2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

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alexb240
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2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:00 pm

I'll be a third-year in September. Your questions welcome. I didn't clerk, although I have some familiarity with the process, if that's where your interest lies.

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Mce252
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Mce252 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:03 pm

Could you give an idea of what Vault range your firm is in and region of your office?

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ExAnt3
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby ExAnt3 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:05 pm

What have your hours been like?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:06 pm

V5, NYC. I could speak with some knowledge about top NYC firms and the difference between NYC and DC, but outside of that I'd be speculating. It'd be entertaining speculation, but nothing more. ;-)

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:09 pm

ExAnt3 wrote:What have your hours been like?


They vary, obviously. I think it's generally agreed that litigation associates have more stable hours than corporate associates (for reasons I'd be happy to go into), but even so there are up months and down months. In a typical busy month I might bill 250-260 hours. Most months I'm likely to be between 230 and 250. Without going back through all of my billing, I'd expect that my busiest month has been on the order of 270-280.

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sinfiery
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby sinfiery » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:09 pm

How many hours do you work a week?
How do you feel about job security?

What are your thoughts about the future of Biglaw?

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t-14orbust
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:11 pm

alexb240 wrote:
ExAnt3 wrote:What have your hours been like?


They vary, obviously. I think it's generally agreed that litigation associates have more stable hours than corporate associates (for reasons I'd be happy to go into), but even so there are up months and down months. In a typical busy month I might bill 250-260 hours. Most months I'm likely to be between 230 and 250. Without going back through all of my billing, I'd expect that my busiest month has been on the order of 270-280.


Assuming you don't expect to stay there for your entire career, what is your exit strategy?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:15 pm

I never give a single thought, much less worry, to my job security. Getting fired here would essentially require serious malpractice on the level of a serious sexual harrassment allegation, insider trading, etc. Of course, I imagine that if someone is particularly unproductive/unpleasant, there would be strong informal encouragement to pursue work elsewhere. But that's likely to be an extremely rare event. My hours -- which I'd speculate are in line with the average number worked for an associate at my level -- are never brought up in evaluations or any other context.

My thoughts about the future of BigLaw... hmm. There will always be a need for large, established firms. Major financial institutions/corporations/etc. aren't just going to take the heavy lifting in-house -- they're not even close to being equipped to do so. That said, I could see the number of associates needed for BigLaw firms to run smoothly dropping as things like predictive coding in document review and outsourced reviewers become the norm. Happy to elaborate if you have any specific concern.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:17 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
alexb240 wrote:
ExAnt3 wrote:What have your hours been like?


They vary, obviously. I think it's generally agreed that litigation associates have more stable hours than corporate associates (for reasons I'd be happy to go into), but even so there are up months and down months. In a typical busy month I might bill 250-260 hours. Most months I'm likely to be between 230 and 250. Without going back through all of my billing, I'd expect that my busiest month has been on the order of 270-280.


Assuming you don't expect to stay there for your entire career, what is your exit strategy?


I enjoy working here and could see myself here for the foreseeable future. That said, I think in a couple of years (especially once I want to start a family) I won't be particularly interested in living in NYC. I'd probably want to move to a secondary or tertiary market and work at a firm there.

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t-14orbust
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:20 pm

alexb240 wrote:
t-14orbust wrote:
alexb240 wrote:
ExAnt3 wrote:What have your hours been like?


They vary, obviously. I think it's generally agreed that litigation associates have more stable hours than corporate associates (for reasons I'd be happy to go into), but even so there are up months and down months. In a typical busy month I might bill 250-260 hours. Most months I'm likely to be between 230 and 250. Without going back through all of my billing, I'd expect that my busiest month has been on the order of 270-280.


Assuming you don't expect to stay there for your entire career, what is your exit strategy?


I enjoy working here and could see myself here for the foreseeable future. That said, I think in a couple of years (especially once I want to start a family) I won't be particularly interested in living in NYC. I'd probably want to move to a secondary or tertiary market and work at a firm there.


