BigLaw Long Term?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Post Reply
floatingturtles

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:38 pm

BigLaw Long Term?

Post by floatingturtles » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:46 pm

Hi All,

I am a 0L (currently considering sticker debt....yikes) and I just came across a couple of people saying that, often, people get "kicked out" of big law if you're not on partner track..this is the first I am hearing of this. Is this a thing? If so, what makes you 'partner track' material or not?

Basically, taking out sticker at my absolute DREAM school sounded like an ok plan at first...but now I might not even get to stay in Biglaw even if I want to to pay it off?
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved to appropriate form (0Ls cannot post in Legal Employment).

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7566
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: BigLaw Long Term?

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:15 am

This can't be that big a shock, can it? What did you think happened to all the people who don't make partner (as in 90%+ of associates)?

The good news is that it is not always as unceremonious as being "kicked out" before making partner. Many associates don't want to be a partner and will find a way to lateral to other opportunities on their own. Many associates will be told that they are not partner track during their evaluation process as they get more senior, and they will generally be given plenty of time to find a new job.

But yes, sometimes associates will simply be fired. Even in those cases, most firms will provide a grace period (e.g. X months until actual termination, and Y months of website time). It's pretty rare to hear of a situation where an associate walks into a meeting and is being escorted out of the building 15 minutes later. That certainly can happen, but it's not the norm.

But to turn to your main question:
floatingturtles wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:46 pm
Basically, taking out sticker at my absolute DREAM school sounded like an ok plan at first...but now I might not even get to stay in Biglaw even if I want to to pay it off?
It depends on context. Which school are you taking out sticker for? What are your other options? What are your career goals? In general, you should not plan on being able to hack it in biglaw for a full 10 years (regardless of whether you get forced out), so sticker debt is rarely advisable.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10889
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: BigLaw Long Term?

Post by CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:43 am

Time at one's first biglaw firm seems to average about 4 years.

Jchance

Silver
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 am

Re: BigLaw Long Term?

Post by Jchance » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:35 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:43 am
Time at one's first biglaw firm seems to average about 4 years.
I would say median is 2 years.

jsnow212

New
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:36 am

Re: BigLaw Long Term?

Post by jsnow212 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:04 pm

You can theoretically do Biglaw for a long time. I think the "up-and-out" discussion is sometimes taken to mean that everyone not making partner is no longer making biglaw money. Lots of people end up pinballing down the V100/AmLaw 200 until they land a place where they can become partner or settle into a Counsel gig.

However, most people leave for a less demanding legal job (like in-house, government, etc.) I.E. Everyone comes in thinking they can sustain Biglaw, but it's really not a suitable long-term job for most people.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”