Senior Associate

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Dusty 2020
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Senior Associate

Post by Dusty 2020 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:51 pm

The firm I am with (for a little over a year) has a “senior associate” designation (usually achieved after 3-4 years). A firm I am interviewing with has no “senior” associates. Both firms have over 1,500 attorneys. Does anyone know why a firm wouldn’t offer that designation? Thought I would ask here, before asking them.

altoid
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by altoid » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:37 pm

I think senior associate might be a London thing. Is one of them a British firm?

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Dusty 2020
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Dusty 2020 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:57 pm

Mainly Florida, a couple southern markets and DC. In Googling around, Senior Associate titles are common, including top 100 firms.

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ymmv
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by ymmv » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:02 pm

Senior associate at a biglaw firm usually entails at least 5-6 years.

riot
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by riot » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:07 pm

I’ve not worked at a firm that had that designation. There are places that have like 15th year associates who they don’t even have the decency to let call themselves “counsel”

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Danger Zone
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Danger Zone » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:18 pm

I've also seen "Senior Counsel" and fuck knows what that means. Maybe like a non-equity junior partner designation?

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Dusty 2020
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Dusty 2020 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:42 pm

ymmv wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Senior associate at a biglaw firm usually entails at least 5-6 years.
We have one 4th year Senior Associate, but I agree with you, 3rd year is pushing it.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by riot » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:48 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:18 pm
I've also seen "Senior Counsel" and fuck knows what that means. Maybe like a non-equity junior partner designation?
Here you go from counsel to senior counsel basically as a function of age lol “okay I guess you’re gonna stay here forever whatever here’s a fake promotion”

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Dusty 2020
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Dusty 2020 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:28 pm

Maybe all too common. We had a Senior Associate anticipating a Jr. Partnership. As time grew near for the announcements she suddenly became very hands-on (not in a good way). I suppose trying to display leadership. They just switched her title to Counsel. Kinda sad.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Pratis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:06 am

It’s just a bullshit title some firms use because they think they can bill you out higher. Orrick uses Associate, Managing Associate, and Senior Associate as titles for juniors, mid-levels, and seniors, respectively. Other firms use the senior designation either for true seniors (i.e., seventh and eighth years) or for basically anyone who is not a junior. Other firms call associates “attorneys” because they think it sounds better. I doubt there are very many situations in biglaw and comparable firms where these distinctions mean anything outside of marketing.

Just btw, “senior attorney” on the other hand is typically the top rank for off track attorneys at firms that have.them.

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Jubo
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Jubo » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm

At my firm, there are only associates and partners. I think this is firm-specific and also utterly meaningless.

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ymmv
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by ymmv » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:13 pm

Jubo wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm
At my firm, there are only associates and partners. I think this is firm-specific and also utterly meaningless.
It’s not meaningless where it means something. At my firm there were special trainings and seminars that went with reaching mid-level or senior, and a change in expectations of case management, staffing, specific responsibilities, etc. It wasn’t all set in stone but it was treated as a promotion of sorts, and had a distinct effect on how teams were put together for any big matter.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by quiver » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:45 pm

Pratis wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:06 am
It’s just a bullshit title some firms use because they think they can bill you out higher. Orrick uses Associate, Managing Associate, and Senior Associate as titles for juniors, mid-levels, and seniors, respectively. Other firms use the senior designation either for true seniors (i.e., seventh and eighth years) or for basically anyone who is not a junior. Other firms call associates “attorneys” because they think it sounds better. I doubt there are very many situations in biglaw and comparable firms where these distinctions mean anything outside of marketing.

Just btw, “senior attorney” on the other hand is typically the top rank for off track attorneys at firms that have.them.
Agree with all this.
ymmv wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:13 pm
Jubo wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm
At my firm, there are only associates and partners. I think this is firm-specific and also utterly meaningless.
It’s not meaningless where it means something. At my firm there were special trainings and seminars that went with reaching mid-level or senior, and a change in expectations of case management, staffing, specific responsibilities, etc. It wasn’t all set in stone but it was treated as a promotion of sorts, and had a distinct effect on how teams were put together for any big matter.
So, my firm had this too, but it still didn't use the titles. Like you would have mid-level training if you were a 3-5th year, but they didn't call you a "mid-level associate". It just varies by firm, and I tend to agree with Pratis that it's mostly about marketing.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Toni » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:01 pm

ymmv wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:13 pm
Jubo wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm
At my firm, there are only associates and partners. I think this is firm-specific and also utterly meaningless.
It’s not meaningless where it means something. At my firm there were special trainings and seminars that went with reaching mid-level or senior, and a change in expectations of case management, staffing, specific responsibilities, etc. It wasn’t all set in stone but it was treated as a promotion of sorts, and had a distinct effect on how teams were put together for any big matter.
That is a skillful definition and explanation of senior associate. Becoming a senior associate is also a positive marker that you are on a trajectory for partnership.

