The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:30 pm

Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.

Cogburn87
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Cogburn87 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:40 pm

Twist: "Substantive" work in litigation is flame, anyway. Every task you'll be asked to perform is dull and a net-drain on society. Enjoy!

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Desert Fox
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:47 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.


I agree with the general conclusion, especially as it relates to juniors. But I'm not sure if leverage is really the enemy. With low leverage, won't partners take a more active role in cases? The partners I know who are highly leveraged essentially do client management only and then sign off on stuff. Sure, the juniors are doing bitchwork, but someone who isn't the partner is doing all the rest.

But Megafirms just treat ligation differently. They create busy work. And nobody is going to pay millions of dollars for matter and have a fucking 3rd year handle motions.

911 crisis actor
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby 911 crisis actor » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:34 pm

Paul Weiss is now leveraged 6:1, lol

KaNa1986
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby KaNa1986 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:19 pm

911 crisis actor wrote:Paul Weiss is now leveraged 6:1, lol


What are leverage ratios at peer litigation practices (Cravath/S&C/Skadden/etc.)?

Anonymous User
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:27 pm

Test your theory. The firm I clerk at part time is an IP boutique with 7 attorneys. All of the junior associates here have been writing substantive motions on their own from day one. We handle rather sophisticated cases (either 1st or 2nd chair w/biglaw often). The pay is not biglaw, but reasonable for the market. Its also a great work environment, and 9-6 is expected hours.

Do you start here, or start in biglaw, given the choice?

Cogburn87
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Cogburn87 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:36 pm

Biglaw, because IP lit will be dead in 2 years.

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Robb
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Robb » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:03 am

911 crisis actor wrote:Paul Weiss is now leveraged 6:1, lol

Where'd you get that from?

Their search form lists 436 associates, 146 partners, a 3:1 ratio.

Paul Weiss: 3:1 (436:146)
Cravath: 3.5:1 (330:92)
S&C: 2.8:1 (482:172)
Skadden: 2.5:1 (986:387)

911 crisis actor
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby 911 crisis actor » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:58 am

Latest Amlaw article on their 2014 financials. They're at close to 1000 lawyers now, brother.

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Dr. Review
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:05 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.


I agree with the general conclusion, especially as it relates to juniors. But I'm not sure if leverage is really the enemy. With low leverage, won't partners take a more active role in cases? The partners I know who are highly leveraged essentially do client management only and then sign off on stuff. Sure, the juniors are doing bitchwork, but someone who isn't the partner is doing all the rest.

But Megafirms just treat ligation differently. They create busy work. And nobody is going to pay millions of dollars for matter and have a fucking 3rd year handle motions.


I'm with DF on this one. Lower ratios often just mean partners do more billable work.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:45 pm

Dr. Review wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.


I agree with the general conclusion, especially as it relates to juniors. But I'm not sure if leverage is really the enemy. With low leverage, won't partners take a more active role in cases? The partners I know who are highly leveraged essentially do client management only and then sign off on stuff. Sure, the juniors are doing bitchwork, but someone who isn't the partner is doing all the rest.

But Megafirms just treat ligation differently. They create busy work. And nobody is going to pay millions of dollars for matter and have a fucking 3rd year handle motions.


I'm with DF on this one. Lower ratios often just mean partners do more billable work.


This is definitely true for some practices areas, like IP lit. But for some (most?) lit practice areas, like white collar for example, just LOL. It's not true at all. I have never heard of a high-profile white collar partner at my firm doing anything other than trial witness prep, client relations, seminars, trial, appellate etc.--all stuff that associates never do (or almost never do). Same thing with class action, securities, most regulatory practices, etc.

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2014
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:16 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.

Isn't this shit all getting rapidly outsourced to bunkers in West Virginia though? For PPP to rise associates have to be doing something clients are going to pay for right?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: The importance of leverage and PPP for lit practices.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:37 am

2014 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Theory: As leverage and PPP increase, the likelihood that litigation associates will be doing substantive, meaningful legal work at a firm decreases. Megafirms are making their 7 figure PPPs by forcing associates to do shitloads of doc review, discovery and other time-consuming but non-"substantive" work. Skills like brief writing, depo taking and (lol) trial work are put on the back burner.

Therefore, you should always choose a smaller (less leveraged) boutique over a big firm to start your career, because nothing matters when you're a junior associate more than substantive experience.

Isn't this shit all getting rapidly outsourced to bunkers in West Virginia though? For PPP to rise associates have to be doing something clients are going to pay for right?

My firm's clients pay for 5th years to do doc review, so not everything is getting shipped to Cooley grads in West Virginia.




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