Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"My law firm pays more than your law firm"

The New York Times today reports that my alma mater, Cravath Swaine & Moore, has announced a gigantic extra bonus for its associates this year. A first-year associate (one that graduated from law school in 2006) will make a yearly total of $205,000. I can only wistfully imagine what I could be making now at Cravath. Cravath's announcement is only the most recent step in New York law firms' game of one-upsmanship. Way to go, Cravath. Perhaps the firm should consider changing its name to "Cravath, Swaine, and 'More.'"

Do I envy my friends at big law firms? Sort of. I wouldn't mind driving a nice car, eating at award-winning restaurant, and rubbing shoulders with influential clients. But I don't envy the long nights sifting through infinitely-long lists of Westlaw search results on a quest to find that single magic case that will somehow convince the judge that the opposing side has no leg to stand on. Nor do I miss the dreaded phone call on Friday at 5:45 asking me to have a motion for a preliminary injunction ready by 8:00 am on Monday. In fact, I think I'll enjoy spending my work day on a college campus, where the days seem to go by a little more slowly and there's time to ponder the constitutional implications of locking up sex offenders on Halloween night to prevent repeat offenses (see article here.) I think I'll just keep driving my little Toyota Corolla for now.


  1. Amen. There are days I really miss jumping on the plane to take a last minute dep, arguing with a partner in a meeting about an important point of law, taking a hard line to settle a case, etc. But I don't miss the stress, lost sleep, crappy room service (and extra pounds as a result). I keep thinking that maybe there are people out there who can truly be happy working in a high intensity firm, but I haven't met one yet.

  2. I'm glad you're here instead of there!!!