Yesterday we declared this week to be Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. We’ll be focusing on the career prospects of graduates of non-elite law schools.
As noted, many such grads work in the field of insurance law. Here’s another popular option: working as a contract attorney.
We’ll kick off the discussion with a comment from a reader. Here’s one:
How about a post on JD’s who are doing contract work while waiting for bar results? There have to be more people like myself who don’t have jobs wit the Am 100, who once bar exam results emerge will be hitting the legal market in search of the dream job.
Maybe you would tap into a large section of people like myself who are presently in a legal no-man’s-land…. [F]rom what I hear, only about 20% of students actually have jobs coming out of law school or before bar exam results come out.
So, any takers? Are any of you similarly situated, doing contract work while waiting to hear from the bar examiners? Any recommendations about landing such gigs?
(We have fodder for more general discussion of contract attorney gigs, but we’ll save it for future posts. Feel free to send tips our way, by email. Thanks.)
As the global slowdown in the market for mortgage-backed securities threatens a core practice area of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the New York law firm is also wrestling with a $70 million legal malpractice suit brought by a major issuer of such securities….
Nomura Asset Capital Corp., a U.S. division of Japan’s largest securities firm, filed suit against Cadwalader last October in Manhattan Supreme Court over documents the law firm drafted for a 1997 securitization transaction in which Nomura pooled 156 commercial mortgages worth around $1.8 billion.
We’ll spare you the details of the suit, since they’re boring and kinda hard to follow. CWT is represented by Cravath, and they’re moving to dismiss.
More discussion — including talk about associate layoffs, triggered by the generally grim climate for mortgage-backed securities work — after the jump.
As we previously mentioned, this week is Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. Even our open threads on job hunting will reflect this theme.
One graduate of a non-elite law school sent us this suggested topic:
Lots of non-top tier law students end up working for insurance companies.
The dumb ones end up doing insurance defense (hired by insurance company to defend slip and fall, med mal, etc). The smart ones do insurance coverage (represent the insurance company which denied coverage).
How about postings where we can compare salary info? Salary info at these firms is much more guarded. I have no idea what anyone else makes.
So, what ARE salaries like in this area? From our tipster:
I’ll get the ball rolling from the insurance coverage perspective. When I started as a first year at one NYC insurance coverage firm, I was making $75,000 with no bonus (and a billable hours minimum of 1900).
Now, I am a fifth year doing insurance coverage at a different firm in NYC, my salary is $128,000, and our firm offers a $7,500 bonus to associates deemed the cream of the crop at year end. Name partners are rumored to make a boat load of cash, but other partners are rumored to be nothing more than senior associates. Our minimum billables are 2100.
It’s only Tuesday morning, and we’ve already done severalposts on the professional plight of non-elite law school graduates. So we’re declaring this week Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. If you have a story idea that fits into this theme, please email us.
Here’s our latest tale about the plight of “non-T14″ law school grads. It suggests that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn’t the only person making controversial appearances at New York area schools.
From a tipster at New York Law School (a Tier 3 school, not to be confused with fourth-ranked NYU; if you ever want to piss off an NYU grad, refer to their alma mater as “New York Law School”):
“New York Law School in Tribeca had David Boies speak at our graduation this past July. Yet his firm does not hire from New York Law School. The only NYLS alum there graduated in 1968.”
Ouch. But for the record, our tipster later emailed us a correction: there’s one more New York Law School grad at Boies Schiller. That makes for a grand total of two (2) NYLS alumni at the firm. But the point is still the same. As our source observes, “they still don’t even do on campus at NYLS.”
“Anyway, this is intended to be more damning of NYLS than it is of Boies Schiller, which has the right to follow any hiring practices they desire. However, NYLS should maybe be a little more selective in who they choose to speak to us third-tier graduates.”
Do you agree with this tipster? Is NYLS degrading itself by, in the words of our tipster, “giving out honorary degrees to people who don’t even hire its graduates”? Or would the tipster’s approach unduly limit the universe of possible graduation speakers?
More discussion, including some email correspondence between an NYLS student and the school’s dean, after the jump.
