Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:38 pm

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:There must be so many people skimming these posts who are 1st or 2nd year associates and are hating life right now. I actually bet some 3rd years who did a dist and app clerkships hate their lives as biglaw is billing clients at 3rd year rates for doc review lol.

There should be a thread for "fuck biglaw". I haven't seen a single post that justifies working as a transactional associate (unless you're wachtell but you can still beat that bonus + salary straight out of law school if you do things right).

Should this be on jd underground?

Have you actually read anything on this site? There are tons of threads that basically say "fuck biglaw." There are plenty of biglaw associates who talk about what sucks about it. You're not offering anything novel by saying biglaw sucks.

The alternatives you're offering, though, are non-legal ones. Some people want to be lawyers. I already explained some reasons why people choose biglaw, but for some reason you keep responding "but why doesn't everyone agree that what I want to do is the best thing to do?"

Also I'm sure this guy's lucrative finance job or whatever will definitely be endlessly fascinating and stress-free as opposed to those sad biglaw associates.


No it won't be stress free. Very few jobs that pay good salaries are stress free. I do think however if given the option in working 60-100 hour weeks (not billable necessarily but certainly at least at-the-office hours), I'd choose the job that is hopefully more satisfying and definitely switch if the pay is higher. But as I keep asking in this forum and it seems that we are all coming to an agreement, there is little prestige in working in biglaw if you compare it to a non-legal job that pays more. The best anecdotal evidence I have is that associates end up going to non-legal after several years of legal and could have and should have done that earlier.

The points below don't address my original question about biglaw prestige but they are my honest responses:

Re: the folks who say "what qualifications do these k-jds etc have". That's the point, if you don't try you won't get it. K-jd can easily go into consulting, banking, etc if they try hard enough. I know several that did and they're going to great banks in great groups and/or consulting firms. An example of one firm that easily pays more than law firm salaries is promontory group. That's perhaps the one firm that doesn't even require much hustling and takes a ton of recent grads without any experience. You'll definitely make more than most biglaw first year associates exceptions might be the boutique firms and wachtell.

Re: the lawyer comment. That's just sounds like you're selling yourself short given all that is stacked
against you to be a successful transactional attorney eg difficulty of partnership track, etc. Litigation is a different kettle of fish and commendable--in fact there is little competition to replace it eg arbitration. But transactional is very tedious and the work a transactional attorney does at least for the first couple of years is more paper pushing and editing than anything else. If you're interested in transactional, you should for example look instead into distressed debt funds to use your legal knowledge as your strength. If you're good enough for example to get into wachtell, you'd be an idiot not to leverage that to go to better places. If you ask some wachtell associates, they don't have a 100% retention rate of their summer class. Many of the kids who went there as summers go elsewhere on the business side.


No it has nothing to do with prestige, you fucking idiot. There's no prestige difference between working at JP Morgan and working at Wachtell, or if there is... it doesn't cut in favor of being a lawyer.

HOWEVER:

a: As a law student, it's much easier to get hired as a lawyer than it is to get hired as an iBanker/consultant/whatever else you're suggesting (really not clear what you have in mind here).

b: Even if the partnership track is unlikely, many of these transactional attorney positions at firms will lead to in-house work, as an attorney, down the road. Once you go into a non-legal field, that ship has basically sailed.


I wont quibble with you about point a but I know you're exaggerating how much easier it is. Have you tried applying to altnerative options seriously? Or are you just saying this because that's what others have told you? My suspicion is that you're parroting what everyone seems to think is the case: getting biglaw is *much* easier than other gigs. That's absolutely false. Some entry level consulting firms are just the same. Note my comment about promontory group.

Your point b is false too regarding the ships that have sailed. You can always go back to biglaw within a reasonable amount of time and definitely within a year. The hope is that one gets an in house position, but those are also tough. Transactional guys definitely apply broadly and apply to business sector positions strictly. In other words some start afresh even if they didn't want to do that.

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

Postby juzam_djinn » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:38 pm

stop posting in this thread, we know your whole point is "I think I made a better decision than transactional biglawyers"

congrats on that v50 offer btw!

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:47 pm

juzam_djinn wrote:stop posting in this thread, we know your whole point is "I think I made a better decision than transactional biglawyers"

congrats on that v50 offer btw!


Wtf? I don't need someone to congratulate me on v50. I said it is within that group and you seem to assume it is a v50 as opposed to v1. But as I mentioned earlier, I don't see a difference between the two of you if you eventually go into business which is what many do.

It is not about congratulating me or anyone. It looks like that there is a lack of argument in defending transactional biglaw. The whole claim that "I want to be a transactional attorney" doesn't even seem to stick as it is tough to sustain oneself as a transactional arty outside of biglaw given the dearth of good in house opportunities. And biglaw partnership is tough as everyone knows.

Can we agree that transactional biglaw is good for one thing only and that is to help pay off loans faster than jobs that pay less?

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

Postby smaug » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:48 pm

tell us more about the greek debt crisis, greekdebtcrisis

what are your thoughts on MMT?

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:49 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
I wont quibble with you about point a but I know you're exaggerating how much easier it is. Have you tried applying to altnerative options seriously? Or are you just saying this because that's what others have told you? My suspicion is that you're parroting what everyone seems to think is the case: getting biglaw is *much* easier than other gigs. That's absolutely false. Some entry level consulting firms are just the same. Note my comment about promontory group.

Your point b is false too regarding the ships that have sailed. You can always go back to biglaw within a reasonable amount of time and definitely within a year. The hope is that one gets an in house position, but those are also tough. Transactional guys definitely apply broadly and apply to business sector positions strictly. In other words some start afresh even if they didn't want to do that.


What is the mechanism for going back to biglaw from a non legal job? Mass mail? Why would a law firm want someone with a demonstrated interest in not being a lawyer when there are already so many qualified people out there who want to do law.

As for my own interests, I actually have explored alternative options, and will be dropping out of LS if the one I want goes through, because why bother getting a JD if I don't want to be a lawyer. But that being said, over 80% of my class goes to work at a firm, so there's no way there's an easier option available out there.

Path dependency, risk aversion, pay, and a desire to be a lawyer are why people don't go into other fields. Not "prestige" (because again, it's not really that prestigious to be a lawyer).

everton125
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby everton125 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:57 pm

NorCalLaw wrote:
2014 wrote:OP you are truly insufferable, this thread is obnoxious


Yeah, it's one of the worst humblebrags I've seen.

"Guys, I rejected this job at a top law firm because I had unique but impossible to describe options that were clearly superior. Can you folks who mostly work the type of job I rejected piece together some sort of reason why I'm not better than you? Didn't think so."


I don't really understand if OP has non-legal related job offers (i.e., offers for jobs where he won't be an attorney), or an in-house job offer where he will be practicing law and making more money than he would as a first year associate. Can anyone clarify?

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:59 pm

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
I wont quibble with you about point a but I know you're exaggerating how much easier it is. Have you tried applying to altnerative options seriously? Or are you just saying this because that's what others have told you? My suspicion is that you're parroting what everyone seems to think is the case: getting biglaw is *much* easier than other gigs. That's absolutely false. Some entry level consulting firms are just the same. Note my comment about promontory group.

Your point b is false too regarding the ships that have sailed. You can always go back to biglaw within a reasonable amount of time and definitely within a year. The hope is that one gets an in house position, but those are also tough. Transactional guys definitely apply broadly and apply to business sector positions strictly. In other words some start afresh even if they didn't want to do that.


What is the mechanism for going back to biglaw from a non legal job? Mass mail? Why would a law firm want someone with a demonstrated interest in not being a lawyer when there are already so many qualified people out there who want to do law.

As for my own interests, I actually have explored alternative options, and will be dropping out of LS if the one I want goes through, because why bother getting a JD if I don't want to be a lawyer. But that being said, over 80% of my class goes to work at a firm, so there's no way there's an easier option available out there.

Path dependency, risk aversion, pay, and a desire to be a lawyer are why people don't go into other fields. Not "prestige" (because again, it's not really that prestigious to be a lawyer).


Within one year you can contact the firm you declined. They usually take people back who have pursued other things. You can apply for a clerkship and get back in the game that way (know of several who have done that without difficulty). You can also ask your nonlegal employer to start giving you more legal work and you can say you've been recently doing in house legal work at your company when applying back to firms. You can go to govt after your business experience: in transactional you could go to the fdic for example and then back into Biglaw. I mean the options are open, and I've seen many do this.

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:00 pm

everton125 wrote:
NorCalLaw wrote:
2014 wrote:OP you are truly insufferable, this thread is obnoxious


Yeah, it's one of the worst humblebrags I've seen.

"Guys, I rejected this job at a top law firm because I had unique but impossible to describe options that were clearly superior. Can you folks who mostly work the type of job I rejected piece together some sort of reason why I'm not better than you? Didn't think so."


I don't really understand if OP has non-legal related job offers (i.e., offers for jobs where he won't be an attorney), or an in-house job offer where he will be practicing law and making more money than he would as a first year associate. Can anyone clarify?


Both but leaning towards non legal as they pay more.

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El Pollito
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby El Pollito » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:04 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
juzam_djinn wrote:stop posting in this thread, we know your whole point is "I think I made a better decision than transactional biglawyers"

congrats on that v50 offer btw!


Wtf? I don't need someone to congratulate me on v50. I said it is within that group and you seem to assume it is a v50 as opposed to v1. But as I mentioned earlier, I don't see a difference between the two of you if you eventually go into business which is what many do.

It is not about congratulating me or anyone. It looks like that there is a lack of argument in defending transactional biglaw. The whole claim that "I want to be a transactional attorney" doesn't even seem to stick as it is tough to sustain oneself as a transactional arty outside of biglaw given the dearth of good in house opportunities. And biglaw partnership is tough as everyone knows.

Can we agree that transactional biglaw is good for one thing only and that is to help pay off loans faster than jobs that pay less?

lol i'm sure if it were v1 you'd let us know buddy

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:08 pm

El Pollito wrote:
greekdebtcrisis wrote:
juzam_djinn wrote:stop posting in this thread, we know your whole point is "I think I made a better decision than transactional biglawyers"

congrats on that v50 offer btw!


Wtf? I don't need someone to congratulate me on v50. I said it is within that group and you seem to assume it is a v50 as opposed to v1. But as I mentioned earlier, I don't see a difference between the two of you if you eventually go into business which is what many do.

It is not about congratulating me or anyone. It looks like that there is a lack of argument in defending transactional biglaw. The whole claim that "I want to be a transactional attorney" doesn't even seem to stick as it is tough to sustain oneself as a transactional arty outside of biglaw given the dearth of good in house opportunities. And biglaw partnership is tough as everyone knows.

Can we agree that transactional biglaw is good for one thing only and that is to help pay off loans faster than jobs that pay less?

lol i'm sure if it were v1 you'd let us know buddy


No because I wouldn't want some idiot figuring out which firm it is in case I want to go back or keep my relationships.

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

Postby juzam_djinn » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:22 pm

brother, i would bet a year's salary that you were a middling student who eked by and got an offer somewhere not named Wachtell Lipton (or any of its corp peers; you sure as heck were not in the running for top lit shops)

but don't worry, you will have it better than all those evil transactional biglawyers who you couldn't best in law school

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:34 pm

juzam_djinn wrote:brother, i would bet a year's salary that you were a middling student who eked by and got an offer somewhere not named Wachtell Lipton (or any of its corp peers; you sure as heck were not in the running for top lit shops)

but don't worry, you will have it better than all those evil transactional biglawyers who you couldn't best in law school


You lost your bet. You could pm me for transfer instructions.

Also I had many lit and corp offers after 2l oci. Didn't want to do lit because I never thought it a good fit nor did I take the boeis's for lit because I wanted options in case I needed to convince non legal that I want them. You also know that many biglaw firms are pretty equal when it comes to lit and corp but some like debevoise and wachtell lean more corp for example than lit. Now of course I also didn't get every firm to which I applied but I did very well like many of my friends.

I don't mind explaining myself to you but I am willing to bet that you aren't at what you'd deem a top shop. Otherwise you wouldn't care about distinguishing. Though like I said if you were v500 (if that exists), it wouldn't make a difference in non legal. But then again I'm curious why you distinguish. Is it because of vault rankings simply?

