BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

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run26.2
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby run26.2 » Sun May 04, 2014 4:20 pm

IAFG wrote:Obviously an 8 lawyer firm doesn't work like that, but pretty much all midsize+ firm have some sort of up or out system.

Hmmm--maybe should be nuanced a bit. Many midsize firms, and even some biglaw firms, will promote you to counsel, and let you stay there indefinitely, if you can be profitably billed out and do good work, but are not good at bringing in business. It's basically like being a service partner w/o the title.

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rayiner
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby rayiner » Sun May 04, 2014 5:31 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
IAFG wrote:
BanjoCalhoun wrote:How competitive is it to get a civil litigation job in state or big city governments as a law firm exit option? Something like a State Attorney General's Office, NYC Law Department, etc.? I'd imagine these jobs would have shorter hours and more job security than firms with the downside being lower pay, but not bad either, depending on the office. Everyone on TLS talks about bigfed as being somewhat of a long shot exit option but state/city gov seems like a reasonable and more attainable second career for litigators. Thoughts?

IME you're right on. Good work good hours decent pay and they absolutely take firm refugees.


Maybe I'm golden handcuffed already, but 50k/year is decent pay with a 3 year graduate degree?


Illinois state AG starts at $57k/year, and rises to $80k at the supervising attorney level, and up to low $100k for bureau chiefs, etc.

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IAFG
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby IAFG » Sun May 04, 2014 7:22 pm

run26.2 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Obviously an 8 lawyer firm doesn't work like that, but pretty much all midsize+ firm have some sort of up or out system.

Hmmm--maybe should be nuanced a bit. Many midsize firms, and even some biglaw firms, will promote you to counsel, and let you stay there indefinitely, if you can be profitably billed out and do good work, but are not good at bringing in business. It's basically like being a service partner w/o the title.

As a matter of course? And how profitable? And does it more automatically than biglaw, which does that too?

run26.2
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby run26.2 » Sun May 04, 2014 7:28 pm

IAFG wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Obviously an 8 lawyer firm doesn't work like that, but pretty much all midsize+ firm have some sort of up or out system.

Hmmm--maybe should be nuanced a bit. Many midsize firms, and even some biglaw firms, will promote you to counsel, and let you stay there indefinitely, if you can be profitably billed out and do good work, but are not good at bringing in business. It's basically like being a service partner w/o the title.

As a matter of course? And how profitable? And does it more automatically than biglaw, which does that too?

I have no idea about how profitable it needs to be. Whether it is a matter of course would depend on the firm, I suppose. I haven't asked.

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IAFG
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby IAFG » Sun May 04, 2014 10:58 pm

I work at a so-called midsized firm with a fair bit of promotion to counsel and also super seniors but we absolutely still have up-or-out involuntary departures. And let's be real, you don't have to bill much to be profitable.

run26.2
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby run26.2 » Mon May 05, 2014 12:01 am

I am not disagreeing that it happens. My main point was that it's not all up-or-out. You can get to a certain point and stay there at some firms and in some cases.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Mon May 05, 2014 12:07 am

IAFG wrote:Bk probs isn't constitutional.

Keep Lochnering, sister. You ain't wrong.

Canof09
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Canof09 » Mon May 05, 2014 7:28 pm

This might be 0L naivete, but it seems like, for 0Ls/1Ls anyway, that this isn't even worth worrying about at the moment due to how far in the future this would be. The economy looked drastically different 5-7 years ago, and it will probably look drastically different 5-7 years from today. Who knows what will be the "safe" practice area at that point? (Still crossing my fingers for international space law.)

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yossarian
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby yossarian » Tue May 06, 2014 6:21 am

Canof09 wrote:This might be 0L naivete, but it seems like, for 0Ls/1Ls anyway, that this isn't even worth worrying about at the moment due to how far in the future this would be. The economy looked drastically different 5-7 years ago, and it will probably look drastically different 5-7 years from today. Who knows what will be the "safe" practice area at that point? (Still crossing my fingers for international space law.)

