Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:31 pm

what sorts of firms were you interviewing with that didn't guarantee a pro-bono match, OP

sounds kinda sad for an HYS grad

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:34 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:what sorts of firms were you interviewing with that didn't guarantee a pro-bono match, OP

sounds kinda sad for an HYS grad


To guarantee that at least x% of your billables will be pro bono? Think of that number being about half. I'd say it's pretty tough to find a firm that does that straight out.

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:35 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:what sorts of firms were you interviewing with that didn't guarantee a pro-bono match, OP

sounds kinda sad for an HYS grad


To guarantee that at least x% of your billables will be pro bono? Think of that number being about half. I'd say it's pretty tough to find a firm that does that straight out.

no it's not

many/most do a 100% match

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:38 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:what sorts of firms were you interviewing with that didn't guarantee a pro-bono match, OP

sounds kinda sad for an HYS grad


To guarantee that at least x% of your billables will be pro bono? Think of that number being about half. I'd say it's pretty tough to find a firm that does that straight out.

no it's not

many/most do a 100% match


Perhaps we are talking over each other. I'm stating that you need to negotiate with the firm to get half of your billables to be pro bono. I am also saying not a single firm will straight up say "half of our billables are pro bono" before negotiation

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:39 pm

ah ok, so in your flame world how is work assigned, generally?

please keep developing the story, this has more potential

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:49 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:ah ok, so in your flame world how is work assigned, generally?

please keep developing the story, this has more potential


I don't think I follow your question. I think what you are trying to say is that firms assign work to their associates differently. Some firms have a strict form of assigning attorneys, others have a more relaxed (or eat what you kill) environment even with assigning attorneys. Regardless of the environment (because I frankly don't see where you are going with it), you are monitored pretty well: attorneys will routinely check not only what your billables are but also what youre working on...as one partner told my friend "there's always billable work for you to do here." If those firms see you putting too much work in pro bono, they contact you with an assignment that is "urgent" or even if it's not, it definitely has priority to your pro bono work. In fact your pro bono contacts are also there to fight with you--if you get too attached, they'll start saying "out of scope" (you'll have to argue with them that it's not out of scope) and make sure you are doing other work. I remember summering and this one dude was constantly harassed that he wasn't billing enough...he isn't at the firm anymore. Another person was billing 60/week and was yelled at by her senior who was checking her billables and saying she was wasting time on other projects.

I would say having negotiated a carve-out for your pro bono will do you wonders given the those fun stories.
Last edited by greekdebtcrisis on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:51 pm

carve-out


lol

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:52 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:
carve-out


lol


I'm typing from my phone. Give me a break. You know what I mean though.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:53 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:
carve-out


lol


I'm typing from my phone. Give me a break. You know what I mean though.

lol

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:57 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:
carve-out


lol


I'm typing from my phone. Give me a break. You know what I mean though.

lol


Let's be substantive. Are you now going to refute my anecdotes? Let me guess: you've never heard of a summer/associate who said his/her billables were monitored, never heard of an associate who left because they were treated poorly, or you do believe that firms will let you do your pro bono at your leisure (even if you have other things you should be billing). What exactly are you arguing against here? The fact that you can't negotiate your pro bono to a minimum set of your total billables?

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:02 pm

i'm saying that yeah, sometimes you can turn away work, but you're doing so at your own risk, almost always

freedom to work on pro-bono rarely means "ability to turn away other work with impunity"

i do actually know someone who negotiated an ability to have his in office hours expectation reduced greatly so he could do other stuff

(he did that post SCOTUS clerkship)

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:06 pm

Greekdebtcrisis, I'm not in biglaw but I've read a LOT of posts here, and nothing you say (which you're presenting as if it's new) is inconsistent with what everyone here says, except the "negotiate your pro bono hours" thing. Everyone here acknowledges most people hate biglaw and get out after a few years. And yes, people who go to HYS have different opportunities than people who don't; that's the whole reason people go to HYS. None of that supports the idea that people go into biglaw "because" of the prestige, which was your original contention.

(I was under the impression that most firms counted pro bono, too. But I'm curious what benefit negotiating pro bono is if your goal is to stay in biglaw - I can't think of a better way to signal that you don't really want to do biglaw work than make a point about your pro bono hours.)

