Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Mon May 30, 2011 9:57 am

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.


I think that from what I've experienced and heard from others there are partners that are "yellers" at just about every large law firm. You can't have a large number of partners without one being that type of person. At some firms it's much less common than others. And generally it's not associates yelling at other associates, it's basically partner to associate. I can say that I've been lucky to not have to deal with any of that, but I've definitely heard of other associates getting yelled at (full spit-flying rage)/stuff thrown at them.

formerbiglawpartner
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Mon May 30, 2011 10:44 am

In 21 years of practice, I never heard a partner yell at an associate and I can hardly think of anything less professional. In fact, I can't believe the partners committee would tolerate such behavior, frankly. Who would want to work at a firm where the management is too scared of their own partners (or totally ignorant) to call them on the carpet for such juvenile behavior?The only yelling I heard with any regularity was at clients---after the phone had been securely hung up.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Mon May 30, 2011 11:02 am

formerbiglawpartner wrote:In 21 years of practice, I never heard a partner yell at an associate and I can hardly think of anything less professional. In fact, I can't believe the partners committee would tolerate such behavior, frankly. Who would want to work at a firm where the management is too scared of their own partners (or totally ignorant) to call them on the carpet for such juvenile behavior?The only yelling I heard with any regularity was at clients---after the phone had been securely hung up.


I think big rainmaking partners get a lot more leeway in this regard. Who wants to see their meal ticket walk out the door.

roranoa
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby roranoa » Tue May 31, 2011 12:15 am

formerbiglawpartner wrote:In 21 years of practice, I never heard a partner yell at an associate and I can hardly think of anything less professional. In fact, I can't believe the partners committee would tolerate such behavior, frankly. Who would want to work at a firm where the management is too scared of their own partners (or totally ignorant) to call them on the carpet for such juvenile behavior?The only yelling I heard with any regularity was at clients---after the phone had been securely hung up.


Are you really someone who practiced at a big law firm for 21 yrs? (for how long were you partner? Why did you leave?)
As a former partner can you tell us how your personal life was like? How you managed it and all?
And would it be to personal if I asked you how much you made in total over 21 years?

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:19 am

roranoa wrote:
formerbiglawpartner wrote:In 21 years of practice, I never heard a partner yell at an associate and I can hardly think of anything less professional. In fact, I can't believe the partners committee would tolerate such behavior, frankly. Who would want to work at a firm where the management is too scared of their own partners (or totally ignorant) to call them on the carpet for such juvenile behavior?The only yelling I heard with any regularity was at clients---after the phone had been securely hung up.


Are you really someone who practiced at a big law firm for 21 yrs? (for how long were you partner? Why did you leave?)
As a former partner can you tell us how your personal life was like? How you managed it and all?
And would it be to personal if I asked you how much you made in total over 21 years?


I'm pretty sure half of formerbiglawpartner's TLS posting career has been rants against affirmative action, so take his/her posts with a grain of salt.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Renne Walker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:40 pm

Assuming that you targeted BigLaw from the get-go, what did you do to prepare yourself as a 1L (law review, etc.)? Is there anything you would have done differently as a 1L? Did you have a particular methodology in dealing with OCI? Assuming that you may have received more than one BLaw offer, how did you choose one firm over another (especially if the $ was the same)? Opps, I wore out my question mark key! Thanks.

desertlaw
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby desertlaw » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:14 pm

The key for Big Law is first getting good grades. You can do that a variety of ways, and there are great resources on other threads with how to do well on 1L exams. The next step is interviewing well/networking/selling yourself. That can be done a variety of ways and Career Services office can help you with mock interviews, etc.

Choosing between firms - that probably comes down to your personal preference and what practice area you want to do. If you want to do corporate or M&A, then you don't go to a firm that specializes in litigation, and so on and so forth. Best ways to research this information is on Chambers Associate, Vault, and even the firms' websites. Asking upperclassmen is very helpful too.

