Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am

For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?

objctnyrhnr

Moderator
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu May 28, 2020 5:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am
For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?
Caveat is I didn’t transition from second tier biglaw like the spots you’re describing. I’m at a MoLew-type firm now, but I have several friends in GR-type firms. So everything I say here is anecdotal and a comparison of what they tell me to what I experience.

It sounds like those lower level biglaw firms will expect the same level of hours, but obviously pay way less (but you probably knew that). The partner/senior associate quality at those second tier BL firms will typically be lower, meaning both that you’ll learn from less talented people and that you might be more likely to need to deal with toxic personalities. The intellectual complexity and variance of the cases will likely be lower at the second tier biglaw firms. To be honest, I think a lot of these same types of things can be said about the sub market LE shops: littlers, Jackson lewises, etc. This all being said, it also sounds like partner is often easier to get.

Is this a jump you’re in a position to make right now? In my experience, firms like mine do look at those resumes (albeit still probably not if you’re at a TTT) in a booming economy, generally speaking. HOWEVER, this is one of the few times in history when ID is one of the most marketable lit specialities to have. Therefore, if you can leverage your ID experience to get into market biglaw at this moment, my advice is to go and don’t look back.

Now once you’re there, you want to immediately start to look around and get on some investigations, some bet the company lit, some high exposure class actions for fortune 100 clients, etc. basically, when this phase passes, you want to be more than just the “ID guy.” You want to be another one of the associates to whom partners can look to for anything, and whose usefulness does not depend solely on the ID niche.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2020 2:38 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:57 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am
For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?
Caveat is I didn’t transition from second tier biglaw like the spots you’re describing. I’m at a MoLew-type firm now, but I have several friends in GR-type firms. So everything I say here is anecdotal and a comparison of what they tell me to what I experience.

It sounds like those lower level biglaw firms will expect the same level of hours, but obviously pay way less (but you probably knew that). The partner/senior associate quality at those second tier BL firms will typically be lower, meaning both that you’ll learn from less talented people and that you might be more likely to need to deal with toxic personalities. The intellectual complexity and variance of the cases will likely be lower at the second tier biglaw firms. To be honest, I think a lot of these same types of things can be said about the sub market LE shops: littlers, Jackson lewises, etc. This all being said, it also sounds like partner is often easier to get.

Is this a jump you’re in a position to make right now? In my experience, firms like mine do look at those resumes (albeit still probably not if you’re at a TTT) in a booming economy, generally speaking. HOWEVER, this is one of the few times in history when ID is one of the most marketable lit specialities to have. Therefore, if you can leverage your ID experience to get into market biglaw at this moment, my advice is to go and don’t look back.

Now once you’re there, you want to immediately start to look around and get on some investigations, some bet the company lit, some high exposure class actions for fortune 100 clients, etc. basically, when this phase passes, you want to be more than just the “ID guy.” You want to be another one of the associates to whom partners can look to for anything, and whose usefulness does not depend solely on the ID niche.
Hi! OP here. I've been approached by a lot of recruiters and had some in depth discussions with some and there seems to be a market for L&E associates like myself. So I'm thinking about dipping my foot into the job market and seeing if I get interviews and offers. My primary concern is moving over and then being cut whether its because I'm the "ID guy" or just "last to come is first to go". For true Big Law shops like yours, are there other expectations beyond billing the 1,900 or 2,000 hours per year? Like x hours writing articles in addition to that billing, marketing, business development etc? Any risk of being forced out if you don't make Partner when time comes? How easy is it to get work? At my current firm, the work is just handed out and I work with two partners closely as their "primary associate" so to speak so I'm always busy. Do I run the risk of having to hunt for work by making the leap? My attitude towards work is I'm a team player so I will work on whatever is given to me. I'm worried that won't do the trick at true Big Law? Can you share with me some more insight on transitioning from "ID guy" to being more? Any firms you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for any advice and insight you may have for me!

ChickenSalad

New
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:08 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by ChickenSalad » Fri May 29, 2020 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 2:38 am
objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:57 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am
For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?
Caveat is I didn’t transition from second tier biglaw like the spots you’re describing. I’m at a MoLew-type firm now, but I have several friends in GR-type firms. So everything I say here is anecdotal and a comparison of what they tell me to what I experience.