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:08 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:i'm saying that yeah, sometimes you can turn away work, but you're doing so at your own risk, almost always

freedom to work on pro-bono rarely means "ability to turn away other work with impunity"

i do actually know someone who negotiated an ability to have his in office hours expectation reduced greatly so he could do other stuff

(he did that post SCOTUS clerkship)


OK, that makes sense. But according to you, that guy who negotiated a lower office hours expectation is also pulling a risk unless you think he is protected heavily by his contract. All I am saying is that I know first-hand of people who have negotiated things like pro bono to be around half of their billables. It appears to me that this express agreement is much better than the lofty claims that firms make when they talk about their wonderful pro bono programs. That means that whoever is checking my billables knows that around half must be pro bono and they can demand much less of me/assign me less once I've hit say 1500 for the year as the rest can be pro bono.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:12 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Greekdebtcrisis, I'm not in biglaw but I've read a LOT of posts here, and nothing you say (which you're presenting as if it's new) is inconsistent with what everyone here says, except the "negotiate your pro bono hours" thing. Everyone here acknowledges most people hate biglaw and get out after a few years. And yes, people who go to HYS have different opportunities than people who don't; that's the whole reason people go to HYS. None of that supports the idea that people go into biglaw "because" of the prestige, which was your original contention.

(I was under the impression that most firms counted pro bono, too. But I'm curious what benefit negotiating pro bono is if your goal is to stay in biglaw - I can't think of a better way to signal that you don't really want to do biglaw work than make a point about your pro bono hours.)


My guess is that those people will lateral out into govt/public interest/academia at some point. Some might have clerkships a year or two out. If you know you're not going to stay in biglaw after a couple of years, might as well get that $$$ without being completely miserable. Also of course some firms count pro bono as billable, but they sure as heck look at differently.

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:12 pm

nah he didn't, because he was a goddamn SCOTUS clerk

were you a SCOTUS clerk greekdebtcrisis?

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DFTHREAD

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

Postby beepboopbeep » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:16 pm

Like, but even if you negotiate something like 10% of billables have to be pro bono:

I just also doubt that it means you'll get any fewer non-billable hours overall, or that the extra pro bono you might pick up would end up mattering for either your evaluation at the firm or your mental sanity. My guess as to how it would go would be: you get the same amount of billable work as you would anyway, and it's up to you to make the pro bono hours you wanted--meaning stay late, etc etc.

If it's like half your hours, that's just negotiating down your total, ultimately. And that's not something I'd really want to try to pull as an incoming first year.

Plus pro bono = kind of a flame, so far, tbh. Maybe just the ones I've gotten have sucked, idk.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:20 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:nah he didn't, because he was a goddamn SCOTUS clerk

were you a SCOTUS clerk greekdebtcrisis?


No and don't care too much about it as my career path is different. I have a couple of colleagues who already got scotus. They are good people who worked hard and made the right moves but even so scotus can be a crapshoot. Regardless, my thread cares about people who are going into transactional biglaw, and I don't think scotus clerks exit to transactional law.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:21 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:Like, but even if you negotiate something like 10% of billables have to be pro bono:

I just also doubt that it means you'll get any fewer non-billable hours overall, or that the extra pro bono you might pick up would end up mattering for either your evaluation at the firm or your mental sanity. My guess as to how it would go would be: you get the same amount of billable work as you would anyway, and it's up to you to make the pro bono hours you wanted--meaning stay late, etc etc.

If it's like half your hours, that's just negotiating down your total, ultimately. And that's not something I'd really want to try to pull as an incoming first year.

Plus pro bono = kind of a flame, so far, tbh. Maybe just the ones I've gotten have sucked, idk.


10% might be too low; try half. If you get 50%, I see it as being very tough for a run of the mill biglaw firm to ask you to put more than 1500 regular work in as 3k a year is pretty killer.

