[00:00:00] This is actually a very interesting presentation and today, and what this is about is it's about how attorneys fall on different ranking systems and also how law firms fall on ranking systems. And and we came up with this because when we're trying to match attorneys with law firms, we want to make sure that we're sending attorneys that, that match the quality of a law firm.
[00:00:22] So if somebody is, at a very good firm, we don't want to make sure we don't want to offend them by sending them a bad firm. And if it's in a firm, is not a good firm, they typically don't want to hire people that are from really good firms actually. And and it and it's also conversely, we don't want to upset candidates by sending them to firms where they're very likely to get rejected.
[00:00:43] So it's a whole way to rank candidates in firms. And I think it will be interesting for you because you'll be able to see how we analyze people. And I developed this because I, I. I learned about this. My dad was did a lot of admissions work for Harvard university for a long time [00:01:00] for their entering classes.
[00:01:01] And and and this is how they would rank people back then. And this is a long time ago. I'd been obviously when I was very, when I was younger, but taught me how they did this. And so this is something that I've imported in used to BCG. And I don't know if Harvard still does it anymore, but this is the way they used to do things.
[00:01:18] And then, so what I'll do is I'll give this presentation today and and after the presentation I will Hey questions about this. And then also anything that you guys have, any other questions really about anything at all, but this presentation is good because it shows you where your limitations are and how you can improve.
[00:01:37] And it also shows you how firms, how you can think of firms, where you're working and should be helpful at all. And we discuss these ranking systems almost on a daily basis at our at our company. And in addition to this, I will also probably, pass out a or show you a, another document that I was going through with some of the recruiters from people here the other day.
[00:01:57] And this is interesting to me, cause it'll show you [00:02:00] the firms that you can get into, it'll show you what you need to do in order to get into better firms. And it was overall just a, a very interesting, I think presentation. And so a lot of attorneys, don't understand why they're not marketable to certain types of firms.
[00:02:15] And and then at the same time law firms Don't often understand why they can't attract certain types of attorneys. And this presentation really today is going to track why certain types of law firms are attractive to certain types of attorneys and also Y and what, and how that whole process works.
[00:02:32] And as I said earlier our job is in this business is to try to send people the most appropriate firms. And so we're always trying to move people to a better firm than they're at. So if you're like a lower rate, could we want to move you to a higher ranking firm and and vice versa, but rarely but but that's our job.
[00:02:49] And and so we can't obviously send candidates to firms where the firms, not the candidates not suited to it because men, what happens is the firm is upset and may not want to work with us again. [00:03:00] And then it makes it look like we don't know what we're doing. And attorneys and law firms just need to be matched in a manner that works for both of them.
[00:03:07] And and then it's interesting also because there's a whole that the more I understand this business, the more I understand this business, the more it almost, it seems like there's a whole kind of class system present. And a lot of times people don't understand. How the class system works and you have all these different classes of attorneys and classes of people working in law firms.
[00:03:32] And it's interesting because it's very difficult to move up from the class you're start out at. And and what we do is recruiters, as we try to move people up, up to up this kind of class levels, and then I'm, everything that I write and these webinars and so forth, they're trying to show you how to move upward.
[00:03:50] And what's possible from, where you may be now or where you started or where you're trying to get back to. And so this ranking system goes from one to five [00:04:00] and when someone comes into our system I typically will review the candidate first and ranked the person whether or not they're a one to five if we could decide to work with them.
[00:04:10] And and it's used formula was used by Harvard. I don't know if they, again, I don't know if they still use it, cause I don't know anyone in the admissions office there, but this is how the college used to rank people and they would rank them on different criteria. It wouldn't just be an overall ranking but they over, but ultimately they had an overall ranking, but different criteria.
[00:04:26] And and then what it measures is just whether, whether a gap, in, in the in the recruiting for college realm, it just shows you how you would be competitive for a school. But I like this really for B BCG attorney search as well.
[00:04:40] There's, it's the the thing that we've we followed, so this is the way that Harvard ranked applicants to their college they would rank people a five that would be almost, very likely to be admitted. They would have the highest test scores, very good grades, really good recommendations and also often [00:05:00] something that made them very special.
[00:05:01] So it would indicate no promise to do something great in the future. So it would be, they might win a Westinghouse prize. They might be a child actor, an author, or just a really good athlete. So they have a whole package and everything going for them. And it's not enough to have just high test scores.
[00:05:17] Generally. It's not enough to just have good grades. You have to have other things. And these sort of people make up a very small percentage of the applicants to a school like that. It might be a very, I don't know what the percentage would be, but that they're not it's not, it's definitely in the low double digits or something like that.
[00:05:35] And these are the people that everyone You know, when they graduated from college or high school and, everyone in the town probably remembers them, 20 years later because that's how well they were doing at that time. And and I guess it says here, they, I guess they might make up 10 to 15% of the classes at a school like Harvard.
[00:05:51] So it's a very small percentage of people that have that in our fives. And and then you have the floors and a four, I would be the [00:06:00] majority of admits. So they would have really good test scores, great grades be very driven and have more than just academics.
[00:06:06] They would, be doing other things. Maybe they did a lot of extracurricular activities and played varsity sports and stuff. And they were, there were just not as they, weren't world-class like a five. So they would they might be, when they got to look at them, they would look at things like how good their high school was.
[00:06:23]The number of AP tests and classes they took and how hard the classes, the know extracurricular activities their interview, diversity geographic location legacy recommendations and so forth. And these people would probably also qualify to get into other Ivy league schools.
[00:06:41]If they apply to, five Ivy leagues would probably get into two maybe, maybe one, it doesn't, depending it just they're great. They're great. Candidates are very good. They're rare. But there's certainly not clear admits. And these are the people that most admissions committees spend a lot of time talking about, and most of them are rejected but they're, they're reviewed very [00:07:00] closely and and and then they use all of these things, like I showed you here earlier the, extracurricular activities number of AP, and they just distinguished thing, if you're in Montana where there's not a lot of really good weather, it's not a lot of people applying you might be more likely to get in, so they can use all these different criteria to wake up with the application.
[00:07:19] And then and then you have, and then these people are really the majority of of a school like Harvard. They're probably 75 to 80% of the class. They're just really good applicants and, they would have great test scores and everything's really good. They're just not like a five and then and then the three is someone not as strong as a four.
[00:07:37]Still a really good applicant. There's nothing wrong with a three that they would probably have taken some AP courses. Maybe a lot of them they may have they may have other things like, they might get really good sat scores, but not have the best grades or, they may have had some, some things like, all A's and B's and their journey here and all A's and there's, just to a non-impact and even academic performance, a really good academic performance, not the best.
[00:08:00] [00:07:59] And and then they may have also had some extracurricular activities and and so these people also get admitted to places like Harvard. You can certainly get in as a three but your odds are very slim. Maybe 5% of them are offered admission. They might get on the wait list or, other things could happen.
[00:08:16]Whereas, the majority of, fives are going to get admitted. And maybe 20% of fours are maybe a little bit more at a school like Harvard back then, but now there may be 5% of threes I would get admitted and and then they they're just not special because they, they might get admitted for reasons like they're really good athletes.
[00:08:33] So they get a preference to, get into sports team there or they're very gifted in some discipline. Like they took calculus at the age of 10 or, publicly famous parents or, something unusual. So a lot of times they're admitted cause they're very special.
[00:08:47] There's just something unusual about them. They may have grown up in a horrible neighborhood or had, they're just great things. And these types of candidates too generally could very cleared Mets to schools, that might be ranked like, below [00:09:00] 15, maybe not all the top 10, but if you get into some of the top 10, but at a 15 or below school, they would probably get into a good portion of them.
[00:09:08] And even though they may be, I would say probably a little bit more than 5% but they're probably five, maybe five to 10% of the class. And then a two rarely gets into a really good school like that, but it's possible they generally have okay. Grades, meaning they're not bad grades, so they might be like a B student or even a.
[00:09:25] Sometimes, maybe even a little bit below that, but it'll be student and and they might get in, they're probably, 15, 20 people in a class of Harvard that are two. And when I went to school where I went to school universe, Chicago, there were certainly probably 15 people and everyone knew that because they just didn't, we weren't pulling their weight.
[00:09:43] And the reason that typically is, there, there's just generally some special reasons. So sometimes they're they, they're, they have a rare talent of achievement. That might be the child of a faculty member, a very important person that gave a lot of money.
[00:09:55]They they could have other special reasons for being admitted. And [00:10:00] typically that's not easy to admit them. There's a lot of debate. People get mad and the admissions committee and there's just a lot of. Are inconvenient. And and someone really has to push hard behind the scenes people to get that person into a school like Harvard.
[00:10:13]Not necessarily and normally if there wasn't something special in the background or someone pushing for them they would probably automatically be rejected, meaning their scores are not good enough, enough to even get looked at by a human or they make, get planned step out of human, but they're not good enough to really be talked about and reviewed carefully.
[00:10:30]And so the someone else is typically pushing them. And a lot of them know these two candidates are really not even qualified to go to the highest rank state schools like UCLA and Michigan. And, they would generally be re rejected by those schools just on numbers alone.
[00:10:44] And they're typically about 1% of the class, maybe sometimes a little bit more maybe sometimes laughs. I don't know, but just not a lot. And they also many times they're not even capable of doing the work. Like where I went to, university of Chicago, there were some [00:11:00] people like this and they needed tutoring on algebra, which is astonishing because you have to take calculus stuff at Chicago day, you can graduate.
[00:11:08] So they're just, somehow they get in for reasons that, aren't really clear. But there's usually something behind them in case, where I went to school, there was, one of the people that I thinking of there was one of the. Oh, grants that are one of the founders of the school.
[00:11:22] So it's things like that. And there's, typically sometimes those people are admitted because the law school is trying to provide, unusual diversity to the school. So they could be, things like foreign students were held in prison for their beliefs things like that.
[00:11:35]Or or just, very close to the school somehow and and and that's really how that, that would work. And I'm sorry, these are one attorney, one candidates are admitted probably less than one, 1% of the time or one, one of 500 times.
[00:11:50] And certainly schools like Harvard, we'll let them in and there's reasons for it. And and if you're a child of a faculty member of staff, you're not going to get into a school like Harvard, if you're a one even if [00:12:00] you're a famous faculty member you're not going to get in and and they're, they, most one candidates probably wouldn't be able to get into, most, very selective colleges with, I don't know where the acceptance rate of 50% or more.
[00:12:12] They're just, the majority of students in the United States. And so there's nothing wrong with any of this and it's just, it's just, one would be first school, super competitive school would be a bit more average. And most discussion and most of the people are.
[00:12:25]Firms are looking most of them are the collar hardest. Most of their time is spent on for people which are just, people that are giving everything they got and doing really well there, they just have to sort among the four candidates. And I did hear a funny story once about Stanford and and I didn't think it was true.
[00:12:41]But then I heard the guy that actually told me that it was true because he, I think he'd worked in the admissions office there and he, but there's so many fours and there's so many good things about them that, if you take like a handful of forest, how can you possibly distinguish between, five people that were the, all the editor chief of the their high school [00:13:00] newspaper and do this other stuff.
[00:13:02] And I guess there was a story once where they just threw a bunch of the applicants down on the stairs. Cause I had to choose five out of 50 or something and, or five out of 20 and hour number wise. But then they picked the ones that were the closest to the bottom, which I thought was funny.
[00:13:15]And then I was at a conference years later after hearing that story like 15 years later. And and then I heard someone. Talking about that and it actually turned out that he was from there and that turned out to be true. So I thought that was funny. And okay, so this is the next thing is and this is, decades ago that this happened, so it's not anything to get interrupted in now, but so w here's what we do at BCG in terms of how we rank our candidates.
[00:13:40]We have a very similar type of ranking system for attorneys and that come into work with us. And and we want to make sure that where we came with, people that that are sending them to appropriate firms. Prestigious firms, generally, th the most prestigious firms generally require their turns to be forced.
