So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

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jb111
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jb111 » Fri May 12, 2017 9:00 pm

I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.
Last edited by jb111 on Fri May 12, 2017 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 12, 2017 9:17 pm

sener212 wrote:Yea I mean, I have no debt, make 210K in Texas, do like some things about law, and am going to give this profession a run for a while. Later I'll probably do something else. I suppose you think every career move should build off my previous experience (i.e. I should never be in law in the first place if I want to ever do entrepreneurial pursuits at some point in my life). Meh. That ignores the many, many happy, successful ppl who did not make totally linear, straightforward career moves their whole lives, and instead were "extraordinarily silly" and it worked out well.

That said, I get (to some extent) what you guys are trying to get across to prospective students. Just think it needs to be toned down some.

I think debt makes a huge difference to how people view biglaw (at least, depending on an individual's attitude toward debt).

Although I also agree that career paths don't have to be linear/straightforward (and frankly people who think they have to be may be freaked out by things they can't control in the future. Like I think there is really only so far that you can take "maximizing toward career success," and luck/serendipity plays a huge role in *everyone's* career.).

@jb111 - there are a lot of people here who go to law school for the reasons you give. I hope it works out for you, and I think Bernie Trump is a little over-negative (though tbf he's not even as extreme as some of the DON'T GO EVER people we've had post here). But it's also possible for something to be the best career path on paper and still turn out to be something you hate to do.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Fri May 12, 2017 9:33 pm

jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


How is your perspective insightful when you haven't even been to law school or had a biglaw job?

I understand your hopes and dreams but that doesn't fundamentally change the actual job of a 24/7 biglaw corporate associate.

You are mistaken if you think it's only rich spoiled kids who have never had jobs who try to explain the demands of biglaw and the inherent lack of career stability.

I wish you well and hope law is everything you want it to be.

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Chardee_MacDennis
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Chardee_MacDennis » Fri May 12, 2017 10:20 pm

jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


Sure, relatively speaking, it could be worse. But it's 9:15p on a Friday and I'm in the office. Missed putting my kids to bed for the third time this week. Probably gonna have to work tomorrow and part of Sunday. I generally like my work, notwithstanding the bull shit that comes with this job sometimes, but goddamn if this doesn't take a toll on even people with the rosiest of outlooks. I'm sure you mean well, but your perspective is meaningless. No one is trying to talk you out of anything, you do you, but don't think people ITT are bitching solely about "long hours."

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jb111
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jb111 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:38 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:@jb111 - there are a lot of people here who go to law school for the reasons you give. I hope it works out for you, and I think Bernie Trump is a little over-negative (though tbf he's not even as extreme as some of the DON'T GO EVER people we've had post here). But it's also possible for something to be the best career path on paper and still turn out to be something you hate to do.


Of course it is. But that doesn't matter very much. We make decisions based on the information we have and the opportunities we have. There are no guarantees in anything.

Everybody in this thread is obsessed with the first half of that decision-making process, and pays very little attention to the second.

So I have to assume they must have had very, very different opportunities than I (and many people like me). And I'd like to get a word in from my perspective, despite how meaningless and useless it apparently is.

This is the best decision on paper for me. It is for some others as well. Maybe I'll end up hating it. But I know I'll hate not going. I'll hate working for $12 an hour and wondering why I didn't go to one of the best law schools in the country instead. I mean... Can we get the teeniest bit of perspective here?

I'm really not talking to the people who could have done McKinsey. I'm talking to the people who could have done McDonalds.

If the more smug members of the doom and gloom crowd in this thread see that perspective as of 0(L) value... Well, they've given me a handy heuristic for how to evaluate their own.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 12, 2017 11:53 pm

Like Chardee said, I'm not trying to convince you to do something else. But I am asking you to put aside the idea that only privileged people could complain about biglaw work conditions. And maybe think about exploring as many options as possible at one of the best law schools in the country.

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jb111
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jb111 » Sat May 13, 2017 12:01 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Like Chardee said, I'm not trying to convince you to do something else. But I am asking you to put aside the idea that only privileged people could complain about biglaw work conditions. And maybe think about exploring as many options as possible at one of the best law schools in the country.