It sounds like those lower level biglaw firms will expect the same level of hours, but obviously pay way less (but you probably knew that). The partner/senior associate quality at those second tier BL firms will typically be lower, meaning both that you’ll learn from less talented people and that you might be more likely to need to deal with toxic personalities. The intellectual complexity and variance of the cases will likely be lower at the second tier biglaw firms. To be honest, I think a lot of these same types of things can be said about the sub market LE shops: littlers, Jackson lewises, etc. This all being said, it also sounds like partner is often easier to get.

Is this a jump you’re in a position to make right now? In my experience, firms like mine do look at those resumes (albeit still probably not if you’re at a TTT) in a booming economy, generally speaking. HOWEVER, this is one of the few times in history when ID is one of the most marketable lit specialities to have. Therefore, if you can leverage your ID experience to get into market biglaw at this moment, my advice is to go and don’t look back.

Now once you’re there, you want to immediately start to look around and get on some investigations, some bet the company lit, some high exposure class actions for fortune 100 clients, etc. basically, when this phase passes, you want to be more than just the “ID guy.” You want to be another one of the associates to whom partners can look to for anything, and whose usefulness does not depend solely on the ID niche.
Hi! OP here. I've been approached by a lot of recruiters and had some in depth discussions with some and there seems to be a market for L&E associates like myself. So I'm thinking about dipping my foot into the job market and seeing if I get interviews and offers. My primary concern is moving over and then being cut whether its because I'm the "ID guy" or just "last to come is first to go". For true Big Law shops like yours, are there other expectations beyond billing the 1,900 or 2,000 hours per year? Like x hours writing articles in addition to that billing, marketing, business development etc? Any risk of being forced out if you don't make Partner when time comes? How easy is it to get work? At my current firm, the work is just handed out and I work with two partners closely as their "primary associate" so to speak so I'm always busy. Do I run the risk of having to hunt for work by making the leap? My attitude towards work is I'm a team player so I will work on whatever is given to me. I'm worried that won't do the trick at true Big Law? Can you share with me some more insight on transitioning from "ID guy" to being more? Any firms you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for any advice and insight you may have for me!
No there isn’t an expectation on writing articles or other stuff like that.

Workflow depends on the firm but, regardless, the firm will see that you get work early on from the beginning. From there, whether you continue to get work from those partners depends on whether you do a good job. If not, you may have trouble finding hours. If so, then you have a reservoir for hours when other cases slow down and a good partner relationship. (People get pushed out because partners look to other associates who do good work. Or because an associate doesn’t have the skills and they can get a lower class year to do the same or better work at a lower rate. The key to staying around is being a go-to associate for partners when they need something and need good work product that is client ready. So, first impressions are *huge*)

Getting forced out at year 8 or so when you don’t make partner is a common thing at most big law firms I know of. Particularly good associates can stay on after that period in many cases.

It’s not just about doing the hours. You have to do good work to get fed the hours from partners that matter. The more senior you get, the more is expected (obviously)

Edit: a tip. I don’t know the firm you’re at or the work you do so this may or may not be feasible but, if possible, don't describe the work you do as ID in interviews. If someone asks what you do, you do commercial litigation. A lot of companies you represent are insurance companies.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:33 am

Thank you!! This is very helpful!!

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:26 pm

I'm working at a big ID firm similar to what OP explains for my 2L summer. Does anyone have any thoughts or tips on how to leverage that for big law after graduation? I thought it would be close to impossible in this economy but the comments made it seem like that is not the case. Thank you!!

sparty99

Gold
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by sparty99 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:26 pm
I'm working at a big ID firm similar to what OP explains for my 2L summer. Does anyone have any thoughts or tips on how to leverage that for big law after graduation? I thought it would be close to impossible in this economy but the comments made it seem like that is not the case. Thank you!!
There is nothing to leverage. You just work for the Big ID firm and you lateral. It is really not that hard to go from ID to Big Law. Litigation is litigation. In ID you actually go to court, do discovery, take depositions. So your experience is way better then Big Law associates in the sense that you are doing actual litigation. The key is to work in an area that big law does work in like labor and employment, commercial litigation, and IP. You generally want to stay away from medical malpractice or toxic tort.

sparty99

Gold
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by sparty99 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:44 pm

ChickenSalad wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 2:38 am
objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:57 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am
For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?
Caveat is I didn’t transition from second tier biglaw like the spots you’re describing. I’m at a MoLew-type firm now, but I have several friends in GR-type firms. So everything I say here is anecdotal and a comparison of what they tell me to what I experience.

