is stable. Get equity if you can. For you, if you have a clear path the income partner, why not stay and then get a really senior in house position when you are ready? As a mid level, I feel like I knew a little but not nearly enough to feel comfortable going in house to do anything substantive. Maybe that was just me though.

Thanks again for advice. Honestly, I'm tired of work ruining weekends, nights and vacations. At this point, I can comfortably run a deal and don't require much supervision. It seems like there are more positions open inhouse positions around midlevel and it becomes more difficult to transition inhouse around 8+ years because you are more expensive and don't have the inhouse skill set (so, from what I've heard, companies would rather hire someone with previous inhouse experience at this level). Have you found that more senior inhouse folks generally held out longer to make the leap inhouse?

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Mad Hatter
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby Mad Hatter » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:53 pm

PM plz.

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KD35
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby KD35 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:58 am

Relationship based questions for you:

1) I know you say you have a wife/kids. How common is it for people to still be married once they were senior associates/income partners?

2) You mentioned that some people left because they wanted to start families. Do you feel like it was feasible to find someone/get married while working biglaw?

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KD35
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby KD35 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:00 am

Separate post for separate realm of questions:

Of your peers at other firms (or I guess the people that you knew that went to different firms right out of law school): Was your firm outside the norm? Or is your firm "typical" in the sense of culture/quality.

I obviously know there is a difference between the Lathams of the world and the MTOs of the world, but trying to get a sense of your firm's culture and whether it is "typical."

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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby mikes82 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:32 pm

1. How would a background as a military officer (within special operations forces, to be exact) be viewed by most firms? Is it possible one could be pigeonholed because of his /that background, or would it be viewed somewhat favorably?
2. Ties into the above question, would that background help better explain one's age during the hiring process? And provided one had received a T6 degree, prior to joining the military, would that degree lose worth as time went on (in other words, would that individual's law degree be viewed as being somewhat lesser than a recent graduate when hiring?)?

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fats provolone
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Re: Biglaw Income Partner Taking Qs

Postby fats provolone » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:47 pm

curious what hole you would be pigeoned into




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