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androstan

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Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:40 pm

The title says it all.

One wrinkle. I summered at one biglaw firm, turned down the offer, and got other biglaw through 3L OCI.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm

What is your practice area?

Why did you re-recruit?

How has the practice or culture of BL changed since you got started?

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:56 pm

androstan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:40 pm
The title says it all.

One wrinkle. I summered at one biglaw firm, turned down the offer, and got other biglaw through 3L OCI.
I just finished up my first year. What keeps you around? Does this job ever get fulfilling beyond just the paycheck?

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm
Why did you re-recruit?
Seconded.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:40 pm

What's the partnership structure at your firm? Do you know your partnership chances at this point? Also, did you expect to still be there a few years ago?

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Prudent_Jurist

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Prudent_Jurist » Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:06 pm

You sit down at a restaurant. A waiter hands you the drink menu. It reads:

1) Iced tea
2) Lemonade
3) Arnold Palmer

Which do you choose?

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androstan

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:38 pm

Prudent_Jurist wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:06 pm
You sit down at a restaurant. A waiter hands you the drink menu. It reads:

1) Iced tea
2) Lemonade
3) Arnold Palmer

Which do you choose?
Iced tea for sure, no sugar.

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androstan

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm
Why did you re-recruit?
Seconded.
My wife refused to move to NYC. She visited many times that summer and had a good time, but she just didn't want to live there. I asked them if there was any way I could work in the [censored] office, but that was a no-go. So, I had to reject the offer.

It basically worked out as I only took a modest step down in prestige and took no hit on salary. Also, two of my cohorts (there were three of us being recruited into a particular practice group) at the NYC firm left within two years. I've been working in [censored] ever since.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:41 pm

androstan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:45 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm
Why did you re-recruit?
Seconded.
My wife refused to move to NYC. She visited many times that summer and had a good time, but she just didn't want to live there. I asked them if there was any way I could work in the [censored] office, but that was a no-go. So, I had to reject the offer.

It basically worked out as I only took a modest step down in prestige and took no hit on salary. Also, two of my cohorts (there were three of us being recruited into a particular practice group) at the NYC firm left within two years. I've been working in [censored] ever since.
Are you in a secondary market?

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:41 pm
androstan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:45 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm
Why did you re-recruit?
Seconded.
My wife refused to move to NYC. She visited many times that summer and had a good time, but she just didn't want to live there. I asked them if there was any way I could work in the [censored] office, but that was a no-go. So, I had to reject the offer.

It basically worked out as I only took a modest step down in prestige and took no hit on salary. Also, two of my cohorts (there were three of us being recruited into a particular practice group) at the NYC firm left within two years. I've been working in [censored] ever since.
Are you in a secondary market?
I'm not in a secondary market. I'm in one of LA/SF/DC/Chic.

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androstan

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:32 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:41 pm
androstan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:45 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:43 pm
Why did you re-recruit?
Seconded.
My wife refused to move to NYC. She visited many times that summer and had a good time, but she just didn't want to live there. I asked them if there was any way I could work in the [censored] office, but that was a no-go. So, I had to reject the offer.

It basically worked out as I only took a modest step down in prestige and took no hit on salary. Also, two of my cohorts (there were three of us being recruited into a particular practice group) at the NYC firm left within two years. I've been working in [censored] ever since.
Are you in a secondary market?
I'm not in a secondary market. I'm in one of LA/SF/DC/Chic.
Accidental anon.

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androstan

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:59 am

My practice area is litigation. My partnership prospects are probably similar to most litigators at big firms with sky-high billing rates: laughable. Making partner as a litigator at a big firm is a complete joke. Otoh, this firm keeps good litigators on in various non-partner roles for basically as long as they're useful, so I'm in no immediate danger. I don't know how unique this situation is to my firm. Basically all of our major litigations come from firm corporate clients, so the corporate practice partners are originating most of the litigation work. That's a much easier way to establish a practice as compared to being a litigator and just trying to sell new clients on your litigation prowess. But the more I think about opening my own shop, the more it seems like a reasonable possibility. I have the substantive expertise, I have some minor clients of my own, and I have a lot of people out there who would be clients at half the hourly rate my firm charges.

I'm not really sure what "partnership structure" means. All partners are equity partners, there is no "non-equity" partner here, if that's what you're asking.

As far as how BL has changed, I can comment a bit on litigation at least. I can't say anything valuable about non-litigation practice. Basically, the structure of litigation groups has almost completely flattened. Attorneys from 1st year through >8 are involved in doc review, depo prep, brief writing, etc. Everyone's input is welcomed and valued. I've seen even older partners move in this direction since I started. It feels good to be valued and the environment/culture has improved. The downside is that the pressure on younger attorneys feel is higher, but that is probably an inevitable tradeoff when choosing to start your career at a big firm and simultaneously wanting substantive, high-level experience. The days of having junior associates bill ungodly hours for routine doc review are just gone, which should be no surprise since they were already waning when I started. The days of having junior associates do a bunch of research of questionable value are mostly gone too. My impression is that corp/trans practices have experienced this shift a bit, but not nearly to the extent as litigation practices. It's also probably less relevant at the tip top litigation practices in the country.

HTH.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:29 am

androstan wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:59 am

As far as how BL has changed, I can comment a bit on litigation at least. I can't say anything valuable about non-litigation practice. Basically, the structure of litigation groups has almost completely flattened. Attorneys from 1st year through >8 are involved in doc review, depo prep, brief writing, etc. Everyone's input is welcomed and valued. I've seen even older partners move in this direction since I started. It feels good to be valued and the environment/culture has improved. The downside is that the pressure on younger attorneys feel is higher, but that is probably an inevitable tradeoff when choosing to start your career at a big firm and simultaneously wanting substantive, high-level experience. The days of having junior associates bill ungodly hours for routine doc review are just gone, which should be no surprise since they were already waning when I started. The days of having junior associates do a bunch of research of questionable value are mostly gone too. My impression is that corp/trans practices have experienced this shift a bit, but not nearly to the extent as litigation practices. It's also probably less relevant at the tip top litigation practices in the country.

HTH.
I'm in the same class year/practice group. This is spot on

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:46 pm

Would you recommend lit to someone who's genuinely indifferent between lit and corp?

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:21 pm

Why lit? From what I can tell, litigation is a) harder to get b) weaker exits and c) fewer partner prospects and partner profits. Why are so many people trying to get what seems to be objectively a less beneficial career? Sincere question, and no offense intended.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by thisismytlsuername » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:21 pm
Why lit? From what I can tell, litigation is a) harder to get b) weaker exits and c) fewer partner prospects and partner profits. Why are so many people trying to get what seems to be objectively a less beneficial career? Sincere question, and no offense intended.
Generally speaking, a significantly better quality of life. The difference between knowing your schedule in advance and not is massive. I did biglaw litigation for a little over a decade and never pulled a single all nighter. There were a couple nights where I got an hour or two of sleep, but never worked straight through.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by nixy » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:21 pm
Why lit? From what I can tell, litigation is a) harder to get b) weaker exits and c) fewer partner prospects and partner profits. Why are so many people trying to get what seems to be objectively a less beneficial career? Sincere question, and no offense intended.
Some people actually like lit work better.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:21 pm
Why lit? From what I can tell, litigation is a) harder to get b) weaker exits and c) fewer partner prospects and partner profits. Why are so many people trying to get what seems to be objectively a less beneficial career? Sincere question, and no offense intended.
Litigators don’t necessarily see biglaw as something that’s inherently going to suck no matter what and try to plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, litigators like litigating. That’s really the reason. Not hating life the way many of my corporate peers do is easily worth the trade offs you described.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by cheaptilts » Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:41 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:36 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:21 pm
Why lit? From what I can tell, litigation is a) harder to get b) weaker exits and c) fewer partner prospects and partner profits. Why are so many people trying to get what seems to be objectively a less beneficial career? Sincere question, and no offense intended.
Litigators don’t necessarily see biglaw as something that’s inherently going to suck no matter what and try to plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, litigators like litigating. That’s really the reason. Not hating life the way many of my corporate peers do is easily worth the trade offs you described.
There’s a far larger share of biglaw associates who share this sentiment than probably this forum/Corp. associates realize. The original question was pretty silly.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:46 pm
Would you recommend lit to someone who's genuinely indifferent between lit and corp?
Don’t mean to be rude but the notion of being indifferent to these massively different types of practice is pretty mind blowing to me.

