OCI- Post mortem results?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Would they pass on someone that they see themselves with hanging out after work from UCLA, on someone from Columbia who they know they will not sit down with to have lunch just because that person comes from Columbia. Give me a break! Both of the individuals can be trained and produce the same result.


It's really not about who can do the work-- there are a LOT of lawyers capable of doing the work that a biglaw associate does. There's even a few good lawyers that come out of Cooley. However, as an interviewer told me during one of my interviews, they hire more selectively at top schools because clients feel at ease that they will get better representation when the firm tells them that someone from Harvard will be working on there case, as oppose to when they tell the client someone from "TTT law school" will be working on their case, where they then think to themselves, "WTF law school did this guy go to, maybe I should go to a different law firm."

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:35 am

But if the name is what matters, how do UVA/Michigan place better than Georgetown? How do UVA/Michigan/NYU place on the west coast? I question how familiar BigLaw clients are with law school quality outside of YHS.

adamlippes
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:04 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:36 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:But if the name is what matters, how do UVA/Michigan place better than Georgetown? How do UVA/Michigan/NYU place on the west coast? I question how familiar BigLaw clients are with law school quality outside of YHS.


GC's have a general idea.

ziggysmarley
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:37 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby ziggysmarley » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:49 pm

adamlippes wrote:GC's have a general idea.


Many GCs went to the same elite law schools that make up Biglaw. Further, even if you are a non-JD in the upper echelons of management at a company that can pay 300-1000 dollars per hour on legal representation, then you probably are knowledgeable about the "best" law schools since you don't live under a rock and likely have some semblance of intelligence.

adamlippes
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:04 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:52 pm

ziggysmarley wrote:
adamlippes wrote:GC's have a general idea.


Many GCs went to the same elite law schools that make up Biglaw. Further, even if you are a non-JD in the upper echelons of management at a company that can pay 300-1000 dollars per hour on legal representation, then you probably are knowledgeable about the "best" law schools since you don't live under a rock and likely have some semblance of intelligence.


Are you disagreeing with me? It sounds like our posts are very much in agreement.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:13 pm

There is a bit more to it then better schools produce better talent and the clients know about it. What we have seen over the last decade was the rise of the Cravath model. Under this model firms hired the best talent from the best law schools then billed their clients MORE because of it. Clients responded by saying they bill more, they have top talent, they must be the best. Other firms lower on the prestige level soon saw the success of this model and you began to have a run on the top law schools with firms going deeper into the classes at top law schools than they had before the advent of the Cravath model to fill up their firms with top law students and thus increase the amount they could bill for that talent. It became the standard billing model for big law in major markets.

This is why we saw, in the heyday, starting salaries going up every year, firms had to pay more than the next firm to attract the top talent from top school so they could continue to bill clients more. Clinets were willing to pay the high fes for training new associates because the standard model was best law students do best work, so we have to pay to have the very best. It was a law students dream, firms fighting over their pedigree to be able to keep the Cravath model alive and justify what they charged clients.

The meltdown killed much of that. A few top firms can still justify the Cravath model , but most have found it unworkable in today’s economy. Likewise clients have becomes wise to this and no longer want to pay top dollar just to train top talent. They just are not demanding that X lawyers work on their projects because they are not willing to pay the premium for name brand talnt anymore in this economy.

The legal billing model is moving towards “value added” leagal services, flat fees, and discounts for large clients. None of that works to law students advantage anymore. We are seeing a twofold decline in OCI at top schools: One – fewer demand for legal services, Two – the death of the cravath model as the standard model meaning less demand to fill up entire firms with talent base on the name of the degree alone. There is still a demand for top students from top schools, but that demand is not going as low in the ranks as it did before because the Crvath model just does not work in most firms in today’s economy, so those firms that are ditching it can be more picky about who they do hire because they don’t need as many lawyers now, and they can’t bill more just because of the name of the lawyers degree. Ultimintly it is what the cleints demand and are willing to pay that is moving todays new market, firms are resonding to that by hiring less and being more demanding of who they hire and triming the fat in frims of those that don't produce becuase they have less vaule as a name now that cleints are expeting more in the way of vaule for thier legal services.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:17 pm

T-14 1L. rumors that less than 40% of the 2Ls are getting offers from OCI and career service is telling 1Ls to move into the library if we want any kind of job, public interest/government included.

User avatar
BradyToMoss
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:00 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby BradyToMoss » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:32 pm

I really can't believe how many times I hear "there are plenty of people who can do the work." Sure, plenty of people can DO the work, but it is about the quality of work they produce and how efficiently they do it. The simple fact is plenty of people can't do the work at the same level, and by in large those who got into better schools and performed better than their peers will produce a better work quality.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:59 pm

BradyToMoss wrote:I really can't believe how many times I hear "there are plenty of people who can do the work." Sure, plenty of people can DO the work, but it is about the quality of work they produce and how efficiently they do it. The simple fact is plenty of people can't do the work at the same level, and by in large those who got into better schools and performed better than their peers will produce a better work quality.


There is a point at which this is probably true, but it’s not your first two years at a big firm. Any one CAN write memos. You’re not doing any earth shattering legal work at this point. There is a reason why big firms hire large classes of 1As, they expect many of them to not make it through the first 4 years. The good ones will, but your really can’t tell who that is going to be over a summer SA, everyone has potential, but not everyone will live up to that potential or be able to make the transition from school work to leagle work.

User avatar
M51
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:59 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby M51 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:38 pm

Matthies wrote:There is a bit more to it then better schools produce better talent and the clients know about it. What we have seen over the last decade was the rise of the Cravath model. Under this model firms hired the best talent from the best law schools then billed their clients MORE because of it. Clients responded by saying they bill more, they have top talent, they must be the best. Other firms lower on the prestige level soon saw the success of this model and you began to have a run on the top law schools with firms going deeper into the classes at top law schools than they had before the advent of the Cravath model to fill up their firms with top law students and thus increase the amount they could bill for that talent. It became the standard billing model for big law in major markets.

This is why we saw, in the heyday, starting salaries going up every year, firms had to pay more than the next firm to attract the top talent from top school so they could continue to bill clients more. Clinets were willing to pay the high fes for training new associates because the standard model was best law students do best work, so we have to pay to have the very best. It was a law students dream, firms fighting over their pedigree to be able to keep the Cravath model alive and justify what they charged clients.

The meltdown killed much of that. A few top firms can still justify the Cravath model , but most have found it unworkable in today’s economy. Likewise clients have becomes wise to this and no longer want to pay top dollar just to train top talent. They just are not demanding that X lawyers work on their projects because they are not willing to pay the premium for name brand talnt anymore in this economy.

The legal billing model is moving towards “value added” leagal services, flat fees, and discounts for large clients. None of that works to law students advantage anymore. We are seeing a twofold decline in OCI at top schools: One – fewer demand for legal services, Two – the death of the cravath model as the standard model meaning less demand to fill up entire firms with talent base on the name of the degree alone. There is still a demand for top students from top schools, but that demand is not going as low in the ranks as it did before because the Crvath model just does not work in most firms in today’s economy, so those firms that are ditching it can be more picky about who they do hire because they don’t need as many lawyers now, and they can’t bill more just because of the name of the lawyers degree. Ultimintly it is what the cleints demand and are willing to pay that is moving todays new market, firms are resonding to that by hiring less and being more demanding of who they hire and triming the fat in frims of those that don't produce becuase they have less vaule as a name now that cleints are expeting more in the way of vaule for thier legal services.


Sort of... the Cravath model has been around since the early 1900s. So, it's not this new bubble thing that burst. Also, it's not like lower ranked law schools are having good OCIs. So, I don't see why you get to the conclusion you do.

adamlippes
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:04 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:06 pm

Sort of... the Cravath model has been around since the early 1900s. So, it's not this new bubble thing that burst. Also, it's not like lower ranked law schools are having good OCIs. So, I don't see why you get to the conclusion you do.


Technically, the "Cravath System" has been around since 1906.

Edit: NM, misread your post. Thought it said early 1990s.
Last edited by adamlippes on Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:13 pm

M51 wrote:
Matthies wrote:There is a bit more to it then better schools produce better talent and the clients know about it. What we have seen over the last decade was the rise of the Cravath model. Under this model firms hired the best talent from the best law schools then billed their clients MORE because of it. Clients responded by saying they bill more, they have top talent, they must be the best. Other firms lower on the prestige level soon saw the success of this model and you began to have a run on the top law schools with firms going deeper into the classes at top law schools than they had before the advent of the Cravath model to fill up their firms with top law students and thus increase the amount they could bill for that talent. It became the standard billing model for big law in major markets.

This is why we saw, in the heyday, starting salaries going up every year, firms had to pay more than the next firm to attract the top talent from top school so they could continue to bill clients more. Clinets were willing to pay the high fes for training new associates because the standard model was best law students do best work, so we have to pay to have the very best. It was a law students dream, firms fighting over their pedigree to be able to keep the Cravath model alive and justify what they charged clients.

The meltdown killed much of that. A few top firms can still justify the Cravath model , but most have found it unworkable in today’s economy. Likewise clients have becomes wise to this and no longer want to pay top dollar just to train top talent. They just are not demanding that X lawyers work on their projects because they are not willing to pay the premium for name brand talnt anymore in this economy.

The legal billing model is moving towards “value added” leagal services, flat fees, and discounts for large clients. None of that works to law students advantage anymore. We are seeing a twofold decline in OCI at top schools: One – fewer demand for legal services, Two – the death of the cravath model as the standard model meaning less demand to fill up entire firms with talent base on the name of the degree alone. There is still a demand for top students from top schools, but that demand is not going as low in the ranks as it did before because the Crvath model just does not work in most firms in today’s economy, so those firms that are ditching it can be more picky about who they do hire because they don’t need as many lawyers now, and they can’t bill more just because of the name of the lawyers degree. Ultimintly it is what the cleints demand and are willing to pay that is moving todays new market, firms are resonding to that by hiring less and being more demanding of who they hire and triming the fat in frims of those that don't produce becuase they have less vaule as a name now that cleints are expeting more in the way of vaule for thier legal services.


Sort of... the Cravath model has been around since the early 1900s. So, it's not this new bubble thing that burst. Also, it's not like lower ranked law schools are having good OCIs. So, I don't see why you get to the conclusion you do.


I said nothing about lower ranked schools, not sure where you got that from. WhatI said is that there is lower OCI demand at schools that traditionally placed a large number of students by OCI. Hence, in part, why we are seeing those lower down the class rank not getting as many screening interviews as they did as recently as 2007. Less need, crappy economy, coupled with firms turning away from the Cravath model means less hiring deeper into the classes as we used to see.

And yes Cravath started the model in the 1990s, but it was not until the 2000s that many firms started immolating them and raising their billings according. You did not see the salary wars start to break out until the early to mid 200os because up till then the top talent went to the top firms who paid the most, but then new firms got in on the action, raised rates and raised starting salaries then you started seeing many firms make large bumps each year to attract the best talent, and law student has more chances to make top salary then just the few really top firms of the 1990s. That, for many reasons, including firms changing their billing staragies, are combining to restrict the amount of opportunities in top firms. Its not just “the economy” is my point.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:18 pm

adamlippes wrote:
Sort of... the Cravath model has been around since the early 1900s. So, it's not this new bubble thing that burst. Also, it's not like lower ranked law schools are having good OCIs. So, I don't see why you get to the conclusion you do.


Technically, the "Cravath System" has been around since 1906.


meh, the frim, not the model, the model really took off in the late 1990s boom and the eraly 2000s. It was change in billing that changed the whole way frims played the game. I wish Iknew what the next great model was going to be, experts are saying its this "value added" thing, but I just don't know how you can get a vaule added billing system to support a 1000 lawyer frim. Seesm counterintuative. Its certainly not the death of biglaw, but the system is changing for sure. Even if the economy bounces back, I don't think we are going to see yeasr like 2006/2007 hiring/pay anytime soon. What with this 3 tier asscoaite salery some firsm are going to.

adamlippes
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:04 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby adamlippes » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:30 pm

Matthies,

I'm sitting here with a book on Cravath. It was published in 1983, and quotes an article on "The Cravath System," which was published in 1948. Unless the authors went in the future, the Cravath System definitely precedes 1990.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Matthies » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:34 pm

adamlippes wrote:Matthies,

I'm sitting here with a book on Cravath. It was published in 1983, and quotes an article on "The Cravath System," which was published in 1948. Unless the authors went in the future, the Cravath System definitely precedes 1990.


Yea, they have allways hired the best of the best and billed for it, but the model was not picked up and emmulated by a large number of other firsm until the late 1990s, and its did not become the staderd big law billing model until then. They pionired it, but the magority of firms did not jump on the badn waggon until the market made it posible. BTW what book is it I'd like to check it out.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273117
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:05 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would they pass on someone that they see themselves with hanging out after work from UCLA, on someone from Columbia who they know they will not sit down with to have lunch just because that person comes from Columbia. Give me a break! Both of the individuals can be trained and produce the same result.


It's really not about who can do the work-- there are a LOT of lawyers capable of doing the work that a biglaw associate does. There's even a few good lawyers that come out of Cooley. However, as an interviewer told me during one of my interviews, they hire more selectively at top schools because clients feel at ease that they will get better representation when the firm tells them that someone from Harvard will be working on there case, as oppose to when they tell the client someone from "TTT law school" will be working on their case, where they then think to themselves, "WTF law school did this guy go to, maybe I should go to a different law firm."


That's how you feel. That is not the general consensus. I was checking out some of the top firms web sites, and under lawyer biography you rarely find anything about what schools they went to etc. (Skadden)

I highly doubt when a law firm starts of their conversation with a prospective client the representative of the firm will say and this attorney went to Harvard. It just doesn't work like that.

Once you gain that work experiences it will be all about the work; your past achievements etc.

You're not going to be 35-40 yrs old and start with the sentence and I went to Harvard, now how can I help you?

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would they pass on someone that they see themselves with hanging out after work from UCLA, on someone from Columbia who they know they will not sit down with to have lunch just because that person comes from Columbia. Give me a break! Both of the individuals can be trained and produce the same result.


It's really not about who can do the work-- there are a LOT of lawyers capable of doing the work that a biglaw associate does. There's even a few good lawyers that come out of Cooley. However, as an interviewer told me during one of my interviews, they hire more selectively at top schools because clients feel at ease that they will get better representation when the firm tells them that someone from Harvard will be working on there case, as oppose to when they tell the client someone from "TTT law school" will be working on their case, where they then think to themselves, "WTF law school did this guy go to, maybe I should go to a different law firm."


That's how you feel. That is not the general consensus. I was checking out some of the top firms web sites, and under lawyer biography you rarely find anything about what schools they went to etc. (Skadden)

I highly doubt when a law firm starts of their conversation with a prospective client the representative of the firm will say and this attorney went to Harvard. It just doesn't work like that.

Once you gain that work experiences it will be all about the work; your past achievements etc.

You're not going to be 35-40 yrs old and start with the sentence and I went to Harvard, now how can I help you?


A: Learn how to read the anon rules.
B: What in God's name are you talking about? Lawyer bios nearly universally include the school someone graduated from.
C: Yes, work product is a lot more important after you get that first job. The school you went to plays a huge part in determining where that first experience will be. It doesn't matter how well you do at "the law offices local solo practitioner, esq."; the odds are stacked against people attempting to 'lateral' up to the larger firms.

Mark71121
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:39 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Mark71121 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would they pass on someone that they see themselves with hanging out after work from UCLA, on someone from Columbia who they know they will not sit down with to have lunch just because that person comes from Columbia. Give me a break! Both of the individuals can be trained and produce the same result.


It's really not about who can do the work-- there are a LOT of lawyers capable of doing the work that a biglaw associate does. There's even a few good lawyers that come out of Cooley. However, as an interviewer told me during one of my interviews, they hire more selectively at top schools because clients feel at ease that they will get better representation when the firm tells them that someone from Harvard will be working on there case, as oppose to when they tell the client someone from "TTT law school" will be working on their case, where they then think to themselves, "WTF law school did this guy go to, maybe I should go to a different law firm."


That's how you feel. That is not the general consensus. I was checking out some of the top firms web sites, and under lawyer biography you rarely find anything about what schools they went to etc. (Skadden)

I highly doubt when a law firm starts of their conversation with a prospective client the representative of the firm will say and this attorney went to Harvard. It just doesn't work like that.

