Nashville Legal Market

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HarambeLaw

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Nashville Legal Market

Postby HarambeLaw » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:46 am

Does anyone have a decent amount of insight into the Nashville Legal Market. I know the two big firms that offer a second half program are Waller Lansden and Bass, Berry, & Sims, but I was wondering what the difference between the two really is and if one is a clear choice over the other.

any and all advice is welcomed

Tropical Earthquake

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Tropical Earthquake » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:08 pm

I am from Nashville and have worked there in the past. I know several attorneys at Waller and Bass and have experience with both firms. Let me start by saying that Waller and Bass are both excellent choices, especially if Nashville is where you want to be.

The problem with your question is that there is no single correct answer that's the same for every person. In large part, it depends on your personality and the type of work you want to do. All firms have some practice groups that are stronger than others. Waller and Bass are no exception; each one has areas where it excels. So which one is the "clear choice" for you will depend on your interests.

The other important thing to keep in mind is that firms of the same size in the same city often do similar types of work for similar types of clients. So while there might be very little separating two firms in terms of the work they do, there can be a LOT separating them in terms of firm culture. I actually know a few people who summered at Waller and Bass back in the day when their summer programs ran during both halves. When it came time to make a decision where to go, some chose Bass and some chose Waller. And in most cases, the deciding factor was where they felt like they were a better fit. Plus, in large firms, there are often different cultures within different practice areas. For example, you might get along great with the attorneys in the corporate department, but your personality may not mesh as well with the folks in litigation.

If I were you, I would try to reach out to any alumni of your law school who work at those firms (assuming there are some...) They can probably give you some insight into the different practice groups and could possibly introduce you to some other attorneys.


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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:26 pm

Does anyone have any insights into the minimum billables in Nashville? NALP does not have much info.I did see that Dickinson Wright requires 1950, which seems ridiculously high for Nashville.

As for Waller vs. Bass, they both seem to do a bunch of transnational healthcare work. My sense is that Bass is also a little more politically active & connected. Other than that, I do not think there is much difference. Bass may have the *slightest* reputational edge over Waller in Nashville, but I think it is negligible and there is no clear choice; just go wherever you feel more comfortable.

Tropical Earthquake

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Tropical Earthquake » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:15 pm

Waller requires 1,800 hours. BBS requires "a minimum range of 1850-2050 billable hours." According to NALP, Baker Donelson requires 1,900. I don't have personal knowledge of other firms' billable requirements, but my guess would be they fall between 1,800 and 2,000 hours.

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:41 pm

Bass has a significantly better reputation and exit options when compared to Waller.

-someone who works at a large firm in the market

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:30 pm

Another Anon:

I need to stay in Nashville over the summer because of financial constraints. I am originally from the city and could find somewhere to stay pretty easily. What firm would you suggest for someone who would like to enter corporate law?

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Another Anon:

I need to stay in Nashville over the summer because of financial constraints. I am originally from the city and could find somewhere to stay pretty easily. What firm would you suggest for someone who would like to enter corporate law?


Bass, Bradley, Baker, Waller

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

everything else

Bass is way better in corporate than all of the other firms, TBH.

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:16 am

What about litigation work?

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about litigation work?


If you want to do litigation, your options are less limited. Only the biggest firms in town do much corporate work (BBS, Waller, etc.). On the other hand, there are several small to mid-size firms that have good reputations for litigation (Neal & Harwell and Riley Warnock & Jacobson are two that spring to mind).

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:09 pm

Baker D routinely no offers across all of their offices. Neal & Harwell no offered their entire class last year.

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Baker D routinely no offers across all of their offices. Neal & Harwell no offered their entire class last year.


I think this is probably true for a lot of firms in Nashville...BB&S has no-offered folks before.
The firms are smaller and as such they do not necessarily just do lockstep hiring from summer associates like large NYC firms--it is more need-based. Still crappy, I know, but I think this is true for smaller markets in general. I guess my point is that I would be hesitant to think a summer associate position is a guaranteed offer from just about any Nashville firm.

Neal & Harwell, while a good lit boutique, is way too small to rely on getting an offer. They have what, maybe 30 attorneys?

