Best Phoenix firm?

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Which firm is best/most prestigious in Phoenix?

Bryan Cave
4
5%
Fennemore Craig
10
13%
Gallagher & Kennedy
4
5%
Lewis & Roca
3
4%
Osborn Maledon
7
9%
Perkins Coie
9
12%
Quarles & Brady
6
8%
Snell & Wilmer
24
32%
Squire Sanders
0
No votes
Other (DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig, Steptoe, Ballard Spahr)
8
11%
 
Total votes: 75

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Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:45 pm

I'm curious which firm is best in Phoenix - not which is the best firm who happens to be in Phoenix, but which firm has the best Phoenix office?

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Everything I've heard is that in small markets like Phoenix, the biggest/best firm BASED in that city is going to be better than the 15-20-person offices of the more theoretically prestigious NYC-based V[N] firms for the most part. Accordingly, if you are 100% sure you want to make your career in PHX, I'd go with Snell & Wilmer. If you might move to another market and are concerned with exit options, DLA, Perkins or Greenberg might be the better choice.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:16 pm

Osborn Maledon tends to get the crem de la crem of the national talent that comes to PHX (seriously, check them out, many of those guys and gals would not be out of place at a V10). Also, Gammage and Burnham. Most people at ASU (as opposed to a T-14) would probably tell you Snell tho. I think the difference is that OM and G & B tend to focus on recruiting top national talent while also recruiting some local while Snell tends to do the opposite.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think the difference is that OM and G & B tend to focus on recruiting top national talent while also recruiting some local while Snell tends to do the opposite.


Not anymore, though. OM and G&B have had some truly TTT-level summer classes over the last 2-3 years. Yes, OM and G&B traditionally get people with the best paper credentials, but over the last few years they've basically only hired judicial clerks.

If you're a 2L the best you can do in Phoenix is probably Snell, Fennemore, or Lewis & Roca. I would go Snell for corp/tax/BK, Fennemore for environmental/RE, Lewis & Roca for general lit. Snell probably has the best breadth of practice (and lay prestige, FWIW). They're also doing remarkably well given the terrible state of the Arizona economy and the state of other Phoenix firms. Fennemore is doing well and chugging along like the very stable firm that it is. I hear that Lewis & Roca is not doing very well. Most of the other Phoenix-based firms have virtually shut down hiring 2Ls for the time being (see: RCA, G&K, JS&S, etc.). If you don't get one of the Big 3 (S&W, FC, L&R) the only other "BigLaw" option these days is a national firm's Phoenix office.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think the difference is that OM and G & B tend to focus on recruiting top national talent while also recruiting some local while Snell tends to do the opposite.


Not anymore, though. OM and G&B have had some truly TTT-level summer classes over the last 2-3 years. Yes, OM and G&B traditionally get people with the best paper credentials, but over the last few years they've basically only hired judicial clerks.

If you're a 2L the best you can do in Phoenix is probably Snell, Fennemore, or Lewis & Roca. I would go Snell for corp/tax/BK, Fennemore for environmental/RE, Lewis & Roca for general lit. Snell probably has the best breadth of practice (and lay prestige, FWIW). They're also doing remarkably well given the terrible state of the Arizona economy and the state of other Phoenix firms. Fennemore is doing well and chugging along like the very stable firm that it is. I hear that Lewis & Roca is not doing very well. Most of the other Phoenix-based firms have virtually shut down hiring 2Ls for the time being (see: RCA, G&K, JS&S, etc.). If you don't get one of the Big 3 (S&W, FC, L&R) the only other "BigLaw" option these days is a national firm's Phoenix office.


Advantages and disadvantage of going with a local branch of a national firm?

Differences in hiring criteria?

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think the difference is that OM and G & B tend to focus on recruiting top national talent while also recruiting some local while Snell tends to do the opposite.


Not anymore, though. OM and G&B have had some truly TTT-level summer classes over the last 2-3 years. Yes, OM and G&B traditionally get people with the best paper credentials, but over the last few years they've basically only hired judicial clerks.

If you're a 2L the best you can do in Phoenix is probably Snell, Fennemore, or Lewis & Roca. I would go Snell for corp/tax/BK, Fennemore for environmental/RE, Lewis & Roca for general lit. Snell probably has the best breadth of practice (and lay prestige, FWIW). They're also doing remarkably well given the terrible state of the Arizona economy and the state of other Phoenix firms. Fennemore is doing well and chugging along like the very stable firm that it is. I hear that Lewis & Roca is not doing very well. Most of the other Phoenix-based firms have virtually shut down hiring 2Ls for the time being (see: RCA, G&K, JS&S, etc.). If you don't get one of the Big 3 (S&W, FC, L&R) the only other "BigLaw" option these days is a national firm's Phoenix office.


