Big Fight About Big Law: Are Law Students Really So Indoctrinated That They Think Prestige Can Only Be Found At Big Law?
A recent post “Can You Really Learn To Be A Lawyer At Big Law: Small Law Firms Offer Experience You Can’t Get Tied To Desk” has generated a lot of commentary. One person going by the name of “law student” took umbrage to the suggestion that you can obtain both experience and competitive pay outside the big law club. I worked at big law out of law school so I know how sensitive these issues can be. To suggest to a big law associate that many other lawyers measure “prestige” beyond the firm letterhead, strikes the very foundation of everything they have come to believe about the law. Law schools are complicit in holding out big law as the ultimate prize. Here are some of the comments that have been generated thus far:
- If solos are so successful, why can they only afford to pay new lawyers $15 to $25 an hour, with no benefits?
- I know junior attorneys at solo firms. They are complete nobodies, and often abused.
- So yeah, if you want to be an insignificant nobody, who gets paid pizza delivery wages, with no benefits, to get yelled at by a boss…
- If biglaw associates don't do or learn anything, how do they develop into biglaw partners?
- Bottom line is money talks and bullshit walks. If you had any you'd pay your junior lawyers. You don't have any money, so all you can offer is "experience."
Cleary, the previously mentioned post hit a nerve with “law student” who is taking great umbrage that there could be any other alternative than big law for a successful law student. It is our job to help educate “law student” about such matters. So I am asking those of you in the blogosphere who managed to “eke out a living” outside the confines of big law to tell your stories here. Feel free to comment below.