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:21 pm

Has anyone heard back from any Nashville firms for 1L summer yet? Recently did OCIs and wondering if any CBs have gone out?

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby BNA » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:44 pm

Bass if you aspire to work in a major market one day. Waller if you aspire to work in healthcare.

Bass if you're an "alpha" and value "the grind." Waller if you're a "people person" and value "culture."

Bass if you're red. Waller if you're blue.

Bass if you want the penthouse. Waller if you want the plaintation house.


All generalizations, of course, but generally accurate nonetheless.

(student, but close friends/family at each)

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:51 am

BNA wrote:Bass if you aspire to work in a major market one day. Waller if you aspire to work in healthcare.

Bass if you're an "alpha" and value "the grind." Waller if you're a "people person" and value "culture."

Bass if you're red. Waller if you're blue.

Bass if you want the penthouse. Waller if you want the plaintation house.


All generalizations, of course, but generally accurate nonetheless.

(student, but close friends/family at each)


Meh...I laughed, but not sure that is "generally accurate" =
Neither will likely get you a major market unless maybe if you have major DC political connections. And both firms are heavy on healthcare.

The most recent Waller associate I know played college football & is a bodybuilder. The most recent Bass associate I know was super introverted and feminine. But agree that Waller has slightly more people persons.

Both have Coopers that work there, or formerly worked there (big Democrats, former TN AG & one a Congressman).

(FWIW: Practicing lawyer. Not at either so don't really care either way)

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard back from any Nashville firms for 1L summer yet? Recently did OCIs and wondering if any CBs have gone out?


Yes I know a number of people doing callbacks at Butler Snow, Bass, and Bradley.

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:43 pm

Aw dang okay, Bradley was my dream firm. Did my screener last Saturday and haven't had a call back, so looks like it's probably not happening this time around. Do they usually send rejections through the mail? Also, does this hurt us for 2L OCI for the firm?

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:35 pm

Bumping this post because I'd love to get some more insight to the Nashville legal market.

I did biglaw in a major market for a year and then left to clerk. Although it's likely I will just return to biglaw in my major market, I'm exploring alternative options. Someone recommended I consider Nashville. I'd love to hear more about it.

Here are some things I am curious about:

Is there much litigation there?
Is the litigation high level stuff, or more small scale?
Is there any white collar work?
What are the main firms I should consider?
What do firms down there pay?
What do the bonuses look like?
Is it workwhile for a quality of life move?

These were just a few questions that come to mind off the top of my head, but I welcome any and all insight.

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Re: Nashville Legal Market

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is there much litigation there?
Is the litigation high level stuff, or more small scale?
Is there any white collar work?
What are the main firms I should consider?
What do firms down there pay?
What do the bonuses look like?
Is it workwhile for a quality of life move?

These were just a few questions that come to mind off the top of my head, but I welcome any and all insight.


Yes. It's a metro of roughly 2M people so you can expect a reasonable amount of litigation. More insurance-based stuff than bigger cities, but still a decent amount of interesting stuff.

In-between, nothing super complex like you would see on the coasts or in Texas, but still some sophisticated work with the health care industry, tourism, and a decent banking presence in town.

Not really outside of health care fraud work, in which case I would suggest Bass, maybe Waller.

T1: Bass, Bradley, Baker, Waller
T2: Butler Snow, Sherrard, RWJ (lit.)
T3: Stites, Frost, Adams Reese, Burr, Dickinson Wright, Lewis Thomason
T4: Nelson Mullins, Wyatt, Bone

Big firms start at $120K, I think Bass, BABC and Baker are all there, Waller may still be at $110K. Expect small raises, between $5-$8K per year on lockstep. Bass pays top, then BABC, Baker and Waller (Bass also has a higher expectation, hours wise). Smaller firms start closer to $100K (guessing FBT, Butler Snow, Stites, A&R, DW, NMRS). Pay gap between top and middle firms grows with each year.

Bonuses at large firms between $5-20K. I think Bass is a percentage of salary, maybe same with Baker and Bradley.

QOL is high in Nashville, very friendly bar, much more so than either coast. Good work-life balance, generally, but can vary greatly from firm-to-firm. Bass is top in corporate, without a doubt. Litigation is probably more Baker, Waller, Butler Snow.



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