Corporate or Litigation and OCI

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
logan
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:46 pm

Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby logan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:50 pm

At what point does one need to decide whether they want to pursue corporate or litigation? I'm interested in both and can't say for sure which I'd prefer until actually practicing. Do firms typically allow you to rotate through both general areas, or is it better to know which you plan to do before OCI?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:31 pm

A very few firms make you pick early. Other firms only do one or the other, so obviously you'll be implying a choice at the interview. It makes sense to have thought about it, but at large firms with big summer classes not being sure is common and acceptable.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:53 pm

thesealocust wrote:A very few firms make you pick early. Other firms only do one or the other, so obviously you'll be implying a choice at the interview. It makes sense to have thought about it, but at large firms with big summer classes not being sure is common and acceptable.


Would there be any adverse effects to somebody, for example, stressing to Williams Connolly about his/her strong desire to get into appellate litigation (and how much more you think you would enjoy that than other things), but then turning around and telling Wachtell about how much you want to do M&A work (and how you don't think really anything else would do it for you).

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:01 pm

Helmholtz wrote:Would there be any adverse effects to [strategy]


Nope. Just don't outright lie - you tell lit firms you want to do lit, don't tell lit firms you would sooner kill your own mother than do transactional.

Likewise for markets. Don't tell the Chicago firm you aren't interviewing in CA if you actually are, but don't feel obligated to speak at length about your recent CA callback when you could instead talk about your interest in Chicago.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:07 pm

I've noticed that on average litigation departments tend to be smaller than corporate departments (at least if you group everything that's not litigation into "corporate," which I guess is a bit fallacious depending on the firm). Litigation departments seem to average about 30% of personnel at the firm. Does this make litigation more competitive, or is it really just not a big deal what you tell them you want to do, as long as it's reasonable and they it's something they actually do?

Also, in a similar vein, I've noticed that litigation departments tend to have more leverage than corporate. Does this make the partner track more competitive (which is obviously already a long shot)?

logan
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:46 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby logan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:A very few firms make you pick early. Other firms only do one or the other, so obviously you'll be implying a choice at the interview. It makes sense to have thought about it, but at large firms with big summer classes not being sure is common and acceptable.


So at those firms which do both, do you get summer assignments in both, or do you have to take assignments in one area once there? Or does this also depend on the firm?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:24 pm

Bronte: this varies dramatically by geography and firm. Many NYC firms are 60-70% transactional / corporate. Many DC firms are only like 10-20% corporate, if that.

Logan: While it depends, very few firms with substantial corporate + lit programs force you to choose before your summer, meaning you can - either via rotation or discrete assignments - try both. To my knowledge most firms make you choose at least lit vs. corp before you start full time. Cravath advertises itself as an exception (i.e. choose one side and interview accordingly), but I've heard of people asking to mix corporate / lit during the summer there too.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:29 pm

thesealocust wrote:Bronte: this varies dramatically by geography and firm. Many NYC firms are 60-70% transactional / corporate. Many DC firms are only like 10-20% corporate, if that.


Yeah sorry I should have added that I'm looking almost exclusively at NYC.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:32 pm

Bronte wrote:I've noticed that on average litigation departments tend to be smaller than corporate departments (at least if you group everything that's not litigation into "corporate," which I guess is a bit fallacious depending on the firm). Litigation departments seem to average about 30% of personnel at the firm. Does this make litigation more competitive, or is it really just not a big deal what you tell them you want to do, as long as it's reasonable and they it's something they actually do?

Also, in a similar vein, I've noticed that litigation departments tend to have more leverage than corporate. Does this make the partner track more competitive (which is obviously already a long shot)?


Outside of the really, truly massive summer classes, the size of the department doesn't matter; it's how busy they happen to be at the time. If a firm is 70% real estate finance, and there's no work, you're better off trying to get into the 3 person tax dept. that's busy.

Some firms care what you say you want to do, the vast majority do not. You'll end up where they need you.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm

For the Wall Street NYC firms, the litigation groups are mostly service groups for the corporate department. This means that, for the most part, a lot of the work they do involves work arising from disputes related to deals they're doing. Though they used to originate their own litigation work, I see this occurring a lot less frequently. Some exception is that the banks will still resort to the Wall Street firms for litigation independent of dealmaking. An example is the lawsuits against Goldman Sachs (they turned to S&C). Another exception is the NYC megafirm, Paul Weiss. They originate a lot of litigation work, though they've also recently developed an amazing corporate practice. The final exception I can think of is Debevoise, which has a very substantial white collar practice.

