Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

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Anonymous User
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Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:59 pm

Going to be broad for purposes of this post but in general want an answer as to the prestige factor of corporate biglaw.

T-14 grad here with a couple of questions about the prestige of a law firm.

I declined a V50 firm offer at market rate of 160k. I have several other options in non-legal sectors paying much more handsomely than the base rate of most biglaw firms. (I know there are exceptions wrt to base and bonus e.g. Susman, W&C, Boies, etc.) Oddly enough many employees of these non-legal firms at which I have outstanding offers are former biglaw associates. Wrt to each company I'd be doing exactly the same job and would be getting paid just as much as those who worked for several years in biglaw. But because everyone in law school is all about that biglaw, I wonder if I made the wrong choice.

If one is uninterested in a vanilla legal career straight out of law school, why pursue biglaw? If one is worried about loans but interested in corporate work, why do people not go look for jobs in the corporate sector that actually makes shit happen and pays more? Why do people like Lat of ATL make the seemingly bogus claim that biglaw is so prestigious that it is almost a mandatory gauntlet that one must walk--not run--through? (http://abovethelaw.com/2015/06/have-yal ... -britches/) Are other non-legal firms that pay a ton more not prestigious enough? Don't people realize that biglaw firms are not as attractive as they once were for both associates and partners? Don't people hear about how terrible associate life is from friends or family? Don't people know that you'd be lucky to have any substantial work in most biglaw firms before you are a mid-level...that means doc review for a third year associate in litigation and useless paper pushing in corporate.

I am trying to wrap my head around this whole idea about going to biglaw if one has other options, and I really would like some explanation as to why someone would take a biglaw firm paying base rate as opposed to a job that pays more, a job where some biglaw associates end up anyway, and a job where your work might make a difference in the world.

Help me wrap my head around this and help me understand the prestige factor that Lat is talking about (he also makes the claim that it has helped him with his blog...). If not, why else would you go to biglaw? (Assume job security is the same: an example of this might be PE.)

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runinthefront
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby runinthefront » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:02 pm

what is this thread really trying to acccomplish.

congrats on ur handsomely paying job bro

idk how many corporate jobs pay more "handsomely" and hire any live body over a 3.0 at a T14 after two semesters of grades tho

BigZuck
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:04 pm

What kind of pay more than 160K non-legal jobs that are easily available to freshly-minted law grads are you talking about here?

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DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:06 pm

fobstory.jpeg
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:07 pm

Anon here.

That's not the point. But if you must know: banks, HF/PE, consulting firms, and established tech firms. If you have a law firm offer and you want to leverage it, you can. It takes work, but I know plenty who have done it. I hope that helps, and I'd be the first one to encourage people to do it. But maybe I am wrong to do so and that's what I hope to have answered.

BigZuck
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:09 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
BigZuck wrote:What kind of pay more than 160K non-legal jobs that are easily available to freshly-minted law grads are you talking about here?


do you even dev bootcamp bro

Of individuals who graduate from Dev Bootcamp, 95% find jobs with an average starting salary of $85,000.[9]

ryangreenspan
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby ryangreenspan » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:12 pm

I don't understand what you're trying to argue here. Are you saying there's better jobs than big law? I don't know anyone who would argue against that point. Are you saying nobody should be gunning for big law and that everyone should try to get consulting/finance gigs? I think that ignores the reality of the job market for most law grads.
Or are you actually confused about big law and how it's viewed/what it's like as a career? Your post reads like you really want to validate something about yourself.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:18 pm

Yeah, those other options are cool and there's not much reason not to go that way v. transactional work (litigating is different). Most finance transaction focused attorneys I know well would probably rather be making the money decisions, but I doubt many law students without some background in the field and impressive credentials are competitive for those positions and biglaw requires much less legwork to get into for most people.

As far as prestige, just flash the rolly, bro.

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:25 pm

ryangreenspan wrote:I don't understand what you're trying to argue here. Are you saying there's better jobs than big law? I don't know anyone who would argue against that point. Are you saying nobody should be gunning for big law and that everyone should try to get consulting/finance gigs? I think that ignores the reality of the job market for most law grads.
Or are you actually confused about big law and how it's viewed/what it's like as a career? Your post reads like you really want to validate something about yourself.


No not trying to validate something about myself. Not saying that there are better job than big law as that is obvious. Also not saying you shouldn't be gunning for big law. In fact you should gun for biglaw and try to leverage that into a better job opportunity. I am just confused about why someone would stop at transactional biglaw, and if they manage to get other options that pay just as well, then why on earth would you choose biglaw? An example is why choose a biglaw firm over or an ibanking position that guarantees you a job for at least two years and pays a ton more? I just know of a lot of disgruntled transactional guys, and I wonder why they stay at it and their best defense is "prestige". What prestige? To whom? I guess other lawyers....

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Cobretti
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Cobretti » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:28 pm

If you want to be a lawyer you should take the firm job. If you don't want to be a lawyer you should take the other job.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:31 pm

Cobretti wrote:If you want to be a lawyer you should take the firm job. If you don't want to be a lawyer you should take the other job.


Sure, but I think many transactional lawyers exit as they won't make partner. When they exit, many go to business. Why not just do it all from the beginning? Why go through all the shitty tedious work just to end up in the same position as someone who didn't drone away like you did?

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Cobretti
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Cobretti » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:33 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Cobretti wrote:If you want to be a lawyer you should take the firm job. If you don't want to be a lawyer you should take the other job.


