{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Susman Godfrey 5th year associate. AMA- Ask me anything", "post_id": "5e5948134a2404002167c1ea", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Susman Godfrey 5th year associate. AMA- Ask me anything

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I’m not affiliated with SG. But there is a valuable lesson here. If you work really hard and learn valuable skills, you’ll be happier once you are truly competent.

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Out of Houston?

Yes.

How much standup trial/motion practice experience have you had?

Associate 3, I just assumed he/she drank all his/her drinks from SG mugs, wore SG clothing, and slept in sheets with SG embroidered throughout. He/she is proud of his/her accomplishments to ONLY be an associate. I'm sure the partners in his/her firm would differ, but hey, oedipus complex is a recognized diagnosis.

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Billables?

We don’t have an hours requirement.

I’m usually around 2600-2700 hours a year. I suspect that’s pretty comparable to associates who have a realistic shot of making partner in traditional big law. And since associates are expected to make partner, that’s really the right comparison.

And I never feel pressure to find things to do just to bill. We have lean trial teams so there’s always something to do. And the quality of work is SO much better than what my friends at other firms get to do.

Do you sleep?

There’s an ebb and flow to trial work. Right now my big case is in the middle of a heavy discovery period. During this period I usually work half days on each weekend day. Go out to dinner with my wife at night. Eventually it’ll slow down and we’ll take a 2 week vacation.

But the big payoff for our firm is making partner. Partners work so much less at our firm because our associates are trusted with so much more. And associates have a real shot (in my 4+ years only 1 person eligible for partner didn’t make it).

I heard y’all treat staff attorneys like garbage. Even if not you personally, is there any truth to this?

I sure hope that’s not true. I haven’t seen or heard that. I’d be very disappointed in any lawyer who did not act like a professional. Across the board, we all tend to treat each other with a pretty high level of respect. I’ve heard horror stories about how other big firms treat paralegals and staff attorneys. And that’s definitely not how our firm works. We’re small and we have to keep working with each other. And we all know people do better work for you when you treat them like the intelligent adults they are.

I know some staff attorneys get frustrated when they compare their work to the cool things our associates get to do, which is unfortunate. But the associate experience here is pretty unique. And I’d say our staff attorneys handle tasks that are pretty comparable to traditional big law associates (doc review with some legal research and the occasional depo).

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How does the pay compare to Big Law? And what does it take to get hired?

Most, but not all, of our lawyers come directly to us out of a clerkship. Quite a few of the lawyers we’ve hired directly from clerkships began their legal careers at other firms.

Short answer: 1 year in traditional big law before a clerkship is totally fine.

Send your materials to Kyoung@susmangodfrey.com

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(1) are y’all doing a clerkship reception in any major cities? (2) how’s pro bono? (3) how’s quality of life for women and POC?

current clerk in Chicago - please do a clerkship reception !

What % of your work day is typically non billable?

Also, a lot of my cases are fixed fee or contingency, so that changes the dynamic as well.

To your knowledge, are there ever any exceptions to the Article III clerkship requirement for a lateral hire?

Clerkship it is then. I’ll see y’all on the other side.

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