Firms to avoid

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Anonymous User
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Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:08 pm

To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals. --> or if anyone thinks that's not the case, please say.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals.


(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.

grash
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby grash » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:19 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals.


(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.


Would you mind going into why? Not that I find you to be of unsound judgment or anything, but this being the internet it'd be nice if I could verify what you're saying with some external source.

alabamabound
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby alabamabound » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:29 pm

I have also been warned away from OMM and Cadwalader. 3 other firms I've been warned away from for various reasons: White & Case, Shearman & Sterling, and Dechert.

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Vronsky
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Vronsky » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:29 pm

grash wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals.


(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.


Would you mind going into why? Not that I find you to be of unsound judgment or anything, but this being the internet it'd be nice if I could verify what you're saying with some external source.


OMM - "The firm initiated stealth layoffs in late 2008, and in March 2009, it announced significant layoffs of approximately 90 attorneys and over 100 staff. Lateral Link Members say current morale at the firm ranges from “mediocre” to “high,” but there is still some “concern for the economy.” Nonetheless, Members acknowledges that the firm is expanding and hiring more associates in 2011.... Although the firm initially delayed the start date for the incoming Class of 2011 to December 2011, in June 2011, the firm moved up the start date to September for New York associates and October for D.C. associates."

Cadwalader - "The firm has a minimum billable-hour expectation of 1,900 hours and requires associates to meet a 2,000-hour minimum to qualify for a bonus. ... Lateral Link Members note that the "strict hours requirement…only allows 100 hours for things like articles, pro bono, and marketing."" Also, no mention of bar stipend or salary advance.
Last edited by Vronsky on Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vronsky
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Vronsky » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:30 pm

alabamabound wrote:I have also been warned away from OMM and Cadwalader. 3 other firms I've been warned away from for various reasons: White & Case, Shearman & Sterling, and Dechert.

could you explain the various reasons?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:32 pm

grash wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals.


(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.


Would you mind going into why? Not that I find you to be of unsound judgment or anything, but this being the internet it'd be nice if I could verify what you're saying with some external source.


O'Melveny has had massive partner departures in NY (22 so far this year, according to ATL), including several practice group heads:
-http://abovethelaw.com/omelveny-myers/
-http://abovethelaw.com/2011/06/more-omelveny-partner-departures-dewey-get-more-talent-yes/

Cadwalader for years has had a rep of abusing associates, terrible hours (even for biglaw) being full of screamers, very high leverage, etc.
-This doesn't directly address it, but alludes to Cadwalader being terrible (dead last in the mid-level associate satisfaction survey): http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdail ... -cadw.html
-http://www.law.com/jsp/llf/PubArticleLLF.jsp?id=1170682662248

alabamabound
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby alabamabound » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:36 pm

For W&C and S&S, it was essentially "the partners are unhappy about compensation, and if the partners are unhappy, the associates are really unhappy." For Dechert, it was a general warning about the personality types there.

FWIW, I'm interested in transactional work and don't know if any of the above applies to lit, to the extent it's accurate.

grash
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby grash » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:37 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:O'Melveny has had massive partner departures in NY (22 so far this year, according to ATL), including several practice group heads:
-http://abovethelaw.com/omelveny-myers/
-http://abovethelaw.com/2011/06/more-omelveny-partner-departures-dewey-get-more-talent-yes/

Cadwalader for years has had a rep of abusing associates, terrible hours (even for biglaw) being full of screamers, very high leverage, etc.
-This doesn't directly address it, but alludes to Cadwalader being terrible (dead last in the mid-level associate satisfaction survey): http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdail ... -cadw.html
-http://www.law.com/jsp/llf/PubArticleLLF.jsp?id=1170682662248


Thanks, much appreciated.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:37 pm

Dechert was absolutely awful to their SAs two years ago -- treated them with zero dignity. http://abovethelaw.com/2009/09/nationwi ... y-circuit/ ("Dechert told half of its summers that the firm would wait until January to make a decision offers, yet continues to interview 3Ls this recruiting season.") and http://abovethelaw.com/2009/08/nationwi ... mer-class/ ("Dechert looks to be interested in hiring some 3Ls for its next class of incoming associates, before it even tells all of its 2009 summer associates where they stand with the firm.").

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:43 pm

Vronsky wrote:
grash wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:To the extent that it's possible ITE, what are some firms that are worth avoiding due to

(1) danger of going Howrey
(2) crappy work environment or sweat shop environment and/or
(3) lack of benefits, etc.?

Any other factors to cause one to avoid a particular firm, such as lousy profits per partner?

For example, Weil seems risky given all the deferrals.


(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.


Would you mind going into why? Not that I find you to be of unsound judgment or anything, but this being the internet it'd be nice if I could verify what you're saying with some external source.


OMM - "The firm initiated stealth layoffs in late 2008, and in March 2009, it announced significant layoffs of approximately 90 attorneys and over 100 staff. Lateral Link Members say current morale at the firm ranges from “mediocre” to “high,” but there is still some “concern for the economy.” Nonetheless, Members acknowledges that the firm is expanding and hiring more associates in 2011.... Although the firm initially delayed the start date for the incoming Class of 2011 to December 2011, in June 2011, the firm moved up the start date to September for New York associates and October for D.C. associates."

Cadwalader - "The firm has a minimum billable-hour expectation of 1,900 hours and requires associates to meet a 2,000-hour minimum to qualify for a bonus. ... Lateral Link Members note that the "strict hours requirement…only allows 100 hours for things like articles, pro bono, and marketing."" Also, no mention of bar stipend or salary advance.




I will just say CWT offers bar stipend and salary advance at market level. As for working environment, all I will say is that I have met no screamers in the 3 or 4 departments that I have worked with so far. However, I won't go into details since 1) it is a very subjective thing, and 2) I'm not from the firm's marketing / PR department so I don't really care how TLS people think about it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Vronsky wrote:
grash wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
(1) O'Melveny

(2) Cadwalader

I'm sure there are others, but those are what come to mind immediately.


Would you mind going into why? Not that I find you to be of unsound judgment or anything, but this being the internet it'd be nice if I could verify what you're saying with some external source.


OMM - "The firm initiated stealth layoffs in late 2008, and in March 2009, it announced significant layoffs of approximately 90 attorneys and over 100 staff. Lateral Link Members say current morale at the firm ranges from “mediocre” to “high,” but there is still some “concern for the economy.” Nonetheless, Members acknowledges that the firm is expanding and hiring more associates in 2011.... Although the firm initially delayed the start date for the incoming Class of 2011 to December 2011, in June 2011, the firm moved up the start date to September for New York associates and October for D.C. associates."

Cadwalader - "The firm has a minimum billable-hour expectation of 1,900 hours and requires associates to meet a 2,000-hour minimum to qualify for a bonus. ... Lateral Link Members note that the "strict hours requirement…only allows 100 hours for things like articles, pro bono, and marketing."" Also, no mention of bar stipend or salary advance.




I will just say CWT offers bar stipend and salary advance at market level. As for working environment, all I will say is that I have met no screamers in the 3 or 4 departments that I have worked with so far. However, I won't go into details since 1) it is a very subjective thing, and 2) I'm not from the firm's marketing / PR department so I don't really care how TLS people think about it.


As the summers go I think CWT is fine but I have not met an associate yet that says they like the firm. Three more associates were laid off a couple weeks ago for not making hours and it seems like every week this summer someone is being laid off or leaving. Behind closed doors people say they believe they have no shot at making partner at CWT (I personally have not met one homegrown partner) but more than that they feel that they have a very small shot to make it to senior associate level. To me, they pay market rate so I'm fine with them but the firm morale does seem terrible.

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buckilaw
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby buckilaw » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:04 am

How has nobody mentioned Latham? The name of the firm has become synonymous with the destruction of legal careers.

alabamabound
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby alabamabound » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:07 am

buckilaw wrote:How has nobody mentioned Latham? The name of the firm has become synonymous with the destruction of legal careers.


Infamy aside, I have actually heard good things about Latham NY.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Sup Kid » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:08 am

The oldest law firm in America and once one of the most genteel, Cadwalader under Link went through a wrenching and controversial 1990s turnaround during which it transformed itself into perhaps the nation's most aggressively profit-focused law firm. Today's Cadwalader, at which big producers are lavishly rewarded and underperformers are shown the door, presents a stark alternative to the more conservative ways of New York's traditional top-tier firms.

"They are definitely the firm to watch," said the managing partner of one leading New York firm recently overtaken by Cadwalader in the profit charts. "Even though they recognize the business realities, most law firms still hold on to certain ways of doing things. Cadwalader is run like a corporation."

And Cadwalader's approach has won it a reputation for ruthlessness that suits some but turns off others.

"It's exactly the shark tank that everybody says it is," said former partner Robert Vitale, "If you're a shark, it's great."

--LinkRemoved--

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:13 am

OMM is the only place I would really strongly counsel against. There's no guarantee that they will go Howrey, but there's just no point of taking that risk when, if you can get an offer from OMM, you can also get an offer from their peer firms. And the risk of OMM collapsing does seem real.

Cadwalader does get a bad rap as to their treatment of associates--no personal experience, just chiming in to say that this thread is not the only time you'll hear bad things about them. That said, it probably varies from group to group, and their hours requirement is not really any different from their peers.

Latham, well, it's hard to know. Certainly they fucked over a lot of people with their surprise layoffs, especially of first-year associates, but, on the other hand, having laid off so many people, they probably won't do so again soon (simply because they've slimmed down a lot and don't have much fat to cut). Probably not bad as a short-term option, and due to the stigma Latham may be easier to get than its peers.

Other firms that had big layoffs include White & Case and basically all of the Magic Circle firms' NYC offices, but none were so cruel about it as Latham, and otherwise similar logic (that layoffs are unlikely to happen soon because they've been greatly deleveraged) applies.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:19 am

Sup Kid wrote:
The oldest law firm in America and once one of the most genteel, Cadwalader under Link went through a wrenching and controversial 1990s turnaround during which it transformed itself into perhaps the nation's most aggressively profit-focused law firm. Today's Cadwalader, at which big producers are lavishly rewarded and underperformers are shown the door, presents a stark alternative to the more conservative ways of New York's traditional top-tier firms.

"They are definitely the firm to watch," said the managing partner of one leading New York firm recently overtaken by Cadwalader in the profit charts. "Even though they recognize the business realities, most law firms still hold on to certain ways of doing things. Cadwalader is run like a corporation."

And Cadwalader's approach has won it a reputation for ruthlessness that suits some but turns off others.

"It's exactly the shark tank that everybody says it is," said former partner Robert Vitale, "If you're a shark, it's great."

--LinkRemoved--


This is particularly amusing given that Cadwalader has failed to become more financially successful than its peers.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:39 am

Shakiest AmLaw 100 firm today: OMM.
Treats associates poorly (without a corresponding boost in prestige/exit options): Cadwalader, K&L Gates, Venable, Faegre.
Doing badly economically: Pillsbury, Hogan's satellite offices, particularly ones where they have tried to compete with local firms in terms of cost (and aren't succeeding).

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:41 am

DLA Piper

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Kronk
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Kronk » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:Shakiest AmLaw 100 firm today: OMM.
Treats associates poorly (without a corresponding boost in prestige/exit options): Cadwalader, K&L Gates, Venable, Faegre.
Doing badly economically: Pillsbury, Hogan's satellite offices, particularly ones where they have tried to compete with local firms in terms of cost (and aren't succeeding).


Faegre treats associates poorly? What have you heard about that, just curious?

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mths
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby mths » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:44 am

tagging useful

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:49 am

Kronk wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Shakiest AmLaw 100 firm today: OMM.
Treats associates poorly (without a corresponding boost in prestige/exit options): Cadwalader, K&L Gates, Venable, Faegre.
Doing badly economically: Pillsbury, Hogan's satellite offices, particularly ones where they have tried to compete with local firms in terms of cost (and aren't succeeding).


Faegre treats associates poorly? What have you heard about that, just curious?


Terrible summer associate reviews (worst of any firm that AmLaw rated last year), below-average pay, and generally uninteresting work, particularly in lit. They aren't horrid if you want to be in Minneapolis or Des Moines, but they shouldn't be at the top of anyone's list.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Renzo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
This is particularly amusing given that Cadwalader has failed to become more financially successful than its peers.


That depends on how you count it's peers. They are consistently in the top 10 in per partner profits, and nowhere near the top ten in any survey or league table (other than securitization transactions). So they are beating the snot out of a ton of firms in terms of profitability.

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quakeroats
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby quakeroats » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is particularly amusing given that Cadwalader has failed to become more financially successful than its peers.


Perhaps it's in a new peer group.

bdubs
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:58 am

Any insights into why OMM is so shaky?




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