Poll: Which Boston firm?

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Among these options, which would you choose for corporate work in Boston?

Bingham
18
32%
Choate
17
30%
Goulston
2
4%
Sullivan & Worcester
5
9%
Foley Hoag
7
12%
Proskauer
6
11%
EAPD
2
4%
 
Total votes: 57

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Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:36 am

It's hard to differentiate. Does anyone know anything about the financial health of these places?

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KMaine
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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby KMaine » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:42 am

Do you have offers from all of the above?

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:44 am

No--I had callbacks at all, but only offers at 3. No dings yet. Just didn't want to out myself.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:56 am

I would see where you get offers first. S&W isn't market rate, which is a bummer. Goulston no-offered a lot of people last year. EAPD got gutted in the economy. Bingham's class size is tiny (5-6) so unless you have an offer from them already, I wouldn't count on it.

I've heard good things about Foley Hoag, I have no idea who Proskauer is, and I really like Choate a lot. Choate seems to be in decent financial shape, its small, only 1 office, and pays market. While Bingham is the most "prestigious", the Boston office is mostly corporate and is not holding up nearly as well as the other Boston powerhouse firms (Wilmer, Goodwin, Ropes).

If you have an offer at Choate, you going to the offers dinner thing?

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:10 pm

I am not the OP, but have an offer at Choate (and 1 of the others above). Will be travelling to Boston for the offer dinner tomorrow. Will probably choose Choate after that. So, though I do not know all of the firms equally, that is my vote.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:11 pm

Proskauer has a top notch private equity and hedge fund practice, which I'm very interested in. That said, I've obviously never actually done any of that type of work, and am nervous about bxoing myself in since they have less breadth of practice areas than other firms.

I feel like difference in pay for S&W and Goulston would be negligible if it were compensated for by an increase in QOL at those firms.

I agree that Bingham is most "prestigious," and has the most practice breadth, but you would probably have the smallest chance of actually making partner there and probably the lowest QOL (IMO--chime in people if you disagree).

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby KMaine » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:13 pm

OP - What are the important factors in your decision? I guess you care about the financial health of the firm. Anything else?

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am not the OP, but have an offer at Choate (and 1 of the others above). Will be travelling to Boston for the offer dinner tomorrow. Will probably choose Choate after that. So, though I do not know all of the firms equally, that is my vote.



What's tipping the scales for you? Do you have a practice interest?

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am not the OP, but have an offer at Choate (and 1 of the others above). Will be travelling to Boston for the offer dinner tomorrow. Will probably choose Choate after that. So, though I do not know all of the firms equally, that is my vote.



What's tipping the scales for you? Do you have a practice interest?


I am interested in litigation. I had a chance to meet two litigation partners there and think I would fit in really well. I think more than some other firms, I will have the chance to do some substantive work early. I like the single office philosophy and the low associate to partner ratio. In any case, I am looking forward to tomorrow night.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:23 pm

KMaine wrote:OP - What are the important factors in your decision? I guess you care about the financial health of the firm. Anything else?


For one thing, I'm not looking for "exit options." Although I know the chances of making partner are slim everywhere, I would at least want to be someplace where I could make a go of it. Which would probably make Bingham the least desirable of the options.

Quality of life is very important to me too, which would probably also make Bingham the least desirable of the options.

But that said, I liked the associates I met at Bingham the most out of all the associates I met at my callbacks (S&W's were a close second). I felt like I had the most in common with them personality wise.

So much conflicting information!

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am not the OP, but have an offer at Choate (and 1 of the others above). Will be travelling to Boston for the offer dinner tomorrow. Will probably choose Choate after that. So, though I do not know all of the firms equally, that is my vote.



What's tipping the scales for you? Do you have a practice interest?


I am interested in litigation. I had a chance to meet two litigation partners there and think I would fit in really well. I think more than some other firms, I will have the chance to do some substantive work early. I like the single office philosophy and the low associate to partner ratio. In any case, I am looking forward to tomorrow night.


You really think you would have more substantive work at Choate? I'm a little skeptical, as the deals may be smaller, but its still a lot of grunt work. I'm between Choate and Wilmer right now - Choate because of the small size/everyone knows each other feel, and Wilmer because its considered (along with Ropes) to be the best Boston firm. I don't know if that really makes the exit options that much better.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You really think you would have more substantive work at Choate? I'm a little skeptical, as the deals may be smaller, but its still a lot of grunt work. I'm between Choate and Wilmer right now - Choate because of the small size/everyone knows each other feel, and Wilmer because its considered (along with Ropes) to be the best Boston firm. I don't know if that really makes the exit options that much better.


