Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

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sunynp
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sunynp » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:04 pm

I think it is great when people give advice to an experienced lawyer. Even better when is is to a practitioner who posted a free sample demand letter at another poster's request. He thought it would be a helpful writing sample, to help people get jobs.

It makes everyone look extra smart and not douchey at all! Good work!

I was hoping he might set up his own thread so people can ask him questions. You don't know how many of the posters or lurkers here will end up trying to get a job from firms like his. Any advice he can give these posters will be an asset. If you disagree, there was a post yesterday from someone who is top 1/3 of a school in the 20s. This person just took a small firm summer job at $12 or so an hour and the firm is a 70 mile commute. (And the firm won't be hiring any permanent position.) People like this are going to need job advice that no one here is qualified to give.

sillyboots
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:15 pm

Alright, fine, I deleted my last post and give up, I won't push the question any further, but I genuinely wanted to know if using stiff language is tactical or people actually consider it just good writing form, or even if I'm the only one who finds it stiff. Before seeing his demand letter, I honestly thought you would never use "said" in a sample writing, so it surprised me and I wanted to clear up my confusion about it (i.e. okay in general, or just okay in demand letter context, etc.). I got a pretty crappy legal research/writing grade, so checking my writing intuitions and getting the thoughts behind people's writing styles that I'd normaly avoid has become relevant to my interests. Anyway, good luck to everyone who is in the small/midsize firm hunt, and hopefully this guy does make a post for everyone's benefit.
Last edited by sillyboots on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:17 pm

I think the people who really only care about the word choice are people who are jobless with "bluebook expert" on their resumes.

I don't think the point is to get every comma correct in a letter. I think the point is to show you know your facts and the law to scare the shit out of the landlord, both of which are communicated well in the letter.


Exactly. Another thing is that you're often sending an insurance carrier (i do plaintiff work only) a letter of rep, and in those cases you also combine it into a brief demand/position letter, often citing some statutes/ law, etc. That way when/if they fwd. the letter to counsel, the defense lawyer has an overview of what's going on and what arguments you will likely put in your summon/complaint (if it gets that far).

You also request a copy of the insurance policy in the letter of rep so you can see if what you plan to sue for is even covered, what policy limits are, etc. It's usually best to send the letter of rep as a "package" which includes any items the plaintiff gave you (contracts, estimates, hospital bills, photos, etc). I always put photos on a CD as JPEG files and enclose 2 burned copies so they can send one right out to their counsel too.

By doing it the way I described, you're making the process very easy and efficient for the adjuster, which helps hurry along settlement. So many lawyers "trickle" shit out to adjusters in fits & starts, then wonder why they have no cash flow from settlements coming in. Adjusters are the most overworked and underpaid people on Earth, so try to make their lives easy and don't treat them like an obnoxious prick, or they will NEVER call you back. In 90%+ of cases, it's just easier to settle with them rather than go thru the misery of a summons & complaint, depositions, etc. I believe in NY something like 98% of civil cases settle before trial, so getting "trial experience" is really not very important. Most trial lawyers are older guys who will try cases per diem for a cut of the fee, and most small offices thus "outsource" that aspect of practice, since trials also consume massive amounts of time that is better spent hustling new business. A guy with a tough trial reputation will usually force a settlement after jury selection anyway, so a lot of these "trial" guys really just coast on reputation and probably haven't taken one to verdict in years (unless it was a really heavy case). As a young lawyer, take trial experience if it's offered to you, but don't think it's going to be a big "selling point" down the road, unless you build a 20+ year reputation of getting excellent results and are not a total pig on the fee split. The trial guy we use is 72 years old and takes 1/4 of the fee if he settles post jury selection and 40% if he takes it thru to verdict. If he loses we pay him a flat fee for his time (but of course we don't send him cases that we think are losers- those puppies have to SETTLE).