Advantages and disadvantage of going with a local branch of a national firm?

Differences in hiring criteria?


Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think the difference is that OM and G & B tend to focus on recruiting top national talent while also recruiting some local while Snell tends to do the opposite.


Not anymore, though. OM and G&B have had some truly TTT-level summer classes over the last 2-3 years. Yes, OM and G&B traditionally get people with the best paper credentials, but over the last few years they've basically only hired judicial clerks.

If you're a 2L the best you can do in Phoenix is probably Snell, Fennemore, or Lewis & Roca. I would go Snell for corp/tax/BK, Fennemore for environmental/RE, Lewis & Roca for general lit. Snell probably has the best breadth of practice (and lay prestige, FWIW). They're also doing remarkably well given the terrible state of the Arizona economy and the state of other Phoenix firms. Fennemore is doing well and chugging along like the very stable firm that it is. I hear that Lewis & Roca is not doing very well. Most of the other Phoenix-based firms have virtually shut down hiring 2Ls for the time being (see: RCA, G&K, JS&S, etc.). If you don't get one of the Big 3 (S&W, FC, L&R) the only other "BigLaw" option these days is a national firm's Phoenix office.


Advantages and disadvantage of going with a local branch of a national firm?

Differences in hiring criteria?


I don't know about differences in hiring criteria. My completely uninformed guess would be that the national firms go deeper into classes but not as deep into law schools (i.e. no hiring outside of T20 + ASU/UA)

Advantages:
Higher pay for associates, and (I'm guessing) those who make partner
Working on bigger, more national cases/deals

Disadvantages:
Lower partnership prospects
Higher hours, generally
With the exception of Quarles & Brady, whose Phoenix office is one of their top offices, you're working at a small, relatively unimportant satellite office
None of the national firms in Phoenix are particularly prestigious
The Phoenix-based firms seem more plugged in to the local community

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm curious which firm is best in Phoenix - not which is the best firm who happens to be in Phoenix, but which firm has the best Phoenix office?


As far as the firms based in Phoenix, it's definitely between Snell and Fennemore. Lewis & Roca may have been up there, but, like the other guy says, they've not been doing too hot, and I think they even shut down their SA program for awhile.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm curious which firm is best in Phoenix - not which is the best firm who happens to be in Phoenix, but which firm has the best Phoenix office?


As far as the firms based in Phoenix, it's definitely between Snell and Fennemore. Lewis & Roca may have been up there, but, like the other guy says, they've not been doing too hot, and I think they even shut down their SA program for awhile.


NALP says they're going to have 8 2L SAs this summer.

Phoenix firms (ranked on # of 2L SAs):

Fennemore Craig - 9
Snell & Wilmer - 8
Lewis & Roca - 8
Perkins Coie - 5
Bryan Cave - 2
Gammage & Burnham - 2
Greenberg Traurig - 2
Polsinelli Shughart - 2
Steptoe & Johnson - 2
Osborn Maledon - 1
Quarles & Brady - unknown according to NALP, but I'm almost positive they have at 1 or 2
Squire Sanders - 0/unknown
Ballard Spahr - 0
Gust Rosenfeld - 0
Tiffany & Bosco - 0 (I believe they do most of their hiring post-grad now)
Jennings Strouss - 0 (old solid MidLaw firm that is now virtually imploding - they had 3 first year associates last year and have already laid them all off)
DLA Piper - 0 (but they never have any)

So there you have it. Roughly ~40 2L SA positions at big-ish firms in Phoenix this summer, and well over half of them are at the Big 3. If you know someone going to an Arizona law school and counting on "MidLaw" being an option, please direct them to this thread.

Another interesting tidbit: everyone has apparently followed S&W's lead and is now paying 115k to first years, up from 100k-110k last year.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm curious which firm is best in Phoenix - not which is the best firm who happens to be in Phoenix, but which firm has the best Phoenix office?


As far as the firms based in Phoenix, it's definitely between Snell and Fennemore. Lewis & Roca may have been up there, but, like the other guy says, they've not been doing too hot, and I think they even shut down their SA program for awhile.


NALP says they're going to have 8 2L SAs this summer.

