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Thinking about law school? Read this. - Page 6

post #76 of 134
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Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
You're clearly an idiot. You must have graduated from the T14-18 tier.

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Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Wrong! What the hell co uld he possibly know about being a lawyer,

Does this mean I r smurt?
post #77 of 134
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Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Does this mean I r smurt?
Ain't seen your ugly mug on a bus bench board billboard yet, onion-chopper. So no.
post #78 of 134
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Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
You're clearly an idiot. You must have graduated from the T14-18 tier.

You have a fondness for calling me an idiot lately. I went to Princeton Law and even edited the journal, Princeton Review.
post #79 of 134
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Originally Posted by Mark it 8 View Post
You have a fondness for calling me an idiot lately. I went to Princeton Law and even edited the journal, Princeton Review.

Really? I don't remember the other time, although I'm sure it was justified.
post #80 of 134
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Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
Ain't seen your ugly mug on a bus bench board billboard yet, onion-chopper. So no.

I know. I'm still stuck taking out ads on the grocery bulletin board. Smalltimer syndrome FTW.
post #81 of 134
Thread Starter 
All this talk about making it to BigLaw as if it's the be all, end all, of being a lawyer. Have you clowns paid any attention to what BigLaw did you its associates, staff, and even partners in the last few years? Even if you're giving up your life by billing 2,200+ hours/year, your ass could still be thrown out on the sidewalk less than 10 minutes after a partners' meeting. Fuck, after what BigLaw has done for recent graduates, the real question is why would any sane person want to go into BigLaw anymore. In any case, the current BigLaw model is fucked (save a few small elite firms). Join it at your own perile. /end rant
post #82 of 134
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Originally Posted by rjakapeanut View Post
this is the most attention i've gotten on styleforum ever lol

anyways, what i mean is i only want to be a lawyer. my backup is english teacher. i'm an english major right now.

either way don't trip, my grades are good enough for t14, and i'm probably going to go to LSU. so i'll likely get a full ride anyway.

You win the troll wars sir.
post #83 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW View Post
All this talk about making it to BigLaw as if it's the be all, end all, of being a lawyer. Have you clowns paid any attention to what BigLaw did you its associates, staff, and even partners in the last few years? Even if you're giving up your life by billing 2,200+ hours/year, your ass could still be thrown out on the sidewalk less than 10 minutes after a partners' meeting. Fuck, after what BigLaw has done for recent graduates, the real question is why would any sane person want to go into BigLaw anymore. In any case, the current BigLaw model is fucked (save a few small elite firms). Join it at your own perile. /end rant
I think rumors of BigLaw's demise are greatly exaggerated. That said, I certainly agree it's not for everyone -- indeed, is not for lots of people. That's why I put quotation marks around "success". Which is not to say that it's not a viable, or even good, option for people who go into it with their eyes open and a clear sense of their personal goals. I did it for a little while at the beginning of my career, and haven't ended up any more of a failure than I otherwise would have been.
post #84 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
I think rumors of BigLaw's demise are greatly exaggerated.
I don't know, LD. There's a gross excess supply of attorneys (both unemployed and underemployed), with more coming every year, and there's no real sign of lower billing rates. On top of that, many GCs from Fortune 500 firms have flat out said they would not pay for 1st year associates. LPO is on the rise, and recent progress in ESI discovery technology has the promise of significantly reducing the doc review work available to junior attorneys (as well as contract attorneys). And then, there's this recent Altman Weil survey. There's a lot of structural changes going on right now because the economics just don't add up. Of course, BigLaw will continue to exist in the future, but I doubt their business model, vis a vis staffing and billing, as it existed up until now, will be the same in a few years.
post #85 of 134
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Originally Posted by rjakapeanut View Post
my only concern is with the notion that i'm "limiting [myself] to either law or education"

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjakapeanut View Post
yeah it doesn't seem great but i really have no other choice than to go to law school. i still have a couple years before 1L though.

Dude, if you "really have no other choice than to go to law school", how are you not limiting yourself? And if you aren't, then you just can not express yourself well at all.

Can't believe it hasn't been said before but being mature for 19 doesn't mean anything. Look back at yourself when you are 21 or 22 and you'll see what I mean. You're getting a lot of advice here from people who were in your boat not too long ago. If you were truly mature for a 19 year old you'd at least listen to what they say.
post #86 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW View Post
I don't know, LD. There's a gross excess supply of attorneys (both unemployed and underemployed), with more coming every year, and there's no real sign of lower billing rates. On top of that, many GCs from Fortune 500 firms have flat out said they would not pay for 1st year associates. LPO is on the rise, and recent progress in ESI discovery technology has the promise of significantly reducing the doc review work available to junior attorneys (as well as contract attorneys). And then, there's this recent Altman Weil survey. There's a lot of structural changes going on right now because the economics just don't add up. Of course, BigLaw will continue to exist in the future, but I doubt their business model, vis a vis staffing and billing, as it existed up until now, will be the same in a few years.

