Pros/cons to middle market work?

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Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:38 am

Deciding between 2 firms in a small legal market. One is a large-ish V10 office, and the other is a similarly sized biglaw office with a strong regional reputation. Both pay market, have similar hours targets, have approximately the same leverage in the corporate group, and have really nice people. It seems like the primary substantive difference between them is that the corporate work at the latter office would involve mostly middle market clients/deals. Does TLS have any insights into the advantages/disadvantages of this kind of work relative to larger/$$$$ deals?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

texas1100

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby texas1100 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:45 am

It's law.. prestige means everything. Just the common belief that if you can handle billion dollar deals, you can handle million dollar deals. Doesn't typically work vice versa.

I.e. Can you handle the "High stakes"

It's dumb and not sure how true it is. I'd just go with your gut for the firms

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:55 pm

What market is it?

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What market is it?


I'd rather not identify the market because it's very small (<50 SA spots). But think Denver/Seattle/Portland/OC.

BlueParrot

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby BlueParrot » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:22 pm

If you lateral people seem to like the idea of someone having done top tier work. I'm not sure if it's really that important though.

I don't claim to know much about smaller markets, but are you sure the V10 isn't also doing middle market work though (at least a lot of the time)? In smaller markets even the largest firms often do what is considered middle market work.

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:42 pm

Speaking for corporate.

Middle market means you're going to be working more directly with the entrepreneurs and those who started the companies or run the companies (though usually the CFO).

Larger companies you're working with the GC--or more realistically you have little client contact whatsoever.

I find that working with the middle market people is a bit more interesting. But it comes with the trade off of they are far less sophisticated and usually don't have patience for lawyers or appreciate the value we bring to the company or to a deal. They are also cheaper and will piss and moan about your bill.

Edit: go to the v10--you can always lateral down if you don't like it. It's very very very hard to lateral up.

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:41 am

Thanks for the insights, all!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What market is it?


I'd rather not identify the market because it's very small (<50 SA spots). But think Denver/Seattle/Portland/OC.


if my guess is correct, i think that both are defensible. i hear that partnership prospects/humaneness at SM are better across the board (esp in its home market) but obviously at L the clientele/type of work is bigger

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:05 am

Some random thoughts from having lawyered in both types of places.

V10 corporate def gives you opportunities at middle market afterwards (and quickly, had friends leave around 12 months and tons around 2 year for places you describe) so it's not an either/or. There's a big benefit to having a class of 100 come in with you in terms of friendships, connections, etc. i do think that if you prefer the v100 you arent an idiot to go directly there. I do think there's some window to "lateral" up (who the hell knows why youd want to) but it's generally in securities/corporate specialties and not in M&A.

It's sort of false to say the clients overlap. Like maybe occasionally youll get a PE client doing a $150M deal at a Latham/Simpson/Skadden/etc but generally youre just a nameless faceless cog who gets staffed on whatever is cooking in the public space. that's not completely fair, there is alot of variety at those places, but you roll the dice. it's possible to get fucked and wind up spending a year on some stupid public co reorg or slogging through diligence for 7 months on some bullshit spreadsheet the assistant assistant moron GC wants to wipe their ass with,etc. some people are turned on by that shit but i think it's objectively the worst. in the middle market you generally service the same folks on whatever they're doing so youll have a better idea of what youre getting yourself into. it's a little easier to buy in since you're repping the same ppl over and over. you also have a smaller team so you know all the lawyers you work with. at latham/simpson/etc there are plenty of M&A ppl you dont know (and only after a few years do you know the specialists).

This is a crazy generalization but, from my experience, If you want a life outside of the office, v100 mid market is a slightly better place to be, especially in the markets you describe. Not that you wont have 100 hour weeks occasionally, just that the expectation isn't to live at your desk. Selection bias is a thing even if the job is objectively terrible/"demanding" wherever you go. if you have a family, v10 is unlikely to be v accommodating. much less human (since it's so big and no one has incentive to give 2 shits). see above about knowing the ppl you work with.

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:Deciding between 2 firms in a small legal market. One is a large-ish V10 office, and the other is a similarly sized V100 office with a strong regional reputation. Both pay market, have similar hours targets, have approximately the same leverage in the corporate group, and have really nice people. It seems like the primary substantive difference between them is that the corporate work at the V100 would involve middle market clients/deals. Does TLS have any insights into the advantages/disadvantages of this kind of work relative to larger/$$$$ deals?


Is the V100 "the" firm for your market? At least IMHO there's advantages in picking the homer firm if you want to practice in the area (for life). If it's just a scenario where two national firms have an office in your market i'd go with the firm with the higher offer before thinking about the type of work you'll get.

If the offer rate is similar, I personally would pick the firm where you enjoyed the people the most (although this is hard to tell sometimes). Maybe also look into firm health.

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:48 am

foregetaboutdre wrote:IMHO there's advantages in picking the homer firm if you want to practice in the area (for life).

I think "homer firm" would be a fair description. In your experience, what should I be considering?

foregetaboutdre wrote: Maybe also look into firm health.

Any tips on what to look for other than RPL/PPP generally? # of laterals coming in or something along those lines?

foregetaboutdre

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:IMHO there's advantages in picking the homer firm if you want to practice in the area (for life).

I think "homer firm" would be a fair description. In your experience, what should I be considering?

foregetaboutdre wrote: Maybe also look into firm health.

Any tips on what to look for other than RPL/PPP generally? # of laterals coming in or something along those lines?


Honestly, I would go with just offer rates and where I felt more comfortable. Firm health will be hard as hell to determine. I'd just do a limited google search, ask any attorneys you know in the area etc... You won't be able to find out much most likely tbh.

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Re: Pros/cons to middle market work?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:43 am

If this is SMRH OC and you want to do corporate, don't go there. Their group is too small, their deal flow limited and you won't get broad training.



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