Why Senior Associates Should Consider “Under Top AM Law 200” Firms

Just like people often favor brand names when it comes to shoes and watches, lawyers sometimes look to prominent firms when deciding their future. Just because a brand name is more well-known, however, does it make it necessarily better than lesser known brands? Not across the board, whether we’re talking about shoes, watches, cars, wine, or law offices.

This is why senior associates should consider profit, size, leverage and other factors when deciding on their next steps, not simply brand names. The likelihood of being granted partner at a current firm is one. Opportunity for partnership at an under top Am Law 200 Firm is another. Going in-house is always an option.

Here are 5 reasons why senior associates should consider under top Am Law 200 firms:

1. The Under Top Am Law 200 Market is Vibrant

Many senior associates don’t realize that the under top Am Law 200 market is quite dynamic. In fact, the same number of opportunities exist within the under top Am Law 200 firms as in the Am Law 200. Leopard Solutions, a leading collector of data related to attorneys and law firms, issued its latest Lateral Report by practice that ranked the under top Am Law 200 firms. The report showed much movement within the firms, indicating there is a vast market to explore.


2. Referral Work is Plentiful


Senior associates often leave their Am Law 200 firms for non-competitors, and then have to turn away referral work from former colleagues because the clients don’t want to pay the big rates. Essentially, the associates price themselves out of the market. Considering a non-competitor under top Am Law 200 firms is a good idea for senior associates who think they can stay in the good graces of former colleagues and want to take on referral work.


3. Flexibility with Rates and Billing


Law firms are businesses and they bill by the hour typically (unless on contingency or flat fees). They expect their partners to be productive, bringing in their own work and staff associates. If a senior associate at a huge firm knows making partner isn’t a possibility, going to a firm with lower and flexible rates is a good way to capture clients and increase income.


4. Get the Partner Title More Easily and Quickly


At a major Am Law 200 firm, senior associates shouldn’t expect to be made partner unless there is a ripe scenario for that to happen. If the firm is in a hot practice area and the associated doesn’t have much peer competition, there is a likelihood of partnering. If associates bring in mega clients or have wealthy, powerful people in their family, again there is good likelihood of partnering. If not, it’s an uphill battle. Thus, an under top Am Law 200 firm can be a better gateway to a bigger future.


5. Building Your Own Practice


Senior associates who want to build their own practice have no choice but to say “no” to Am Law 200 firms. The best way to build clientele and open a personal practice is to outperform peers and achieve noticeable success, which is hard to do at a top Am Law 200 firm.


California MCLE Courses to Create the Future You Want


Whether you want to work toward partner at a top Am Law 200 firm, build your own practice, or partner at an under Am Law 200 firm, you need to take the California MCLE courses that will set you on the right path. As you choose courses to fill your CLE requirements, consider your future goals and how MCLEZ’s online classes can help you fulfill them.