Cravath or Covington

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Which should I choose

Cravath
22
50%
Covington
22
50%
 
Total votes: 44

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Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:32 pm

So, I'm deciding between Cravath and Covington DC. I'm interested in litigation. I want to be at a firm that I could see myself working longterm, and I would also like to work somewhere that has good exit options in government.

I have not preference between the cities. My decision will be based on the work.

My sense is that associates are worked way harder at Cravath. But do you think Cravath has better exit options? Do you think an associate would get more substantive experience there?

I don't want to work soul-crushing hours, but I want my work to be as interesting and substantive as possible.

Where do you think I should go?

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:36 pm

Cov-DC is not a great firm to be at, way too many negative reviews from good friends of mine who work there.

Cravath's the obvious answer here, sweatshop, sure, but its a heck of a name to have on your resume.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, I'm deciding between Cravath and Covington DC. I'm interested in litigation. I want to be at a firm that I could see myself working longterm, and I would also like to work somewhere that has good exit options in government.

I have not preference between the cities. My decision will be based on the work.

My sense is that associates are worked way harder at Cravath. But do you think Cravath has better exit options? Do you think an associate would get more substantive experience there?

I don't want to work soul-crushing hours, but I want my work to be as interesting and substantive as possible.

Where do you think I should go?


I was in a similar position - you need to be introspective and try and decide whether you want the DC practice or the NYC practice. My understanding is that the DC practice will be driven by government whereas NYC will be driven by finance. Which one interests you more?

Also, both firms are at the top of their market and you'll have great exit options from either one. My personal impression is that the hours are a bit easier at Covington and its easier to stay at Covington for awhile.

But, if you want finance and to exit into finance, Cravath would probably be better. Either way, you probably won't go wrong.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I was in a similar position - you need to be introspective and try and decide whether you want the DC practice or the NYC practice. My understanding is that the DC practice will be driven by government whereas NYC will be driven by finance. Which one interests you more?

Also, both firms are at the top of their market and you'll have great exit options from either one. My personal impression is that the hours are a bit easier at Covington and its easier to stay at Covington for awhile.

But, if you want finance and to exit into finance, Cravath would probably be better. Either way, you probably won't go wrong.


I definitely do not want finance. But Cravath seems to do a lot of litigation that is not finance-related, unlike Wachtell at a lot of the other top vault firms that I avoided for this reason.

That said, government-related litigation definitely appeals to me more than finance-related litigation.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Cov-DC is not a great firm to be at, way too many negative reviews from good friends of mine who work there.

Cravath's the obvious answer here, sweatshop, sure, but its a heck of a name to have on your resume.


What sort of negative reviews about Covington DC? Bad environment? Abusive? The hours don't seem as bad as NYC. And they seem to be in good financial shape.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:50 pm

Cravath is the bigger/more prestigious name, but Covington may be the better fit for you due to you wanting to do govt work.

Can't really go wrong either way.

Congratulations on your terrific options!

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:15 am

This may only be for people from my school, but this year Cravath wasn't hiring people for litigation. Apparently they ended up retaining an unexpected number of lit associates over the past few years, and don't have a need for that section.

With your interest in lit and government, Covington sounds like a better fit, IMO.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:This may only be for people from my school, but this year Cravath wasn't hiring people for litigation. Apparently they ended up retaining an unexpected number of lit associates over the past few years, and don't have a need for that section.

With your interest in lit and government, Covington sounds like a better fit, IMO.


OP here. Yes, the hiring partner told me the numbers (and I think he also said something about the people who were deferred and are now joining are primarily litigation). I think they are only hiring 10-15 people in litigation and at least three times that for corporate (but I can't remember exactly). I didn't think I was going to get an offer, because I didn't here for almost a week (and they have the tradition of one-the-sport offers). My offer is definitely for litigation (I expressed no interest in corporate and meet with only litigation partners and associates). I'm honestly leaning toward Covington but I've had the Covington offer for a while while the Cravath offer was fairly recent.