But if you're a 0L, worry first about grades. Get the horse, then get the cart. You won't have a good shot ITE with biglaw unless those grades are solid.

nymario
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby nymario » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:05 pm

^ is advice (albeit correct advice I agree with in total) from a rising 2L (who hasn't been to OCI yet) in a Biglaw lawyer question thread.
Last edited by nymario on Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

desertlaw
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby desertlaw » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:23 pm

Sorry Mario. I think what I said is basically stuff that all of the 2L's/3L's and young associates have said on here about getting into BigLaw. Do you disagree that grades are the most important thing? Feel free to point out what's wrong what my post. I was just trying to help the questioner with what seems to be common TLS knowledge.

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thesealocust
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:45 pm

Everything desertlaw wrote seems spot on to me.

desertlaw
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby desertlaw » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:56 pm

I was probably still out of place and got trigger-happy trying to help. My bad.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:36 am

I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:56 am

3rdYrLitigator wrote:I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.


Working this weekend? Seeing a lot people leave the firm lately? Mine is like a mass-exodus.

Anonymous User
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:03 am

PKSebben wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.


Working this weekend? Seeing a lot people leave the firm lately? Mine is like a mass-exodus.



Lots of people leaving=more law school hiring?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:00 pm

PKSebben wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.


Working this weekend? Seeing a lot people leave the firm lately? Mine is like a mass-exodus.


A bit but not all weekend. I haven't seen a lot of people leave lately, pretty much the same as usual. If you're seeing a mass-exodus, watch out.

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bllardw
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby bllardw » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:19 pm

How did you make it through law school in a relationship? any tips? I'll be starting my 1L year soon and I will be in a relationship throughout. Just trying to keep my future wife happy :)

How is biglaw on your relationship?tips?advice?

What has worked for you?

schooner
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:25 pm

This is an interesting thread. Thank you for offering your time and advice.

You wrote earlier that associates at all levels are asked to leave your firm all the time. When that happens, are they just summarily fired and forced to leave ("you've been laid off and have to leave in two weeks") or do they discreetly get an indefinite amount of time to look for another job first? Any adjustments to that process during this economy? Do you know where these dismissed associates at your firm usually ended up?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:27 pm

bllardw wrote:How did you make it through law school in a relationship? any tips? I'll be starting my 1L year soon and I will be in a relationship throughout. Just trying to keep my future wife happy :)

How is biglaw on your relationship?tips?advice?

What has worked for you?


My significant other is very understanding. I think the key is to make sure that you do make time for your significant other, and not make law school or your job your only priority. I work long hours a lot, but I also make time for my relationship and when I am really busy I make sure she understands it's not going to last forever. Also, leave your frustrations and stress at home, don't vent at home too often, it's hard to hear someone complaining all the time.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:30 pm

schooner wrote:This is an interesting thread. Thank you for offering your time and advice.

You wrote earlier that associates at all levels are asked to leave your firm all the time. When that happens, are they just summarily fired and forced to leave ("you've been laid off and have to leave in two weeks") or do they discreetly get an indefinite amount of time to look for another job first? Any adjustments to that process during this economy? Do you know where these dismissed associates at your firm usually ended up?


From what I understand it's generally a conversation like "you should be looking at other opportunities." I think the general understanding is you get 6 months and then they'll just fire you. I don't think they say that outright. I don't think they'll just say you have 2 weeks, unless it's a mass layoff deal or you are really a bad associate at least not at my firm. There didn't seem to be any adjustment due to the economy, people still got about 6 months to look. Associates ended up at smaller firms, peer firms, government, or out of law entirely, it really varies.

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PKSebben
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PKSebben » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:31 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.


Working this weekend? Seeing a lot people leave the firm lately? Mine is like a mass-exodus.


A bit but not all weekend. I haven't seen a lot of people leave lately, pretty much the same as usual. If you're seeing a mass-exodus, watch out.


