What happens after BigLaw?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
lillawyer2
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:43 pm

What happens after BigLaw?

Postby lillawyer2 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:46 pm

So you don't make partner and you are toward the end: 3-5 year time frame.


What is next?

How I currently understand it, big law salaries 160k-180k are large chunks of money to help assist in killing your debt. Any where else out of big law the salary drops considerably.


Am I somewhere on the map on this one?

User avatar
zot1
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:50 pm

After 5 years biglaw associates move to an island and bake cookies.

lillawyer2
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby lillawyer2 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:56 pm

zot1 wrote:After 5 years biglaw associates move to an island and bake cookies.


An island with calm seas or a rocky jagged terrain with overwhelming tides?

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2612
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby nealric » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:04 pm

lillawyer2 wrote:So you don't make partner and you are toward the end: 3-5 year time frame.


What is next?

How I currently understand it, big law salaries 160k-180k are large chunks of money to help assist in killing your debt. Any where else out of big law the salary drops considerably.


Am I somewhere on the map on this one?


Depending on practice group and industry, in-house salaries aren't necessarily dramatically below biglaw salaries. I actually increased my all-in after tax compensation package (including benefits) going in-house. Base salary was lower, but benefits (401k match, pension, insurance, stock grants, etc.) were much better. That said, now that I would be a senior associate were I still in private practice, I'd be making a decent chunk more than I do now considering the $100k market bonus. I'm fairly certain I still make more per hour though :mrgreen:

As to the overall trajectory of former biglaw associates, I don't think anybody has hard data. Some lateral to other biglaw firms and either end up as partners or counsel of some sort. Some lateral to mid or smaller firms. Some go government, some go in-house. Undoubtedly, some flame out of law altogether.

User avatar
zot1
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:15 pm

lillawyer2 wrote:
zot1 wrote:After 5 years biglaw associates move to an island and bake cookies.


An island with calm seas or a rocky jagged terrain with overwhelming tides?


The latter, of course.

lillawyer2
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby lillawyer2 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:19 pm

zot1 wrote:
lillawyer2 wrote:
zot1 wrote:After 5 years biglaw associates move to an island and bake cookies.


An island with calm seas or a rocky jagged terrain with overwhelming tides?


The latter, of course.


The talent lawyers possess to bake cookies against such odds.

lillawyer2
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby lillawyer2 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:25 pm

nealric wrote:So you don't make partner and you are toward the end: 3-5 year time frame.


What is next?

How I currently understand it, big law salaries 160k-180k are large chunks of money to help assist in killing your debt. Any where else out of big law the salary drops considerably.


Am I somewhere on the map on this one?[/qu

Depending on practice group and industry, in-house salaries aren't necessarily dramatically below biglaw salaries. I actually increased my all-in after tax compensation package (including benefits) going in-house. Base salary was lower, but benefits (401k match, pension, insurance, stock grants, etc.) were much better. That said, now that I would be a senior associate were I still in private practice, I'd be making a decent chunk more than I do now considering the $100k market bonus. I'm fairly certain I still make more per hour though :mrgreen:

As to the overall trajectory of former biglaw associates, I don't think anybody has hard data. Some lateral to other biglaw firms and either end up as partners or counsel of some sort. Some lateral to mid or smaller firms. Some go government, some go in-house. Undoubtedly, some flame out of law altogether.



Do you work more normal hours? Based on what I read/hear big law salaries are not reflective of how much you are worked. I argue this is relative, but I didn't meet a single soul who liked big law. How was your experience working big law?

I understand the overall package makes up for the lower salary, but going off popular opinion that big law $$ does not match the work put in, would you say COL is better outside of big law? Does the salary match the level of work/amount if effort?

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2612
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:57 am

lillawyer2 wrote:
nealric wrote:So you don't make partner and you are toward the end: 3-5 year time frame.


What is next?

How I currently understand it, big law salaries 160k-180k are large chunks of money to help assist in killing your debt. Any where else out of big law the salary drops considerably.


