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T’was the night before layoffs, and all through the firm… October 14, 2009

Posted by admin in : Uncategorized , trackback

layoffs-3All of us at the firm saw the writing on the wall by the time February rolled around. Despite language any reasonable person would have  interpreted as a “no-layoff” promise, coupled with discussions about how securely leveraged the firm was, it was still clear to all of us at the ground level that things were not going well. Whispers of impromptu partner meetings buzzed around the firm halls, cliques of young associates gathered together in offices to discuss the latest ATL gossip, chatter of suspiciously high rates of “counseled out” associates (i.e. stealth layoffs) spread like wildfire on the firm’s messaging system.  It was the worst of times, and we all knew it.

When I was a summer associate, regular conversation fodder for our unnecessarily grandiose lunch and dinner hobnobbing events would be tales of the “hazing” that would ensue shortly after our firm life started.  We heard stories of associates setting up cots in office corners, and of keeping pillows nearby to sneak a quick under-the-desk nap if an all-nighter had to be pulled. When it comes to”Big Law” clients do not wait, and why should they, they were paying “Big Bucks” for a reason. One summer associate dared to ask a partner point-blank about “work-life balance” at the firm.  He said “honestly, how do you do it… do you find it hard to juggle a family, and life at the firm, because looking in it doesn’t seem easy to me.” The poor fellow did not get an offer (he was likely better off).

We all knew the firm was paying to own us, and we were for the most part, ok with that, it was the deal we were signing up for. At least for a few years until we were able to pay our debts and gain some valuable experience along the way. Enough experience to escape the grind, and go in-house or to a boutique with better hours.  This very thinking is what firms count on and what forms the basis of Big Law economics. The attrition rate is the name of the game; it is the key statistic that all firms have to manage around. How much grain will fall through the cracks this year?

attritionThe higher the number of older seasoned associates who decide their time is up the more new Ivy League clay needs to be imported for firm molding.  During times of firm success the attrition rate typically hovers around 50% at large firms for third to fifth year associates, these rates are even higher as seniority levels closer to partner are approached. Except during times of economic woe, or near woe, the attrition rate, not unsurprisingly, begins to approach zero. This attrition rate phenomenon, compounded with less new legal business being initiated by the partners in general, along with the fact that many of the firm’s regular steady clients just no longer existed, along with a completely misguided plan of aggressive firm growth, hatched somewhere around 2004-2005, that resulted in unnecessarily doubling and tripling of recruitment efforts each subsequent year, was a surefire recipe for massive layoffs (yes I realize that was a mouthful, and a run-on sentence, but that is just the best way to put it).

Let me give you a peek now at what it was like going to work in the underbelly of the sinking RSS ELF every day for four months. There were two orientation dates for our class of 60. Approximately, half started in September and half in October. Those who started first had a slight advantage over the rest of us, they had an extra month to entrench themselves into the firm’s politics and to position themselves to receive billable projects with less competition, then those joining in October would face.

MavisThe firm staffed cases through a central system, no one was supposed to go around the system (but everyone tried with little repercussion). Because there was so little work, projects that would come in would be assigned in a game show fast-buzzer style fashion. Those who read the e-mails quickest, were available at the time and had the fastest typing fingers secured the most work.  An e-mail would go out from the central system “I need two attorneys to work on drafting a consumer credit agreement,” three seconds later… “thank you filled.” If you were on the phone, talking to your secretary, reading a case file, and for some reason didn’t see the e-mail the second it came in… consider yourself screwed. Relying on this system to get your work was guaranteed suicide and we all knew this. So instead most newer associates, while of course brushing up on their Mavis Beacon skills, sought other ways to keep busy.

The most popular option was to exploit a feature of the firm’s billing practices (devised in normal times) a feature that allowed for unlimited billable credit for pro bono work . The first years all knew this did not contribute to the firm’s profits, but it did contribute to our monthly hour totals. So each young associated loaded up on as much pro bono work as possible.

Sitting at lunch, we would often go around the table getting a recap of what everyone was working on. And the stories each week would be the same, “what are you working on” “nothing really, but whatever hours I am billing are all to the holocaust reparations program” or the “veterans appeals program” or the “immigration visa program” or the “crimstock program” or the “violence against women program.” We were all content with being busy with pro bono for a couple of reasons, 1) at least we were doing something, 2) it counted towards our required hours, 3) it felt good to help others and get paid Big Firm rates to do it, and 4) who knows, we were told if you do good work on a pro bono matter and network with the right senior associates and partners it could possibly lead to real billable work (hence going around the central system).