Phoenix firms (ranked on # of 2L SAs):

Fennemore Craig - 9
Snell & Wilmer - 8
Lewis & Roca - 8
Perkins Coie - 5
Bryan Cave - 2
Gammage & Burnham - 2
Greenberg Traurig - 2
Polsinelli Shughart - 2
Steptoe & Johnson - 2
Osborn Maledon - 1
Quarles & Brady - unknown according to NALP, but I'm almost positive they have at 1 or 2
Squire Sanders - 0/unknown
Ballard Spahr - 0
Gust Rosenfeld - 0
Tiffany & Bosco - 0 (I believe they do most of their hiring post-grad now)
Jennings Strouss - 0 (old solid MidLaw firm that is now virtually imploding - they had 3 first year associates last year and have already laid them all off)
DLA Piper - 0 (but they never have any)

So there you have it. Roughly ~40 2L SA positions at big-ish firms in Phoenix this summer, and well over half of them are at the Big 3. If you know someone going to an Arizona law school and counting on "MidLaw" being an option, please direct them to this thread.

Another interesting tidbit: everyone has apparently followed S&W's lead and is now paying 115k to first years, up from 100k-110k last year.


I am an ASU student. I can tell you that Quarles will have at least 2 SAs this coming summer. Also, Tiffany & Bosco will have two SAs this summer. There are a few other firms in Phoenix not on this list that did OCI and either hired or made offers to ASU students.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 3:19 am

Interesting that Fennemore has more SAs than Snell. I thought Fennemore was the smaller and more conservative (in terms of hiring) of the two. At least that's the perception at ASU.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 3:23 am

Anyone know about Brownstein Hyatt Farber Scheck? I know they just opened a PHX office. Any SAs this year?

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 3:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Interesting that Fennemore has more SAs than Snell. I thought Fennemore was the smaller and more conservative (in terms of hiring) of the two. At least that's the perception at ASU.


This has been my understanding, too. I can't remember a single year when Snell did not have the most SAs in Phoenix.

I was told back in the fall that Fennemore was only looking for around six or seven SAs for 2011, so perhaps they had an unusually high number of people accept SA offers.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 3:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know about Brownstein Hyatt Farber Scheck? I know they just opened a PHX office. Any SAs this year?


Considering they have like 10 people in the office, probably not.

They aren't going to be that competitive with other firms as far as getting SAs, given their low pay and the fact that they are an unknown quantity in Phoenix.

legaleagle9
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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby legaleagle9 » Sat May 21, 2011 3:16 pm

just wondering: would UT be the best school to attend if you want Phoenix BigLaw? Because of its Southwest location? or would ASU still be better?

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 21, 2011 4:08 pm

legaleagle9 wrote:just wondering: would UT be the best school to attend if you want Phoenix BigLaw? Because of its Southwest location? or would ASU still be better?


UT isn't the BEST school for Phoenix BigLaw - Yale, Harvard, Stanford, the rest of the T14, etc. are all better. However, UT and Vanderbilt both do very well in Phoenix. If you have strong AZ ties and are in the top 1/3 at UT, then getting a job at a big Phoenix firm shouldn't be much of a problem. If you're below median it might still be possible. At ASU you basically have no chance unless you're in the top 10%, and even then it's a crapshoot.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 5:38 pm

Shit, Brownstein Hyatt? I interviewed for one of their other offices. Their official position was that the summer experience was basically just a temp job without even the ghost of a guarantee for a post-law school offer. Once I learned that, I burned the rest of the interview. What a TTT firm.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
legaleagle9 wrote:just wondering: would UT be the best school to attend if you want Phoenix BigLaw? Because of its Southwest location? or would ASU still be better?


UT isn't the BEST school for Phoenix BigLaw - Yale, Harvard, Stanford, the rest of the T14, etc. are all better. However, UT and Vanderbilt both do very well in Phoenix. If you have strong AZ ties and are in the top 1/3 at UT, then getting a job at a big Phoenix firm shouldn't be much of a problem. If you're below median it might still be possible. At ASU you basically have no chance unless you're in the top 10%, and even then it's a crapshoot.


There are surprisingly VERY few UT Law grads in PHX. I'm not sure why, but maybe there's really just not a whole lot of cross-migration between Arizona and Texas. A ton of transplanted Arizonans seem to come from the Midwest, with smaller contingents coming from California and the Northeast.

Check out the att'y bios on the big PHX firms' websites (Snell, Fennemore, etc) to see what I'm talking about. Not many Longhorns out there.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:25 pm

It isn't about the number of grads that end up in Phoenix, it is about the respect the school gets. UT is respected in Phoenix.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:38 pm

The best firm on this list is the one that offers you a job ITE.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It isn't about the number of grads that end up in Phoenix, it is about the respect the school gets. UT is respected in Phoenix.


You're right; I wasn't implying that UT isn't respected in PHX.

On the broader theme of this thread, I guess the consensus is that Snell is the leading PHX firm. However, the perception among AZ law students is that it doesn't quite have the favorable work/life balance which Fennemore is rumored to have. Quarles seems to be a bit more of a wildcard, as I think it's smaller than Snell and Fennemore.

