Friday, May 06, 2005

 

Big Law Firms Have Their Advantages

Last night I had dinner with two former colleagues from my old law firm - one of the largest and most prestigious firms in the city, if not the country. We all started working at what I refer to as the "Evil Empire" in the fall of 2002 and are at different stages in our exit process.

I left in September 2004 to move to a smaller firm where I work on a variety of small to medium-sized general litigation matters.

My friend S worked her last day the previous week and will be starting a new job on Monday, at a smaller firm where she would work on a variety of small to medium-sized general litigation matters.

My friend A still works at EE, but has recently been accepted into a prestigious foreign Masters of Law program that will begin in September of 2005.

As you can imagine, the main topic of our conversation last night was how horrible and dehuminizing it is to work at EE and how relieved we are to have escaped (or almost escaped, in the case of A).

For those of you who are in law school and are considering your employment options, working for a large firm has many advantages. If you have opportunity, I recommend taking the job with the expectation that they will treat you like the worthless piece of crap they think you are, chew you up, spit you out, and step all over your soggy, broken corpse on their way to the next Partners' meeting.

Don't fret about it.

Having such low expectations is the best way to approach life in a big firm. And it's worth it for a couple of years as long as you try not to take anything personally, remember you're being paid a ton of money to roll over and take it, and realize it's a great stepping stone to what you really want to do. Surviving for two years at a big firm is a rite of passage and, at the end of it, you'll likely find a bunch of small to mid-sized firms clamoring to hire you (as long as you're willing to take a big paycut).

Trust me, the paycut is worth it. I have no bitterness about my big firm experience, because I get what it's about and I never expected to like it.

Now I love what I do, I have time to see my boyfriend and my cat more than 2 hours a week, and no one thinks they own me (except maybe my cat).

Love the lawgirl
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