Despite our general desire to keep productive, all of us on the inside knew the played-up air of business was nothing but a Potemkin Village. But I fell victim to the pro bono fallacy as well; the consensus was as long as you’re doing pro-bono work you’re billing hours and you should be safe, because it would help keep you on track.  This was a bizarre falsehood that no one really believed in the deeper they drilled down on it. Obviously no money was being brought into the firm from these endeavors, in fact– the firm often actually laid out all expenses for indigent clients. But it allowed a young associate to say “I did work today” when no actual billable work was in sight.

The ironic thing was although I kept a healthy stash of pro bono assignments at all times, as hard as I tried I couldn’t get as much as I wanted. I was e-mailing and calling public interest folks all around New York, offering to give my services away free of charge! Every other young associate at the firm had the same idea, and I’d venture to guess that many others at similarly situated Big Law firms did too. Needless to say in the world of Big Law pro bono work as insane as it sounds, supply exceeded demand. Of course all the internal pro bono was staffed immediately and there was not enough to keep 400+ lawyers busy for 8-10 hours a day. The only matters I could get my hands on from “firm approved” outside agencies were will drafting assignments, and when I brought this to the firm’s pro bono committee my request was denied because we didn’t have sufficient partners with expertise to supervise trust and estate matters. A second project, helping an educational company get goods back from their seized warehouse, was similarly denied because of the remote chance that a bank could have had a security interest in the goods and that bank could have at one time been a client of the firm (despite the case clearing conflicts). At one point I even tried to bring in my high school alma matter to incorporate a 501(c)(3) alumni club they had planned to start, which never panned out either.

My officemate, a Dartmouth Undergrad and Harvard Law School Alum  (who was also negatively affected by the firm) had this to say about me when recommending me for a position with the federal government after the layoffs occurred:

“when the economy produced scarce billable work, some attorneys were content to wait at their desks until a new project was given to them; [Joblesslawyer] tirelessly sought out pro bono and practice development opportunities, both within and outside the firm.”

Looking back… a lot of good that did me.

huluAside from pro-bono, the first year’s attended more CLE classes then most attorneys attend throughout an entire career. If there was an open program being offered it was attended by the first-years. From an hours perspective this was worse than pro-bono time because this was included in our time sheets as “non-billable attorney development.” But choosing between CLE credits or sitting in one’s office watching old episodes of Arrested Development on Hulu (yes this was done regularly by the 95% of associates that had vacant time), the former would usually win out.  I left the firm with enough CLE credits for the entire year plus all allowable credits that could be applied to next year. If extras could be transfered to other attorneys, I could likely stay afloat financially just selling my unused but accrued CLE credits from all the firm events I attended. I have enough print outs of power-point slides to wallpaper the Russian Tea Room twice over. So much for showing how eager to learn I was. Although I don’t regret not watching Hulu more, because I now have all the time in the world for that.

santa hatThe sixty or so first years, no doubt, spent more time organizing a mandatory holiday sing-a-long the two weeks leading up to Christmas than any client billable work up until that point. Those from my class know this is no exaggeration. The holiday party was treated  for our purposes as the largest and most important firm client we had ever seen (we hadn’t seen many, but that’s besides the point). We had to take popular holiday songs, change their words to witty legal themed lyrics, practice them and perform them in front of the partners. One choice line was:

“I’m dreaming of a small jail cell… just like the one Bernie Madoff used to know.”

If this would have kept me my job I would have sung all day long, now it just seems embarrassing to even have spent so much time and effort on this. I now imagine the partners snickering to themselves saying “you see the small guy with the Santa hat… he’s a goner” and yes … the Santa hats were mandatory. Despite all the effort opening night was worse than a third grade recital, perhaps our performance played a role in the layoff calculus, since this was some of the most substantial work we engaged in at the firm.

The big picture for us was bleak, and as we were learning this together as a class. We came to hate the arbitrary staffing system because there was nothing we could do to assure work. Further, those getting work were getting it mostly from secret networks, that did not conform to firm protocol and were not available to the rest of us. Typical white shoe cronyism I guess, no surprises there.

This was why when I was staffed on a huge anti-trust case I felt as if I had won the lottery. I worked my butt off on this case. I put in twelve hour days working straight through weekends, and left the office regularly at 4am. Everyone on the project was working these hours, but the strangest thing was we were all ecstatic to do so. “Thank you sir may I have another” was our mantra.  To us it was a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of a chance to avoid what we came to see as the inevitable.

Finally though, I was experiencing a little of what I had expected to be experiencing from day one. Things were looking up at least for those of us assigned on this incredible monster document review. If the firm was going to do layoffs they weren’t going to touch the busy people right?  Document review rooms were “safe zones”, we came to say. At several points during the review I was even asked by my supervisors to change the “briefing book” to account for some inconsistencies in the documents I spotted during the review process. So naturally that made me more valuable to the firm, right?

benBecause we all felt lucky to have real work, the document review rooms were a bit more jovial in nature than the rest of the office (where morale was quite low). But there were still many who felt that the document review meant nothing as far as a firm commitment to job security. It turns out in hindsight, they were right. The older associates who knew they had no chance of making their hours, and had more work product to evaluate thought they were the prime targets for layoffs. Ominously they stated “first years are safe.”  They would “never target the first years.”  The document review room we were in became a group comedy room during breaks, where we would relieve our impending layoff anxiety by joking about them. We went around the table trying to name the best flavors of Ben and Jerry’s we could come up with for  a new rescission ready ice cream line: “Pink Slip Peach,” “Strawberry Severance,” “Counseled Out Cobbler,” “Big Boot Blackberry,”… we had many more but I will leave it at that for now. We certainly did have a good laugh, unfortunately the firm had the last laugh.

grouchoglassesWe discussed at one point if a person could be fired if they could not be located? We thought of ways to either hide ourselves at the office or in the alternative, to wear creative disguises. I suggested wearing those thick black-rimmed glasses with the built in mustache and plastic nose. How could a partner look at you in the face and fire you when your wearing that?

The document review conveniently ended on a Wednesday two days before the layoffs were announced. I forgot my Groucho glasses that day, but something tells me they wouldn’t have mattered.

When I was let go, I asked how the firm decided which 35 of the 60 of us first years they were laying off. He responded it was a “coin flip” it was “not merit based in any way” he said. He said it was partially a matter of what projects you were staffed on (which were out of our control) and what role we played on them, at the time when the layoff decisions were made. I asked the partner if it had anything to do with my horrible golf game that he had to witness at the firm retreat, he assured me it didn’t (although I have serious doubts about that, I was God awful- at one point I tore up a divot bigger than the partner’s head, with his own club and at his country club).

Some of the associates that were kept made sense, there were the associates with Russian language skills, the associates that had been investment bankers in a previous life, those with advanced technical degrees for the IP department and of course a partner’s son. But some of the keeps didn’t make sense, and many of the layoffs didn’t either. I walked out that day with someone with a degree from just about every top law school in the country. As far as the people on my floor alone that were asked to go, one girl was from Columbia, one from NYU, one from Northwestern, one guy from Cornell and my officemate was from Harvard– and that is just one floor. I’m not suggesting these degrees entitle them to something that others who didn’t attend these school are not entitled to. Not at all (I know plenty of great lawyers from all types of schools). I’m simply using it to illustrate the level of legal talent and skill that left the firm that fateful day.

securityI was told I was being let go on a Friday, and that I had to have my office cleared and my matters wrapped up by the following Monday (i.e. within 3 days). This was a better arrangement than the staff got, who had to vacate the building the day of the layoffs and were not permitted back in, they had to have any personal items that belonged to them mailed, but not by much. When I arrived to work Monday I was not allowed to enter my own office to pack up. I had to be greeted in the lobby by someone from HR who would watch me pack up my personal effects and then escort me out of the building, just to make sure I wasn’t going to take a firm mouse pad, or possibly one of those vacuum packed granola bars they kept in the emergency kits and made such a big deal about replacing.

As I said earlier in the post it was no surprise that the firm was taking cost cutting measures. I just couldn’t understand the ruthlessness of their approach, especially after all the reassuring language we were indoctrinated with at firm events, retreats, and meetings. They went through such great lengths and expense to get us to where we were, and then they were willing to forget about those efforts in a blink of an eye. Attorneys who experienced “merit” based “counsel outs”  were treated better. “Counsel Outs” are when attorneys are asked to leave the firm based on poor performance reviews, they are typically given three months to remain associated with the firm before ties are officially cut. During this time they can use the firm resources and say they are still employed by the firm. It allows this group to avoid the “damaged goods” stigma of a layoff! Yet those laid off the day I did got treated with less respect. (I do realize “Counsel Outs” can be used to dishonestly force people out, who during good economic times would never be asked to leave, I’m just using the process for comparison’s sake).

