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Extremelyonlinelaw

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Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:59 pm

OCI, Lifestyle, Clerking, anything.

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:57 pm

What year did you graduate? Did you summer at your current firm? If so, did you consider going elsewhere post-clerkship? And thoughts on whether district clerkship is better for lit as compared with appellate?

Thanks for doing this.

Extremelyonlinelaw

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:10 pm

Hey, no worries. I’m c/o 2015, summered there, starting clerkship this fall. As to district/appellate, depends on what you want to do. An appellate clerkship is great if you want to do appellate law, and is otherwise generally highly regarded, but not terribly important if you want to do NYC biglaw. That’s b/c NYC biglaw, my firm included, tends to focus almost exclusively on trial-level litigation and investigations. That’s not to say my firm doesn’t do appeals - it does. But appeals are not the focal point of our expertise. We don’t have many Supreme Court clerks as a result and generally clients do not come to us for our appellate prowess (though we do have a sizable share of appellate, if not SCOTUS, clerks nonetheless). I’m pretty much exclusively interested in ground-level investigations and litigation, so I’m only doing one dist ct clerkship. But if I were really passionate about appellate work specifically, I would gun for a CoA and then probably switch to a firm that actually specializes in appellate work (or work for a nonprofit or the gov’t in an appellate realm). Hope that helps.

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:15 pm

What'd you get on seamless tonight? I can't decide

Extremelyonlinelaw

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:What year did you graduate? Did you summer at your current firm? If so, did you consider going elsewhere post-clerkship? And thoughts on whether district clerkship is better for lit as compared with appellate?

Thanks for doing this.
No worries, thanks for asking. C/o 2015, summered at my current firm. I am about to leave to clerk (district), and expect to return to the same firm afterwards. Appellate clerkships are highly regarded, but not terribly practical in biglaw, imho, unless you eventually want to do appellate work or go into academia. NYC biglaw (biglaw in general, I’d even say) tends to be more ground-level litigation/investigations focused, so my impression is that district (or even magistrate) clerkships are a bit more practically useful than appellate. But of course no firm will turn anyone down for clerking at the CoA instead of a district court. Just depends on what you want to do with it.

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Extremelyonlinelaw

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:What'd you get on seamless tonight? I can't decide
Not in the office tonight but generally Hatsuhana is great

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:31 pm

Interested in hearing about lifestyle! What time do you get in and out of the office? Do you take lunch breaks? Are you able to work remotely ever, or do you go home at a "reasonable" time and work from home the rest of the night? What about weekends?

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:15 pm

2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Lacepiece23 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy. If you think that biglaw is somewhere where you want to develop skill and gtof go V50. If you want to stay for 5 years go to NYC/DC. It will likely take that long before you get any real litigation skills.

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by BeeTeeZ » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:33 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy.
Why would a client pay $300+/hr for document review, when that work can be done by a paralegal for less?

And why would a law firm pay a junior associate $190,000+ for work that can be done by a paralegal for less than $100,000?

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:49 pm

BeeTeeZ wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy.
Why would a client pay $300+/hr for document review, when that work can be done by a paralegal for less?

And why would a law firm pay a junior associate $190,000+ for work that can be done by a paralegal for less than $100,000?
Paralegals don't do tasks that require judgment related to legal issues (as opposed to administrative issues), and doc review requires legal analysis and judgment. You're literally looking at a document and trying to figure out whether and how it impacts your case. Also you're way underestimating what big firms charge clients (most firms bill out paralegals for $300 or so an hour, forget about attorneys).

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by BeeTeeZ » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy.
Why would a client pay $300+/hr for document review, when that work can be done by a paralegal for less?

And why would a law firm pay a junior associate $190,000+ for work that can be done by a paralegal for less than $100,000?
Paralegals don't do tasks that require judgment related to legal issues (as opposed to administrative issues), and doc review requires legal analysis and judgment. You're literally looking at a document and trying to figure out whether and how it impacts your case. Also you're way underestimating what big firms charge clients (most firms bill out paralegals for $300 or so an hour, forget about attorneys).
Starting with your last point first, firms charge clients less per hour for paralegals than attorneys. So your point about how much firms charge for paralegals' time may be correct, but it's not relevant to the issue: why would a client pay (higher) attorneys' fees for work a paralegal can do (for less).

To your first point, you think paralegals only perform administrative tasks? Paralegals perform legal research and draft memoranda, both of which require "judgment related to legal issues." Moreover, assuming you're correct that paralegals "don't do tasks that require judgment related to legal issues," what separates a paralegal from a legal assistant, or secretary for that matter?

And your response leads to another question: why would a client pay $300/hr for "administrative tasks?"

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:43 am

BeeTeeZ wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BeeTeeZ wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy.
Why would a client pay $300+/hr for document review, when that work can be done by a paralegal for less?

And why would a law firm pay a junior associate $190,000+ for work that can be done by a paralegal for less than $100,000?
Paralegals don't do tasks that require judgment related to legal issues (as opposed to administrative issues), and doc review requires legal analysis and judgment. You're literally looking at a document and trying to figure out whether and how it impacts your case. Also you're way underestimating what big firms charge clients (most firms bill out paralegals for $300 or so an hour, forget about attorneys).
Starting with your last point first, firms charge clients less per hour for paralegals than attorneys. So your point about how much firms charge for paralegals' time may be correct, but it's not relevant to the issue: why would a client pay (higher) attorneys' fees for work a paralegal can do (for less).