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:44 pm

Perversely, this thread has convinced me that I could have gotten a high-paying non-law job, if OP is the caliber of candidate those places are looking for.

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

Postby smaug » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:53 pm

most people who had boies offers know how to spell boies

but let's say you had your WLRK and boies offers and you chose business

do you think that maybe the type of very rare and exemplary candidate who would have those offers would have other opportunities that are not true of the average T14/V50 person?

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

Postby First Offense » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:56 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
First Offense wrote:You're a cunt.


Thank you. Did you feel good posting this?

Not my most clever post, but there's something to be said for its brevity.

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2014
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby 2014 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:30 pm

OP will you please report back when your "handsome" pay remains stagnant and some prestige chasing big firm lateral comes in senior to you and gets your jimmies all rustled.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:47 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:As for your scotus comment, I guess it's cool if that's what you want. Do I think they are different than a kid who got all As or who almost failed out of law school and each of which pursued something else, not really. I've met enough to know that clerking is less meritocratic than one would hope. Scotus is even less respected in the legal market these days. In academic circles, it used to be the case that scotus was enough to get you into a t-14 straight out, today no top law school would consider taking a scotus clerk straight out without several publications.

Personally I respect those who go into public interest or govt, as that is where talented lawyers are needed most. You also learn a lot and might make a difference in those jobs. Biglaw is just a cruddy way to help pay off loans but it shouldn't be pursued for a long time for those who plan on a career in business.

These are weird points. Academia has nothing to do with practice, but regardless, no one gets hired in academia without articles. Doesn't have anything to do with the respect SCOTUS clerks get, and I suspect they still get their pick of cushy jobs.

And I don't get why you think people who go into biglaw are people who plan on a career in business, rather than law.

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:11 am

hilarious how jealous everyone in herre is of OP. regardless of if OP is true MBA/JD candidates do this shit every year and choose business because its clearly better in almost every respect (hours, pay, job satisfaction). lol at acting like V2-10 shops are competitive with similar business gigs.

mr.hands
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby mr.hands » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:29 am

With respect to going back to the law, you're wrong.

First, your 2L law firm isn't holding an offer for you. That window has closed and they've forgotten about last summer's flock

Second, you can't ask your current employer to give you more legal- type work. Even if he did, you couldn't do it bc you aren't barred.

Third, a clerkship application from a guy in the business sector with an interest in transactional work isn't going far.

If you go into business after law school, you aren't getting back into the legal field

People go to big law for the exit options and to pay off debt. Forget about this bullshit notion of prestige. No one cares where you or anyone else works. Prestige is something 0Ls care about, not working professionals.

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

Postby philepistemer » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:32 am

OP, if anyone at your school thinks working at S&C is more prestigious than working at McKinsey or Goldman, they're obviously wrong and have an inflated sense of self-importance. What's truly puzzling is why you give so many fucks about this.

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

Postby ryangreenspan » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:39 am

Thank you for this thread OP. At first your shtick was annoying but the resulting shit show makes me happy af.

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LA Spring
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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby LA Spring » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:21 am

A number of my friends (myself included) would much rather work as prosecutors but instead choose a firm job only because of higher pay. Choosing $135k over $60K had very little to do with prestige.

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

Postby greekdebtcrisis » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:29 pm

mr.hands wrote:With respect to going back to the law, you're wrong.

First, your 2L law firm isn't holding an offer for you. That window has closed and they've forgotten about last summer's flock

Second, you can't ask your current employer to give you more legal- type work. Even if he did, you couldn't do it bc you aren't barred.

Third, a clerkship application from a guy in the business sector with an interest in transactional work isn't going far.

If you go into business after law school, you aren't getting back into the legal field

People go to big law for the exit options and to pay off debt. Forget about this bullshit notion of prestige. No one cares where you or anyone else works. Prestige is something 0Ls care about, not working professionals.


The only reason I want to correct you is because misinformation will hurt those who'd like to try out business.

It is possibly firm dependent but I have direct knowledge of firms that allow their incoming associates to do whatever they want for one year and that doesn't include clerkships. The best way to do this is to tell recruiting and your mentors that you'd like to do something else for a year and chances are they'll agree and even hold your offer for a year out (plenty of firms hold their offers for non clerkship pursuits). I guess people don't ask and maybe this is why this misinformation that you spread is so vicious.

