BigLaw Question

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DwightSchruteFarms
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BigLaw Question

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:56 pm

Ok, so i go to a T2 and I am performing well. Not too well, but well enough, around Top 40%. Needless to say, I probably will not be getting in to a large law firm right out of school. I have an MBA as well, but from a regional B-School. What should I do, or what can I do, in order to obtain a biglaw job in 3 years after school? If I take a lesser job and then try and transfer into a big firm, would that work? Any suggestions or any have experience on how to do it?

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rayiner
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:10 pm

DwightSchruteFarms wrote:Ok, so i go to a T2 and I am performing well. Not too well, but well enough, around Top 40%. Needless to say, I probably will not be getting in to a large law firm right out of school. I have an MBA as well, but from a regional B-School. What should I do, or what can I do, in order to obtain a biglaw job in 3 years after school? If I take a lesser job and then try and transfer into a big firm, would that work? Any suggestions or any have experience on how to do it?


Small firm -> big firm transitions do happen, but almost always in specialized areas like IP, where the skills are in high-demand and also easily generalizable from small-firm work to big firm work.

Outside those areas, the odds of making the transition aren't great. Big firms make their livings doing M&As, etc, while small firms do small-scale litigation, etc. Even if you become very good at the latter, that doesn't make you particularly marketable for the former.

Really at this point you should be focusing on being successful as possible within the small firm world.

DwightSchruteFarms
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:13 pm

Could you give me a realistic timeline of what I could do? (Sorry for all the questions)

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TTH
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby TTH » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:29 am

You don't have a realistic timeline of getting biglaw w/ top 40% from a T2. You know this.

Your best unrealistic timeline is to either:

1. Get a job with a regulatory agency and become a specialist; or
2. Go to NYU, Georgetown, or Florida for an LL.M in tax.

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Rand M.
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby Rand M. » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:41 am

TTH wrote:1. Get a job with a regulatory agency and become a specialist


This. The 3 yrs. timeline is unrealistic. These places just don't hire third and fourth year laterals from outside the biglaw world for the most part. However, a lot of partners--and actually a lot of the more influential/successful partners--first made a name for themselves outside the firm world altogether. Becoming a boss in a regulatory field, and clients will be clamoring to have your name attached to their matters in the biglaw world. This path can take decades, but it works. I have even heard partners refer to this as the "easy route" to partnership, as opposed to starting out as a junior associate and trying to build business from scratch. If biglaw is the goal, this may be the best option. But I think you ought to seriously consider the rest of the firm world, and know that if you work hard there are ways to advance within that world as well.

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rayiner
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby rayiner » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:06 am

DwightSchruteFarms wrote:Could you give me a realistic timeline of what I could do? (Sorry for all the questions)


There is no easy timeline, because there is no well-defined track. The well-defined track to biglaw goes T14 -> good grades -> 2L OCI -> biglaw offer, and even that's getting pretty spotty ITE. From a T2, you were never on this track.

At this point, if you want biglaw, you'll have to get it through a combination of finding an in-demand niche and a lot of luck. The regulatory point other people have made is credited, but it's a rough road. While I was working at a federal agency this summer, the chairman introduced his two new legal advisors in a meeting. One was on law review at Yale, the other was on law review at Stanford. The chairman himself was on law review at Harvard...

At this point you should really be considering: what are your goals? What sort of work do you want to do that you think you can do in biglaw? How can you do that sort of work (at a smaller scale) without working at a big firm?

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gdane
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby gdane » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:25 pm

Just hunt down the hiring partners at the respective firms youre interested in working at are and stalk them. Do things outside the box, thread the needle, pay the piper. In other words, just do whatever you can.

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johnnyutah
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby johnnyutah » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:29 pm

Find a job that lets you go to court a lot, become a ridiculously amazing trial attorney, and win every case. Most big firms attorneys do M&A and complex corporate litigation type shit, but a lot of have some trial attorneys, too, and its a skill set that is transferable.

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IzziesGal
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby IzziesGal » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:38 pm

I think people are taking for granted the idea that all big law firms want the same things in a candidate. Sure, most do want T14, top grades, law review, etc., but some (notably those outside the top 40 firms or so on Vault) are more willing to look at candidates as a whole. The OP has an MBA, and might have some interesting work experience as well. I wouldn't discount big law - just target firms further down the Vault list.

I'd start working alumni connections at those firms, although admittedly, end of August is a bit late to do this. Callbacks and even offers have gone out already, but it doesn't hurt to try. Good luck!

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kalvano
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby kalvano » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:38 pm

johnnyutah wrote:Find a job that lets you go to court a lot, become a ridiculously amazing trial attorney, and win every case. Most big firms attorneys do M&A and complex corporate litigation type shit, but a lot of have some trial attorneys, too, and its a skill set that is transferable.


+1.

Lawyers who can perform well in court are always in demand. If you can litigate well, odds of finding a better job will substantially increase.

DwightSchruteFarms
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Re: BigLaw Question

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:20 pm

Thank you all for the amazing advice.

I know I have to be realistic and I feel by writing onto LR or trying out for Moot Court, I can try and enhance my career. I am looking at a few firms, and I may get a callback at a litigation-heavy firm, which would be nice.




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