Differences in vault?

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Anonymous User
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Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:40 pm

I have call backs at firms all across the vault...so V20, V40 and V80...is there a big difference between a V20 and V80? would it be a bad idea to chose a V80 over a V20 if I like the V80 better?

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nealric
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby nealric » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:57 pm

I would pay more attention to the chambers and partners rankings for your desired practice area. It's better to be in a band 1 practice at a lower v100 than it is to be in an unlisted practice at a V20. Also, keep in mind that the Vault rankings are very East coast centered. Certain west coast firms are very under ranked (such as Munger).

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rayiner
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby rayiner » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have call backs at firms all across the vault...so V20, V40 and V80...is there a big difference between a V20 and V80? would it be a bad idea to chose a V80 over a V20 if I like the V80 better?


Short answer: take the V20.

Long answer: you need to look first and foremost at firm fundamentals. V20s are in general doing better ITE than V80s. Not uniformly, of course, but generally. Lots of V50-ish firms have had offer rates last year as low as 50-60%. Most of the V20 fared much better in comparison.

Really at this point you should be planning for the real possibility of an upcoming double-dip. If the stock market crashes next year between your SA and graduation, which firm would you rather have an offer from? Do your research with that question in mind and then decide.

EDIT: nealric is of course right. Lots of V30s are in better shape than some V20s, and places like Munger and Irell are way under-ranked on Vault. Also low V100s like Kramer Levin seem to be doing fine ITE. That being said, the general trend is for V20s to have had higher offer rates and better economics in the downturn.
Last edited by rayiner on Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have call backs at firms all across the vault...so V20, V40 and V80...is there a big difference between a V20 and V80? would it be a bad idea to chose a V80 over a V20 if I like the V80 better?


+1 but narrow the band to choosing between a v15 and a v5 -- both firms appear to be equally stable and offer-friendly. Does the old law school adage of "go to the highest-ranked law school you can get into" apply to law firms (and is vault the appropriate metric)?

NYAssociate
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:11 pm

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:12 pm

For purposes of lateraling, what's better: going to the regional office of a firm whose national ranking is really high on vault (but the regional office doesn't rank in the regional rankings), or a firm low on the national rankings, but high on the regional rankings?

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:17 pm

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gradeon
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby gradeon » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:25 pm

What are some methods for determining the financial strength of the firm?

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:30 pm

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gradeon
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby gradeon » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:36 pm

NYAssociate wrote:I use these metrics:

1) RPL
2) PPP/Revenue comparison with last year. Firms whose revenue and PPP increased over last year are ideal. Firms whose revenue decreased but PPP increased suggests that they reduced overhead to maintain/increase PPP, aka layoffs (though firms in the first group could have done the same).
3) Layoffs
4) Deferrals
5) Salary cuts/freezes

I can think of maybe 5-10 firms that haven't done layoffs. But, there's a nice list of firms with decent-to-high RPL, increased PPP and revenue, no deferrals, and no salary cuts/freezes. They are in high demand, ITE.


Thank you. Can I ask where you find these metrics? I assume for 3, 4, and 5 you use ATL, TLS, word of mouth, etc. What about 1 and 2?

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby 270910 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:44 pm

Vault alone is a bad way to make decisions. Look at your firm's reputation in its region. Is it a branch firm? A headquarters? How does it stack up in comparison to other firms? Who are major clients and what is the major work? Vault can really lead you astray (see: Susman, Munger, Patterson, most law firms in a major market that isn't NYC, etc.).

The NALP form will give you a sense for last year's offer rate and summer sizes, as well as partner-associate ratio (decent info on progression prospects, how matters are staved, how fungible associates will be, heirarchy, etc.). AmLaw does a list (including the AmLaw 100) of stuff like PPP, RPL, etc. Keep in mind that many firms just do work that brings in less cash, so you have to be careful about comparing the PPP at one firm to the PPP at another.

Another major thing people point to Vault for is a proxy for exit options or perhaps sophistication of work. If you're looking in NYC, this may approximate true. A lot of highly "prestigious" firms like to claim they get questions that are innovative or particularly thorny rather than routine matters. Who knows if that's actually "true" or not, but it is certainly the party line.

In general, the vault ranking should be nothing but a starting point. It's most useful when you are only looking at HQs of very large firms and you ignore all firms not in that firm's market. After that, you have to use other methods and sources discussed ITT (Chambers and Partners being a good but insufficient start).

NYAssociate
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:47 pm

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gradeon
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby gradeon » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:52 pm

Thank you NYAssociate.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:00 am

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:04 am

NYAssociate wrote:
I can think of maybe 5-10 firms that haven't done layoffs.


And what are those 5-10 firms, offhand? tyia

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:05 am

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seespotrun
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby seespotrun » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:06 am

gradeon wrote:Thank you NYAssociate.

Douchiest username evarrrr

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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:06 am

yellowjacket2012 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have call backs at firms all across the vault...so V20, V40 and V80...is there a big difference between a V20 and V80? would it be a bad idea to chose a V80 over a V20 if I like the V80 better?

this is like asking whether it would be bad to marry a 9 if you love a 2.. who cares what the rest of the world thinks? If you like it better, do it.


haha but not if the 2 will defer the marriage date and then divorce you 6 months in.

270910
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby 270910 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:10 am

yellowjacket2012 wrote: Lots of headhunters will be happy to talk to you.


Curious what you mean about this? I always thought headhunters were just for the lateral market, but if this is true, it strikes me that they might have a huge well of wisdom with respect to actual differences between firms.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:20 am

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Anonymous User
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Re: Differences in vault?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
yellowjacket2012 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have call backs at firms all across the vault...so V20, V40 and V80...is there a big difference between a V20 and V80? would it be a bad idea to chose a V80 over a V20 if I like the V80 better?

this is like asking whether it would be bad to marry a 9 if you love a 2.. who cares what the rest of the world thinks? If you like it better, do it.


haha but not if the 2 will defer the marriage date and then divorce you 6 months in.

that's not the difference between v20 and v80, they're not measured by how long associates last at a firm till they're fired, nor is vXX based on financial strength of a firm




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