Biglaw sounds like it can really suck. I hear you. My point is not that only privileged people would complain about biglaw work conditions. My point is that for many people, biglaw work conditions being awful is not enough, and never will be enough, to change their decision about law school. And they aren't wrong for thinking like that.

I'm really not trying to argue with people and say that biglaw is just the hottest, best shit out there. My perspective truly is pretty worthless on that front. But there's more to this discussion than that, or at least there should be.

I'll definitely consider other options at law school. I have a lot to learn.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby BernieTrump » Sat May 13, 2017 1:00 am

sener212 wrote:
BernieTrump wrote:The above is correct. People don't leave for something better for all sorts of reasons, but the important thing is they don't leave for something better.

Some people get golden handcuffed. They have a kid. They're in a city they can't leave. They have a mortgage.

Many swap firms searching for a better life. I've never moved, but I've seen many make this mistake. When you're miserable, any movement seems like progress, and the easiest move is to another firm. To many's surprise, the next firm is worse. By the time they stop looking they're in their early or mid 30s, on the 2-4th firm, and have been a lawyer for ten years. At that point, it takes a "hard reset" to get out, and not many people want that (even if it is possible and usually it is not). They frown and then accept their lot in life.

It's tough to find time to look. Any given Sunday, after your 14 hours in the office, it's easier to open a bottle of wine, have two glasses and read the news for a few minutes before bed. It's difficult to spend your very few waking hours not in the office on precise cover letters and networking. It's even more difficult given that 99/100 perfectly tailored cover letters won't even be read because they'll see the JD and pass on you.

Most importantly, good exits are rare. Even if you want to stay in law, the $300K, 9-5 in-house job is a myth. I've seen maybe 5 people in jobs that fit this in my career. Hours may be better in-house generally, but there's a special type of ennui to doing the same form contract 20 times a day (with no ability to respond to comments except by reading a script) for 20 years, with no hope for advancement.

If you want out of law (is anyone's true calling really moving commas, losing self respect for yourself and annoying the juniors by pointing out they didn't follow firm protocol for defined terms and fighting with opposing counsel about the precise wording of an escrow that will not ever matter?) good luck. Nobody will hire a JD in 2017. People don't go after their true calling because those doors are, for almost every true calling, closed after starting as a firm lawyer.


Thanks for the perspective. While I understand and appreciate that some of this is true, what a terrible way to view your career/life. Here's one thing I'll guarantee: People with this defeatist attitude will never find success and fulfillment long-term in their careers. Maybe the people with a more positive outlook won't either, but I believe at least they have a shot.

As an aside, I work in biglaw, plan on doing the small firm thing at some point in hopes of doing more trial work, and then plan on pursuing more entrepreneurial non-law options after that. Not
sure exactly how that will turn out (how could I be?). I'm assume, based on this post, you'll assert it will go very poorly. I don't agree.


You won't believe me, but I was the sunniest guy on earth in college and law school. Also through the first 24 months of biglaw. I've mentioned I was one of the head recruiting associates. You don't get there without being someone that projects happiness. Slowly but surely, you realize there's no escape . It will grind on you. You'll wake up as a 2L during a summer associateship thinking of the work you saw even the senior associates doing. You'll have huge second guesses. You'll start anyway. It will get even worse. Slowly at first, in the shower, in the subway, when you're just thinking to yourself. The discontent will grow every day. At the end not a moment will go by that you won't think you're wasting your life moving commas that have not once mattered in ten years of moving them. You'll have been on ten years of conference calls without having made even a minor difference in any deal. You'll have missed your 20s and 30s for it. You don't need to believe me. Print the thread. Stick it in your bottom drawer. On your last day at a firm, come back, bump this and let me know if I was right. I like my odds.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Hikikomorist » Sat May 13, 2017 1:05 am

jb111 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:@jb111 - there are a lot of people here who go to law school for the reasons you give. I hope it works out for you, and I think Bernie Trump is a little over-negative (though tbf he's not even as extreme as some of the DON'T GO EVER people we've had post here). But it's also possible for something to be the best career path on paper and still turn out to be something you hate to do.


Of course it is. But that doesn't matter very much. We make decisions based on the information we have and the opportunities we have. There are no guarantees in anything.

Everybody in this thread is obsessed with the first half of that decision-making process, and pays very little attention to the second.

So I have to assume they must have had very, very different opportunities than I (and many people like me). And I'd like to get a word in from my perspective, despite how meaningless and useless it apparently is.

This is the best decision on paper for me. It is for some others as well. Maybe I'll end up hating it. But I know I'll hate not going. I'll hate working for $12 an hour and wondering why I didn't go to one of the best law schools in the country instead. I mean... Can we get the teeniest bit of perspective here?

I'm really not talking to the people who could have done McKinsey. I'm talking to the people who could have done McDonalds.

If the more smug members of the doom and gloom crowd in this thread see that perspective as of 0(L) value... Well, they've given me a handy heuristic for how to evaluate their own.

I really doubt that's the second-best opportunity you could have found.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby beepboopbeep » Sat May 13, 2017 4:25 am

jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


Caveat that I'm a litigator and shouldn't be posting in this thread, but because this has veered into "general thoughts on biglaw":

This is sort of painful for me to read as I shared your perspective before law school. Also grew up lower-middle-class, small town, midwest, I was literally the only person from my graduating class of ~100 to leave the state for college. I currently make about 8x as much as my mom ever made in a single year while I was growing up. Law school felt like the more "sure thing" path to living the life I hoped for growing up.

I will still tell you that it sucks. And I'm one of the lucky ones who happens to mostly enjoy the practice of law (so far). If you have no experience with law firms, you have no idea whether you will like it or not--but you'll be stuck with it anyway, because debt is real shit. There are other options and there are many, many better options if your motivation is just "this seems like a good opportunity" rather than specifically "I love the law and have a pretty good idea of what practicing as a lawyer is like". The vast majority of these will not handcuff you financially for 5+ years. There is a reason 99.9% of current or former biglaw lawyers on this board sing the same tune: unless you really know it's for you, don't go. If you have to ask whether you really know, or say shit along the lines of "I don't really know, but I can't think of anything better" -- don't go. I realize I'm pissing into the wind here.

I am writing this at 1am on a Friday night / Saturday morning while taking a ten minute work break to preserve my sanity. I got to work at 9:15am today and have been working straight through, with fifteen minute breaks at my desk for lunch and dinner, since then. I have at least two more hours of work to go before I'm done for the night. I've done basically this exact schedule every day since last Saturday, and although the weeks before that were more sane solely by comparison, they're still insane by any reasonable metric of work hours. I regularly commiserate with friends from college / other walks of life who are reasonable professions like teachers (hey, that's something between the $12/hr strawman and "taking on 200k+ debt is the best thing I can do with my life"! I can think of others), programmers, work in publishing, advertising, etc etc -- they basically react like I'm in the gulag when I mention my hours.

You will think "he just ended up at a firm that's especially bad for hours." I'm not. This happens everywhere. You will think, "I will just say no if they ask me to do that." You won't. You won't turn down the project that will destroy 100% of your free time and eat into many nights of sleep for days upon weeks, because once you're in, you'll realize you need to keep developing skills to stay useful / not get shitcanned / not feel like your life is a failure (you'll still end up saying no, probably more than you should, to prevent not dying from overwork). You'll need to make hours. You are the only person on the team with knowledge of this particular aspect of the deal / facts / law and thus do not have the option of saying no.

But hey, I can order takeout like five times in a week and not bat an eye at the cost, so it's all worth it, right?

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby sener212 » Sat May 13, 2017 9:41 am

BernieTrump wrote:
sener212 wrote:
BernieTrump wrote:The above is correct. People don't leave for something better for all sorts of reasons, but the important thing is they don't leave for something better.

Some people get golden handcuffed. They have a kid. They're in a city they can't leave. They have a mortgage.

Many swap firms searching for a better life. I've never moved, but I've seen many make this mistake. When you're miserable, any movement seems like progress, and the easiest move is to another firm. To many's surprise, the next firm is worse. By the time they stop looking they're in their early or mid 30s, on the 2-4th firm, and have been a lawyer for ten years. At that point, it takes a "hard reset" to get out, and not many people want that (even if it is possible and usually it is not). They frown and then accept their lot in life.

It's tough to find time to look. Any given Sunday, after your 14 hours in the office, it's easier to open a bottle of wine, have two glasses and read the news for a few minutes before bed. It's difficult to spend your very few waking hours not in the office on precise cover letters and networking. It's even more difficult given that 99/100 perfectly tailored cover letters won't even be read because they'll see the JD and pass on you.

