Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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quakeroats
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 14, 2011 2:37 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi 3rdYear, thanks for taking questions.

Is it possible for a senior associate at a prestigious firm to lateral into a partnership position at a smaller firm? If so, where would (for example) a V10 senior associate transfer to (V100)?


It's possible, but I doubt from V10 to V100, though I don't know that for sure. I've seen it happen from big to mid law though.

So basically, if you don't make partner at your firm, you are screwed for partnership at anything close to the same level?


There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.
Last edited by quakeroats on Sat May 14, 2011 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

law777
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby law777 » Sat May 14, 2011 3:29 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi 3rdYear, thanks for taking questions.

Is it possible for a senior associate at a prestigious firm to lateral into a partnership position at a smaller firm? If so, where would (for example) a V10 senior associate transfer to (V100)?


It's possible, but I doubt from V10 to V100, though I don't know that for sure. I've seen it happen from big to mid law though.



Do you know how much partners in midlaw make? I have heard of one in a secondary market making around $2 million. Is this atypical?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat May 14, 2011 4:32 pm

quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Think of it this way. Cravath and S&C have PPP of >$3mm. Thus, they probably won't make or laterally hire any partners unless the partner has a book of that size or greater, or has real potential to develop it soon. Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the other hand, has PPP of around $1.5 million. So Dewey is probably willing to hire someone who can bring in at least that amount of business. If you're a 7th year associate at Cravath who can probably bring in about $2 million in business, Cravath will probably show you the door, but Dewey probably would be happy to have you. It's a pretty common move for senior associates at V10s to lateral to a V50 or V100 because they know they won't make partner at their current firm, but have a partner offer at a firm with lower PPP.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.

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sundance95
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby sundance95 » Sat May 14, 2011 4:37 pm

^ Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Cravath was known for only bringing in partners from within the firm?

Renzo
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Renzo » Sat May 14, 2011 4:38 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.


It doesn't really work that way either. No firm splits the take evenly, so a firm with one superstar partner and lots of grinders could have low PPP, but the superstar is still making a killing because the grinders are working for much, much less. Or, there are firms like Cadwalader, that aren't at the tippy-top of the prestige metrics, but are always at the tippy top of PPP metrics.

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quakeroats
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 14, 2011 5:05 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Think of it this way. Cravath and S&C have PPP of >$3mm. Thus, they probably won't make or laterally hire any partners unless the partner has a book of that size or greater, or has real potential to develop it soon. Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the other hand, has PPP of around $1.5 million. So Dewey is probably willing to hire someone who can bring in at least that amount of business. If you're a 7th year associate at Cravath who can probably bring in about $2 million in business, Cravath will probably show you the door, but Dewey probably would be happy to have you. It's a pretty common move for senior associates at V10s to lateral to a V50 or V100 because they know they won't make partner at their current firm, but have a partner offer at a firm with lower PPP.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.


PPP is essentially meaningless:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 67002.html

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Renzo » Sat May 14, 2011 5:09 pm

quakeroats wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Think of it this way. Cravath and S&C have PPP of >$3mm. Thus, they probably won't make or laterally hire any partners unless the partner has a book of that size or greater, or has real potential to develop it soon. Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the other hand, has PPP of around $1.5 million. So Dewey is probably willing to hire someone who can bring in at least that amount of business. If you're a 7th year associate at Cravath who can probably bring in about $2 million in business, Cravath will probably show you the door, but Dewey probably would be happy to have you. It's a pretty common move for senior associates at V10s to lateral to a V50 or V100 because they know they won't make partner at their current firm, but have a partner offer at a firm with lower PPP.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.


PPP is essentially meaningless:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 67002.html


Yeah, that's what I was trying to say, only the article says it better.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 14, 2011 5:12 pm

quakeroats wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Think of it this way. Cravath and S&C have PPP of >$3mm. Thus, they probably won't make or laterally hire any partners unless the partner has a book of that size or greater, or has real potential to develop it soon. Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the other hand, has PPP of around $1.5 million. So Dewey is probably willing to hire someone who can bring in at least that amount of business. If you're a 7th year associate at Cravath who can probably bring in about $2 million in business, Cravath will probably show you the door, but Dewey probably would be happy to have you. It's a pretty common move for senior associates at V10s to lateral to a V50 or V100 because they know they won't make partner at their current firm, but have a partner offer at a firm with lower PPP.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.