Other firms went through great lengths to offer public interest internships, pro bono fellowships, or other opportunities offering their attorneys half salary but the opportunity to have their employment re-evaluated at the end of the year. At least this shows some effort on the part of the firm to make good on their commitment. I suggested this approach in an e-mail to the managing partner of the New York Office, but he just said “we are keeping all options open” or something similarly vague. Just a month prior to D-day the managing partners had meetings with each class explaining that “layoffs” were a last resort and that the firm would do anything they could to avoid them– only this was not true. The firm cared more about being a “market leader” in severance pay than the future of their discarded, once heavily courted, ex-brethren.

AFacing a job market where shockingly, beyond any reason or logic, gaps in a resume or the word “layoff” still welcomes a response worthy of Hester Prynne’s emblazoned “A,” those three months of staying connected with the firm, or similarly a re-evaluation program could have made all the difference for us. C’est la vie.

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  • http://fillmydays.blogspot.com/ Little Lawyer

    I'm so suprised that there wasn't a properly thought out redundancy selection process! How many of you were dismissed? It doesn't appear to me that there is very much employee protection at all when compared to the UK (based on the tiny amount I know of US labour laws). Us Brits do have something to thank the EU for it seems…

    Best of luck with your job search – how long have you been looking now?

  • Name

    Ex-Latham (from CA) here. Everything you mention sounds about right, except that my office spared nearly all first years and instead annihilated the second years and any recent transfers (regardless of seniority). I wholeheartedly agree that a lot of talent was lost during the layoffs, and that Latham's disingenuous policy regarding pro bono was retarded. What a bunch of snakes.

  • 2L

    So I have a summer offer from Latham. I'd be an idiot to even consider it, right?

  • Name

    It’s funny that you mention how they seemed to be pleased with themselves that they were the “market leader” as it relates to severance packages. My ex-boyfriend is a partner in one of Latham’s offices, and I remember speaking to him after the mass lay-offs. After expressing my shock and horror of reading about it on ATL (since he obviously didn’t tell me about it before-hand), the first thing he cited was how generous the severance packages were. They all drank the Kool-Aid on that one to make themselves feel better! A source of consolation for you though perhaps when you see terms coined like “Lathamed” that will dog them for years as well as their fall from grace in the Vault rankings. Shame on them.

  • Reality

    Yes and no. These jobs are temp jobs. You will get [screwed] over at some point. Six months. Six years. It’s all the same thing.

  • middlelawlawyer

    Hi JL,
    Your blog has been featured in a National Newspaper of South Korea ( http://news.donga.com/fbin/output?f=f_s&n=20091… ) and led me to this blog. Why don't you consider Korean, Japanese, Chinese law firms? I'm sure you will be happy there.

  • Keith

    “what roll we played on them at the time when the layoff decisions were made”

    roll? Like toilet roll?

  • biglawsurvivor

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but I honestly believe that getting laid off from Latham will be the best thing to ever happen to you in the long run. You will now be forced to think about how you really want to spend the rest of your working life.

    Leaving my big law firm was by far the best move I've ever made. Life outside of big law can be very rewarding and fun. Don't buy into the big law myth. It's a worrible god-awful way to waste one's life.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  • John Wongy

    My condolences on you being “let go”. Maybe you can get unemployment benefits. I don’t think there’s enough legal work to justify the thousands of lawyers that graduated from school every year not to mention the ones that are already out there working.
    The economy sucks and that’s the start of it. People see these law shows on television and automatically run out to try to become lawyers. It looks sexy on t.v. but when the student loan coupons become due and the work isn’t around it doesn’t look pretty.

  • Name

    Dont' forget that Latham did this to 68 people in 1991. Latham does this all the time.

    The painful thing (that you may face, as I did) are the people in 2019 who will wonder what you did wrong to wind up at a bunch of undistinguished firms after Latham. (I wound up ten years after my layoff as one of the best credentialed partners at a very large, unprestigious insurance defense firm; I left that firm to go in-house, where I am now happy.)

  • Name

    “Dont' forget that Latham did this to 68 people in 1991. Latham does this all the time.”

    Huh? Unless you count the 18 intervening years…

  • formerlathamite

    I was pretty unimpressed with Latham during my time there. I lateraled in a few years ago, and I was amazed at the amount of kool-aid that many people there drink.

    I agree with the prior poster when I say that one day you may look back at the layoff and, while you may never feel happy about it, you may realize that this opened up a career and a life very different from what you imagined but far more fulfilling. I'm now a lawyer with the Federal Government, and I couldn't be happier. While I miss my Latham-sized paycheck, it could not buy me the things I get to enjoy now. Good luck with your search.

