Thursday, October 14, 2004

I had lunch this afternoon with a 3L who still has an outstanding offer from us. He's the last holdout, where we have no response either way, and no real explanation of what's taking him so long. Technically the deadline is November 1, but we don't like to wait that long. So I had him come down here for lunch to try and get to the bottom of this. He's not reinterviewing. He's not doing anything with clerkships. He doesn't know what he'll do if he doesn't come here, but doesn't know if this is the right move for him. I told him he's being stupid if he has nothing else out there and doesn't take the offer. It's a lot of money. It's a prestigious career. I don't think he realizes it's not that easy to find someone willing to pay this much money to a 25-year-old kid with no experience doing anything, for a job that has a lot of security. My basic sales pitch is that he'll regret it for the rest of his life if he doesn't take the offer, and he'll look back on it as the worst decision he ever made. People just don't pass us up in favor of uncertainty and an empty bank account. It doesn't happen. And if it does, they deserve the disaster that will befall them, the poverty, the regret, and the thoughts of having committed true career suicide, before you've even started. People would kill for these jobs. You don't treat us like we're an option. You go to law school, you owe yourself a couple of years at a firm. If you're not clerking, or you're not a crazy public interest lunatic, if you can get one of these jobs, how do you not take it? How do you choose nothing over $125,000 a year plus bonus plus the respect society affords us. How do you explain that choice to your family? How do you explain it to your friends? If you pass us up, you'd have to be so stupid we shouldn't have even hired you to begin with.

You have a real facility with internets. Do you know how to use Lexis too? Btw, career suicide is painless.
or maybe he can afford to not take your offer. If you had ten times the assets you have right now and your children already had trust funds lined up for them, then they don't need any career at your law firm, prestigious or not. don't you agree?

Or he's just really stupid. shame on you for hiring him.
Well, maybe the firm is low top tier or top middle tier or bottom 1/3 of the top 100. I mean there are so many reasons you could refuse.

Also, A., I know you want me to call you A. You always say call me "A." at the recruiting interview: Could you get your secretary or 1st year to fix your comments? They hurt my eyes.

Btw, I really do love you. LOVE.
I don't believe he's leveling with you; there's got to be something he's not tellling you. Otherwise, you're right AL, it just doesn't make any sense. Then again when I was 25 I made a lot of poor choices, too, although without the worry of $100K worth of debt on my mind (assuming he had to pay for his own legal education). I wonder if most 25 year olds today are like this young man? If so, I fear for the next generation.
Hey - La Depressiondumbass,

Learn some English. Please, just learn some damn English.

Hope this helps.
If he takes it, he's you. Explain that.
No one deserves disaster to befall them if they do not take up an offer from your firm. That is ridiculous. It is also ridiculous to describe this person as "stupid." This pompous attitude is disturbing. Then again, describing a public interest lawyer as a "crazy lunatic" (which is rather redundant) explains a lot. It is dismaying to see a supposedly intelligent person such as yourself scratching your head in bewilderment that someone would not fall all over themselves to take a job at your firm when the answer is so simple. They look at you and your attitude and decide they do not want to turn out the same way. As hard is it may be to believe, some people just don't get off on making people vomit.
Sounds to me like he's taking the long view. He also probably realizes that the sky will not fall if he doesn't have a job locked up in the fall of his third year, or even by graduation. Also sounds to me like he realizes there are other options out there, which aren't always visible from the vantage point of fall-semester 3rd year. Sounds to me like he wants to have some kind of life in addition to his job.
12:10 is exactly right. You said it yourself that "People just don't pass us up in favor of uncertainty and an empty bank account" and "How do you choose nothing over $125,000 a year"? you really think this person isn't waiting for an offer from another firm? He's only looking to you as a last resort? Believe it or not, you aren't the only game in town.
"If you're not clerking, or you're not a crazy public interest lunatic, if you can get one of these jobs, how do you not take it?"

Easy. Many 25 year old's haven't sold out yet, and still have a soul.
"You go to law school, you owe yourself a couple of years at a firm."

No you don't. You don't owe yourself a couple of years in law school, and you don't owe anybody else that either.