It sounds like those lower level biglaw firms will expect the same level of hours, but obviously pay way less (but you probably knew that). The partner/senior associate quality at those second tier BL firms will typically be lower, meaning both that you’ll learn from less talented people and that you might be more likely to need to deal with toxic personalities. The intellectual complexity and variance of the cases will likely be lower at the second tier biglaw firms. To be honest, I think a lot of these same types of things can be said about the sub market LE shops: littlers, Jackson lewises, etc. This all being said, it also sounds like partner is often easier to get.

Is this a jump you’re in a position to make right now? In my experience, firms like mine do look at those resumes (albeit still probably not if you’re at a TTT) in a booming economy, generally speaking. HOWEVER, this is one of the few times in history when ID is one of the most marketable lit specialities to have. Therefore, if you can leverage your ID experience to get into market biglaw at this moment, my advice is to go and don’t look back.

Now once you’re there, you want to immediately start to look around and get on some investigations, some bet the company lit, some high exposure class actions for fortune 100 clients, etc. basically, when this phase passes, you want to be more than just the “ID guy.” You want to be another one of the associates to whom partners can look to for anything, and whose usefulness does not depend solely on the ID niche.
Hi! OP here. I've been approached by a lot of recruiters and had some in depth discussions with some and there seems to be a market for L&E associates like myself. So I'm thinking about dipping my foot into the job market and seeing if I get interviews and offers. My primary concern is moving over and then being cut whether its because I'm the "ID guy" or just "last to come is first to go". For true Big Law shops like yours, are there other expectations beyond billing the 1,900 or 2,000 hours per year? Like x hours writing articles in addition to that billing, marketing, business development etc? Any risk of being forced out if you don't make Partner when time comes? How easy is it to get work? At my current firm, the work is just handed out and I work with two partners closely as their "primary associate" so to speak so I'm always busy. Do I run the risk of having to hunt for work by making the leap? My attitude towards work is I'm a team player so I will work on whatever is given to me. I'm worried that won't do the trick at true Big Law? Can you share with me some more insight on transitioning from "ID guy" to being more? Any firms you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for any advice and insight you may have for me!
No there isn’t an expectation on writing articles or other stuff like that.

Workflow depends on the firm but, regardless, the firm will see that you get work early on from the beginning. From there, whether you continue to get work from those partners depends on whether you do a good job. If not, you may have trouble finding hours. If so, then you have a reservoir for hours when other cases slow down and a good partner relationship. (People get pushed out because partners look to other associates who do good work. Or because an associate doesn’t have the skills and they can get a lower class year to do the same or better work at a lower rate. The key to staying around is being a go-to associate for partners when they need something and need good work product that is client ready. So, first impressions are *huge*)

Getting forced out at year 8 or so when you don’t make partner is a common thing at most big law firms I know of. Particularly good associates can stay on after that period in many cases.

It’s not just about doing the hours. You have to do good work to get fed the hours from partners that matter. The more senior you get, the more is expected (obviously)

Edit: a tip. I don’t know the firm you’re at or the work you do so this may or may not be feasible but, if possible, don't describe the work you do as ID in interviews. If someone asks what you do, you do commercial litigation. A lot of companies you represent are insurance companies.
You don't really represent insurance companies. You represent the insured. So you can say you represent Fortune 500 companies or small to medium size businesses. The insurance companies just pay for the litigation and settlement. No one really cares that you are coming from insurance defense. They will care if you worked with administrative agencies (EEOC, NLRB, etc), have gone to court, drafted motions, gone to court, etc. You should stop describing yourself as an insurance defense lawyer and start describing yourself as a labor and employment lawyer. And if they ask if you do ID say yes, but it is only like 20% of your practice. Your other clients are institutional clients.

galba

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:45 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by galba » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:10 am

ChickenSalad wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:04 pm
Getting forced out at year 8 or so when you don’t make partner is a common thing at most big law firms I know of. Particularly good associates can stay on after that period in many cases.
The vast majority of Biglaw associates -- that is, the ones that don't leave on their own accord -- get pushed out way before their eighth year.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


User avatar
Sackboy

Bronze
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:14 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Sackboy » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 am

galba wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:10 am

The vast majority of Biglaw associates -- that is, the ones that don't leave on their own accord -- get pushed out way before their eighth year.
There is absolutely no way of knowing this. A very large number of associates just leave for better lifestyles. Of course, people get pushed out, but I'm skeptical that it's the vast majority of people. After years of endless fire drills, grueling hours, and sometimes tedious work, the government, in-house, or leaving the law looks pretty attractive to many attorneys. In my experience, far more people have left the firm out of a desire to change lifestyles than have left due to being pushed out.

