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Of Counsel

Anyone know of real life examples of how "Of Counsel" works 2tierreality10/05/18
What the hell are you talking about. notiers10/15/18
It's kind of obvious...they're looking for info on "Of Couns jd4hire10/15/18
Yep it's pretty much whatever the firm wants. It can be "you therewillbeblood10/15/18
This. It is different at every firm, and in wide ranging wa nycatt10/15/18
My (smallish) firm has two OF counsel attorneys. They only pauperesq10/15/18
My firm has Of Counsel and Sr Of Counsel. Of Cousel is no irishlaw10/15/18
Its common in my state. It's usually split 50% of what you skankhunt4210/15/18
from my experience, "of counsel" is most often the older dud williamdrayton10/15/18
We have 2 of counsel. One is a hungry young lawyer who gets mikeisright10/15/18
depends on the firm... and the attorney. At it's most bas dingbat10/15/18
Regarding compensation for number 4, I am not privy to the e mikeisright10/15/18
We have 1 of counsel. He's a guru, full time manager at l jmoney10/16/18
We have two in my office. Both are IP litigators and have ni interveningrights10/17/18
we have 1 OF. She goes to Court (I think this pays for her o legalbeagle10/24/18
Well, there is "Counsel" and "Of Counsel." What that means patenttrollnj10/26/18
2tierreality (Oct 5, 2018 - 4:18 pm)

Anyone know of real life examples of how "Of Counsel" works financially, between the attorney and firm?

On another thread, someone said Of Counsel was offered 33% of his own collections, which surprised me a bit.

I always figured it was more of a distinguished office share arragement, including discounted rent, with a promise to take care of the clients and the files when Of Counsel croaks (along with the implicit expectation that Of Counsel's clients will transfer to the firm).

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notiers (Oct 15, 2018 - 12:53 am)

What the hell are you talking about.

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jd4hire (Oct 15, 2018 - 9:51 am)

It's kind of obvious...they're looking for info on "Of Counsel" arrangements with law firms.

OP, in my limited experience, of counsel has an unlimited amount of meanings that differ with each arrangement. I think they run the gamut from office sharing setups, old founding partners who still want an office and an ability to say they practice, to non-equity partner type arrangements. I don't think there is such a thing as a standard "of counsel" arrangement.

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therewillbeblood (Oct 15, 2018 - 9:57 am)

Yep it's pretty much whatever the firm wants. It can be "you're not partner material, but we kind of get our money's worth out of you barely, so stick around" to "you're my drinking buddy and we kick some work to you occasionally."

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nycatt (Oct 15, 2018 - 7:18 pm)

This. It is different at every firm, and in wide ranging ways. From eat what you kill to senior senior associate, and everything in between.

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pauperesq (Oct 15, 2018 - 10:13 am)

My (smallish) firm has two OF counsel attorneys. They only get paid for work they bill through the firm but they're free to do basically anything else they want so long as there is no conflict. They're both semi-retired so we barely run any work through them. I think they totaled about 200 hours between them last year. Neither keeps an office here and I haven't seem them in months.

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irishlaw (Oct 15, 2018 - 10:33 am)

My firm has Of Counsel and Sr Of Counsel.

Of Cousel is non partner track and no minimum hour requirement.

Sr Of Counsel is partner track for super senior associates.

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skankhunt42 (Oct 15, 2018 - 11:21 am)

Its common in my state. It's usually split 50% of what you bring in with firm. Firm spins business to you. Sort of like office sharing, but get secretaries and paralegals etc. Seems like every small firm has 3 or 4 of these.

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williamdrayton (Oct 15, 2018 - 12:56 pm)

from my experience, "of counsel" is most often the older dude who only practices part-time and gets the administrative support when he needs it. compensation arrangements may vary.

I've also heard of the designation being used for experienced mommy trackers - as in, "I've been around long enough to be considered for partnership, but I have no intention of meeting the insane billing requirements"

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mikeisright (Oct 15, 2018 - 1:55 pm)

We have 2 of counsel. One is a hungry young lawyer who gets the scraps we pass to her. She seems to be happy just to have the work and the clients do pay so I guess it's not all bad for her. The other of counsel had a long career at our firm and basically gets paid a lot of money/hour to consult on certain clients' files that he has been handling for years but really not do any work. So, I agree with everyone else, you pretty much make up whatever arrangement you want and slap "of counsel" on it.

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dingbat (Oct 15, 2018 - 2:33 pm)

depends on the firm... and the attorney.

At it's most basic, Of Counsel is a senior attorney who
1) doesn't bring in enough business to be partner (for firms that don't have non-equity partners)
2) doesn't want to meet the billing requirements to be a non-equity partner
3) is semi-retired (and either bills what little work they do through the firm, or is a figure-head who still has connections that generate business)

On rare occasions, there's always #4: if there isn't enough work to justify bringing on a full-time attorney, but the firm still needs an extra set of hands (or particular expertise) from time to time. (see mikeisright above)

Financial arrangements are typically:
1 & 2 salary, maybe with a percentage of generated business
3 - eat what you kill
4 - hourly?

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mikeisright (Oct 15, 2018 - 3:12 pm)

Regarding compensation for number 4, I am not privy to the exact structure. The managing partner has dropped hints here and there like how the clients are willing to pay $500/hour just to know that he is still involved in their files. It's weird though: he hasn't handled a hearing since he retired, does not review any of my work on the files, nor does he contribute in any way other than occasionally showing up to meetings here and there. But, these clients love this guy and always ask about him whenever I meet with them for status conferences. I guess when you have that kind of clout, you can do whatever. We're really into the good 'ole boy thing down south.

My experience is that most of counsel attorneys fit into the eat what you kill #3 category.

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jmoney (Oct 16, 2018 - 7:27 pm)

We have 1 of counsel.

He's a guru, full time manager at local town, ex partner, still comes to company events and gives his take on cases at attorney lunches.

No office, no clue if he gets paid or how much. Never seen him do any work directly.

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interveningrights (Oct 17, 2018 - 11:47 pm)

We have two in my office. Both are IP litigators and have niche practices. One has a niche practice doing IPRs for specific art and the other will make non-equity partner the next year. This position is generally used as a landing pad for attorneys who will not make partner.

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legalbeagle (Oct 24, 2018 - 1:26 pm)

we have 1 OF. She goes to Court (I think this pays for her office which she rents ehre)...minimal paperwork, brings in some cases. she takes a lot of days off and seems to be pretty relaxed. she deals with her clients and they are loyal to her.

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patenttrollnj (Oct 26, 2018 - 2:47 am)

Well, there is "Counsel" and "Of Counsel." What that means depends on the specific firm, but in general these are attorneys who are NOT on the track to become partner.

In many cases, these are per diem and/or contract positions.

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