Thus, don't roll into a shitlaw interview and start asking all kinds of shit about trial work and the rules of evidence, etc. You will be looked at as clueless and never called back. Understand that EVERYONE hates fucking trials, and will do damn near anything to avoid them. They are not something most shitlaw operations really have much interest in, and as I said they are so rare as to be pretty much irrelevant anyway in typical shitlaw civil lit.

Many small firms would LOVE an self-starter who can hit the ground running and do demand letters/neg. settlements quickly without tons of hand holding and nonsense questions. You will likely be given the minimum $$$ we need and of course triple that for the initial demand. You can always come down, but you can't go up.

Also understand that this shit is not like a "Pawn Stars" episiode. The way it works is that when you and the adjuster get close on a #, he will ask "if I can get that, will that do it?" You have to have the client's autho/ beforehand as to bottom dollar they'll take, because the adjuster will NOT ask/beg for for that number if you then act like a jerk and say "well, can we get another 1500?" As I said, these people have VERY limited time and aren't going to piss around and dicker with you like you're buying a used car. Give them the least you'd take, have them get it, and then fax releases for client to sign. Then wait for the check.

These are the type of things you SHOULD be learning in law school, not irrelevant horseshit like Marbury v. Madison and UCC-2.207 and other obscure garabge that 99.9% of lawyers will never encounter in their entire career. Of course, the people "teaching" you have likely never handled a single case in their lives and would soil themselves if they had to represent their uncle in traffic court.

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kalvano
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby kalvano » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:48 pm

Pretty sure that I would rather jump off a bridge than work for your firm.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:04 pm

Pretty sure that I would rather jump off a bridge than work for your firm.


That may be so, but I'm explaining what the reality of small-firm/solo practice is like. If you think you're going to walk into some small civil lit firm and start drafting SCOTUS briefs for thrilling, front-page news cases, you are sadly mistaken. Most of small firm practice is routine, dull, tedious, and often downright miserable.

Do you really think the small firms and solos you see in the yellow pages and such are doing anything differently/more exciting than what I previously described? If you're going to walk into these places for interviews with an attitude that you're "too good/too smart" for this stuff, it's gonna be a long, tough road ahead of you.

Bobby Jones
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Bobby Jones » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:19 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
Pretty sure that I would rather jump off a bridge than work for your firm.


That may be so, but I'm explaining what the reality of small-firm/solo practice is like. If you think you're going to walk into some small civil lit firm and start drafting SCOTUS briefs for thrilling, front-page news cases, you are sadly mistaken. Most of small firm practice is routine, dull, tedious, and often downright miserable.


Do you do all of the mudane stuff yourself? I know of several small firms that hire a couple of paralegals/law students and let them deal with all the crap lawyers hate - dealing with clients, all of the writing, discovery, etc. The lawyers triple their caseload, only deal with the really critical negotiations, and make bank. Seriously, one lawyer refuses to talk to his clients, and he's one of the happiest people I know.

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kalvano
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby kalvano » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:32 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
Pretty sure that I would rather jump off a bridge than work for your firm.


That may be so, but I'm explaining what the reality of small-firm/solo practice is like. If you think you're going to walk into some small civil lit firm and start drafting SCOTUS briefs for thrilling, front-page news cases, you are sadly mistaken. Most of small firm practice is routine, dull, tedious, and often downright miserable.

Do you really think the small firms and solos you see in the yellow pages and such are doing anything differently/more exciting than what I previously described? If you're going to walk into these places for interviews with an attitude that you're "too good/too smart" for this stuff, it's gonna be a long, tough road ahead of you.



That's a very subjective viewpoint. I know plenty of solo / small firm people that have a very different practice experience than you describe.

It's obvious you aren't happy with your job, and I can't imagine anyone you employ at $30K a year is, either.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Do you do all of the mudane stuff yourself? I know of several small firms that hire a couple of paralegals/law students and let them deal with all the crap lawyers hate - dealing with clients, all of the writing, discovery, etc. The lawyers triple their caseload, only deal with the really critical negotiations, and make bank. Seriously, one lawyer refuses to talk to his clients, and he's one of the happiest people I know.


