General Questions about Wachtell

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T14_Scholly
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby T14_Scholly » Wed May 19, 2010 6:16 pm

underdawg wrote:
BlueCivic wrote:Ugh, so people here just want WLRK because it's "#1" and thus the new "thing to get." Get good grades in high school, go to a good college, go right to a good law school, go to the #1 firm, die. That's the life path and why on earth would anyone want to deviate from it? It's almost not living.

What percentage of the people who are gunning for WLRK really have a passion for securities and white collar defense work? Do people realize how miserable people are who follow the brass ring path blindly once they get to the "top"?

it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise

get your head out of your ass.


Logical if you disregard the work/life balance factor.

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underdawg
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby underdawg » Wed May 19, 2010 6:18 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:
underdawg wrote:
BlueCivic wrote:Ugh, so people here just want WLRK because it's "#1" and thus the new "thing to get." Get good grades in high school, go to a good college, go right to a good law school, go to the #1 firm, die. That's the life path and why on earth would anyone want to deviate from it? It's almost not living.

What percentage of the people who are gunning for WLRK really have a passion for securities and white collar defense work? Do people realize how miserable people are who follow the brass ring path blindly once they get to the "top"?

it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise

get your head out of your ass.


Logical if you disregard the work/life balance factor.

but you make so much you can work an entire year or two LESS before moving onto stage 2 of legal career.

pretty logical if you ask me...

09042014
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:19 pm

How much more does a WLRK assoicate work than other V10 firms anyway?

imchuckbass58
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:22 pm

underdawg wrote:it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise


I'd also add that the work Wachtell does is generally very high-stakes and very legally interesting (if you are into these areas of law). Clients do not hire Wachtell (and pay Wachtell rates) for regular sexual harrassment litigation, preparing routine SEC documents, or a bread and butter friendly cash and stock takeover. They hire Wachtell for bet-the-company litigation over novel areas of law (i.e., the shareholder suit against B of A for the Merrill takeover) or hostile takeover situations for multiple bidders. The work is simply more interesting compared to most other firms.

You are also given much more responsibility at WLRK. I have a friend who is an associate, and he says it is not unusual for 3rd or 4th year associates to effectively run large parts of a transaction, or be completely responsible for discrete parts of large litigation.

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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:24 pm

Desert Fox wrote:How much more does a WLRK assoicate work than other V10 firms anyway?


A friend of mine who is an associate has said the pace is roughly 3500-4000 hours worked (not billed). That is a lot (70-80 hours weeks) but it is not hugely more than most V10 firms (where I bet it is something more like 65).
Last edited by imchuckbass58 on Wed May 19, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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underdawg
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby underdawg » Wed May 19, 2010 6:27 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:How much more does a WLRK assoicate work than other V10 firms anyway?


A friend of mine who is an associate has said the pace is roughly 3500-4000 hours worked (not billedrag). That is a lot (70-80 hours weeks) but it is not hugely more than most V10 firms (where I bet it is something more like 65).

i've hears ~2700-3000 billed? which is huge, for sure, but some firms will work you to the bone in a similar manner and only give you a half-skadden bonus (in the boon years). while WLRK gave the 160k bonus (in boon years).

also i agree about the cutting edge stuff, though i doubt that anyone is paying V100 rates for the truly routine things, right? that would go to some in-house litigator, dontcha think?

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T14_Scholly
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby T14_Scholly » Wed May 19, 2010 6:31 pm

underdawg wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:
underdawg wrote:
BlueCivic wrote:Ugh, so people here just want WLRK because it's "#1" and thus the new "thing to get." Get good grades in high school, go to a good college, go right to a good law school, go to the #1 firm, die. That's the life path and why on earth would anyone want to deviate from it? It's almost not living.

What percentage of the people who are gunning for WLRK really have a passion for securities and white collar defense work? Do people realize how miserable people are who follow the brass ring path blindly once they get to the "top"?

it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise

get your head out of your ass.


Logical if you disregard the work/life balance factor.

but you make so much you can work an entire year or two LESS before moving onto stage 2 of legal career.

pretty logical if you ask me...


Well if the calculation is that simple, then sign me up.

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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:32 pm

underdawg wrote:also i agree about the cutting edge stuff, though i doubt that anyone is paying V100 rates for the truly routine things, right? that would go to some in-house litigator, dontcha think?


Yeah I was exaggerating with the sexual harassment lawsuit, but you get the general point. You only hire Wachtell if the matter is sufficiently high-stakes or complicated that you do not want to chance another firm screwing it up. You would still hire outside counsel for pretty much any merger, but you probably wouldn't hire Wachtell unless it were a particularly sticky situation (hostile takeover, activist investor, etc).

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A'nold
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby A'nold » Wed May 19, 2010 8:01 pm

OP: have you taken the LSAT yet? 8)

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PLATONiC
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby PLATONiC » Wed May 19, 2010 8:30 pm

miamiman wrote:Lol. Platonic, you are quickly becoming my favorite tlser.

You ask all the ridiculous, woefully ignorant, exploratory questions I didn't have the balls to ask a year ago.


Thanks for answering questions guys, and I personally find it very amusing that I ask the most random questions on these forums. TLS has been great help to me, and I think I'm starting to get a better picture of how the legal world works. I'd like to be one of those 1L's who has already done a bunch of research on various things so that I don't have to spend too much time surfing around for them once I start LS.

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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby PLATONiC » Wed May 19, 2010 8:31 pm

A'nold wrote:OP: have you taken the LSAT yet? 8)


No, I have not! hahaha

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PLATONiC
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby PLATONiC » Wed May 19, 2010 8:32 pm

But here's another one of my ridiculous posts:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=117194

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BlueCivic
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby BlueCivic » Wed May 19, 2010 8:41 pm

underdawg wrote:
BlueCivic wrote:Ugh, so people here just want WLRK because it's "#1" and thus the new "thing to get." Get good grades in high school, go to a good college, go right to a good law school, go to the #1 firm, die. That's the life path and why on earth would anyone want to deviate from it? It's almost not living.

What percentage of the people who are gunning for WLRK really have a passion for securities and white collar defense work? Do people realize how miserable people are who follow the brass ring path blindly once they get to the "top"?

it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise

get your head out of your ass.


That's not where my head is.

I stand by the statement that there is a strong groupthink culture on these boards that drives people to do things that they are not happy with because they are told that it is prestigious. WLRK is a pretty good example of one of these brass rings that can lead to sadness. I am not saying that working there is not a good decision for many people; but I don't think that it should be controversial that people in law school-land don't think very hard about why they want the things they want.

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A'nold
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby A'nold » Wed May 19, 2010 8:48 pm

PLATONiC wrote:
A'nold wrote:OP: have you taken the LSAT yet? 8)


No, I have not! hahaha



The reason I asked is that you sound somewhat like me like 4 years ago when I started looking into law school. I asked all of these ambitious-type questions about biglaw and stuff and about different t14's and had never taken the LSAT. That brought me to the world of reality real quick, let me tell yah.

Have you begun prepping yet? If you want all of these things you talk about, DO NOT take the LSAT until, under real conditions, you are averaging like a 172 at least. Even though I was testing quite a bit lower than 170, I naively just thought I would pwn on test day and that did not work out very well. I also wasn't simulating real world conditions. It's like when I used to go out golfing by myself in high school and I'd miss like a 2 foot put. I'd still give myself the par, saying that "if the green were nicer like in the PGA or if I'd really been trying I would have made it." This backfired during golf tryouts.

Anyway, I really do wish you luck. Just one more piece of advice, take it or leave it (I would have left it if someone would have said this to me back in my "biglaw or bust" pre-law days): Don't go into law school for the prestige or money. Don't get discouraged and quit if you aren't guaranteed 160k. If you find that you would actually like law, the money will come. If you don't like it, don't go into it.

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PLATONiC
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby PLATONiC » Wed May 19, 2010 8:52 pm

A'nold wrote:
PLATONiC wrote:
A'nold wrote:OP: have you taken the LSAT yet? 8)


No, I have not! hahaha



The reason I asked is that you sound somewhat like me like 4 years ago when I started looking into law school. I asked all of these ambitious-type questions about biglaw and stuff and about different t14's and had never taken the LSAT. That brought me to the world of reality real quick, let me tell yah.