I think you'll begin to see more of a bimodal distribution among large law firms.

Firms that grew in the late '90s and '00s by acquiring middle market, midlaw firms to increase their regional footprint (Baker McKenzie, K&L Gates, and tons more) will face increased pressure to get away from a highly leveraged employment model, which is how they drive partner profits. The partners at DLA Piper Orlando will just have to take a smaller share. Compensation models should go back to how they were when these midlaw firms were acquired.

Large firms in large markets and/or sought after practice areas will continue to have price insensitive clients.

There is also an increase, at least in my area, of business litigation being done by "plaintiffs' lawyers," or boutique business litigation firms being run like plaintiffs' firms, as opposed to two "defense firms" going at it over business matters. The corporate plaintiff, instead of going to a midlaw firm and getting billed by the hour for mountains of useless discovery, instead goes to a firm which operates with lower staffing, minimal discovery, and typically only pays by the hour for some expenses and fixed costs; any attorney-compensation is taken on a contingency from potential recovery.
post #87 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW View Post
Even if you're giving up your life by billing 2,200+ hours/year
Hahaha... yeah, sorry, this isn't even up there, I know a guy who bille over 3300 two years ago and is routinely in the 2800-3000 range. 2200 at biglaw is like "nice work, here's your bonus" but you're not playing on the "my life is work" field yet, in spite of having to work a few late nights a week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik
Firms that grew in the late '90s and '00s by acquiring middle market, midlaw firms to increase their regional footprint (Baker McKenzie, K&L Gates, and tons more) will face increased pressure to get away from a highly leveraged employment model, which is how they drive partner profits. The partners at DLA Piper Orlando will just have to take a smaller share. Compensation models should go back to how they were when these midlaw firms were acquired.
There are a couple of firms up here, not to name names, that have engaged in the same strategically questionable practices and grown because of it, but the infrastructure of the firm is, by all accounts, pretty demented as a result. A relatively large amount of dead weight still being carried / entrenched and a "who were you before the merge" sort of attitude that I could detect even during the extended interview process. Not the best work environment, imo.
post #88 of 134
I wish I had gone to law school

I wish I lived somewhere with a night program

Btw, speaking of billable hours, what's the usual ratio of actual hours vs. billable?
post #89 of 134
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Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Btw, speaking of billable hours, what's the usual ratio of actual hours vs. billable?
It's variable across practice areas, and the type of work you're doing. Switching costs, from one task to another, pull the capture rate down However:
Quote:
It's striking to compare today's expectations to a lawyer's reasonable workday in 1958. In that year, the ABA announced that unless a lawyer worked overtime, there were "only approximately 1,300 fee-earning hours per year." This assumed a five-day workweek plus half-days on Saturday. At that time, the ABA set a "realistic" goal of five or six billable hours a day. Today, a billable hour target of 1,300 billable hours a year would amount to a civilized part-time schedule—the equivalent of a three-day, part-time workweek in most large firms. Billing 2,000 hours a year may not seem onerous. The total can be reached in just over eight billable hours a day, setting aside four weeks of the year for vacation and national holidays. But studies consistently show that a lawyer must spend three hours in the office for every two hours of billable work. Lawyers can't simply bill time. They have to read and respond to mail and firm memos, go to meetings, read legal publications, and eat lunch—not to mention kib-bitz with colleagues, if not friends. To do all of this and make the 2,000-hours target, a lawyer must spend the equivalent of 12 hours in the office for each working day. Since the day hasn't gotten longer since 1958, the honest lawyer who commits to working "full-time"—to a schedule of 2,000 billable and thus 3,000 total hours—is giving his life to the firm.
post #90 of 134
Hmm, I think 3k hours per year is nothing to bitch about. An FTE (full time equivalent) is 2080 hours. So basically, this lawyer making big cash is working less than 1.5 x usual hourly employee's time. Given the average rate of pay for hourly employees vs. that of Big Law types, seems a reasonable trade off. Truly, 60 hour weeks are nothing to overly complain about, given the probably compensation and career path.

Now, 80 is worth bitching about. IMO, the energy drain at anything over about 60 hours increases at a log rate.
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