T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

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dabbadon8
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T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:31 pm

Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at a perennial Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.
Last edited by dabbadon8 on Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:07 pm

I’m a second year corporate associate at a V50 in NYC. Graduated top 10% from a lower T14. Have ties to South Florida and have thought about making the move. Would I be marketable? How important is the ability to speak Spanish? What are the hours like? I assume slightly better, but are attorneys still tethered 24/7? Any firms in particular to stay away from? What’s the salary compression as you get more senior? Salary is generally below market, but do firms pay market bonuses? Anything in particular you feel like sharing?

Appreciate you taking the time.

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TheBlueDevil
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby TheBlueDevil » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:05 am

dabbadon8 wrote:Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at perineal Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.


What do you mean by "perineal"?

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Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:17 am

How strong were your ties to FL/how hard did it seem to crack directly into FL from that school range?

Also did you target Miami only or were you also looking at mid-market areas?

I'm hoping to get back to Tampa as fast as possible (within reasonable salaries) but not sure if I should temper my expectations a bit

dabbadon8
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I’m a second year corporate associate at a V50 in NYC. Graduated top 10% from a lower T14. Have ties to South Florida and have thought about making the move. Would I be marketable? How important is the ability to speak Spanish? What are the hours like? I assume slightly better, but are attorneys still tethered 24/7? Any firms in particular to stay away from? What’s the salary compression as you get more senior? Salary is generally below market, but do firms pay market bonuses? Anything in particular you feel like sharing?

Appreciate you taking the time.


The biggest issue is there are so few associate positions generally. Most shops are lit/real estate heavy. Your credentials would be more than sufficient to get a spot as a GT junior associate. Spanish can be important, but mostly in that it limits what you can do. For instance, GT has an international corporate practice separate from the traditional corporate practice. If you don't speak Spanish, you don't stand a chance in the international group. Just cuts down your odds, but by no means necessary. Hours vary, but better than NYC. Firms typically have bonus thresholds around 1900. People can hit a little over 2000 and have a good year depending on the shop. I don't know anyone that has hit over 2200 that I don't suspect is padding. Corporate is worse than lit hours wise still. No firm I can tell you to stay away from in particular and there's not enough firms to be picky. Salary is typically less than NYC market and the pay raises and bonuses follow. There are exceptions in satellites that run NYC scale, but those offices are almost uniformly small and have little to no transactional work. I would consider whether you would be open to doing real estate.

Life style overall is pretty solid and once you are in, it is easier to move around. I'd recommend trying if you're interested, but it might come down to whether one of like 6 firms are hiring junior associates and you'd have to beat out a good number of people because everyone interviews a ton of people here given how few spots there are.

dabbadon8
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:19 am

TheBlueDevil wrote:
dabbadon8 wrote:Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at perineal Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.


What do you mean by "perineal"?


I meant perennial, but my phone's auto correct apparently didn't catch that.

dabbadon8
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:27 am

Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash wrote:How strong were your ties to FL/how hard did it seem to crack directly into FL from that school range?

Also did you target Miami only or were you also looking at mid-market areas?

I'm hoping to get back to Tampa as fast as possible (within reasonable salaries) but not sure if I should temper my expectations a bit


Ties were are strong as you could get (family, undergrad in state, raised locally). Looks at tampa and fort Lauderdale, but there are even fewer jobs there. Hit pretty much all of the limited big law options.

How hard? Well, that depends. Almost everyone has the credentials or, if not, has a local degree and knows someone giving them an edge. There are very few jobs over all. As a summer associate I attended a cocktail hour with all other SAs from the big firms in town. It filled one relatively small side room in a bar. SA classes are even smaller now. Big firms taking maybe 5 or 6 people max. It's all luck, timing, and fit.

If you're talking laterals... for litigation, most people I see have a couple years at a big firm and/or federal clerkship. T14 degrees and/or UM top 10% (usually better work experience or other factors for UM).

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:32 am

TheBlueDevil wrote:
dabbadon8 wrote:Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at perineal Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.


What do you mean by "perineal"?


it taint a real market

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:36 am

How do bonuses compare to larger markets? Or, as a 4th year with 2000 hours, what is your bonus expectation?

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:41 am

dabbadon8 wrote:Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at perineal Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.


How would you differentiate the quality of work between the following three groups of firms. Are the satellite's good places to work (the consensus I've heard is no)? Are the Florida-based firms quality places to start a career? Is there really a big difference between GT and the others I've put in the top category and the other 10-15 top players in the market.

1) Miam's elite firms: GT / White & Case, HK?
2) Florida based Biglaw/midlaw (Akerman, Shutts, Sterns Weaver ...)
3) Satellite Office Biglaw (Weil, Hogan, DLA .. )

dabbadon8
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:How do bonuses compare to larger markets? Or, as a 4th year with 2000 hours, what is your bonus expectation?


Expect fractional bonuses that will almost always be less than NYC lockstep barring some anomaly. The NYC shops pay NYC bonuses and their associates starting as they enter senior associate territory are getting more comp than low level partners elsewhere. Bonuses are not going to be lock step (unless NYC firm) and mostly judged on hours and/or profitability. I'm now at a lit boutique so wouldn't really reflect on Big Law. I've been at this firm starting mid april so it's a partial year, but they like me a lot and have a lot of hours so hoping for something in the 20k range (associate who was same level got 30k for full year last year). Comp is definitely lower, but no state income tax and lower cost of living (not cheap, but lower) go a long way.

Finally, the big law legal demand here is pretty flat if not declining. A bunch of big firms came in all around the same time (approx. 2012-2015) and have divided the already small market share into portions that aren't enough to sustain all partners, let alone associates.

dabbadon8
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dabbadon8 wrote:Hey there TLS, I haven't posted here since I got my job in Big Law. Was top third at my Duke/UVA/Penn/Mich with secondary journal. Targeted NY and FL. Started at perineal Miami based international law firm in litigation. Stayed 2.5 years then moved to Miami lit boutique because the pay was functionally equivalent but you actually get to go to court, depos, etc. I've done OCI interviews and know people in Big Law recruiting (in house) socially. I checked TLS a lot at one point so paying it forward. Fire away with any questions about the Miami market.


How would you differentiate the quality of work between the following three groups of firms. Are the satellite's good places to work (the consensus I've heard is no)? Are the Florida-based firms quality places to start a career? Is there really a big difference between GT and the others I've put in the top category and the other 10-15 top players in the market.

1) Miam's elite firms: GT / White & Case, HK?
2) Florida based Biglaw/midlaw (Akerman, Shutts, Sterns Weaver ...)
3) Satellite Office Biglaw (Weil, Hogan, DLA .. )


Depends on the satellite. I have a friend at Hogan who likes it fine. Weil is slow from what I hear. Same for Akerman. Quality of work will depend on a lot of factors. Cat 1 would prob be best to start at for transactional. Midlaw could be better for lit. It's really going to depend on who is going to put you on your feet and allow you to start building a reputation in the community and a sellable skill set. That'll depend on the place and partners, etc. You can't really group any particular firm. Many are relatively specialized, especially some of the smaller out posts and midlaw shops.

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:13 pm

I have never understood why associates at very profitable firms in Miami, Atlanta, and similarly expensive COL metros are bonused at a substantially less amount than NYC. To make it even more confusing, associates in some smaller markets like Charlotte are bonused at a NYC rate. This has never made sense to me. Unless there is a solid rationale that has escaped me, I guess it is what it is.

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:46 am

Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash wrote:How strong were your ties to FL/how hard did it seem to crack directly into FL from that school range?

Also did you target Miami only or were you also looking at mid-market areas?

I'm hoping to get back to Tampa as fast as possible (within reasonable salaries) but not sure if I should temper my expectations a bit


Tampa is tough because there is a very small biglaw market in the city. Due to that, you're going to have to be willing to accept less money (although, you're still making good money due to the relatively low COL).

It's doable if you're a lateral with biglaw experience, but you'll likely need Florida ties because the largish Tampa firms are basically all Florida-based firms (H&K, GT, Carlton Fields, Shumaker, Hill Ward, Trenam, etc.). Off the top of my head, Foley is the only large firm in Tampa that isn't Florida-based, but I could be missing one or two. Basically, Tampa can be a bit of an insular market, so it's an easier sell if you have ties to it.

Assuming you're a practicing lawyer, it'll be easier to lateral than it would be to land a SA. It'll be a lot easier to lateral if you're in lit or practicing something real estate or healthcare related.

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:45 am

lavarman84 wrote:
Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash wrote:How strong were your ties to FL/how hard did it seem to crack directly into FL from that school range?

Also did you target Miami only or were you also looking at mid-market areas?

I'm hoping to get back to Tampa as fast as possible (within reasonable salaries) but not sure if I should temper my expectations a bit


Tampa is tough because there is a very small biglaw market in the city. Due to that, you're going to have to be willing to accept less money (although, you're still making good money due to the relatively low COL).

It's doable if you're a lateral with biglaw experience, but you'll likely need Florida ties because the largish Tampa firms are basically all Florida-based firms (H&K, GT, Carlton Fields, Shumaker, Hill Ward, Trenam, etc.). Off the top of my head, Foley is the only large firm in Tampa that isn't Florida-based, but I could be missing one or two. Basically, Tampa can be a bit of an insular market, so it's an easier sell if you have ties to it.

Assuming you're a practicing lawyer, it'll be easier to lateral than it would be to land a SA. It'll be a lot easier to lateral if you're in lit or practicing something real estate or healthcare related.


Ok, I think I have pretty good ties (born and raised in St.pete,FSU ug, personal ties to cfjb) I'm just afraid that not going to law school in the state would make it harder to get back without having to lateral in, or that I'll have literally no say in my specialty if I do get into the area (although it's good to hear that lit is preferred since I'm not looking to do transactional).

Oh well, this is all really good info and I still have a few years to figure it out.

Thanks for the info

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lavarman84
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miaimi Market

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:59 pm

Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
Dr.Degrees_Cr.Cash wrote:How strong were your ties to FL/how hard did it seem to crack directly into FL from that school range?

Also did you target Miami only or were you also looking at mid-market areas?

I'm hoping to get back to Tampa as fast as possible (within reasonable salaries) but not sure if I should temper my expectations a bit


Tampa is tough because there is a very small biglaw market in the city. Due to that, you're going to have to be willing to accept less money (although, you're still making good money due to the relatively low COL).

It's doable if you're a lateral with biglaw experience, but you'll likely need Florida ties because the largish Tampa firms are basically all Florida-based firms (H&K, GT, Carlton Fields, Shumaker, Hill Ward, Trenam, etc.). Off the top of my head, Foley is the only large firm in Tampa that isn't Florida-based, but I could be missing one or two. Basically, Tampa can be a bit of an insular market, so it's an easier sell if you have ties to it.

Assuming you're a practicing lawyer, it'll be easier to lateral than it would be to land a SA. It'll be a lot easier to lateral if you're in lit or practicing something real estate or healthcare related.


Ok, I think I have pretty good ties (born and raised in St.pete,FSU ug, personal ties to cfjb) I'm just afraid that not going to law school in the state would make it harder to get back without having to lateral in, or that I'll have literally no say in my specialty if I do get into the area (although it's good to hear that lit is preferred since I'm not looking to do transactional).

Oh well, this is all really good info and I still have a few years to figure it out.

Thanks for the info


Going to an out of state law school isn't a big deal if you have the ties. Although, I'm assuming you went to a law school that's higher ranked than UF and FSU (because they're not going to fault you for that). If you went Duke, you'll be in a good spot with regards to CF with your Florida ties.

The one thing I will say is that your fear that you'll have little say in your specialty is justified. Because of how small the market is, you more or less have to accept what you're given and hope you have an opportunity to move around once you're at the firm.

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:23 am

What is the general pay scale for Miami firms that start at 160?

GenericStudent
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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby GenericStudent » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:57 pm

Would doing undergrad for four years in state (two in a different city, two in Miami) be considered reasonable ties if I know I want to live here? Also, how does Vandy place in Florida? It's well respected in the South but I know much of Florida (especially South Florida) doesn't really consider itself to be "the South." Trying to decide if I would be better off at a lower northern T14 (GULC, Cornell, etc.) than Vandy if my goal is big law in Miami? Thanks for making this thread by the way!

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:19 am

So, I know this thread is for directing questions at OP, who is on the interviewing side, but I figure that my experience is relevant to those reading this topic.

I’m originally from Miami, went to undergrad there and worked for a bit before going to law school. Finished 1L in top ~15% at a T14 and targeted Miami and NY. Struck out in Miami (only even got 1 callback from massmailing), but got multiple V10 offers.

I think not spending my 1L summer in Miami really hurt me (did a 1L SA elsewhere for the $), because my ties were about as strong as they could be and I think I’m a decent interviewer (also, a lot of the Miami firms rejected me without even a screener, despite me letting them know I’d be in town).

There really are very few SA positions. I really didn’t think I’d have trouble getting a job in Miami, but I was already leaning towards working in NY and that sealed the deal.

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:42 am

Do t14 w/ median-ish grades + DA-like trial experience get any bites at the apple as a lateral?

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Re: T14 grad - big law alum/OCI interviewer - lit 4th year - Miami Market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:54 pm

I am at a blackbox firm in south florida. I started at 160, moved up to 165 the following year. What can I expect in the next few years? (cant find out at firm).

Can you talk about the corporate in-house jobs available in South florida if you are part of a corporate team at a large south Florida firm?

Thanks




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