Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Sat May 06, 2017 1:30 pm

I need help assessing my fit in Big Law firms from a state without any. I will use this to choose what law school I go to (T14 large debt vs. T30 free ride).

Would you recommend that I must travel to a city, like Chicago, and interview a Big Law firm firsthand to get an idea of the culture? I have experience working similar hours, but no experience with the feel of that environment, which is everything.

User avatar
Capitol_Idea
Posts: 14195
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat May 06, 2017 1:53 pm

Just living around big law firms won't give you a sense of what they're like - it's not like the people walking around town and the outside of the building give any kind of perspective.

Like any graduate degree, figure out the job you want first and then choose the school/program that best sets you up for that career path.

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Sat May 06, 2017 3:14 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:Just living around big law firms won't give you a sense of what they're like - it's not like the people walking around town and the outside of the building give any kind of perspective.

Like any graduate degree, figure out the job you want first and then choose the school/program that best sets you up for that career path.


Thanks, man. You not only misquoted me, but then gave me advice that, if followed, would be consistent with my post.

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby Npret » Sat May 06, 2017 3:17 pm

You can't go interview a biglaw firm. What do you mean?

tomwatts
Posts: 1686
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby tomwatts » Sat May 06, 2017 3:30 pm

I mean, you could try to arrange an informational interview, but I'm not sure how that would go over. My guess is that you could find some people who would talk to you, but most people wouldn't. Some junior/midlevel associates probably would, if you asked around enough.

But the problem is that biglaw is, by its, nature, big. Many thousands of lawyers work in biglaw. Dozens of firms are involved, each with numerous practice groups. The experience varies, sometimes quite a bit, depending on the firm, the practice group, etc. So even if you could get a reasonable sense of, say, the associate experience in some litigation practice group at Sidley Austin in Chicago, it wouldn't necessarily tell you anything meaningful about the associate experience in some transactional practice group at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago (much less at some other firm in some other city).

At the end of the day, in biglaw, you work crazy hours providing legal services to huge corporations for large amounts of money. Do you want to do that? If you do, you can find your place within the biglaw universe once you're in law school — when lawyers are a lot more likely to want to talk to you, career services can help, 2Ls and 3Ls can provide advice, etc. You'll have a ton more resources. On the other hand, if that kind of job doesn't sound like what you want to do, you don't want to work in biglaw and should pursue other options.

That being said, if you want to hustle and arrange some informational interviews now, bear in mind you'll have to be persistent — a lot of people will say no — but you probably can pull it off and could get some more information, if you really try.

cavalier1138
Posts: 4312
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat May 06, 2017 9:28 pm

I am utterly bemused by this thread. What are you asking for that you think you'll be able to get through an online forum?

User avatar
Po$eidon
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:03 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby Po$eidon » Sat May 06, 2017 9:51 pm

I feel like this might be THE MOST aspie idea ever. I keep trying to imagine this interaction and it's making me openly laugh

dabigchina
Posts: 1115
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby dabigchina » Sat May 06, 2017 9:58 pm

I can't tell if I'm losing the ability to read or if this post just makes no sense.

NonTradHealthLaw
Posts: 456
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Sat May 06, 2017 10:09 pm

As a Biglaw associate in Chicago I am eager for the opportunity to be interviewed by you.

User avatar
magnum_law
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby magnum_law » Sun May 07, 2017 12:30 am

conker wrote:
Capitol_Idea wrote:Just living around big law firms won't give you a sense of what they're like - it's not like the people walking around town and the outside of the building give any kind of perspective.

Like any graduate degree, figure out the job you want first and then choose the school/program that best sets you up for that career path.


Thanks, man. You not only misquoted me, but then gave me advice that, if followed, would be consistent with my post.


You're the fucking idiot here that isn't making any sense. Capitol is at no fault.

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Mon May 15, 2017 1:05 pm

Npret wrote:You can't go interview a biglaw firm. What do you mean?


Can you not interview attorneys physically within the large firm? I live in a smaller city, and most of our attorneys are open to scheduling interview to prospective law students inside of their offices, maybe for 15 or 30 minutes, to give you career advice tailored to their profession and practice area. I have found this helpful, especially once done many times over.

So, with that said, do you still mean that this is never done in big law firms?

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Mon May 15, 2017 1:10 pm

tomwatts wrote:I mean, you could try to arrange an informational interview, but I'm not sure how that would go over. My guess is that you could find some people who would talk to you, but most people wouldn't. Some junior/midlevel associates probably would, if you asked around enough.

But the problem is that biglaw is, by its, nature, big. Many thousands of lawyers work in biglaw. Dozens of firms are involved, each with numerous practice groups. The experience varies, sometimes quite a bit, depending on the firm, the practice group, etc. So even if you could get a reasonable sense of, say, the associate experience in some litigation practice group at Sidley Austin in Chicago, it wouldn't necessarily tell you anything meaningful about the associate experience in some transactional practice group at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago (much less at some other firm in some other city).