Have you begun prepping yet? If you want all of these things you talk about, DO NOT take the LSAT until, under real conditions, you are averaging like a 172 at least. Even though I was testing quite a bit lower than 170, I naively just thought I would pwn on test day and that did not work out very well. I also wasn't simulating real world conditions. It's like when I used to go out golfing by myself in high school and I'd miss like a 2 foot put. I'd still give myself the par, saying that "if the green were nicer like in the PGA or if I'd really been trying I would have made it." This backfired during golf tryouts.

Anyway, I really do wish you luck. Just one more piece of advice, take it or leave it (I would have left it if someone would have said this to me back in my "biglaw or bust" pre-law days): Don't go into law school for the prestige or money. Don't get discouraged and quit if you aren't guaranteed 160k. If you find that you would actually like law, the money will come. If you don't like it, don't go into it.


I'm taking the Asia LSAT in about 5.5 weeks. My last three five-sectioned PTs were 171, 171, and 170. Phew~ I thought you were going to bash on my like crazy for asking questions without having taken the LSAT yet. But I have pretty high hopes for now when it comes to scoring in the mid 170s:D

But I definitely know what you mean about not "tricking myself" or getting myself into a state of denial about my PT scores, so I'm very strict about turning the page when time's up. Thanks for the advice A'nold.

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A'nold
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby A'nold » Wed May 19, 2010 8:53 pm

BlueCivic wrote:
underdawg wrote:
BlueCivic wrote:Ugh, so people here just want WLRK because it's "#1" and thus the new "thing to get." Get good grades in high school, go to a good college, go right to a good law school, go to the #1 firm, die. That's the life path and why on earth would anyone want to deviate from it? It's almost not living.

What percentage of the people who are gunning for WLRK really have a passion for securities and white collar defense work? Do people realize how miserable people are who follow the brass ring path blindly once they get to the "top"?

it's because they often pay 2x what other biglaw firms do (while it's not 2x the hours) while it opens almost every door for government work, in-house, etc. (i'm guessing), and the work environment there is one of the best (while they work you to death, partners supposedly treat you almost like equals, etc.). especially for young law graduates (or non-family minded graduates), it's actually a quite logical choice to do for 4-5 years out of law school. and if you are a get-in-get-out guy, 2 years at WLRK gets you what you'd get in 3 years at other biglaw firms, $$-wise

get your head out of your ass.


That's not where my head is.

I stand by the statement that there is a strong groupthink culture on these boards that drives people to do things that they are not happy with because they are told that it is prestigious. WLRK is a pretty good example of one of these brass rings that can lead to sadness. I am not saying that working there is not a good decision for many people; but I don't think that it should be controversial that people in law school-land don't think very hard about why they want the things they want.


Credited. I used to think that I could just "give away 4-5 years of my life" for the "opportunities" that biglaw offered. After taking some time off after UG and working in the business world, I have to say that 40-50 hours a week in a job you hate is killself material....I couldn't imagine doing that kind of stuff for 60-75 hours a week on average. I think a lot of people straight from UG see the $$$$ and prestige associated w/ biglaw and automatically assume that they can do it. There is a reason why SO SO MANY associates are unhappy and second guess their choice to even have gone to ls after they start in biglaw. You hear them say things about how they wish they'd just have fulfilled their dream of becoming a teacher or joining the peace corps or something completely non-$$$$. People sooner or later do realize that the cliche "money /=/ happiness" is a cliche for a reason.

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A'nold
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby A'nold » Wed May 19, 2010 8:56 pm

PLATONiC wrote:
A'nold wrote:
PLATONiC wrote:
A'nold wrote:OP: have you taken the LSAT yet? 8)


No, I have not! hahaha



The reason I asked is that you sound somewhat like me like 4 years ago when I started looking into law school. I asked all of these ambitious-type questions about biglaw and stuff and about different t14's and had never taken the LSAT. That brought me to the world of reality real quick, let me tell yah.

Have you begun prepping yet? If you want all of these things you talk about, DO NOT take the LSAT until, under real conditions, you are averaging like a 172 at least. Even though I was testing quite a bit lower than 170, I naively just thought I would pwn on test day and that did not work out very well. I also wasn't simulating real world conditions. It's like when I used to go out golfing by myself in high school and I'd miss like a 2 foot put. I'd still give myself the par, saying that "if the green were nicer like in the PGA or if I'd really been trying I would have made it." This backfired during golf tryouts.

Anyway, I really do wish you luck. Just one more piece of advice, take it or leave it (I would have left it if someone would have said this to me back in my "biglaw or bust" pre-law days): Don't go into law school for the prestige or money. Don't get discouraged and quit if you aren't guaranteed 160k. If you find that you would actually like law, the money will come. If you don't like it, don't go into it.


I'm taking the Asia LSAT in about 5.5 weeks. My last three five-sectioned PTs were 171, 171, and 170. Phew~ I thought you were going to bash on my like crazy for asking questions without having taken the LSAT yet. But I have pretty high hopes for now when it comes to scoring in the mid 170s:D

But I definitely know what you mean about not "tricking myself" or getting myself into a state of denial about my PT scores, so I'm very strict about turning the page when time's up. Thanks for the advice A'nold.


No problem. Also, make sure to hit up all of the law school exam taking threads. I especially recommend Arrow's thread on 1L success. Attack the exam from day one and don't get caught up in the day to day of law school. It is easier said than done but you have to just go against the grain. Good luck. :)

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thesealocust
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby thesealocust » Wed May 19, 2010 8:58 pm

oops
Last edited by thesealocust on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby d34d9823 » Wed May 19, 2010 8:59 pm

BlueCivic wrote:That's not where my head is.

I stand by the statement that there is a strong groupthink culture on these boards that drives people to do things that they are not happy with because they are told that it is prestigious. WLRK is a pretty good example of one of these brass rings that can lead to sadness. I am not saying that working there is not a good decision for many people; but I don't think that it should be controversial that people in law school-land don't think very hard about why they want the things they want.

Your logic doesn't make any sense applied to Wachtell. If you were saying something like "don't do big law, your life will suck", well, OK I guess.

But your life does not suck more at Wachtell compared to the benefits. Say you get Debevoise, where I hear they are "chill" and work a mere 60-65 hours a week. 10 more hours a week at Wachtell nets you TWICE the pay, higher prestige, and better exit options (not trying to hate on Debevoise). If you are going to do big law, Wachtell is as good as it gets.

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thesealocust
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby thesealocust » Wed May 19, 2010 9:03 pm

oops
Last edited by thesealocust on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d34d9823
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby d34d9823 » Wed May 19, 2010 9:09 pm

thesealocust wrote:You're not thinking about this incorrectly, but you are thinking about this incompletely. There are, unfortunately, only 168 hours in a week. while the increae in money far outstrips the increase in work, the DECREASE in time for life maintenance, hobbies, spending money, family, etc. is substantial. It can cut your small amount of free time into basically zero free time. There's a real cost to cutting back on the amount of obligation free time a person has - I'd argue it almost grows exponentially. Making a choice like this would not be a no-brainer.

Dude, if you really want to sit around and discuss whether work has an increasing marginal cost, go for it? You would have to argue that hours 65-75 have an equivalent total cost to hours 1-65 (I know $$ is not the only compensation here, but the pay is a fairly good proxy for prestige/exit options as well). That just seems...wrong.

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thesealocust
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby thesealocust » Wed May 19, 2010 9:11 pm

oops
Last edited by thesealocust on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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underdawg
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby underdawg » Wed May 19, 2010 9:14 pm

it's debatable but i'm just saying being all sanctimonious about it is pretty head-up-the-ass, unless you are deriding biglaw as a whole, then fine.

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BlueCivic
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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby BlueCivic » Wed May 19, 2010 9:26 pm

underdawg wrote:it's debatable but i'm just saying being all sanctimonious about it is pretty head-up-the-ass, unless you are deriding biglaw as a whole, then fine.


Agreed that its sanctimonious and kind of annoying. I still think its true and I feel that way about biglaw generally. But, yeah, no need for more sanctimony.

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Re: General Questions about Wachtell

Postby Kochel » Wed May 19, 2010 9:54 pm

As an in-house lawyer, I like being able to call up a Biglaw partner on short notice to advise on difficult issues or pull me through a firedrill by reviewing a contract or managing a transaction overnight. So I suppose it's a good thing--proven by this thread--that 2Ls who convince themselves that the Biglaw life is worth hacking for "4-5 years" in exchange for 160K (or Wachtell pay) are a renewable resource.




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