I see what you are saying, but law isn't shit just because of the crash. Even in the boom days of 2006, lawyers will tell you the writing was on the wall. The industry is shifting and as F500s figure out exactly what they want to pay for in terms of legal services, firms will have to continue to adjust. These good or bad practice areas and industry hiring trends more represent the growing pains of finding a new normal than recovering from the recession.

But also a 0L

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Blindmelon
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Blindmelon » Tue May 06, 2014 8:27 am

yossarian71 wrote:
Canof09 wrote:This might be 0L naivete, but it seems like, for 0Ls/1Ls anyway, that this isn't even worth worrying about at the moment due to how far in the future this would be. The economy looked drastically different 5-7 years ago, and it will probably look drastically different 5-7 years from today. Who knows what will be the "safe" practice area at that point? (Still crossing my fingers for international space law.)

I see what you are saying, but law isn't shit just because of the crash. Even in the boom days of 2006, lawyers will tell you the writing was on the wall. The industry is shifting and as F500s figure out exactly what they want to pay for in terms of legal services, firms will have to continue to adjust. These good or bad practice areas and industry hiring trends more represent the growing pains of finding a new normal than recovering from the recession.

But also a 0L


Being a lawyer has never been really great. You are always second fiddle to your clients. Its a service industry job - you shouldn't go into law because you want to make money or be important - no matter what level you are at, even the biggest rainmaker partner, you have to answer to every one of your clients. And your services are usually just a huge drain on the company, and given the competition and amount of lawyers, an easy line to negotiate down and nickel and dime over.

That being said, if you do well on the LSAT then its a way to jump into the upper middle class quickly (then hope you stay there).

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IAFG
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby IAFG » Tue May 06, 2014 9:13 am

homestyle28 wrote:
bdubs wrote:Any of you who are practicing have experience or thoughts on jumping from one side of the V to the other? Know anyone who went to a plaintiffs' firm? There are lots of clowns out there working on P side cases that seem to make decent money. Can't help but think that would be a good option with a few years of experience doing BigLit.


We had a former NU student come talk to my clinic (guy was also a clinic alum) who started his own gig when he wanted to switch sides. He'd done Commercial lit at a series of firms, including Novak and Macey and Howrey before it crashed. He had tried to do P's work at those firms but was usually voted down when he presented any possible cases b/c of potential conflicts. When he realized he had at least a few cases he could probably work up into decent settlements, he bailed.

His firm link: http://www.siprut.com/index.html

I'm not sure it's a viable model for everyone, but if you could really bring in decent P-side work, starting your own thing seems way more reasonable.

Thank you for introducing me to my new hero.

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rayiner
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby rayiner » Tue May 06, 2014 9:58 am

IAFG wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
bdubs wrote:Any of you who are practicing have experience or thoughts on jumping from one side of the V to the other? Know anyone who went to a plaintiffs' firm? There are lots of clowns out there working on P side cases that seem to make decent money. Can't help but think that would be a good option with a few years of experience doing BigLit.


We had a former NU student come talk to my clinic (guy was also a clinic alum) who started his own gig when he wanted to switch sides. He'd done Commercial lit at a series of firms, including Novak and Macey and Howrey before it crashed. He had tried to do P's work at those firms but was usually voted down when he presented any possible cases b/c of potential conflicts. When he realized he had at least a few cases he could probably work up into decent settlements, he bailed.

His firm link: http://www.siprut.com/index.html

I'm not sure it's a viable model for everyone, but if you could really bring in decent P-side work, starting your own thing seems way more reasonable.


Thank you for introducing me to my new hero.


He settled for $200 million last year with Energizer for sunscreen: http://www.siprut.com/Energizer_Chicago ... lletin.pdf. He settled for $58 million with Southwest airlines in 2012. He's probably making more money than Marty Lipton and he's a 2003 grad...

Also look at that picture... can you get any more Chicago?

Jchance
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Jchance » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:01 pm

So what should an associate focus on in the first 3 years to be more marketable as a lateral?
-networking?
-pro bono for lit experience?
-teaching (if you can get it)?
-publishing in specialized subject?

