Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

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Davis Polk or Cravath?

Davis Polk
33
51%
Cravath
32
49%
 
Total votes: 65

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Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:39 pm

Interested in corporate law. M&A sounds cool, as does capital markets - but I know little about those practices as a 2L.

I'm attracted to the Cravath rotation system, and buy into their hype that it really adds value and makes associates both better lawyers and more impressive as targets for lateraling later on. I discussed their financial/deferral situation and while it's clear DPW took the crisis better, it does not appear to be an issue going forward. It's also clear that faced with a financial crisis there weren't layoffs or rescinded offers, which is meaningful.

I loved everything about DPW. Not a single complaint. That their M&A group is slightly "weaker" is a bit of a concern, but really what would that matter for me? Doing a rotation or two then specializing is appealing.

So in a sense, I guess it's the more humane /pleasant vs. the more intense / "prestigious" - whatever that means. Basically I could see myself both places and liked everyone I met at both places, which makes it hard to pin a decision on something.

If anybody has particular anecdotes or their own spin, I'd love to have as much information as possible before coming to a decision.

Thank you.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:42 pm

Both Cravath and DPW have laid people off.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:13 pm

Cravath >> DPW for all corporate save capital markets.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interested in corporate law. M&A sounds cool, as does capital markets - but I know little about those practices as a 2L.

I'm attracted to the Cravath rotation system, and buy into their hype that it really adds value and makes associates both better lawyers and more impressive as targets for lateraling later on. I discussed their financial/deferral situation and while it's clear DPW took the crisis better, it does not appear to be an issue going forward. It's also clear that faced with a financial crisis there weren't layoffs or rescinded offers, which is meaningful.

I loved everything about DPW. Not a single complaint. That their M&A group is slightly "weaker" is a bit of a concern, but really what would that matter for me? Doing a rotation or two then specializing is appealing.

So in a sense, I guess it's the more humane /pleasant vs. the more intense / "prestigious" - whatever that means. Basically I could see myself both places and liked everyone I met at both places, which makes it hard to pin a decision on something.

If anybody has particular anecdotes or their own spin, I'd love to have as much information as possible before coming to a decision.

Thank you.


Pick the one that feels like its a better fit for you. You're going to be spending the majority of your time for the first few years of your career inside the place, so pick the place that seems most tolerable. The prestige difference is negligible - and, lasting to year 3-5 will be far more valuable than a miniscule bump in prestige.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:17 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby War Cardinal » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wachtell is better than both. Sucks that you don't have that option, but I suppose things could be worse.


He actually told Wachtell to "suck it."

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby NYAssociate » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:20 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Wachtell is better than both. Sucks that you don't have that option, but I suppose things could be worse.


Wow, that's really fucking useful.

Outside of M&A, you'd be better off going to DPW or Cravath than Wachtell for general corporate practice.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby NYAssociate » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:22 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:13 pm

I face the same choice as OP. I liked the people at DPW slightly more than the people at Cravath, but perhaps that's because I've met with more associates at DPW at firm events.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby legends159 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:56 pm

firm culture is more important than the negligible difference in strengths across the corporate practice group. Although I will say, DPW, Sullcrom and STB got a lot more gov't bailout work than did Cravath (not sure if they got any), and the attorneys at those respective firms are now leaders in financial regulatory work. Whether this type of work will keep booming no one knows.

In terms of culture, do you work better in an environment where people are a bit more hostile but straight forward or one where they are nice but passive aggressive. Do you pick up on signals well so you will change before it is too late?

The rotation system is really love-it or hate-it. You have more control over your career w/o it, but you might get better work while in it. It really depends on who you get paired up with. If you're with someone who is powerful within the firm you could really shine. If you get someone who is not, and who is bitter about it and takes it out on his associates then you might hate your life.