Once you gain that work experiences it will be all about the work; your past achievements etc.

You're not going to be 35-40 yrs old and start with the sentence and I went to Harvard, now how can I help you?


this entire post is hilarious

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby observationalist » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:52 pm

The presentation we had last week from partners at two different firms (one biglaw one midlaw) was that the billable hour and the large starting salaries are both going away. Their general take was that firms are going to move back to the apprenticeship model, at various degrees of leverage. Some firms could have each partner with one or more associate apprentices. New openings would open up only as apprentices either get promoted to partner or as through attrition/forced attrition. To get to the one-to-one apprentice model, small firms will basically continue hiring the way they do now (and some midsized firms). But for the ones who typically have large summer classes, we're going to see a shift towards large first-year classes, working for what the partners called "significantly reduced rates," and then partners could pick and choose their apprentices from the large first-year class. Everyone else would be sent packing.

If this model picks up steam it will at least keep the % employed at graduation higher than it would be without the model. But starting salaries will be a lot lower, and job security will be worse, and new lawyers will essentially spend a year after law school competing with each other for a few permanent positions. Those who make it through the one-year trial period will benefit from close partner-associate mentorships and the knowledge that the firm views them as being potentially valuable.

We asked our Career Services dean what the shift to this hybrid apprenticeship model means for law schools that charge tuition... I think she understood where this is heading. Schools will have to find ways to cut costs and lower tuition if they want to stay competitive in this model.

What's odd is that the 3-year JD program originally came into being to replace the standard apprenticeship model. Seems to me the new model should look something like W&L's 2-year in class, 1-year in work program. Students would then only be paying for two years of schooling and would receive the reduced salary 3L year. A JD would cost more than 1/3 less than it does currently (1/3 + apprenticeship salary).

A lot of kinks to work out, but there's at least some appeal to this shift. Where it leaves those of us in the middle is anyone's guess... maybe an expiring amendment to let a bunch of us discharge loans in bankruptcy??

tiesto82
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:44 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby tiesto82 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:46 pm

My god!!! This is honestly the most worthless string of posts. Bottom line is... no matter what school you are at, take it seriously. The reason there is a slew of folks on here speculating and pissing and moaning about hiring rates possibly going down at the T-14's is because a percentage of people stop taking it seriously once they get there and float in cruise control expecting a job no matter where they rank or how well they perform. The sense of entitlement is disgusting.

From my work experience I know alot of people from T-14's who are overshadowed by there "TTT" counterparts in every realm of the profession. I have seen this with judicial clerks, firms, and public interest/government positions. Gaining admittance into a T-14 means that you have a vast amount of raw intelligence. But that doesn't mean you can merely throw it into cruise control for three years and honestly just expect things to be handed to you (with the exception of a handful of people who are simply that smart).

When push comes to shove, if you were outside the Top 20% and you do not have a SA position this summer then the majority of people have no one to blame but themselves. But if there is anyone out there who still believes that life just hands to you without any effort or that you ever reach a level where you can stop trying then you have alot more to worry about than not having an offer. I can understand the gripes from anyone who legitimately worked hard and took all of 1L seriously and did not receive an offer but seriously instead of carrying on these conversations about who should be hired and how things are going to turn out for the Class of 2012, you might want to spend the time studying and improving your own lot.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:34 pm

tiesto82 wrote:My god!!! This is honestly the most worthless string of posts. Bottom line is... no matter what school you are at, take it seriously. The reason there is a slew of folks on here speculating and pissing and moaning about hiring rates possibly going down at the T-14's is because a percentage of people stop taking it seriously once they get there and float in cruise control expecting a job no matter where they rank or how well they perform. The sense of entitlement is disgusting.

From my work experience I know alot of people from T-14's who are overshadowed by there "TTT" counterparts in every realm of the profession. I have seen this with judicial clerks, firms, and public interest/government positions. Gaining admittance into a T-14 means that you have a vast amount of raw intelligence. But that doesn't mean you can merely throw it into cruise control for three years and honestly just expect things to be handed to you (with the exception of a handful of people who are simply that smart).

