"Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

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Anonymous User
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"Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:20 am

Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?


I don't know the specifics, but that does sound sort of shitty, unless your hours are significantly reduced in comparison with a staff attorney.

I recently received a staff attorney offer in a major market for $125k. Biglaw firm. However, I did not take it because everyone warned me staff attorneys were treated like second class citizens and the opportunities for advancement suck.

lolwat
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby lolwat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?


I don't know the specifics, but that does sound sort of shitty, unless your hours are significantly reduced in comparison with a staff attorney.

I recently received a staff attorney offer in a major market for $125k. Biglaw firm. However, I did not take it because everyone warned me staff attorneys were treated like second class citizens and the opportunities for advancement suck.


That basically describes staff attorneys. You basically have to have no ambition or desire to advance. The only *potential* benefit is reduced hours and stress

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:37 pm

These positions exist to do only the worst, most tedious stuff that junior associates otherwise would do, over and over again, at reduced rates that clients will pay. Welcome to hell.

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Pokemon
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Pokemon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:51 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:These positions exist to do only the worst, most tedious stuff that junior associates otherwise would do, over and over again, at reduced rates that clients will pay. Welcome to hell.



Not always. It is lower margin work for sure, but it is also not junior work at biglaw transactional which can be a lot of due diligence, sig pages and checklists.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:57 pm

Does anybody have any insight as to the qualifications biglaw looks for in staff attorneys? Wouldn't mind looking into this as I am a few years out of law school and have been practicing and would like something a little less crazy now that I have kids.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Sometimes I question whether I'm totally okay being a lifelong associate (currently a fourth year associate at a small/mid-size firm). I get paid a decent amount now, probably only work 45-50ish hours a week, and have been getting incremental raises. While I'm not known for being here for long hours, I do good work, I get stuff done on time, and multiple partners rely on me for a lot. I think I'm fine here for quite a while.

Granted, all of the partners make at least double, even triple, of what I make, but their cars are always here later than mine, and I just can't seem to give enough of a shit to want to be like them.

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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:09 pm

Pokemon wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:These positions exist to do only the worst, most tedious stuff that junior associates otherwise would do, over and over again, at reduced rates that clients will pay. Welcome to hell.



Not always. It is lower margin work for sure, but it is also not junior work at biglaw transactional which can be a lot of due diligence, sig pages and checklists.


Yeah, I had an adjunct professor who was a 'Staff Attorney' at a big firm -- all they did was Pro Bono.. They seemed to love it. Granted, this definitely isn't the typical staff attorney role.

gaddockteeg
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?


I don't know the specifics, but that does sound sort of shitty, unless your hours are significantly reduced in comparison with a staff attorney.

I recently received a staff attorney offer in a major market for $125k. Biglaw firm. However, I did not take it because everyone warned me staff attorneys were treated like second class citizens and the opportunities for advancement suck.


Certainly not my experience. obviously ymmv but Ive seen my own firm and others regularly move staff attorney/career associates to partner track and the ones that don't get promoted often lateral into regular associate track positions at other firms.

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RedGiant
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby RedGiant » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?


I had a friend who did this at Ropes. In that friend's experience, these jobs were often in the investment management group, working for mutual fund clients that had a lot of similar work across funds. That friend still got all the training of a Ropes associate, lateraled out to my firm, did a two year stint doing a different kind of corporate, and is now in house making nearly 200K and working a lot less than biglaw. It was a great stepping stone for that friend. Did that friend love their time at Ropes? No. But was it a great name on friend's resume that launched friend somewhere else? Yes.

Separately, my brother started as a staff attorney at a large Southern firm. He's a counsel now, makes bank, cheap COL and has 100% job security. Did it hurt him that he wasn't on Law Review, etc.? Undoubtedly for partnership prospects. But he's likes his life (more or less) now, and it's a good gig.

If you still want to get into biglaw, but didn't previously, I think these types of jobs are worth it...if you go in eyes open and understand that (i) you will get scut work; (ii) you must smile and act super-interested in said scut work; (iii) it is rare, but folks do move from the staff attorney-type jobs to regular track...but it's not at all typical. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:42 am

Not OP. Just wondering why beibg a career or staff attorney sounds so bad in this thread. Couldnt one very well be inthe position for 30+ years comfortably even making $90k ? Sounds like a dream honestly. Why is it so looked down upon? Just because youll never be partner?

sparty99
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby sparty99 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:08 am

Staff attorney means different things at different firms. Litigation staff attorney at Mayer Brown pays $85 to $105k. Some firms have a strict requirement that you cannot and will not be considered for Associate positions if you are a staff attorney. Other firms will allow you to go from Staff to Associate. Other firms are also very strict on the hours that you work. Some will be strictly 9 to 6. If I wanted less hours, I would definitely consider staff attorney position. Additionally, if I worked at a small/medium size firm and wanted a better name, a staff attorney at Big Law would be great because you can always lateral out of the staff role 2 years later and off to another firm. Staff attorneys can be very limiting, however. It can be a lot of doc review and no court, trial, or deposition experience. If your goal is to gain skills and market yourself, this may be a reason why you don't take a staff attorney position as it can be strictly limited to legal research, doc review, and petty motion practice.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:34 am

RedGiant wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about these kinds of jobs? Ropes & Gray, for example, has one up for about $90k a year in corporate. If the hours aren't less than typical biglaw it seems like a shitty deal (of course, better than being unemployed). But if the hours are, say, 45/week I'd do it in a heartbeat.

https://www.ropesgray.com/legalhiring/C ... tions.aspx

Any clues?


I had a friend who did this at Ropes. In that friend's experience, these jobs were often in the investment management group, working for mutual fund clients that had a lot of similar work across funds. That friend still got all the training of a Ropes associate, lateraled out to my firm, did a two year stint doing a different kind of corporate, and is now in house making nearly 200K and working a lot less than biglaw. It was a great stepping stone for that friend. Did that friend love their time at Ropes? No. But was it a great name on friend's resume that launched friend somewhere else? Yes.

Separately, my brother started as a staff attorney at a large Southern firm. He's a counsel now, makes bank, cheap COL and has 100% job security. Did it hurt him that he wasn't on Law Review, etc.? Undoubtedly for partnership prospects. But he's likes his life (more or less) now, and it's a good gig.

If you still want to get into biglaw, but didn't previously, I think these types of jobs are worth it...if you go in eyes open and understand that (i) you will get scut work; (ii) you must smile and act super-interested in said scut work; (iii) it is rare, but folks do move from the staff attorney-type jobs to regular track...but it's not at all typical. Good luck!


Thanks, very appreciated!

Anonymous User
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:39 am

sparty99 wrote:Staff attorney means different things at different firms. Litigation staff attorney at Mayer Brown pays $85 to $105k. Some firms have a strict requirement that you cannot and will not be considered for Associate positions if you are a staff attorney. Other firms will allow you to go from Staff to Associate. Other firms are also very strict on the hours that you work. Some will be strictly 9 to 6. If I wanted less hours, I would definitely consider staff attorney position. Additionally, if I worked at a small/medium size firm and wanted a better name, a staff attorney at Big Law would be great because you can always lateral out of the staff role 2 years later and off to another firm. Staff attorneys can be very limiting, however. It can be a lot of doc review and no court, trial, or deposition experience. If your goal is to gain skills and market yourself, this may be a reason why you don't take a staff attorney position as it can be strictly limited to legal research, doc review, and petty motion practice.


Right, the thing is that to me not being considered as an associate would be 100% fine and working 9-6 seems like a dream. I'm older and a woman who wants to have kids, I don't want to burn out, move, burn out, etc.

gaddockteeg
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby gaddockteeg » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Staff attorney means different things at different firms. Litigation staff attorney at Mayer Brown pays $85 to $105k. Some firms have a strict requirement that you cannot and will not be considered for Associate positions if you are a staff attorney. Other firms will allow you to go from Staff to Associate. Other firms are also very strict on the hours that you work. Some will be strictly 9 to 6. If I wanted less hours, I would definitely consider staff attorney position. Additionally, if I worked at a small/medium size firm and wanted a better name, a staff attorney at Big Law would be great because you can always lateral out of the staff role 2 years later and off to another firm. Staff attorneys can be very limiting, however. It can be a lot of doc review and no court, trial, or deposition experience. If your goal is to gain skills and market yourself, this may be a reason why you don't take a staff attorney position as it can be strictly limited to legal research, doc review, and petty motion practice.


Right, the thing is that to me not being considered as an associate would be 100% fine and working 9-6 seems like a dream. I'm older and a woman who wants to have kids, I don't want to burn out, move, burn out, etc.


Exactly. The staff attorneys at my firm make 120k + around 10k for hitting hours, with no up and out structure. Since theyre often staffed on a large doc reviews, they basically work government hours, ie. work from home, just hit your 80hours/2weeks, on your own schedule. My friend will work straight 12 hours days in his living room while marathoning a random TV show and then basically take every other damn week off to travel.

1styearlateral
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:14 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Staff attorney means different things at different firms. Litigation staff attorney at Mayer Brown pays $85 to $105k. Some firms have a strict requirement that you cannot and will not be considered for Associate positions if you are a staff attorney. Other firms will allow you to go from Staff to Associate. Other firms are also very strict on the hours that you work. Some will be strictly 9 to 6. If I wanted less hours, I would definitely consider staff attorney position. Additionally, if I worked at a small/medium size firm and wanted a better name, a staff attorney at Big Law would be great because you can always lateral out of the staff role 2 years later and off to another firm. Staff attorneys can be very limiting, however. It can be a lot of doc review and no court, trial, or deposition experience. If your goal is to gain skills and market yourself, this may be a reason why you don't take a staff attorney position as it can be strictly limited to legal research, doc review, and petty motion practice.


Right, the thing is that to me not being considered as an associate would be 100% fine and working 9-6 seems like a dream. I'm older and a woman who wants to have kids, I don't want to burn out, move, burn out, etc.


Exactly. The staff attorneys at my firm make 120k + around 10k for hitting hours, with no up and out structure. Since theyre often staffed on a large doc reviews, they basically work government hours, ie. work from home, just hit your 80hours/2weeks, on your own schedule. My friend will work straight 12 hours days in his living room while marathoning a random TV show and then basically take every other damn week off to travel.

Sounds nice but I'd be concerned that if I ever wanted to do something else I'd have no substantive experience other than doing doc review.

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nealric
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby nealric » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:53 pm

Job security would be a big issue for me. These types are often the first to go if work dries up.

BlueParrot
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Re: "Career Associate" or similar non-partner track?

Postby BlueParrot » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:44 pm

My firm doesn't use a lot of staff attorneys and I'm in corporate but the one staff attorney I know does work more reasonable hours generally. However, if stuff needs to get done she's expected to be available- weekend and late night work is not off the table for her. No idea what she makes.

I think a lot of the skepticism here about staff attorney positions is the concern that you will get a lot of the stress and unpredictability of a normal associate position, with half (or less) of the pay.




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