White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

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MTal
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White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:52 pm

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/ ... eed-raise/

In other words, you're worth only what you bring in. Many of you don't realize that being a lawyer is many times nothing more than a glorified sales job. Nobody cares if you went to Yale if you don't have any, or can't bring in any clients.

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vamedic03
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:03 pm

MTal wrote:http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/02/16/lawyers-say-farewell-to-that-guaranteed-raise/

In other words, you're worth only what you bring in. Many of you don't realize that being a lawyer is many times nothing more than a glorified sales job. Nobody cares if you went to Yale if you don't have any, or can't bring in any clients.


So, you take an article about Baker Botts, Orrick, and Reed Smith moving from lockstep compensation to a merit/performance based system and turn it into a 'chicken-little / the sky is falling' argument that law is a glorified sales job?

Look, it's nice if you want to post relevant articles but don't contort the premises to match your own prerogatives.

8ballistic
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby 8ballistic » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:05 pm

If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?

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MTal
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:10 pm

8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?

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BruceWayne
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:10 pm

In MTals's defense (and believe me I can't stand the guy) Wilmerhale started this a while back and Jones Day has always done it. It seems to be a trend. The lockstep model is something that no other business follows and many law firms seem to be deciding that it isn't working. That said lockstep is clearly better for associates, but in a sense it's not a very realistic model when the economy isn't booming. Considering that every other profession doesn't do lockstep, if law firms dropped it it wouldn't be the end of the world.

As far as the sales thing, I'm pretty sure most people already knew that. And really that only applies if you can make it to senior associate and then partner status. Any sort of non technical/math/science job is essentially a "sales" job. That's not especially enlightening information.

8ballistic
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby 8ballistic » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:13 pm

MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?

So you can only make analogies, but not understand others.

bdubs
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby bdubs » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:14 pm

BruceWayne wrote:In MTals's defense (and believe me I can't stand the guy) Wilmerhale started this a while back and Jones Day has always done it. It seems to be a trend. The lockstep model is something that no other business follows and many law firms seem to be deciding that it isn't working. That said lockstep is clearly better for associates, but in a sense it's not a very realistic model when the economy isn't booming. Considering that every other profession doesn't do lockstep, if law firms dropped it it wouldn't be the end of the world.

As far as the sales thing, I'm pretty sure most people already knew that. And really that only applies if you can make it to senior associate and then partner status. Any sort of non technical/math/science job is essentially a "sales" job. That's not especially enlightening information.


This doesn't keep MBB consulting firms from providing good compensation. Lock step is not good for the best associates in the way that a union is not good for the best employees. The more that well regarded firms take the individualistic and less collectivist route, the better it will be for everyone.

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BruceWayne
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:19 pm

bdubs wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:In MTals's defense (and believe me I can't stand the guy) Wilmerhale started this a while back and Jones Day has always done it. It seems to be a trend. The lockstep model is something that no other business follows and many law firms seem to be deciding that it isn't working. That said lockstep is clearly better for associates, but in a sense it's not a very realistic model when the economy isn't booming. Considering that every other profession doesn't do lockstep, if law firms dropped it it wouldn't be the end of the world.

As far as the sales thing, I'm pretty sure most people already knew that. And really that only applies if you can make it to senior associate and then partner status. Any sort of non technical/math/science job is essentially a "sales" job. That's not especially enlightening information.


This doesn't keep MBB consulting firms from providing good compensation. Lock step is not good for the best associates in the way that a union is not good for the best employees. The more that well regarded firms take the individualistic and less collectivist route, the better it will be for everyone.


I wasn't disagreeing/agreeing with the bolded. Providing or not providing good compensation isn't a problem intrinsic to merit based pay.

I will say that there is a huge problem with your "best associate" comment though. "Best associate" is almost entirely subjective. A lot of that comes down to who likes who etc. And a lot of that is influeneced by race, sex, class etc. In a profession like law that is one of the most sexist, prejudice, and elitist in existence, that's a really bad thing for a lot of people.

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Adjudicator
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:21 pm

MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


lol, contradicting your own first post. Fail.

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MTal
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:24 pm

Adjudicator wrote:
MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


lol, contradicting your own first post. Fail.


I had no idea it was impossible to sell a service...thanks for the enlightenment.

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Adjudicator
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:26 pm

MTal wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:
MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


lol, contradicting your own first post. Fail.


I had no idea it was impossible to sell a service...thanks for the enlightenment.


But apparently you can provide a service while also being nothing more than a glorified salesman?

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MTal
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:27 pm

Adjudicator wrote:
MTal wrote:I had no idea it was impossible to sell a service...thanks for the enlightenment.


But apparently you can provide a service while also being nothing more than a glorified salesman?


