Anonymous User wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:BigFed honors is the better decision for the long-term. I mean the likelihood you're going to remain at the firm more than 3-5 years is pretty slim, and then you'll be lucky to get BigFed. Why not just go to the BigFed to begin with and avoid the misery of biglaw? Also, if you're going to be on the GS payscale, and are going into a position that caps out at GS-15, you'll be making around $125k /year around your 4th year out, which isn't bad. If your going to to a banking agency (e.g. FDIC, FRB, etc.), you'll be making a shitload more. Moreover, depending on the practice area you'll be in at the fed govt, you might even have a shot at lateraling back to a firm in 10 years at the federal government as a partner. Your odds of making partner at a v50 firm if you start there as an associate are really, really low. Biglaw really was the backup plan for people who couldn't get federal government or fed clerkships at my school before the great recession. Even today, I think the vast majority of people who starts as first year associates at big firms would have taken federal government instead if it had been an option for them.
hahahah this could not be more incorrect. Fed honors programs are absolutely a backup (I'm a 2L top 25% of class at HYSCCN) for the vast majority of students with options in both. Everyone is ignoring the fact that the pay is not only MASSIVELY lower but that the majority, yes majority, of honors program spots do NOT CONVERT TO FULL TIME positions after the 1 or 2 years is up.
Sure, some do, but it's not something you bank on. And if you then start at mid-law after or go to a shittier agency, DA, whatever, you are behind your peers in a number of ways.
I also would not put too much stock in the work life balance aspect. Yes, it is certainly much better. however, it my summer experience at a high-prestige federal agency (SEC, CFTC, etc.) the top dogs worked very hard and long hours pretty often. If you end up doing that anyways, you will be pissed when your pay is 1/3 of what it could be after a few years. And yes the workplace politics are as bad or probably worse than in biglaw. As for benefits, biglaw benefits are just as good as government or better at most legit firms (V50- V100 included).
The most important aspect by far is the degree to which you enjoy the work. Working 10 hours a day in big-fed honors but hating it is FAR worse than 12 hours a day in biglaw and loving it, and vice versa of course. That should be the primary driving factor, with exit options and pay being close seconds, IMO.
But to the guy above, bigfed honors are a first choice to a select few who self-select. Don't try to self-justify your choice on here bro.
LOL. There are definitely both upsides and downsides to doing government or biglaw, but federal government spots are in no way any kind of backup option. I would be shocked if the vast majority of those going to biglaw at a CCN could even get an interview in an honors program, let alone an offer. Getting an honors program position is nothing like getting an unpaid government internship for the summer, or even a paid one. It is 10 times harder. Also, almost all honors program positions are permanent to begin with or designed to convert to permanent positions.
As others have pointed out, biglaw salaries are fake. For 90% + of people, you will get that salary for only 2-4 years before dropping significantly to a real salary. Yes, you will make more on average than someone going into government in the first five years, but the difference is not that massive when you take into account LRAP and PSLFP, incomparable quality of life, and the far superior government benefits. You clearly have never worked in a firm before if you think firms offer good benefits. Other than the salary, benefits are as basic as it gets even at the top firms. And yes, not everyone in government works 9-5, but believe me that there is no comparison to the hours at a firm.
There are definitely reasons to go to a firm over going to the government, but the above comment is ridiculous. And I say that as someone (because it clearly matters so much to you) who was top 1/3 at a CCN and actually has 3 years of practice experience.