But if you want the really cool, trial-worthy litigations, there are other firms worth looking at. The obvious contenders are those in DC, Quinn, Boies, Kirkland, and maybe a few others. I've seen Gibson Dunn popping up very frequently in high profile trials, and they seem to be developing a litigation team that's quite strong. I think Kasowitz Benson and Patterson Belknap are also great places to be a litigator.

Morgan12Oak
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:59 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Morgan12Oak » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:35 pm

doesn't it help to go into an interview and say you're interested in litigation or transactional and explain why?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:36 pm

+1 to everything seriouslyinformative wrote. As an amusing aside, Quinn NYC (and others I'm sure) seem to spend a lot of time suing banks, which big corporate firms could never do due to conflict of interest rules.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:39 pm

Quinn NYC (and others I'm sure) seem to spend a lot of time suing banks


Yup. And as a rule (I think Boies Schiller has a similar one), Quinn doesn't do work for banks precisely because they want to be able to sue them.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:40 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote:For the Wall Street NYC firms, the litigation groups are mostly service groups for the corporate department. This means that, for the most part, a lot of the work they do involves work arising from disputes related to deals they're doing. Though they used to originate their own litigation work, I see this occurring a lot less frequently. Some exception is that the banks will still resort to the Wall Street firms for litigation independent of dealmaking. An example is the lawsuits against Goldman Sachs (they turned to S&C). Another exception is the NYC megafirm, Paul Weiss. They originate a lot of litigation work, though they've also recently developed an amazing corporate practice. The final exception I can think of is Debevoise, which has a very substantial white collar practice.

But if you want the really cool, trial-worthy litigations, there are other firms worth looking at. The obvious contenders are those in DC, Quinn, Boies, Kirkland, and maybe a few others. I've seen Gibson Dunn popping up very frequently in high profile trials, and they seem to be developing a litigation team that's quite strong. I think Kasowitz Benson and Patterson Belknap are also great places to be a litigator.


But what if your first and foremost concern is just getting a job? And if you're interested in securities litigation? Even with strong credentials, it seems pretty risky to apply to the best litigation firms in a range of cities. Goes without saying, but Boies, W&C, Kirkland, etc. are all really selective, and then you're spreading yourself between markets.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:44 pm

ut what if your first and foremost concern is just getting a job?


If you're willing to pander to what's hiring more, my money is on corporate. Despite the economy being as crappy as it is, companies have built up massive chests of money and they have to spend it. Corporate departments at top firms have been booming as of late, and I really don't see that ending anytime soon. Yes, the capital/credit markets aren't in the best shape, but you really need a huge catastrophe for something to happen. Don't really see any such thing happening anytime soon. There could be another slowdown, but nothing to the scale of 2008-2009.

And if you're interested in securities litigation?


I'd focus on the Wall Street firms' litigation departments, since this seems to be their bread and butter. I'm not sure how you can be interested in securities litigation, though. Almost none of the cases go to trial, it's always the same old crap, and the doc review is the absolute worst. But if that's what you want, the Wall Street firms and Paul Weiss are your best bet.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:46 pm

it seems pretty risky to apply to the best litigation firms in a range of cities. Goes without saying, but Boies, W&C, Kirkland, etc. are all really selective, and then you're spreading yourself between markets.


This is what makes wanting to be a litigator more challenging than wanting to be a corporate associate. To get the sort of experience you want as a litigator, you have to be willing to spread yourself a bit thin. That said, Kirkland, Patterson Belknap, Kasowitz Benson, and Gibson Dunn aren't that selective. If you don't have the grades for at least one of them, you have bigger things to worry about than wanting to join a good litigation firm.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:47 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote:For the Wall Street NYC firms, the litigation groups are mostly service groups for the corporate department. This means that, for the most part, a lot of the work they do involves work arising from disputes related to deals they're doing. Though they used to originate their own litigation work, I see this occurring a lot less frequently. Some exception is that the banks will still resort to the Wall Street firms for litigation independent of dealmaking. An example is the lawsuits against Goldman Sachs (they turned to S&C). Another exception is the NYC megafirm, Paul Weiss. They originate a lot of litigation work, though they've also recently developed an amazing corporate practice. The final exception I can think of is Debevoise, which has a very substantial white collar practice.

But if you want the really cool, trial-worthy litigations, there are other firms worth looking at. The obvious contenders are those in DC, Quinn, Boies, Kirkland, and maybe a few others. I've seen Gibson Dunn popping up very frequently in high profile trials, and they seem to be developing a litigation team that's quite strong. I think Kasowitz Benson and Patterson Belknap are also great places to be a litigator.


Yeah... This is pretty much nonsense, and for several reasons. Richard Clary in not in service Cravath's dealmakers, nor is Even Chesler. Hell, Cadwalader brought in Lou Solomon to save the firm from the dealmakers. I mean, pick a list, any list of top securities litigation firms, and tell me who's on it.

I'm not saying that the lit-only (or lit-mostly) firms aren't good, and they're arguably a better bet for an incoming associate who knows she wants to litigate. But the idea that there aren't serious, hardcore litigators at the White Shoe firms is absurd.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Richard Clary in not in service Cravath's dealmakers, nor is the Even Chesler.


Oh right, I forgot about Cravath. Thanks for adding that in. You're totally right. Cravath is easily also just an amazing litigation firm, independent of their corporate practice. The firm hasn't been doing so well as of late, however.

Hell, Cadwalader brought in Lou Solomon to save the firm from the dealmakers. I mean, pick a list, any list of top securities litigation firms, and tell me who's on it.


Eh, I really don't care to consider Cadwalader. No associate who has other options should consider working there. I was talking mostly about the top law firms.

I'm not saying that the lit-only (or lit-mostly) firms aren't good, and they're arguably a better bet for an incoming associate who knows she wants to litigate. But the idea that there aren't serious, hardcore litigators at the White Shoe firms is absurd.


I never said that. My claim was simply that, for a litigation associate at these White Shoe firms, around 70%-80% of their work will be disputes related to dealmaking.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:52 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote:
ut what if your first and foremost concern is just getting a job?


If you're willing to pander to what's hiring more, my money is on corporate. Despite the economy being as crappy as it is, companies have built up massive chests of money and they have to spend it. Corporate departments at top firms have been booming as of late, and I really don't see that ending anytime soon. Yes, the capital/credit markets aren't in the best shape, but you really need a huge catastrophe for something to happen. Don't really see any such thing happening anytime soon. There could be another slowdown, but nothing to the scale of 2008-2009.

And if you're interested in securities litigation?


I'd focus on the Wall Street firms' litigation departments, since this seems to be their bread and butter. I'm not sure how you can be interested in securities litigation, though. Almost none of the cases go to trial, it's always the same old crap, and the doc review is the absolute worst. But if that's what you want, the Wall Street firms and Paul Weiss are your best bet.


Mmm. Thanks. Maybe I'll remove my "ban this loser" comment. :D

Renzo wrote:Yeah... This is pretty much nonsense, and for several reasons. Richard Clary in not in service Cravath's dealmakers, nor is Even Chesler. Hell, Cadwalader brought in Lou Solomon to save the firm from the dealmakers. I mean, pick a list, any list of top securities litigation firms, and tell me who's on it.

I'm not saying that the lit-only (or lit-mostly) firms aren't good, and they're arguably a better bet for an incoming associate who knows she wants to litigate. But the idea that there aren't serious, hardcore litigators at the White Shoe firms is absurd.


But yeah I felt like there had to be a rejoinder.

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:57 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote:
Richard Clary in not in service Cravath's dealmakers, nor is the Even Chesler.


Oh right, I forgot about Cravath. Thanks for adding that in. You're totally right. Cravath is easily also just an amazing litigation firm, independent of their corporate practice. The firm hasn't been doing so well as of late, however.

Hell, Cadwalader brought in Lou Solomon to save the firm from the dealmakers. I mean, pick a list, any list of top securities litigation firms, and tell me who's on it.


Eh, I really don't care to consider Cadwalader. No associate who has other options should consider working there. I was talking mostly about the top law firms.

I'm not saying that the lit-only (or lit-mostly) firms aren't good, and they're arguably a better bet for an incoming associate who knows she wants to litigate. But the idea that there aren't serious, hardcore litigators at the White Shoe firms is absurd.


I never said that. My claim was simply that, for a litigation associate at these White Shoe firms, around 70%-80% of their work will be disputes related to dealmaking.


I think seriouslyinformative is pretty spot on with his advice about NYC firms. Yes, some of the V5 do some great litigation work but these firms are driven by deal work. Everything is finance driven in NYC.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Bronte » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:06 pm

vamedic03 wrote:I think seriouslyinformative is pretty spot on with his advice about NYC firms. Yes, some of the V5 do some great litigation work but these firms are driven by deal work. Everything is finance driven in NYC.


It's finance-driven, but that doesn't mean there's not high level securities litigation going on, right? I mean Weil has a 420 person litigation department. Sullivan and Cromwell's litigation department makes up more than half the firm. Most NYC firms have litigation departments that are close to the size of their corporate departments, from my research. Are we really gonna say that these departments are just doing the corporate departments' doc review? Isn't it transactional work that's the drone work?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:07 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote: My claim was simply that, for a litigation associate at these White Shoe firms, around 70%-80% of their work will be disputes related to dealmaking.


Also known by it's other name, "complex securities litigation." There's big money in it. But if you'd rather fight patent trolls all day; to each their own, I guess.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby seriouslyinformative » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:14 pm

Renzo wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote: My claim was simply that, for a litigation associate at these White Shoe firms, around 70%-80% of their work will be disputes related to dealmaking.


Also known by it's other name, "complex securities litigation." There's big money in it. But if you'd rather fight patent trolls all day; to each their own, I guess.


Haha, now you're just making up stuff. The only alternative to complex securities litigation is patent trolling? Please tell me you don't have your serious face on when typing that. And even if it was the only alternative, you'd rather fight off strike suits from plaintiffs firms (so basically, the securities equivalent of patent trolls) than patent trolls? At least with patent trolls, you can play with the products being litigated. You can't play with a security.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:16 pm

Bronte wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I think seriouslyinformative is pretty spot on with his advice about NYC firms. Yes, some of the V5 do some great litigation work but these firms are driven by deal work. Everything is finance driven in NYC.


It's finance-driven, but that doesn't mean there's not high level securities litigation going on, right? I mean Weil has a 420 person litigation department. Sullivan and Cromwell's litigation department makes up more than half the firm. Most NYC firms have litigation departments that are close to the size of their corporate departments, from my research. Are we really gonna say that these departments are just doing the corporate departments' doc review? Isn't it transactional work that's the drone work?


S&C has twice as many corporate partners as lit partners, not sure where you're getting that number from.

Nobody pays for a V5 firm to do 'drone work.' There's a disproportionate share of incredibly high stakes or novel work at all top firms. But if you're comparing litigation practices, there is likely to be a greater variety of matters at firms that don't have institutional financial clients. As for dronning, young transactional lawyers get diligence and young litigators get doc review. It's the nature of the beast.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Corporate or Litigation and OCI

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Bronte wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I think seriouslyinformative is pretty spot on with his advice about NYC firms. Yes, some of the V5 do some great litigation work but these firms are driven by deal work. Everything is finance driven in NYC.


It's finance-driven, but that doesn't mean there's not high level securities litigation going on, right? I mean Weil has a 420 person litigation department. Sullivan and Cromwell's litigation department makes up more than half the firm. Most NYC firms have litigation departments that are close to the size of their corporate departments, from my research. Are we really gonna say that these departments are just doing the corporate departments' doc review? Isn't it transactional work that's the drone work?


S&C has twice as many corporate partners as lit partners, not sure where you're getting that number from.

Nobody pays for a V5 firm to do 'drone work.' There's a disproportionate share of incredibly high stakes or novel work at all top firms. But if you're comparing litigation practices, there is likely to be a greater variety of matters at firms that don't have institutional financial clients. As for dronning, young transactional lawyers get diligence and young litigators get doc review. It's the nature of the beast.


This is what I'm saying. If anyone wants to say that the bulk of litigation in the Wall Street firms is financial litigation, they'd be right. So if you're interested in general commercial lit or patent work, those firms aren't the best choice. But the idea that less variety of work means less serious, less prestigious, or less interesting is just crazy. (here's where I fly off the deep end a bit) If anything, I'd say it's a sign of how good those firms lit departments are: they don't have to take commodity work, they can leave that for the McFirms like K&L Gates and DLA Piper.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.