Most importantly, good exits are rare. Even if you want to stay in law, the $300K, 9-5 in-house job is a myth. I've seen maybe 5 people in jobs that fit this in my career. Hours may be better in-house generally, but there's a special type of ennui to doing the same form contract 20 times a day (with no ability to respond to comments except by reading a script) for 20 years, with no hope for advancement.

If you want out of law (is anyone's true calling really moving commas, losing self respect for yourself and annoying the juniors by pointing out they didn't follow firm protocol for defined terms and fighting with opposing counsel about the precise wording of an escrow that will not ever matter?) good luck. Nobody will hire a JD in 2017. People don't go after their true calling because those doors are, for almost every true calling, closed after starting as a firm lawyer.


Thanks for the perspective. While I understand and appreciate that some of this is true, what a terrible way to view your career/life. Here's one thing I'll guarantee: People with this defeatist attitude will never find success and fulfillment long-term in their careers. Maybe the people with a more positive outlook won't either, but I believe at least they have a shot.

As an aside, I work in biglaw, plan on doing the small firm thing at some point in hopes of doing more trial work, and then plan on pursuing more entrepreneurial non-law options after that. Not
sure exactly how that will turn out (how could I be?). I'm assume, based on this post, you'll assert it will go very poorly. I don't agree.


You won't believe me, but I was the sunniest guy on earth in college and law school. Also through the first 24 months of biglaw. I've mentioned I was one of the head recruiting associates. You don't get there without being someone that projects happiness. Slowly but surely, you realize there's no escape . It will grind on you. You'll wake up as a 2L during a summer associateship thinking of the work you saw even the senior associates doing. You'll have huge second guesses. You'll start anyway. It will get even worse. Slowly at first, in the shower, in the subway, when you're just thinking to yourself. The discontent will grow every day. At the end not a moment will go by that you won't think you're wasting your life moving commas that have not once mattered in ten years of moving them. You'll have been on ten years of conference calls without having made even a minor difference in any deal. You'll have missed your 20s and 30s for it. You don't need to believe me. Print the thread. Stick it in your bottom drawer. On your last day at a firm, come back, bump this and let me know if I was right. I like my odds.


Ok, cool. I'm in my mid 30's and graduated law school three years ago; this isn't all so new to me that I have no perspective. Anyway, I don't move commas or do deals. I litiagate - and while it can suck the concerns you raise about the work are non-existent. Finally, I get how the work can consume you. Happens to everyone. I fight that unless it's actually helping to complete a crucial assignment or something.

Despite all your negativity, I'm pretty convinced the world's my oyster (I have been very lucky).

lawlorbust
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby lawlorbust » Sat May 13, 2017 10:46 am

beepboopbeep wrote:(hey, that's something between the $12/hr strawman and "taking on 200k+ debt is the best thing I can do with my life"! I can think of others)


(Accuses poster of strawman argument)

(Draws up four of his own)

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beepboopbeep
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby beepboopbeep » Sat May 13, 2017 4:27 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:(hey, that's something between the $12/hr strawman and "taking on 200k+ debt is the best thing I can do with my life"! I can think of others)


(Accuses poster of strawman argument)

(Draws up four of his own)


I really don't want to get offtopic in what is otherwise a good thread, but

lol how is "some people are teachers/programmers/etc" a strawman. Those are professions that occupy a middle ground between $12/hr and biglaw in terms of hours, comp, etc, offered in opposition to a poster who was acting like those are the only employment options available to anyone who didn't grow up with $$$. Yes, you need training/education/ability to do these jobs. You also need these things for law. Well, maybe not ability.

Or are you talking about something else in the post

Npret
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Sat May 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Just FYI:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... g_judgment
Note the hours and tasks billed:
Shodeen said Weil’s fee request was “staggering,” adding that its bills were not on par with fees charged by other professionals in the case. Weil lawyers charged hourly rates ranging from $510 to $1,350, and logged a high number of hours, according to Shodeen.

“During 18 days in September,” Shodeen wrote, “Weil logged 546.7 hours and fees of $428,418.50 resulting in an average daily burn rate of $23,801.03.”

Shodeen also questioned Weil’s staffing decisions. Multiple Weil lawyers apparently monitored hearings by phone, though recordings and transcripts were made available, she said. Lawyers appeared to be involved in ministerial tasks such as gathering and providing documents to local counsel and preparing exhibits.

Itemized time entries contained generic entries such as “ongoing case tasks,” and in some cases attorney time was lumped together into a single entry, making it difficult to parse the bills, Shodeen said.

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rpupkin
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby rpupkin » Sat May 13, 2017 6:28 pm

Npret wrote:Just FYI:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... g_judgment
Note the hours and tasks billed:
Shodeen said Weil’s fee request was “staggering,” adding that its bills were not on par with fees charged by other professionals in the case. Weil lawyers charged hourly rates ranging from $510 to $1,350, and logged a high number of hours, according to Shodeen.

“During 18 days in September,” Shodeen wrote, “Weil logged 546.7 hours and fees of $428,418.50 resulting in an average daily burn rate of $23,801.03.”

Shodeen also questioned Weil’s staffing decisions. Multiple Weil lawyers apparently monitored hearings by phone, though recordings and transcripts were made available, she said. Lawyers appeared to be involved in ministerial tasks such as gathering and providing documents to local counsel and preparing exhibits.

Itemized time entries contained generic entries such as “ongoing case tasks,” and in some cases attorney time was lumped together into a single entry, making it difficult to parse the bills, Shodeen said.

Nothing about the above strikes me as surprising or out of the ordinary for big law.

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MCFC
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby MCFC » Sat May 13, 2017 6:38 pm

The so-called judges are at it again.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Sat May 13, 2017 7:41 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Npret wrote:Just FYI:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... g_judgment
Note the hours and tasks billed:
Shodeen said Weil’s fee request was “staggering,” adding that its bills were not on par with fees charged by other professionals in the case. Weil lawyers charged hourly rates ranging from $510 to $1,350, and logged a high number of hours, according to Shodeen.

“During 18 days in September,” Shodeen wrote, “Weil logged 546.7 hours and fees of $428,418.50 resulting in an average daily burn rate of $23,801.03.”

Shodeen also questioned Weil’s staffing decisions. Multiple Weil lawyers apparently monitored hearings by phone, though recordings and transcripts were made available, she said. Lawyers appeared to be involved in ministerial tasks such as gathering and providing documents to local counsel and preparing exhibits.

Itemized time entries contained generic entries such as “ongoing case tasks,” and in some cases attorney time was lumped together into a single entry, making it difficult to parse the bills, Shodeen said.

Nothing about the above strikes me as surprising or out of the ordinary for big law.

I know it isn't surprising. I wanted to show the 0Ls that people are not joking when they talk about the tasks of junior associates making exhibits, etc.

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jkpolk
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby jkpolk » Sat May 13, 2017 9:12 pm

I really think being in it for the money and having no vision beyond getting the immediate job done is the best possible mind set to have for corporate big law. If you have a family to support, can't afford to look up and didn't ever have visions of using your brain grandeur, it's probably a sustainable way to see the world.

Otherwise, I think it's a tough adjustment learning that there's a pretty low, lowest common denominator for the job (and yet you're going to spend most of your waking hours on the job). It forces you to dumb yourself down (or go insane).

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Mr. Peanutbutter
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Sat May 13, 2017 9:26 pm

jkpolk wrote:I really think being in it for the money and having no vision beyond getting the immediate job done is the best possible mind set to have for corporate big law. If you have a family to support, can't afford to look up and didn't ever have visions of using your brain grandeur, it's probably a sustainable way to see the world.

Otherwise, I think it's a tough adjustment learning that there's a pretty low, lowest common denominator for the job (and yet you're going to spend most of your waking hours on the job). It forces you to dumb yourself down (or go insane).

Blessed be the fruit

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby rpupkin » Sat May 13, 2017 9:38 pm

Npret wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Nothing about the above strikes me as surprising or out of the ordinary for big law.

I know it isn't surprising. I wanted to show the 0Ls that people are not joking when they talk about the tasks of junior associates making exhibits, etc.

Yeah, I wasn't suggesting that you felt differently. I was mostly reacting to the perception of the bankruptcy judge.

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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby hangingtree » Sun May 14, 2017 7:58 am

jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


A lot of what you're saying screams 0L who doesn't quite get it, but you're not wrong.

