Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

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Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

K&E
21
42%
Weil
9
18%
Cadwalader
2
4%
Debevoise
16
32%
Dewey
2
4%
 
Total votes: 50

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rayiner
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: Cadwalader.

It's not necessarily a matter of there being "good guys" or "bad guys." All firms are profit-focused. The real question to ask is: what makes a firm profitable and how does that affect you as an associate?

Someone did a study a while back and found that the #1 factor positively correlated with PPP is firm prestige. Leverage, etc, also contribute to increased PPP. The prestigious firms base their PPP on getting high-value work. Some firms are so prestigious (Wachtell, etc) they don't even need high leverage to get good PPP. When you work for such a firm, you at least have on thing working in your favor, which is that public and shameful treatment of the firm's associates are not in the firm's best interest (hurts prestige, hurts recruiting at prestigious schools).

At a place like Cadwalader, you don't even have that minimal bit of security. Cadwalader's profitability isn't built on prestige. It's built on medium-value work and insane leverage. That creates a problem for you as an associate.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:37 pm

rayiner wrote:Re: Cadwalader.

It's not necessarily a matter of there being "good guys" or "bad guys." All firms are profit-focused. The real question to ask is: what makes a firm profitable and how does that affect you as an associate?

Someone did a study a while back and found that the #1 factor positively correlated with PPP is firm prestige. Leverage, etc, also contribute to increased PPP. The prestigious firms base their PPP on getting high-value work. Some firms are so prestigious (Wachtell, etc) they don't even need high leverage to get good PPP. When you work for such a firm, you at least have on thing working in your favor, which is that public and shameful treatment of the firm's associates are not in the firm's best interest (hurts prestige, hurts recruiting at prestigious schools).

At a place like Cadwalader, you don't even have that minimal bit of security. Cadwalader's profitability isn't built on prestige. It's built on medium-value work and insane leverage. That creates a problem for you as an associate.


+1
never quite conceptualized it this way, but makes perfect sense.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:Regarding Dewey, if the layoffs and deferrals weren't a bad sign, the fact that I constantly hear associates bicker about their colleagues from the other firm pre-merger is bad enough.

As somebody who is strongly considering Dewey (I want to do corporate, probably M&A or project finance in the energy sector), would you mind providing some insight into the firm? I understand there are some issues with the firm integrating, but in terms of stability? I don't have V10-$2.30-million-PPP-firms on the table, but I liked the people I met at Dewey and think the firm might be a pretty good fit for the practice areas I'm interested in.

Apart from the general elitism that goes on here at TLS/ATL, is Dewey really that bad of a place to be? I'm not asking relative to Deb/Cleary/DPW, but if Dewey and similar V50 firms were your options - what would be your thoughts? They had layoffs like most firms, but gave 100% offers this summer and 63 of 64ish in 2009. They had some partner losses, but with the size of the firm being what it is - is that such a terrifying thing? I'm asking because reading threads like this leave me terribly worried, but I want to know how much of this is telling OP he's an idiot for considering Dewey when he has Deb/K&E on the table (which, for litigation, is understandable), and how much of this really reflects on Dewey's firm health.

Thanks in advance for the replies!


I think you really do need to look at it in terms of the 2007 merger and the reports of stealth layoffs that occurred in the following years (see, for example: http://abovethelaw.com/2009/02/nationwi ... king-cuts/). There has been a huge amount of tension due to the culture clash between legacy Dewey and legacy LeBoeuf, particularly obvious when you talk to associates.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:42 pm

Is anyone aware of any empirical research on the question of why clients choose their lawyers, and particularly why large institutional clients choose their firms?
More relevant to this website, any empirical research on the question of why law students choose their law firms (if there's a choice to be made), and particularly why star students choose their firms?
Last edited by yellowjacket2012 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby NYAssociate » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:44 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:47 pm

rayiner wrote:Re: Cadwalader.

It's not necessarily a matter of there being "good guys" or "bad guys." All firms are profit-focused. The real question to ask is: what makes a firm profitable and how does that affect you as an associate?

Someone did a study a while back and found that the #1 factor positively correlated with PPP is firm prestige. Leverage, etc, also contribute to increased PPP. The prestigious firms base their PPP on getting high-value work. Some firms are so prestigious (Wachtell, etc) they don't even need high leverage to get good PPP. When you work for such a firm, you at least have on thing working in your favor, which is that public and shameful treatment of the firm's associates are not in the firm's best interest (hurts prestige, hurts recruiting at prestigious schools).

At a place like Cadwalader, you don't even have that minimal bit of security. Cadwalader's profitability isn't built on prestige. It's built on medium-value work and insane leverage. That creates a problem for you as an associate.


