Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:57 pm

rocon7383 wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:Not to be overly simple, but are you happy?


+1, but building off of it, would you say working in biglaw has had an overall negative or positive impact on your social life/friendships/relationships? Obviously, I don't expect you to get into specifics but appreciate any insight you may offer.


Maybe the first couple years, after a while you learn how to juggle things, and how to have a life outside of work. Also, my social circle is mostly other lawyers so they understand when things have to be canceled at the last minute. I think it takes a bit, but you can achieve somewhat of a balance.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:58 pm

japes wrote:Would longish hair on a guy be a negative in an interview? Assume it's around shoulder-length and well-groomed, and cutting it could have a negative impact on confidence in the interview.


To be honest, probably to some partners. Again, some partners are very old school and I could see that subconsciously or consciously having a negative impact. Don't know what advice to give, other than try interviewing at west coast biglaw firms? Some of them seem to be a little more lax on dress code etc.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:59 pm

nixxers wrote:Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how do 1L's apply for summer positions with your firm? i.e. is the information your firm's website or...?


thanks so much for taking the time to do this, I've been following it since the beginning and it's been very helpful.


I think website, just emailing the recruiting contact, but I don't think we've hired any for a while.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:00 pm

bmontminy wrote:In your experience, if a 1L has average grades first semester, but killer grades the second semester, will firms note this difference to an extent it may make a difference? Or is it strictly looking at the overall GPA?


Not much of one, unless there's some sort of story as to why the grades were average first semester. Overall GPA matters a lot more.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you find that there is any age discrimination? In other words, when your firm is looking to hire new attorneys, is there an implicit preference for those in their mid 20s as opposed to those in their late 20s or older?

Thank you.


I don't think there's any discrimination at all against people in their late 20s or early 30s, there may be a preference if you have good experience.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:02 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:So, if you work on the same thing for a couple of hours, it's not too much of a pain to enter the activity into whatever system right? Or does it suck no matter what.

As a practical matter, partners will pester you not to have a particularly long time block with one entry. So if you spent 12 hours marking up a merger agreement, you might get flak for "Reviewed Merger Agreement (12.00)". It usually goes down better if you have a few entries with detailed descriptions or at least many little entries.


This is accurate. Different clients (and partners) have different preferences. I've billed by the .1 of an hour and .25 of an hour and varying levels of detail depending on the case.

d34d9823
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:19 pm

No question, just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to answer so many other questions.

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glitched
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby glitched » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:19 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
glitched wrote:Hello. Just wanted to start by saying thanks because this is great.

I think questions about work experience were asked before, but I wanted to ask how bad it looks if during my year off, I worked somewhere for about 5 months after graduation, quit, and then had a big time gap until law school started? Well I quit my job about a month and a half ago for personal reasons and I can't find a job and it looks like I might have to be unemployed until August.


I don't think it's a big deal, just be prepared to answer what you were doing.


what if i was just doing things that I have always wanted to do with my free time? like staying at home, going to the beach, going to the book store to read, sitting at a coffee shop, etc? basically taking leisure very seriously.

i just feel i will never have a time like this again... and i want to just enjoy it.

03121202698008
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:48 pm

glitched wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
glitched wrote:Hello. Just wanted to start by saying thanks because this is great.

I think questions about work experience were asked before, but I wanted to ask how bad it looks if during my year off, I worked somewhere for about 5 months after graduation, quit, and then had a big time gap until law school started? Well I quit my job about a month and a half ago for personal reasons and I can't find a job and it looks like I might have to be unemployed until August.


I don't think it's a big deal, just be prepared to answer what you were doing.


what if i was just doing things that I have always wanted to do with my free time? like staying at home, going to the beach, going to the book store to read, sitting at a coffee shop, etc? basically taking leisure very seriously.

i just feel i will never have a time like this again... and i want to just enjoy it.


Maybe say, I had all these classics I always dreamed of reading and figured this was my last opportunity to do it? I'd pick one aspect that doesn't make you seem lazy and emphasize it when explaining.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:24 am

You said on one of your replies that partners hate associates that burn hours with research that doesn't bring up anything useful.

I'm very concerned about this b/c really suck at research. I have experience as a RA at a consulting firm and I really seriously sucked.

Are there books or guidelines you know of or any type of advice you can offer that would help me practice/build my research abilities? Should I take classes for internet research or something?

fumagalli
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fumagalli » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:58 am

There is a lot of info about how AA's do in BigLaw, but what about Asians?

I'm sure Asians are a minority by number at BigLaw. Do Asians fit in (socially + professionally) well at your firm?

Also, how do associates get transferred to oversea offices? Do they apply or are they just sent there regardless of their opinion?

[Edited for clarification]

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:26 pm

glitched wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
glitched wrote:Hello. Just wanted to start by saying thanks because this is great.

I think questions about work experience were asked before, but I wanted to ask how bad it looks if during my year off, I worked somewhere for about 5 months after graduation, quit, and then had a big time gap until law school started? Well I quit my job about a month and a half ago for personal reasons and I can't find a job and it looks like I might have to be unemployed until August.


I don't think it's a big deal, just be prepared to answer what you were doing.


what if i was just doing things that I have always wanted to do with my free time? like staying at home, going to the beach, going to the book store to read, sitting at a coffee shop, etc? basically taking leisure very seriously.

i just feel i will never have a time like this again... and i want to just enjoy it.


You can do that, but don't say that. I understand you wanting to do that, but honestly, if you came in and said that you just sat around to me in an interview, I'd rank you lower than someone who did something with their time.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:27 pm

roranoa wrote:You said on one of your replies that partners hate associates that burn hours with research that doesn't bring up anything useful.

I'm very concerned about this b/c really suck at research. I have experience as a RA at a consulting firm and I really seriously sucked.

Are there books or guidelines you know of or any type of advice you can offer that would help me practice/build my research abilities? Should I take classes for internet research or something?


Talk to your library research people? Talk to the Westlaw/Lexis reps to get some advice? Talk to your CLR professors? If you can't do basic research you're going to have trouble as a litigator.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:30 pm

fumagalli wrote:There is a lot of info about how AA's do in BigLaw, but what about Asians?

I'm sure Asians are a minority by number at BigLaw. Do Asians fit in (socially + professionally) well at your firm?

Also, how do associates get transferred to oversea offices? Do they apply or are they just sent there regardless of their opinion?

[Edited for clarification]


I think Asians don't get any boost or anything if that's what you're asking. They seem to do fine, I guess, that's kind of an odd question. I mean it's not like they're ostracized or something.

Associates generally apply to transfer to other offices, but I haven't seen it happen often. I haven't ever seen someone transferred without their request to transfer.

fumagalli
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fumagalli » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:19 am

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
fumagalli wrote:There is a lot of info about how AA's do in BigLaw, but what about Asians?

I'm sure Asians are a minority by number at BigLaw. Do Asians fit in (socially + professionally) well at your firm?

Also, how do associates get transferred to oversea offices? Do they apply or are they just sent there regardless of their opinion?

[Edited for clarification]


I think Asians don't get any boost or anything if that's what you're asking. They seem to do fine, I guess, that's kind of an odd question. I mean it's not like they're ostracized or something.

Associates generally apply to transfer to other offices, but I haven't seen it happen often. I haven't ever seen someone transferred without their request to transfer.


Thanks for the reply!

Oh, and no, I wasn't talking about whether Asians get a boost. I was just worried whether they are "sort of" ostracized. I know, stupid question.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:39 am

roranoa wrote:You said on one of your replies that partners hate associates that burn hours with research that doesn't bring up anything useful.

I'm very concerned about this b/c really suck at research. I have experience as a RA at a consulting firm and I really seriously sucked.

Are there books or guidelines you know of or any type of advice you can offer that would help me practice/build my research abilities? Should I take classes for internet research or something?

Just put key terms in and search law reviews.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:47 am

I realize you're a lit guy, but perhaps you have some insight...

I'm going to end up in a bankruptcy practice. I have never taken an accounting course (the law and accounting classes always freaking conflicted with the major business law courses like secured transactions, bankruptcy, corp tax and so on), stats, etc. Should I consider taking some basic accounting/finance courses during the night and/or weekends to get a better handle on the stuff?

03121202698008
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:49 am

roranoa wrote:You said on one of your replies that partners hate associates that burn hours with research that doesn't bring up anything useful.

I'm very concerned about this b/c really suck at research. I have experience as a RA at a consulting firm and I really seriously sucked.

Are there books or guidelines you know of or any type of advice you can offer that would help me practice/build my research abilities? Should I take classes for internet research or something?