The 50-lawyer firm, based in New York but with a small L.A. office, starts first-year associates at $60,000 — or $100,000 below the starting salary at many Am Law 100 firms.
Mid-year and senior associates, however, are promised the same total pay — or more — that they’d earn at Latham & Watkins or Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
For third-years on up, the firm says it checks what top New York firms like Cravath, Swaine & Moore are paying in base salary and bonuses, and matches that. Last year, the firm added a $10,000 sweetener.
So what exactly is the point of this unusual system?
More discussion, after the jump.
We aren’t the only ones having fun with the story of the Quinn Emanuel recruiting junket to Deer Valley. Check out this cartoon, over at The Recorder.
As noted by some commenters, Quinn Emanuel just launched a new, upgraded website. Sadly, the “Day in a Life of an Associate” video — which featured a fictional associate, a Yale and Stanford Law-educated hottie named “Ivy” (geddit?) — appears to have been pulled. (The site says that the video is “coming soon.”)
Some of the speculation about why the video was pulled is amusing. Check it out, after the jump.
On the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s an excellent article, by Amir Efrati, about the not-so-hot job prospects for non-top-tier law school graduates. Here’s the lede, which nicely summarizes the situation:
A law degree isn’t necessarily a license to print money these days.
For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that’s suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don’t score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.
It’s a most worthwhile piece (although somewhat reminiscent of this article, by Leigh Jones for the National Law Journal). Here’s our favorite part:
Some un- or underemployed grads are seeking consolation online, where blogs and discussion boards have created venues for shared commiseration that didn’t exist before. An anonymous writer called Loyola 2L, purportedly a student at Loyola Law School, who claims the school wasn’t straight about employment prospects, has been beating a drum of discontent around the Web in the past year that’s sparked thousands of responses, and a fan base. (“2L” stands for second-year law student.) Some thank “L2L” for articulating their plight; others claim L2L should complain less and work more.
Loyola’s Dean Burcham says he wishes he knew who the student was so he could help the person. “It’s expensive to go to law school, and there are times when you second-guess yourself as a student,” he says.
We’ve devoted an insane amountofcoverage to Quinn Emanuel’s plan to take recruits to a resort in Deer Valley, Utah (in lieu of callbacks). Now The Recorder has this interesting article:
Instead of bringing students met during on-campus interviews back to the office for a series of sit-downs, the firm will take them on the road. Quinn Emanuel is arranging an all-expenses-paid October weekend of dining and drinks in Deer Valley, Utah, for about 40 students. They’ll stay at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a Scandinavian-inspired chalet where a suite runs more than $2,000 a night in peak season.
“We stole the idea from an investment bank — I don’t think any law firm has tried it,” said firm leader William Urquhart.
Reporter Kellie Schmitt confronted Quinn Emanuel partners with some choice comments from ATL readers. Learn about their reactions, after the jump.
Title: Attorney In Charge Of Firmwide Private Equity Knowledge Management
Description: This position is a combination business and legal position at a top international law firm, with no billable hours and no client development expectations. The position is full-time, affording the attorney holding the position the ability to remain deeply involved in private equity law with a more regular and predictable schedule than most private equity attorneys experience.
The attorney would have responsibilities in a number of areas related to the firm’s highly regarded private equity practice — precedent, training, publications and knowledge development, among other things. This firm offers a highly competitive salary and bonus eligibility, which is expected to be comparable to the salary and bonus eligibility of an attorney at a similar level of experience. This position is ideal for a private equity attorney seeking to scale back their practice and increase their role in business development, marketing and management.
We regularly receive all kinds of wacky gossip related to the fall recruiting process. Some of these rumors are true, and some of them aren’t.
We found this rumor, about the Chicago office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, quite amusing:
“I heard from a friend there that during summer associate callbacks, only students from ‘good schools’ get lunch. E.g., Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago.”
“Students from Illinois, DePaul, etc. must starve. You should look into this.”
Loyola (of Chicago) 2Ls: What say you?
We looked into this rumor. Alas, it appears to be untrue.
More after the jump.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!