[00:00:00] On your point about working the best law firm early in your career. Coming out of a top school, but not working in big pharma. I'm always playing "catch up" with my peers. I always be lagging in writing or skill because it didn't start at one of these major firms?
No. Not at all. Idea is that large law firms, typically have certain standards,
This is why it can charge more those standards are things like 'quality'. Does that mean they always have the best work? No, but law firms typically have the largest standards, the smaller the firm less standard.
So the law firms have certain standards in terms of the type of people that hire the work quality, the logic, what's acceptable. What's not, people, how many people, what it takes to succeed. Now, it's harder to succeed there. So you have to do better work, or they're working for larger clients who have higher expectations.
Now, none of this means that you can't be a really good attorney if you work in a smaller firm that's just ridiculous. But what it does mean is that you have to learn and have very high standards for yourself and take this stuff from the pride in your work and the type of work you do very seriously.
One of the reasons and this is actually a very important thing to understand, one of the reasons people take law schools so seriously in the legal [00:01:00] profession is and again, I'm not trying to be mean to anyone here but being a lawyer in many senses is a game of smarts.
A good litigator will out-think an average litigator, a good corporate attorney will out deal and out-think and so many times that those thinking processes, I believe can be developed. I believe it doesn't matter where you went to law school. It doesn't matter. If you develop all this, but it's a game of smarts and logic and all that sort of thing.
I hate saying this stuff, but cause it's just it's not nice and it's not, it's almost not American, but because everyone tries to be equal, but I've had hired attorneys before. And I'll just, I hired an attorney once that graduated from Berkeley law school literally at the age of 19 and he'd also got into Harvard law school.
He went to Berkeley because he wanted to get away from the East Coast and his parents. This guy, you've got a 180 and there are LSATs or whatever it is, but he went up once against, I had this very complex case where the former head of the labor and employment department Quinn Emanuel was our co-counsel, and this guy took one look at it and figure out a solution after, hundreds of thousands of [00:02:00] dollars of litigation and like 15 minutes. Just a beautiful logical solution for the problem that I never would have seen certainly in this other person. Didn't say so.
Sometimes, and this guy was hired, he was recommended by someone that I knew because he couldn't find a job when he was so young. But this guy is just incredible. So a lot of times very smart people can figure out logical things and do things in a way that others can't. You can simply learn it but that's just because he was smart, he didn't end up practicing law and, he was very upset that he got get a job in a large law firm, and eventually it went off the rails. But the point is that very smart people have skills many times that they don't.
And a lot of it, when they are practicing, comes down to their work, it comes down to how thorough they look at things. It comes down to the type of work they turn in. So typically, the larger firms will turn very well, reasoned and proofed and good looking and work. And, if you're like a court clerk, you can always see this, the best firms are the most thorough, and every little detail is looked at that closely. Whereas, the average firms aren't. You can trust their work and you can trust their logic more. So this is just the thing with [00:03:00] large law firms. So your goal as an attorney is to bring those standards of things. Not all large law firms have the best quality work and so forth, but for the most part, it's more trusted.
Just as you're more likely to have a good meal, and a lot of chain restaurants than you would just a local restaurant that you may not know the standards for. So you this is why the large law firms can charge more. It's why certain chains can charge more than a local restaurant.
It's just, it's because of, the standards that they have. So this is what you learn many times when there are law firms, then there's nothing to say that you can't bring those standards to wherever you work, but you need to have constantly improved work. Now, the only other thing I would say about the smaller law firms is many times their clients are smaller and unwilling to pay
for very careful work. An example would be, if I'm in a large law firm, I can spend 10 hours or say 20 hours researching and writing a memo and then another 15 or another 30 hours proofing it tidying up. I mean up the language,
I'm in a smaller firm. I may have, five hours, 10 hours to do the motion and then no research and for a memo, we're gonna wing it. And that's [00:04:00] just typically what happens. So you learn these sorts of things.
This is the difference between a large law firm and a smaller law firm. So the larger law firm is just going, much more slowly through things because they have the time and that's why the partners make more money. That's why they have larger clients.
And these are just - for an attorney to understand, that when the conclusions are reached by a large law firm and they're much more likely to be correct than what a smaller law firm is doing, and that's the point. And then when you learned to think that way you become a much better attorney, many times in the long run.
And again, I hate to say all that stuff because it's not very nice, but it's just what it is. I certainly didn't get any money anyway. So I'm just saying that certain people have very good legal skills and a lot of times it's natural and all these things too, in terms of this logic and the ways of thinking things can be learned.
I think that you would be surprised most attorneys that they went back into the house 10 years later would probably do much better than they did originally because you learn all this kind of logic, skill, and stuff. They should do it, especially people who are good attorneys.
And again, remember you become like the people you spend your time with.