Yes and no. There are some very routine types of filings that I use a freelance paralegal for, but for the most part I deal with clients directly. At a small firm the key is to build referrals, and small-time clients like to deal directly with the lawyer rather than always have a secretary handle their calls. We have actually gotten cases from clients who were with firms like the one you described and switched to us due to their dissatisfaction w/ service.

I'd be willing to bet the lawyers/firm you described above are baby-boomer aged. Most lawyers in their late 50s/60s are a complete nightmare to deal with in general. They came up when it was very easy to make $$$, as the supply/demand metrics were in their favor and there was no competition from legalzoom and even free forms on Google and such. You could also call and settle whiplash cases for a few thousand per file very easily. During the real estate boom, many of them also owned title companies and made money on both the closing legal fees and the title insurance too. It was a wildly profitable time back in the day. These guys have already made their $$$, but keep coasting along because:

A.) They don't really give a shit if clients get pissed off/leave, as they don't really need the $$$,

B.) As you said, they do very little work themselves and have enough of a "war chest" built up to hire a large staff to run the show;

C.) They can afford massive ad campaigns (full-page Yellow Pages ad, high Google hit, plus referrals from their decades of connections), so there's always new stuff coming in, thus current clients can be treated like crap and if they leave it's no biggie.

Here is the situation today for prospective shingle-hangers:

There are essentially no residential real estate closings. The market is dead, and getting deader. Also many people are using "McMortgage" companies like Quicken, and the mortgage broker also sells them the title policy thru a Quicken subsidiary called TitleSource.

So the days of the lawyers getting commissions thru their own little title company "sideshow' are over for the most part. The legal fees for a typical residential are crap- like $800 or so. It was a volume business, and no one today can get enough volume to really make it worth doing. These "simple" little closings are often a huge pain in the ass, and without the juicy title commission (which was often 5 times what the legal fees were) there is little point in getting involved with this crap.

(side note- in NJ it was/is legal for a lawyer to refer a client to his own title co. so long as client signs an acknowledgement that the lawyer explained his ownership interest, and that the client was free to use whatever title agency he wanted). Of course, title ins. rates are set by the state, so pretty much every client would just go w/ the lawyer's own title co. until Quicken and the other big boys hogged everything for themselves.

As to PI, you simply cannot settle any auto accident case in NY/NJ with soft tissue injuries (which are what 90% of auto accidents are). The carriers mark every file w/out a fracture or surgery a "no pay," and they send 'em right out to counsel. Just google "NY Threshold auto accident" or "nj verbal threshold" and see how absurdly anti-plaintiff the regs and court decisions of the past few years are.

Also the competition for ANY PI case is intense. The big mills pretty much hog everything due to their ad blitzes, so this is not a viable practice area for anyone just starting out. The only time we get PI cases is when another client (say a business client) comes to us when his Grandpa slips at the 7/11 on a greasy floor or whatever. Trying to advertise for these cases is like inventing your own soft drink and going head to head with Coca-Cola - it just ain't happening.

DWI/municipal work can still be good. I got 2500 to defend a juvenille on 6 drug charges last month. Juvie cases are good because daddy/mommy will pay to keep Junior out of trouble. Our firm is in a fairly affluent area, and it's funny b/c the kid's dad has a friend at Paul Weiss he'd called about this dope charge before calling us! (laypeople don't understand that Paul Weiss doesn't generally handle Ecstasy possession in a school zone cases in NJ suburbs LOL). So even though most of these rich people have lawyers in their peer group, those lawyers don't handle shitlaw like muni court so we get some of those little turds now & then. Trouble is that rich people are VERY cheap, and I had to practically beg this asshole just to get $2500 bucks.

There are some other niche areas when you can pick up some $$$, but for the most part law is a VERY hard dollar. In reality most of you would probably be better off just going into some kind of commission-based sales job if you miss Biglaw, since that's pretty much all shitlaw is anyway nowadays. DA/PD jobs in this economy/climate are a pipedream, and those alleged "do-gooder" jobs with say the ACLU hire mostly from Ivy-league schools and require superb grades/credentials. In my whole life I only met one lawyer who actually earned a living as a full time employee of a public interest joint (Southern Poverty Law Center) and she was an honors Columbia grad with Harvard UG. I had called her as a favor to a family friend who had recently graduated some TTT like St John's to see if they needed an intern. The SPLC chick pretty much laughed in my face and said no dice, don't even bother sending her resume. So the do-gooders are even snobbier than the Biglaw crew apparently, that was my impression anyway.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby reformed calvinist » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:49 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
Do you do all of the mudane stuff yourself? I know of several small firms that hire a couple of paralegals/law students and let them deal with all the crap lawyers hate - dealing with clients, all of the writing, discovery, etc. The lawyers triple their caseload, only deal with the really critical negotiations, and make bank. Seriously, one lawyer refuses to talk to his clients, and he's one of the happiest people I know.


Yes and no. There are some very routine types of filings that I use a freelance paralegal for, but for the most part I deal with clients directly. At a small firm the key is to build referrals, and small-time clients like to deal directly with the lawyer rather than always have a secretary handle their calls. We have actually gotten cases from clients who were with firms like the one you described and switched to us due to their dissatisfaction w/ service.

I'd be willing to bet the lawyers/firm you described above are baby-boomer aged. Most lawyers in their late 50s/60s are a complete nightmare to deal with in general. They came up when it was very easy to make $$$, as the supply/demand metrics were in their favor and there was no competition from legalzoom and even free forms on Google and such. You could also call and settle whiplash cases for a few thousand per file very easily. During the real estate boom, many of them also owned title companies and made money on both the closing legal fees and the title insurance too. It was a wildly profitable time back in the day. These guys have already made their $$$, but keep coasting along because:

A.) They don't really give a shit if clients get pissed off/leave, as they don't really need the $$$,

B.) As you said, they do very little work themselves and have enough of a "war chest" built up to hire a large staff to run the show;

C.) They can afford massive ad campaigns (full-page Yellow Pages ad, high Google hit, plus referrals from their decades of connections), so there's always new stuff coming in, thus current clients can be treated like crap and if they leave it's no biggie.

Here is the situation today for prospective shingle-hangers:

There are essentially no residential real estate closings. The market is dead, and getting deader. Also many people are using "McMortgage" companies like Quicken, and the mortgage broker also sells them the title policy thru a Quicken subsidiary called TitleSource.

So the days of the lawyers getting commissions thru their own little title company "sideshow' are over for the most part. The legal fees for a typical residential are crap- like $800 or so. It was a volume business, and no one today can get enough volume to really make it worth doing. These "simple" little closings are often a huge pain in the ass, and without the juicy title commission (which was often 5 times what the legal fees were) there is little point in getting involved with this crap.

(side note- in NJ it was/is legal for a lawyer to refer a client to his own title co. so long as client signs an acknowledgement that the lawyer explained his ownership interest, and that the client was free to use whatever title agency he wanted). Of course, title ins. rates are set by the state, so pretty much every client would just go w/ the lawyer's own title co. until Quicken and the other big boys hogged everything for themselves.

As to PI, you simply cannot settle any auto accident case in NY/NJ with soft tissue injuries (which are what 90% of auto accidents are). The carriers mark every file w/out a fracture or surgery a "no pay," and they send 'em right out to counsel. Just google "NY Threshold auto accident" or "nj verbal threshold" and see how absurdly anti-plaintiff the regs and court decisions of the past few years are.

Also the competition for ANY PI case is intense. The big mills pretty much hog everything due to their ad blitzes, so this is not a viable practice area for anyone just starting out. The only time we get PI cases is when another client (say a business client) comes to us when his Grandpa slips at the 7/11 on a greasy floor or whatever. Trying to advertise for these cases is like inventing your own soft drink and going head to head with Coca-Cola - it just ain't happening.