Have you started school yet? You should get plenty of experience 1L. And at least at my school, Lexis/WL have mandatory trainings on legal research we had to attend.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Wed May 04, 2011 8:27 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:I realize you're a lit guy, but perhaps you have some insight...

I'm going to end up in a bankruptcy practice. I have never taken an accounting course (the law and accounting classes always freaking conflicted with the major business law courses like secured transactions, bankruptcy, corp tax and so on), stats, etc. Should I consider taking some basic accounting/finance courses during the night and/or weekends to get a better handle on the stuff?


I don't really get into bankruptcy, but my thoughts would be it couldn't hurt, and would probably be helpful.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 8:41 pm

I have an SA position this summer and I'd like to get into environmental or energy law but I could only choose to be placed in either litigation or corporate transaction, among other general practices (tax, real estate, etc.). How does one navigate towards a niche field without at the same time precluding yourself from a job in biglaw if there isn't an opening in that particular field at the moment?

Thank you!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Wed May 04, 2011 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have an SA position this summer and I'd like to get into environmental or energy law but I could only choose to be placed in either litigation or corporate transaction, among other general practices (tax, real estate, etc.). How does one navigate towards a niche field without at the same time precluding yourself from a job in biglaw if there isn't an opening in that particular field at the moment?

Thank you!


I'm assuming your firm has those departments but that they didn't allow you to preselect it. First, you should figure out how big of a group it is, and whether they generally have younger associates or not. I've seen people pick up a couple of assignments from other groups by attending their meetings and talking to the partners and eventually transitioning over. However, there are also groups within my particular firm that don't really bring on associates without the associate being specifically recruited in, so it would be difficult to break into.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 10:37 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have an SA position this summer and I'd like to get into environmental or energy law but I could only choose to be placed in either litigation or corporate transaction, among other general practices (tax, real estate, etc.). How does one navigate towards a niche field without at the same time precluding yourself from a job in biglaw if there isn't an opening in that particular field at the moment?

Thank you!


I'm assuming your firm has those departments but that they didn't allow you to preselect it. First, you should figure out how big of a group it is, and whether they generally have younger associates or not. I've seen people pick up a couple of assignments from other groups by attending their meetings and talking to the partners and eventually transitioning over. However, there are also groups within my particular firm that don't really bring on associates without the associate being specifically recruited in, so it would be difficult to break into.

Poster from above here:

Your assumption is correct. So my take is that it varies from firm to firm and depends on how the practice group works inside the firm. I'm guessing I should tread lightly since I don't want to edge myself out of a job but if I can pick up a couple of assignments from the group, it will be a good way to get face time and express my interest. Thanks so much!! I hope it also helps that I'll be a 1L SA, so maybe I'll have two summers (if I'm lucky) to inch my way into the practice group. Thank you again.

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rocon7383
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby rocon7383 » Fri May 06, 2011 1:55 pm

Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Fri May 06, 2011 2:51 pm

rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


Regarding your chances at biglaw, it will not help you if took copyright or an IP clinic unless you have bad-ass grades and a science background. Also, nobody cares about relative strength of programs, either. I don't see any Franklin Pierce grads in my IP department, but a whole lot of T10's. For a T1 school, you're going to need badass grades to assure biglaw.

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rocon7383
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby rocon7383 » Fri May 06, 2011 3:22 pm

PKSebben wrote:
rocon7383 wrote:Thanks again for all of this information..

I have a question regarding students who specialize in certain fields of study at school and how this may help/not help their chances at big law. So if a non-T14 student from a low tier 1 school specialized in, interned/externed and worked in a clinic all geared toward IP, at a top 5 IP program, would they have a substantial leg up at an IP firm? (I'm using this specific field as an example but I suppose my question applies for all specialties).

As you may have guessed, I'm an 0L. I am trying to understand how important these rankings matter for certain programs. Thanks


Regarding your chances at biglaw, it will not help you if took copyright or an IP clinic unless you have bad-ass grades and a science background. Also, nobody cares about relative strength of programs, either. I don't see any Franklin Pierce grads in my IP department, but a whole lot of T10's. For a T1 school, you're going to need badass grades to assure biglaw.


Thanks for the response. So grades are of course the key, but if you were to already have these grades in your pocket, then would the specialization come into play? I guess your point in bold just seems odd to me. If they don't matter, what's the point?

PS- Before people inevitably rip into me for assuming getting good grades is easy, i know, i know, they're not. I'm just trying to get some perspective here.




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