Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

question for "connected" attorneys

Specifically, I am addressing those working in small firms w jdcumlaude05/03/17
I recall one case in particular. The solo dad was filthy ric mrtor05/03/17
Can only speak from the experience of handling cases where a kramer71605/03/17
It is way way worse than described above. The ordinary hire cantimaginenocountry05/03/17
Good friend of mine's father is the preeminent, high level p jd4hire05/03/17
I used to work with a father and son team. The son barely di fettywap05/03/17
This is kinda one of the reasons why I don't see myself work wolfman05/03/17
Not a lawyer yet, however I am in the sort of situation you confused1l9305/12/17
jdcumlaude (May 3, 2017 - 8:22 am)

Specifically, I am addressing those working in small firms with family.

Please understand that I am not calling into question your credentials, work-ethic, or value. Essentially my question is asking whether or not your job is primarily supported by familial connection or by the market?

In other words, How much actual lawyers do you do on a given day vs. how much time you simply wait for a task to be assigned?

I ask this question due to several peers who seem to have a lot of time to be on social media during court/business hours (that's FB social media, not Linkedin). I also am hearing stories from various boomer age attorneys complaining that they do not have enough work to give their new associate/son/daughter/niece/nephew etc...

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mrtor (May 3, 2017 - 9:25 am)

I recall one case in particular. The solo dad was filthy rich from practicing in a very narrow, extraordinarily lucrative field and had achieved national prominence for his work. Unfortunately, the daughter could never measure up. Dad went to a top law school, daughter did not. Dad graduated top of his class, daughter did not. Dad took the profession seriously, daughter was more interested in spreading gossip through the student bar association. Daughter had a guaranteed job with dad upon graduation. Made "partner" within 2-3 years, whatever that means. Last I knew she wasn't doing much substantive work -- not because it isn't there, but rather I think because the daughter simply cannot be trust with the complex litigation the dad engages in. My guess is the dad will merge with another firm as he winds down, taking an of counsel position and conditioning it upon employment for his daughter as well. Hopefully, the new firm can find some menial work for her to do otherwise I don't envision her lasting very long with the protections of nepotism.

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kramer716 (May 3, 2017 - 3:50 pm)

Can only speak from the experience of handling cases where a "connected" lawyer was involved. They both were great attorneys. In one case her dad is the major attorney in that jurisdiction. He is the most prominent, so she could coast if she wanted to, but from what I have heard and what I have seen she wasn't given any special treatment and was in the trenches with the rest of us. I will say she made partner faster than normal, but that was the only benefit given to her. In the other case, I think the connected attorney did more work than the senior attorney.

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cantimaginenocountry (May 3, 2017 - 4:34 pm)

It is way way worse than described above. The ordinary hire is "judged" on everything. His work, his being part of the team, his business generating capability and on and on and on. Anything and everything, including a cheaper possibility as good replacement, can be used against him. Think NFL 6th round pick. These guys have to sink or swim on their own.

The connected attorney, on the other hand, is like an NFL first round pick. Every effort and then some will be made to see that this attorney succeeds! Mentoring, case assignment, teams that he works with, assignments that he works on and on and on and on. That being said these people can still fail. But there never was the same playing field.

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jd4hire (May 3, 2017 - 4:40 pm)

Good friend of mine's father is the preeminent, high level plaintiff's attorney in the jurisdiction. I know of at least four cases with a collective recovery of 127 million. Graduated law school with his son. I make fun of him at times and he could be an idiot and be ridiculously successful based on his father alone, but he busted his butt during school, graduated #2 in our class (granted he had a leg up on civ pro as he had been attending depos since he was 12), and works extremely hard at his father's firm. I just keep hoping that when his father retires he'll tap me to come work with him...

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fettywap (May 3, 2017 - 4:45 pm)

I used to work with a father and son team. The son barely did any work, maybe 3 hours a day, and his father paid him a high salary.

Nobody at my current job seems to work a lot, and nobody seems to care. They were freaking out that we were in the hole this much. Well duh. You're paying people to smoke for a living.

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wolfman (May 3, 2017 - 5:09 pm)

This is kinda one of the reasons why I don't see myself working for any type of a private firm or a small business, and definitely not as a lawyer or a law-related person (I work for the state now)... gubmint is ok, we're all "public servants" and no one is getting rich off my sweat, and working for yourself is what it is, the good, the bad and the awful... I suppose a large public corp. might be ok, although I've seen how they treat employees and it ain't pretty... but I ain't working for a family business unless the family involved is my own... thanks but no thanks.

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confused1l93 (May 12, 2017 - 7:42 pm)

Not a lawyer yet, however I am in the sort of situation you described. Ive worked for my family's law (aunt runs it and uncle is an associate) firm since college and have done so throughout law school. In my particular circumstance, it would be the market. We have absolutely no shortage of work, and my family complains when I take off work during finals. I would also have a guaranteed associate position. However, I am not that personally close with these family members and they are workaholics. If they felt that I was different the associate position would NOT be guaranteed. This arrangement has caused me to completely blow off school for the sake of my job, which I am incredibly grateful for.

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