My department is booming and we had three mid-levels leave last week, so I'm not worried about partner defection or stealths. We're not a very leveraged practice so departures kill us. I just think lateral markets are picking up perhaps. Maybe the reason my firm is shedding mids is that my V50ish firm has bigtime workloads but without bigtime comp / benes / exciting work to keep people around. We get paid market but bonus structure is obtuse and most are unhappy with it. I suspect people are ditching for either a) firms with less time requirements (and less pay) or b) somewhere where bonuses are less arbitrary. My firm did not pay a spring bonus, and people are fucking pissed.

For the other posters, I do not expect these people will be replaced by new hires.

schooner
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:18 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
schooner wrote:This is an interesting thread. Thank you for offering your time and advice.

You wrote earlier that associates at all levels are asked to leave your firm all the time. When that happens, are they just summarily fired and forced to leave ("you've been laid off and have to leave in two weeks") or do they discreetly get an indefinite amount of time to look for another job first? Any adjustments to that process during this economy? Do you know where these dismissed associates at your firm usually ended up?


From what I understand it's generally a conversation like "you should be looking at other opportunities." I think the general understanding is you get 6 months and then they'll just fire you. I don't think they say that outright. I don't think they'll just say you have 2 weeks, unless it's a mass layoff deal or you are really a bad associate at least not at my firm. There didn't seem to be any adjustment due to the economy, people still got about 6 months to look. Associates ended up at smaller firms, peer firms, government, or out of law entirely, it really varies.


Thank you for the answer. Of those associates who leave, about how many would you say do so voluntarily?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:16 pm

PKSebben wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
PKSebben wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:I was swamped for a while but I'm back taking questions for a bit on this holiday weekend.


Working this weekend? Seeing a lot people leave the firm lately? Mine is like a mass-exodus.


A bit but not all weekend. I haven't seen a lot of people leave lately, pretty much the same as usual. If you're seeing a mass-exodus, watch out.


My department is booming and we had three mid-levels leave last week, so I'm not worried about partner defection or stealths. We're not a very leveraged practice so departures kill us. I just think lateral markets are picking up perhaps. Maybe the reason my firm is shedding mids is that my V50ish firm has bigtime workloads but without bigtime comp / benes / exciting work to keep people around. We get paid market but bonus structure is obtuse and most are unhappy with it. I suspect people are ditching for either a) firms with less time requirements (and less pay) or b) somewhere where bonuses are less arbitrary. My firm did not pay a spring bonus, and people are fucking pissed.

For the other posters, I do not expect these people will be replaced by new hires.


The mid-level lateral market seems pretty hot right now. A lot of calls from headhunters and a few friends are making the switch. V50 that doesn't pay market (either bonus or salary) will find it hard to keep good mid-levels soon.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:17 pm

schooner wrote:
3rdYrLitigator wrote:
schooner wrote:This is an interesting thread. Thank you for offering your time and advice.

You wrote earlier that associates at all levels are asked to leave your firm all the time. When that happens, are they just summarily fired and forced to leave ("you've been laid off and have to leave in two weeks") or do they discreetly get an indefinite amount of time to look for another job first? Any adjustments to that process during this economy? Do you know where these dismissed associates at your firm usually ended up?


From what I understand it's generally a conversation like "you should be looking at other opportunities." I think the general understanding is you get 6 months and then they'll just fire you. I don't think they say that outright. I don't think they'll just say you have 2 weeks, unless it's a mass layoff deal or you are really a bad associate at least not at my firm. There didn't seem to be any adjustment due to the economy, people still got about 6 months to look. Associates ended up at smaller firms, peer firms, government, or out of law entirely, it really varies.


Thank you for the answer. Of those associates who leave, about how many would you say do so voluntarily?


Probably the majority. The firm counsels out the lowest performers, but it doesn't end up being a ton of people. Most people are leaving for other reasons.

KG89
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby KG89 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:59 pm

tag. good stuff.

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quakeroats
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby quakeroats » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:12 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
Probably the majority. The firm counsels out the lowest performers, but it doesn't end up being a ton of people. Most people are leaving for other reasons.


What do you mean by counsels out? Gives them a bad performance review and let's the associate connect the dots? Tells them they aren't cutting it and should resign? Tells them they're fired? Offers them an Of Counsel slot?




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