Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

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FlowBro

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Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby FlowBro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:32 pm

I am an associate in Biglaw and am on the verge of bringing in a client that would generate ~$250K in legal work. My firm is being mysterious as to how I would be compensated on the backend. Can current Biglaw folks out there please comment on how fees are shared when an associate is responsible for sourcing the work? Thanks!

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:05 pm

FlowBro wrote:I am an associate in Biglaw and am on the verge of bringing in a client that would generate ~$250K in legal work. My firm is being mysterious as to how I would be compensated on the backend. Can current Biglaw folks out there please comment on how fees are shared when an associate is responsible for sourcing the work? Thanks!


At my firm you get nothing for bringing in a client. So if I had to guess, that's why they're being cagey.

In the interest of being positive, though, maybe they're just waiting to get more info on the client before being willing to promise you something, or maybe they're in the process of revamping their policy and can't give you an answer yet.

clerk1251

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:13 pm

I have a few friends who have brought in significant work to their biglaw firms as junior associates and they got nothing more than a "good job" from the partners. What makes you think you're actually going to get compensated for it? Perhaps they will take it into consideration when giving you your bonus at the end of the year, assuming your firm is not a lockstep firm.

FlowBro

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby FlowBro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:18 pm

clerk1251 wrote:I have a few friends who have brought in significant work to their biglaw firms as junior associates and they got nothing more than a "good job" from the partners. What makes you think you're actually going to get compensated for it? Perhaps they will take it into consideration when giving you your bonus at the end of the year, assuming your firm is not a lockstep firm.


This is basically what I have been told by some other associates. Very black box.

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:21 pm

FlowBro wrote:I am an associate in Biglaw and am on the verge of bringing in a client that would generate ~$250K in legal work. My firm is being mysterious as to how I would be compensated on the backend. Can current Biglaw folks out there please comment on how fees are shared when an associate is responsible for sourcing the work? Thanks!


My guess is there is no bonus based on this, but it might factor into any merit element to your bonuses, if any. Also, if making partner is ever a goal this will obviously play into that calculus.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:41 pm

Pitfall of biglaw, I guess. At my midlaw firm the associate gets a percentage (10%, I think) of billable$.

misterjames

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby misterjames » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:42 pm

echoing what others have said, there's likely no compensation for you aside from a potential bump in your bonus. the biggest benefit is adding value to the firm, which boosts your chances for partner if that's what you're after.

do you mind sharing how you went about securing this business? i'm curious how this works for a junior associate

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:39 pm

Big law here with 10% of profit

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:42 pm

To echo everyone else, probably nothing. At my firm you aren't even allowed to get credit until your 5th year. I'd check and see if you have similar policies. If so, you might be better off not bringing this client in until later.

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rpupkin

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:05 pm

A few big law firms give origination credit to associates. Most don't.

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KunAgnis

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby KunAgnis » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:To echo everyone else, probably nothing. At my firm you aren't even allowed to get credit until your 5th year. I'd check and see if you have similar policies. If so, you might be better off not bringing this client in until later.


I could see this backfiring - if the client needs an attorney now, it's possible that this client might not come to OP later on once they retain someone else. Also, if OP brings in the client now, he/she would at least get some credit towards partnership promotion down the line, right?

favabeansoup

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby favabeansoup » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:19 pm

KunAgnis wrote:
Also, if OP brings in the client now, he/she would at least get some credit towards partnership promotion down the line, right?


My firm, and I would assume this is the case elsewhere, only really look at your last few years if you are up for partnership. I.e., if you bring in someone in year 3 with $250k, but then haven't brought in anything for years 5-8, they could care less.

Regardless, OP should absolutely bring him in in the chances client sticks around with the firm for a few years and then he can actually start taking credit towards partnership.

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:45 am

My firm has generous fee share. Best bet is to ask a trusted senior associate or counsel or check the employee manual (you'd be surprised what's in there).

1styearlateral

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:59 am

Anecdotally, I've heard people say that it's an option to give the client to a trusted partner who will give you the client back when you're able to receive credit.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:21 pm

The other positive is that you get to do the work for this client. An associate at my firm is doing this. He's getting tons of substantive experience he wouldn't otherwise because it's his client.

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:22 pm

Attorney but not biglaw so feel free to disregard. The biggest dividend in this equation isn't short-term money--10% of the billables (back-end). Rather, it is the opportunity for long-term money/career success--acting as lead counsel on this matter (i.e., you are the named attorney in the engagement). Why?

Referrals. Being the lead attorney can turn into future referrals/business because you will be the one who has established trust with the client. If any referrals or future business materializes, it will go to the attorney whom your client trusts. If you aren't lead attorney (i.e., the one providing counsel and the primary point of contact with the client), then another attorney will be given the opportunity to build trust with your client and the referral will go to that person. This can be detrimental to your career. Why?

Generating more business from a client and receiving referrals from that client is huge because that is how we "build a book of business." It is rare that someone will cherry-pick you directly from your firm's website so you need to start developing relationships--i.e., building trust--with clients now (in addition to providing quality representation). When this client needs more work, your contact will come to you, even if you have left your current firm. If this client knows others, your client will give them your email/number because you will be the one who has established trust. if you aren't the lead attorney, any referrals or future business with this client will flow through the primary contact (lead attorney/partner) because that will be the person he or she trusts.

TL;DR: If you bring on the client, I would do whatever it takes to make sure that you are designated as the lead attorney in the engagement agreement because you want to be the one building trust with this client. Partners may bitch but fuck them. Aside from the short-term money and experience you will gain by acting as lead counsel, your career will be enriched both because of the experience you will gain by being lead attorney and because it will be infinitely easier for you to change firms with a book of business.

eta: obviously you will want to receive help from other mid-levels (maybe one you trust). not suggesting you fly solo here.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby RaceJudicata » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Attorney but not biglaw so feel free to disregard. The biggest dividend in this equation isn't short-term money--10% of the billables (back-end). Rather, it is the opportunity for long-term money/career success--acting as lead counsel on this matter (i.e., you are the named attorney in the engagement). Why?

Referrals. Being the lead attorney can turn into future referrals/business because you will be the one who has established trust with the client. If any referrals or future business materializes, it will go to the attorney whom your client trusts. If you aren't lead attorney (i.e., the one providing counsel and the primary point of contact with the client), then another attorney will be given the opportunity to build trust with your client and the referral will go to that person. This can be detrimental to your career. Why?

Generating more business from a client and receiving referrals from that client is huge because that is how we "build a book of business." It is rare that someone will cherry-pick you directly from your firm's website so you need to start developing relationships--i.e., building trust--with clients now (in addition to providing quality representation). When this client needs more work, your contact will come to you, even if you have left your current firm. If this client knows others, your client will give them your email/number because you will be the one who has established trust. if you aren't the lead attorney, any referrals or future business with this client will flow through the primary contact (lead attorney/partner) because that will be the person he or she trusts.

TL;DR: If you bring on the client, I would do whatever it takes to make sure that you are designated as the lead attorney in the engagement agreement because you want to be the one building trust with this client. Partners may bitch but fuck them. Aside from the short-term money and experience you will gain by acting as lead counsel, your career will be enriched both because of the experience you will gain by being lead attorney and because it will be infinitely easier for you to change firms with a book of business.

eta: obviously you will want to receive help from other mid-levels (maybe one you trust). not suggesting you fly solo here.


I sincerely doubt that any big firm would let a junior associate be the lead attorney/engagement attorney, etc. for any legitimate client. Second, no offense to OP (or any of us in/will be in similar shoes), but there is a strong likelihood that, if given the lead, a junior would severely mess up at some point along the way, thereby eliminating any "trust."

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Re: Junior Associate Bringing in $250K Legal Work

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Big law here with 10% of profit

My former biglaw firm was the same.



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