Of course you can, but that's not what the vast majority of law is about. You have to bring in clients, otherwise you are worthless to a firm.

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fatduck
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:28 pm

MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


So you get paid based on the quality of the service you provide?

No. Fucking. Way.

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vanwinkle
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:31 pm

Last year, the American Bar Association set up a commission to study the recession's impact on the legal profession. Its chair, Allan J. Tanenbaum, says that cost pressures on law firms pre-dated the economy's downturn. But the pressures came to the fore, he says, when the 2008 law school graduate class suffered from 80% unemployment.

How is this line from the article not the actual focus of debate here?

bdubs
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby bdubs » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:34 pm

BruceWayne wrote:I wasn't disagreeing/agreeing with the bolded. Providing or not providing good compensation isn't a problem intrinsic to merit based pay.

I will say that there is a huge problem with your "best associate" comment though. "Best associate" is almost entirely subjective. A lot of that comes down to who likes who etc. And a lot of that is influeneced by race, sex, class etc. In a profession like law that is one of the most sexist, prejudice, and elitist in existence, that's a really bad thing for a lot of people.


What you are saying is true of almost any profession. I would also quibble with the statement that law is one of the most prejudiced professions in existence given its bizarre fascination with racial and other quantifiable diversity to the point of a fault.

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MTal
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:35 pm

fatduck wrote:
MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


So you get paid based on the quality of the service you provide?

No. Fucking. Way.


No, you get paid for BRINGING IN CLIENTS! Which only in part depends on the quality of your service.

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fatduck
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:37 pm

MTal wrote:
fatduck wrote:
MTal wrote:
8ballistic wrote:If it's a glorified sales job, who makes the product?


There is no product. Law is a...umm...service based profession?


So you get paid based on the quality of the service you provide?

No. Fucking. Way.


No, you get paid for BRINGING IN CLIENTS! Which only in part depends on the quality of your service.


I'm legitimately wondering if you've ever been employed.

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vanwinkle
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:38 pm

MTal wrote:No, you get paid for BRINGING IN CLIENTS! Which only in part depends on the quality of your service.

Don't you actually get paid, for, you know, doing the work those clients are paying you to do?

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Adjudicator
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:38 pm

MTal wrote:No, you get paid for BRINGING IN CLIENTS! Which only in part depends on the quality of your service.


:lol: Using CAPS now? I guess us poor dumbs can't read and understand your brilliant posts without the help of CAPS? Thank you sir!

8ballistic
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby 8ballistic » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:40 pm

So by MTal's definition any service profession without a guaranteed stream of clients is a glorified sales job.
Last edited by 8ballistic on Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nogameisfair
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby Nogameisfair » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:44 pm

Why do we still reply to this guy?

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kalvano
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:09 pm

MTal wrote:Many of you don't realize that being a lawyer is many times nothing more than a glorified sales job.



I've had a sales job. It's nothing like that.

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beachbum
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby beachbum » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:10 pm

Nogameisfair wrote:Why do we still reply to this guy?

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MTal
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby MTal » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
MTal wrote:No, you get paid for BRINGING IN CLIENTS! Which only in part depends on the quality of your service.

Don't you actually get paid, for, you know, doing the work those clients are paying you to do?


Ideally that would be the case, but in the real world it isn't. You could be a brilliant aspy type lawyer and have all the relevant statutes and and rules memorized with the ability to recall them at a moments notice. Howevever, if you can't convince potential to clients to bring in business and then manage those relationships well once they do come in, all that knowledge you have isn't worth anything. Clients will choose to go with the dumber lawyer who is confident and outgoing than a brilliant aspy type lawyer who doesn't inspire confidence in himself with others.

too old for this sh*
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Re: White shoe firms dumping lockstep raises

Postby too old for this sh* » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:44 pm

MTal wrote:
Adjudicator wrote:
MTal wrote:I had no idea it was impossible to sell a service...thanks for the enlightenment.


But apparently you can provide a service while also being nothing more than a glorified salesman?


Of course you can, but that's not what the vast majority of law is about. You have to bring in clients, otherwise you are worthless to a firm.


It is not even about value to a FIRM. Even the solo has to be in a position to sell themselves (not to be confused with whoring themselves out for a fee). Example: prospective client calls about a post-conviction matter. That initial contact is a big part of where we sell ourselves to them on why it makes sense for them to drop a large sum of money in our office as opposed to dropping only a few thousand somewhere else.

A large part of daily business is going to be involved with the whole 'people person' component. Clients will tolerate a measure of snarkiness but they expect results and they DO expect their attorney(s) to have some semblance of a personality.

on edit...wow, did I actually just agree with the general tenor of an mtal post? damn I am getting soft in my old age...
Last edited by too old for this sh* on Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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