Am I somewhere on the map on this one?[/qu

Depending on practice group and industry, in-house salaries aren't necessarily dramatically below biglaw salaries. I actually increased my all-in after tax compensation package (including benefits) going in-house. Base salary was lower, but benefits (401k match, pension, insurance, stock grants, etc.) were much better. That said, now that I would be a senior associate were I still in private practice, I'd be making a decent chunk more than I do now considering the $100k market bonus. I'm fairly certain I still make more per hour though :mrgreen:

As to the overall trajectory of former biglaw associates, I don't think anybody has hard data. Some lateral to other biglaw firms and either end up as partners or counsel of some sort. Some lateral to mid or smaller firms. Some go government, some go in-house. Undoubtedly, some flame out of law altogether.



Do you work more normal hours? Based on what I read/hear big law salaries are not reflective of how much you are worked. I argue this is relative, but I didn't meet a single soul who liked big law. How was your experience working big law?

I understand the overall package makes up for the lower salary, but going off popular opinion that big law $$ does not match the work put in, would you say COL is better outside of big law? Does the salary match the level of work/amount if effort?


I generally work 7:30 to 5:00, with every other Friday off. I will come in on a weekend or work a late night (defined as later than 6PM) maybe 3 or 4 days a year. All bets would be off if there were a major corporate life event- like our company merged with a peer, but that would be a time-limited commitment. By COL, Do you mean cost of living or did you mean to type QOL (quality of life)? I went from NYC to a smaller market, so COL went way down (making my salary go a lot farther), but quality of life is undoubtedly better given the much lower work hours.

There are certainly people who like biglaw. Like online reviews, it tends to be the most disgruntled who tell the most people about their experience. I'm not sure if It's accurate to say I "liked it" in comparison to my current gig, but I don't have any real complaints about biglaw. I certainly worked harder than was comfortable, but it was a good experience, and I think I was treated pretty well all-around. Frankly, I think I was probably overpaid relative to the value I added and the work I did. Things can really vary depending on where you end up and who you work for. I was lucky enough to work for good partners in a firm that had a fairly healthy culture. Caveat that I do tax, which is often ranked as a good quality of life practice. I don't think tax works fewer hours per-se, but it tends to involve more consistent hours and fewer fire drills, which is generally less stressful on the junior side.

TLS_Dreamer
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:34 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby TLS_Dreamer » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:37 pm

nealric wrote:
lillawyer2 wrote:
nealric wrote:So you don't make partner and you are toward the end: 3-5 year time frame.


I went from NYC to a smaller market, so COL went way down (making my salary go a lot farther), but quality of life is undoubtedly better given the much lower work hours.


Do you think you could get an awesome job like that in a smaller market, say Chicago or Dallas or Charlotte?

TLS_Dreamer
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:34 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby TLS_Dreamer » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:38 pm

nealric wrote:I went from NYC to a smaller market, so COL went way down (making my salary go a lot farther), but quality of life is undoubtedly better given the much lower work hours.


Do you think you could get an awesome job like that if you had worked biglaw in a smaller market (say Chicago or Dallas or Charlotte) to start your career?

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2612
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:46 am

TLS_Dreamer wrote:
nealric wrote:I went from NYC to a smaller market, so COL went way down (making my salary go a lot farther), but quality of life is undoubtedly better given the much lower work hours.


Do you think you could get an awesome job like that if you had worked biglaw in a smaller market (say Chicago or Dallas or Charlotte) to start your career?


I don't see why not. If you are in Charlotte, you would likely end up in banking. If you are in Dallas, more likely energy. Chicago is a fairly large market and probably less industry focused.

User avatar
PrezRand
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby PrezRand » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:41 pm

I would like to get into consulting if I can't get a job in government or run for office. Preferably Economic or defense consulting.

TLS_Dreamer
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:34 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby TLS_Dreamer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:14 pm

PrezRand wrote:I would like to get into consulting if I can't get a job in government or run for office. Preferably Economic or defense consulting.


Wooo! Go Rand Paul!

User avatar
PrezRand
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Re: What happens after BigLaw?

Postby PrezRand » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:47 pm

TLS_Dreamer wrote:
PrezRand wrote:I would like to get into consulting if I can't get a job in government or run for office. Preferably Economic or defense consulting.


Wooo! Go Rand Paul!

:D




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests