If you’ve ever read “Above the Law,” you know that there are two distinct flavors of private law practice. The first is BigLaw. These are big firms with big clients with big budgets with big offices in big buildings and paying big salaries. They are the ones who advertise to law students that they will only consider those in the top 5% of the class to come and provide janitorial services in hopes of getting a shot to do lawyerly stuff.
There are many good reasons that these BigLaw jobs are coveted, as the brass ring is huge.
The other segment of private practice is called ShitLaw. This is everyone who is……well……..not BigLaw.
I freely admit that I am in the ShitLaw.
Though, I’ve said before that I don’t consider myself to have a small practice. Nope. I’m fun-sized.
Anyhow, a lot of ShitLaw practitioners bash BigLaw. Some of it is jealousy. Some of it is because the BigLaw lifestyle is undesirable to them. Some were excreted by BigLaw after a year or two. There are many reasons. BigLaw ignores ignores all the criticism, because they are BigLaw.
I’ll just be honest, and the best way to be honest is with an honest infographic. I determined the following categories to be important in framing my analysis of BigLaw vs. ShitLaw.
Salary. Be honest with yourselves. You’re looking to provide for your family and yourself in the best possible way. Salary matters, regardless of how you slice it.
Prestige. Everyone who goes to law school has an ego. The ego needs to be fed. Prestige is the most robust way to feed it. There are two types of lawyers out there: those who admit that they have a big ego and those whose ginormous ego prevents them from admitting the same.
Fine Dining. The fastest rising demographic in America are the idiots who call themselves “foodies.” That fact coupled with the average belt size of Americans gives a clear indication that dining is important. Rich, fine, fatty dining.
Paying for Stuff. How you pay for stuff says a lot about you. How you are are able to pay for stuff says even more.
Client Intake. No clients means no salary, abysmal prestige, no fine dining, and no paying for stuff. Some are handed the Glengarry leads. Others need to steal them.
Cleaning the Toilet. This is perhaps the most important factor, as it alone is an honest indication of who you are and the practice you have. The biggest benefit of going to a place of outside employment is that you aren’t required to maintain toilets and toilet cleanliness. If you coordinate your daily routine accordingly, this can even save time at home. Us guys in ShitLaw clean a lot of…..well……you get the point.
Having said all of that, here’s the infographic:
(click the picture to embiggen)
That being said, we ShitLaw guys have the ultimate trump card during conversations with BigLaw folks (when they’re forced to mingle with the smelly lawyers of the world). It goes like this: