Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

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Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:00 pm

As the title says, I applied broadly starting back in December to several firms for their SA positions and while the vast majority either said they were not hiring 1Ls or didn't say anything at all, by the time the dust settled I had two to choose from. I am leaning towards one at the moment, but wanted to get further input.

For reference: both Biglaw firms are in the city in which I plan on working after graduation. They also are essentially ranked the same and have about the same number of employees (one of them is near the bottom of the V100 while the other's just outside of that list, but I don't know how much that matters). Third, they both have essentially 100% offer rates 2L year.

Firm 1:
Hired through the Diversity program
Pays market for the city I'm in
Does work in the practice area I'm interested in, but more generally, and I would be doing work from various practice areas, both corporate and litigation
Of the people I met in the interviews, I got along very well with the partners, and got along fine with the associates (but nothing special)

Firm 2:
Hired specifically by one department based on my grades and my background in the practice area I'm interested in.
Pays the equivalent of $20k less annually than Firm 1
I would work specifically in the practice area I'm interested in, and almost exclusively in the sub-practice that I wanted to pursue
Of the people I met, I got along very well with all of them
Over the summer I would be traveling to another of their offices in a primary market for a couple of weeks to work with another set of attorneys

I am definitely leaning towards Firm 2, but it does pay less, and I'm not sure whether working with a specific department will pigeonhole me 2L year if I end up not liking that work. Also, I'm not sure if it makes a difference that Firm 1 was through a diversity program.

What do you think?

gaddockteeg

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Re: Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby gaddockteeg » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:30 pm

Sounds liek you know what practice area you are interested in. Go with Chambers ranking. Vault is pretty dumb outside of NY M&A.

dabigchina

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Re: Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:33 pm

you should probably let us know what the firms are and what practice area.

location would be good too.

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Re: Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:34 pm

I'd rather not specify the firms, but the practice area is IP, and specifically I would be working in both patent prosecution and litigation (pharmaceuticals). Both firms are in Philly, but I would also be traveling to D.C. for a few weeks to work with their attorneys if I accept the second offer.

byeby40

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Re: Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby byeby40 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:04 pm

I would pick the second offer because the firm is allowing you to work in two cities. The fact that you get to work in both DC and Philly would give you an advantage if you target both of those markets during OCI. You would have better answers to the "Why DC?" and "Why Philly?" questions. I wouldn't be too worried about getting pigeon-holed. Law firms don't expect you to know the exact practice you want to be in. Attorneys from multiple firms have told me that their firms only expect people to indicate whether they prefer litigation or corporate work during interviews.

webcammie

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Re: Lucky Enough to have 2 1L SA offers; need help deciding

Postby webcammie » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:08 pm

IP Litigator from a big law firm here.

What is your long-term goal? Is it to make partner? Is it to go in-house? If the latter, you should check out what clients each firm has because if you have the opportunity to work for that client, then your chance of going in-house increased substantially, especially if you're doing IP.

As an example, if you want to work for Novartis but firm 2 is adverse to Novartis, then you might want to re-think whether firm 2 is good for your long-term plan. Also, if work-life balance is important to you, reach out to the associates you interview with and ask how their typical day is like. Most (if not all) are very forthcoming with this information.

And even though you think pay is not important, in the long-term, you might feel bitter that you're getting under-compensated if you're working the same hours as your peers at other firms. And if a firm is not paying market for salary, they are not going to make it up in bonuses either. If you're going to put in the hours, might as well get pay for it. And finally, this is your 1L year. Take the firm 1 gig and if you don't like it, work for another firm. Trust me, I can almost guarantee that you're not going to stick with your 1L firm. Most don't.



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