Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

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PMan99

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby PMan99 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:43 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:But by the time you're in Biglaw, your "life trajectory" is much safer. Unless you are really uniquely terrible at your job (or economy/downsizing pwned), you'll last long enough to be able to transition into a job with more manageable hours that pays, although a lot less than you currently make, six figures. I'm not gonna say it doesn't matter if you're bad at Biglaw, because it does, but you can be nothing more than minimally competent and last 4-5 years (if you want to stay that long), assuming you're getting somewhere in the neighborhood of your hours target. There's no forced curve.



I have to disagree with this assessment. Up-and-out systems are very much like a forced curve - there just isn't enough senior work for every minimally competent junior to stick around for five years. So while sure, if you hit your hours you'll likely be able to stick around as long as you want, hitting your hours year over year is more difficult than many realize - and at some point, unless your group is really perpetually slammed, minimal competency will lead to you getting cut off in favor of people who are in better positions. Plus you can't just wave off the chances of your practice group getting slashed, whether due to a nationwide slowdown or a firm specific one. It happens and leaves people in the lurch more often than people like to admit.

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zot1

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby zot1 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:46 pm

1L is obviously worse because the alcohol at events is not as fancy.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:43 pm

JenDarby wrote:MO, that was a really long winded way of saying you went to CLS with no debt.

But seriously, you just differentiated yourself from the majority of people that would pose this question since without debt you're free to get shitcanned or leave whenever you want.


Of course it's a lot less stressful without debt. But then again, so is law school. Striking out without debt, while still really shitty, doubt does not lifepwn you like striking out with debt.

Getting worried about being shitcanned while you still have a ton of debt is a real fear, but it's simply less likely to get shitcanned within a couple years than it is to strike out at OCI, even at a top school. Your debt may not be paid off by the time you get The Talk around years 3-4 but if you've been diligent it's much more likely to at least be manageable.

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:52 pm

Mono dude you're just barely wrapping up your stub year, stop telling people how to make it 4-5 years in big law and all those other things you do when you post.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:58 pm

PMan99 wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:But by the time you're in Biglaw, your "life trajectory" is much safer. Unless you are really uniquely terrible at your job (or economy/downsizing pwned), you'll last long enough to be able to transition into a job with more manageable hours that pays, although a lot less than you currently make, six figures. I'm not gonna say it doesn't matter if you're bad at Biglaw, because it does, but you can be nothing more than minimally competent and last 4-5 years (if you want to stay that long), assuming you're getting somewhere in the neighborhood of your hours target. There's no forced curve.



I have to disagree with this assessment. Up-and-out systems are very much like a forced curve - there just isn't enough senior work for every minimally competent junior to stick around for five years. So while sure, if you hit your hours you'll likely be able to stick around as long as you want, hitting your hours year over year is more difficult than many realize - and at some point, unless your group is really perpetually slammed, minimal competency will lead to you getting cut off in favor of people who are in better positions. Plus you can't just wave off the chances of your practice group getting slashed, whether due to a nationwide slowdown or a firm specific one. It happens and leaves people in the lurch more often than people like to admit.


Definitely true in Years 4-5, but for the first three years or so the large majority of departures are voluntary. No doubt the slowdowns happen. But the odds of striking out are somewhere between about 10% to 35% at the various T14s (which theoretically ought to be the least stressful). I'd put the odds of someone who really wanted to stay getting shitcanned within three years on the lower end of that band. Plus, those who last more than a year or so are likely to still be landing somewhere stable with six figures (except for 2008-like cataclysms), whereas there is next to no hope for a strikeout.

Regardless, this is all ancillary to the idea that it would be good to start thinking early about leaving Biglaw relatively quickly. Even if you *can* stay for an extended period of time, you probably won't want to.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:03 pm

BigZuck wrote:Mono dude you're just barely wrapping up your stub year, stop telling people how to make it 4-5 years in big law and all those other things you do when you post.


I've never told anyone anything about Biglaw that wasn't (a) clearly demonstrable based on data or (b) clearly the opinion of someone at my stage.

Yeah, I had people telling me I wasn't experienced enough to talk as a 1L too, but I still stand by everything I've said, because again, none of what I say are things that would require experience to know.

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JenDarby

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby JenDarby » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:08 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:whereas there is next to no hope for a strikeout.

no hope for what? many of those t-14 people that strike out end up better off or with just as good an outcome as their peers who "make it" in big law for a miserable few years. There are a ton of other options outside of biglaw, for t-14 and non t-14 people. This board has a high number of such regular posters, as a matter of fact.

As someone who wasn't at a t-14, didn't have a full ride, was around median 1L, and did strike out at OCI, I think it's pretty ludicrous to say that 1L is more stressful than biglaw based on the reasons you're suggesting (or in general)

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:24 pm

JenDarby wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:whereas there is next to no hope for a strikeout.

no hope for what? many of those t-14 people that strike out end up better off or with just as good an outcome as their peers who "make it" in big law for a miserable few years. There are a ton of other options outside of biglaw, for t-14 and non t-14 people. This board has a high number of such regular posters, as a matter of fact.

As someone who wasn't at a t-14, didn't have a full ride, was around median 1L, and did strike out at OCI, I think it's pretty ludicrous to say that 1L is more stressful than biglaw based on the reasons you're suggesting (or in general)


Well, I meant no hope for Biglaw. Strikeouts are people who obviously wanted Biglaw, at least at some point, and I think it's safe to say they're more likely to struggle financially. I think that most students want to be in Biglaw, at least for a couple years. But I get what you're saying about it possibly being a blessing in disguise for some people. Hard to quantify exactly how shitty Biglaw is, although you get a pretty good idea when lots of people depart after a few years for jobs that pay a lot less and almost none of them regret it. Whether or not it's worth it is ultimately a personal decision, subject to change at any moment.

But again, if the crux of the OP is, "I can barely handle 1L, should I have one foot out the door for Biglaw?", then the answer is yes.

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:39 pm

Moderators please

whysooseriousbiglaw

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby whysooseriousbiglaw » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:51 pm

SLS_AMG wrote:Lololololol

1L is a joke compared to big law. Most people fuck around for the first two-three months before hunkering down. Lol at having 2-3 months of basically nothing to do in big law. And if you did, it wouldn't be a good sign. And yeah, & know this is comparing finals time to big law, but you can't really do that, because big law stress doesn't just go away for months at a time and come in one-month bursts like law school.


CR

I would rate my stress level 1L year as like a 2-3 out of 10. Biglaw is like a 9 for stress and much more constant stress (the hours, fire drills, sink or swim work, no idea what you're doing a lot of the time) - it's also infinitely more work.

School is way, way, way easier and way, way, way, way less stressful than working biglaw. If you aren't absolutely horrendous at test taking, school will always be more enjoyable than working biglaw, including medical school.

Fwiw, I found studying and taking the bar exam way less stressful and less work than biglaw.

HTH.
Last edited by whysooseriousbiglaw on Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eldon Tyrell

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:53 pm

BigZuck wrote:Moderators please

Danger Zone

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:07 pm

Mono you are really a special guy
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whysooseriousbiglaw

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby whysooseriousbiglaw » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:10 pm

BigZuck wrote:Mono dude you're just barely wrapping up your stub year, stop telling people how to make it 4-5 years in big law and all those other things you do when you post.


L-O-L

Fwiw, I'd do law school over in a heartbeat (assuming it didn't cost a ton)...I wouldn't do biglaw again if I had the choice to do something else that didn't pay garbage.

HTH.

Genius

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Genius » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:15 pm

You are all getting trolled.

Danger Zone

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:31 pm

Genius wrote:You are all getting trolled.

Nah, check that dude's post history. Been saying ridiculous shit for years

Unless... he's been a troll the whole time :shock:
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eldon Tyrell

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:37 pm

Image

Danger Zone

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:56 pm

:lol:
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SeewhathappensLarry

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:23 pm

B-b-b-but Erie was really hard!

ETA: and stressful!

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:44 pm

It's not true. Economy lay offs before and during the first year happen now as in this year. The process is different now. It's in person, and if you're affected you have to sign a non-disclosure then and there. You can argue duress but at the end of the day it's David vs. 500 Goliath's. You also worry about licensing consequences because breaching a contract is a form of dishonesty, and to some degree experienced partners have enough of a reputation that the conduct rules don't govern them. You don't hear about the stuff now, but it's not that they don't happen. It's that your opportunity to land safely is threatened if you tell others about it. Even if you want to help other lawyers, you have your mortgage, your loans. You keep your mouth shut.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eldon Tyrell

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's not true. Economy lay offs before and during the first year happen now as in this year. The process is different now. It's in person, and if you're affected you have to sign a non-disclosure then and there. You can obviously the validity of the non-disclosure, because you're pressured to sign on the spot but at the end of the day the people on the other side of the table are all more powerful than you. You don't hear about it. That doesn't mean 2009 is totally gone, and that 2016 is 2012. Eventually, this stuff will trickle to ATL. Probably by Christmas.