At the end of the day, in biglaw, you work crazy hours providing legal services to huge corporations for large amounts of money. Do you want to do that? If you do, you can find your place within the biglaw universe once you're in law school — when lawyers are a lot more likely to want to talk to you, career services can help, 2Ls and 3Ls can provide advice, etc. You'll have a ton more resources. On the other hand, if that kind of job doesn't sound like what you want to do, you don't want to work in biglaw and should pursue other options.

That being said, if you want to hustle and arrange some informational interviews now, bear in mind you'll have to be persistent — a lot of people will say no — but you probably can pull it off and could get some more information, if you really try.


I was told by an associate at Kirkland/Ellis (he happened to be a contact from the patent office before he finished law school) that it is easier to get honest and helpful career advice in-person from attorneys before, rather than after, starting law school. He said that once you start law school, many attys. will see you as competition.

I appreciate this response. You gathered accurately what I was asking despite my, apparently, convoluted nature. But I think that it would not be worth traveling to Chicago just to interview some big law associates. What I am basically looking for is help on making the decision to "big law or bust" when it comes to deciding what ranking of school and scholarship combination to take.

User avatar
grand inquisitor
Posts: 3720
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:21 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby grand inquisitor » Mon May 15, 2017 1:18 pm

i just took my summer mentee to lunch. i thought about paying for her lunch but then i remembered as a 2L she is the competition so fuck her.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 28105
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 15, 2017 1:25 pm

conker wrote:
Npret wrote:You can't go interview a biglaw firm. What do you mean?


Can you not interview attorneys physically within the large firm? I live in a smaller city, and most of our attorneys are open to scheduling interview to prospective law students inside of their offices, maybe for 15 or 30 minutes, to give you career advice tailored to their profession and practice area. I have found this helpful, especially once done many times over.

So, with that said, do you still mean that this is never done in big law firms?

It would be weird to travel just to do this, anyway, I think. You can always contact people by email to set up a phone conversation. It helps to have some kind of connection like a shared acquaintance or alumni of the same school kind of thing.

(This all went downhill quickly because informational interviewing with big firm associates is not the same as interviewing a biglaw firm.)

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby Npret » Mon May 15, 2017 1:28 pm

conker wrote:
tomwatts wrote:I mean, you could try to arrange an informational interview, but I'm not sure how that would go over. My guess is that you could find some people who would talk to you, but most people wouldn't. Some junior/midlevel associates probably would, if you asked around enough.

But the problem is that biglaw is, by its, nature, big. Many thousands of lawyers work in biglaw. Dozens of firms are involved, each with numerous practice groups. The experience varies, sometimes quite a bit, depending on the firm, the practice group, etc. So even if you could get a reasonable sense of, say, the associate experience in some litigation practice group at Sidley Austin in Chicago, it wouldn't necessarily tell you anything meaningful about the associate experience in some transactional practice group at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago (much less at some other firm in some other city).

At the end of the day, in biglaw, you work crazy hours providing legal services to huge corporations for large amounts of money. Do you want to do that? If you do, you can find your place within the biglaw universe once you're in law school — when lawyers are a lot more likely to want to talk to you, career services can help, 2Ls and 3Ls can provide advice, etc. You'll have a ton more resources. On the other hand, if that kind of job doesn't sound like what you want to do, you don't want to work in biglaw and should pursue other options.

That being said, if you want to hustle and arrange some informational interviews now, bear in mind you'll have to be persistent — a lot of people will say no — but you probably can pull it off and could get some more information, if you really try.


I was told by an associate at Kirkland/Ellis (he happened to be a contact from the patent office before he finished law school) that it is easier to get honest and helpful career advice in-person from attorneys before, rather than after, starting law school. He said that once you start law school, many attys. will see you as competition.

I appreciate this response. You gathered accurately what I was asking despite my, apparently, convoluted nature. But I think that it would not be worth traveling to Chicago just to interview some big law associates. What I am basically looking for is help on making the decision to "big law or bust" when it comes to deciding what ranking of school and scholarship combination to take.

When you have actual acceptances, post a choosing thread.

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Mon May 15, 2017 1:29 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:It would be weird to travel just to do this, anyway, I think. You can always contact people by email to set up a phone conversation. It helps to have some kind of connection like a shared acquaintance or alumni of the same school kind of thing.


Yeah, I agree. Especially, I think the shared history is important when reaching out remotely. Thanks for the response.

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Lacking Access to Perspective of Big Law

Postby conker » Mon May 15, 2017 1:30 pm

Npret wrote:When you have actual acceptances, post a choosing thread.


I plan on it. I'm thankful for the forum.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests