Path to 1M? Forum

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Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:48 am

Law student about to start at Kirkland.

My goal is a million a year.

Is that faster from Kirkland than from other shops?

If the fastest route is lateral from Kirkland to equity somewhere else, how many years can one expect to have to be at Kirkland before being able to reliably lateral to a 1M salary?

Any other thoughts on getting there?

Thanks

Sackboy

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Sackboy » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:52 am

How about you spend a few years in biglaw and come back to us with this question. Let's see if you still want that million.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:48 am
Law student about to start at Kirkland.

My goal is a million a year.

Is that faster from Kirkland than from other shops?

If the fastest route is lateral from Kirkland to equity somewhere else, how many years can one expect to have to be at Kirkland before being able to reliably lateral to a 1M salary?

Any other thoughts on getting there?

Thanks
No, it's not faster at Kirkland. Your fastest route is Wachtell, Susman, or Kellogg. Lateraling to equity is not a walk in the park. Expect to put in at least 9-10 years of hard work first.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:01 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:48 am
Law student about to start at Kirkland.

My goal is a million a year.

Is that faster from Kirkland than from other shops?

If the fastest route is lateral from Kirkland to equity somewhere else, how many years can one expect to have to be at Kirkland before being able to reliably lateral to a 1M salary?

Any other thoughts on getting there?

Thanks
No, it's not faster at Kirkland. Your fastest route is Wachtell, Susman, or Kellogg. Lateraling to equity is not a walk in the park. Expect to put in at least 9-10 years of hard work first.
OP:
So then you think that after 9-10 years of Kirkland one can reliably find a 1M comp?

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:11 pm

There is no fast route to this. It depends on a myriad of factors, many of them outside of your control. Not only are you going to have to be really good at your job and be willing to bill insane hours year after year, you have to pick the right group and the economy/your group's financial health has to be just right when you go up and hopefully you don't have major competition in your class or within a few years of your class. Then you need to have really influential partners in your corner so you can navigate the political minefield. Many people have all of the factors working in their favor until they run into one rainmaker partner in a different group that just doesn't like them and, like that, their shot at partnership evaporates.

All of that to say, it's incredibly difficult and it's way too early for you to even be thinking about that. I just made equity partner after 12 years and hit this figure.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:13 pm

Fastest way to 1M... go to a fully remote firm. Live at home w/ parents and pay no rent. Save it all. Assuming no debt, you'll be there quickly.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:13 pm
Fastest way to 1M... go to a fully remote firm. Live at home w/ parents and pay no rent. Save it all. Assuming no debt, you'll be there quickly.
He wants $1M/year...

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Sackboy » Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:13 pm
Fastest way to 1M... go to a fully remote firm. Live at home w/ parents and pay no rent. Save it all. Assuming no debt, you'll be there quickly.
Bambi wants $1M/year, not $1M in net worth.

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nealric

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by nealric » Mon Jan 16, 2023 2:10 pm

Maybe if inflation keeps up, $1M will be realistic for non-equity partners in 10 years.

But you are getting WAY ahead if yourself with those sorts of goals. The majority of incoming Kirkland associates aren't making it to year 5, and most incoming biglaw associates aren't in biglaw in 10 years, in large part for reasons of their own choosing.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:41 pm

Kirkland M&A NSP here, if you stick it out and get passed up after year 9/10 depending on what the track is then you have a fairly good shot of either getting offered comp close to $1m a year to stay as permanent NSP (probably not right away but I know of multiple people with this deal) or you can lateral to a "lesser" firm with equity. People will argue about this, but its pretty tried and true in the M&A group if you do a lot of PE because other shops know not many places are better for PE reps.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:41 pm
Kirkland M&A NSP here, if you stick it out and get passed up after year 9/10 depending on what the track is then you have a fairly good shot of either getting offered comp close to $1m a year to stay as permanent NSP (probably not right away but I know of multiple people with this deal) or you can lateral to a "lesser" firm with equity. People will argue about this, but its pretty tried and true in the M&A group if you do a lot of PE because other shops know not many places are better for PE reps.
People argue about this because your conclusion that any rank-and-file K&E PE NSP can lateral to another firm "with equity" omits the most critical prerequisite to doing so: having portable repeat PE business that will follow to the shop not otherwise respected for PE.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:13 pm
Fastest way to 1M... go to a fully remote firm. Live at home w/ parents and pay no rent. Save it all. Assuming no debt, you'll be there quickly.
Poster. Sorry. LOL. Kid hasn't even started biglaw... ready to make partner. Agree w/ rest. Come back after 1-2 years and lmk. Esp @ Kirkland.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 6:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:48 am
Law student about to start at Kirkland.

My goal is a million a year.

Is that faster from Kirkland than from other shops?

If the fastest route is lateral from Kirkland to equity somewhere else, how many years can one expect to have to be at Kirkland before being able to reliably lateral to a 1M salary?

Any other thoughts on getting there?

Thanks
Fastest path is to drop out, start a startup, and strike it big with an IPO/sale. Or go to the casino and get lucky.

K&E could help you, or it could not. You are the real determinant here--can you grind/politic your way to equity? Can you successfully lateral to a firm with equity partnership? That's all on you way more than it is on K&E at this point.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:00 pm

Only fans.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:41 pm
Kirkland M&A NSP here, if you stick it out and get passed up after year 9/10 depending on what the track is then you have a fairly good shot of either getting offered comp close to $1m a year to stay as permanent NSP (probably not right away but I know of multiple people with this deal) or you can lateral to a "lesser" firm with equity. People will argue about this, but its pretty tried and true in the M&A group if you do a lot of PE because other shops know not many places are better for PE reps.
People argue about this because your conclusion that any rank-and-file K&E PE NSP can lateral to another firm "with equity" omits the most critical prerequisite to doing so: having portable repeat PE business that will follow to the shop not otherwise respected for PE.
I was the poster above - I don't agree. Every person who has left for equity that I know has not had any book. You don't really get a book at Kirkland when you are that young. The clients are too big. You need a firm looking for service partners trying to grow their PE pie. Being a service partner forever would suck, but that is what you are hoping for in that situation. Also, most of these "equity" positions had pay well below $1m in year one so just FWIW

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:20 am

I know this is annoying comment that you probably expected but did not want, but please don't define your success and your overarching goal as a junior lawyer as making 1 million dollars a year. It will be destructive. I'm not saying don't be a biglaw lawyer, but first focus on being a great junior lawyer.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Res Ipsa Loquitter » Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:20 am
I know this is annoying comment that you probably expected but did not want, but please don't define your success and your overarching goal as a junior lawyer as making 1 million dollars a year. It will be destructive. I'm not saying don't be a biglaw lawyer, but first focus on being a great junior lawyer.
Agreed. A law student who can't run a redline or schedule a Zoom meeting asking for a million bucks a year = putting the cart before the horse.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:00 pm

A lot of it is encouraged by firms, including the publicly released PEP figures. They sell to law students and associates the dream of a million dollar lifestyle. If people actually knew how many partners were making $500-700k per year, and understood the true odds of even making it to equity partner level (survivorship bias really messes with people’s perceptions), a lot less people would actually be prepared to do these jobs.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:15 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:41 pm
Kirkland M&A NSP here, if you stick it out and get passed up after year 9/10 depending on what the track is then you have a fairly good shot of either getting offered comp close to $1m a year to stay as permanent NSP (probably not right away but I know of multiple people with this deal) or you can lateral to a "lesser" firm with equity. People will argue about this, but its pretty tried and true in the M&A group if you do a lot of PE because other shops know not many places are better for PE reps.
People argue about this because your conclusion that any rank-and-file K&E PE NSP can lateral to another firm "with equity" omits the most critical prerequisite to doing so: having portable repeat PE business that will follow to the shop not otherwise respected for PE.
I was the poster above - I don't agree. Every person who has left for equity that I know has not had any book. You don't really get a book at Kirkland when you are that young. The clients are too big. You need a firm looking for service partners trying to grow their PE pie. Being a service partner forever would suck, but that is what you are hoping for in that situation. Also, most of these "equity" positions had pay well below $1m in year one so just FWIW
Service partners rarely got equity pre-ITE; this trend has exacerbated since, especially as other lesser firms adopt the K&E model of expanding and maintaining large senior attorney non-equity populations. I have not seen any 8-9th year K&E NSPs in PE lateral to V50s or even V100s with equity on day one without portable business. I think your take is misplaced.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:12 pm

I think this thread is just becoming the how much do first year equity partners make thread (plus I think the original OP is just a troll anyway).

Counsel at some firms are already making 600-700k/yr without any book, so I'm not sure why it seems outrageous for NSP/income partners to be able to get up to $1 million without a book, particularly if the books they are servicing are really more firm clients than any particular lawyers.

Has this not been the overall trend in the industry as a whole, or at least for the biggest firms? Instead of burning and churning bulky associate classes to instead focus on building out NSP/income partner/counsels who you don't need to split equity with but you can still have them gunning 2400 hrs/yr at partner level billing rates? Why would K&E, for instance, ever not want to offer this deal to people if they (i) are semi-decent at their jobs, (ii) are the type of people who can manage the workloads and (iii) the firm as a whole has the work available for you to do?

So yes - I think the most logical straightforward path to getting paid $1m/yr straight out of law school is to go work at K&E for 10-12 years billing 2400hrs/yr. It is far from the "easiest" and 9.5/10 people who start down that path won't make it.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:12 pm
I think this thread is just becoming the how much do first year equity partners make thread (plus I think the original OP is just a troll anyway).

Counsel at some firms are already making 600-700k/yr without any book, so I'm not sure why it seems outrageous for NSP/income partners to be able to get up to $1 million without a book, particularly if the books they are servicing are really more firm clients than any particular lawyers.

Has this not been the overall trend in the industry as a whole, or at least for the biggest firms? Instead of burning and churning bulky associate classes to instead focus on building out NSP/income partner/counsels who you don't need to split equity with but you can still have them gunning 2400 hrs/yr at partner level billing rates? Why would K&E, for instance, ever not want to offer this deal to people if they (i) are semi-decent at their jobs, (ii) are the type of people who can manage the workloads and (iii) the firm as a whole has the work available for you to do?

So yes - I think the most logical straightforward path to getting paid $1m/yr straight out of law school is to go work at K&E for 10-12 years billing 2400hrs/yr. It is far from the "easiest" and 9.5/10 people who start down that path won't make it.
Totally agree and this exact sentiment has been expressed to me by multiple share partners here at K&E when I’ve chatted with them about it. They got rid of “up or out” years ago because it’s frankly a fucking stupid financial move, and K&E of all firms always does what’s in its best financial interest. Someone who almost makes shares but fails is still very, very good and can be billed out to clients at exorbitant rates - why the hell would they throw that person away?

FYI to OP, first year K&E share partners (not NSPs) make way more than $1m - the “intro” year that they introduced after making eligibility a year earlier is $1.5m, and last year full shares (starting after the early intro year) was around $2.5/2.6m. So basically you either blow way past your $1m goal in a single jump when making equity, or you get passed over and are stuck as NSP making ~$600k (but with the option to potentially negotiate a $1m deal depending on how much the firm wants you to stick around etc etc).

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Excellent117 » Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:10 pm

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:55 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:20 am
I know this is annoying comment that you probably expected but did not want, but please don't define your success and your overarching goal as a junior lawyer as making 1 million dollars a year. It will be destructive. I'm not saying don't be a biglaw lawyer, but first focus on being a great junior lawyer.
Agreed. A law student who can't run a redline or schedule a Zoom meeting asking for a million bucks a year = putting the cart before the horse.
Ironically, you also just described a good chunk of the partners I work with.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Res Ipsa Loquitter » Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:18 pm

Excellent117 wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:10 pm
Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:55 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:20 am
I know this is annoying comment that you probably expected but did not want, but please don't define your success and your overarching goal as a junior lawyer as making 1 million dollars a year. It will be destructive. I'm not saying don't be a biglaw lawyer, but first focus on being a great junior lawyer.
Agreed. A law student who can't run a redline or schedule a Zoom meeting asking for a million bucks a year = putting the cart before the horse.
Ironically, you also just described a good chunk of the partners I work with.
Moot point if they already have equity. Next you’ll tell me Jerry Jones isn’t good at football.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:24 pm

I am a 9th year and am in my second year making $1M+ (bonus greater than $500K). Not a partner yet but up for promotion this year.

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Re: Path to 1M?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:24 pm
I am a 9th year and am in my second year making $1M+ (bonus greater than $500K). Not a partner yet but up for promotion this year.
Name the firm and are you hiring?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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