But see Cravath. Very prestigious. Relatively low leverage (at least versus Cadwalader). Supposedly awful place to work.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby NYAssociate » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:47 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

spondee
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby spondee » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:48 pm

yellowjacket2012 wrote:Is anyone aware of any empirical research on the question of why clients choose their lawyers, and particularly why large institutional clients choose their firms?
More relevant to this website, any empirical research on the question of why law students choose their law firms (if there's a choice to be made), and particularly why star students choose their firms?


+1. Very interested in this sort of info.

rayiner wrote:Someone did a study a while back and found that the #1 factor positively correlated with PPP is firm prestige.


Do you remember where you saw this?

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:09 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
Is anyone aware of any empirical research on the question of why clients choose their lawyers, and particularly why large institutional clients choose their firms?
More relevant to this website, any empirical research on the question of why law students choose their law firms (if there's a choice to be made), and particularly why star students choose their firms?


Reputation, league tables, some rankings (no, Vault isn't one of them), relationships nurtured between partners and clients, geography.


Not to be a Cadwalder apologist, aren't they known for bringing in a bunch of big name partners (as in the above article), so shouldn't they be getting big clients and work?

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby NYAssociate » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:19 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:08 pm

spondee wrote:
yellowjacket2012 wrote:Is anyone aware of any empirical research on the question of why clients choose their lawyers, and particularly why large institutional clients choose their firms?
More relevant to this website, any empirical research on the question of why law students choose their law firms (if there's a choice to be made), and particularly why star students choose their firms?


+1. Very interested in this sort of info.

rayiner wrote:Someone did a study a while back and found that the #1 factor positively correlated with PPP is firm prestige.


Do you remember where you saw this?


Bill Henderson at Iowa has done a lot of empirical research in this area.

http://cdn.law.ucla.edu/SiteCollectionD ... derson.pdf

spondee
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby spondee » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:19 pm

rayiner wrote:Bill Henderson at Iowa has done a lot of empirical research in this area.

http://cdn.law.ucla.edu/SiteCollectionD ... derson.pdf


Thanks.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:08 pm

edcrane wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYAssociate wrote:For example, I would think Debevoise is a clear runaway over Weil, Dewey, or Cadwalader, even though their lit group isn't that spectacular. In this economy, job security means a lot. And your perceptions about job security influence your quality of life. OP listed as his factors, "QOL," and "prestige." Aside from quality of life, Cadwalader and Dewey are almost certainly not prestigious firms.


All the talk about job security at Deb makes me laugh. They were hit just as hard as other firms, except they did it on the DL. The particular way they let people go was inhumane - including telling someone at 5pm they were being let go, escorting them out with security, and sending them their belongings within the next couple weeks. This and gathering a bunch in a room and saying "it's over - take what you can and leave." Not particularly nice.


I wouldn't be surprised if they stealthed a bit (like DPW, S&C, etc.), but are you seriously suggesting the did so to an extent comparable to, for example, Cadwalader (~180 attorneys laid off)?

Seems like there has been a lot of anti-debevoise trolling on TLS lately.


It's not anti-firm-X trolling. It's people with inside experience who have worked at any of these firms telling you what the Vault guide and the firms' websites don't tell you.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
edcrane wrote:
Seems like there has been a lot of anti-debevoise trolling on TLS lately.


It's not anti-firm-X trolling. It's people with inside experience who have worked at any of these firms telling you what the Vault guide and the firms' websites don't tell you.


I am not the person who claimed trolling, but I am similarly confused. I talked to several current and former deb associates who were introduced to me by third parties (i.e., friends and coworkers from my 1L summer) and they said nothing of the sort. In fact, several claimed that they particularly appreciated that deb didn't lay anyone off.

I'm not saying that there weren't people counseled out - there very well may have been. But I feel like if it was common to have people escorted out by security someone would have said something about it.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's not anti-firm-X trolling. It's people with inside experience who have worked at any of these firms telling you what the Vault guide and the firms' websites don't tell you.


I'm not saying that the info provided is incorrect, but it doesn't square with what I've learned from associates and friends who summered there (and who have spoken with a lot more associates than me). I have to wonder whether all of these anon posts about Deb being the worst place to work have been made by a single poster.

Edit: Not meant to be anon--I'm the one who you originally responded to.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby NYAssociate » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:11 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:34 am

Not OP, but have a general question:

Vault has an "Hours" ranking for these firms, and Dewey comes in at #5. I know this is probably a stupid question, but should this really be read to mean that Dewey has decent QOL compared to many NYC firms? Are these rankings actually just pointless/arbitrary? Is this actually a sign that there isn't enough work to go around? While Dewey's gross revenue dropped in 2009, RPL increased 6.1% - so I'm not sure how to interpret this (apart from the obvious reality that there was a staff reduction, like at most firms).

