1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

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Pharoahe Monch
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1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Pharoahe Monch » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:48 pm

Just started NYC biglaw. Lifestyle is not for me. Doing litigation. Have a technical background and graduated in the lower third of my class at HYS.

Can I jump to a boutique that has more chill hours? Does it look bad if I leave after only one year?

What do exit options look like at this point in the game? Does one year of doing only litigation constrain me?

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pancakes3
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by pancakes3 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:56 pm

Do you have ties to a secondary market?

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Nony
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Nony » Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:59 pm

I don't think it looks bad if you leave after only one year. The problem is if you develop a pattern of leaving after only one year, so you kind of have to hope/make sure you can stay in your next gig for a reasonable chunk of time. There may not be a huge demand for people with 1 year of lit experience (I have no idea), but that's a different issue from it looking bad.

Pharoahe Monch
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Pharoahe Monch » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:00 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:56 pm
Do you have ties to a secondary market?
northern california

Story
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Story » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:46 pm

What is it exactly that you don’t like about your job? If you can clarify that, you will avoid going to a second job that has the same bad characteristics.

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64Fl
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by 64Fl » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:57 pm

Story wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:46 pm
What is it exactly that you don’t like about your job? If you can clarify that, you will avoid going to a second job that has the same bad characteristics.
Yeah, I think this would be helpful. Lifestyle is a bit broad, although you did mention a firm with chiller hours in your post. Is it specifically the hours? If so, what have your hours been like. Is it the hierarchy? If so, what's your experience with that being like. Is it the first-year litigation work? If so, what have they had you working on?

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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Guest » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:13 pm

Story wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:46 pm
What is it exactly that you don’t like about your job? If you can clarify that, you will avoid going to a second job that has the same bad characteristics.
[quote=64Fl post_id=459056 time=1606355827 user_id=9401
Yeah, I think this would be helpful. Lifestyle is a bit broad, although you did mention a firm with chiller hours in your post. Is it specifically the hours? If so, what have your hours been like. Is it the hierarchy? If so, what's your experience with that being like. Is it the first-year litigation work? If so, what have they had you working on?
[/quote]

I don't like the hours and the stress. I'm expected to bill between 175-200 hours per month. I'd ideally like a job where I can bill around 1800 and make like 75% of my current salary (I have 200k in law school loans - i'd still like to be able to service the loan and save comfortably if possible).

Am I stuck in litigation if I do exclusively litigation for a year? If I move, I'd like to set myself up for an in house gig somewhere down the road if possible.

Pharoahe Monch
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Pharoahe Monch » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:15 pm

Story wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:46 pm
What is it exactly that you don’t like about your job? If you can clarify that, you will avoid going to a second job that has the same bad characteristics.
64Fl wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:57 pm
Yeah, I think this would be helpful. Lifestyle is a bit broad, although you did mention a firm with chiller hours in your post. Is it specifically the hours? If so, what have your hours been like. Is it the hierarchy? If so, what's your experience with that being like. Is it the first-year litigation work? If so, what have they had you working on?
I don't like the hours and the stress. I'm expected to bill between 175-200 hours per month. I'd ideally like a job where I can bill around 1800 and make like 75% of my current salary (I have 200k in law school loans - i'd still like to be able to service the loan and save comfortably if possible).

Am I stuck in litigation if I do exclusively litigation for a year? If I move, I'd like to set myself up for an in house gig somewhere down the road if possible.

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64Fl
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by 64Fl » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:21 pm

Pharoahe Monch wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:15 pm

I don't like the hours and the stress. I'm expected to bill between 175-200 hours per month. I'd ideally like a job where I can bill around 1800 and make like 75% of my current salary (I have 200k in law school loans - i'd still like to be able to service the loan and save comfortably if possible).

Am I stuck in litigation if I do exclusively litigation for a year? If I move, I'd like to set myself up for an in house gig somewhere down the road if possible.
Gotcha. It's hard to find the reduced hours for reduced pay firms. A lot of the time it's reduced pay but the same amount of hours. That's not to say give up hope, but it's to encourage you to really vet the hours of any firm you look at in the midlaw or regional biglaw realm. They certainly exist, but they can be hard to ascertain.

You're not stuck in litigation if you do a full year of litigation, but you'd have to start as a first year again if you switched out. As for in-house, litigation in-house roles do exist, although they aren't as commonplace. If you are interested in and like labor & employment lit, that's generally the best path in-house for litigators.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:29 pm

Surprised that they’re already pushing you to hit that many hours and it sounds like your firm might just suck. I do mostly lit and while 200 hour + months are certainly not unheard of, they’re certainly not the baseline expectation either and an 1800 hour year wouldn’t be frowned on at all. I think wherever you go if you’re doing lit you’re going to end up being beholden to your case schedule.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:32 pm

But also with 200k in student loans you’re well past the point where aggressively paying down your loans makes sense. You should either be doing an aggressive minimum payment REPAYE strategy or it sounds like going into a PSLF eligible job would have huge lifestyle and financial benefits for you.

Pharoahe Monch
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Pharoahe Monch » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:59 pm

BlendedUnicorn wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:29 pm
Surprised that they’re already pushing you to hit that many hours and it sounds like your firm might just suck. I do mostly lit and while 200 hour + months are certainly not unheard of, they’re certainly not the baseline expectation either and an 1800 hour year wouldn’t be frowned on at all. I think wherever you go if you’re doing lit you’re going to end up being beholden to your case schedule.
i didnt realize not hitting your bonus was a real option in NYC biglaw firms. can associates at your firm just do 1800 hours every year and just forgo the bonus?

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:30 am

Pharoahe Monch wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:59 pm
BlendedUnicorn wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:29 pm
Surprised that they’re already pushing you to hit that many hours and it sounds like your firm might just suck. I do mostly lit and while 200 hour + months are certainly not unheard of, they’re certainly not the baseline expectation either and an 1800 hour year wouldn’t be frowned on at all. I think wherever you go if you’re doing lit you’re going to end up being beholden to your case schedule.
i didnt realize not hitting your bonus was a real option in NYC biglaw firms. can associates at your firm just do 1800 hours every year and just forgo the bonus?
My firm doesn’t have a 2000 year bonus requirement but yeah at most places you’re going to be profitable for the firm well below 2000 or 1800 hours so they’re not going to push you out the door right away just because you don’t make bonus for a year.

Pharoahe Monch
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:40 pm

Re: 1yr too soon to bail on biglaw?

Post by Pharoahe Monch » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:10 pm

64Fl wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:21 pm
Pharoahe Monch wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:15 pm

I don't like the hours and the stress. I'm expected to bill between 175-200 hours per month. I'd ideally like a job where I can bill around 1800 and make like 75% of my current salary (I have 200k in law school loans - i'd still like to be able to service the loan and save comfortably if possible).

Am I stuck in litigation if I do exclusively litigation for a year? If I move, I'd like to set myself up for an in house gig somewhere down the road if possible.
Gotcha. It's hard to find the reduced hours for reduced pay firms. A lot of the time it's reduced pay but the same amount of hours. That's not to say give up hope, but it's to encourage you to really vet the hours of any firm you look at in the midlaw or regional biglaw realm. They certainly exist, but they can be hard to ascertain.

You're not stuck in litigation if you do a full year of litigation, but you'd have to start as a first year again if you switched out. As for in-house, litigation in-house roles do exist, although they aren't as commonplace. If you are interested in and like labor & employment lit, that's generally the best path in-house for litigators.
makes sense - thanks for the advice

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