DWI/municipal work can still be good. I got 2500 to defend a juvenille on 6 drug charges last month. Juvie cases are good because daddy/mommy will pay to keep Junior out of trouble. Our firm is in a fairly affluent area, and it's funny b/c the kid's dad has a friend at Paul Weiss he'd called about this dope charge before calling us! (laypeople don't understand that Paul Weiss doesn't generally handle Ecstasy possession in a school zone cases in NJ suburbs LOL). So even though most of these rich people have lawyers in their peer group, those lawyers don't handle shitlaw like muni court so we get some of those little turds now & then. Trouble is that rich people are VERY cheap, and I had to practically beg this asshole just to get $2500 bucks.

There are some other niche areas when you can pick up some $$$, but for the most part law is a VERY hard dollar. In reality most of you would probably be better off just going into some kind of commission-based sales job if you miss Biglaw, since that's pretty much all shitlaw is anyway nowadays. DA/PD jobs in this economy/climate are a pipedream, and those alleged "do-gooder" jobs with say the ACLU hire mostly from Ivy-league schools and require superb grades/credentials. In my whole life I only met one lawyer who actually earned a living as a full time employee of a public interest joint (Southern Poverty Law Center) and she was an honors Columbia grad with Harvard UG. I had called her as a favor to a family friend who had recently graduated some TTT like St John's to see if they needed an intern. The SPLC chick pretty much laughed in my face and said no dice, don't even bother sending her resume. So the do-gooders are even snobbier than the Biglaw crew apparently, that was my impression anyway.


My perception of PI was very skewed. I suspected that the established PI firms take all the juicy multi-million $$$ cases, and anyway, something like med mal seems like a lot of work for a solo. Any insight into how these sorts of firms hire? Do you know if typical PI outfits are the same as any other midlaw type places in terms of hiring?

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:25 pm

My perception of PI was very skewed. I suspected that the established PI firms take all the juicy multi-million $$$ cases, and anyway, something like med mal seems like a lot of work for a solo. Any insight into how these sorts of firms hire? Do you know if typical PI outfits are the same as any other midlaw type places in terms of hiring?


Well, there are 3 kinds of PI firms in the NYC/NJ area:

1. The huge mills like Weitz & Luxemburg, Trolman Glaser, Levy Phillips etc. These places mostly handle asbestos, heavy med mal cases, brain trauma, heavy lead paint cases, etc. They don't touch stuff like the "average" auto accident, though they might grab a case where a toddler ends up with both legs amputated above the knee when a drunken Fed-Ex driver runs over him in front of a crew of nuns. Strictly heavy cases.

2. Small med-mal specialist firms that take on decent (but not great) med mal cases, like botched plastic surgery, bedsores & nursing home type stuff, etc. Most of these shops are small and the partners all have 10+ years experience on the defense side, and decided to "roll the dice" and try to get their own biz. Once in a while they might get a big score, but mostly they handle the more minor stuff, also some of them will dabble in decent auto cases and stuff too, but they like to pretend they don't, because auto cases are mostly extremely shitty, low-value propositions and just a huge headache to settle/deal with.

3. Everyone else, i.e, the Law Office of Joe Schmoe & Associates. These shops are the bottom feeders that take fender benders, trip n' fall, that kind of typical rinky-dink garbage. Nowadays it's tough to get ANY auto case that can settle, so lots of these guys now also dabble in Ch 7 bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, and per diem work for other lawyers.