Sure, but I think many transactional lawyers exit as they won't make partner. When they exit, many go to business. Why not just do it all from the beginning? Why go through all the shitty tedious work just to end up in the same position as someone who didn't drone away like you did?

Because they thought they wanted to be lawyers at the time and lacked a crystal ball that told them they would later not want to be lawyers?

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:40 pm

Because your legal career is effectively dead if your first job is in banking/consulting/tech.

Because the aforementioned jobs are much more difficult to get compared to big law.

And don't most attorneys who lateral out of transactional work more likely to move onto in-house type legal work, and not the actual banking.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Isn't that ATL column supposed to be satire or something? I don't think Lat is actually claiming that Yale grads aren't prestigious enough.

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Because your legal career is effectively dead if your first job is in banking/consulting/tech.

Because the aforementioned jobs are much more difficult to get compared to big law.

And don't most attorneys who lateral out of transactional work more likely to move onto in-house type legal work, and not the actual banking.


Not necessarily true about coming back. You can bounce back in up to a year out. You can always apply for a clerkship to get back in the game (and a lot of the Art III jobs are done through connections/networking).

Some move to in-house but a lot of them go into the business positions.

I agree that a lot of the jobs are harder to get but if you do get them, why not pursue them?

As to the lawyer crystal ball point: if you do your due diligence, you should note that a lot of people leave biglaw in waves and for good reason. Why put yourself through such mundane shit? I don't need a crystal ball to tell me that the first two years at most biglaw firms are quite useless especially the first year. You literally learn jack shit. If I were to give summers advice it would be to mandate that they be given assignments that are representative of work done by first and second year associates.

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:59 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Isn't that ATL column supposed to be satire or something? I don't think Lat is actually claiming that Yale grads aren't prestigious enough.


A good chunk of it is. But I think his prestige point stands on pursuing biglaw. Yet he never explains what that prestige is...I just want several bullet points.

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First Offense
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby First Offense » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:03 pm

Damn bro, you're so much smarter than all these other prestige chasers. Don't listen to the hate.

ryangreenspan
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby ryangreenspan » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:06 pm

Dude this thread reads like, "I have a very strong opinion about the way I want my career to progress; anyone want to argue that I'm wrong or try to change my mind? Anyone want to try to argue that kids who aren't on my path can justify their decisions without falling back on vague notions of 'prestige'?"
You're happy with the trajectory of your life? That's great and I'm happy for you. But it sounds like all you want to do itt is convince people that the trajectory of your career is better than most big law lawyers.

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:07 pm

First Offense wrote:Damn bro, you're so much smarter than all these other prestige chasers. Don't listen to the hate.


Come on. In all seriousness it's not about being smarter or stupider. It's honestly about fleshing out the prestige factor. Why pursue transactional biglaw if you have altnerative options in non-legal and which you'll probabilistically pursue after several years in biglaw?

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:10 pm

ryangreenspan wrote:Dude this thread reads like, "I have a very strong opinion about the way I want my career to progress; anyone want to argue that I'm wrong or try to change my mind? Anyone want to try to argue that kids who aren't on my path can justify their decisions without falling back on vague notions of 'prestige'?"
You're happy with the trajectory of your life? That's great and I'm happy for you. But it sounds like all you want to do itt is convince people that the trajectory of your career is better than most big law lawyers.


Of course I've a strong opinion but it's not so that I can argue about it. I just would like to know as you say what those "vague notions of 'prestige'" are. I want to know what he hell Lat and others are talking about.

I don't know what your end game is but say it is business side. Why would you pursue biglaw? Is there some edge you get? Is it really prestige and what is that prestige?

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smaug
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby smaug » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:13 pm

are you the same guy who tried to get people to work for you from here before?

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:16 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:are you the same guy who tried to get people to work for you from here before?


Wtf?

By the way if that's serious, send me the link. I'd like to get a good laugh.

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smaug
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby smaug » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:17 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:are you the same guy who tried to get people to work for you from here before?


Wtf?

By the way if that's serious, send me the link. I'd like to get a good laugh.

it was more sad than anything

but seriously, you're not that guy?

you're acting like that guy

greekdebtcrisis
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:22 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:are you the same guy who tried to get people to work for you from here before?


Wtf?

By the way if that's serious, send me the link. I'd like to get a good laugh.

it was more sad than anything

but seriously, you're not that guy?

you're acting like that guy


Lol I'm sure I'm not that guy. Send me the forum link, now I'm curious.

Anyway, I don't want to act like anyone. I am just trying to figure out why people fly like moths into the flame of biglaw. I always here this prestige shit but I can't wrap my head around it.

I understand for example going to HYS over Cooley full ride. There are many factors. I even understand HYS over full ride at other t14s: clerkship placement, grades, biglaw placement, etc. But now what I don't understand is that if you want transactional work and have non-legal alternatives that pay more, why not take them? Is it the prestige of biglaw holding you back? If so, what is that prestige...please list those factors...that's all I am asking. And I don't want to go in circles when someone says "because they want to be a lawyer". Everyone knows damn well how hard it is to become partner in a biglaw firm and exit options are usually on the business side anyway. So yes we've a crystal ball that assumes you will leave biglaw (as most do) by mid level.
Last edited by greekdebtcrisis on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:24 pm

You don't sound too bright. But have fun being CEO of a F500 straight out of law school.




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