Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

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Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Bingham (Summer Associate Class Size: 5-6)
9
39%
Ropes (Summer Associate Class Size: ~70)
14
61%
 
Total votes: 23

Anonymous User
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Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:03 am

Thoughts? I like both firms, but here are my concerns regarding each:

Ropes: Huge summer class may mean more layoffs are in store, and/or that they're not really focusing on grooming each individual candidate for growth potential within the firm. Benefits: It's Boston, it's Ropes. Also, exit options.

Bingham: It's still Boston, and it's not Ropes. Less mobility, potentially worse exit options, slightly lower-level work. Benefits: TINY summer class may imply greater job security and individual attention. With only 5-6 entering first years, each will likely receive substantive work earlier in his or her career.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:15 am

4th in Boston v. 1st. To the prestige-monger, this is easy, except having such a small class size is a huge huge plus. You can't go wrong either way, but I personally would lean towards Bingham (even though I'm not a huge fan of the vibe, I liked the people), only because Ropes is known for grinding people for hours, and you're going to be less of a fungible commodity if you're only 1 of 5 people. Seems like you would have better opportunities to get to know your bosses better/push for more substantive work. That being said, Bingham got killed ITE and Ropes seems to be on the upswing. Tough choice.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:16 am

seems to me that a class of 5-6, ITE, will probably lead to 5-6 associates. i'd go with bingham.

are you thinking lit or corporate?

and of course, do you prefer the back bay or the financial district?

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:seems to me that a class of 5-6, ITE, will probably lead to 5-6 associates. i'd go with bingham.

are you thinking lit or corporate?

and of course, do you prefer the back bay or the financial district?


Thinking corporate, but open to lit possibilities.

No real preference for Back Bay vs. Financial.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:26 am

Can't go wrong either way. Might as well go Ropes for prestige, and a bigger summer class will be more fun too. If you think you're hired out of SA either way, I see no reason to go with Bingham. You're going to work a ton with both, and Ropes crushes the Boston scene. I hear they're moving to the Prudential in a few weeks, and going "paperless"... that should be interesting.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:12 pm

Did Bingham hire all 2010 summers? If I was making this decision, I would go with Ropes. Ropes seems like a more prestigious Bingham--you will doing the same amount of work at either place.

If you were deciding between Ropes and one of the smaller Boston firms (Choate, Foley, Nutter, etc) there might be more factors to consider, but Bingham and Ropes seem so similar in many respects that I would go with the prestige.

Although Back Bay location is less convenient.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:20 pm

Ropes is in trouble from what I hear...

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Bosque
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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Bosque » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:32 pm

I don't think I would go with Ropes. A 70+ SA class is never a good thing for the summers. Beyond the very real danger of getting lost in the crowd, the more SA there are, the greater chance that some might get no offered not because of their work, but because of the firm just not having enough spots.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ropes is in trouble from what I hear...


Care to share more on this?

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:38 pm

Bosque wrote:I don't think I would go with Ropes. A 70+ SA class is never a good thing for the summers. Beyond the very real danger of getting lost in the crowd, the more SA there are, the greater chance that some might get no offered not because of their work, but because of the firm just not having enough spots.


True generally, but this is Ropes. In 2009, they had 113 SAs in their Boston office. 112 got offers. In 2010, they had 82 SAs firm-wide, and they gave offers to all 82. In fact, "[i]n the last nine summer programs, 99.7% of the 1019 summer associates in those programs received full-time offers . . . ." (http://www.ropesgrayhiring.com/pages/join/summer.htm)

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby rcb5142 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:19 pm

Ropes is moving to the prudential building which I don't like very much and it is hard to get to, but with your corp. interests I would go with Ropes. They are the top firm around here but very different feel than Bingham.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:56 pm

rcb5142 wrote:Ropes is moving to the prudential building which I don't like very much and it is hard to get to, but with your corp. interests I would go with Ropes. They are the top firm around here but very different feel than Bingham.


Could you summarize the difference in feel?

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:02 pm

All of my interviewers at Ropes were self-important, status-obsessed tools. I know two people from my law school who went to Ropes who think they are god's gift to the law.

That said, the Ropes brand will take you far, and if I get an offer, I'm taking it (at least for a couple of years--most associates leave pretty early on).

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:28 pm

The summer class size reasoning is silly. Plenty of firms trimmed their summer class back last year and still went 3/5 on offers. Bingham went 14/22! Cut '10 class in half to 11, and had to cut '11 class half again to 5-6?

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Qwerty123 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:30 pm

rayiner wrote:The summer class size reasoning is silly. Plenty of firms trimmed their summer class back last year and still went 3/5 on offers. Bingham went 14/22! Cut '10 class in half to 11, and had to cut '11 class half again to 5-6?


Bingham went 14/22 in summer 2010 or 2009?

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rayiner
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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:33 pm

Qwerty123 wrote:
rayiner wrote:The summer class size reasoning is silly. Plenty of firms trimmed their summer class back last year and still went 3/5 on offers. Bingham went 14/22! Cut '10 class in half to 11, and had to cut '11 class half again to 5-6?


Bingham went 14/22 in summer 2010 or 2009?


Last year = 2009.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:42 am

I'm not going to advise you on your decision, but I do want to emphasize that going to Ropes is the safer decision with regard to landing a job offer. Here is the evidence:

2009 Summer program (NALP forms):
Ropes: 112 offers to 113 summers
Bingham: 14 offers to 22 summers

2010: Summer program
Ropes: 82 offers to 82 summers MIDWAY throught the summer (above the law)
Bingham: As of early September, the firm hadn't decided how many of its 43 summers will get offers.(http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202472947315)

Ropes has a 99.7% offer rate to summer associates (website). Here's the Bingham perspective- "We told them all this is a 10-week job interview," says Bingham national director of legal recruiting Ari Katz, "and that a job offer wasn't theirs to lose. They had to earn it." (law.com-http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202472947315)

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:41 pm

I have to preface my answer by saying that I previously summered at Ropes. That said, it's a great firm and if I was to do it all over again, I'd choose Ropes. The feel of the summer program is much different from Bingham, at least based on the public quotes. Although Ropes summers didn't get permanent offers halfway through the summer (that's slightly exaggerated), we all got offers before our program ended. We were told from the first day that they anticipated making 100% offers which put people at ease from the beginning.

If you're interested in corporate, Ropes is fantastic, especially in PE work. Then again, their lit practice is very busy so either way, you will have work.

It's a big firm so there will be some people you don't like. Even having a smaller SA class, there were people I didn't really like. That said, I also met some incredible people that will be my support system and friends as we move into our careers, and mentors who can help me become a better attorney.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:31 pm

Absolutely a no brainer. Ropes. You will get an offer. You may not at Bingham. Take the f'n job. It is brutal out there (graduated, have job at big firm but rest of friends are f'd)

There is not a time to get mushy/feely about the firm. You want an offer and you want good exit options. The rest almost shouldn't matter.

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Re: Another "Which Boston Firm" Poll

Postby Kochel » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:50 pm

As a former Ropes lawyer now working in-house, who works regularly with both Bingham and Ropes, I'd say go with Ropes. While Ropes has expanded rapidly over the past several years, it has done so mostly organically (except for buying Fish & Neave). Bingham, by contrast, has simply exploded and is completely unrecognizable from the former sleepy firm Bingham Dana & Gould. Even though its summer class in Boston is much smaller than Ropes's, it's still a behemoth-size international firm that hasn't quite learned how to manae its size. Both firms have wide expertise, but Ropes has more areas where it's a recognized leader (private equity, investment management, IP) than Bingham. And in Boston, Ropes wins hands-down for recognition within the legal community.




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