Big law or Big fed?

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Big Law or Big Fed

Big Law/Super Boutique firm
6
22%
Big Fed
21
78%
 
Total votes: 27

Anonymous User
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Big law or Big fed?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:27 pm

immediately after your clerkship, would you rather start at big law/superboutique firm or big fed if you had a choice?

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Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:immediately after your clerkship, would you rather start at big law/superboutique firm or big fed if you had a choice?


big fed.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby eriedoctrine » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:40 pm

GS scale salary is crap.
Senior Administrative Secretaries make the same as you.

wolfie_m.
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby wolfie_m. » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:43 pm

.
Last edited by wolfie_m. on Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FSK
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby FSK » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:45 pm

Whats the eventual goal? What practice area? What agency? What GS scale am I starting on?

This question needs way more context to be useful.

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pancakes3
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:05 pm

Don't all entry level lawyers start at GS9?

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:10 pm

pancakes3 wrote:Don't all entry level lawyers start at GS9?


No, the majority start at GS-11. After a clerkship, most start at GS-12. It's actually pretty varied by agency too. Some start you at GS-11, step 10 (IRS) or GS-12, step-5 (FTC).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:13 pm

eriedoctrine wrote:GS scale salary is crap.
Senior Administrative Secretaries make the same as you.


It's pretty bad at the very senior levels, but for a typical GS-14/GS-15 attorney making 130-150k it isn't that bad at all with federal benefits.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:42 pm

It's pretty bad at the very senior levels, but for a typical GS-14/GS-15 attorney making 130-150k it isn't that bad at all with federal benefits.


This is the understatement of the year. Between the comfortable salary, the generally manageable hours, the interesting work, and the job security, being a mid-career lawyer for the federal government is about the cushiest job imaginable.

If you told me that you wanted to do deals and only deals, I'd say go biglaw. Anything else, go fed. You can always move from the feds to biglaw. It's very very difficult to do the opposite.

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butlerraider1
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby butlerraider1 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:48 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote: You can always move from the feds to biglaw. It's very very difficult to do the opposite.


Is this true? I've always heard the opposite.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:53 pm

butlerraider1 wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote: You can always move from the feds to biglaw. It's very very difficult to do the opposite.


Is this true? I've always heard the opposite.


It really depends on your agency and the kind of law you practice. From some agencies (those in fields with a lot of biglaw overlap-think FTC, SEC, FERC etc.) moving to biglaw or market-paying boutique is easy and basically part of the standard career progression for many new attorneys, while the reverse isn't true due to the much smaller number of federal government openings. At other agencies (maybe most?), it's basically impossible to move to biglaw because there is no practice group match, although there may be boutiques you can move to.

Also, those federal lawyers working in the "general law and ethics" groups at any agency, even like the SEC, will usually not be able to move to biglaw. Those groups usually deal with internal employment disputes, federal labor relations, federal ethics, and other fields that aren't very marketable to major firms. But, those groups are very marketable within the federal government.

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pancakes3
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
butlerraider1 wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote: You can always move from the feds to biglaw. It's very very difficult to do the opposite.


Is this true? I've always heard the opposite.


It really depends on your agency and the kind of law you practice. From some agencies (those in fields with a lot of biglaw overlap-think FTC, SEC, FERC etc.) moving to biglaw or market-paying boutique is easy and basically part of the standard career progression for many new attorneys, while the reverse isn't true due to the much smaller number of federal government openings. At other agencies (maybe most?), it's basically impossible to move to biglaw because there is no practice group match, although there may be boutiques you can move to.

Also, those federal lawyers working in the "general law and ethics" groups at any agency, even like the SEC, will usually not be able to move to biglaw. Those groups usually deal with internal employment disputes, federal labor relations, federal ethics, and other fields that aren't very marketable to major firms. But, those groups are very marketable within the federal government.


Talked to an alum at a networking thing said that his BL firm used to welcome SEC laterals but they're moving away from that.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law or Big fed?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:34 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
butlerraider1 wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote: You can always move from the feds to biglaw. It's very very difficult to do the opposite.


Is this true? I've always heard the opposite.


It really depends on your agency and the kind of law you practice. From some agencies (those in fields with a lot of biglaw overlap-think FTC, SEC, FERC etc.) moving to biglaw or market-paying boutique is easy and basically part of the standard career progression for many new attorneys, while the reverse isn't true due to the much smaller number of federal government openings. At other agencies (maybe most?), it's basically impossible to move to biglaw because there is no practice group match, although there may be boutiques you can move to.

Also, those federal lawyers working in the "general law and ethics" groups at any agency, even like the SEC, will usually not be able to move to biglaw. Those groups usually deal with internal employment disputes, federal labor relations, federal ethics, and other fields that aren't very marketable to major firms. But, those groups are very marketable within the federal government.


Talked to an alum at a networking thing said that his BL firm used to welcome SEC laterals but they're moving away from that.


It's still very much the norm in big law. Opportunities of course ebb and flow with the amount of work, but I don't think there's any general trend to move away from it. Especially considering that most partners have SEC experience. Also, most SEC attorneys have biglaw experience before coming to the SEC--they hire almost no entry levels.




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