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Category: Law

BigLaw Bonuses: An Excuse to Keep Salaries Flat?

Law firms may have been much more generous with associate bonuses for 2014 than in recent years. But is increased discretionary compensation just a way to avoid raising base salaries, which have been the same for 8 years? If you ask the more cynical law firm associates, that is certainly the case. Especially if they live in NYC. Here's what one associate told us: "The higher bonuses this year were wonderful. Read More >

Can Women 'Have it All' at this Firm?

BigLaw firms are notorious, whether they deserve the reputation or not, for long hours and cut-throat associates angling for partnership at the expense of their other co-workers and personal lives. In an effort to create a family-friendly atmosphere and more positive work environment, many law firms have instituted affinity groups and generous parental leave policies. Read More >

Why ‘Cultural Fit’ Hiring Is Detrimental to Law Firm Diversity

Last week my colleague Derek Loosvelt aptly discussed the dangers of "cultural fit" hiring, drawing on some examples from Vault's surveys of banking and consulting professionals as they relate to Lauren Rivera's opinion piece in last week's NY Times. Read More >

The Essential Guide to Legal Practice Areas

What does a day in the life of an M&A lawyer look like? What classes should an aspiring bankruptcy attorney enroll in? What does "clean tech" law really mean? Unfortunately, a traditional law school curriculum doesn't do much to help students figure out what it's really like to practice in different areas of the law. Read More >

10 Tips for Choosing a Law Firm

June is almost here, which means we are just a few weeks away from the release of the Vault Law 100 and Vault's other law firm rankings for 2016--stay tuned! It also means that summer associate programs at law firms are well underway, and rising 3Ls are getting a taste of what it's like to be a corporate attorney in the major leagues. Rising 2Ls, if they are not among the elite group of 1L summer associates, are diligently plugging away at their government or public interest internships. Read More >

We Have a Verdict: Poor Lawyers are Happier

The streets of New York City are filled this week with men and women in caps and gowns, ready to receive their diplomas and perhaps ambivalent about plunging head-first into the real world. Graduation speakers around the country are giving the usual speech accented with their own personal flourishes: do what you love. The last such speech I heard in person was at Wharton's MBA graduation in May 2012. Dr. Oz was the speaker. Read More >

Who Will Play Ruth Bader Ginsburg On Screen?

It's about time there was a blockbuster film about the Notorious RBG! The movie, On the Basis of Sex, will document the experiences of all-star Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her decades-long fight for equal rights. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman and the first Jewish female appointed to the Supreme Court. The film will focus on her incredible career, including her work as co-founder of the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. Read More >

Are Moms at the Top Law Firms Happy?

What better time than Mother's Day to tip our hats to working moms in one of the most demanding jobs around? This year over 17,000 lawyers participated in Vault's Law Firm Associate Survey and told us what it's really like to work in BigLaw. The full rankings and law firm profiles, complete with comments submitted by attorneys on all aspects of firm life, will be released next month. In the meantime, we on the editorial team have been immersing ourselves in the survey data. Read More >

Which Law Firms May Actually be Celebrating Mother's Day?

In honor of Mother's Day (don't panic, there's still time to send your mom flowers), Vault is pleased to congratulate the law firms, chosen by Yale Law Women, that make it easier for moms (and dads) to be actively involved in their children's lives while still billing those hours! Read More >

The Ultimate Showdown: NY Bar Exam v. VA Bar Exam

Word around law schools has always been that New York, Virginia and California administer the most difficult bar exams in the country. I can't speak to the California bar exam as I've never taken it (although a 3-day bar exam certainly sounds horrific), but as someone who passed both the Virginia and New York bar exams on her first attempts, I can definitively tell you that the Virginia bar exam is the more difficult of the two. Read More >


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