[00:13:54] And and most legal recruiters, we don't really care as much about this as [00:14:00] we used to, because we work with one candidates, two candidates, three candidates, but most recruiters when they call people on the phone and so forth, they're looking for fours and the forests are, people that are at most big firms and, I have been enabled to do well and are making the highest salaries and stuff then.
[00:14:15]And there's not a lot of fives out there. There are some fives, but most of our candidates we work with are gonna, the ones that for big law firms are going to be force and, but the majority of candidates we work with are not for us. We work with threes and twos.
[00:14:28]The forests are the ones that typically are most likely to get the biggest law firms in sometimes threes and even twos. And I'll talk to you about that. But most of the people that recruiters are interested in and most of the large firms are gonna be interested in and get the most interviews are going to be forced.
[00:14:44] That's just how it is. And and that's the majority of cadence to work with. And pretty much if someone's a four or five, we'll always work with them. We'll work with now we typically this It's based on an older article, we work with most threes now, so we didn't use to and then we'll [00:15:00] work with some twos and someone, so it doesn't but we're not as certainly selective as a firm knew as we used to be, because we're just getting better and better at our work.
[00:15:08] And there's just a lot of opportunities out there even for once. So it doesn't really matter where you fall in. But the people that are taken, but that in the most in demand are going to be the fours and the fives for the big firms. And most candidates that apply I would say, we work with are 95% of people are three or below, which we can certainly work with fees.
[00:15:26]And there's nothing wrong with being a three. And but if you're not in the if you're trying for three can have trying to get into a five firm, it's obviously not that easy, but this is, kinda the process works. And then we recruit for lots of firms that are ranked a one, two and three, and there's a lot of really good firms that are one you can and people do very well financially at a lot of these one firms.
[00:15:47]You can have a very good career with many one firms. And so there's nothing wrong with working in one firm. And and certainly we help for candidates sometimes get positions in five firms and three positions all the time. Literally [00:16:00] almost every week we help people get threes, get jobs in force, and also two's good jobs in three firms.
[00:16:05] And it was fun. It's fun when you're able to help people get positions much better firms than than are coming from and can make a really big difference to them and it changed their careers. So here's how you can distinguish between different firms.
[00:16:22]Let me just give me one second here. So distinguishing between firms is really using the system is what we typically do. So the law firms ranked a five are typically going to be your major national firms with with the Mo criteria. So it's not just, it's not just a national firm. It's like one of the, top national firms.
[00:16:40] It can also be a top that boutique firm, but it's the ones with the absolute, highest hiring standards. Most M law firms are going to be for some of them are even threes. Very few of them are fives and these are like the most elite firms in the world. They're just extremely hard to get into.
[00:16:56] And so you think I would say would be a five, walked out will be a five some [00:17:00] firms are close to a five, but not quite a five. There's a lot of really good boutiques that are fives. I would say probably less than 2% of all law graduates, maybe even.
[00:17:08]Sometimes even less than 1%, probably less than 2% are one in a thousand practicing attorneys, with one to five or six years of experience, even have the qualifications to get hired by these firms. I It's just, they're very hard to get into they want people that are from the top of the best schools, the best law firms, if they're hiring laterally, some of them are so prestigious, they don't even hire laterally, just hire law students, and then people that are very stable and committed.
[00:17:33]Sometimes they'll take, a few very high performing people from local law schools who might've done very well in law school. And but generally they're only going to hire attorneys with about one to six years of experience laterally. So they're they're they're not, can not really hire beyond that.
[00:17:49] And they want people that are very smart that are well adjusted to practice in law. And really just come across as the right type of people in that. And typically these types of the, these [00:18:00] fives are not big personalities. I They're just very stable good people, good workers, and the kind of people that, get stuff done.
[00:18:06] And if they're hiring partners they typically I would say it's actually higher than 3 million now. And a couple of feet, three to five, maybe yeah, maybe a little above three, but yeah. They want people to have pretty high billing rates when they hire them on some of these firms would be like solving a Chrome Gibson Dunn, and Wachtell Munger, Tolles Davis Polk.
[00:18:24]I REL would probably fit in there Quinn probably, when a firm gets very big Gibson, Finn's getting really big and it becomes harder to become a staff of five because they normally have to they, sometimes they have to water their brands and the people down a little bit to stay big and then lower end five firms might be, Skadden, Latham, Simpson Jones day.
[00:18:44]There's still fives, but as they get bigger it becomes harder for them to maintain standards and the type of people and these firms have done it. They have very good brands. So those are great firms, but it's difficult to to stay highly ranked as a firm. If you have that, and then there's a lot of boutiques around the [00:19:00] country, often in litigation that are people that are formerly with large law firms and may have gone to the best law schools like Yale and Harvard and so forth that only are going to hire people with the best pedigrees and important clerkships and those can be fives too.
[00:19:13] And there's usually a five in most, or at least a couple of fives in every major city. And litigation. So if you're a litigator and you think you're a five, then you probably are familiar with a lot of these boutiques and there's just a lot of them. And they have very high Gregg cutoffs.
[00:19:26] They that that are meant to keep internally. They want to keep out only the best attorneys. And a Gibson times example, like they've rejected attorneys who, have been an important like members of presidential administrations, because they didn't like their grades in law school, even though the people are in their sixties and stuff, which is funny.
[00:19:43]So these firms rarely take chances up brands are strong enough and they just don't need to. And and the five firms are generally just very well run. They have outstanding management. They hardly ever lay people off. It's when they do it, their brands take a little bit of a hit, but [00:20:00] yeah they they're just, they're, they typically also don't force people out when they could senior.
[00:20:04] They'll just, they may not give them a title raise or something. They may not improve their title, but. They definitely do not push pupil out the door. They they're also very selective and there's summer programs and they represent the most important clients. So they they, the clients are typically major brands and they're And companies and they and people like general motors and general mills Mercedes.
[00:20:27] So for that everyone's heard about, and these companies have the money to pay unlimited legal bills. They don't really care. If they don't really care, they just will continue paying legal bills. And there's no, there's not a lot of they're just not that concerned about paying big bills and and they service the most important companies.
