Faegre Baker Daniels?

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Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:45 pm

Anyone know anything about Faegre Baker Daniels, particularly in Minneapolis? I am a midlevel at a V25 in a coastal market looking to move to a secondary market. My SO has connections in Minneapolis and they have an open position that I'd be qualified for.

It is the biggest shop in that town, but very few people I know seem to know anything about it. The few posts where it was has been mentioned on TLS are resoundingly negative about the firm as a place to work, but those don't have a lot of detail.

I was also a little shocked to see that they supposedly start entry level associates at only $110k -- is that still current? Seems low even for a secondary market. How quickly does that scale up with seniority bumps and bonuses? Or is the lifestyle really that good to make up for it?

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swampman
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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby swampman » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:50 pm

That looks like market for Minneapolis. According to NALP that buys you about 1.5 times as much as 160k would in NYC.

http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2012

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:23 pm

Thanks for the quick reply - I had seen that NALP chart suggesting $110 as average but noticed a good number of firms at $110 but also other firms at $115, $120, $125 and even some up to $160. I guess I was hoping Faegre, being the biggest, paid a little more. But regardless I'm more interested in the mid-level/senior pay where NALP is silent. Any clue how quickly Faegre salaries scales up? E.g. what might a fifth year make at Faegre? (For comparison, I expect to make $310k this year with end-of-year bonus.) I'm sure it'd be a lot less in Minneapolis, but am curious how much less.

I don't really ascribe much value to that NALP comparison - I'm not in NYC and in any event, most of my budget goes to paying off my (unfortunately still massive) student loans, maxing out 401k, traveling, etc..... things that won't change when I move.

But money isn't everything, so I am also curious about the work, the people, the culture, the lifestyle, the long-term health, etc. I assume it shouldn't be too hard to get an interview and an offer coming from a big coastal firm, but if I am wrong please tell me.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the quick reply - I had seen that NALP chart suggesting $110 as average but noticed a good number of firms at $110 but also other firms at $115, $120, $125 and even some up to $160. I guess I was hoping Faegre, being the biggest, paid a little more. But regardless I'm more interested in the mid-level/senior pay where NALP is silent. Any clue how quickly Faegre salaries scales up? E.g. what might a fifth year make at Faegre? (For comparison, I expect to make $310k this year with end-of-year bonus.) I'm sure it'd be a lot less in Minneapolis, but am curious how much less.

I don't really ascribe much value to that NALP comparison - I'm not in NYC and in any event, most of my budget goes to paying off my (unfortunately still massive) student loans, maxing out 401k, traveling, etc..... things that won't change when I move.

But money isn't everything, so I am also curious about the work, the people, the culture, the lifestyle, the long-term health, etc. I assume it shouldn't be too hard to get an interview and an offer coming from a big coastal firm, but if I am wrong please tell me.


At my peer firm in the twin cities a fifth year would be making somewhere between 130 and 150k depending on bonuses

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby middlemarch » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:18 am

If you're looking to lateral to a large firm in Minneapolis, I would also consider Dorsey & Whitney and Robins Kaplan (litigation mainly). Both have great reputations nationally and in the region, and certainly are peers of Faegre.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby UVAIce » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:18 am

Pay for associates in the Twin Cities stays small and the raises are small. I know of a number of friends who are looking to go in-house over working for a Minnesota firm. Admittedly, I think the work life balance is better in Minnesota.

Oh, and the one firm that pays 160k for enty-level associates is an IP lit firm (Fish). I actually decided not to "go back home" because of the lower compensation.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby UVAIce » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:19 am

middlemarch wrote:If you're looking to lateral to a large firm in Minneapolis, I would also consider Dorsey & Whitney and Robins Kaplan (litigation mainly). Both have great reputations nationally and in the region, and certainly are peers of Faegre.


I have heard from a number of people that both firms are terrible to work for. robins also just lost a couple of its big name partners.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby middlemarch » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:49 pm

Eh. I've heard that too (also about FBD, fwiw), but have heard from other people that both Dorsey and RKMC are fine and the people at Dorsey are very friendly. I wonder to what extent any negative impressions are driven by expectations in the Midwest -- I definitely think that coming from a coastal V25 the hours will be totally fine.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:04 pm

Anecdotal information out of Indy since the merger suggests the firm isn't doing amazingly. That's not to suggest it's going under anytime soon or anything like that, but like a lot of midlaw firms, partnership and advancement prospects aren't great.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby minnbills » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:54 pm

I'm a local and I'll echo the bad sentiments re FBD. It's the sweatshop in town, and also has a "sink or swim" attitude. That said, it is one of the only true national firms in the twin cities. You would also get to work in the Wells Fargo Center, which is awesome.

One other thing, while I meet lots of people from the other firms around town, I never meet anyone from Faegre. My guess is it's because they're all too busy billing.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Patent2014 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:59 pm

Minneapolis is notorious for being extremely difficult to get into without significant connections, especially those larger firms. I'm not sure if your SO's connection would be sufficient, but just giving you a heads up that you'll need to milk that as much as you can in your cover letter to get their attention. Good luck!

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby bjsesq » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:04 pm

middlemarch wrote:If you're looking to lateral to a large firm in Minneapolis, I would also consider Dorsey & Whitney and Robins Kaplan (litigation mainly). Both have great reputations nationally and in the region, and certainly are peers of Faegre.

