How big a step up is it as an associate in a Magic Circle firm to a US firm in terms of hours and responsibility?

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Depending on practice area, hours are probably fairly similar (at least in transactional).

Responsibility / expectations will be a lot higher - on deals US firm usually has: 1 equity (nominally / sporadically involved unless big client / usually only for commercials before docs kick off), 1 non-equity (essentially the partner - on calls etc), 1 senior associate (actually doing the docs) and 1 junior (CPs and ancillaries, managing counsel, etc)

The team will typically cover the deal, whereas I’ve seen AT LEAST about 2-3 additional people on the MC side sending substantive stuff (and about another 23 on the distribution)

If you’re thinking about the move, you may as well try it - nothing to lose!


I trained and started at MC; now at BigLaw - the “responsibility” thing is utter bullshit. MC will give you as much responsibility as you show yourself being capable of handling (why wouldn’t they?) ; so will US firms. It DOES depend a bit on area - massive corporate deals likely to have bigger teams and more hierarchy than smaller niche matters - but that will, again, be the same across the two.
The hours will also vary but again, I’d be unclined to call bullshit on this one (but this time perpetrated by MC): I worked far harder at MC than I do now.


I was on secondment to a US firm with ex MC associates. It depends on the firm, but they generally said it's a lot more responsibility due to smaller teams, more client contact, much more business development etc. Hours vary at US firms but you'll generally be working as hard as MC. In any event, there are only 24 hours a day, US firms didn't create a 25 hour one!

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