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06 October 2007

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lawyer firms

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Howard

Sorry, what I meant was, I thought most are in firms ranging in size from 2 to 100 attorneys, not that most were in 100 attorney firms.

Loyola 2L

"My understanding is that most are in the firms with up to 100 lawyers."

I thought most lawyers worked in small firms?

Howard

What percentage of lawyers are working in these various firms? My understanding is that most are in the firms with up to 100 lawyers.

Carolyn Elefant

One factor that your survey does not account for is flexibility of hours worked and commute times which, if factored in, would make most large firm lawyers' hours even longer. Many solos often work in close proximity to their homes - probably at 15 minute commute at most. Others also work from home, which means no commute time at all. By contrast, I would guess that most large firm lawyers live an average of 30 minutes from the office. More significantly, with the exception of court time, solos have complete control over when they can put their hours in. As I've written frequently at MyShingle, as a mom to 2 school aged daughters whose husband now works out of town, I have the ability to set my schedule so that I can be home at 4 when my daughters get off the bus. Sometimes that means that I get up at 5 am to churn out a motion, but I can still get my hours in and tend to my family responsibilities. By contrast, if I left a large law firm at 3 every day to get home, I would be fired. The flexibility of hours accounts for the high percentage of job satisfaction, I suspect.

NY1L

Does it really make sense to track the salary difference for 8 years? It is my understanding that most biglaw associates are not going to become senior associates. I'm sure obtaining statistics about the average longevity and salary difference after leaving biglaw would be quite difficult, but it seems that the gap lessens as junior associates at small firms get raises and biglaw associates leave for lower paying positions.

Skaddenite

Great piece of work. But don't forget about BigLaw bonuses. The consideration of bonuses would roughly double the margin in favor of BigLaw.

ap

this study doesn't acknowledge that many of the bigfirm lawyers who work 60+ hours a week choose to do so. They are high achievers who continue to be so. The firm isn't requiring 60+ hours a week necessarily.

Loyola 2L

Interesting that small firm salaries do eventually go up.

I guess this explains why people advise you to turn down document review. It pays more to start, but your salary doesn't trend up as in this graph.

Good to know. Thanks to your chart, Mr. Henderson, young law graduates can make a more informed choice when choosing between the $25/hour small firm job and the $40/hour doc review job.

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