My impression of Robins was kinda negative. Even when they were interviewing summers their people seemed like pompous dickbags.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby thelawyerguy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:07 pm

UVAIce wrote:Pay for associates in the Twin Cities stays small and the raises are small. I know of a number of friends who are looking to go in-house over working for a Minnesota firm. Admittedly, I think the work life balance is better in Minnesota.

Oh, and the one firm that pays 160k for enty-level associates is an IP lit firm (Fish). I actually decided not to "go back home" because of the lower compensation.



This is key, while 110 to 120k is pretty good for Twin Cities cost of living (compared to 160k in NYC/DC), the yearly increases are terrible. I don't know why the pay raises are so bad but it is what it is. I also stayed away from going back to the Twin Cities because of this.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby tww909 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:40 am

thelawyerguy wrote:
UVAIce wrote:Pay for associates in the Twin Cities stays small and the raises are small. I know of a number of friends who are looking to go in-house over working for a Minnesota firm. Admittedly, I think the work life balance is better in Minnesota.

Oh, and the one firm that pays 160k for enty-level associates is an IP lit firm (Fish). I actually decided not to "go back home" because of the lower compensation.



This is key, while 110 to 120k is pretty good for Twin Cities cost of living (compared to 160k in NYC/DC), the yearly increases are terrible. I don't know why the pay raises are so bad but it is what it is. I also stayed away from going back to the Twin Cities because of this.


This point really deserves to be better known. When I was a 2L looking at Twin Cities firms I assumed that the 50k difference in starting salaries would stay constant as one advanced, but the gap actually gets substantially larger as time goes on. Like senior associates making less in base salary than major market first years substantial.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby minnbills » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:33 am

Yeah but COL is much lower in the TC, plus the hours are more reasonable, for most firms.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:02 am

minnbills wrote:Yeah but COL is much lower in the TC, plus the hours are more reasonable, for most firms.


Compared to NY or Chicago, sure, but this doesn't hold for Dallas and Houston

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Jchance » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:52 am

http://www.infirmation.com/shared/searc ... _abbrev=MN

That's old info but it gives you an idea of salary pump per year in the Twin Cities.

Do you do IP, OP? IP associates in some Twin Cities BigLaw start at a higher salary (I heard something like a $15k pump)

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minnbills
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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby minnbills » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:48 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
minnbills wrote:Yeah but COL is much lower in the TC, plus the hours are more reasonable, for most firms.


Compared to NY or Chicago, sure, but this doesn't hold for Dallas and Houston


Yeah but who wants to live there?

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby bjsesq » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:51 pm

minnbills wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
minnbills wrote:Yeah but COL is much lower in the TC, plus the hours are more reasonable, for most firms.


Compared to NY or Chicago, sure, but this doesn't hold for Dallas and Houston


Yeah but who wants to live there?

Dallas is pretty great. Houston.... yeah, with you there.

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tww909
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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby tww909 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:22 pm

bjsesq wrote:
minnbills wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
minnbills wrote:Yeah but COL is much lower in the TC, plus the hours are more reasonable, for most firms.


Compared to NY or Chicago, sure, but this doesn't hold for Dallas and Houston


Yeah but who wants to live there?

Dallas is pretty great. Houston.... yeah, with you there.


Also the difference between cost of living in Chicago and the Twin Cities is nowhere near 50k/year.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:24 pm

Winthrop pays the most, I think.

Bro works at Dorsey and bills literally nonstop. Like over 200 hours each month for the past six months. Says Faegre is worse tho.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Winthrop pays the most, I think.

Bro works at Dorsey and bills literally nonstop. Like over 200 hours each month for the past six months. Says Faegre is worse tho.


Yeah, my buddy is a 5th year associate at Faegre and works at the office until 10 many nights plus extra time. I knew the 110k starting salary, but didn't know what 5th years made and felt awkward asking him, so this thread has been helpful since I have been thinking about going back to MPLS, after working a couple years at a large NYC/Chi firm

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:19 pm

I'll echo what others have said re: big firms in the twin cities; the comp is terrible and the hours approach real biglaw without any of the perks. If you want to work at a firm out here, I'd actually stay away from the big names like Dorsey and Faegre and try to get into a smaller shop with lower billables--good chance you might be able to "retire" to a firm like that and still make six figs.

I also think the ties thing is overstated if you've got decent credentials. These folks aren't yokels--if you went to a good school and are coming off a good clerkship, an S.O. out here should be more than enough. Hell, I've found SF to be more insular than the TCs at times.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:40 pm

OP here - thanks to all for the info. Definitely some discouraging intel about this firm and Minneapolis in general. For anyone else following, I also got similar reports through some other channels, including confirmation that senior associates make less than first years in any major market.

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Re: Faegre Baker Daniels?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:22 am

I have also heard the sweatshop comments directed at FBD, as well as at Dorsey. Consensus is they forget which market they're in, and how much (or little) they pay their associates. That complaint could really be directed at most of the MN big firms though - I've heard similarly negative comments about Fredrickson, Briggs, and RKMC.

Living in TC or surrounding suburbs is notably cheaper than Chicago and substantially cheaper than NYC. This shouldn't be news, but it should be reiterated how cheap Minneapolis is, especially for rent.

Source: Minneapolis native here who worked in one of the aforementioned firms my 1L year but didn't go back




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