Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

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taxguy
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Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby taxguy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:36 pm

I know that many of your want to work in Big Law. You aspire to a top T14 school where you think you will have a great career. Let me share a recent story
that I heard yesterday.

I was sitting on the plane next to a gal who attended University of Taxas and worked for a large law firm in Texas. The law firm have had already two rounds of layoffs.
Most of those layed off were those that didn't meet the budgetary goals of 45 chargable hours per week. Be advised that to get 45 chargable hours, you really need to work at least 60 hours per week or more.

They were going to have another big round of layoffs when the staff voted en masse to allow a 20% pay cut if the firm would not lay anyone else off.Since the starting
salary for new lawyers was $160,000, they could still live on $128,000.

The partners thought about this and rejected the staff's proposal as being the result of "loser mentality." If you want to work in Big Law, you should at least know
what you are getting into for the rest of your life!

Some of you may either not belive me or think this is an isolated situation. My attitude is being forewarned is forearmed. If you don't believe me or believe that this is more the possible exception than the general rule, so be it.
Last edited by taxguy on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:39 pm

Or for 3-5 years?

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby KibblesAndVick » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:39 pm

There are going to be successive rounds of layoffs in every Biglaw firm in America FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES?

Biglaw = the next season of survivor??

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:40 pm

This actually the most positive post about biglaw I've ever heard.

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Iconoclast
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:43 pm

Holy hell! They expect first year associates to work 60 whole hours a week in return for 160 grand? The absolute horror!!

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mallard
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby mallard » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:44 pm

PS. The managing partner was Albert Einstein.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:44 pm

Iconoclast wrote:Holy hell! They expect first year associates to work 60 whole hours a week in return for 160 grand? The absolute horror!!



OP is definitely a flame though, the associates really work 80 hour weeks, they cut salaries to 90K, actually did three rounds of layoffs, and deferred incoming hires until 2015.

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Thirteen
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Thirteen » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:46 pm

Texas biglaw will continue to pay $160k? Nice.

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nealric
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby nealric » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:47 pm

This actually the most positive post about biglaw I've ever heard.


LOL

You haven't heard much, have you?


But to answer the OP: The reason they won't cut to $128k isn't because of some macho fear of a "loser mentality", but because of the simple fact that the star players will leave if the firm cuts that deeply. The last thing the firm wants is to lose all its superstars (who will have the easiest time lateraling) and only retain those who have no other options. It's a classic prisoner's dilemma.

The hours requirement is news to nobody. If you are in biglaw, you will work 60+ hours a week. Those hours likely will not be evenly distributed. Nevertheless, it's not like you are signing a life-contract to work those hours. Most don't make it past years 3-4. They then leverage the biglaw name on their resume to go elsewhere.

I do find it amusing that this was written by an apparent 0L who just sat next to someone on an airplane. We do have Biglaw associates who post on this message board- it's not like there is a pressing dearth of information on TLS- it's just that you have to wade through the swamp of misinformation.
Last edited by nealric on Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kochel
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Kochel » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:47 pm

Working at Biglaw sucks. Everyone knows this. To pay off your loans, you pay your dues first. And, after 3-5 years, you profit.

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Matthies
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Matthies » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:53 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
Iconoclast wrote:Holy hell! They expect first year associates to work 60 whole hours a week in return for 160 grand? The absolute horror!!



OP is definitely a flame though, the associates really work 80 hour weeks, they cut salaries to 90K, actually did three rounds of layoffs, and deferred incoming hires until 2015.


Well they have to work 90 hours to get the 60 hours which is then cut to 45 hours becuase most of thier 'research' is crap and not billable to the cleints.

Also taking advice on ones carear path from stangers on plane is only slightly more credited than taking such advice from strangers on the internet, but is more credited than taking advice from somome who actaully works as a lawyer from a lower rnaked school, becuase well, those people are the exception while biglaw associates on planes from the Universty of Taxas are the rule. Thank you TLS for one again reaffriming my belief in humanity.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:53 pm

nealric wrote:
This actually the most positive post about biglaw I've ever heard.