Also if you know youre exiting soon, why not make your life better? And sorry to hear that your pro bono sucks. I'm guessing though that they ones that sucked are better than doc review, etc.
Last edited by greekdebtcrisis on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby skers » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:22 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:ah ok, so in your flame world how is work assigned, generally?

please keep developing the story, this has more potential


I don't think I follow your question. I think what you are trying to say is that firms assign work to their associates differently. Some firms have a strict form of assigning attorneys, others have a more relaxed (or eat what you kill) environment even with assigning attorneys. Regardless of the environment (because I frankly don't see where you are going with it), you are monitored pretty well: attorneys will routinely check not only what your billables are but also what youre working on...as one partner told my friend "there's always billable work for you to do here." If those firms see you putting too much work in pro bono, they contact you with an assignment that is "urgent" or even if it's not, it definitely has priority to your pro bono work. In fact your pro bono contacts are also there to fight with you--if you get too attached, they'll start saying "out of scope" (you'll have to argue with them that it's not out of scope) and make sure you are doing other work. I remember summering and this one dude was constantly harassed that he wasn't billing enough...he isn't at the firm anymore. Another person was billing 60/week and was yelled at by her senior who was checking her billables and saying she was wasting time on other projects.

I would say having negotiated a carve-out for your pro bono will do you wonders given the those fun stories.


lol at negotiating an at-will employment agreement.

You don't know what eat what you kill actually means and you're just throwing out a term that's kind of related that you heard one time from someone

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

Postby beepboopbeep » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:23 pm

skers wrote:You don't know what eat what you kill actually means and you're just throwing out a term that's kind of related that you heard one time from someone


greekdebtcrisis wrote:others have a more relaxed (or eat what you kill) environment



wow, didn't even catch this. qfp.

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:25 pm

skers wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:ah ok, so in your flame world how is work assigned, generally?

please keep developing the story, this has more potential


I don't think I follow your question. I think what you are trying to say is that firms assign work to their associates differently. Some firms have a strict form of assigning attorneys, others have a more relaxed (or eat what you kill) environment even with assigning attorneys. Regardless of the environment (because I frankly don't see where you are going with it), you are monitored pretty well: attorneys will routinely check not only what your billables are but also what youre working on...as one partner told my friend "there's always billable work for you to do here." If those firms see you putting too much work in pro bono, they contact you with an assignment that is "urgent" or even if it's not, it definitely has priority to your pro bono work. In fact your pro bono contacts are also there to fight with you--if you get too attached, they'll start saying "out of scope" (you'll have to argue with them that it's not out of scope) and make sure you are doing other work. I remember summering and this one dude was constantly harassed that he wasn't billing enough...he isn't at the firm anymore. Another person was billing 60/week and was yelled at by her senior who was checking her billables and saying she was wasting time on other projects.

I would say having negotiated a carve-out for your pro bono will do you wonders given the those fun stories.


lol at negotiating an at-will employment agreement.

You don't know what eat what you kill actually means and you're just throwing out a term that's kind of related that you heard one time from someone


Yes eat-what-you-kill is less for first year associates. What I mean by that statement is that you are freer to choose your assignments...e.g. if you don't have that much work (which would be surprising in this market), then you call up the assigning attorneys or you talk to seniors youve worked with for more work.

Also crazy that you think you can't negotiate an at-will employment agreement. I've negotiated salaries, stocks, etc in several at will employment agreements.
Last edited by greekdebtcrisis on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby smaug » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:26 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:nah he didn't, because he was a goddamn SCOTUS clerk

were you a SCOTUS clerk greekdebtcrisis?


No and don't care too much about it as my career path is different. I have a couple of colleagues who already got scotus. They are good people who worked hard and made the right moves but even so scotus can be a crapshoot. Regardless, my thread cares about people who are going into transactional biglaw, and I don't think scotus clerks exit to transactional law.


are your SCOTUS clerk friends jealous of you, greekdebtcrisis?

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:27 pm

LOL. First years are utterly replaceable. If one tried to "negotiate," he or she would be laughed out of the room.

Also, I see law school hasn't taught you how to argue very well. You've made quite a few ad hominem attacks. Let me tell you that if this many people are telling you you're making shit up, you're making shit up. You're not so brilliant that you figured out the ONLY way to do this when nobody else can. Sorry to burst your bubble .

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:28 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:nah he didn't, because he was a goddamn SCOTUS clerk

were you a SCOTUS clerk greekdebtcrisis?


No and don't care too much about it as my career path is different. I have a couple of colleagues who already got scotus. They are good people who worked hard and made the right moves but even so scotus can be a crapshoot. Regardless, my thread cares about people who are going into transactional biglaw, and I don't think scotus clerks exit to transactional law.


are your SCOTUS clerk friends jealous of you, greekdebtcrisis?


They only wish they were as prestigious as he is.




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