This is the exact same situation, albeit with a much smaller starting offer, I was in 14 years ago. I received the offer, and I pondered it for weeks. I was driving my family crazy, and I was baffling law students who knew I hadn't accepted.

In the end, I took it. I figured I owed it to my having gone through law school to give it a try. What the heck, if I didn't like, I could quit, right?


Truth be known, that taking it sets you on a career track it will be hard to get off. And if he's to get off, he'll need to get off immediately. He can't wait two years and get off, as he'll be marked for life as a certain type of lawyer by then. And, quite frankly, life moves on. In that two years he may buy a house, replace a car, meet a future spouse, etc., or just get used to having the income.

And besides, at two years out he'll be thinking, "maybe things will be different if they make me a partner, maybe I ought to hang on till then, I owe it to myself to wait it out."

And then, it what seems like a very short amount of time, you've spent 14 or 15 years doing it, you are well known in your area for doing it, and you are trapped.

Better to avoid the trap from the very onset. If he's doubting it, he's wise to take counsel of his fears, contrary to the cliche.
I agree with YL about why someone would turn down the job, but I disagree that you get stuck (and admittedly, this may be a naive view as I'm only a 3L). This summer I met a very successful partner at a plaintiff's firm who told me he worked for a corporate defense firm for 100 months. The firm he worked for is a very prestigious regional firm, with a fantastic reputation for balancing work-life issues, but this man said at month 4 he began counting how long he was there and at month 100 he finally got out. He said he couldn't do it, that it was, essentially, eating his soul. So, after he made partner at BigRegional, he left. And began a very lucrative, very fulfilling career as a plaintiff's laywer and has never looked back.
3L! Read your comment again! It's a lesson that you CAN escape?? He was there 100 months! Over 8 years! And he hated it for 96 of them! This is a lesson that you CAN'T escape, at least not for a really long time. 8 years is a really long time to hate your job!
Senor Ad Hom:

What, exactly, is your issue? Yes, I know it should be the internets, but I hardly think that's a cause for losing your composure -- unless of course you have been working 103 hours a week for six months straight, then I understand.

Have first year salaries really been stuck at $125K so long? No wonder the recruits tarry.
It seems like this kind of student really gets under AL's skin. Why? Maybe AL sees that the 3L has more guts than he did/does when he can throw the fat job offer right back in the firm's face. Maybe AL has an emotional crutch in the belief that nobody could pass up the job and so anybody would get trapped into the miserable life he has. But then this kid comes along, only 25, who threatens to break that whole fantasy down.
Internet. In-ter-net. NOT internets. Ok?
So wrong. Everyone knows there are rumors on the internets. My friend told me.
Ha!!!!!!!! That is HILARIOUS!!!!! Congrats, La Depressionada, on the setup. I wonder if any of the morons here will even get it.

I've been reading this blog for a long time and you've just left the greatest set of comments that have ever been left here.

VOTE FOR KERRY, PEOPLE. I'm not a bleeding heart liberal. I want more money in my pocket. Kerry is a stronger, better man. Let's get back to the 1990s, baby. Ignore the neo-fascists' fake polls--don't be discouraged. Kerry will win in a landslide--it's about 60-40 right now. Look around.
Go here to see that Bush is a monkey:

Vote for Kerry.
You have to read this one:
If John Kerry were president the point size of these comments would be smaller.
Housing prices increase annually. Living costs increase annually. Can someone tell me why starting salaries don't? Why keep it at $125K for 4 years and then suddenly increase it to $135 or $140? Why not just do it piecemeal, each year, to match inflation? In other words, why not just decide how much a starting lawyer is worth to a Biglaw firm, as compared to other indicators like cost of living, and then just adjust that on an annual basis to match inflation? I don't mean to rant; I honestly don't understand the current system. If someone could explain it, that would be great.
If you browse with Microsoft, got to "view" and adjust the text size to suit.
"respect society affords us" ... In your dreams dude!
A good friend of mine had a couple of interviews with a big NY firm (I was, um, not on that career path during law school). One of the partners took him to lunch and leveled with him: "I could've spent more time watching my kids grow up, but I chose to pursue a parternship at a Wall Street firm. We're looking for people who will make that sacrifice." He didn't take the job, and as of now still has a home to live in.

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