Thanks!

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby IzziesGal » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP, but have a general question:

Vault has an "Hours" ranking for these firms, and Dewey comes in at #5. I know this is probably a stupid question, but should this really be read to mean that Dewey has decent QOL compared to many NYC firms? Are these rankings actually just pointless/arbitrary? Is this actually a sign that there isn't enough work to go around? While Dewey's gross revenue dropped in 2009, RPL increased 6.1% - so I'm not sure how to interpret this (apart from the obvious reality that there was a staff reduction, like at most firms).

Thanks!


I'm gonna go with pointless/arbitrary, considering Skadden is on this list.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby spondee » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:02 pm

Yeah, probably not a reflection of the number of hours worked (better to ask jr associates for that directly), but it may be a reflection of how associates feel about the number of hours worked. Not that it should be a determining factor in a decision, but helps to paint the whole picture.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:26 pm

So anything we're hearing is pretty much just rumors?

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:16 am

So Cadwalader's insane leverage has been mentioned, but how should we view the leverage ratios of the rest of these firms (data taken from NALP, excluding counsel)? Are K&E (and to a lesser extent, DL) the only ones that don't seem ridiculously leveraged? What seems to be a good leverage ratio when deciding between firms?

K&E
137 Partners
174 Associates
Ratio - 1:1.27

Weil
157 Partners
453 Associates
Ratio - 1:2.88

Cadwalader
69 Partners
226 Associates
Ratio - 1:4

Debevoise
106 Partners
384 Associates
Ratio - 1:3.62

Dewey
153 Partners
336 Associates
Ratio - 1:2.19

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rayiner
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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:So Cadwalader's insane leverage has been mentioned, but how should we view the leverage ratios of the rest of these firms (data taken from NALP, excluding counsel)? Are K&E (and to a lesser extent, DL) the only ones that don't seem ridiculously leveraged? What seems to be a good leverage ratio when deciding between firms?

K&E
137 Partners
174 Associates
Ratio - 1:1.27

Weil
157 Partners
453 Associates
Ratio - 1:2.88

Cadwalader
69 Partners
226 Associates
Ratio - 1:4

Debevoise
106 Partners
384 Associates
Ratio - 1:3.62

Dewey
153 Partners
336 Associates
Ratio - 1:2.19


Kirkland and Dewey's leverage looks lower because the "partner" stat there includes non-share partners. Debevoise and Weil don't have non-share partners.

Cadwalader's leverage has gotten more reasonable since they laid off tons of associates.

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202430308026

During the boom times, many firms leveraged their workforce with associates. At one point, Cadwalader, which threw itself into the structured finance arena, had a leverage ratio of 7.5 (determined by dividing the number of associates and nonequity partners by the number of equity partners). After associate layoffs, it lowered that ratio to 5.8, but its leverage is still higher than all the other firms in this group. The next most leveraged firms are Weil, Gotshal & Manges (5.5), Paul, Weiss (4.7), Schulte Roth & Zabel (4.3), and Cleary Gottlieb (4.2). The firms with the lowest leverage are Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sullivan & Cromwell, at 2.9.


Firms that haven't had huge layoffs (DPW, S&C, Kirkland, Debevoise) have probably seen their leverage go up a bit ITE due to reduced attrition.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2) Kirkland's IP used to be the biggest player in their overall litigation group, Desmarais was the #1 rainmaker, he's gone, so's another big time IP name, their "residual" client roster might be nice, but this doesn't bode well for a firm's litigation group overall when its most profitable department loses serious talent


And this is what makes me so sad. I can't go into details about which statements are wrong, and why. The fact that the above is wrong makes me sad because it just seems to me like you didn't do your research. And you still keep on conflating the IP group with the litigation group. I don't know why you're doing that.

Right, it's obvious you're not doing your homework. See, e.g., http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... temID=9692

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:10 am

Right, it's obvious you're not doing your homework. See, e.g., http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm ... temID=9692


I'm the anonymous you quoted above.

I think the other anonymous user's complaint was targeted toward K&E's hard IP litigation, rather than soft. But then again, if you want to get that specific, you might as well point out that all of the partner departures have been in the life sciences area (and there are still, yet, other partners in the practice who specialize in that, so it remains to be seen whether that specific areawill lose its luster). Aside from that, the other areas of hard IP lit are still pretty decently covered.

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Re: Poll for Lit: K&E, Weil, Cadwalader, Debevoise, or Dewey?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:18 am

OP - after all this, what's your decision??




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