Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun May 16, 2010 6:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This thread's been fantastic, thanks!

Re: the earlier question on ranking the most helpful summer gigs, where would you rank a SA at a midsize regional firm in a small secondary market, if you're eventually shooting for NYC biglaw?


Depends on if I've ever heard of the firm. If I have, I'd put it below the other ranked gigs, if not, I would put it with the other unranked jobs.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun May 16, 2010 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How does your firm distinguish at OCI between US and non US residents? Are international students evaluated very differently or does it depend on the country/school?


I'm not sure there is a formal split between US and non-US residents, I'm just guessing but I don't think we see enough non-US resident applicants to have a set way it's dealt with. I'd guess it's more determined by the individual. I really don't know for sure, because I've never seen a non-US resident applicant.

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Shot007
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Shot007 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:13 pm

Just wondering, do you find that you have had to go to the office on statutory holiday, I mean to catch up on the billable hours?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun May 16, 2010 7:18 pm

Shot007 wrote:Just wondering, do you find that you have had to go to the office on statutory holiday, I mean to catch up on the billable hours?


Yeah, I've had to go into work on just about every holiday there is, with the exception of Christmas, but I know people who have had to go in on Christmas. When you're in Biglaw, you're expected to be in work whenever the client wants work done, weekends, holidays, nights, mornings, it doesn't matter.

03121202698008
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:33 pm

What market are you in?

Recent posts have suggested that firms in the DC market are generally more laid back and may have slightly lower billable hour expectations. Would you agree with this? (Assuming you have contact in other markets...)

During OCI, would you recommend shooting for one market or spreading the love amongst several big markets?

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phoenix323
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby phoenix323 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:47 pm

blhoward2 wrote:What market are you in?


OP has already said that they would rather not disclose their market, for obvious reasons. Let's respect his/her privacy. Why not ask a question like this via PM? Let's not alienate this valuable resource.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:51 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
blhoward2 wrote:What market are you in?


OP has already said that they would rather not disclose their market, for obvious reasons. Let's respect his/her privacy. Why not ask a question like this via PM? Let's not alienate this valuable resource.


I read through this entire thread and didn't see that...I saw where he didn't want to say what firm.

OP, if true, I apologize.

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phoenix323
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby phoenix323 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:52 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
AlanShore wrote:on average, how many hours do you work a week? do you work most weekends? are the hours as bad as everyone says?


On average, I'm probably in the office 50-55 hours a week, I'll often do work from home at night. I've worked at least part of the weekend for the past 2 months. The hours can be brutal, but on average are not that bad.

What about Biglaw in the future? Do you expect job opportunities to rebound as the economy does as well? Or will there be major, permanent cutbacks?


I expect some of a rebound, but a small one. I think the whole industry will be smaller for a long time.

do you find being a lawyer helps or hurts you in getting laid? (pre any relationships of course).


I don't really have any basis for comparison, I was dating someone through law school, who I am now married to.

which market? how big a firm?


I won't answer this beyond what I said in the other thread. Major market, big firm with a national presence.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:55 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
AlanShore wrote:on average, how many hours do you work a week? do you work most weekends? are the hours as bad as everyone says?


On average, I'm probably in the office 50-55 hours a week, I'll often do work from home at night. I've worked at least part of the weekend for the past 2 months. The hours can be brutal, but on average are not that bad.

What about Biglaw in the future? Do you expect job opportunities to rebound as the economy does as well? Or will there be major, permanent cutbacks?


I expect some of a rebound, but a small one. I think the whole industry will be smaller for a long time.

do you find being a lawyer helps or hurts you in getting laid? (pre any relationships of course).


I don't really have any basis for comparison, I was dating someone through law school, who I am now married to.

which market? how big a firm?


I won't answer this beyond what I said in the other thread. Major market, big firm with a national presence.


Ok, I apologize to OP. Can you answer the rest of my questions?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sun May 16, 2010 8:00 pm

phoenix323 wrote:
blhoward2 wrote:What market are you in?


OP has already said that they would rather not disclose their market, for obvious reasons. Let's respect his/her privacy. Why not ask a question like this via PM? Let's not alienate this valuable resource.


No big deal, but I'd rather not say. I'll say that I have friends in every major market and I think it just comes down to the partner you're working for than the firm. The whole "lifestyle friendly" firm is a myth, it's all about individual partners. My firm isn't one of the firms generally regarded as sweatshops, but there are projects and partners where you could easily be billing close to or above 3000 hours a year. As far as I know, this is true in just about every firm.