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Desert Fox
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Desert Fox » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:23 pm

Jchance wrote:So what should an associate focus on in the first 3 years to be more marketable as a lateral?
-networking? Good for lateralling
-pro bono for lit experience? Pretty much bullshit
-teaching (if you can get it)? Lol
-publishing in specialized subject?lol

run26.2
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby run26.2 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:51 pm

Do more than doc review, as a start. If you're asking this, it makes me think you actually are only a very small way into your career. I hope I'm wrong, though, because I always think it's a mistake to start at a firm that you don't really want to work at.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:18 pm

run26.2 wrote:Do more than doc review, as a start. If you're asking this, it makes me think you actually are only a very small way into your career. I hope I'm wrong, though, because I always think it's a mistake to start at a firm that you don't really want to work at.


Really? I know a few people who are starting at firms they don't particularly want to work at for a multitude of reasons. Including reasons like the firm was their only offer, The firm was their only offer in particular location, A particular firm paid more than their other offers or offered a better gateway to something else they wanted to do (clerk, government etc). Most importantly there are a ton of people who take jobs at firms that they don't want to work for long-term to pay off debt. I don't see how starting at some place you don't want to finish at is categorically a bad idea.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:54 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:
run26.2 wrote:Do more than doc review, as a start. If you're asking this, it makes me think you actually are only a very small way into your career. I hope I'm wrong, though, because I always think it's a mistake to start at a firm that you don't really want to work at.


Really? I know a few people who are starting at firms they don't particularly want to work at for a multitude of reasons. Including reasons like the firm was their only offer, The firm was their only offer in particular location, A particular firm paid more than their other offers or offered a better gateway to something else they wanted to do (clerk, government etc). Most importantly there are a ton of people who take jobs at firms that they don't want to work for long-term to pay off debt. I don't see how starting at some place you don't want to finish at is categorically a bad idea.


Starting at a firm where you don't want to work is definitely not a bad idea if your plan all along was to go to government or in house, but keep in mind that government/in house options are hard to get (if you're talking about BIGFED and high-paying in house positions). You may end up at the firm you start at for longer than expected. Inevitably, working somewhere that you don't like is going to impact your work product. It won't be as good if you have an attitude of "well, this is only temporary, so I can kinda half-ass stuff," and this attitude is extremely hard if not impossible to banish from your own subconsciousness if you go in planning to leave ASAP. Bad work gives you a bad rep which can follow you around for the rest of your career, so be careful how you approach temporary weigh stations in your career

run26.2
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby run26.2 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:19 pm

I said always, but I meant always in the context of starting at a firm but wanting to move to another firm from day 1. Even then, there are probably exceptions, but my reasons are along the lines of those articulated by Biglaw_Associate_V20. Biglaw is hard enough (in the sense that it takes a lot of your time, energy, attention to detail, etc.), that if you aren't into your job or your interests are divided you probably aren't going to do as good a job as you would otherwise or as your co-workers likely are doing. Additionally, someone in this position is probably going to spend time looking for positions instead of spending time developing legal skills.

Are there exceptions? Most likely. But based partly on experience and partly on extrapolation, this is generally how I think it goes for people in such a position.

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los blancos
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby los blancos » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:35 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
yossarian71 wrote:
Canof09 wrote:This might be 0L naivete, but it seems like, for 0Ls/1Ls anyway, that this isn't even worth worrying about at the moment due to how far in the future this would be. The economy looked drastically different 5-7 years ago, and it will probably look drastically different 5-7 years from today. Who knows what will be the "safe" practice area at that point? (Still crossing my fingers for international space law.)

I see what you are saying, but law isn't shit just because of the crash. Even in the boom days of 2006, lawyers will tell you the writing was on the wall. The industry is shifting and as F500s figure out exactly what they want to pay for in terms of legal services, firms will have to continue to adjust. These good or bad practice areas and industry hiring trends more represent the growing pains of finding a new normal than recovering from the recession.

But also a 0L


Being a lawyer has never been really great. You are always second fiddle to your clients. Its a service industry job - you shouldn't go into law because you want to make money or be important - no matter what level you are at, even the biggest rainmaker partner, you have to answer to every one of your clients. And your services are usually just a huge drain on the company, and given the competition and amount of lawyers, an easy line to negotiate down and nickel and dime over.



I've been searching for like an hour for this post because it is so unbelievably spot-on, but I couldn't remember its wording or who posted it.