PPP is essentially meaningless:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 67002.html


Meaningless for what? Profitability? Finding out what an average partner makes? Also, my firm CERTAINLY has levels of partnerships. We have several tiers of partners that determines compensation levels as well as capital contribution requirements, but your statement regarding what drives what level you are in is your book or whether you have a niche skill the firm needs.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 14, 2011 5:37 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi 3rdYear, thanks for taking questions.

Is it possible for a senior associate at a prestigious firm to lateral into a partnership position at a smaller firm? If so, where would (for example) a V10 senior associate transfer to (V100)?


It's possible, but I doubt from V10 to V100, though I don't know that for sure. I've seen it happen from big to mid law though.

So basically, if you don't make partner at your firm, you are screwed for partnership at anything close to the same level?


If the firm you're at, where you've been for at least 3-4 years (if you're a lateral) doesn't think you can hack it in the partnership ranks, why would a similar level firm? Do you have the ability to develop business? Then the firm you're at would want you. If you're passed up for partner, I think it's a lot easier to lateral to a lower ranked firm. I'm sure people do it within the same level, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 14, 2011 5:40 pm

law777 wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi 3rdYear, thanks for taking questions.

Is it possible for a senior associate at a prestigious firm to lateral into a partnership position at a smaller firm? If so, where would (for example) a V10 senior associate transfer to (V100)?


It's possible, but I doubt from V10 to V100, though I don't know that for sure. I've seen it happen from big to mid law though.



Do you know how much partners in midlaw make? I have heard of one in a secondary market making around $2 million. Is this atypical?


Considering in Biglaw that only a handful of firms have PPP over $2 million, I'd think that your partner is atypical. I have no idea what the average midlaw partner makes.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat May 14, 2011 6:07 pm

sundance95 wrote:^ Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Cravath was known for only bringing in partners from within the firm?


Generally true. I was just throwing in names as examples.

Renzo wrote:It doesn't really work that way either. No firm splits the take evenly, so a firm with one superstar partner and lots of grinders could have low PPP, but the superstar is still making a killing because the grinders are working for much, much less. Or, there are firms like Cadwalader, that aren't at the tippy-top of the prestige metrics, but are always at the tippy top of PPP metrics.


Many traditionally "elite" firms are lockstep within the partnership - i.e., they do split the take evenly (or use seniority as the only differentiator). I know for a fact this is true at Cravath, DPW, Cleary, Covington, Debevoise, W&C and STB. There are probably others - I want to say S&C, Wachtell and Paul Weiss are the same way, but I don't know those three for sure.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby nealric » Sat May 14, 2011 6:50 pm

nealric wrote:
I would argue that philosophy is more relevant to tax than accounting.

Very interested to hear why.



Tax is about taking complex fact patterns and figuring out what is "really" going on. For example, "will the transaction be respected as a lease, or will it be considered an asset sale?" or "should multiple steps of a complex transaction be considered as one?" Philosophy asks some of the same "what is really going on here?" type questions.

Accounting is more like computer programing- it's about applying a complex set of rules. While tax certainly has a lot of complex rules, tax lawyers often deal in the ambiguities the rules don't speak to.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Renzo » Sat May 14, 2011 7:12 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
sundance95 wrote:^ Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Cravath was known for only bringing in partners from within the firm?


Generally true. I was just throwing in names as examples.

Renzo wrote:It doesn't really work that way either. No firm splits the take evenly, so a firm with one superstar partner and lots of grinders could have low PPP, but the superstar is still making a killing because the grinders are working for much, much less. Or, there are firms like Cadwalader, that aren't at the tippy-top of the prestige metrics, but are always at the tippy top of PPP metrics.


Many traditionally "elite" firms are lockstep within the partnership - i.e., they do split the take evenly (or use seniority as the only differentiator). I know for a fact this is true at Cravath, DPW, Cleary, Covington, Debevoise, W&C and STB. There are probably others - I want to say S&C, Wachtell and Paul Weiss are the same way, but I don't know those three for sure.


True. I overstated when I said "no firm." There are a very small number of lockstep partnership firms, and a few more that are putatively lockstep but hide big differences in non-equity partnership ranks.

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quakeroats
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby quakeroats » Sat May 14, 2011 7:28 pm

PKSebben wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
quakeroats wrote:There are no real levels as far as partnership is concerned, at least in the way you're probably thinking, i.e., Vault 100, NALP 250. Think of partnership as major-sports style draft. What team you're on is of only secondary importance. What matters is what skills you bring and the size of your book. If you have both of these in the right quantity it doesn't matter what firm you're at. You're a free agent, and like top athletes you can go where you please. It doesn't matter if that happens to be Skadden or some firm you've never heard of, BigLaw is a star-driven market that looks very little like what an average law student imagines. This is to say, there are no levels as you implicitly imagine them. Whether you make 200k or 10mm is mostly about who you are and what you can do, not where you are.


Well, yes and no. Insofar as V10s tend to have higher PPP than V100s, there are levels of partnership.

Think of it this way. Cravath and S&C have PPP of >$3mm. Thus, they probably won't make or laterally hire any partners unless the partner has a book of that size or greater, or has real potential to develop it soon. Dewey & LeBoeuf, on the other hand, has PPP of around $1.5 million. So Dewey is probably willing to hire someone who can bring in at least that amount of business. If you're a 7th year associate at Cravath who can probably bring in about $2 million in business, Cravath will probably show you the door, but Dewey probably would be happy to have you. It's a pretty common move for senior associates at V10s to lateral to a V50 or V100 because they know they won't make partner at their current firm, but have a partner offer at a firm with lower PPP.

Yes, there are exceptions (superstar partners at lower-PPP firms, Vault doesn't correspond perfectly to profitability), but insofar as different firms have different profits per partner, there are "levels" within partnership.


PPP is essentially meaningless:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 67002.html


Meaningless for what? Profitability? Finding out what an average partner makes? Also, my firm CERTAINLY has levels of partnerships. We have several tiers of partners that determines compensation levels as well as capital contribution requirements, but your statement regarding what drives what level you are in is your book or whether you have a niche skill the firm needs.


Meaningless in the sense of having no significance. PPP is roughly as helpful as square feet of office space per partner. PPP doesn't indicate how a low-level/average/star partner is likely to fair in general or in relation to a low-level/average/star partner at another firm. It's isn't a metric that one should base any substantive decision on.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat May 14, 2011 7:44 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Meaningless in the sense of having no significance. PPP is roughly as helpful as square feet of office space per partner. PPP doesn't indicate how a low-level/average/star partner is likely to fair in general or in relation to a low-level/average/star partner at another firm. It's isn't a metric that one should base any substantive decision on.


It's not that useless -- it's useful for comparing lockstep partner comp firms. PPP is a number that gets lateral partner markets moving between lockstep firms. At the associate entry-level hiring, d00ds shouldn't even be looking at that number.

More useful for determining the health of a firm is revenue per lawyer (while factoring in leverage ratio).

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 15, 2011 10:27 pm

I have a question regarding how URMs fare in the biglaw hiring process. Obviously there are a lot of determinative factors, but assuming median grades from SLS, where do you think someone with this background would end up (V5, V10, V50, etc.)?

Thanks.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Kohinoor » Mon May 16, 2011 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a question regarding how URMs fare in the biglaw hiring process. Obviously there are a lot of determinative factors, but assuming median grades from SLS, where do you think someone with this background would end up (V5, V10, V50, etc.)?

Thanks.

With the recovering economy and applying outside of Cali, possibly V10.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 16, 2011 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a question regarding how URMs fare in the biglaw hiring process. Obviously there are a lot of determinative factors, but assuming median grades from SLS, where do you think someone with this background would end up (V5, V10, V50, etc.)?

Thanks.


At least V50 but probably higher, if the URM wanted it.

fumagalli
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby fumagalli » Fri May 27, 2011 10:17 pm

How is your personal life?
You said you were married. Do you have kids as well?
Do you feel you're not managing your family as well as you manage your career?

Thanks. I hope you're still around.