When push comes to shove, if you were outside the Top 20% and you do not have a SA position this summer then the majority of people have no one to blame but themselves. But if there is anyone out there who still believes that life just hands to you without any effort or that you ever reach a level where you can stop trying then you have alot more to worry about than not having an offer. I can understand the gripes from anyone who legitimately worked hard and took all of 1L seriously and did not receive an offer but seriously instead of carrying on these conversations about who should be hired and how things are going to turn out for the Class of 2012, you might want to spend the time studying and improving your own lot.



As you mentioned, the majority of people who get in to the T14 are going to be quite intelligent. Furthermore, most people aren't going to go in to a T14 and feel like they can slack off and still expect a fantastic job. That said, no matter how hard you work, 80% of the class is going to miss that top 20% cutoff. For that matter, 50% of the class is going to miss the top half. Some of those folks will be there because of laziness or because they don't have a legal mind--most of them will be there because of a combination of the sheer luck that plays a large role in law school grades and the fact that the competition in the T14 is composed of an extremely high level of intelligence and skill.

Many people went to the T14 because, in general, the "top 20% or no job for you" rules didn't apply. Had they known what hiring was going to be like, they likely would have taken the full rides they had available at other schools. The majority of people I've encountered have done nothing like "throwing [their] hands up and expecting things to be handed to [them]." Now, you can argue that the biglaw hiring model was always messed up, that T14 grads never should have had the opportunities they had, that biglaw never should have paid so much--you can argue all of that, and I would agree with you. That doesn't change the fact that the decisions people made to attend these schools were based on reasonable expectations.

"Reasonable expectations" and "entitlement" are very different things. People in the class of 2010/2011 paid full price at T14 schools--a cost which, including interest accrued while in school, and CoL, may easily surpass $200k before you even consider the largely non-deductible interest payments in repayment--with the reasonable expectation that they would get employment that makes paying off that kind of massive debt possible. The change in the legal environment is going to ruin the financial lives of many people, and it is a ruin, unlike most investments gone awry, from which there is no escape--no bankruptcy, no foreclosure on an otherwise nonrecourse loan, no fresh start. This is the kind of financial ruin that really can ruin someone's life in its entirety. You're really going to call that "whining?" You honestly believe that most people who get in to top schools stop taking it seriously once they're in? You honestly believe that these problems would go away if people stopped posting about them because, somehow, people could direct their energy to their work and end up ranking higher in their class? Give me a break.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:41 pm

observationalist wrote:The presentation we had last week from partners at two different firms (one biglaw one midlaw) was that the billable hour and the large starting salaries are both going away. Their general take was that firms are going to move back to the apprenticeship model, at various degrees of leverage. Some firms could have each partner with one or more associate apprentices. New openings would open up only as apprentices either get promoted to partner or as through attrition/forced attrition. To get to the one-to-one apprentice model, small firms will basically continue hiring the way they do now (and some midsized firms). But for the ones who typically have large summer classes, we're going to see a shift towards large first-year classes, working for what the partners called "significantly reduced rates," and then partners could pick and choose their apprentices from the large first-year class. Everyone else would be sent packing.

If this model picks up steam it will at least keep the % employed at graduation higher than it would be without the model. But starting salaries will be a lot lower, and job security will be worse, and new lawyers will essentially spend a year after law school competing with each other for a few permanent positions. Those who make it through the one-year trial period will benefit from close partner-associate mentorships and the knowledge that the firm views them as being potentially valuable.

We asked our Career Services dean what the shift to this hybrid apprenticeship model means for law schools that charge tuition... I think she understood where this is heading. Schools will have to find ways to cut costs and lower tuition if they want to stay competitive in this model.

What's odd is that the 3-year JD program originally came into being to replace the standard apprenticeship model. Seems to me the new model should look something like W&L's 2-year in class, 1-year in work program. Students would then only be paying for two years of schooling and would receive the reduced salary 3L year. A JD would cost more than 1/3 less than it does currently (1/3 + apprenticeship salary).

A lot of kinks to work out, but there's at least some appeal to this shift. Where it leaves those of us in the middle is anyone's guess... maybe an expiring amendment to let a bunch of us discharge loans in bankruptcy??
Interesting. Did they give you a timeline?