At my interviews most of the associates seemed to love who they were with but were genuinely afraid of who they might get paired up with next. It seems that you really can't pick who you get. You can try and put in preferences and have your partner lobby for you but it's up to the complete whim of Mr. Chesler.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:00 pm

I don't think it's close personally after visiting both firms. DPW is the clear choice. The atmosphere was so much better at Davis. Less stuffy, more open, friendlier, associates weren't miserable, partners were cheerful. Partners weren't all that bad at Cravath, but some the associates were. Plus the rotation at Cravath is somewhat restrictive, not to mention that for the summer you will be assigned to one partner, and thus only do one type of work. Davis also has more opportunities for practice areas that they excel at. You would have good exit options at both firms. There is less disparity between V5 firms than, say, T14 schools. It's not like choosing between GULC and HLS. I just think that in terms of being a happier person, Davis is the right choice. But if prestige is all that matters, and it's so important to be at the V2 firm than the V5 firm, go to Cravath.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby ruski » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:07 pm

lol at people choosing cravath over wachtell. cravathies are working wachtell hours for half the pay (yes this might be an exageration but the difference in pay is still substantial). no one prefers a general corporate experience THAT MUCH over one focused on M&A. and if you're gonna say its not all about the money then you're kidding yourself; no one is that passionate about corporate law to take such a substantial paycut to work that is only slightly different.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:22 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Wachtell is better than both. Sucks that you don't have that option, but I suppose things could be worse.

ITT: We test vanwinkle's anonymous moderating policies.

Use of the report button: Good. Posting in the thread about abuse of anon feature: Bad. Please keep the distinction in mind in the future.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:54 pm

Cravath is the more prestigious name. DPW has sunnier offices, nicer cafeteria. Cravath came across as more all-business/no- nonsense to me. I like that. And plus, I can't stand passive/aggressive ("FAKE") people.

As far as I'm concerned, Cravath wins this one.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:02 pm

assuming this isn't some kind of "flame"--a big assumption lately, on this site, unfortunately--why put this on tls? do you really want the advice of a buncha people who've never been to, much less had offers at, cravath or davis? you have great options. congrats. who cares what various anonymous posters--wherever or if they go to law school--think? to be short, be bold, man.

i visit this site daily. i attend ccn. i didn't get a callback at either firm. you have 28 days. this site is great, but it's no source for post-offer decision-making. at least, not now with how much flaming is going on

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:assuming this isn't some kind of "flame"--a big assumption lately, on this site, unfortunately--why put this on tls? do you really want the advice of a buncha people who've never been to, much less had offers at, cravath or davis? you have great options. congrats. who cares what various anonymous posters--wherever or if they go to law school--think? to be short, be bold, man.

i visit this site daily. i attend ccn. i didn't get a callback at either firm. you have 28 days. this site is great, but it's no source for post-offer decision-making. at least, not now with how much flaming is going on



OP here. You'd be surprised how useful threads like these are. I've read several from past years, but especially ITE firm buzz from a few years back has limited utility.

I felt like I knew shit about most of these firms before the CB, and before recruiting season. I walked out of firms and the researching process with impressions, and hearing people's comments is useful for ferreting out which things were sales pitch and which things will make a real difference once it all plays out IRL.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:assuming this isn't some kind of "flame"--a big assumption lately, on this site, unfortunately--why put this on tls? do you really want the advice of a buncha people who've never been to, much less had offers at, cravath or davis? you have great options. congrats. who cares what various anonymous posters--wherever or if they go to law school--think? to be short, be bold, man.

i visit this site daily. i attend ccn. i didn't get a callback at either firm. you have 28 days. this site is great, but it's no source for post-offer decision-making. at least, not now with how much flaming is going on



OP here. You'd be surprised how useful threads like these are. I've read several from past years, but especially ITE firm buzz from a few years back has limited utility.

I felt like I knew shit about most of these firms before the CB, and before recruiting season. I walked out of firms and the researching process with impressions, and hearing people's comments is useful for ferreting out which things were sales pitch and which things will make a real difference once it all plays out IRL.