As for hiring, at places like #1 you generally will need 10+ years experience on defense side, either in-house for a carrier or at a mill like Wilson Elser or Lester Schwab, which both have big med mal depts. Trouble is, places like Wilson Elser are miserable sweatshops with Biglaw type stress and hours for about 1/3 biglaw pay (60 K to start and a crap $500 "bonus). Lester Scwab (which we used to call Lester Slob) is even worse. They basically also have a miserable culture, you are expected to HATE your adversary and the med mal victim, engage in sharp practice, and basically make the litigation process completely miserable for everyone. I had a lead paint case against them once and their discovery demand was about 85 pages long- they are just total pricks. All of these type of ID mills have insanely high turnover. The partners have to spend all their time kissing the insurance companies asses and begging them not to in-house everything. They also have to beg/grovel/haggle over billing, b/c insurance companies are insanely cheap. Carriers do not pay for nonsense like photocopies, paper clips, Velotex binding, or other crap. It mostly all has to come out of the hourly rate.

It's really kind of funny too, b/c Wilson Elser in NY kind of looks like Biglaw: they have a fancy office with a receptionist and curtains, sofas, stuff like that. But don't be fooled- the Biglaw boyz laugh like hyenas at anything which reeks of insurance defense. Real Biglaw bills more for paralegal time than these ID shops do for 5th year associates.

And there's a lot less med mal lit. in general because these cases are very costly to bring to suit and the risk/reward ratio is not very good in most of them. The general public generally love doctors and will give them benefit of the doubt most of the time, unless they saw off the wrong leg or something totally absurd like that.

As for hiring at #2, there really is no hiring to speak of. Most of these places are small (like 3 or 5 partners) and maybe one 'associate' who is a really a per diem (like maybe a lady who had kids and 'retired' but still drafts appeals when they need one or whatever). These small shops have to be VERY selective about their cases, and so they really don't have a lot of grunt work to do. Some of these places literally have like 6 or 8 cases over like a 4 year period.

As for #3, for many of them all you need is a law license and a pulse. Seriously, just make it clear you're a self-starter and can handle going to court for conferences, motions, and routine shit right away. Don't expect any kind of training or guidance- these guys spend their whole day hustling for new work, since most of their files are worth almost nothing. This type of shitlaw 'practice' is really very easy and you will learn pretty much everything you need to know in a few month's time. Be prepared, however, to accept absurd lowball salary offers- my buddy has a PI shop in Brooklyn near Carroll Gardens and just hired a gal from BLS 2011 for $15 an hour plus he pays her unlimited Metrocard for the subway each month to get her to court. She also speaks Spanish, which is a huge plus in NYC/NJ PI work since lots of clients are Hispanic, and someone who speaks the language can deal with questions, talk them into settlement easier, etc.

So that's about it for PI.

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happy187
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby happy187 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:13 pm

What is your school's curve? Not all C's are created equal

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Gail
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Gail » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:35 pm

kalvano wrote:That's a very subjective viewpoint. I know plenty of solo / small firm people that have a very different practice experience than you describe.

It's obvious you aren't happy with your job, and I can't imagine anyone you employ at $30K a year is, either.


The saddest part is that people seem to be cheering him on in here.

He's paying less than almost every other firm in the country and he's brilliant?

I wouldn't listen to him. Firms like his are as rare as midlaw taking entry-level associates. 30k is a joke.

Brassica7
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Brassica7 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:27 pm

Gail wrote:
kalvano wrote:That's a very subjective viewpoint. I know plenty of solo / small firm people that have a very different practice experience than you describe.

It's obvious you aren't happy with your job, and I can't imagine anyone you employ at $30K a year is, either.


The saddest part is that people seem to be cheering him on in here.

He's paying less than almost every other firm in the country and he's brilliant?

I wouldn't listen to him. Firms like his are as rare as midlaw taking entry-level associates. 30k is a joke.


Are you kidding? I cannot tell if this is supposed to be sarcastic, but I suspect not. Sure, not all firms are like this, and many pay more than 30k. However, the work/pay at his firm in not an anomaly. I have heard practicing attorneys in my area cite 30k as a starting salary for small firm work. I do not think it is wise to simply dismiss this poster.