Covington is the only firm I have found that is strong in the three litigation areas that interest me. But Cravath seems like a really badass litigation place.

It will be a tough decision, but I think I would like either place (assuming I could handled the long hours at cravath).

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Cravath is the bigger/more prestigious name, but Covington may be the better fit for you due to you wanting to do govt work.

Can't really go wrong either way.

Congratulations on your terrific options!


Thanks. I'm really happy with these two options. They were definitely my top choices in the two cities, and I feel very fortunate in this economy to have to make this decision.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby 270910 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:52 am

Would you be happier in NYC or DC?

How do you feel about giving up all of your free time vs. almost all of your free time?

Which group of attorneys did you feel like your personality clicked better with?

Those are probably the questions you need to be asking yourself right now. These are very different firms, so you shouldn't need to pick apart the margins to come to a decision.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may only be for people from my school, but this year Cravath wasn't hiring people for litigation. Apparently they ended up retaining an unexpected number of lit associates over the past few years, and don't have a need for that section.

With your interest in lit and government, Covington sounds like a better fit, IMO.


OP here. Yes, the hiring partner told me the numbers (and I think he also said something about the people who were deferred and are now joining are primarily litigation). I think they are only hiring 10-15 people in litigation and at least three times that for corporate (but I can't remember exactly). I didn't think I was going to get an offer, because I didn't here for almost a week (and they have the tradition of one-the-sport offers). My offer is definitely for litigation (I expressed no interest in corporate and meet with only litigation partners and associates). I'm honestly leaning toward Covington but I've had the Covington offer for a while while the Cravath offer was fairly recent.

Covington is the only firm I have found that is strong in the three litigation areas that interest me. But Cravath seems like a really badass litigation place.

It will be a tough decision, but I think I would like either place (assuming I could handled the long hours at cravath).


Don't know anything about Covington but was considering working for Cravath (decided against it, will be at another V5). In terms of Cravath, how do you feel about the rotation system and the lack of lockstep for partner compensation. The former is a real risk in terms of career potential and quality of existence. The latter creates hierarchy among partners and internal competition. Is there lockstep bonuses or are bonuses merit based up to a point? If the latter then within your rotation the senior associates will be so worried about hitting their hours that they won't really be there to help you. And even though it's usually 3-4 to a partner you won't get much partner interaction. Just think about how they have the firm set up physically where you have to walk through a door to get to the secretaries' office just to get to a partner's office. A few things to consider.

I think people are so obsessed sometimes with rankings that they forget that these are real people that run firms and those people will determine whether you have a good career or a shitty one. I bet the people who voted Cravath know nothing about it besides that it is ranked #2 by vault and that it has a good reputation. Talking to lawyers, Cravath is synonymous with sweatshop and the difference in hours between a place like Cravath and Covington could mean giving up all of you personal life (can't go to the gym everyday, must eat dinner at the office everyday, work 7 days a week, cancel most vacation plans etc.) instead of most of it.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby 20160810 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This may only be for people from my school, but this year Cravath wasn't hiring people for litigation. Apparently they ended up retaining an unexpected number of lit associates over the past few years, and don't have a need for that section.

With your interest in lit and government, Covington sounds like a better fit, IMO.


OP here. Yes, the hiring partner told me the numbers (and I think he also said something about the people who were deferred and are now joining are primarily litigation). I think they are only hiring 10-15 people in litigation and at least three times that for corporate (but I can't remember exactly). I didn't think I was going to get an offer, because I didn't here for almost a week (and they have the tradition of one-the-sport offers). My offer is definitely for litigation (I expressed no interest in corporate and meet with only litigation partners and associates). I'm honestly leaning toward Covington but I've had the Covington offer for a while while the Cravath offer was fairly recent.

Covington is the only firm I have found that is strong in the three litigation areas that interest me. But Cravath seems like a really badass litigation place.

It will be a tough decision, but I think I would like either place (assuming I could handled the long hours at cravath).


Don't know anything about Covington but was considering working for Cravath (decided against it, will be at another V5). In terms of Cravath, how do you feel about the rotation system and the lack of lockstep for partner compensation. The former is a real risk in terms of career potential and quality of existence. The latter creates hierarchy among partners and internal competition. Is there lockstep bonuses or are bonuses merit based up to a point? If the latter then within your rotation the senior associates will be so worried about hitting their hours that they won't really be there to help you. And even though it's usually 3-4 to a partner you won't get much partner interaction. Just think about how they have the firm set up physically where you have to walk through a door to get to the secretaries' office just to get to a partner's office. A few things to consider.

I think people are so obsessed sometimes with rankings that they forget that these are real people that run firms and those people will determine whether you have a good career or a shitty one. I bet the people who voted Cravath know nothing about it besides that it is ranked #2 by vault and that it has a good reputation. Talking to lawyers, Cravath is synonymous with sweatshop and the difference in hours between a place like Cravath and Covington could mean giving up all of you personal life (can't go to the gym everyday, must eat dinner at the office everyday, work 7 days a week, cancel most vacation plans etc.) instead of most of it.

This is grossly off-topic, and as I mod I should know better than to derail threads like this, but this is insane. How are people OK with dinner at the office and working 7 days a week? What kind of life is that? $160,000 is a lot of money, but it isn't that much money.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:05 am

The anonymous poster who said that Cravath lacks a lockstep partner compensation scale doesn't know what he's talking about. Cravath is known for its lockstep partner compensation scale (as well as its rotation system). In addition, bonuses are also lockstep. I think that poster is just trying to feel better about his decision to go with another V5 by bashing Cravath.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Person » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:02 am

Everything you say you want is everything that Cravath is not, at least as far as I know. I really don't get how Cravath can be winning this poll.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby War Cardinal » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:18 am

Person wrote:Everything you say you want is everything that Cravath is not, at least as far as I know. I really don't get how Cravath can be winning this poll.


No.

OP wrote:But do you think Cravath has better exit options?


Exit options: edge Cravath

OP wrote:Do you think an associate would get more substantive experience there?


edge Cravath

OP wrote:I don't want to work soul-crushing hours


edge Covington

OP wrote:but I want my work to be as interesting and substantive as possible.


edge Cravath


Cravath 3, Covington 1

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:The anonymous poster who said that Cravath lacks a lockstep partner compensation scale doesn't know what he's talking about. Cravath is known for its lockstep partner compensation scale (as well as its rotation system). In addition, bonuses are also lockstep. I think that poster is just trying to feel better about his decision to go with another V5 by bashing Cravath.


Anon poster here. the cravath model is eat what you kill dude. Bring in more business as a partner and you get compensated more. Look don't want to argue with you but I interviewed there and asked the partners about this.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby 270910 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The anonymous poster who said that Cravath lacks a lockstep partner compensation scale doesn't know what he's talking about. Cravath is known for its lockstep partner compensation scale (as well as its rotation system). In addition, bonuses are also lockstep. I think that poster is just trying to feel better about his decision to go with another V5 by bashing Cravath.


Anon poster here. the cravath model is eat what you kill dude. Bring in more business as a partner and you get compensated more. Look don't want to argue with you but I interviewed there and asked the partners about this.


Cravath definitely has lockstep partner compensation. They started it, they're famous for it, and a quick google search will yield a flood of articles discussing it (in contrast to eat what you kill).

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:46 am

War Cardinal wrote:
Person wrote:Everything you say you want is everything that Cravath is not, at least as far as I know. I really don't get how Cravath can be winning this poll.


No.

OP wrote:But do you think Cravath has better exit options?


Exit options: edge Cravath

OP wrote:Do you think an associate would get more substantive experience there?


edge Cravath

OP wrote:I don't want to work soul-crushing hours


edge Covington

OP wrote:but I want my work to be as interesting and substantive as possible.


edge Cravath


Cravath 3, Covington 1

OP wants to exit into government work. Can you please explain how Cravath's litigation will provide better exit options into government work than working at Covington DC? I am legitimately curious, and maybe this is something I'm too unfamiliar with, but Covington DC is no TTT firm. In addition, considering the relationships OP will build while working in this market and the type of work OP will already be doing while in this market? Plus Covington does the three types of litigation OP wants? Isn't this clearly a case for Covington?

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:50 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:OP wants to exit into government work. Can you please explain how Cravath's litigation will provide better exit options into government work than working at Covington DC? I am legitimately curious, and maybe this is something I'm too unfamiliar with, but Covington DC is no TTT firm. In addition, considering the relationships OP will build while working in this market and the type of work OP will already be doing while in this market? Plus Covington does the three types of litigation OP wants? Isn't this clearly a case for Covington?


This, and I'd add that Cravath has much higher leverage than Covington (4:1 vs. about 2:1). Covington also does tons of interesting government/relations, white collar, and regulatory litigation.

Obviously what's "interesting" is a matter of personal preference, but given OP's interests I'd wager that Covington will provide OP with much more interesting and substantive work.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Unemployed » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The anonymous poster who said that Cravath lacks a lockstep partner compensation scale doesn't know what he's talking about. Cravath is known for its lockstep partner compensation scale (as well as its rotation system). In addition, bonuses are also lockstep. I think that poster is just trying to feel better about his decision to go with another V5 by bashing Cravath.


Anon poster here. the cravath model is eat what you kill dude. Bring in more business as a partner and you get compensated more. Look don't want to argue with you but I interviewed there and asked the partners about this.


Uh... It's not. It's a lockstep system based on seniority and after 20 years or so, partner compensation actually goes down - in order to encourage retirement, I suppose.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:16 am

Anon poster. I'm wrong, there is lockstep partnership. Sorry to derail thread. Remember talking about eat what you kill model but my interview with them was a month ago. I still think the rest of what I say has merit as one perspective and of corse take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby verdandi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:19 am

If you want to do government work, what about this path: Cravath/Covington --> Clerkship --> DOJ Honors or AUSA? If you want to clerk (and if you are interested in litigation and in play at these firms you should) you might also want to think about where you want to clerk. If you want to clerk in DC, then Covington will provide you better contacts than Cravath -- vice versa for SDNY or EDNY. Both look wonderful on clerkship application resumes. I would caution the OP not to feel totally locked in to whatever summer program you choose; clerking provides a nice pivot point to pursue other opportunities, either in government or at another firm.

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby rayiner » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:24 am

So, I'm deciding between Cravath and Covington DC. I'm interested in litigation. I want to be at a firm that I could see myself working longterm, and I would also like to work somewhere that has good exit options in government.


How is Covington not a complete no-brainer here?

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:37 am

rayiner wrote:
So, I'm deciding between Cravath and Covington DC. I'm interested in litigation. I want to be at a firm that I could see myself working longterm, and I would also like to work somewhere that has good exit options in government.


How is Covington not a complete no-brainer here?


Because people don't realize that the vault rankings are primarily focused on ranking firms prestige according to transactional based practices (particularly finance) and are therefore biased towards NYC firms. If a firm isn't in NYC and doesn't get most of their work from finance they are not going to be but so high in the vault rankings (see Williams and Connolly).

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Re: Cravath or Covington

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:47 am

War Cardinal wrote:
Person wrote:Everything you say you want is everything that Cravath is not, at least as far as I know. I really don't get how Cravath can be winning this poll.


No.

OP wrote:But do you think Cravath has better exit options?


Exit options: edge Cravath

OP wrote:Do you think an associate would get more substantive experience there?


edge Cravath

OP wrote:I don't want to work soul-crushing hours


edge Covington

OP wrote:but I want my work to be as interesting and substantive as possible.


edge Cravath


Cravath 3, Covington 1


I don't quite see how you have Covington losing on this one:

1) Exit options will be very comparable - especially for Government, Covington's brand travels very, very far (its the top full service firm in DC)

2) Substantive experience - honestly, it will probably be a wash as the first couple years will be comparable anywhere you go. However, Covington is far, far less leveraged and gets extremely interesting work.




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