[00:20:43] And I take on the most important matters for these companies. And they often don't do contingency work, but sometimes they will, like in high-end patent dispute. Quinn Emanuel for example, does a lot of that. And some of these other firms do, but they, they prefer to have because they have so much income coming in and there are.
[00:20:59] I would think they prefer to [00:21:00] keep that. And they often don't have a lot of client turnover. Their clients stick with them for forever. For a long time IBM has been with cravat for forever. I These con the companies will keep yeah. Law firms around. And the law firms are seen as the star system and it just, and their bills typically aren't questioned too aggressively.
[00:21:19] And so candidates that are ranked a five, like Volkswagen, I think it represents or Southern chromo represents folks buying. Yeah. Which just, these are big firms with, big name clients that really want the best service possible. And if a candidates have five they're typically coming from your firm they may have gone to a really good law school and done well there.
[00:21:37]And are in practice areas that are very much in demand. Those an example would be someone. I'm just trying to think corporate law or, whatever, when corporate laws, some demand you know, they these candidates are typically very suited to practicing law.
[00:21:51]They're professional, they're motivated they're they fit in they're likable. They don't have a lot of issues with our personalities. If they're moving if they're moving firms are typically [00:22:00] doing so, not because of problems that they're having. And they may be relocating and that reasons for moving make a lot of sense.
[00:22:06]If they're partners, they typically have very large books of business and the businesses most often on behalf of large national clients and the businesses typically stable. And if they're associates they typically, are one to six years of experience. And they typically will go to the best schools.
[00:22:22]These kinds of top schools, but they all often they don't necessarily need to go to the best schools if they do really well at been a school. So I have plenty of candidates that went to, schools that, were, even the top 100 and there's still five candidates because of the, how well they get, or the firms ended up there because they ended up in five firms.
[00:22:41] So from as the most important, it depends on the school, but a lot of Columbia students, for example, ended up at our fives because I ended up at five firms because of that, because they're close to New York city and then a firm ranked, a four has typically going to be a large national firm, extremely strong regional firm.
[00:22:58] And so those firms [00:23:00] will often formerly have been a five. If they, their reputation can take a hit and then sometimes if they lay off a lot of people, if they can't hold on to attorneys or they lower their hiring standards, then many times those firms. Will it become will become a force.
[00:23:16]We'll have been five, so we'll become force. I can think of several firms that it's happened to when they just haven't done well in terms of their management. And they typically will have a hiring criteria that is not as high as a five. And and I would say, maybe one in 20 law school graduates are one and 250 attorneys out there have the qualifications to get a job in a foreign firm.
[00:23:39] So they're pretty hard to get jobs. And it's not if you're, if you think you can work in one of them then you probably can, but they're just not easy to work in. And the book of business for maybe, million to 3 million. But it's generally more than that.
[00:23:52] And and these law firms will often lower their hiring standards. They unlike a five firm, if they're hungry and they need people they'll hire [00:24:00] people from from lower tier law schools that don't have lower firms that don't necessarily have the experience.
[00:24:05]The fourth would be Orrick is. And that might be a four. It's just a big national firm. It's close to a five, same thing with Wilson. Sonsini Greenberg, charg is probably a four just it's got a lot of offices and it's hard to, keep things going.
[00:24:19] And one of the things too, by the way, for the, these five firms is, with the exception of way from a walk-ins and a couple of other firms it's very difficult. Once a firm starts getting a lot of offices for them to stay at five. If you look at like Wachtell, for example, they have one office and Cravath has one office and Simpson Thatcher only has a few offices.
[00:24:36] And so some of these five firms like that, the more they expand the harder. It is for them to maintain their status. And is is a five from it's very interesting to me. Paul Weiss is another one, that's probably a five, a Honda Miller great from Detroit would be very hard.
[00:24:51]It's also a local firm. It doesn't, it has national offices, but it's exceptional from, in Detroit, I would think probably the best from Detroit and is able to, has been, [00:25:00] is a four, which was really good for being in that size market. Paul Hastings Aiken comp, these are all really good firms and sometimes if he took it off, it would just the one office of a firm.
[00:25:09]If you took just Paul Hastings, Los Angeles office I would say would be a five. It's a really good firm. If you took akin Gump's Washington, DC office would probably be a five, but it's just when they expand their rankings can go down a little bit. And then these firms are also like your five firms have the ability to make people partner without any business.
[00:25:26] But if you don't have business with these firms, they're typically not going to want to keep you around. They can, they have the ability to, but they typically they typically won't. Yeah. And they tend to have two tiers of partnership. So a lot of your five firms may just have one type of partner, but your four firms will have equity partnerships, non-equity partnerships and and they'll, and they may, if an attorney doesn't make partner within a couple of years, they may push them out.
[00:25:51] You just never know. And there's firms are often very concerned about attorneys having business. And so they're quite open to lateral hiring, whereas some of your major New York [00:26:00] firms, like the best brands there, just do not want to rock the boat. They're very careful about any form of lateral hiring.
[00:26:06] So they won't bring in a lot of laterals even at the partner level. And I don't think from like crevasse, for example, is not going to hire even lateral associates It's just not how it works. And then your force typically we'll do a lot of high billable hour work and they'll rarely cut their fees too dramatically.
[00:26:22]Don't pay as much as the five firms and then because of that, they get a lot of people on an order for them and they tend to have very good summer programs recruit from big name schools. But they're also often very sensitive the economy. So when the economy does crater, they're less concerned about their reputation and five firms.
[00:26:39]And so they, they are often not afraid to lay people off during economic downturns. And then they're also the kind of firms that are very subject to lots of gossip. So when you go on to yeah, no blogs, gossip sites and so forth, what happens is a lot of the gossip is related to the four firms and the three firms.
[00:26:57] And you don't really see people talking negatively about the [00:27:00] five firms because they, those firms know how to hire the right people and their manager, but it is but the typical client profile of these firms is they're going to represent big caliber clients like the fives. And the loss of take on a smaller mid-size clients and they're likely to be national or very strong regional players.
[00:27:18] Like I've talked about Huntington Detroit. The clients of these firms are going to be large national international companies and typically lots of midsize and smaller companies, even upstart companies The partners under these firms are under a lot of pressure to bring in business. There's not a lot of institutional clients most of the time.
[00:27:35] But the bread and butter are, these firms are generally going to be large national companies. These firms are going to do a lot of work and, made gross billions of dollars a year. And and but despite their size typically a lot of times the most sophisticated transactions and the very, very most sophisticated litigation.
[00:27:52] One always go to them. And sometimes it does. I But not, but the firms and stuff that the clients that have the ability to choose will often choose the [00:28:00] five firms instead. And then if a candidate is franked for now, they typically went to the best law schools or if they didn't go to the best law schools who did very well in not the law school, wherever they went they typically will have worked at a four or five firm at some point, if they're a lateral, they've almost always worked at a four or five from lesser and a really desirable practice area.
[00:28:18] So like right now say for example, if corporate was really in demand three candidates could certainly move into a four firm and because the market's just not good for different practice areas and, candidates that are ranked a four will typically have one to six years of experience.
[00:28:32] They're typically had a really good firm and their practice areas could if an attorney is at a top firm in history over a million dollars in business, they're generally going to be a four. They may not be able to get into four or five firm, but they're going to be a four and it may be a little bit more than a million, but, once you get that much business, you become a good commodity to hire laterally.
[00:28:50]Most associates, if they're at a four from the quality of, from your out too, by the way, it's the most important criteria for how you're ranked. If you're at a four from then what's, and [00:29:00] as you're going to be a marketable because of your your practice area or, and if also, if you don't have too many moves.
[00:29:06] So if someone has moved a lot, like if someone's in their third year of practice and has been at three firms, that may actually make them a three instead of a four. And if they've been at, in their fifth year of practice and they've been at six firms, they're almost certainly going to be a three because they're look like they're going to leave.
[00:29:21] And then some schools that attended by candidates ranked to four would be, most of your typical. Michigan, Penn Harvard, Duke, Virginia, and those sort of schools in Chicago, most of the people that want to work in big firms from these schools will end up in a four firm if they do well in the interview.
[00:29:37] Okay. That's, it's pretty much pretty common, it's for them not to do that. And and then you have your threes are going to be national firms with lower billing rates than four firms. Lots of regional firms around the country and and they may not have the highest hiring standards, but there are, these are good firms.
[00:29:53]And I would say, one in every three attorneys probably, or maybe every four attorneys has a qualification to work in a four [00:30:00] firms. You're still like in the very top of the legal profession, if you can work in a three firm and three firms are very good firms, there's nothing wrong with a three firm.
[00:30:07]There's nothing wrong with, at one firm. But
[00:30:09]But these firms typically we'll hire from, the hire from first-year law school. So a lot of times people may work at a four firm and then they'll go to work at a three from later, or when they hire the, the majority of people have gone to. Firms that are, maybe not the top law school.
[00:30:24] So they want a condo, like a top 10 or top 15 law school, but they can, it doesn't matter. The law firm is going to, to some extent, be concerned about their academics, but it's not going to be snobby about it. And the people that they hire are in general not going to be like the biggest superstars, mean superstars that, the could get a job at a four or five firms, but, they may have some superstars working there.
[00:30:44] So a lot of very good attorneys work in three firms. It's not, people choose to go to work in a three for many times because it's the best firm in their region or it's they've liked the people or the firm offers the kind of lifestyle they want and all those sorts of things.
[00:30:57]There, there's definitely good [00:31:00] reasons for someone to work in a And a three from, and there's nothing wrong with a three from, I think the people that are really good attorneys, like they are capable of working at four or five, or almost always at some point in, if they don't stick around in a four or five firms go to a three firm and are very happy there.
[00:31:17] And I do well, some of them even got a two Oh one firms are happy there, so there's nothing wrong with three firm and three from most firms, three firms are going to be comfortable with, someone having 750,000 business, maybe a little bit less, sometimes a little bit more depending on the market and city.
[00:31:31]And so the firms better threes are going to be places. These are all very good firms by the way, like littler, Mendo sandwiches and extremely good probably the best with Jackson, the West labor employment. And then you also have Ford and Harrison, which is also really good. And, Jackson Lewis has another really good firm.
[00:31:46]Carlsmith Paul, which is originally Hawaii from wordsmith and pending trust. So these are all, good firms. They're great, the great places to work. They, there's a very big firm. Jackson Lewis has a big firm with all sorts of offices and it does labor and employment.
[00:31:59] And [00:32:00] so they, that's not it's a practice area that you know that that we're, you don't always need to be like the top qualifications to do employment. So these are all good firms. Now the thing about the three firms is they always have fairly consistent revenue coming in the door.
[00:32:14] So what's good about let learn. Jackson Lewis is two examples that they always have a lot of revenue but it's not going to be the same. So littler has much lower billing rates instead of Jack's Lewis, cause they're national labor deployment firms and and Carlsmith ball is it's a smaller firm as well.
[00:32:30]So they have lower billing rates, but at the same time the revenue is going to be so it's going to be less than four or five firms and they're probably not going to pay us. They typically do not pay as much as the four firms. And the salaries may be about 30% less than what the larger ones are paying.
[00:32:45] Sometimes it'll be less than that. And the profits per partner are often not that astronomical. So they're they're not the things, where your eyes kind of blotter had. Cause they're, millions of dollars, they're just good profits. And typically many times the founders, the firm is still be around with [00:33:00] three former manage it.
[00:33:00]But many times Mo the majority of the time, the firm is going to be large and a little bit more institutional in nature. These firms will also, they may have summer programs. They may not. Whereas most foreign five firms always have summer programs. And these firms will represent often local governments small to midsize company, sometimes larger companies and different types of matters.
[00:33:19]Like littler Mendelson, this stuff represents giant companies, but it does all their labor employment work, which is lower billing represent hospitals, auto dealerships in many times individuals and sometimes so do insurance companies, insurance, defense litigation but generally they won't be doing a lot of insurance defense litigation.
[00:33:35] Most of your insurance defense firms are going to be twos. But sometimes they will. Gordon to is probably is an insurance firm. Just some extent it's a two or three from because it does a lot of other types of work labor and employment worked for national franchises and stuff.
[00:33:50]They may cut their rates. They typically will not charge the highest rates, but sometimes in a local market a three from that's in say I don't know Arkansas, or, I don't know, great [00:34:00] or something that, they they may actually, you know work with for a lot of large companies there.
[00:34:05] It's just, it's not to say that there's anything wrong with the three it's. These are all confirms and they often are just full service practices. So they will do corporate and everything in the smaller markets, they're more likely to do everything and then larger markets are more likely to do litigation.
[00:34:20] And then they tend to do a lot less transactional work as a general rule in larger markets, but it's just how it goes. And then if you're a three candidate that means, that you're very strong. But generally not that strong, in terms of, your academics and stuff.
[00:34:34]You may not be able to get a position of four or five from, but that doesn't really matter. It still means you're a very good attorney. And you can hold your own against four, four attorneys and five attorneys. You can have a very good academic qualifications or you may not, it doesn't always matter.
[00:34:49]But your academic qualifications are going to be respectable. There's nothing wrong with them. No, but the are typically that make us three, an attorney at three, as opposed to a four are going to be that. [00:35:00] There's always going to be a few things in your background that make you not suitable to work at a firm that's a four or five.
[00:35:05] So you may it just, who knows what it is. It could be there's, there's just things it's just, it's not as perfect, so you may have, not done well in law school, or you may have gone to a poor law school, or you may have a lot of moves or you just practice here might be in there.
[00:35:17] You might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may never have been a summer associate and trying to get a job, your first job. You may have too much experience or you may be a partner that doesn't have enough business. And a lot of times patent attorneys for example, are almost always threes because they often didn't go to the best law schools because they were working and they were engineers making a lot of money.
[00:35:34] So they wanted to stay employed while they were in school. And then they go to local schools because they don't understand well, the, because they were working and in the math, we take science classes. So they often will start their careers in small firms. And and then they'll get hired by bigger firms.
[00:35:49]But some patent attorneys do have the potential to work in five firms, but the majority of them don't the majority of them are three. So there's nothing wrong. And being a patent attorney by the way, is one of the easiest [00:36:00] ways to get a job in a three or four firm, even if you're a four. Even if you three, three patent attorneys can often get jobs at four firms, it just, so it's a very lucrative practice area.
[00:36:09] It's just often three because of those things. And so most attorneys that are threes may have gone to national schools or other schools ranked below the top 20. So it'd be a university in Indiana, which is a great school Ohio state Hastings another great school. But they tend to go to schools that really aren't the best.
[00:36:27] And so that not the top schools, but then doesn't mean anything. It's not. They still can work in really good firms. And and it was interesting, like Notre Dame for example, is a very good law school. And the recent woman that was appointed to the Supreme court, not too long ago that had gone to the recent, but some time ago there was a woman that was appointed to the Supreme court that had gone to Notre Dame.
[00:36:47] And I think she was a judge in I don't know, Indiana or something. And, but when she had clerked on the Supreme court and when she clerked on the, or actually her first Porsche was an appellate clerkship. And and then she clerked on the Supreme [00:37:00] court and they hadn't even, at that level, they hadn't even ever had a Supreme court from Notre Dame law school, which Notre Dame law school is a very good law school.
[00:37:07] I said, I think it's the top 25 law school, but it just shows you like, click on the Supreme quarters. It's a very five type of thing to do. Five candidates would clerk in the Supreme court in the fact that they wouldn't allow someone and she had, got a Supreme court clerkship, but just the point I'm making is that, some of these lower ranked schools, it's very hard to be to get into five.
[00:37:26] And even though this woman was top of her class that best student or class and stuff, it was still very difficult for her. And so law firms this is the, to now lower ranked firms are typically twos They're often going to have lower hiring standards and most attorneys out there can work in a two rank firm, but not all of them, maybe 80%, maybe it's even a little bit less than that.
[00:37:46]And the law firms will often have a lower billing rates and and the revenue will be inconsistent. So they typically will not have summer programs. They may often be uncomfortable. They may be comfortable places to work and [00:38:00] they also may do very well in their regions.
[00:38:02]That means that they will they, if you're a firm, for example, in Hershey, Pennsylvania it would be very hard to be a three from Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is a great market. It's a nice place to work or Lancaster, Pennsylvania park place like that, but it's going to be difficult to in the salaries and those markets can vary but generally there, in these firms, they're generally, they're going to be fairly low compared to four firms or three firms.
[00:38:25]But that doesn't mean they're bad from again it's very hard and to be most attorneys, most firms being twos it's just that their billing rates have to be lower, that their revenues are going to is going to be a little bit more, less inconsistent. And that's also one way to think about your five firms, like your five firms have clients that will this kind of pain, no matter what.
[00:38:43] And they're just giant clients and there's just they're all bound to the firm and they're big firms and they're comfortable. And as you go down the pike in terms of the quality of the rankings of firms it becomes harder for those firms to get revenue. And the revenue is going to be lower and it's going to be inconsistent and they [00:39:00] often need to play games to get revenue.
[00:39:01] And some of these firms may be involved in things like insurance defense. They may represent smaller business clients and relatively unsophisticated matters. But sometimes there are sophisticated. They may do some consumer team work meetings. Actual injury, bankruptcy, criminal law, family law, and things like that.
[00:39:18] And, pretty much, the more, the farther down you go. So you start off at the fives where, you would almost never represent a consumer the farther down you go and you get to a two you're typically going to start having contact with the public, meaning, people needing personal bankruptcy or injury, personal injury or family law matters and things.
[00:39:36] And and the billing rates are often going to be lower. And and then because you're representing individuals, if I'm an individual, if you're representing an individual, it's very difficult to guarantee that you're going to be able to continually write checks, to support them and to support that person, as opposed to what it would mean if you were not for a company.
