PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

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dabigchina

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby dabigchina » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:01 pm

S&C pays for your med insurance premium?

I've made a huge mistake.

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Nagster5

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Nagster5 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:19 pm

dabigchina wrote:S&C pays for your med insurance premium?

I've made a huge mistake.


Yeah, considering it's pre-tax money I'm pretty sure it's more than your bonus in the first year.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:54 pm

Nagster5 wrote:Cravath partners didn't raise because they love giving their money to associates, they did it because they thought it would help them attract better associates. Whatever we can do to to convince firms that this is the right line of thinking is good IMO.


Well, more precisely it helps them *keep* good associates rather than attract new ones, because you prestige-titillated chucklefucks would go to Luggnagg if Vault ranked it well. In some sense it's a minor distinction but you should remember exactly who it is that's difficult to replace.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby 2014 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:People should do whatever they want to do. I doubt that what's being urged in this thread will have much impact on firms (particularly on the micro-scale on which it's likely to happen.) And some of what I'll say below will be of little interest to people who aren't interested in their professional development while at a firm and just want to make as much money as possible for a short amount of time before leaving. But with those disclaimers, I wanted to flag a few downsides of "NY to 190/220/1M" that may exist depending on your specific firm that law students and junior associates might not be aware of.

1. Higher salaries increase your billing rate. The key downside here is that it gets much harder for younger associates to get experience. Clients are less willing to have you in that call/meeting/etc. Partners are less willing to write off your time.

2. Higher salaries increase your billable hours expectations (certainly the informal expectations, and sometimes the formal ones).

3. Higher salaries don't necessarily increase overall pay. Firms may compensate for a salary increase they can't afford by scaling back bonuses. Consider this particularly if your firm pays above-market bonuses to high performers. They may cut back on those bonuses to facilitate a salary increase. If you are a mediocre or low-performing associate, this is good news for you since the money gets redistributed; less good if you are a strong associate. And some firms may even pay undermarket bonuses to compensate for the salary raise - bad news for all.

4. Higher salaries increase the risk of layoffs (including soft layoffs in which midlevels are counseled out before they can become seniors) and may impact the rate of partner promotion (admittedly only of interest to a few here.) Associate salaries are usually a law firm's largest bottom line expense. The hit on partner profits caused by higher salaries can have ramifications for associate longevity and promotions. We're still in flush biglaw times, but the pendulum can swing from feast to famine pretty quickly, as those of us who lived through 2000 and/or 2009 remember.

Again, not disagreeing with anything in this thread, and it won't apply to the very, very top of the biglaw food chain (i.e. disregard if you're headed to Wachtell). Just wanted to add a few relevant points that students and young lawyers of a non-Wachtell persuasion may not consider when they hope for the highest conceivable salaries.

I largely disagree with 1 and in fact think the byproduct is the opposite of what you suggest. Namely because at a firm with lower rates where a deal/case team is more likely to be aggressively leveraged, there's no good tasks left for juniors to do after everyone above them divides up the workstreams.

Put differently, no midlevel/senior associate working NY hours is just going to accept that it is their fate as a matter of course to operate as a one associate skeleton crew "because clients won't pay for me to have any juniors"; no firm would be able to retain anyone if that were the case. Instead, clients will pay for few but >0 juniors, the result being that there's a lot of good tasks to push down alongside the mindless stuff given the lean staffing.

I'm pretty firmly in the target group of "billed at a higher rate than i should be given my abilities and therefore work only on small teams with all the good and bad that comes with" so while it's anecdotal, is not pulled out of my ass.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby jd20132013 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:45 am

2 probably balances out 1

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BeeTeeZ

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby BeeTeeZ » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Nagster5 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:33 pm

BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.


Reading comprehension is important. I said that mentioning those things is realistically not going to make the firms change, not that those are less important goals. It's not going to alter the fundamental fact that leverage and tons of hours is how firms make money. However, given the matching behavior of biglaw firms, convincing one firm that they are losing candidates to firms because they are offering more money means potentially moving the entire market. If I thought saying better hours would result in firms changing their behavior (and not just their marketing) that would obviously be preferable.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Johann » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:42 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.


