Help me pick?

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Who to choose and WHY

Sullivan & Cromwell
10
32%
Simpson Thacher
8
26%
Cleary
9
29%
Debevoise
4
13%
 
Total votes: 31

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Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:12 am

Interested in both corporate (unsure, anything w/ good in house exit options) and litigation (white collar/corp investigations)

- Good exit options (USAO for lit)
- Culturally, I want a place where associates are friends w/ each other and where associates will not be competitive w/ each other
- Work/life balance is important, but at the same time, if you're not busy, it might lead to stress re: being laid off, so I guess I want a firm that's financially stable but also committed to retention (rather than a revolving door sweatshop type place)

Also, I know each firm's reputation (e.g. that S&C is aggressive and works you to death), but I'd really like to hear your personal experiences (either through interviewing or knowing people at the firms).

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RVP11
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Re: Help me pick?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:35 am

From what I've heard: Debevoise is probably the least sweatshoppy and not as much of a revolving door type firm as S&C or STB. Debevoise also has the lowest leverage ratio, IIRC.

Chambers says S&C and Debevoise are the two best firms for white collar/corporate investigations.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:37 am

Tough choice, but I'd probably eliminate S&C. The exit options are much better than any of the other firms, and from what I hear secondhand (from people who work there and who have friends there), the competitive/sweatshop reputation is deserved.

I would probably say Cleary because it hits most of your criteria - good corporate department, most international out of those firms, and relatively collegial.

If you're seriously considering white collar, I would give more weight to Debevoise (they have Mukasey, Mary Jo White, Lord Goldsmith, and just wrapped up the largest internal investigation ever). They are also relatively international.

STB might be worth considering, but I would probably put them below Debevoise and Cleary. Not especially international, great corporate department but mostly PE buyouts/fund formation. Not much of a white collar group.

In short: Debevoise if you're serious about white collar, Cleary otherwise.

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rayiner
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Re: Help me pick?

Postby rayiner » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:41 am

RVP11 wrote:From what I've heard: Debevoise is probably the least sweatshoppy and not as much of a revolving door type firm as S&C or STB. Debevoise also has the lowest leverage ratio, IIRC.

Chambers says S&C and Debevoise are the two best firms for white collar/corporate investigations.


According to NALP Debevoise has a higher leverage ratio than S&C.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:42 am

Thanks for the advice. How do you think Debevoise's corporate practice stacks up?

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the advice. How do you think Debevoise's corporate practice stacks up?


Very good at M&A, particularly private equity M&A (Debevoise and STB are the big PE buyout firms). Also really good at fund formation. Not as hot in other areas (cap markets, bankruptcy, real estate, etc.).

It's probably on par with Cleary, but not quite hanging with S&C and STB (and Cravath, Wachtell, etc).

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:56 am

Anonymous User wrote: (Debevoise and STB are the big PE buyout firms).


http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/E ... 3#org_3655

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: (Debevoise and STB are the big PE buyout firms).


http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/E ... 3#org_3655


1: Chambers is not God.

2: I'll edit my statement and say Debevoise and STB are the big NY buyout shops. My understanding is that a lot of Kirkland's PE work is in Chicago and California.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:30 pm

1: Chambers is not God.

2: I'll edit my statement and say Debevoise and STB are the big NY buyout shops. My understanding is that a lot of Kirkland's PE work is in Chicago and California.


1) But you are God on this?

2) Your understanding is incorrect.

No point in arguing. Debevoise is obviously a good PE firm, but no need to blow things out of proportion.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:21 pm

I've worked for Cleary before. I wasn't a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt, but from my viewpoint the culture was fantastic in terms of collegiality and relaxedness, at least compared to what I've heard about other places. And I'm not sure about long-term retention, but they did weather the financial crisis better than almost any other firm.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:11 pm

OP here, thanks for the advice people. I'm glad to hear from the inside that Cleary is generally a positive place. Any thoughts on their litigation/white collar practices?

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for the advice people. I'm glad to hear from the inside that Cleary is generally a positive place. Any thoughts on their litigation/white collar practices?


Not really that good, at least compared to the other firms you're considering.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:29 pm

What will happen to Debevoise's white collar practice when Mary Jo White retires?

Also, is it realistic to expect to be doing white collar work as a first or second year associate? Seems to me like even firms w/ strong white collar practices won't guarantee you the opportunity to do a lot of it.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What will happen to Debevoise's white collar practice when Mary Jo White retires?


Mary Jo White is the marquee partner for the practice, but the practice is much larger than just her. There were tons of partners working on the Siemens case. Aside from Mukasey and Goldsmith (Mukasey is also relatively old), they have some strong younger partners like Mary Beth Hogan, Sean Hecker, Bruce Yannet, etc., who will probably be there for at least another 10-20 years.

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:18 pm

Bumping myself: I think I've narrowed it to Debevoise and STB. I would really love to get some more input and if possible personal experiences.

And a lot of people voted for S&C notwithstanding my emphasis on quality of life. Aren't all NY firms sweatshops? What is it about S&C that gives it such a bad rep?

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Re: Help me pick?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:56 pm

They're close enough that you should go to the one you get the best vibe from. Older partners won't be around/aren't going to spend a ton of time working with first year associates, don't forget you still have two years before you'd even be starting at the firm. Don't sweat 1Ls/2Ls on this site who think there is a huge difference between top NY firms, there really isn't as much as people would like to believe (it's similar to the M v. V v. P arguments). Your success at any of the firms is going to be determined much more based on you than on spending one or two projects with a famous partner.

Sweatshop is relative. It's not the hours that are awful it's the treatment. Does S&C still have a partners only cafeteria? Don't see that at STB (I don't know about Deb). Little things like that that make you feel like more of a cog than you are.




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