My background is at least as flyover-country generic as yours. After graduating college and spending a few years doing random stuff 97% of top college graduates would never consider, I found myself at a T10. It was a great decision to go to law school, no question. Even I didn't do well, I could have just went home to my flyover state, got a job at one of the best law firms there and been just as happy/fulfilled.

These stories are indeed drown out on TLS. Most people here either went to a top undergrad, have connections/exposure of some sort or have otherwise been driven from an early age to succeed in their careers such that they have other options by the time a law-school-or-not decision comes. For me and OP, the opportunity cost is/was not what the vast majority of you are looking at, not even close. We are the people who went to that crappy public school down the road, live in that state where all the Trump supporters are and don't sound smart when we talk because we never read books. My T10 (and then doing well at my T10, of course) catapulted me to a pretty elite circle and I don't feel that anything at all is out of reach anymore. Before going to law school, I had never even met someone who went to an ivy league school.

This is just useful perspective to keep in mind even when a 0L comes in here and doesn't convince anyone because of the dramatic way s/he lays out his case. Doesn't make the crux of the argument any less correct, particularly when you know it's true that there were a few people in your law school class who came from nothing and likewise never regretted their decision to go to law school.

So, if you're in a position similar to me or OP, fully consider the thoughtful posts in this thread, along with the curt one-liners, but at the end of the day if you go with your gut and decide to attend that T14, this may well be a great decision. It was for me.

Npret
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Sun May 14, 2017 8:59 am

hangingtree wrote:
jb111 wrote:I appreciate the way that people here encourage aspiring lawyers to approach law school with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I have a lot of trouble relating to these types of threads.

I went to a state school and ended up with a decent GPA, but nothing on my transcript or resume that is going to get me into pretty much any other decent graduate program. I've worked multiple ~minimum wage jobs throughout college for as many hours as I can. I come from a small town, working class family, the social/career network that you should expect given that description.

I'm good at reading and writing, and very good at taking tests. So next year I get the opportunity of a fucking lifetime: I'll be attending a Top 5 law school with a decent scholarship instead of making 30-35k a year working seven days a week and trying to build up the "social/career capital" that everyone here thinks just gloms on to every college graduate.

Maybe if you went to an elite undergrad and are ditching your McKinsey job or something, then law isn't such a golden ticket. I don't know anybody who knows anybody who works at McKinsey.

If I'm here bitching about my long hours and my golden fucking handcuffs in 5 years... Well, I can think of worse.

So if your goal is to talk that UPenn finance undergrad out of going to Cornell to become an international 1st amendment rights lawyer... I get it. Thanks. But if your goal is to talk "me" out of law school. Sorry. You live in a bubble.

I want to encourage everybody else who falls into that "me" to not be scared off. And I say that with a certainty, that despite being a 0L, some of you will never be able to speak with.

... No flame meant by the way. I think these threads are valuable to many people, but I'm hoping my perspective might be as well.


A lot of what you're saying screams 0L who doesn't quite get it, but you're not wrong.

My background is at least as flyover-country generic as yours. After graduating college and spending a few years doing random stuff 97% of top college graduates would never consider, I found myself at a T10. It was a great decision to go to law school, no question. Even I didn't do well, I could have just went home to my flyover state, got a job at one of the best law firms there and been just as happy/fulfilled.

These stories are indeed drown out on TLS. Most people here either went to a top undergrad, have connections/exposure of some sort or have otherwise been driven from an early age to succeed in their careers such that they have other options by the time a law-school-or-not decision comes. For me and OP, the opportunity cost is/was not what the vast majority of you are looking at, not even close. We are the people who went to that crappy public school down the road, live in that state where all the Trump supporters are and don't sound smart when we talk because we never read books. My T10 (and then doing well at my T10, of course) catapulted me to a pretty elite circle and I don't feel that anything at all is out of reach anymore. Before going to law school, I had never even met someone who went to an ivy league school.

This is just useful perspective to keep in mind even when a 0L comes in here and doesn't convince anyone because of the dramatic way s/he lays out his case. Doesn't make the crux of the argument any less correct, particularly when you know it's true that there were a few people in your law school class who came from nothing and likewise never regretted their decision to go to law school.