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glitched
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby glitched » Sun May 29, 2011 3:49 pm

How often does one get yelled at in Biglaw? That's one of the images I have about biglaw in my head - that upper level partners are yelling at their juniors, who yell at senior associates, who then yell at jr. associates, who then yell at their interns who then go home and compain to their friends. It's probably a misconception that I got from tv shows like how i met your mother, but is there any truth to it? I haven't really dealt with many bosses that have yelled at me for my mistakes, but instead have had them be incredibly passive-agressive. i don't know which one is worse... but to get on point - is yelling common?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 29, 2011 8:06 pm

glitched wrote:How often does one get yelled at in Biglaw? That's one of the images I have about biglaw in my head - that upper level partners are yelling at their juniors, who yell at senior associates, who then yell at jr. associates, who then yell at their interns who then go home and compain to their friends. It's probably a misconception that I got from tv shows like how i met your mother, but is there any truth to it? I haven't really dealt with many bosses that have yelled at me for my mistakes, but instead have had them be incredibly passive-agressive. i don't know which one is worse... but to get on point - is yelling common?


It is not common at my firm but it happens.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby quakeroats » Sun May 29, 2011 9:07 pm

PKSebben wrote:
glitched wrote:How often does one get yelled at in Biglaw? That's one of the images I have about biglaw in my head - that upper level partners are yelling at their juniors, who yell at senior associates, who then yell at jr. associates, who then yell at their interns who then go home and compain to their friends. It's probably a misconception that I got from tv shows like how i met your mother, but is there any truth to it? I haven't really dealt with many bosses that have yelled at me for my mistakes, but instead have had them be incredibly passive-agressive. i don't know which one is worse... but to get on point - is yelling common?


It is not common at my firm but it happens.


What kind of yelling are you talking about? Minor, "come on" comments, full-on apoplectic rage, somewhere in between?

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 29, 2011 9:47 pm

quakeroats wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
glitched wrote:How often does one get yelled at in Biglaw? That's one of the images I have about biglaw in my head - that upper level partners are yelling at their juniors, who yell at senior associates, who then yell at jr. associates, who then yell at their interns who then go home and compain to their friends. It's probably a misconception that I got from tv shows like how i met your mother, but is there any truth to it? I haven't really dealt with many bosses that have yelled at me for my mistakes, but instead have had them be incredibly passive-agressive. i don't know which one is worse... but to get on point - is yelling common?


It is not common at my firm but it happens.


What kind of yelling are you talking about? Minor, "come on" comments, full-on apoplectic rage, somewhere in between?


It varies a lot based on firm / practice area, but probably just more specifically personality. I've heard first-hand reports of screaming accompanied with objects being thrown, and I've also heard of places wear screaming is legitimately non-existent.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sun May 29, 2011 10:04 pm

thesealocust wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
glitched wrote:How often does one get yelled at in Biglaw? That's one of the images I have about biglaw in my head - that upper level partners are yelling at their juniors, who yell at senior associates, who then yell at jr. associates, who then yell at their interns who then go home and compain to their friends. It's probably a misconception that I got from tv shows like how i met your mother, but is there any truth to it? I haven't really dealt with many bosses that have yelled at me for my mistakes, but instead have had them be incredibly passive-agressive. i don't know which one is worse... but to get on point - is yelling common?


It is not common at my firm but it happens.


What kind of yelling are you talking about? Minor, "come on" comments, full-on apoplectic rage, somewhere in between?


It varies a lot based on firm / practice area, but probably just more specifically personality. I've heard first-hand reports of screaming accompanied with objects being thrown, and I've also heard of places wear screaming is legitimately non-existent.



Yup. I've heard door-slamming obscenity laced tirades and just generally raising of voices. The partners that do this are well-known for their bullshit. They are avoided like the plague. I do think some firms tolerate this stuff a little more than others.

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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 30, 2011 9:52 am

fumagalli wrote:How is your personal life?
You said you were married. Do you have kids as well?
Do you feel you're not managing your family as well as you manage your career?

Thanks. I hope you're still around.


I think my personal life is good. My wife understands that I'll be very busy at times, but it hasn't been an issue for us. I don't have kids, so maybe things would be different if I did, but so far I haven't let work dominate all aspects of my life.




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