Maybe I'm unaware of the way V5 works, do they hire expecting to promote to partner or something? Or are you just saying you would like to make partner if the opportunity presented itself?

Also, did you target NYC specifically? Do you like your job?
Last edited by t-14orbust on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Wow I'm amazed at you hours. Billing 270-280 is 9 hours a day seven days a week
Do you have any knowledge of hours at lower ranked NYC biglaw or smaller market biglaw?
Last edited by Hutz_and_Goodman on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sinfiery
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby sinfiery » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:22 pm

My thoughts about the future of BigLaw... hmm. There will always be a need for large, established firms. Major financial institutions/corporations/etc. aren't just going to take the heavy lifting in-house -- they're not even close to being equipped to do so. That said, I could see the number of associates needed for BigLaw firms to run smoothly dropping as things like predictive coding in document review and outsourced reviewers become the norm. Happy to elaborate if you have any specific concern.

Do you think this will hit the paralegals and staff attorneys more so than partner-track associates or are these also tasks that you are able to bill as part of your work?
Do you enjoy your work?



Thank you for doing this.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:22 pm

I really appreciate you doing this and here's to hoping it doesn't lead to you being outed.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:25 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Wow I'm amazed at you hours. Billing 270-280 is 9 hours a day seven days a week.


9 hours a day would be a low billing day. A busy month would look more like 10+ hours during the work week, plus another 5-6 on Saturday & Sunday. And again, that would be an exceptional month - the very end of the tail.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:28 pm

Assuming you don't expect to stay there for your entire career, what is your exit strategy?

I enjoy working here and could see myself here for the foreseeable future. That said, I think in a couple of years (especially once I want to start a family) I won't be particularly interested in living in NYC. I'd probably want to move to a secondary or tertiary market and work at a firm there.[/quote]

Maybe I'm unaware of the way V5 works, do they hire expecting to promote to partner or something? Or are you just saying you would like to make partner if the opportunity presented itself?

Also, did you target NYC specifically? Do you like your job?[/quote]


Sorry to be unclear. Most--but not all--BigLaw firms expect a very small percentage of associates to make partner. Of 100 associates hired any given year, I'd think that at the firm, on average, 5-6 might make partner. There's an incredible amount of attrition. Most of it is people leaving to pursue other opportunities (as I assume I will do one day). I don't intend to live in NYC long enough to be up for partner consideration, but of course circumstances change and my goals may change accordingly.

I did target NYC specifically, as my SO is here. I do like my job - 85% of the time. :-)

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t-14orbust
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:34 pm

alexb240 wrote:Assuming you don't expect to stay there for your entire career, what is your exit strategy?

I enjoy working here and could see myself here for the foreseeable future. That said, I think in a couple of years (especially once I want to start a family) I won't be particularly interested in living in NYC. I'd probably want to move to a secondary or tertiary market and work at a firm there.


Maybe I'm unaware of the way V5 works, do they hire expecting to promote to partner or something? Or are you just saying you would like to make partner if the opportunity presented itself?

Also, did you target NYC specifically? Do you like your job?[/quote]


Sorry to be unclear. Most--but not all--BigLaw firms expect a very small percentage of associates to make partner. Of 100 associates hired any given year, I'd think that at the firm, on average, 5-6 might make partner. There's an incredible amount of attrition. Most of it is people leaving to pursue other opportunities (as I assume I will do one day). I don't intend to live in NYC long enough to be up for partner consideration, but of course circumstances change and my goals may change accordingly.

I did target NYC specifically, as my SO is here. I do like my job - 85% of the time. :-)[/quote]

Thanks for doing this!

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:35 pm

sinfiery wrote:

Do you think this will hit the paralegals and staff attorneys more so than partner-track associates or are these also tasks that you are able to bill as part of your work?



Thank you for doing this.


