How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
partypajamas
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:56 pm

How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby partypajamas » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:46 pm

I have about 20k in UG debt and have a social sciences degree. Law school is basically my only option as I cannot even pass high school pre calc. I have a 3.8 from a top 25 school, and am hoping to get a scholarship from a top 30 or so school preferably BU/BC etc.



If i graduate from a school like W&L, BU, BC etc, not T14 but 14-30 how are my chances at midlaw in the region the school is in?


What is the midlaw lifestyle?

badaboom61
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby badaboom61 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:18 pm

partypajamas wrote:I have about 20k in UG debt and have a social sciences degree. Law school is basically my only option as I cannot even pass high school pre calc. I have a 3.8 from a top 25 school, and am hoping to get a scholarship from a top 30 or so school preferably BU/BC etc.



If i graduate from a school like W&L, BU, BC etc, not T14 but 14-30 how are my chances at midlaw in the region the school is in?


What is the midlaw lifestyle?


"Midlaw" is a somewhat made up term used to describe smaller / more regional corporate law firms. The lifestyle is generally thought to be very similar to biglaw, perhaps slightly fewer hours for quite a bit less pay, but it depends on the firm. However, these jobs are every bit as competitive as biglaw to get and there are many fewer of them. Going to a school like BC or BU will not guarantee you one of these jobs.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby 09042014 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:29 pm

Law school isn't your only option just because you are bad at math. There are more than three careers.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Nova » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:56 pm

Look at law school transparency

TheGreatFish
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:16 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby TheGreatFish » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:58 pm

If you have no interest in practicing law, then every type of law will be **** law.

RodneyBoonfield
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:09 pm

Less crappy than unemployment.

arklaw13
Posts: 1703
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:05 pm

I had lunch a couple times with a partner in a mid-size firm (around 100 attorneys). He does litigation, so I don't know if any of this applies to corporate as well, and he said that unless he has a trial coming up (read: very rare for a case to go to trial), he rarely has to work any weekends. Since he is in litigation (and a partner) he probably has a lot of control over his own schedule. I don't know if he works later than he might have to during the week to free up his weekends or if the billable requirements are lower such that he can get all his work done easily during the week. He also said that first-years have a lower billing requirement than other attorneys. I think he mentioned 1000 billables in the first year, but I'm not certain. In any case, he obviously does not work Biglaw hours, though I don't know what his exact schedule is like. He's only one attorney at one firm, so take it FWIW.

adonai
Posts: 1033
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:09 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby adonai » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:28 pm

Really? Midlaw is defined as s***law to you? You will be sorely disappointed after lawl sku.

Void
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Void » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:40 pm

In my tertiary market area, midlaw is the same thing as biglaw, minus about $80,000. So it's pretty much the same kind of work and same expectations of your time, but for half the compensation. Midlaw exists- it just isn't the "middle ground" that many people think it might be.

PRgradBYU
Posts: 1419
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:04 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby PRgradBYU » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:01 pm

partypajamas wrote:Law school is basically my only option as I cannot even pass high school pre calc.


Please explain this to me.

Stinson
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Stinson » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:24 pm

PRgradBYU wrote:
partypajamas wrote:Law school is basically my only option as I cannot even pass high school pre calc.


Please explain this to me.


Yeah this set my troll sensor off too, but then I do know people from high school with this view.

User avatar
yngblkgifted
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:57 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby yngblkgifted » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:59 pm

da fuq is midlaw anyway? are some NALP 250 firms considered "midlaw"?

User avatar
hephaestus
Posts: 2385
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:21 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby hephaestus » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:04 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:da fuq is midlaw anyway? are some NALP 250 firms considered "midlaw"?

I guess it means 50+ attorneys but not NLJ250? Anyway OP, these jobs are more rare than big law because many of these firms do not have summer programs, and those that do have very small classes. You cannot count on mid law.

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby guano » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:06 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:da fuq is midlaw anyway? are some NALP 250 firms considered "midlaw"?

A NY firm that pays $90-$110k starting

User avatar
hephaestus
Posts: 2385
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:21 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby hephaestus » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:31 pm

guano wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:da fuq is midlaw anyway? are some NALP 250 firms considered "midlaw"?

A NY firm that pays $90-$110k starting

I guess. But I don't think this is a great definition.

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby guano » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:38 pm

ImNoScar wrote:
guano wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:da fuq is midlaw anyway? are some NALP 250 firms considered "midlaw"?

A NY firm that pays $90-$110k starting

I guess. But I don't think this is a great definition.

