On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:48 pm

OK, that made me laugh out loud.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:49 pm

I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.


Have you ever considered going solo? Gov't work also sounds like it would fit your goals (esp. the job security part).

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.


Have you ever considered going solo? Gov't work also sounds like it would fit your goals (esp. the job security part).


I didn't clerk, though. And I would imagine PD jobs and the like probably pay like $60-70K, tops.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.


Have you ever considered going solo? Gov't work also sounds like it would fit your goals (esp. the job security part).


I didn't clerk, though. And I would imagine PD jobs and the like probably pay like $60-70K, tops.


DOJ jobs pay better (clerking not strictly necessary either).

https://www.justice.gov/usao/career-cen ... lan-charts

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Pokemon » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I find the TLS wisdom that if you're in biglaw you need to be at 90%+ utilization every month or else you're in danger of being canned hard to believe, to say the least. At two V50s in my city (not NY but pays NY base), MANY associates don't hit 2000. Some sections at my V50 (e.g. tax) routinely bill 1600-1700 in a good year. Many senior counsel and partners billed in the low 1000s last year. There are many Vault firms without 2000 hour requirement but use bonuses to reward associates who work hard to hit that 2000 or more. Those firms don't advertise this fact or say they are a "lifestyle" firm (for obvious reasons), but at these places I think the general attitude toward billing is quite different.


Partners do not add value by their billables but by their ability to bring and keep clients. Plenty of partners in my group seem to bill less than 500, but their jobs are safe.
If you are an associate in biglaw, and you have low hours, there is something wrong. It might be the market, the practice or you. But firms are not hiring law students with the expectation that they will bill 50-100 hours a month. Also, there being something wrong does not mean you will be fired. Plenty of firms understand business is seasonal, do not like the reputational costs of firing, do not want to be in a position where they later have to hire laterals.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

I think folks here generally underestimate how challenging it is to "handle" your own cases, especially at first. It's a tremendous amount of work, and not something you're going to do well at any law firm (including in mid-law) working just 1,600 hour per year.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:21 pm

philepistemer wrote:If you're as incompetent at law as you are at personal finance you deserve to get fired.


+1. OP, you live like a total fucking moran. It'd be a little more reasonable if you were a biglaw partner or something like that, but as a first year your budget is ridiculous. I don't even understand how you can possibly spend $1,000 per month on groceries in Texas (i.e. low COL)? What are you feeding a family of 10?

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:25 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

I think folks here generally underestimate how challenging it is to "handle" your own cases, especially at first. It's a tremendous amount of work, and not something you're going to do well at any law firm (including in mid-law) working just 1,600 hour per year.

This completely ignores context. There are so many variables in how much work a case involves that it makes no sense to make such a blanket statement.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:31 pm

WestOfTheRest wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

I think folks here generally underestimate how challenging it is to "handle" your own cases, especially at first. It's a tremendous amount of work, and not something you're going to do well at any law firm (including in mid-law) working just 1,600 hour per year.

This completely ignores context. There are so many variables in how much work a case involves that it makes no sense to make such a blanket statement.

Ok, cowboy, provide me some examples where an associate would hande his or her own cases in big law or mid law while maintaining relatively low hours. Feel free to provide all the "context" you want.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:02 pm

rpupkin wrote:
WestOfTheRest wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

I think folks here generally underestimate how challenging it is to "handle" your own cases, especially at first. It's a tremendous amount of work, and not something you're going to do well at any law firm (including in mid-law) working just 1,600 hour per year.

This completely ignores context. There are so many variables in how much work a case involves that it makes no sense to make such a blanket statement.

Ok, cowboy, provide me some examples where an associate would hande his or her own cases in big law or mid law while maintaining relatively low hours. Feel free to provide all the "context" you want.