So, if you're in a position similar to me or OP, fully consider the thoughtful posts in this thread, along with the curt one-liners, but at the end of the day if you go with your gut and decide to attend that T14, this may well be a great decision. It was for me.


Actually the people who come from nothing may make the most content biglaw associates. It goes with my idea that the people who use biglaw as an ego boost are less likely to be unhappy than people who just want money. That's not meant to be a put down- it's just an observation. I liked biglaw as long as I cared about status. Law is status obsessed so it's a good fit. (I noticed you didn't mention your quality of life in biglaw; maybe it's great. There are people who manage well.)

My point has always been that people should go into this career with their eyes open. Many 0Ls dismiss people who try to explain the nature of the hours and the stress because these 0Ls think that biglaw lawyers have never had other jobs - my personal favorite is roofing in Texas which seems to mean that biglaw can't be bad because you get to work inside.

I'm not sure how many 0Ls go to law school now just focused on the biglaw salary but it seems like there is an endless supply. They don't understand biglaw hiring or up and out and they plan to repay $300,000 of debt by just working 4-5 years in biglaw. They don't understand that they won't just stay in the job until they make partner.

So for me the point of being on this forum at all is to try to have 0Ls look at the career before they invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of effort. I try to help 0Ls understand that you don't need to pay sticker at Harvard to have a law career.

I do understand that the numbers driven basis of law school admissions gives people an access to top schools they might not have had otherwise. But that doesn't mean biglaw is the right or best career path. At least people should have some sense of the job demands before they decide it's the answer to their problems.

Edit to add:Maybe it's just NYC biglaw that is the main issue because the city has just become so expensive along with law school tuition, so debt is higher and rent is higher. I'm talking about NYC biglaw and I don't know about other markets.

hangingtree
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby hangingtree » Sun May 14, 2017 9:53 am

Npret wrote:
Actually the people who come from nothing may make the most content biglaw associates. It goes with my idea that the people who use biglaw as an ego boost are less likely to be unhappy than people who just want money. That's not meant to be a put down- it's just an observation. I liked biglaw as long as I cared about status. Law is status obsessed so it's a good fit. (I noticed you didn't mention your quality of life in biglaw; maybe it's great. There are people who manage well.)

My point has always been that people should go into this career with their eyes open. Many 0Ls dismiss people who try to explain the nature of the hours and the stress because these 0Ls think that biglaw lawyers have never had other jobs - my personal favorite is roofing in Texas which seems to mean that biglaw can't be bad because you get to work inside.

I'm not sure how many 0Ls go to law school now just focused on the biglaw salary but it seems like there is an endless supply. They don't understand biglaw hiring or up and out and they plan to repay $300,000 of debt by just working 4-5 years in biglaw. They don't understand that they won't just stay in the job until they make partner.

So for me the point of being on this forum at all is to try to have 0Ls look at the career before they invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of effort. I try to help 0Ls understand that you don't need to pay sticker at Harvard to have a law career.

I do understand that the numbers driven basis of law school admissions gives people an access to top schools they might not have had otherwise. But that doesn't mean biglaw is the right or best career path. At least people should have some sense of the job demands before they decide it's the answer to their problems.

Edit to add:Maybe it's just NYC biglaw that is the main issue because the city has just become so expensive along with law school tuition, so debt is higher and rent is higher. I'm talking about NYC biglaw and I don't know about other markets.


1) I was quite explicit in saying that my post and OP's only apply to a small percentage of people who actually attend top law schools, so I wasn't taking issue with the conclusions drawn in this thread. In fact, I of course agree with you, given how unhappy some of my peers are right now.

2) Did you just assume that the base-level satisfaction I have in my choice is rooted entirely in the status I have achieved? It's a fair point, obviously, and this makes a lot of people happy. I'm not saying it doesn't impact my well-being, it does in some trivial sense. As does the money. But there is so much intrinsic good in my life now, such as the world-class education I had, the interactions I have on a daily basis with extremely bright people, the interesting work I do and the overall feeling that I am doing as much as I can with my capacity. That said, there is a little bit of "status"-driven satisfaction there, particularly if you define "status" broadly enough. Additionally, my humbler background does give me better perspective, certainly. But to dismiss everything I said as simply being derived from my being happier with my status does not do justice to my and OP's point. There's truth to it, even in my case, it's just not a thoughtful way to think about the issue at all.

3) I should add the further caveat that I picked a great firm, a great team and I've been given interesting work thus far. I'm fortunate.

Npret
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby Npret » Sun May 14, 2017 11:22 am

Fair points. I was being very general about status v money but it's not a point worth pursuing. I'm glad everything worked out so well for you.

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quiver
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Re: So you want to be a NY Corporate Associate?

Postby quiver » Sun May 14, 2017 1:22 pm

hangingtree wrote:
Npret wrote:
Actually the people who come from nothing may make the most content biglaw associates. It goes with my idea that the people who use biglaw as an ego boost are less likely to be unhappy than people who just want money. That's not meant to be a put down- it's just an observation. I liked biglaw as long as I cared about status. Law is status obsessed so it's a good fit. (I noticed you didn't mention your quality of life in biglaw; maybe it's great. There are people who manage well.)

My point has always been that people should go into this career with their eyes open. Many 0Ls dismiss people who try to explain the nature of the hours and the stress because these 0Ls think that biglaw lawyers have never had other jobs - my personal favorite is roofing in Texas which seems to mean that biglaw can't be bad because you get to work inside.

I'm not sure how many 0Ls go to law school now just focused on the biglaw salary but it seems like there is an endless supply. They don't understand biglaw hiring or up and out and they plan to repay $300,000 of debt by just working 4-5 years in biglaw. They don't understand that they won't just stay in the job until they make partner.

So for me the point of being on this forum at all is to try to have 0Ls look at the career before they invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of effort. I try to help 0Ls understand that you don't need to pay sticker at Harvard to have a law career.

I do understand that the numbers driven basis of law school admissions gives people an access to top schools they might not have had otherwise. But that doesn't mean biglaw is the right or best career path. At least people should have some sense of the job demands before they decide it's the answer to their problems.

Edit to add:Maybe it's just NYC biglaw that is the main issue because the city has just become so expensive along with law school tuition, so debt is higher and rent is higher. I'm talking about NYC biglaw and I don't know about other markets.


1) I was quite explicit in saying that my post and OP's only apply to a small percentage of people who actually attend top law schools, so I wasn't taking issue with the conclusions drawn in this thread. In fact, I of course agree with you, given how unhappy some of my peers are right now.

2) Did you just assume that the base-level satisfaction I have in my choice is rooted entirely in the status I have achieved? It's a fair point, obviously, and this makes a lot of people happy. I'm not saying it doesn't impact my well-being, it does in some trivial sense. As does the money. But there is so much intrinsic good in my life now, such as the world-class education I had, the interactions I have on a daily basis with extremely bright people, the interesting work I do and the overall feeling that I am doing as much as I can with my capacity. That said, there is a little bit of "status"-driven satisfaction there, particularly if you define "status" broadly enough. Additionally, my humbler background does give me better perspective, certainly. But to dismiss everything I said as simply being derived from my being happier with my status does not do justice to my and OP's point. There's truth to it, even in my case, it's just not a thoughtful way to think about the issue at all.

3) I should add the further caveat that I picked a great firm, a great team and I've been given interesting work thus far. I'm fortunate.
I'm with Npret here. I'm glad you enjoy what you're doing and that everything has worked out so far. But the bolded is an extremely rare perspective to have in biglaw. Most junior associates don't care about their "world-class education" or the fact that they have daily interactions with bright people; it's tough to muster positive feelings when you're getting shitty assignments at 10pm on a Friday (all due ASAP, of course) just because the person assigning them went to HLS.

As to the interesting work and fulfilling your capacity, I think the vast majority of biglaw associates cannot identify with that feeling. Reviewing thousands of docs, drafting RFPs, answering Irogs, and writing harshly-worded letters to opposing counsel about the length of depositions (on the lit side) would not meet most associates' definitions of fulfilling their potential. Sure, there are times you get to draft an MTD or SJ--or do a pro bono case--and feel like you're actually doing what you came to do, but I think those are the exceptions rather than the rule for many many associates. And for people I know in corp, this goes doubly for them.

For the record, I don't think anyone ITT is actively trying to discourage people from going into law school, or even biglaw, but simply to do so with eyes wide open (and maybe an exit plan in mind).




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