[00:39:54]If you're going to an attorney just type aesthetical person in this cough, and the attorney sends you a bill for [00:40:00] $30,000 you're going to, you're going to jump out of your skin and you'd be very upset. Whereas, a company gets a bill for 30,000. They're not going to care 50,000 or a hundred thousand.
[00:40:09] And as you get closer to working for consumers You have to have lower billing rates, you have to charge less and all sorts of things. And your candidate ranked a two is generally gonna be average. Meaning the majority of attorneys, there's nothing wrong with me in it too. You can do great work, but you're not going to your training may not be as good.
[00:40:22] You you may you may not see the full picture. You may go through things a little bit fast miss things and or you may be a good attorney. You could have been a three or four, but you may have made some mistakes or in your careers. And and I would say that, again, I wrote this in the past.
[00:40:37] I represent a lot of too, so I don't know why would have written this in the past? I think I wrote it because the, there was back in the day that it was very difficult to place two attorneys, but now I do place two attorneys all the time. Literally every, almost every week, so probably every week.
[00:40:52] So it's not a, but most recruiters can not market to attorneys because it's the, have to really know a lot of smaller [00:41:00] firms and places where there's a need for them. And, but again, the majority of attorneys are too. So if you're a two, a and you think that you're a two, you shouldn't feel bad. I That means that you're just, normal.
[00:41:10] I It's you're not, and you made, you can still be a three or four oftentimes. But most of the time choose are doing work for, lower paying clients and individuals and and so they, typically the work is not going to be a sophisticated and it's going to be it's, there's not the time to be very thorough meaning, if you go to a really big firm and there's a litigation, they will, they'll have all sorts of people running memos about things and be, researching and researching again.
[00:41:36] And the memos will have to be perfect and people will make decisions based on uh, memos and other information. And then before things are written, there's a lot of research and then things are, proved again, checked and checked again. And then a two firms, there's just not the money for that.
[00:41:49] So the attorneys learn different habits and they are often not as, thorough and aggressive and they don't have the same way of looking at things because they have the firms can't, the clients can't afford it. [00:42:00] That's not to say that it doesn't happen in two firms cause it does.
[00:42:03] But but generally that's how it works. And and it's not to say that attorneys aren't capable of this, like a attorney, the two firm could theoretically go to a four firm and become a four attorney or five attorney. But it's just, they haven't been trained like that. And the clients don't have the money to allow people to do that kind of work.
[00:42:20] And the law firm doesn't have the resources either. Okay. And the other thing too, I would say between the difference between a two, three and four or five can, it comes down to control. And I'll tell you a quick story. I had a friend he was actually next to my office when I started practicing a long time ago, Quinn Emanuel.
[00:42:37] And and he had gotten a job at Morrison and Forrester for when he graduated from law school. And but he had graduated during a really bad recession. And and he'd been a summer associate there. So what happened to him was he, one day he came home and that Morrison and Forrester was going to lay off a lot of its incoming class.
[00:42:56] And they said, we're going to be laying off a lot of our incoming class. We don't know who, [00:43:00] but you can certainly come here and start and take your chances, or you can accept this check. And this is back, probably 30 years ago, I don't know how long ago, but you can accept this check for $30,000 and and not start here.
[00:43:12] And so he decided to cash the check, which I probably would have to and not take a job with Morrison a Forester. And so the only job he could get was with an insurance defense firm and Morrison enforcer of course, is definitely I would say a four firm and the only job he could get was with an insurance defense firm when he got out of law school.
[00:43:28]So his first day of work a partner this is when he just graduated from. Law school w took the bar, cut the bar rolled a couple file cabinets in his office and said these are your cases. You can see me for an hour, or you can make an appointment with me every Friday for a half hour, if you have any questions.
[00:43:46] And he gave him like 50 cases. So that's the supervision that he had when you start it. So you literally almost had to practice law learned to practice law himself. And this is how and I'm not saying that all two firms are like this. It sounds insane, but these are, auto accident cases and [00:44:00] things, not that complex where there's not a lot of probably wasn't a lot of money involved, but candidates are definitely more likely to be doing a lot of work without any supervision.
[00:44:08]They can make mistakes. There's not going to be a lot of oversight. And when you go to a five, when you're at a five firm, or in a four candidate, you're going to be, there's going to be all sorts of levels of people overlooking your work. A first-year associate may be working for a second or third year associate.
[00:44:23] Who's working for an eighth year associate who is having to work reviewed by a junior partner reviewed by an equity partner. And so all this stuff, just go through all these channels and, pushing out work that's tight. It's good stuff. And if you're at a two from that's not necessarily happening, it's the quality of work.
[00:44:39] And so obviously two attorneys, when they get up against four and five attorneys have a much harder time doing well. And and the fact that The two attorney hasn't been controlled and is not necessarily accountable and doesn't learn to walk and pins and needles is something that makes these attorneys weaker.
[00:44:56] And and so they often have a much more difficult time [00:45:00] taking criticism and they often don't get criticism and and then and they may not learn as much. And and then and they're, sometimes not as smart as the four or five candidates, they can be as smart as four or five candidates, by the way.
[00:45:11] Sometimes people just end up at two firms and our two candidates cause they don't learn, but but they typically will not work on a sophisticated transactions and so forth. There's a four or five attorney in these candidates. Can come from any law school around the country and offer school performance.
[00:45:24] Isn't that important. And but again I think most attorneys are two candidates. I placed two candidates all the time. There's nothing wrong being a, your candidate. But the point is learning how to improve and then a one is typically going to be almost Oh, very consumer-facing.
[00:45:39] So it could be a solo practitioner, a smaller town if from inconsistent revenue and these firms always do not have summer associate programs. They pay a fraction. In a city like New York city they might pay one fifth of what our six of what a major from there would a new grad or a young attorney.
[00:45:57]And this is the majority firms in the country. It's [00:46:00] not again, there's nothing wrong with the one firm. It's just in terms of the type of attorney and the, what the expectations are for the attorney. It's just a little bit different than they would be at a three or four or five firm.
[00:46:11] And and so the attorneys have to there's just, the qualities are different and a lot of times things are disorganized. And as you go up the chain, you should realize that the business, the way the business of law is being run is better. So the fives are just, then the forests are very well run businesses and they have a lot of procedures in place and the position for growth and to do well.