He never said "big law" or "mid law", did he? There are plenty of other places to work other than biglaw and midlaw, but please feel free to ignore the original post you were responding to and be a condescending dick in the process.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:07 pm

WestOfTheRest wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Ok, cowboy, provide me some examples where an associate would hande his or her own cases in big law or mid law while maintaining relatively low hours. Feel free to provide all the "context" you want.

He never said "big law" or "mid law", did he? There are plenty of other places to work other than biglaw and midlaw, but please feel free to ignore the original post you were responding to and be a condescending dick in the process.

Here's the post:

I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

If the poster isn't talking about mid law, then what could he be talking about? Again, feel free to provide all that "context" I was missing.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:17 pm

rpupkin wrote:
WestOfTheRest wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Ok, cowboy, provide me some examples where an associate would hande his or her own cases in big law or mid law while maintaining relatively low hours. Feel free to provide all the "context" you want.

He never said "big law" or "mid law", did he? There are plenty of other places to work other than biglaw and midlaw, but please feel free to ignore the original post you were responding to and be a condescending dick in the process.

Here's the post:

I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.

If the poster isn't talking about mid law, then what could he be talking about? Again, feel free to provide all that "context" I was missing.

If the poster isn't talking about mid law, then what could he be talking about? Again, feel free to provide all that "context" I was missing.[/quote]
What are the alternatives to biglaw and midlaw? I dunno, maybe government, in house and everything that falls under mid-law? Finding the salary he wants may be difficult in some of those options, but not impossible.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:34 pm

WestOfTheRest wrote:What are the alternatives to biglaw and midlaw? I dunno, maybe government, in house and everything that falls under mid-law? Finding the salary he wants may be difficult in some of those options, but not impossible.

The poster is talking about going somewhere where he can "bill about 1,600/yr." The reference to billing, along with the salary he's after, makes it clear that he's not thinking about government. C'mon.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:43 pm

rpupkin wrote:
WestOfTheRest wrote:What are the alternatives to biglaw and midlaw? I dunno, maybe government, in house and everything that falls under mid-law? Finding the salary he wants may be difficult in some of those options, but not impossible.

The poster is talking about going somewhere where he can "bill about 1,600/yr." The reference to billing, along with the salary he's after, makes it clear that he's not thinking about government. C'mon.

Ok, my last post on the matter, because it doesn't matter, but look at the context of the rest of the conversation:

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.


Have you ever considered going solo? Gov't work also sounds like it would fit your goals (esp. the job security part).


I didn't clerk, though. And I would imagine PD jobs and the like probably pay like $60-70K, tops.


To me, it's clear that his reference to "bill about 1600 hours" is about lifestyle and not about where he is looking to work.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:40 pm

WestOfTheRest wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
WestOfTheRest wrote:What are the alternatives to biglaw and midlaw? I dunno, maybe government, in house and everything that falls under mid-law? Finding the salary he wants may be difficult in some of those options, but not impossible.

The poster is talking about going somewhere where he can "bill about 1,600/yr." The reference to billing, along with the salary he's after, makes it clear that he's not thinking about government. C'mon.

Ok, my last post on the matter, because it doesn't matter, but look at the context of the rest of the conversation:

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a V20. I told my wife last night that the perfect scenario for me (fourth-year associate) would be to take about a $60K paycut down to about $150K, with reasonable increases each year and job security, bill about 1,600 a year, and handle my own cases without a lot of oversight. I'd take that job today.


Have you ever considered going solo? Gov't work also sounds like it would fit your goals (esp. the job security part).


I didn't clerk, though. And I would imagine PD jobs and the like probably pay like $60-70K, tops.


You can bill 1600 hours (or less) and have 100% control over your cases if you start your own shop. Although, that throws job security out the window.

Although, a 4th year probably doesn't have enough experience to go out on your own, unless you have serious connections or a great personality.