LOL

You haven't heard much, have you?


Only what I hear from Mallard.

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Matthies
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Matthies » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:54 pm

nealric wrote:[ We do have Biglaw associates who post on this message board-


working ones? Say it anin't so

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mallard
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby mallard » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:54 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
nealric wrote:
This actually the most positive post about biglaw I've ever heard.


LOL

You haven't heard much, have you?


Only what I hear from Mallard.


That's right, baby, you don't need nobody else.

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Matthies
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Matthies » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:55 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
nealric wrote:
This actually the most positive post about biglaw I've ever heard.


LOL

You haven't heard much, have you?


Only what I hear from Mallard.

:lol:

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paratactical
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby paratactical » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:56 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby nealric » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:00 pm

working ones? Say it anin't so


I bet they even bill the time to the client. Those biglaw types are shifty you know.

Don't ever go to biglaw. A biglaw associate killed my father. One day, I will find that biglaw associate and I will say: "May name is Ingo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."

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mallard
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby mallard » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:01 pm

nealric wrote:
working ones? Say it anin't so


I bet they even bill the time to the client. Those biglaw types are shifty you know.

Don't ever go to biglaw. A biglaw associate killed my father. One day, I will find that biglaw associate and I will say: "May name is Ingo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."


And he will highlight your spelling and grammar errors and send it back for revision and clarification at 11PM on a Friday night.

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Iconoclast
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:09 pm

paratactical wrote:
Iconoclast wrote:Holy hell! They expect first year associates to work 60 whole hours a week in return for 160 grand? The absolute horror!!


LOL @ 60 hrs/wk.


I am well aware that 60 hours a week is not representative of what biglaw associates work. I was poking fun at the OP who found a need to point out: "Be advised that to get 45 chargable hours, you really need to work at least 60 hours per week or more."

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paratactical
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby paratactical » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:10 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Matthies
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Matthies » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:13 pm

nealric wrote:
working ones? Say it anin't so


I bet they even bill the time to the client. Those biglaw types are shifty you know.

Don't ever go to biglaw. A biglaw associate killed my father. One day, I will find that biglaw associate and I will say: "May name is Ingo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."


Damn you mean everything I read on the Scam blogs in not true?

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nealric
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby nealric » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:22 pm


And he will highlight your spelling and grammar errors and send it back for revision and clarification at 11PM on a Friday night.


And the firm will charge me $350 an hour for it. Oh well, I guess you have to pay to get the best.

Damn you mean everything I read on the Scam blogs in not true?


No, it's all true. If you don't go into biglaw you will die alone.

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Matthies
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Matthies » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:24 pm

nealric wrote:

And he will highlight your spelling and grammar errors and send it back for revision and clarification at 11PM on a Friday night.


And the firm will charge me $350 an hour for it. Oh well, I guess you have to pay to get the best.


If they did this I could single handly bankrupct Cravath in 1, maybe 2 memos tops

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CrimsonCal
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby CrimsonCal » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:28 pm

A lot of the partners cook their hours... and subsequently lessen those of associates when reviewing the billing invoices...

I seriously wonder how much lying goes on when submitting time sheets given the pressure out there

Kochel
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Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this

Postby Kochel » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:54 pm

I think there's very little outright fabrication in billing. Biglaw firms are full of gossip, political maneuvering and territoriality, but fraudulent billing isn't part of the Biglaw culture.

But anyone who's ever billed for time knows that it is not an exact science. How do you bill for a 9-minute conference call? What if you have two 9-minute conference calls on consecutive days? For an all-day offsite meeting, how do you know your timesheet will match up with that of the other associate at the meeting? To which client do you bill your cab fare at night? As a client, these are the things I worry about when reviewing a bill, not the potential for actual fraud.




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