There isn't even a real definition of midlaw

Gorki
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Gorki » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:56 pm

It escapes a concrete definition.

(1) Smaller firms that are by no means solo or small-time in size, usually 40-60 attorneys, mostly partners who bought into the firm with their of-counsel buddies and a few lateral associates and the infrequent law clerk. Usually a few flagship clients that push the firm towards 2-3 practice areas, though the firm will ALWAYS push itself as "full service" or w/e.

(2) The "biglaw" of tertiary markets throughout the Midwest, Great Plains, West, including small regional offices of otherwise "biglaw" firms. E.g., the Twin Cities, Millwaukee, Madison, Des Moines, etc. all have firms that locals consider to be the "big time firms" when they are actually quite small. They usually do all the cases that the state's major corporations and lending institutions have to offer, these firms will also be local counsel for multi-state deals.


There are more views, but it is foolish and uneducated to call it "shitlaw" IMHO. Its not "bleeding edge work," but its not and ID mill or Plaintiffs PI either. . . Also, getting a job from one of these firms is arguably harder than BIGLAW, because they tend to avoid SA programs altogether and hire recent grads or laterals, or they take on 1-2 students a summer and its usually through referrals.

Void
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Void » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:59 pm

When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^

User avatar
Lacepiece23
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:16 am

Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.

Void
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Void » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:20 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.


I admittedly don't know shit about Pittsburgh, but I'm curious about your objection. Are there not mid-sized commercial firms there that pay like $80k?

User avatar
yngblkgifted
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:57 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby yngblkgifted » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:20 am

Void wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.


I admittedly don't know shit about Pittsburgh, but I'm curious about your objection. Are there not mid-sized commercial firms there that pay like $80k?



Biggest firms in Pittsburgh are hardly "mid law" brah.

User avatar
Lacepiece23
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:13 am

Void wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.


I admittedly don't know shit about Pittsburgh, but I'm curious about your objection. Are there not mid-sized commercial firms there that pay like $80k?


Yeah I worked at one my 1L summer but that was the sixth biggest firm in the city. The top 3 firms pay between 125-145. I would definitely consider that biglaw in my low cost of living city.

Void
Posts: 857
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Void » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.


I admittedly don't know shit about Pittsburgh, but I'm curious about your objection. Are there not mid-sized commercial firms there that pay like $80k?


Yeah I worked at one my 1L summer but that was the sixth biggest firm in the city. The top 3 firms pay between 125-145. I would definitely consider that biglaw in my low cost of living city.


My bad. I assumed Pittsburgh was smaller-time stuff. Must be my NYC tri-state-area bias. :)

User avatar
Lacepiece23
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:16 pm

Void wrote:
My bad. I assumed Pittsburgh was smaller-time stuff. Must be my NYC tri-state-area bias. :)


Haha yeah I have to deal with you guys on a daily basis going to school in New York.

Gorki
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: How crappy is Midlaw? (****law)

Postby Gorki » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:58 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Void wrote:When I think midlaw I think big fish in small pond stuff. Like the biggest firms in Pittsburgh, Albany, or Sacremento. These firms basically do the same kind of work as NYC biglaw but on a much smaller scale, with much smaller clients. It's definitely true that class sizes are tiny by comparison- like 2-3 SAs at best and 1 offer per year. Starting pay is more like $80k-100k. Hours are similar to NYC, but CoL is obviously less

Edit: like Gorki's #2 ^


Not Pittsburgh Bra. Take my city out of the equation.


I admittedly don't know shit about Pittsburgh, but I'm curious about your objection. Are there not mid-sized commercial firms there that pay like $80k?


Yeah I worked at one my 1L summer but that was the sixth biggest firm in the city. The top 3 firms pay between 125-145. I would definitely consider that biglaw in my low cost of living city.


Yah, and that is why the concept of "midlaw" is sorta BS. As I noted, under one view its mid-market firms in NYC, DC, LA, et al. Under another its firms that are smaller but pay damn near the equiv of NYC's 160k in lower COL areas.

Staying on topic: REALLY get a sense of whether the midlaw/small firm you are spending your time at is even interested in hiring an associate after you are done. In my tertiary market there is a common practice of hiring "law clerks" (even at biglaw firm branches in my area) that basically work you 20 hr a week during school, 40 hr a week during summer, and make it clear that in May of 3L you are done. . . The experience and pay is definitely valuable, but strongly consider looking for SA and FT jerbs throughout the process... not like an SA where you just sorta are shoe'd in unless they no offer.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: smile0751 and 4 guests