To me, it's clear that his reference to "bill about 1600 hours" is about lifestyle and not about where he is looking to work.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby jess » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:17 am

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Last edited by jess on Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:35 am

Almost everyone in big law would leave for a 1600 hour, $150k job, which is why that job more or less doesn't exist.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:46 am

I'm the person who posted about the 1,600-hour job. I didn't mean to draw the board's wrath. The whole idea was kind of that that job doesn't seem to exist. It's feast or famine in this industry. I have, I'll note, gotten descriptions of boutique firms from recruiters that have billable requirements around 1,600 with competitive salaries. I'm not sure how difficult they are to land, though.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:36 pm

1600/$150K might not quite exist, but 1800/$150K does. There are plenty of smaller firms that pay well outside of the super elite boutiques. At the midlaw firm where I summered that was about the lifestyle and that's why most of the senior lit associates were biglaw refugees.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:18 pm

1,600 poster here again: And my idea is that if you billed 1,800, you could have job security at that level. That's what is hard about biglaw. Our billable requirement to advance with your class is technically 1,800 and you have to reach 2,000 to be bonus-eligible. Of course, if these are the benchmarks you're hitting, you should start looking for work. The pink slip might not come today. It might not come tomorrow. But it will come.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1600/$150K might not quite exist, but 1800/$150K does. There are plenty of smaller firms that pay well outside of the super elite boutiques. At the midlaw firm where I summered that was about the lifestyle and that's why most of the senior lit associates were biglaw refugees.

Summers at my biglaw firm probably are under the impression we all bill 1950.

I don't think any firm in the country will turn down work because it's associates are already hitting their billable targets. That means that if there is work, you have to do it, even if you've already hit 1950, or 1800, or whatever.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby HonestAdvice » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:03 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1600/$150K might not quite exist, but 1800/$150K does. There are plenty of smaller firms that pay well outside of the super elite boutiques. At the midlaw firm where I summered that was about the lifestyle and that's why most of the senior lit associates were biglaw refugees.

Summers at my biglaw firm probably are under the impression we all bill 1950.

I don't think any firm in the country will turn down work because it's associates are already hitting their billable targets. That means that if there is work, you have to do it, even if you've already hit 1950, or 1800, or whatever.

True but if you hit 1950, finish everything thing on your on and take off the month of December, you won't get fired. If you were at 1200 and did that you probably would. Also, anecdotal but I think a lot of work that comes into less regarded vault firms comes in, because the top firms are too busy. Many partners with books talk about how at their ultra-prostegious former firm they were the only person responding to the client's calls and there for them. We'd need to hear from partners, but my guess is Wachtell has new clients calling up looking to be represented by Wachtell where as at most firms, it's partner specific.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:07 pm

Know this is two years old but what happened to you OP? How long did you stick it out before getting canned?

I am in OP's shoes. Have about 1300 hours and thinking I won't hit 1600 before year ends in the next three months. Firm is a bit slow, and they just hired another 40 new first year class, so not sure what the deal is. I feel like my class mates are busier though and I am trailing by at least 150 hours than the average.

One good thing is my budget is a lot better than OPs though and I've saved up 6 figures haha and it seems the lateral market is hot. Getting the pink slip with severance and 4-6 weeks of website time to look for a job doesn't seem like the WORST thing.

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Re: On track for 1250 hours first year, worry?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Know this is two years old but what happened to you OP? How long did you stick it out before getting canned?

I am in OP's shoes. Have about 1300 hours and thinking I won't hit 1600 before year ends in the next three months. Firm is a bit slow, and they just hired another 40 new first year class, so not sure what the deal is. I feel like my class mates are busier though and I am trailing by at least 150 hours than the average.

One good thing is my budget is a lot better than OPs though and I've saved up 6 figures haha and it seems the lateral market is hot. Getting the pink slip with severance and 4-6 weeks of website time to look for a job doesn't seem like the WORST thing.


Very similar position. I’m on pace for 1250/1300. I constantly ask for work, but no one has anything to give me. Thinking about reaching out to other practice areas if things don’t pick up.

Also have been doing callbacks so I may just slowly vanish by year end and move to the new firm.



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