Wat

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zot1

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby zot1 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's not true. Economy lay offs before and during the first year happen now as in this year. The process is different now. It's in person, and if you're affected you have to sign a non-disclosure then and there. You can obviously the validity of the non-disclosure, because you're pressured to sign on the spot but at the end of the day the people on the other side of the table are all more powerful than you. You don't hear about it. That doesn't mean 2009 is totally gone, and that 2016 is 2012. Eventually, this stuff will trickle to ATL. Probably by Christmas.


Oooh so close!

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:50 pm

Eldon Tyrell wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's not true. Economy lay offs before and during the first year happen now as in this year. The process is different now. It's in person, and if you're affected you have to sign a non-disclosure then and there. You can obviously the validity of the non-disclosure, because you're pressured to sign on the spot but at the end of the day the people on the other side of the table are all more powerful than you. You don't hear about it. That doesn't mean 2009 is totally gone, and that 2016 is 2012. Eventually, this stuff will trickle to ATL. Probably by Christmas.


Wat

Wat part of "you can obviously the validity of the non-disclosure" do you not understand?

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:13 pm

At smaller big law firms, if the powers that be are idiots at projecting annual business and increase the incoming by 30% before you start based on a good week when any economist would have told them to cut it by 30%, you're put at risk coming even if you do a good job.What you don't learn in law school is when you go through all the banks on Wall Street who messed up, they replace the people making the big picture decisions.

In big law, you have people with no business experience making billion dollar decisions because they've been there a while or always have a snappy comment by the keurig machine. They're also only reviewed based on the legal work so you have the same mistakes happening again and again. It's not even really their fault. They probably got pushed into CEO because they were treasurer for their son's boy scout group one summer. The larger and more prestigious firms have more value at the top. That said, there are big law firms that could change in a short period all because the CEO decided to stop taking their manic pill or more likely overinflated the predictive value of one or two months, which happens frequently with inexperienced executives. It's just you don't generally see these people making billion dollar decisions outside of law.

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Eldon Tyrell

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At smaller big law firms, if the powers that be are idiots at projecting annual business and increase the incoming by 30% before you start based on a good week when any economist would have told them to cut it by 30%, you're put at risk coming even if you do a good job.What you don't learn in law school is when you go through all the banks on Wall Street who messed up, they replace the people making the big picture decisions.

In big law, you have people with no business experience making billion dollar decisions because they've been there a while or always have a snappy comment by the keurig machine. They're also only reviewed based on the legal work so you have the same mistakes happening again and again. It's not even really their fault. They probably got pushed into CEO because they were treasurer for their son's boy scout group one summer. The larger and more prestigious firms have more value at the top. That said, there are big law firms that could change in a short period all because the CEO decided to stop taking their manic pill or more likely overinflated the predictive value of one or two months, which happens frequently with inexperienced executives. It's just you don't generally see these people making billion dollar decisions outside of law.


WAT

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Re: Which is worse - 1L or Biglaw?

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:38 pm

One main difference is the excitement level of 1L vs 1st year biglaw. At least for me, 1L was pretty cool, in that I got to look forward to being a lawyer in the future, everyone in class around me was really smart, professors were pretty interesting, I got to tell people I was a law student and they ooh'd and ah'd, etc. There's stress, sure, but there's also a certain amount of thrill.

In biglaw, there's nothing to look forward to like that. I just want to finish the assignment I'm doing, but then I'll just get another one. There's no thrill, just the overwhelming feeling that my work is going to be pure shit and that I'm going to fail miserably. The money is nice, but you don't have much time to enjoy it.

As far as raw hours - for me it's about equal (so far). I was a pretty gunnery 1L, so the normal times correspond about like my normal times as a first year, and finals correlate pretty well to my busy times. Except being a 1st year, I could suddenly be in finals time at any moment and for much longer stretches than as a 1L. I'm starting to enter one of those periods now.
Last edited by arklaw13 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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