NewSouthernAssociate

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:05 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by NewSouthernAssociate » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:12 am

The work will likely be more diverse in biglaw L&E than at an insurance defense firm. Because biglaw rates are so high, we don’t get too many single-plaintiff discrimination cases. Instead, I do more wage and hour class/collective actions and non-compete cases. We also do a fair amount of counseling and transactional work, including employment agreements, severance agreements, terminations/RIFs, and handling the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

In contrast, if you go to an employment firm like Littler or Jackson Lewis, you would probably see more single-plaintiff cases (their rates are significantly lower) but likely would not work on any corporate deals.

ChickenSalad

New
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:08 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by ChickenSalad » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:12 am

Sackboy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 am
galba wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:10 am

The vast majority of Biglaw associates -- that is, the ones that don't leave on their own accord -- get pushed out way before their eighth year.
There is absolutely no way of knowing this. A very large number of associates just leave for better lifestyles. Of course, people get pushed out, but I'm skeptical that it's the vast majority of people. After years of endless fire drills, grueling hours, and sometimes tedious work, the government, in-house, or leaving the law looks pretty attractive to many attorneys. In my experience, far more people have left the firm out of a desire to change lifestyles than have left due to being pushed out.
Agreed. I think the better way to say it is “the majority of big law associates leave before they’re up for partner review following their 8th year”

Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:48 pm

I went from ID to one of the L&E firms. The billable hour requirement is lower but I do not work any less. Any appreciable time difference is filled with non-billable work, which you are not expected to do much of in ID. The work is more flexible and culture is better. My ID firm was wound up like a spring. There are still a lot of difficult personalities and at the beginning you do not have much say in who you work with.

Obviously L&E firms pay their bills by charging lower rates. This involves a combination of working with smaller clients, handling lower rate matters the V100 do not want (sometimes ID work), and wooing big clients with lower rates. Some big clients bring all their L&E business while some only bring their lower value work. At the end of the day there is far more routine single plaintiff litigation than anything else. If you show up and work on matters you are assigned to, it will likely be single plaintiff and one-off class/collective action work that will come with little client appreciation and probably limited meaningful partner appreciation. This can not only be a grind, but it is a problem when it comes time to be a partner. You may make it to the first non-equity level, but there is a lot of nuance to interacting with and developing clients that L&E firms just do not focus on with their associates. It also is a natural outgrowth of the business model: bring in partners with a book from full service firms but hire cheap associates from smaller firms and ID to keep salary costs down.

My advice is to always say yes (within reason) and make an active effort to develop the work you want. Identify early on which partners are not just farming out cases. My experience is that you have to work to make the L&E firms an improvement over ID.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


galba

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:45 pm

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by galba » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:23 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:04 am
galba wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:10 am

The vast majority of Biglaw associates -- that is, the ones that don't leave on their own accord -- get pushed out way before their eighth year.
There is absolutely no way of knowing this. A very large number of associates just leave for better lifestyles. Of course, people get pushed out, but I'm skeptical that it's the vast majority of people. After years of endless fire drills, grueling hours, and sometimes tedious work, the government, in-house, or leaving the law looks pretty attractive to many attorneys. In my experience, far more people have left the firm out of a desire to change lifestyles than have left due to being pushed out.
Which is why I specifically restricted to "the ones that don't leave on their own accord."