Person choosing between Wilmer and Choate:

did you callback at any of the other firms above and get the sense that you preferred Choate?

do you have an idea as to corp or lit?

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:41 pm

Can't believe I'm the only vote for Foley Hoag? Firm has an excellent Boston reputation, interesting practice, and nice people. They also seem to be very healthy, they have reduced their number of SA's and their incoming class, but I haven't heard of a single lay-off.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am not the OP, but have an offer at Choate (and 1 of the others above). Will be travelling to Boston for the offer dinner tomorrow. Will probably choose Choate after that. So, though I do not know all of the firms equally, that is my vote.



What's tipping the scales for you? Do you have a practice interest?


I am interested in litigation. I had a chance to meet two litigation partners there and think I would fit in really well. I think more than some other firms, I will have the chance to do some substantive work early. I like the single office philosophy and the low associate to partner ratio. In any case, I am looking forward to tomorrow night.


You really think you would have more substantive work at Choate? I'm a little skeptical, as the deals may be smaller, but its still a lot of grunt work. I'm between Choate and Wilmer right now - Choate because of the small size/everyone knows each other feel, and Wilmer because its considered (along with Ropes) to be the best Boston firm. I don't know if that really makes the exit options that much better.


It is hard to say exactly. The people I talked with seemed to have had a great deal of client contact early. But they may have been stars from the beginning. I do agree that there is still alot of grunt work, but I like the idea of working 1 on 1 with a partner. I think there will be more variety of work than at some other places. That said, my other choice is not Wilmer. I had a partner at a Northern NE firm tell me if I had a chance to go with Ropes that I should take it, as it would give me great exit options. Wilmer may be the same. But I do like the idea of working at a smallish firm in the home (and only) office and making market to work in Boston.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can't believe I'm the only vote for Foley Hoag? Firm has an excellent Boston reputation, interesting practice, and nice people. They also seem to be very healthy, they have reduced their number of SA's and their incoming class, but I haven't heard of a single lay-off.


I know of a 2nd year associate who was laid off last winter. I think they did stealth lay offs.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can't believe I'm the only vote for Foley Hoag? Firm has an excellent Boston reputation, interesting practice, and nice people. They also seem to be very healthy, they have reduced their number of SA's and their incoming class, but I haven't heard of a single lay-off.


I know of a 2nd year associate who was laid off last winter. I think they did stealth lay offs.


Really? I haven't heard any word of this..... I'll have to do some digging. Thanks

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You really think you would have more substantive work at Choate? I'm a little skeptical, as the deals may be smaller, but its still a lot of grunt work. I'm between Choate and Wilmer right now - Choate because of the small size/everyone knows each other feel, and Wilmer because its considered (along with Ropes) to be the best Boston firm. I don't know if that really makes the exit options that much better.


Person choosing between Wilmer and Choate:

did you callback at any of the other firms above and get the sense that you preferred Choate?

do you have an idea as to corp or lit?


I did a CB at Bingham too and I wasn't really a fan - but in retrospect that might be because I got a swift ding 2 days after the CB. So congrats on your offer! I thought the office was a little pretentious, but I really liked the two senior associate level people I talked to.
I actually canceled my other CBs after the Choate and Wilmer offers.

From friends, I have heard not so hot things about Goulston, but great things about the people at S&W. I'm not totally sure whether the hours will be less or not. I don't know anything about Foley's stealth layoffs, but I have heard good things about them too and really liked the people who conducted screeners at my school (I didn't get a CB though or I would have went).

I'm pretty sure I want to do litigation, so Wilmer seems like the right choice as its arguably the best Boston lit shop - Choate seems to have a little of everything which I like. I also liked the people I met there and the "lean" staffing model. I'm not going to decide until after the Choate dinner and I meet with a few associates from both.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You really think you would have more substantive work at Choate? I'm a little skeptical, as the deals may be smaller, but its still a lot of grunt work. I'm between Choate and Wilmer right now - Choate because of the small size/everyone knows each other feel, and Wilmer because its considered (along with Ropes) to be the best Boston firm. I don't know if that really makes the exit options that much better.


Person choosing between Wilmer and Choate:

did you callback at any of the other firms above and get the sense that you preferred Choate?

do you have an idea as to corp or lit?


I did a CB at Bingham too and I wasn't really a fan - but in retrospect that might be because I got a swift ding 2 days after the CB. So congrats on your offer! I thought the office was a little pretentious, but I really liked the two senior associate level people I talked to.
I actually canceled my other CBs after the Choate and Wilmer offers.

