T-14, moot court, biglaw?

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Anonymous User
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T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:00 am

Top 12%, winner of the 1L moot court competition, no results yet for LR but secondary journal throughout 1L year. Thoughts on:

Skadden
CSM
Davis Polk
Weil

Thanks.

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thesealocust
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:07 am

First: Congratulations! You have done great in law school and have great prospects looking for a job.

Second: You appear pretty naive with respect to how legal recruiting works. I don't mean that in a negative way - nobody is born understanding the system. But a post like this begs a bunch of questions.

The tl;dr is you have a great shot at all of those firms. But why those firms? It's a pretty random assortment. And with respect to firms, this isn't like law school where candidates of certain credentials got into largely the same schools and filtered into them based on pecking order. There's much more at play, not the least of which being geography.

Also, your creds are good, but even if they were better you wouldn't be guaranteed an offer at any of those firms. Firms give far, far fewer offers than there are 'qualified' candidates for that firm in any given class.

So a thread like this is asking a question that doesn't really make any sense. Perhaps you could elaborate more?

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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:42 am

OP here. As to your second point, you couldn't be more correct. I am uncomfortably aware of my naivete about this process, which makes me feel like I'm wandering blindfolded by the edge of a volcano. I've been researching on NALP, Chambers Associate, ATL, firms' websites (obv) and plain ol' Google. While I'll be bidding in two markets at OCI, for the purposes of this round of research I'm limiting myself to NYC.

Here's my thing - I'm not sure if I want to go the litigation or the transactions route yet. I am attracted to litigation, particularly appellate, employment, product liability. However, I'm also intrigued by M&A, but I know very little about the nuts and bolts. Tentative thoughts on these four -

Skadden - M&A, litigation division heating up
CSM - M&A, attracted to their particular rotation system, also have a tie here
Davis Polk - less gunnerish culture, product liability, M&A
Weil - commercial litigation, M&A

Am I approaching this the wrong way? (*feels like answer may be obv.*)

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thesealocust
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:51 am

That's a very random list of desires and firms. It's fine and good to not know if you want transactional or lit, and to focus on NYC firms as a result. Here's some stuff you need to know:

(1) There are lots of kinds of transactions, even though M&A is the most obvious one that students get fixated on. Don't just chase that even though you've heard of it.

(2) None of the firms you listed do any substantial amount of the litigation you listed. They'll all do general commercial and could handle cases in those categories from time to time, but appellate, employment, and products liability are all the forte of smaller specialized firms or firms in different regions. More importantly, it's unlikely you'll be able to meaningfully distinguish genres of lit, unless you're just looking at info about firm size / usage of leverage or distinction between mostly plaintiffs and mostly defensive work.

(3) Your four firms are just so completely random. S&C is out of this world at lit and transactional work, and Weil really isn't known the same way as the other firms are outside of it's BK group. It does great lit and I'm sure has a great M&A department, but it's not a "name" the way CSM and Skadden are. Likewise DPW has great M&A but that's hardly its specialty. Among those firms, Cleary, Paul Wise, Latham, Wachtell, Simpson Thacher, Debevoise, Kirkland, and plenty of other great NYC firms are 'missing'. It's just weird to focus on only 4 firms like that, especially when those 4 firms have so little in common with one another.

As a last highly specific point, CSM's rotation system means you'll have no say over what work you do. If you want to do M&A you might get to, eventually, but you could also do a year of BK and a year of high yield debt first, you know?

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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:14 pm

Truly appreciate your comments.

Several of those other firms you mentioned (Wachtell, Debevoise, Cleary) are on my list as well. Those four I mentioned were what I was thinking should be my top picks. I think I may need to head back to the drawing board. My research strategy before was to collate info from NALP/Chambers and then flesh out with ATL/Google. Any suggestions on a refocused approach? I must be missing something, as I feel like when I look at top practice areas listed on Chambers and Vault there's not a whole lot of deviation from "we're awesome at M&A and banking/finance! also, we're super awesome at litigation!"

Hear you about CSM's rotation. The challenge of it excites me, though, and I think (hope?) I'd be able to handle it even if the material wasn't always right up my alley. For example, so far this summer I've been working on primarily environmental projects. I'm not particularly thrilled by environmental law in general, but I've still enjoyed the work because I like untangling puzzles. I guess I can see the pros and cons of a system when you're so rigidly directed - I respond well to limits.

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thesealocust
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:36 pm

Good attitude to have, and it sounds like you're doing good research. I don't think anything is wrong or off, just realize it's far too soon to need to have 4 "top picks" or anything like that. Continue engaging with research, a lot will click / fall into place once you start actually talking to people this fall instead of just reading stuff on the web.

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vamedic03
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Truly appreciate your comments.

Several of those other firms you mentioned (Wachtell, Debevoise, Cleary) are on my list as well. Those four I mentioned were what I was thinking should be my top picks. I think I may need to head back to the drawing board. My research strategy before was to collate info from NALP/Chambers and then flesh out with ATL/Google. Any suggestions on a refocused approach? I must be missing something, as I feel like when I look at top practice areas listed on Chambers and Vault there's not a whole lot of deviation from "we're awesome at M&A and banking/finance! also, we're super awesome at litigation!"

Hear you about CSM's rotation. The challenge of it excites me, though, and I think (hope?) I'd be able to handle it even if the material wasn't always right up my alley. For example, so far this summer I've been working on primarily environmental projects. I'm not particularly thrilled by environmental law in general, but I've still enjoyed the work because I like untangling puzzles. I guess I can see the pros and cons of a system when you're so rigidly directed - I respond well to limits.


If you're undecided between lit and Corp, CSM shouldn't be on your top 4.

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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:52 pm

A lot more of your decision should be about "fit" -- once you go on callback interviews, talk with lots of associates, etc, you should have a better idea about where you can see yourself. Quantitative things from different websites is helpful, but when you are looking at a small group of the top firms in the world, qualitative aspects become much more important and meaningful.

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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:47 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
If you're undecided between lit and Corp, CSM shouldn't be on your top 4.


Why not?

And, nice tar.

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thesealocust
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
If you're undecided between lit and Corp, CSM shouldn't be on your top 4.


Why not?

And, nice tar.


CSM is one of few firms that force* you to choose between litigation and corporate very early, often at the interview stage, and don't allow summers to work between the groups. By way of contrast, many other firms with large lit and corp departments will encourage you to spend your summer figuring out which you would prefer, and not expect you to have everything pinned down when you walk in for your first interview.

*Some people say that at least in years past there were exceptions to this, who knows. Might be overstated, but they certainly give off that impression.

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Cavalier
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
If you're undecided between lit and Corp, CSM shouldn't be on your top 4.

Why not?

Unlike most summer programs, Cravath doesn't let you work on both corporate and litigation projects. You need to pick one or the other from the start. When the Cravath interviewer asks you which you're interested in, you can't simply say you want to try both over the summer (which is acceptable at almost every other firm).

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thesealocust
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:54 pm

Little slow on the uptake there cavalier. Sorry about your tiny pink typing & posting speed.

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Cavalier
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Re: T-14, moot court, biglaw?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:55 pm

thesealocust wrote:Little slow on the uptake there cavalier. Sorry about your tiny pink typing & posting speed.

I am a slow typist, which must explain my relatively worse performance on law school exams.




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