My pleasure. I doubt outsourcing/mechanizing of document review would matter to paralegals. What might matter, but is extremely difficult to know ex ante, is if there's is a drop in associates, then the firm would likely need less paralegals as well. So it'd be a second order effect. Similar issue w/ staff att'ys.

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Mce252
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Mce252 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:40 pm

alexb240 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Wow I'm amazed at you hours. Billing 270-280 is 9 hours a day seven days a week.


9 hours a day would be a low billing day. A busy month would look more like 10+ hours during the work week, plus another 5-6 on Saturday & Sunday. And again, that would be an exceptional month - the very end of the tail.



What have been your annual hours thus far? I'm starting at a firm next year that budgets everyone at 2000 and seems to be pretty honest about that. How hard is it in your opinion to meet 2000?

Humbert Humbert
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Humbert Humbert » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:41 pm

Do you have significant student loan debt? If so, how much does it affect your QoL?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:48 pm

Mce252 wrote:
alexb240 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Wow I'm amazed at you hours. Billing 270-280 is 9 hours a day seven days a week.


9 hours a day would be a low billing day. A busy month would look more like 10+ hours during the work week, plus another 5-6 on Saturday & Sunday. And again, that would be an exceptional month - the very end of the tail.



What have been your annual hours thus far? I'm starting at a firm next year that budgets everyone at 2000 and seems to be pretty honest about that. How hard is it in your opinion to meet 2000?



Extraordinarily easy. I believe I've billed over 200 a month every month, with the possible exception of when I've gone on long (> 1 wk) vacations. I would expect to hit 2,000 in October or thereabouts.

I should note, of course, that this is situation-specific. At a top BigLaw firm, your concern isn't going to be about not getting enough work to meet your hours -- it'll be about having too much work. So I never worry about needing to meet any hour target.
Last edited by alexb240 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:49 pm

Humbert Humbert wrote:Do you have significant student loan debt? If so, how much does it affect your QoL?



I have around $85,000. It doesn't affect me in any material way. It's kind of like taxes that are taken out of our paycheck -- I never think about it. Obviously, I'd feel differently if I were to find myself suddenly unemployed...

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sinfiery
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby sinfiery » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:50 pm

Did you know what you wanted to do as far as Litigation/M&A/Tax before you entered the firm or was it after working in the room for a bit that you could tell?

legends159
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby legends159 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:54 pm

Not to thread-jack but...1st year (been here almost 11 months now) V5 corporate associate - happy to answer questions from the other end of the spectrum.

Can also answer interview related questions, as I've interviewed about 8 candidates so far (albeit lunch portion, so not sure whether my review actually matters).

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Mce252
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby Mce252 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:55 pm

alexb240 wrote:
Humbert Humbert wrote:Do you have significant student loan debt? If so, how much does it affect your QoL?



I have around $85,000. It doesn't affect me in any material way. It's kind of like taxes that are taken out of our paycheck -- I never think about it. Obviously, I'd feel differently if I were to find myself suddenly unemployed...



How does it feel to think that if you went to a Texas firm you would be paying at least half of your current COL, with no state income taxes? During your first year, did it really feel like you had that much disposable income?

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alexb240
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Re: 2nd Yr Biglaw Lit. Assoc., YLS Grad, TLS Alum

Postby alexb240 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:56 pm

sinfiery wrote:Did you know what you wanted to do as far as Litigation/M&A/Tax before you entered the firm or was it after working in the room for a bit that you could tell?


I had a vague sense I wanted to go into litigation before I started as a summer associate. Law school orients you toward litigation both in subject matter and in teaching style (i.e., the case method). Folks who were corporate-oriented at that stage were more business-y, be it from past work experience or what-have-you. I think the summer is a great time to explore various practice areas. In my experience, and having observed this phenomenon a few times, most everyone will have a sense of what they want to practice by the end of the summer -- I definitely did. It's almost a left-brain/right-brain thing -- people are naturally drawn to certain groups based on the type of work done. Very few people are unable to decide at the end of the summer, and even fewer people switch once they start.




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