  • Name

    9+ months after the chopping block at Latham and still no job prospects. Guess this Top 5 $140,000 legal education isn't worth very much right now. Screw Latham. It was a bad time to transfer offices.

  • Name

    Funny – I was sharing your blog with, well some other law firm partners. I am not in big-Law so to speak, but of big-law ($800 an hour.) You guys are not yet “legal talent” – you may have the potential to become a legal talent, though probably not in a firm like this. Indeed we discussed with bemusement the central staffing system, something that treats junior associate time essentially as a fungible commodity, with no distinction to be made between one lawyer and another. In the legal “real world” lawyers are well paid for broad skill sets gained by experience. (My skill set is a mixture of high tech knowledge, international law, intellectual property law and antitrust – admittedly I'm an “odd fish.”) Those skill sets have a lot to do with what they were before they were lawyers – hence the retention of the IP associates and the former investment bankers. However, a lot of graduates of top Ivy League undergraduate schools and law schools were pre-law before they were law; their undergraduate degrees are things like political science, English, etc. all things that do not add special skill sets that make them distinctive as junior lawyers.

    This for many big-law associates their best bet is to try over 3-9 years to pick up a set of skills that makes them non-fungible, or a book of business. The trouble is that the way in which most big law associates, especially corporate associates, are managed militates against getting such experience. First they are staffed without any real regard to experience, as simple “billing fodder” on huge matters. One famous lawyer I know described due diligence as “sending your most junior lawyers and accountants into a company, with instructions not to 'piss people off,' where they supposedly will find things that the company management has cunningly concealed for years – some hope,” to which he added “and anyway they are all effectively hired by banks really, not their clients, and no-one in the banks would ever recommend a law-firm again that found something in due diligence that derailed a deal.”

    If the big-law firms do teach associates anything – in corporate law they seem to focus on developing micro-competence. This is best described as expertise in one small area of legal practice, that can justify a high billing rate, while effectively de-skilling the associate outside that area. Thus I remember interviewing in an earlier legal recession an 8th year associate who had been counseled out at a very very prestigious firm. It turned out for the last 6 years he had done nothing but Hart-Scott-Rodino Second Requests – he was the “Second Request King.” The trouble is, only one or two firms in the world would deal with so many second requests that they could justify paying someone that pay-level for just that skill.

    Frankly, I think you may be lucky. The leverage model followed by big-law is irreparably broken. I have been a GC as well as a partner, and speaking to GC friends it is apparent that corporate clients are no longer willing to pay for the training of junior associates and are incensed at the “piling on” of timekeepers on legal matters that do not justify so much billing, so many pointless legal research assignments, 3-6 lawyers attending routine conference calls, etc. The trend is much more towards demanding more skill and experience – and the big-law model of discarding associates before they can gain it is becoming a serious weakness.

    If you want to be a lawyer (and a lot of Ivy League graduates drifted into law) see how you can make yourself special, how you can gain a skill set that means that you will be in demand. In a way the first step has been forced on you – you have been pushed out of what seems like a caricature of a big law firm. I still cannot get over the work allocation system.

  • http://www.ronaldwfox.com/ Ron Fox

    Thanks for your willingness to share your insights about your experience in the law firm and the the difficulties in making a transition from BigLaw. I have been a witness to this for the last 25 years when, as the Public Interest Adviser at Harvard Law School, I watched that school and many other “selective” law schools around the country funnel as high as 95% of their graduates to positions in BigLaw – brutally contrary to what many hoped for when they entered law school. For over two decades now I have worked with dissatisfied lawyers in BigLaw many of whom believed they were trapped and had no options. What has been missing in legal education has been preparing students to practice in, and making them aware of the existence and the benefits of being in, law firms of 5 or less lawyers (where two-thirds of all practicing lawyers in this country practice.) While this runs the risk of being self-promoting, I would like to make you aware of a program I presented for the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Lawyers in Transition entitled “Think Small: Learning About and Finding Positions in Small Law Firms”. You can find a summary of this program and a link to the webcast by going to http://www.lawyersatisfactionblog.com and scrolling down to the post entitled “Now Accessible Online..” It is in this world of small law firm practice that many have found positions consistent with their professional goals and personal values.

  • Bob

    I write this as an Ivy League graduate in Biglaw who once saw himself as confident yet humble when in fact I had an overabundance of the former and too little of the latter. Speaking from experience, there are few influences more effective at providing character balance than life slapping you around a bit.