Reading comprehension is important. I said that mentioning those things is realistically not going to make the firms change, not that those are less important goals. It's not going to alter the fundamental fact that leverage and tons of hours is how firms make money. However, given the matching behavior of biglaw firms, convincing one firm that they are losing candidates to firms because they are offering more money means potentially moving the entire market. If I thought saying better hours would result in firms changing their behavior (and not just their marketing) that would obviously be preferable.


Disagree. Work/life balance and work remote incentives def factor into a firm's calculus. And those are usually more achievable than compensation raises.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Nagster5 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:26 pm

Johann wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.


Reading comprehension is important. I said that mentioning those things is realistically not going to make the firms change, not that those are less important goals. It's not going to alter the fundamental fact that leverage and tons of hours is how firms make money. However, given the matching behavior of biglaw firms, convincing one firm that they are losing candidates to firms because they are offering more money means potentially moving the entire market. If I thought saying better hours would result in firms changing their behavior (and not just their marketing) that would obviously be preferable.



Disagree. Work/life balance and work remote incentives def factor into a firm's calculus. And those are usually more achievable than compensation raises.


Yes, but W/L balance at the firm I turned down does very little to help me at the firm I chose. Whereas a raise at the firm I turned down is very likely to raise my pay (and everyone else's).

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Johann » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:33 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
Johann wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.


Reading comprehension is important. I said that mentioning those things is realistically not going to make the firms change, not that those are less important goals. It's not going to alter the fundamental fact that leverage and tons of hours is how firms make money. However, given the matching behavior of biglaw firms, convincing one firm that they are losing candidates to firms because they are offering more money means potentially moving the entire market. If I thought saying better hours would result in firms changing their behavior (and not just their marketing) that would obviously be preferable.



Disagree. Work/life balance and work remote incentives def factor into a firm's calculus. And those are usually more achievable than compensation raises.


Yes, but W/L balance at the firm I turned down does very little to help me at the firm I chose. Whereas a raise at the firm I turned down is very likely to raise my pay (and everyone else's).

still disagree. why wouldnt a culture of a work/life respectability/hours spread the same way as pay? if you prefer pay, say comp was the reason. if you went to a different firm because of work remote policies, average billables, required billables, etc - say work/life was the reason. personally, id prefer to see less billables in a year, and there are plenty who would give up a third of pay for a third less billables. being honest with the firm will do the most to turn the industry into what lawyers collectively would prefer.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Nagster5 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:47 pm

Johann wrote:still disagree. why wouldnt a culture of a work/life respectability/hours spread the same way as pay?


Because it doesn't? One firm adopting a remote work policy or a lower billable requirement doesn't lead to a rash of memos at every peer firm frantically matching like a pay raise does.

Johann wrote:if you prefer pay, say comp was the reason. if you went to a different firm because of work remote policies, average billables, required billables, etc - say work/life was the reason. personally, id prefer to see less billables in a year, and there are plenty who would give up a third of pay for a third less billables. being honest with the firm will do the most to turn the industry into what lawyers collectively would prefer.


It's not about what is ideal, it's about what is realistic. Also, it's easy and cheap for firms to lie about W/L balance or tell recruiters/lawyers to emphasize how great it is during recruiting, there's very few resources out there to actually compare from firm to firm, just generalizations and anecdotes. A raise is much harder to fake (unless you're Jones Day).

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Johann » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
Johann wrote:still disagree. why wouldnt a culture of a work/life respectability/hours spread the same way as pay?


Because it doesn't? One firm adopting a remote work policy or a lower billable requirement doesn't lead to a rash of memos at every peer firm frantically matching like a pay raise does.

Johann wrote:if you prefer pay, say comp was the reason. if you went to a different firm because of work remote policies, average billables, required billables, etc - say work/life was the reason. personally, id prefer to see less billables in a year, and there are plenty who would give up a third of pay for a third less billables. being honest with the firm will do the most to turn the industry into what lawyers collectively would prefer.


It's not about what is ideal, it's about what is realistic. Also, it's easy and cheap for firms to lie about W/L balance or tell recruiters/lawyers to emphasize how great it is during recruiting, there's very few resources out there to actually compare from firm to firm, just generalizations and anecdotes. A raise is much harder to fake (unless you're Jones Day).

the same place you know about pay you can find out about hours. and what do you know - hours are basically just as standardized as pay. and lots of firms do funny business on bonuses/class year promotions to lie about pay. youre biased because you just want biglaw to raise money and not being objective about this. if talent made a stink about pay, it might lead to compensation changes. if talent makes a stink about hours, it might lead to hours changes. acting like there is any iota of difference between the 2 is delusional. especially in an hourly billable industry where PAY and HOURS are just a FUNCTION of each other.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Nagster5 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:38 pm

Johann wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
Johann wrote:still disagree. why wouldnt a culture of a work/life respectability/hours spread the same way as pay?


Because it doesn't? One firm adopting a remote work policy or a lower billable requirement doesn't lead to a rash of memos at every peer firm frantically matching like a pay raise does.

Johann wrote:if you prefer pay, say comp was the reason. if you went to a different firm because of work remote policies, average billables, required billables, etc - say work/life was the reason. personally, id prefer to see less billables in a year, and there are plenty who would give up a third of pay for a third less billables. being honest with the firm will do the most to turn the industry into what lawyers collectively would prefer.


It's not about what is ideal, it's about what is realistic. Also, it's easy and cheap for firms to lie about W/L balance or tell recruiters/lawyers to emphasize how great it is during recruiting, there's very few resources out there to actually compare from firm to firm, just generalizations and anecdotes. A raise is much harder to fake (unless you're Jones Day).

the same place you know about pay you can find out about hours. and what do you know - hours are basically just as standardized as pay. and lots of firms do funny business on bonuses/class year promotions to lie about pay. youre biased because you just want biglaw to raise money and not being objective about this. if talent made a stink about pay, it might lead to compensation changes. if talent makes a stink about hours, it might lead to hours changes. acting like there is any iota of difference between the 2 is delusional. especially in an hourly billable industry where PAY and HOURS are just a FUNCTION of each other.


First, "talent" is different than "2Ls who just went through recruiting." If I tell a firm I heard on a forum they work harder than they guy down the street, the firm is unlikely to change anything. If instead I say, it's because they pay more or guarantee their bonuses, then it's still probably not likely to change anything, but at least if it does change they will have to make a real change. Current lawyers leaving because W/L balance is out of whack is a completely different story.

Second, I would highly prefer better W/L balance, and have said so repeatedly throughout this thread, so I'm not just being blinded by a desire for more pay.

Third, pay and hours being a function of one another doesn't mean one is less likely to change than the other. If you had to put your money on one of two things happening in the next five years, would you pick sweeping changes in the biglaw business model allowing reasonable work-life balance or a marketwide pay raise?

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby jd20132013 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:00 am

Johann wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Something like "nicer people" or "work/life balance" is realistically going to do nothing to change firms' behavior, but if we make it clear that choices are being driven in large part by compensation it could help nudge the market forward. All it takes is one firm thinking they're losing out on too many good candidates.


Ya, because it's the 180k starting salary that makes so many biglaw associates miserable. Collectively sending a message to biglaw firms that top prospects are no longer willing to sacrifice their quality of life would be a waste of time. Finally someone said what we've all been thinking.


Reading comprehension is important. I said that mentioning those things is realistically not going to make the firms change, not that those are less important goals. It's not going to alter the fundamental fact that leverage and tons of hours is how firms make money. However, given the matching behavior of biglaw firms, convincing one firm that they are losing candidates to firms because they are offering more money means potentially moving the entire market. If I thought saying better hours would result in firms changing their behavior (and not just their marketing) that would obviously be preferable.


Disagree. Work/life balance and work remote incentives def factor into a firm's calculus. And those are usually more achievable than compensation raises.


This is delusion

Work life balance doesn't exist except as farce at a big law firm. That's why they pay you

JusticeJackson

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby JusticeJackson » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:36 am

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PSA: Biglaw 2Ls, do your part to get to 190

Postby Johann » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:15 am

jd20132013 wrote:
Johann wrote:Disagree. Work/life balance and work remote incentives def factor into a firm's calculus. And those are usually more achievable than compensation raises.


This is delusion

Work life balance doesn't exist except as farce at a big law firm. That's why they pay you

work life balance exists to an extent outside of every new york biglaw office. and the reason it does is because peers know what the industry standard is in the city and they cant be an outlier.



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