Anonymous User
Posts: 350919
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Difference Working at an Insurance Defense Firm and Big Law

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:48 pm

sparty99 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:44 pm
ChickenSalad wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 7:04 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 2:38 am
objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 5:57 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:19 am
For those of you who transitioned from an Insurance Defense firm (e.g., Gordon Rees, Lewis Brisbois, etc.) to a Big Law whether it's L&E specific like Littler or more traditional Big Law like Morgan Lewis, what are the biggest differences in your work, culture, work hours, etc? Is it harder to bill 2,000 hours outside of insurance defense firms? Any other notable differences?
Caveat is I didn’t transition from second tier biglaw like the spots you’re describing. I’m at a MoLew-type firm now, but I have several friends in GR-type firms. So everything I say here is anecdotal and a comparison of what they tell me to what I experience.

It sounds like those lower level biglaw firms will expect the same level of hours, but obviously pay way less (but you probably knew that). The partner/senior associate quality at those second tier BL firms will typically be lower, meaning both that you’ll learn from less talented people and that you might be more likely to need to deal with toxic personalities. The intellectual complexity and variance of the cases will likely be lower at the second tier biglaw firms. To be honest, I think a lot of these same types of things can be said about the sub market LE shops: littlers, Jackson lewises, etc. This all being said, it also sounds like partner is often easier to get.

Is this a jump you’re in a position to make right now? In my experience, firms like mine do look at those resumes (albeit still probably not if you’re at a TTT) in a booming economy, generally speaking. HOWEVER, this is one of the few times in history when ID is one of the most marketable lit specialities to have. Therefore, if you can leverage your ID experience to get into market biglaw at this moment, my advice is to go and don’t look back.

Now once you’re there, you want to immediately start to look around and get on some investigations, some bet the company lit, some high exposure class actions for fortune 100 clients, etc. basically, when this phase passes, you want to be more than just the “ID guy.” You want to be another one of the associates to whom partners can look to for anything, and whose usefulness does not depend solely on the ID niche.
Hi! OP here. I've been approached by a lot of recruiters and had some in depth discussions with some and there seems to be a market for L&E associates like myself. So I'm thinking about dipping my foot into the job market and seeing if I get interviews and offers. My primary concern is moving over and then being cut whether its because I'm the "ID guy" or just "last to come is first to go". For true Big Law shops like yours, are there other expectations beyond billing the 1,900 or 2,000 hours per year? Like x hours writing articles in addition to that billing, marketing, business development etc? Any risk of being forced out if you don't make Partner when time comes? How easy is it to get work? At my current firm, the work is just handed out and I work with two partners closely as their "primary associate" so to speak so I'm always busy. Do I run the risk of having to hunt for work by making the leap? My attitude towards work is I'm a team player so I will work on whatever is given to me. I'm worried that won't do the trick at true Big Law? Can you share with me some more insight on transitioning from "ID guy" to being more? Any firms you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for any advice and insight you may have for me!
No there isn’t an expectation on writing articles or other stuff like that.

Workflow depends on the firm but, regardless, the firm will see that you get work early on from the beginning. From there, whether you continue to get work from those partners depends on whether you do a good job. If not, you may have trouble finding hours. If so, then you have a reservoir for hours when other cases slow down and a good partner relationship. (People get pushed out because partners look to other associates who do good work. Or because an associate doesn’t have the skills and they can get a lower class year to do the same or better work at a lower rate. The key to staying around is being a go-to associate for partners when they need something and need good work product that is client ready. So, first impressions are *huge*)

Getting forced out at year 8 or so when you don’t make partner is a common thing at most big law firms I know of. Particularly good associates can stay on after that period in many cases.

It’s not just about doing the hours. You have to do good work to get fed the hours from partners that matter. The more senior you get, the more is expected (obviously)

Edit: a tip. I don’t know the firm you’re at or the work you do so this may or may not be feasible but, if possible, don't describe the work you do as ID in interviews. If someone asks what you do, you do commercial litigation. A lot of companies you represent are insurance companies.
You don't really represent insurance companies. You represent the insured. So you can say you represent Fortune 500 companies or small to medium size businesses. The insurance companies just pay for the litigation and settlement. No one really cares that you are coming from insurance defense. They will care if you worked with administrative agencies (EEOC, NLRB, etc), have gone to court, drafted motions, gone to court, etc. You should stop describing yourself as an insurance defense lawyer and start describing yourself as a labor and employment lawyer. And if they ask if you do ID say yes, but it is only like 20% of your practice. Your other clients are institutional clients.
Sparty, looks like you are well versed on this. Do you have thoughts on the transition from described above role in large ID big city to biglaw, from t-25 school w median GPA?

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”