It took me approx 2 months in regional biglaw/midlaw to realize "I could probably make partner in this firm if I wanted to, but why on earth would anyone actually want this endless rat race!?"

handsonthewheel
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby handsonthewheel » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:33 pm

los blancos wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
yossarian71 wrote:
Canof09 wrote:This might be 0L naivete, but it seems like, for 0Ls/1Ls anyway, that this isn't even worth worrying about at the moment due to how far in the future this would be. The economy looked drastically different 5-7 years ago, and it will probably look drastically different 5-7 years from today. Who knows what will be the "safe" practice area at that point? (Still crossing my fingers for international space law.)

I see what you are saying, but law isn't shit just because of the crash. Even in the boom days of 2006, lawyers will tell you the writing was on the wall. The industry is shifting and as F500s figure out exactly what they want to pay for in terms of legal services, firms will have to continue to adjust. These good or bad practice areas and industry hiring trends more represent the growing pains of finding a new normal than recovering from the recession.

But also a 0L


Being a lawyer has never been really great. You are always second fiddle to your clients. Its a service industry job - you shouldn't go into law because you want to make money or be important - no matter what level you are at, even the biggest rainmaker partner, you have to answer to every one of your clients. And your services are usually just a huge drain on the company, and given the competition and amount of lawyers, an easy line to negotiate down and nickel and dime over.



I've been searching for like an hour for this post because it is so unbelievably spot-on, but I couldn't remember its wording or who posted it.

It took me approx 2 months in regional biglaw/midlaw to realize "I could probably make partner in this firm if I wanted to, but why on earth would anyone actually want this endless rat race!?"


I never understood the carrot of partnership to the extent it's thought to be a panacea for the demands of the job. I don't think there is any incentive that can adequately compensate for sacrificing your life to a job if it's no something you are otherwise willing to do.

uceoledinbdnrn
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby uceoledinbdnrn » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:06 pm

Desert Fox wrote:


Los Blancos wrote:


DELG wrote:


ExBiglawAssociate wrote:


3 years later, how do y'all feel about this thread?

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Desert Fox
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:14 pm

It's not a Vale Part 2, but there isn't an easy, no effort path. when I finally can't take anymore I'll prob. just apply to government non-stop til I get something?!? Who knows. Law sucks.

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Johann
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby Johann » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Agree. Honestly, a complete career change seems more seamless biglaw exits. Got a lot of my friends going through this right now and almost none of them know wtf to do.

If you've reached the breaking point of biglaw, I think I'd just coast until you get shitcanned/save money. Then work doc review while collecting unemployment and start the job search.

All of the pay decreases are so substantial that I think the pay outweighs any risk of stigma for being terminated. Especially if the stigma is being fired for business reasons not cause in a brutal up or out model like biglaw. Doubt someone in a job interview (other than another big firm/elite in house) would ever look down on an employee fired from biglaw.

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los blancos
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby los blancos » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:07 pm

I managed to get out of private practice about a year after my last post. 2015 was the worst year of my life. There's a good chance I'll be going back to biglaw, but I still think it's a fundamentally draining and empty existence. Then again most things are so : ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. If I wind up back in biglaw I might just gun for junior income partner and then see what happens. I actually enjoyed my last few months of practice so I have reason to think I'm a better tyrannical midlevel than junior.

I still think for a lot of shitigators especially it really can be vale part 2 (and could easily be for me -- i left my firm for a pretty prestigious gig but might find myself unemployed soon). But it seems like leverage isn't as high as it used to be in some places and sometimes you can choose a place that isn't aggressively up or out.

I still hate this profession as much as I ever have and don't think very highly of it but some of that is down to my own unique circumstances + studying for a bar rn + gvt job interviews that turn out to be a waste of everyone's time. I still like litigation and the practice of law. That's sort of my blessing/curse and really why I haven't left the profession yet; I'm holding out hope I'll land in a place that lets me do it on terms I can handle and/or *gasp* enjoy.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: BigLaw Exit Options: The Vale Part 2?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:31 pm

I made it to my dream job in BIGFED, so I'm happy as a clam right now. Just hope I don't need any more money than I'm currently bringing in any time soon.




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