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Gail
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Gail » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:12 pm

Brassica7 wrote:Are you kidding? I cannot tell if this is supposed to be sarcastic, but I suspect not. Sure, not all firms are like this, and many pay more than 30k. However, the work/pay at his firm in not an anomaly. I have heard practicing attorneys in my area cite 30k as a starting salary for small firm work. I do not think it is wise to simply dismiss this poster.


No, not just "not all firms." The vast majority of firms are not like this. No, not just "many pay more than 30k" - almost all law firms pay more than 30k a year.

Look at salary distribution chart on NALP.org. 30k was about 2% of reported salaries. That is a very small minority of people.

Using NALP numbers, for bar passage required jobs (including government and PI) for the class of 2010:

You are at least three times more likely to make 40-55k than you are to make less than 40k. You are five times more likely to make 55-75k. You are at least 50% more likely to get biglaw. Even assuming that Class of 2010 was paradise compared to class of 2012, this is sizeable.


That's the thing about anecdotal evidence. It is anecdotal. Even from a partner at a law firm


In his defense, however, he is in New Jersey, where the median starting salaries are depressed.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:10 pm

Gail wrote:
Brassica7 wrote:Are you kidding? I cannot tell if this is supposed to be sarcastic, but I suspect not. Sure, not all firms are like this, and many pay more than 30k. However, the work/pay at his firm in not an anomaly. I have heard practicing attorneys in my area cite 30k as a starting salary for small firm work. I do not think it is wise to simply dismiss this poster.


No, not just "not all firms." The vast majority of firms are not like this. No, not just "many pay more than 30k" - almost all law firms pay more than 30k a year.

Look at salary distribution chart on NALP.org. 30k was about 2% of reported salaries. That is a very small minority of people.

Using NALP numbers, for bar passage required jobs (including government and PI) for the class of 2010:

You are at least three times more likely to make 40-55k than you are to make less than 40k. You are five times more likely to make 55-75k. You are at least 50% more likely to get biglaw. Even assuming that Class of 2010 was paradise compared to class of 2012, this is sizeable.


That's the thing about anecdotal evidence. It is anecdotal. Even from a partner at a law firm


In his defense, however, he is in New Jersey, where the median starting salaries are depressed.

But what's the reporting rate on the NALP numbers? Is it even 50% of all graduates (or of all employed graduates)? And which demographic do you think are gonna make up a disproportionate number of non-reported salaries, the dudes at WLRK, or the guys making $30k at a PI firm?

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Gail
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Gail » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:34 pm

.

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magicman554
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:02 am

Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby magicman554 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:38 pm

AREYOUINSANE IS BACK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!



He can write up a storm, but he can't hide.


By the way, what ever happened to moving to Turkey?


Oh, and I'm still in law school. We'll see how the 2nd semester goes.

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PitchO20
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby PitchO20 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:22 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
Pretty sure that I would rather jump off a bridge than work for your firm.


That may be so, but I'm explaining what the reality of small-firm/solo practice is like. If you think you're going to walk into some small civil lit firm and start drafting SCOTUS briefs for thrilling, front-page news cases, you are sadly mistaken. Most of small firm practice is routine, dull, tedious, and often downright miserable.

Do you really think the small firms and solos you see in the yellow pages and such are doing anything differently/more exciting than what I previously described? If you're going to walk into these places for interviews with an attitude that you're "too good/too smart" for this stuff, it's gonna be a long, tough road ahead of you.


Areyouinsane is back (which means I'll be sporadically checking up on TLS)

bartleby
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby bartleby » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:14 pm

yo c'mon, i know the job market sucks but 30k a year is almost how much in-and-out pays if you work full time. GTFO that this isn't a small minority

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deebs
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby deebs » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:54 pm

Seriously, you can make more as a dentist office secretary.

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bns_77
Posts: 58
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby bns_77 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:39 pm

My contracts professor has an interesting story about a current Harvard law professor who got a C in property.

relax.




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