You will have no life at either. Pick which one felt better to you.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:36 pm

Pablo Ramirez wrote:Cravath is the more prestigious name. DPW has sunnier offices, nicer cafeteria. Cravath came across as more all-business/no- nonsense to me. I like that. And plus, I can't stand passive/aggressive ("FAKE") people.

As far as I'm concerned, Cravath wins this one.



Agreed. I declined DPW's offer for that reason. I much prefer the no-nonsense business-like approach myself. I simply felt no chemistry with any of the partners or associates at DPW. Besides I'm very intrigued with the Cravath rotation method; I feel it will make me a much better lawyer in the long run.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:assuming this isn't some kind of "flame"--a big assumption lately, on this site, unfortunately--why put this on tls? do you really want the advice of a buncha people who've never been to, much less had offers at, cravath or davis? you have great options. congrats. who cares what various anonymous posters--wherever or if they go to law school--think? to be short, be bold, man.

i visit this site daily. i attend ccn. i didn't get a callback at either firm. you have 28 days. this site is great, but it's no source for post-offer decision-making. at least, not now with how much flaming is going on


I know a number of people here who have offers at comparable firms and so have researched the various options. It's not stupid to put this here at all.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:04 am

OP - thanks for posting this. I also have to make this decision. You sound set on corporate, but what about those of us who are still on the fence between lit and corp? Would this give a slight edge to DPW, if only because you could be exposed to more kinds of work during the summer and then not locked into working for a single partner for 18 months as a first-year?

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP - thanks for posting this. I also have to make this decision. You sound set on corporate, but what about those of us who are still on the fence between lit and corp? Would this give a slight edge to DPW, if only because you could be exposed to more kinds of work during the summer and then not locked into working for a single partner for 18 months as a first-year?


This is the OP. If I were on the fence between lit and corp, this would be much easier for me. I could find out which I wanted during a summer at DPW, but at Cravath there would be no looking back. Cravath doesn't have you rotate between corp and lit, just within them, you can't take assignments between corp and lit as a summer, etc. Davis made it exceedingly clear that you can take lit and corp assignments all summer and choose afterward.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:So I got bored and crunched the numbers for some NYC firms with big classes. The criteria for inclusion were:

Summer classes bigger than 100 at least 2 years from [2002, 2010].
NYC office size of > 500.

This basically gives you the V10 - Wachtell + Debevoise.

--ImageRemoved--

The numbers are the size of each summer class relative to that firm's summer class in 2002.

Firms that ballooned the least in '07/'08 definitely had to cut the least in '09/'10.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP - thanks for posting this. I also have to make this decision. You sound set on corporate, but what about those of us who are still on the fence between lit and corp? Would this give a slight edge to DPW, if only because you could be exposed to more kinds of work during the summer and then not locked into working for a single partner for 18 months as a first-year?


This is the OP. If I were on the fence between lit and corp, this would be much easier for me. I could find out which I wanted during a summer at DPW, but at Cravath there would be no looking back. Cravath doesn't have you rotate between corp and lit, just within them, you can't take assignments between corp and lit as a summer, etc. Davis made it exceedingly clear that you can take lit and corp assignments all summer and choose afterward.


Yeah, it's tough when you're unsure on which practice you want to do in the long run. I've always wanted to do transactional so the choice seems clearer. Personally, Cravath is a better fit for me.

Because of your uncertainty, DPW may be the way to go, with very minimal loss in prestige. Just be sure you like having passive/aggressive people mentoring and training you. I personally can't stand working with that kind of people.

Having said that, both firms are tremendous and look good on your resume.

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Re: Cravath vs. Davis Polk (Corporate / NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:36 pm

Some old threads on XO that may be helpful, since it sounds like this is a common decision:

http://www.xoxohth.com/thread.php?threa ... =2#4135897

http://www.xoxohth.com/thread.php?threa ... forum_id=2




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