    This experience, so long as you do not go the other direction and allow it to decimate your confidence, may prove to be one of the best things to happen to you as a person…and interview subject.

  • middlelawlawyer

    I agree with you that graduates of top Ivy League undergraduate schools and law schools were pre-law before they were law. In my experience of 7 years as a lawyer, they were so useless once things begin to get complicated for real. One thing I don't understand is those pre-law and then real law associates are so proud of not being able to understand computer coding or calculus that they won't bother to learn that. However, all these never justify the unacceptable behavior of ELF(Is it Latham?).

  • Name

    Don't forget this classic article about “life” at Latham when times were good. It was terrible then, too.

    http://wpwy.org/blog/?p=580

  • Lathamization

    Go to that rancid shithole ONLY if it is your only offer.

  • Name

    I worked at your firm and was let go, though i was a little more senior. I can tell you the staffing politics doesn't end once you're in a department. In mine, the staffing attorney clearly had favorites whom he/she inappropriately hung out with outside of the office. Despite the fact that my reviews were generally top notch, i was suddenly told I had performance issues (though after the fact, at least 2 partners have told me in so many words my work was fine).

  • Name

    Latham is rancid

  • Name

    I'm very sorry you got Lathamed man.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=

  • PDzorro

    You all should sue this TTT. Bunch of reckless pricks stomping out careers just to make a buck. VERY few firms pulled a Latham yet all are dealing with the same economy.

  • Name

    Why didn’t Latham defer half your class and cancel one summer class? Seems like they didn’t even try to avoid mass first year layoffs even though they must know how devastating they are to a career.

  • PDzorro

    profits per partner is what, $2M a year at Latham? how much money do these assholes really need that they couldn't refrain from destroying a bunch of careers?

  • Name

    I bet I can tell you why they cared about being market leaders in severance but not about the careers of the hundreds of people they Lathamed.

    The severance would be in the news immediately and they thought by paying a couple extra months they'd soften the blow. They figured no one would bother to follow up with the Lathamed associates five to ten years later to document the damage to their careers. Why bother trying to minimize the damage that no one would know about? They don't seem to actually care. I think Latham failed to understand the power of the internet to get this information out there.

  • Name

    They cared about the severance and not the damage to the careers of the associates because they figured the severance would make the news and the futures of those Lathamed would not.

  • Name

    I went biglaw to small law and I hate it. Sh*ttier cases, less intelligent supervisors, and none of the biglaw perks.

    Please, let's not glamorize small law. IMHO it's just a poorly paying cr*ppier version of biglaw.

  • Name

    I, too, went from Biglaw to small law. Yes, the cases were worse, the supervisors were much dumber, and there were few perks. But I learned how to be a lawyer at small law. I took hundreds of depositions and argued motions. At Biglaw, I photocopied, document reviewed, and wrote memos — things that paralegals do. Biglaw is just a scam to screw rich clients. Biglaw wastes so much time on useless busy work that you can spend seven years there without taking a single deposition or arguing a single motion.

  • Name

    You learn how to think and write briefs well by writing memos and briefs for biglaw because you're dealing with complex issues and being supervised by bright people. You're also seeing very bright lawyers in action at hearings and trials. This is why most people go bigaw 3-4 years to midlaw. You get the best training that way. If you get Lathamed 4 months in like Jobless Lawyer you're completely screwed. Small law will mold you into a horrible lawyer because you're working with dumber people constantly. The good boutiques most likely will not be an option because they don't take new associates because they don't want to train.

  • Guest

    I see you drank the Kool-Aid. Biglaw makes simple things complex, and the supervisors are not overly bright — they are just especially anal. There is no good training at Biglaw. You call typing and retyping interrogatories good training? Biglaw lawyers don't argue brilliantly at hearings and trials — they just pound the table and waste as much time as possible. Biglaw is a fat, pompous joke — an overweight diabetic with narcisstic personality disorder. All the best quality law in the country is practiced in midlaw, where you cannot assign 12 associates to a single case. Note the rush of Biglaw attorneys all forming new midlaw firms.

  • moralpopo

    So many mentions of all of you being so “bright” and “smart” and “intelligent”. Actually, all you bumbling idiots running the markets with the bankers drove this Country into the ground. Maybe we start allowing Gardeners and “regular” folk to start making more decisions – as it appears “common sense” escapes most of you. Don't get me started on your social ineptitude either..you're really just glorified “memorizers”

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