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quiver
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by quiver » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Toni wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:01 pm
ymmv wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:13 pm
Jubo wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:04 pm
At my firm, there are only associates and partners. I think this is firm-specific and also utterly meaningless.
It’s not meaningless where it means something. At my firm there were special trainings and seminars that went with reaching mid-level or senior, and a change in expectations of case management, staffing, specific responsibilities, etc. It wasn’t all set in stone but it was treated as a promotion of sorts, and had a distinct effect on how teams were put together for any big matter.
That is a skillful definition and explanation of senior associate. Becoming a senior associate is also a positive marker that you are on a trajectory for partnership.
No, not necessarily. It's an indicator that you're good enough to not be forcefully pushed out, but that's very different from having a realistic shot at partnership.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by altoid » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:08 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:18 pm
I've also seen "Senior Counsel" and fuck knows what that means. Maybe like a non-equity junior partner designation?
I have seen senior counsel be used for former partners. I realize that op is not talking about London, but there the title senior associate is widespread. It first started with the British firms, but then all other firms did not want their senior associates to appear as if they were behind so everybody started using it as an official designation for associates past a certain year.

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by lolwat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:21 am

The way I see it is typically to note a class-year/experience change internally, and externally for marketing and billing to clients.

I've definitely seen some smaller-but-not-tiny firms (between 10-40 attorneys) bill different levels of associates at different rates; something like "We bill our paralegals at $250 an hour, associates at $500 an hour, senior associates at $750 an hour, junior partners at $1,000 an hour, and name partner xyz at $2,000,000 an hour" or something rather than identifying each attorney and their individual rate.s

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by BigZuck » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm

I’m fairly confident that “Senior Associate” is just a signal to opposing counsel that “This guy is a pain in the ass to work across from and all around general piece of work.”

Hope that helps!

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Re: Senior Associate

Post by ymmv » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:36 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm
I’m fairly confident that “Senior Associate” is just a signal to opposing counsel that “This guy is a pain in the ass to work across from and all around general piece of work.”

Hope that helps!
I think you mean “, Esq.”

Pratis
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Pratis » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:14 pm

ymmv wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:36 pm
BigZuck wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm
I’m fairly confident that “Senior Associate” is just a signal to opposing counsel that “This guy is a pain in the ass to work across from and all around general piece of work.”

Hope that helps!
I think you mean “, Esq.”
The use of “Esq.” in my state is weirdly and annoyingly ubiquitous even among good firms. Basically all boomer lawyers and 80-90% of non-boomer lawyers use it and I don’t get it.

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jingosaur
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by jingosaur » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:42 pm

Pratis wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:14 pm
ymmv wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:36 pm
BigZuck wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm
I’m fairly confident that “Senior Associate” is just a signal to opposing counsel that “This guy is a pain in the ass to work across from and all around general piece of work.”

Hope that helps!
I think you mean “, Esq.”
The use of “Esq.” in my state is weirdly and annoyingly ubiquitous even among good firms. Basically all boomer lawyers and 80-90% of non-boomer lawyers use it and I don’t get it.
I always thought Esq. was reserved for when people are lawyers and they have non-lawyer jobs. I mostly see it in recruiter e-mails, for example.

Pratis
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Pratis » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:30 pm

jingosaur wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:42 pm
Pratis wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:14 pm
ymmv wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:36 pm
BigZuck wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm
I’m fairly confident that “Senior Associate” is just a signal to opposing counsel that “This guy is a pain in the ass to work across from and all around general piece of work.”

Hope that helps!
I think you mean “, Esq.”
The use of “Esq.” in my state is weirdly and annoyingly ubiquitous even among good firms. Basically all boomer lawyers and 80-90% of non-boomer lawyers use it and I don’t get it.
I always thought Esq. was reserved for when people are lawyers and they have non-lawyer jobs. I mostly see it in recruiter e-mails, for example.
Not here. Every cease and desist ot meet and confer letter comes with a big “Esq.” on the signature like. Most attorneys throw it after their name on motions and pleadings too. I have had boomer partners redline it in after my name.

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Nony
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Nony » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:58 pm

Weird. In my neck of the woods we never use it for ourselves but we always use it when referring to opposing counsel.

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Easy-E
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Easy-E » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:33 pm

I thought Esq was just honorific, so I always put Esq for other attorneys (acknowledging that we suffer together) but never after my own name.

This one jerkoff in my jx puts J.D. and Esq and everyone laughs about it

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Dusty 2020
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Re: Senior Associate

Post by Dusty 2020 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:38 am

I interviewed with the firm and received a less-than-convincing explanation of why they are not supportive of the “senior associate” designation. Nevertheless, not a deal killer.

As far as Esq. The only correspondence I recall receiving without Esq. was from an attorney at a small firm.

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