LA Lit boutiques

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JusticeJackson

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby JusticeJackson » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:06 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:06 pm

anyone know hours requirements/expectations at these places?

susman is obvious given their reputation
interested in hueston hennigan, greenberg gross, kendall brill
and any information on horvitz & levy and greines martin as appellate boutiques as possible (comp, hours, and the like). so little information out there about them other than some posts from years ago

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rpupkin

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby rpupkin » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anyone know hours requirements/expectations at these places?

All would tell you—truthfully—that they have no hours requirements. In practice, though, you will work a ton of hours at any lit boutique that frequently goes to trial. Your hours in a given year will vary based on circumstance.

If you're someone who wants to chill out at a law firm for a three or four years billing <2000 hours, don't go to a lit boutique.

ETA: The above applies to firms that specialize in trial-level lit. I'm not sure about appellate lit boutiques, which rarely hire junior associates. I would imagine that the hours at such places are more reasonable, but I don't know.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Do not expect fewer hours at market/market+ boutiques than regular biglaw.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:58 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:anyone know hours requirements/expectations at these places?

All would tell you—truthfully—that they have no hours requirements. In practice, though, you will work a ton of hours at any lit boutique that frequently goes to trial. Your hours in a given year will vary based on circumstance.

If you're someone who wants to chill out at a law firm for a three or four years billing <2000 hours, don't go to a lit boutique.

ETA: The above applies to firms that specialize in trial-level lit. I'm not sure about appellate lit boutiques, which rarely hire junior associates. I would imagine that the hours at such places are more reasonable, but I don't know.


(reposted b/c failed to anon, since people piecing my posts together could potentially out me and i'm at a small firm where that might not be a good thing)

op with the question here; thanks for the reply. a little more context here might help. i'd be looking at lateraling which has its own challenges, but let's just assume i have a shot at these places for one reason or another (just to avoid that discussion).

i've been billing probably average 2300 per year and am familiar with billing as much as i need (240-250/mo) to get stuff done (and being able to "chill out" with 160-170/mo at other times when we aren't prepping for / in trial and such)... i'm not looking to just chill out (wouldn't be looking to lateral to another lit boutique if that were the case) but if there's either an unsaid expectation, or reality requires, that i bill 2.7-2.8k (e.g., susman, quinn, even mto recently from what i've heard), then i'd probably be better off just staying where i am.

also interested in the reality of the work these firms give associates. susman is pretty legendary, but again have little to no clue about the other firms i asked about (HH, GG, KBK, etc.) some places market themselves as wanting to give associates real work but the reality is that they don't ... like where i am (and why i'm starting to look elsewhere).

my inclusion of H&L and GMSR is because i'm also interested in appellate. rumor is very below market pay with great hours, so it really kind of washes out in terms of $/hour. there's just so little info about those firms that it's hard to really say.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anyone know hours requirements/expectations at these places?

susman is obvious given their reputation
interested in hueston hennigan, greenberg gross, kendall brill
and any information on horvitz & levy and greines martin as appellate boutiques as possible (comp, hours, and the like). so little information out there about them other than some posts from years ago


No real billable requirement at HH, although most people are in the 2300-2400 range.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do not expect fewer hours at market/market+ boutiques than regular biglaw.


But are those hours as miserable as biglaw hours? Seems a lot of complaint about biglaw come from a combination of the hours and the structure (cog in a machine, mind numbing work, no advancement, unappreciated, bad partners, etc.).

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do not expect fewer hours at market/market+ boutiques than regular biglaw.


But are those hours as miserable as biglaw hours? Seems a lot of complaint about biglaw come from a combination of the hours and the structure (cog in a machine, mind numbing work, no advancement, unappreciated, bad partners, etc.).


it can be but is not necessarily different. many litigation boutiques market themselves as giving associates real work. some do, some don't, for various reasons. so, that's a part of what i'm trying to find out, too.

and, i suppose, i should add LTL Attorneys to the list. another small boutique firm that seems to do some really good stuff but that no one knows anything about online.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Itiswritten » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:16 pm

I don't think anyone mentioned Girardi&Keese, possibly because they are really insular and don't really take on new people. But so is Dovel&Luner to my knowledge.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:20 pm

Random question; are 9th Cir the only clerkships desired by these LA Lit boutiques?

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:24 pm

No.

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rpupkin

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Random question; are 9th Cir the only clerkships desired by these LA Lit boutiques?

No. Other circuits are fine. And district-court clerkships are just as good, if not better, than circuit clerkships.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:32 pm

Itiswritten wrote:I don't think anyone mentioned Girardi&Keese, possibly because they are really insular and don't really take on new people. But so is Dovel&Luner to my knowledge.


plaintiffs firms like Girardi are ... interesting, to say the least. not across the board, but often not very good places to work from what i've heard.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Itiswritten » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Itiswritten wrote:I don't think anyone mentioned Girardi&Keese, possibly because they are really insular and don't really take on new people. But so is Dovel&Luner to my knowledge.


plaintiffs firms like Girardi are ... interesting, to say the least. not across the board, but often not very good places to work from what i've heard.


I've heard the same but I'm just a 1L and not that familiar with the firms.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote: i'm not looking to just chill out (wouldn't be looking to lateral to another lit boutique if that were the case) but if there's either an unsaid expectation, or reality requires, that i bill 2.7-2.8k (e.g., susman, quinn, even mto recently from what i've heard), then i'd probably be better off just staying where i am.


MTO does not require associates to hit anywhere near 2800 hours. Yes, there may be senior associates who are trying to make partner in the next year or two who will be at that level. But, you'll be in perfectly good standing if you are billing 2000-2300, which is where at least 50% of associates will be. (I know that is a large range.) Without looking at the recent data, I would say the average associate is billing under 2200 hours.

In terms of work, MTO gives its associates "substantive" work by big law standards. You will immediately get tasked with meaningful writing projects (for example, brief writing, preparing deposition outlines, strategy memos that will go to the client) and will participate in client and witness meetings (prepare witnsesses for deletions or trial, working with experts, second chairing depositions, etc.).

But, in general, it is atypical for (junior) associates to get meaningful opportunities for oral advocacy (arguing at hearings, taking depositions, taking trial witnesses, etc.) especially on paid matters. You will maybe get that experience as a mid level (depending on what kind of cases you work on), but it is unlikely (or at least not typical) you will get that type of experience as a MTO second or third year.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:45 pm

What kinda exit options do folks coming out of top lit boutiques have available? I am thinking along the lines of QE/Susman/MTO...

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What kinda exit options do folks coming out of top lit boutiques have available? I am thinking along the lines of QE/Susman/MTO...

we're calling quinn a "top" "boutique" now?

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:02 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kinda exit options do folks coming out of top lit boutiques have available? I am thinking along the lines of QE/Susman/MTO...

we're calling quinn a "top" "boutique" now?


Sorry OP of above, what about just calling it a somewhat selective litigation firm?

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby bruinfan10 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kinda exit options do folks coming out of top lit boutiques have available? I am thinking along the lines of QE/Susman/MTO...

we're calling quinn a "top" "boutique" now?


Sorry OP of above, what about just calling it a somewhat selective litigation firm?

oh don't apologize. quinn is just a trashy biglaw firm, the whole "selectivity" thing is a myth they like to sell law students. i'm sure it's an awesome place to be a partner though.

anyway i feel like i owe you an answer to your q now. tons of good exit opps from high end boutiques in LA. i've seen people head to strong in-house positions, strong local gov positions, make partner at smaller firms. your typical "good" lit exit options. the funny thing is, the high end boutiques don't suddenly open up this extra echelon of post-biglaw jobs. lit jobs are all the same. people are pumped to end up at a city attorney's office or the state AG after 8 years at mto or keker, same as the schlubs reeling out of a career at quinn. that's just what there is.

p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:21 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What kinda exit options do folks coming out of top lit boutiques have available? I am thinking along the lines of QE/Susman/MTO...

we're calling quinn a "top" "boutique" now?


Sorry OP of above, what about just calling it a somewhat selective litigation firm?

oh don't apologize. quinn is just a trashy biglaw firm, the whole "selectivity" thing is a myth they like to sell law students. i'm sure it's an awesome place to be a partner though.

anyway i feel like i owe you an answer to your q now. tons of good exit opps from high end boutiques in LA. i've seen people head to strong in-house positions, strong local gov positions, make partner at smaller firms. your typical "good" lit exit options. the funny thing is, the high end boutiques don't suddenly open up this extra echelon of post-biglaw jobs. lit jobs are all the same. people are pumped to end up at a city attorney's office or the state AG after 8 years at mto or keker, same as the schlubs reeling out of a career at quinn. that's just what there is.

p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.


Thanks for the pretty comprehensive answer! So really there is little long-term upside for going small (or prestigious whatever) when it comes to lit and exit options.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:26 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.

Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:29 pm

rpupkin wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.

Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.


Are AUSA jobs really the only "unicorn" litigation jobs?

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.

Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.


Are AUSA jobs really the only "unicorn" litigation jobs?

I don't believe in the notion of "unicorn" jobs, so you're going to have to get more specific than that.

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:53 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:p.s. i guess on second thought, if you're dying to be an ausa, a place like mto, keker, hueston, or susman might give you an edge over typical biglaw. seems like a huge number of people leave a couple of those firms and actually get unicorn ausa jobs (talking about cdcal/ndcal). not really my deal, but some people are into that.

Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.


Are AUSA jobs really the only "unicorn" litigation jobs?

I don't believe in the notion of "unicorn" jobs, so you're going to have to get more specific than that.


What is a relatively uncommon job that has some nice perks and decent pay that folks would consider a 'unicorn' job out of a selective boutique firm?

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Re: LA Lit boutiques

Postby lolwat » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:18 pm

Agreed. There's always a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem with this assessment, as those firms are the most selective and therefore hire the most qualified applicants. If you took the typical hire at one of those firms and put them instead at Latham/Gibson/wherever, perhaps their ausa chances would be just as good. I suspect not, though. I think the opportunities afforded by those boutiques (and, perhaps just as importantly, the reputation of those boutiques as places that provide such opportunities) is a significant factor.


The opportunities (or at least the reputation for those opportunities) are often much better at boutiques. But I always heard/thought that AUSA (and similar) jobs come in at least some (if not large) part due to connections. Which is why firms like MTO and Gibson places really well. It's also more difficult to say how well somewhere like Susman places because I honestly haven't seen anyone actually leave the LA office yet... It wasn't a big office to begin with (maybe 10 attorneys several years back and 15 now?) and it seems like everyone who was there when I looked at the firm back in 2012 or so is still there.

As an aside, I don't really know why people consider AUSA jobs "unicorn" jobs across the board. I guess it depends what people are looking for.



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