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby observationalist » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:19 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
observationalist wrote:The presentation we had last week from partners at two different firms (one biglaw one midlaw) was that the billable hour and the large starting salaries are both going away. Their general take was that firms are going to move back to the apprenticeship model, at various degrees of leverage. Some firms could have each partner with one or more associate apprentices. New openings would open up only as apprentices either get promoted to partner or as through attrition/forced attrition. To get to the one-to-one apprentice model, small firms will basically continue hiring the way they do now (and some midsized firms). But for the ones who typically have large summer classes, we're going to see a shift towards large first-year classes, working for what the partners called "significantly reduced rates," and then partners could pick and choose their apprentices from the large first-year class. Everyone else would be sent packing.

If this model picks up steam it will at least keep the % employed at graduation higher than it would be without the model. But starting salaries will be a lot lower, and job security will be worse, and new lawyers will essentially spend a year after law school competing with each other for a few permanent positions. Those who make it through the one-year trial period will benefit from close partner-associate mentorships and the knowledge that the firm views them as being potentially valuable.

We asked our Career Services dean what the shift to this hybrid apprenticeship model means for law schools that charge tuition... I think she understood where this is heading. Schools will have to find ways to cut costs and lower tuition if they want to stay competitive in this model.

What's odd is that the 3-year JD program originally came into being to replace the standard apprenticeship model. Seems to me the new model should look something like W&L's 2-year in class, 1-year in work program. Students would then only be paying for two years of schooling and would receive the reduced salary 3L year. A JD would cost more than 1/3 less than it does currently (1/3 + apprenticeship salary).

A lot of kinks to work out, but there's at least some appeal to this shift. Where it leaves those of us in the middle is anyone's guess... maybe an expiring amendment to let a bunch of us discharge loans in bankruptcy??
Interesting. Did they give you a timeline?


One of them said he expects the market will be like it is now (reduced total hiring numbers at six-figure salaries) for at least the next 3-4 years, until firms figure out how to change their business model and incorporate the change into their recruiting. He mentioned looking to the large NY firms to be the first movers... once they do it, so can everyone else without having to worry about a loss in talent. I certainly don't think Howrey is a first mover but they're doing something similar right now for the folks in my year (2010). The difference would be that they plan on hiring everyone after the reduced first-year, and this partner was saying it's more of a temp-to-hire position.

Regardless, he said the idea of paying a recent graduate a lot of money before they've proven they will add value and with no guarantee they'll stay with the firm is ridiculous from a business perspective, even if the person's working a lot of hours. Hours that are actually billed to the client will matter in evaluating new hires; hours billed will not. So his advice to us was figure out how to make ourselves valuable to the firm. In-house counsel now require efficiency in their legal costs, which means firms must add value and do it faster than other firms. At the same time, most new associates leave before firms realize a profit on the first two-three years of their salary. (I know this is up for debate and firms might claim that new associates aren't profitable until 3 or 4 years out even if it's false, but it's at least possible he's on the mark). Realistically, the only way large firms can get value out of new law graduates in the first year is to pay them a lot less, make them work the same hours, and label it a 'trial' period. If they bill enough to the client to make a profit, then a partner can pick them up and start feeding them work and paying them a higher salary. The new recruits who are the best at getting things done quickly and making the clients happy will stick around, and might actually see a much higher chance of making partner than the current system. Neither partner mentioned what happens to the 'others' but I suppose that's not their call.

Both partners viewed this shift as a good thing for the legal profession. I don't disagree with them, but the one thing they didn't address was the pressure schools now have to make legal education affordable so that any of us would want to work for them as opposed to doing public interest or government work at the same salary (at least in the first year). Tuition reduction has to come next.

The plan:
1) Corporations put pressure on inhouse counsels to lower their legal costs
2) inhouse counsels put pressure on biglaw to charge less through value-added fee schedules
3) biglaw decides to pay new law graduates less money to make it worth their while
4) law schools figure out how to charge less money for their JDs by cutting costs
5) profiTTT.

Oblomov
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:16 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby Oblomov » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:39 pm

Matthies wrote:but it was not until the 2000s that many firms started immolating them and raising their billings according


Yeah, well there is a lot of immolation in these firms.

toaster2
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 11:55 am

Re: OCI- Post mortem results?

Postby toaster2 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:40 pm

.
Last edited by toaster2 on Tue May 25, 2010 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.