As to your second point, you could easily be barred by taking the damn bar this year. I am taking the bar for example even though I won't be doing legal. Also I negotiated with all non legal that they cover my bar expenses as that was the point of going to law school to some degree...to end up taking the bar. If you're barred, you can ask for legal work within your company. If it's a good company, they'll work with you on that front and if you're super anal about it, you can negotiate the terms in your contract that x percent of your work has to be legal, and yes that is possible. I am friends with people who did just that and one of them negotiated about half of their work to be legal (in case they want to exit back into legal).

Third, clerkships, the ones that matter are usually years out. If you apply to art III now, good Jurs will be employing you a couple years out. Businesses will be fine with you doing this and you can let them know that you're doing it. Judges arent going to rescind your offer just because you decided to work in business instead of law. If you're super anal about it, get your clerkships through phone calls and networking as opposed to Oscar.

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Re: Is prestige of law firm really worth it?

Postby mr.hands » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:30 pm

greekdebtcrisis wrote:
mr.hands wrote:With respect to going back to the law, you're wrong.

First, your 2L law firm isn't holding an offer for you. That window has closed and they've forgotten about last summer's flock

Second, you can't ask your current employer to give you more legal- type work. Even if he did, you couldn't do it bc you aren't barred.

Third, a clerkship application from a guy in the business sector with an interest in transactional work isn't going far.

If you go into business after law school, you aren't getting back into the legal field

People go to big law for the exit options and to pay off debt. Forget about this bullshit notion of prestige. No one cares where you or anyone else works. Prestige is something 0Ls care about, not working professionals.


The only reason I want to correct you is because misinformation will hurt those who'd like to try out business.

It is possibly firm dependent but I have direct knowledge of firms that allow their incoming associates to do whatever they want for one year and that doesn't include clerkships. The best way to do this is to tell recruiting and your mentors that you'd like to do something else for a year and chances are they'll agree and even hold your offer for a year out (plenty of firms hold their offers for non clerkship pursuits). I guess people don't ask and maybe this is why this misinformation that you spread is so vicious.

As to your second point, you could easily be barred by taking the damn bar this year. I am taking the bar for example even though I won't be doing legal. Also I negotiated with all non legal that they cover my bar expenses as that was the point of going to law school to some degree...to end up taking the bar. If you're barred, you can ask for legal work within your company. If it's a good company, they'll work with you on that front and if you're super anal about it, you can negotiate the terms in your contract that x percent of your work has to be legal, and yes that is possible. I am friends with people who did just that and one of them negotiated about half of their work to be legal (in case they want to exit back into legal).

Third, clerkships, the ones that matter are usually years out. If you apply to art III now, good Jurs will be employing you a couple years out. Businesses will be fine with you doing this and you can let them know that you're doing it. Judges arent going to rescind your offer just because you decided to work in business instead of law. If you're super anal about it, get your clerkships through phone calls and networking as opposed to Oscar.


First, even if you take the bar, the likelihood that an employer will give you legal work is small. They have their own lawyers who, you know, practice law. Handing it to a guy who just graduated law school and doesn't practice law is just not happening. Why would they redirect work from legal and send it to a guy whose never practiced law? Because he's interested in giving it a shot?

Second, even if you've heard that "plenty" of firms hold out offers for a year, that doesn't mean they actually will do so next year. It's just not at all safe to assume that the firm you worked for over the summer will agree to take you back because you didn't like your other job. First years are fungible and there's nothing that they offer to a firm that can't be replaced by anyone with a pulse.

With respect to clerkships, I'm not arguing that it's abnormal to work and then apply. That's totally normal. What's not normal is going into business and then applying with the hopes of going into transactional work. Judges don't have any reason to take someone who has been working in a non- legal job to come aboard and help them in chambers. Plus transactional work and clerking don't go together. I have no idea why you'd want to clerk and then do corporate work....that makes zero sense

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:49 pm

Also, even if firms will let you take one year, that doesn't really change the fact that you have to decide between business and law, it just pushes the point of no-return back by 1 year. Its not like you'll be established when you have to make that decision.




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