[00:46:30] And and then your your one firms typically don't have that business understanding. They're are not as organized and in terms of marketing and clients and keeping clients and all this sort of stuff, they're just not there. And these firms often represent consumers the work that they do for consumers often isn't that good?
[00:46:50]Then that may not be as good as a two firm. These attorneys will not give a lot of training. They won't do a lot of thought. So you'll see many times when these attorneys will [00:47:00] produce work for a client, they may just instead of writing a brief, you may just use the court forms and put their arguments on there, cause you can respond to a brief on just a court form without, without, line paper and stuff.
[00:47:13] And they just will do things a little bit a little bit quicker. And that's how most attorneys practice boss. I'm not criticizing this, but obviously if a one attorney goes up against a four or five attorney at the results are gonna be predictable and these attorneys may just typically go to if they're lateraling, they will go to they want them gone to the best law schools.
[00:47:31]They, how much is okay and and they'll often have worked at one law firms and and the law firms that hire them often don't have the highest standards. And by the way, I placed plenty of one candidate and place them all the time too. So I'm not sure. Saying there's anything wrong with them.
[00:47:44]They just don't always have that qualification to work at a higher rank from they tend to be a little disorganized and but not always. And there just the majority of attorneys and they're often very good attorneys. It's just they haven't had the training to be two or three attorneys, or even four.
[00:47:59] And and it's [00:48:00] just the type of clients. And they can also often just be in the majority of firms in the country. So I hope that was helpful. Certainly I'm not trying to offend anybody. And and what I like about this ranking system is it And, you do see the way to move up.
[00:48:14] So you want to, if you can move from, serving consumers to working for big business, if you can move to, all these different kinds of places, then you can learn many times to become a thorough attorney and you can often move from a like even if you are like at a three firm and you move to a one firm, you can bring those habits to, with you and become a much better attorney with the public.
[00:48:35] And then when everything you're doing. And it's interesting in the 18th century, there were three classes. There's the Gentry, like the middle-class and the peasantry. And when you were born your class, you were born into that class. And so if you were born into a very wealthy family, you knew you would pretty much always be welfare middle class.
[00:48:52] And if you're born poor you almost always stay poor. And and so peasants the majority of people in the middle ages in Western Europe, or [00:49:00] that period of time, not in the middle ages, but the 18th century were peasants who they farm land of States, the Gentry, or they were craftsmen.
[00:49:07] And almost everybody in Western Europe was a peasant. And in the legal profession, I would say 85% of attorneys, aren't the ones working in the most prestigious law firms and law schools. And that's, they're doing all sorts of things. So they may be facing contract attorneys.
[00:49:21]And this is the majority of people. So this is. huge number of people. They could work in the government or small companies, I don't know, solo firms and but the thing is that most people believe that they're doomed, to be in the present class.
[00:49:33]And I'll talk about that in a second, but, and then in the middle class in the middle ages was 10 to 12% of the population. Those are doctors, liars, people in military offices. And and I would say 10 to 20% of the attorneys now are doing in that. And then B being government out in car and house and government jobs, the federal level midsize firms and so forth.
[00:49:53] And and that sort of thing. And then the Gentry were the 3% of the people. And these are the people working at the largest law firm. One thing I would say is that [00:50:00] it's very difficult to move, from the, this kind of peasant class to it's ridiculous to say that, but to, to the Gentry and.
[00:50:07] You're often born into it. Meaning based on when you, what you come out of law school with. But the thing is, if you want to be in a, the best firms, there's things you can do, and this is what I teach. And and most attorneys it's unfortunate, but even if you wind up and if you start off in these top 200 law firms, and I think this is probably the lesson here, I, to understand which I would call the Gentry, maybe most people move down.
[00:50:32]Most people do not stay in these top 200 or these best law firms. If you start there very few do. And some people actually do move up. I've moved people up all the time that stick with me. And I work with, from, two firms to three firms and three firms to four firms and occasionally four firms to five firms.
[00:50:49] But, the and when I say occasionally, I Much less frequently than three to four. But the thing is that it's very easy to move down. Most people, join these big law firms and so forth out of law school [00:51:00] and they don't stay there. They end up with a smaller firms.
[00:51:02] And so you have, you only have about six years to prove yourself. And so it's very important to, to work as hard as you can to do the best you can, if you want to stay with that and you want to play at that level and not everyone does, I and that's perfectly fine, but you only have about six years and sometimes seven.
[00:51:18] And so I, I always tell people and I'm sure there's a lot of people on this call that are at big firms and that it's important really not taking anything for granted and realize how difficult what you're doing is cause a lot of people are trying to move up and and others I'm happy, most people can, big law firms end up going to, these kind of smaller firms or in-house and that sort of thing.
[00:51:39]Okay. I'm going to take a quick break just for a couple of minutes and I'll come back and I'll ask answer questions. I can answer questions again about this or any questions anyone has today about anything to do with your career and people, the questions people ask you tweak, tend to be, you can, if you're frustrated at your current job and you have some suggestions, or if you're trying to get [00:52:00] a new job and you want some suggestions, if you're want to move to a better firm or you want to move to a smaller firm, or you want to go in house or the government, whatever questions you have, I'm happy to answer.
[00:52:09] And my favorite part of the week, by the way, asking answering questions, because there's always great questions every week now. So just one minute,
[00:52:16]Okay. Great. So we'll get started with questions. Just give me one second here. I'm going to pull them up. I was going to pull up a blank document so I can type out the quote so I can share the questions whenever one second here.
[00:52:29]Okay. So the first question is, let's see, here
[00:52:34]I am. Hey, last year at a top 10 law school, my grades were decent, but not the top of my class. I had someone disappointing OCI callbacks at four firms.
[00:52:45]I get back and try to work. Yeah, of course you can get back on try to work in a four or five firm in a major market. My suggestions would be to do a clerkship, if you can, with a federal judge with a federal judge after you graduate. You would, should apply to all federal judges.
[00:52:59] You [00