To your first point, you think paralegals only perform administrative tasks? Paralegals perform legal research and draft memoranda, both of which require "judgment related to legal issues." Moreover, assuming you're correct that paralegals "don't do tasks that require judgment related to legal issues," what separates a paralegal from a legal assistant, or secretary for that matter?

And your response leads to another question: why would a client pay $300/hr for "administrative tasks?"
I'm just telling you how it is, you can come up with all the arguments you want as to why it's not or should not be that way, but the world will keep on spinning just the same. At my firm, and every big firm I've worked with or spoken to people about this work, paralegals do not "perform legal research and draft memoranda." At small firms, it stands to reason that paralegals might do work like this, but at big firms, no way. At most they might pull the cases in a memo drafted by an attorney. Maybe OP's (or anyone else's) firm works differently and they'll weigh in.

To answer your question about secretaries, many big firms don't have secretaries, but at those that do, they generally don't work on cases, and if they do they don't get involved to nearly the degree that paralegals do (organizing files or doing overarching tasks related to the case that requires coordination among the team), rather they might perform individual work for one person on occasion. As to why a client would pay that much, I guess because they need it done right and that's how much the firms that do it right charge. Don't get me wrong, paralegal work often requires judgment and training, just not legal judgment. For example, a para might need to pull documents for an exhibit list in a brief or memo, which involves trying to identify which document an attorney is referring to from a general description of those documents. But an attorney will always review this. And a secretary generally could not do this, because they don't have the context of the case to be able to understand which documents the attorney is looking for (or training with the databases that store the documents to be able to locate them).

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by QContinuum » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:47 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy. If you think that biglaw is somewhere where you want to develop skill and gtof go V50. If you want to stay for 5 years go to NYC/DC. It will likely take that long before you get any real litigation skills.
I'm not convinced starting at a V50 is necessarily better for someone looking/hoping to stay in BigLaw long-term. Prestige counts for a lot in law, and it's much easier to lateral "down" the prestige ladder than up.

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Interested in hearing about lifestyle! What time do you get in and out of the office? Do you take lunch breaks? Are you able to work remotely ever, or do you go home at a "reasonable" time and work from home the rest of the night? What about weekends?
Hey, thanks for the question. As for when I get into the office and leave, the answer depends on the flow of the case and the partners that manage it. I’ve been on cases where the case leadership flat out doesn’t care where you are or what you’re doing as long as the work gets done (this is, in my experience, the default attitude at my firm). You can absolutely work remotely (management has recently approved reimbursement for home monitors and some sort of docking station). I’ve also been on cases where the partners want us physically there to talk things through and meet. So team dynamics dictate to some extent the length of the time I’m actually at work. Unless I have a planned call or meeting, I will show up to work as late as humanly possible. But that’s just me. When things are slow, I don’t come in at all, or come in very late (like in the afternoon). Others like getting in early. When you’re gearing up for trial or some sort of regulatory presentation or production, things can get more intense and you pretty much have to come in earlier and stay through the day. It’s too hectic otherwise, I find.

Many do go home at a reasonable hour and log on from there. It’s great if you have kids or a significant other, because then you can actually have dinner together (though you probably still have to log in and continue doing whatever you left off at work).

As for lunch, you can take however the hell long you want, but obviously sometimes meetings/calls/deadlines get in the way of a calm, sit-down experience. I’ve certainly had my share of desk lunches, though I’ve also had a ton of summer lunches and mentor lunches that went on for like three hours. Just depends on what your workload is at any given moment.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by Extremelyonlinelaw on Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Junior Litigation Associate (NYC V10) Taking Questions

Post by Extremelyonlinelaw » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:24 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L here debating on whether to start in NYC/DC V10's, or to start at a V50 in my home market which I like way more (both the market and firm).

Thoughts?
I can give you the V50 perspective. You’ll likely get a ton more experience and not do doc review. I have a ton of skills as a mid-level that it likely wouldn’t have been able to develop at a huge megafirm in NYC. On the other hand, when you don’t have doc review, the work is harder and billing hours is a lot more difficult. It might be nice to skate by for two years reviewing docs and making NYC market, which has gotten crazy. If you think that biglaw is somewhere where you want to develop skill and gtof go V50. If you want to stay for 5 years go to NYC/DC. It will likely take that long before you get any real litigation skills.

FWIW, in my first two years as a V10 NYC litigation associate, I handled barely any doc review. Same with a good amount of my colleagues. Just depends on the type of matter you’re staffed on. That’s not to say I haven’t done any, but it’s not necessarily the case that the bigger firm in the bigger market will task its associates with more doc review.

As to your question about V10 vs. V50, maybe I’m a softie, but I tend to think you should just practice law where you actually want to live and where you’d be happiest. I see little upside, if you do genuinely want to be back home, to work at, e.g., Skadden NY, for two years before doing what you should have done all along and lateral over to the V50 firm back home anyway. What’s the point? If you weren’t sure about where you wanted to be, that’s one thing. But it sounds like you have your sights set on your home market, and that’s great! Do that. The connections you’ll make during your first few years at the V50 will be valuable, and you’d be giving that up by doing a big city gig. Don’t stay in a big city just for the rank of the firm. At least don’t do it if you don’t actually want to live in the big city.

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