Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

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Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2018 7:34 am

I’m a mid level associate at a lower ranked v100 in a speciality group. I do get a lot of bites from v20 firms (have received a few offers). My goal is to be partner or at least of counsel. I don’t really have any desire to go in-house.

I look at the PPP and all of that stuff and always consider leaving because of the “prestige” factor. But, on the other hand, I know that in reality I would never make partner at any of those firms, not even non-equity. I think that I would have a better chance making partner in general if I upgrade then downgrade later on. But, doesn’t that kind of eliminate the reason for the initial move? My firm has been very transparent that they want more home-grown partners and there aren’t many junior/midlevel associates here (and that’s not due to attrition).

Right now, I’m significantly below market, but I’m single and can’t really complain about making over $200k. But the gap increases even more significantly at the partner level.

Anyone else deal with this “struggle”?

In short, I want to work at a more prestigious firm but I’m lazy and I know I won’t make partner there, so am I shooting myself in the foot by leaving a good situation?

jd20132013

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby jd20132013 » Thu May 10, 2018 9:06 am

I really thought people got over the prestige stuff once they actually started working but you my friend have learned nothing

gregfootball2001

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Thu May 10, 2018 10:47 am

Prestige helps in certain circumstances, but not others. If you want to go in-house, you probably have a better shot coming from a v20 vs a v100. It can help. However, if the goal is to be a partner at a firm, I don't see how the move helps you. In most situations, you'll make partner by (a) bringing in business, or (b) being handed business by partners that trust you. Many firms, especially smaller firms, are reluctant to promote a lateral to partner without any business at all. If you move to a v20 and move back to a v100 later, the chances that you'll bring any business away from the v20 are low. Further, you've lost the sweat-equity time with your current firm. Being able to say, yeah, I worked at ___ may help business development down the road, but there's no guarantee. If your goal is to make partner, and you don't think you'll make partner at a v20, I don't see how moving helps you.

However, I think you should re-examine your assumptions, specifically that you can't make (at least income) partner at a v20 firm. Sure, big firms bring in tons of 1st year associates with the assumption that they're not going to stay. But laterals, especially in the mid-level to senior associate level, are a little different. They're not bringing in tons of 5th years assuming they're all going to leave. Depending on the group you join, their workflow, their history in promotion, your work product, and a few other factors, you could certainly make income partner or of counsel in a few years. You already know that the firm life works for you, which is a barrier to many new lawyers. I wouldn't dismiss the possibility out of hand.

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jbagelboy

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 10, 2018 12:01 pm

The only thing that mattered from everything you wrote is that you’re making significantly below market. That’s worth addressing. The rest is a distraction

PMan99

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby PMan99 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:59 pm

If you’re already a midlevel, I wouldn’t bank on being able to get another biglaw lateral opportunity ~2 years down the line if you do upgrade. If you want a new firm, make it a place you can see yourself staying forever, or at least staying long enough to make it your last biglaw stop.

If you were a 1-3 year, it might be a different story, because then you’ll be hitting that 2 year mark right at the peak of your value and probably could plan on being able to upgrade and then downgrade again, as you mention in your OP.

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smokeylarue

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby smokeylarue » Thu May 10, 2018 1:12 pm

jd20132013 wrote:I really thought people got over the prestige stuff once they actually started working but you my friend have learned nothing


LOL savage

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2018 1:18 pm

I look at the PPP and all of that stuff and always consider leaving because of the “prestige” factor.


You're an Attorney, there is no prestige. Just do what makes you happy, because the "prestige factor" is just in your own head.


Image

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... 3d63571926


Americans notably do not equate prestige with fame—actors and entertainers fall in the bottom half of the choices. Money doesn't seem to matter much, either, with lawyers, business executives, and bankers also falling lower on the list.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/201 ... in_37.html

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri May 11, 2018 8:22 am

If you're happy where you are, stay where you are. There are a lot of bad positions out there.

I make below market, but I also have a much better commute and moderately better hours than anywhere I could make market, plus I really like the people I work with. I will leave this firm when security escorts me from the building.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Prestige v. Reality. Anyone feel the same?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My goal is to be partner or at least of counsel. I don’t really have any desire to go in-house.

If you are less than a fifth-year associate, you should leave and go get paid market somewhere else. As long as you maintain good relations, you can always come back if the grass isn't greener.

If you are at least a fifth-year associate, and this is really your goal, then you should have a serious conversation with internal sponsors/mentors about how realistic this is at your current firm, given your current skill development and area of practice. If they respond with anything other than measured optimism tinged with a bit of fear that you are thinking of leaving, then you are not as likely to make partner at your current firm as their "internal promotion" messaging may lead you to believe. Not saying it's impossible, or even unlikely, but it may be worth having some outside conversations at that point to explore your options.



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