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phoenix323
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby phoenix323 » Sun May 16, 2010 8:18 pm

First of all, thank you so much for your responses, they have been great.

Could you describe a typical day for you at work?

Thanks!

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knickfan
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby knickfan » Sun May 16, 2010 8:39 pm

where is lebron james heading? NY? CHI? MIA?

lawschoollll
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby lawschoollll » Sun May 16, 2010 10:18 pm

This is a great thread. Thank you.

I was wondering if you could talk to general firm culture. I know litigation is stressful, so I'm sure there are periods of intense pressure, but what about during the less hectic times? Are people amicable? Friendly? Have you developed friendships with co-workers (like, will people go out to drinks after a project ends or something)? On the other end of the spectrum, what about backstabbing/doing whatever is necessary to make oneself look good?

No need to touch on each question individually, but if you could give a big-picture view, that would be awesome. Thanks.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 17, 2010 8:13 pm

phoenix323 wrote:First of all, thank you so much for your responses, they have been great.

Could you describe a typical day for you at work?

Thanks!


Hard to describe a typical day, it depends on the stage of the case. It may involve researching and writing a court filing, preparing for or taking/defending a deposition, reviewing document review results, dealing with experts, pulling exhibits together, or any number of other random tasks. Generally, my days are full, either I'm staffed and completely slammed or in between cases and not doing much.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 17, 2010 8:14 pm

lawschoollll wrote:This is a great thread. Thank you.

I was wondering if you could talk to general firm culture. I know litigation is stressful, so I'm sure there are periods of intense pressure, but what about during the less hectic times? Are people amicable? Friendly? Have you developed friendships with co-workers (like, will people go out to drinks after a project ends or something)? On the other end of the spectrum, what about backstabbing/doing whatever is necessary to make oneself look good?

No need to touch on each question individually, but if you could give a big-picture view, that would be awesome. Thanks.


People are pretty friendly, I've made some good friends with co-workers, and we do go out socially outside of work functions. I haven't really experienced any kind of backstabbing/throwing people under the bus, I'm sure it happens but I've been fortunate so far.

stayway
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby stayway » Mon May 17, 2010 8:56 pm

This thread is amazing. Thanks for taking questions.

3rd, does your firm have any associates from upper tier2 schools (in the 60s)? If yes, how do they generally fare?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 17, 2010 9:48 pm

nooyyllib wrote:This thread is amazing. Thanks for taking questions.

3rd, does your firm have any associates from upper tier2 schools (in the 60s)? If yes, how do they generally fare?


Yes, what do you mean how do they generally fare? As far as I can tell, once you're in you're in. Your school doesn't really matter after that. However, I will say that I don't think we're recruiting anymore at the lower ranked local schools. I think the odds of getting as summer position from those schools is significantly lower than it was just a few years ago.

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Vegas_Rebel
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Mon May 17, 2010 9:51 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
nooyyllib wrote:This thread is amazing. Thanks for taking questions.

3rd, does your firm have any associates from upper tier2 schools (in the 60s)? If yes, how do they generally fare?


Yes, what do you mean how do they generally fare? As far as I can tell, once you're in you're in. Your school doesn't really matter after that. However, I will say that I don't think we're recruiting anymore at the lower ranked local schools. I think the odds of getting as summer position from those schools is significantly lower than it was just a few years ago.


Sort of along those same lines: Do you have much opportunity to see what other associates are working on? To the extent you do (if at all) is the work product of those from higher ranked schools better, on the overall, than that of attorneys from lower ranked schools, or does it all seem about the same?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby sternc » Mon May 17, 2010 10:01 pm

tag

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 17, 2010 10:17 pm

Vegas_Rebel wrote:Sort of along those same lines: Do you have much opportunity to see what other associates are working on? To the extent you do (if at all) is the work product of those from higher ranked schools better, on the overall, than that of attorneys from lower ranked schools, or does it all seem about the same?


I'll have to admit that I find this line of questions kind of troubling. I feel like either these types of questions are coming from people from top law schools trying to find out if they are "better" than everyone else, or they're coming from people from lower ranked schools to see if they measure up to the top law school students. I'll answer your question to the best of my ability, but first, why does it matter?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Mon May 17, 2010 10:37 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:I'll have to admit that I find this line of questions kind of troubling. I feel like either these types of questions are coming from people from top law schools trying to find out if they are "better" than everyone else, or they're coming from people from lower ranked schools to see if they measure up to the top law school students. I'll answer your question to the best of my ability, but first, why does it matter?


This is more a case of the second than the first scenario, but mostly I'm just trying to get an idea of how long school rank follows one throughout their career. I have a local mentor who's a partner at a law firm. He's partners with a Columbia grad and a Gonzaga grad, and mentioned once that, for him, there was some noticeable difference in work product, and also admitted to poking fun at opposing council from lower ranked law schools. To the extent that you also see a difference in work product, I was going to follow up asking what sorts of differences seem to be common so that I could try and figure out a way to mitigate that difference (if possible.)

I'm mostly curious if that's a quirk of his, or whether that's something like universal.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby beach_terror » Mon May 17, 2010 10:45 pm

.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 17, 2010 10:48 pm

Vegas_Rebel wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I'll have to admit that I find this line of questions kind of troubling. I feel like either these types of questions are coming from people from top law schools trying to find out if they are "better" than everyone else, or they're coming from people from lower ranked schools to see if they measure up to the top law school students. I'll answer your question to the best of my ability, but first, why does it matter?


This is more a case of the second than the first scenario, but mostly I'm just trying to get an idea of how long school rank follows one throughout their career. I have a local mentor who's a partner at a law firm. He's partners with a Columbia grad and a Gonzaga grad, and mentioned once that, for him, there was some noticeable difference in work product, and also admitted to poking fun at opposing council from lower ranked law schools. To the extent that you also see a difference in work product, I was going to follow up asking what sorts of differences seem to be common so that I could try and figure out a way to mitigate that difference (if possible.)

I'm mostly curious if that's a quirk of his, or whether that's something like universal.


It's much harder to get any given job out of a lower ranked school than a higher ranked school, so you're going to see it be a wash. I've worked with graduates from T6 down to Cooley. You can't tell how a person will perform as a lawyer just by knowing what school they went to any more than you can by the color of the skin or the size of their shoes.

I'll grant you that on the whole, T4 grads probably make poorer lawyers than T14 grads. But there are going to be biglaw firms bursting at the seems with 'average' T14 grads and the top-of-the-top-of-the-top of the class graduates from lower ranked schools. It balances itself out.

Plus a lot of legal work doesn't require brilliance or quick whit so much as it requires diligence and care.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby stayway » Mon May 17, 2010 10:53 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Vegas_Rebel wrote:Sort of along those same lines: Do you have much opportunity to see what other associates are working on? To the extent you do (if at all) is the work product of those from higher ranked schools better, on the overall, than that of attorneys from lower ranked schools, or does it all seem about the same?


I'll have to admit that I find this line of questions kind of troubling. I feel like either these types of questions are coming from people from top law schools trying to find out if they are "better" than everyone else, or they're coming from people from lower ranked schools to see if they measure up to the top law school students. I'll answer your question to the best of my ability, but first, why does it matter?


I'm probably going to end up at a t2 school unless my waitlist situation works out. I was always interested in biglaw and was just wondering what my prospect would be from a t2. I'm not trying to measure up to any type of law school students. I'm just genuinely interested.

I don't know if you would know the answer to this question but, do you see any improvement within 3-4 years in biglaw (job-wise)?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 17, 2010 11:12 pm

Vegas_Rebel wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I'll have to admit that I find this line of questions kind of troubling. I feel like either these types of questions are coming from people from top law schools trying to find out if they are "better" than everyone else, or they're coming from people from lower ranked schools to see if they measure up to the top law school students. I'll answer your question to the best of my ability, but first, why does it matter?


This is more a case of the second than the first scenario, but mostly I'm just trying to get an idea of how long school rank follows one throughout their career. I have a local mentor who's a partner at a law firm. He's partners with a Columbia grad and a Gonzaga grad, and mentioned once that, for him, there was some noticeable difference in work product, and also admitted to poking fun at opposing council from lower ranked law schools. To the extent that you also see a difference in work product, I was going to follow up asking what sorts of differences seem to be common so that I could try and figure out a way to mitigate that difference (if possible.)

I'm mostly curious if that's a quirk of his, or whether that's something like universal.


From my personal experience I think that there are certain superstar associates that everyone knows of, those associates seem to disproportionately come from top schools even accounting for the fact that most associates came from top schools. I think there's no difference in the work product among the vast middle of the associate ranks. In the few instances where I've been disappointed when I've reviewed a younger associate's work, it seemed that it was primarily from associates from lower ranked schools, now that I think about it. I should note that I've only had that happen a few times so it's really too small a sample size for any kind of conclusions.




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