With that said, if you aren’t excited about lit you probably won’t excel at lit. By contrast, nobody is really that excited about transactional practices so your lack of enthusiasm probably won’t stand out.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by attorney589753 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:46 pm
Would you recommend lit to someone who's genuinely indifferent between lit and corp?
If you prefer lit, do lit. If indifferent, do corporate. David Lat wrote about this recently and I thought his take was solid (basically better exit options/optionality/career prospects in corp.)

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by publius365 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:59 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:43 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:46 pm
Would you recommend lit to someone who's genuinely indifferent between lit and corp?
Don’t mean to be rude but the notion of being indifferent to these massively different types of practice is pretty mind blowing to me.

With that said, if you aren’t excited about lit you probably won’t excel at lit. By contrast, nobody is really that excited about transactional practices so your lack of enthusiasm probably won’t stand out.
Some people enjoy both areas of practice.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by JusticeChuckleNutz » Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:20 pm

What types of exit opportunities have come up during your time in Biglaw?

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:52 pm

JusticeChuckleNutz wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:20 pm
What types of exit opportunities have come up during your time in Biglaw?
Nothing comparable to my biglaw position. Realistically, I think my options are either opening my own small firm where I mostly ghostwrite briefs and advise in the background or working for fedgov.

In terms of work/life balance, it's not great, but I really don't know what corp/trans people go through. In lit, you think you know the schedule in advance, and to some extent you do, but then the other side disputes something you didn't expect, or files a motion for a reply/sur-reply on a Friday, or the judge issues an order requesting additional briefing, or etc. etc. etc. (I could go on for a while). And then there are partners who don't manage their time well and ask you to do something last minute. Or they don't supervise well and end up rewriting what you did, asking you to do something else to it, then re-rewriting their own rewrite, until eventually you could swear they've changed it back to 90% of what you had originally. The one caveat to all this is that as you get more senior, it does get better. You can work less (or not at all) with more difficult partners because of your relationship with other partners, and of course you can delegate stuff that otherwise you may have stayed up late or worked the weekend to do.

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Re: Class of 2014 - Started in Biglaw Still in Biglaw - AMA

Post by androstan » Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:56 pm
androstan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:40 pm
The title says it all.

One wrinkle. I summered at one biglaw firm, turned down the offer, and got other biglaw through 3L OCI.
I just finished up my first year. What keeps you around? Does this job ever get fulfilling beyond just the paycheck?
I think you get out of it what you put in. If you coast by, looking for easy assignments that let you bill a lot of hours without really challenging you or putting you in a position of taking risk, then you're going to be leaving by your third or fourth year. By that time, there won't be enough of those assignments to keep you busy, and you'll be sick to death of them anyway. I definitely feel some tiredness/burnout, but esp at this stage the work really is intellectually stimulating, I have a little more control over my workload and schedule, and the pay is pretty amazing. I was working from home over 50% of the time pre-COVID, now it's been essentially 100%. How many people would love to do interesting work from their home for almost $30k/month? I feel like I could be one of those spam/BS ads saying you can make XYZ dollars a month from home on the internet.

My biggest gripe is that it's so hard to develop my own clients, and I've found I really do like interacting directly with clients. And by interacting directly with clients, I mean doing more than hounding after them for documents and information in response to discovery requests. That's another aspect of biglaw lit I think. My understanding is that corp/trans people interact a lot more with the firm's clients. And this is all another reason I keep pondering the idea of opening my own practice at about half the billing rate.

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