From friends, I have heard not so hot things about Goulston, but great things about the people at S&W. I'm not totally sure whether the hours will be less or not. I don't know anything about Foley's stealth layoffs, but I have heard good things about them too and really liked the people who conducted screeners at my school (I didn't get a CB though or I would have went).

I'm pretty sure I want to do litigation, so Wilmer seems like the right choice as its arguably the best Boston lit shop - Choate seems to have a little of everything which I like. I also liked the people I met there and the "lean" staffing model. I'm not going to decide until after the Choate dinner and I meet with a few associates from both.


It's important to remember that a lot of the Wilmer prestige factor comes from their DC office, which makes them look inflated if you are looking at top Boston firms. WH is not better than Ropes in Boston, probably not even for litigation. Wilmer is tied with or slightly below GP in many facets as well if you isolate the firms and look only at their Boston offices, but it only makes sense to look at them like this if you are sure you want to stay in Boston. This is because the WH Boston office is really Hale and Dorr - that merger wasn't very long ago. WH will have phenomenal DC exit options though which is something to consider if you are interested in government. Choate will give you similar exit options in Boston, but Wilmer will certainly be better if you want to get away from Boston. WH will work you to death though - they are as bad as Ropes at least in that respect. Unless you are really sure you want to stay in Boston and care a lot about QoL, I would go with WH.
And from what I have heard Goulston is a great firm and one of the best of all those listed above in terms of QoL.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:48 pm

To the above poster, I would get the numbers for Goulston's offers last year, I know there were a few no offers.

I tend to agree with you on the Wilmer/Choate distinction. In Boston, its probably fungible prestige-wise. Although, I wonder if one really would be more work hours-wise than another. If Choate paid the same, yet had less hours, wouldn't people flock to that over other Boston firms? Why then would Wilmer Boston be more filled with top schools than Choate? Just from some calculated level of prestige?

Also, doubtful that GP is slightly better than WH in some respects even in Boston. I think GP tends to get overrated pretty easily. All around though, R&G seems to be the biggest Boston name. I see GP, WH, R&G as kind of the Boston trinity, with the others kind of lumped below.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can't believe I'm the only vote for Foley Hoag? Firm has an excellent Boston reputation, interesting practice, and nice people. They also seem to be very healthy, they have reduced their number of SA's and their incoming class, but I haven't heard of a single lay-off.


I know of a 2nd year associate who was laid off last winter. I think they did stealth lay offs.


Really? I haven't heard any word of this..... I'll have to do some digging. Thanks



http://abovethelaw.com/2009/01/nationwi ... to-boston/

For what's it worth, the numbers are small which to me suggests they were trimming some fat. This shouldn't really affect your decision.

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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the above poster, I would get the numbers for Goulston's offers last year, I know there were a few no offers.

I tend to agree with you on the Wilmer/Choate distinction. In Boston, its probably fungible prestige-wise. Although, I wonder if one really would be more work hours-wise than another. If Choate paid the same, yet had less hours, wouldn't people flock to that over other Boston firms? Why then would Wilmer Boston be more filled with top schools than Choate? Just from some calculated level of prestige?

Also, doubtful that GP is slightly better than WH in some respects even in Boston. I think GP tends to get overrated pretty easily. All around though, R&G seems to be the biggest Boston name. I see GP, WH, R&G as kind of the Boston trinity, with the others kind of lumped below.


I really think the reason people don't flock to Choate over WH is the prestige calculation you mentioned. A slightly less intense environment really doesn't offset the huge national prestige boost you would get at WH over Choate. Choate is not very well known nationally, but has been around in Boston forever and is a major player here.

GP boston is definitely more prestigious than WH boston in a bunch of areas. Look at chambers for comparisons:
http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/Firms/93081-36630 vs. http://www.chambersandpartners.com/usa/Firms/3620-36457
Again, this is because GP was a more highly regarded firm than Hale and Dorr in the old days. Now post merger, of course, WH is an overall better firm than GP, but I was really only comparing the two in terms of Boston offices and Boston exit options. Do you mean to say GP is overrated in Boston or nationally? I concede that of the "trinity" GP is the weakest nationally, but I think "overrated" is too strong. I would argue that if either one of these firms is overrated it is WH and not GP (at least in terms of vault rankings). But these are very subtle distinctions, and you are correct to lump the trinity together as roughly equivalent, with the others lumped below.
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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Blindmelon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:52 pm

Interesting.... all the firms are fantastic Boston firms.
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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:56 pm

.
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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Blindmelon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:.


Um. Butterflies and Fairydust?
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Re: Poll: Which Boston firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:59 pm

AP - you're probably right, its just hard to separate national v. local reputation. Damnit, I have no idea what I'm going to choose. Both fantastic options, going to come down to the wire.




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