Correct me if I'm wrong?

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:12 pm

Fennemore might have a more popular reputation among the younger generation because they are more open/transparent with the way they run their firm and letting associates be heard about their opinions on running the firm. Snell, arguably the better firm because they have better clients (something like all of the public companies in AZ go to Snell), is known for being less open with their compensation and the decisions made by the firm's few partners that are in charge. Snell also requires you to wear a suit every day to the office. A good thing if you're Barney Stinson, but not so much if you're more like Ted Mosby.

2 great firms, but definitely some differences between them. I'm sure there's more than that, but those are just a few that I've heard more than a few times from different people in the Phoenix legal market.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It isn't about the number of grads that end up in Phoenix, it is about the respect the school gets. UT is respected in Phoenix.


You're right; I wasn't implying that UT isn't respected in PHX.

On the broader theme of this thread, I guess the consensus is that Snell is the leading PHX firm. However, the perception among AZ law students is that it doesn't quite have the favorable work/life balance which Fennemore is rumored to have. Quarles seems to be a bit more of a wildcard, as I think it's smaller than Snell and Fennemore.

Correct me if I'm wrong?


It is a mixed bag. Snell is probably the best law firm for a client and generally attracts better clients. You are better off viewing Phoenix firms as tiers of quality rather than V50 styled lists. T1- Snell, Lewis and Roca, Fennemore, Osborn Maledon, Gammage and Burnham T2- "National firms" like Byran Cave, Perkins Coie, Quarles and Brady, Ballard Spahr. T3- other mid size local firms. This is just a very generic view, but the idea is to remember that it really doesn't matter if you pick Snell over Fennemore or vice versa.

Snell is something of a sweatshop, have a habit of hiring girls based on bra size, and it sheds senior associates like it is going out of style. This doesn't even mention the non-equity "partner" track they have (which most new associates will be in line for). Fennemore and Lewis and Roca both pulled that non-equity bullshit too. Basically none of the phoenix firms will work you like biglaw NYC or something. Snell is probably the most aggressive with requiring time, but most ask for 1800 or 1900 billed.

Which firms do you have callbacks at? I can offer some insight that has a moderate degree of credibility.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It isn't about the number of grads that end up in Phoenix, it is about the respect the school gets. UT is respected in Phoenix.


You're right; I wasn't implying that UT isn't respected in PHX.

On the broader theme of this thread, I guess the consensus is that Snell is the leading PHX firm. However, the perception among AZ law students is that it doesn't quite have the favorable work/life balance which Fennemore is rumored to have. Quarles seems to be a bit more of a wildcard, as I think it's smaller than Snell and Fennemore.

Correct me if I'm wrong?


It is a mixed bag. Snell is probably the best law firm for a client and generally attracts better clients. You are better off viewing Phoenix firms as tiers of quality rather than V50 styled lists. T1- Snell, Lewis and Roca, Fennemore, Osborn Maledon, Gammage and Burnham T2- "National firms" like Byran Cave, Perkins Coie, Quarles and Brady, Ballard Spahr. T3- other mid size local firms. This is just a very generic view, but the idea is to remember that it really doesn't matter if you pick Snell over Fennemore or vice versa.

Snell is something of a sweatshop, have a habit of hiring girls based on bra size, and it sheds senior associates like it is going out of style. This doesn't even mention the non-equity "partner" track they have (which most new associates will be in line for). Fennemore and Lewis and Roca both pulled that non-equity bullshit too. Basically none of the phoenix firms will work you like biglaw NYC or something. Snell is probably the most aggressive with requiring time, but most ask for 1800 or 1900 billed.

Which firms do you have callbacks at? I can offer some insight that has a moderate degree of credibility.


So, Snell, Fennemore, and L&R all have non-equity partner tracks? Any idea as to about how many partners are actually (equity) partners?

desertlaw
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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby desertlaw » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:30 pm

When I saw L&R, I instantly thought of Lerner & Rowe.


"Lerner and Rowe, is the way to go, call 977-0900" that will probably be in your head the rest of the day.

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Re: Best Phoenix firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
So, Snell, Fennemore, and L&R all have non-equity partner tracks? Any idea as to about how many partners are actually (equity) partners?



Yes. All of them have MORE non-equity partners than equity partners. That right there tells you that you are not going to be an equity partner.

The equity partner track is also shorter. It is designed to attract senior associates who steal clients from their former firms. It is not designed for new associates. If you work at one of those places welcome to the world of non-equity.

Read their NALP forms. It sort of explains it if you cut through their obfuscation.




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