Firms to avoid

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:17 pm

I heard some grumbling about venable earlier. Anyone know specifically why? I always got the distinct impression from vault/anectdotals that it was a good place to work, and that associates get higher level work than their peers.

Obv not paying market is a knock to its reputation. This really isn't that concerning to me though. I'd much rather take 15k less a year and have interesting work.

Anyone have a more substantive critique?

EDIT: Info about the DC mothership or satellite offices is welcome.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:My Cravath interviewer said, in response to a question about the working environment: "Well, it isn't like I would say hello to you in the elevator. Pleasantries aren't billable."

I'm serious, that is essentially verbatim. Don't work there if you have a soul.


Pleasantries may not be billable, but they don't cost you billable time either. I personally don't agree with the "just business" folks --- I think you should smile even when you're having a bad day. Your troubles are no reason to pollute the vibe for the rest of the office. Of course if you're someone who doesn't see things that way, all the smiling people at "nice" firms probably weird you out quite a bit.


For all the shit they catch, at least the people at Cadwalader smile.


True. Though at my callback one associate started dropping the F-bomb all over the place.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby keg411 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:29 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:Anyone know how the Boston firms hold up?

Specifically Ropes, Nixon Peabody, Choate Hall and the Foleys (Folies?)?


For a Boston-based firm, Nixon is rarely, if ever mentioned as a good place to be. I believe they're not market (check this). Choate is a great firm, but focus mostly on mid-level transaction work and IP. Their litigation group is decent, but focuses a lot on IP. The smaller cases allows for more responsibility for young associates, BUT it also means a lot of doc review falls to small groups of attorneys and the culture is stuffy. They're not as stable as other bigfirms in the area (laid off 10% in the crash), and because they're smaller, shifts in the economy hit them hard. Foley & Lardner is just a satellite office. Foley Hoag is kind of just standard, but I haven't heard anything overly negative about them - they're just kind of boring and attract a very nerdy/intellectual crowd. Ropes rocks all of the satisfaction surveys, but I never understood why. I know quite a few associates who are there and they are pretty miserable - IMO theres better choices for litigation in Boston than Ropes as the misery I've heard is mostly from lit associates. They also had stealth layoffs (a buddy of mine was fired due to performance because of a memo that was subpar or some crap - he said others were too - but they swore they weren't layoffs).


Foley Hoag also stealth'ed if you want to get on Ropes about it (except they had people actually write "goodbye" emails as if they were leaving on their own accord).

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:05 am

rayiner wrote:
columbia86 wrote:Not to diverge from the topic at hand, but anyone care to identify the most desirable firms in each major market. Rationale should go beyond surface analysis (rankings) and take into consideration the variables that differ from firm to firm.

Selfishly, an emphasis on Chicago would be appreciated.


In Chicago: Kirkland. They're the only ones that are really doing well right now in that market. People love Sidley for some reason, but I don't see the magic, and they did some epic deferrals.

Can anyone provide more info about these deferrals? Also, I thought Sidley was known for being the "nice" one of the big Chicago firms, is this not the case? Are Kirkland's hours really in line with NYC V5? Thanks in advance.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:06 am

Are Kirkland's hours really in line with NYC V5? Thanks in advance.


Yes, but you're paid more.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As for why that anon said (s)he wouldn't work for Cravath over most other V10s, I can provide some context. Cravath has a great reputation and interesting, professional people. But it also has a well deserved reputation for working its associates more consistently and in a more demanding fashion than basically every firm other than Wachtell. It likely at one point enjoyed a reputation that exceeded that of places like S&C, DPW, STB, Cleary, etc. but that's not true any more. It's probably not worse, but signing up to work there basically guarantees you longer hours. While there are going to be associates at every other V10 who pull hours longer than attorneys at Cravath, it's not quite as institutionalized.


He excluded Skadden, Weil and Covington. Any idea why?


Skadden is inconsistent, it's about 4-5 times bigger than the other V10 names. You could get lost there and not all of their practice areas are top-notch the way more narrowly focused firms are. Put another way, it's probably a better firm than it is firm to start your career.

Weil has had a lot of issues lately and is struggling. Its practice groups taken as a whole also look slightly weaker than many other V10 firms.

Covington is just a different firm. Its business model is substantially less profitable than the others, its presence in NYC is nearly de minimis, etc. It doesn't surprise me that anybody considering a V10 NYC job wouldn't spend much time looking at Covington.


Uh, what? Vault has Skadden with the highest number of top rankings in every corporate field, aside from Wachtell. Chambers echoes that.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As for why that anon said (s)he wouldn't work for Cravath over most other V10s, I can provide some context. Cravath has a great reputation and interesting, professional people. But it also has a well deserved reputation for working its associates more consistently and in a more demanding fashion than basically every firm other than Wachtell. It likely at one point enjoyed a reputation that exceeded that of places like S&C, DPW, STB, Cleary, etc. but that's not true any more. It's probably not worse, but signing up to work there basically guarantees you longer hours. While there are going to be associates at every other V10 who pull hours longer than attorneys at Cravath, it's not quite as institutionalized.


He excluded Skadden, Weil and Covington. Any idea why?


Skadden is inconsistent, it's about 4-5 times bigger than the other V10 names. You could get lost there and not all of their practice areas are top-notch the way more narrowly focused firms are. Put another way, it's probably a better firm than it is firm to start your career.

Weil has had a lot of issues lately and is struggling. Its practice groups taken as a whole also look slightly weaker than many other V10 firms.

Covington is just a different firm. Its business model is substantially less profitable than the others, its presence in NYC is nearly de minimis, etc. It doesn't surprise me that anybody considering a V10 NYC job wouldn't spend much time looking at Covington.


Uh, what? Vault has Skadden with the highest number of top rankings in every corporate field, aside from Wachtell. Chambers echoes that.


There are 3 core areas that form the bread and butter of NYC corporate practice. Chambers calls them: banking/finance, corporate M&A, and capital markets. Cravath and Simpson are Band 1 in all three. DPW and S&C are Band 1 in two of the three. Skadden and Cleary are Band 1 in one of the three. Weil is not Band 1 in any of the three. If we were just measuring NYC corporate practices, flipping Simpson and Skadden in the Vault rankings would probably yield the best ordering for the "V5".

That said, I disagree that this really matters to associates. I think Cravath, S&C, DPW, and STB are better as firms for the areas within the scope of their practice than Skadden, but that's information more relevant to managing partners than associates. I think for associates, the breadth of good practice groups, the geographic reach, and the great name recognition (for a law firm, anyway) are more pertinent.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:38 am

rayiner wrote:There are 3 core areas that form the bread and butter of NYC corporate practice. Chambers calls them: banking/finance, corporate M&A, and capital markets. Cravath and Simpson are Band 1 in all three. DPW and S&C are Band 1 in two of the three. Skadden and Cleary are Band 1 in one of the three. Weil is not Band 1 in any of the three. If we were just measuring NYC corporate practices, flipping Simpson and Skadden in the Vault rankings would probably yield the best ordering for the "V5".

That said, I disagree that this really matters to associates. I think Cravath, S&C, DPW, and STB are better as firms for the areas within the scope of their practice than Skadden, but that's information more relevant to managing partners than associates. I think for associates, the breadth of good practice groups, the geographic reach, and the great name recognition (for a law firm, anyway) are more pertinent.


Seems like you're wrong about Skadden. And it has the best name recognition of all corporate law firms, including Wachtell, among directors of companies and general counsel -- at least according to a survey recently posted by Board Members.

http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3656
--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:There are 3 core areas that form the bread and butter of NYC corporate practice. Chambers calls them: banking/finance, corporate M&A, and capital markets. Cravath and Simpson are Band 1 in all three. DPW and S&C are Band 1 in two of the three. Skadden and Cleary are Band 1 in one of the three. Weil is not Band 1 in any of the three. If we were just measuring NYC corporate practices, flipping Simpson and Skadden in the Vault rankings would probably yield the best ordering for the "V5".

That said, I disagree that this really matters to associates. I think Cravath, S&C, DPW, and STB are better as firms for the areas within the scope of their practice than Skadden, but that's information more relevant to managing partners than associates. I think for associates, the breadth of good practice groups, the geographic reach, and the great name recognition (for a law firm, anyway) are more pertinent.


Seems like you're wrong about Skadden. And it has the best name recognition of all corporate law firms, including Wachtell, among directors of companies and general counsel -- at least according to a survey recently posted by Board Members.

http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3656
--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--


I'm quite right re: Chambers. A firm is listed "band 1" on that page you linked if it's band 1 in any market. It's only band 1 in a specific market if the market name is bolded. Skadden is not band 1 nationwide for banking or capital markets. It's easier to see on the Chambers and Partners website.

Re: your point about brand recognition, that's exactly what I said. I think that counts for more than whether Skadden has the top ranking in specific practices.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby snailio » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:33 am

Hard to slip one by rayiner.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:43 am

rayiner- what chicago firms to avoid?

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:32 pm

keg411 wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:Anyone know how the Boston firms hold up?

Specifically Ropes, Nixon Peabody, Choate Hall and the Foleys (Folies?)?


For a Boston-based firm, Nixon is rarely, if ever mentioned as a good place to be. I believe they're not market (check this). Choate is a great firm, but focus mostly on mid-level transaction work and IP. Their litigation group is decent, but focuses a lot on IP. The smaller cases allows for more responsibility for young associates, BUT it also means a lot of doc review falls to small groups of attorneys and the culture is stuffy. They're not as stable as other bigfirms in the area (laid off 10% in the crash), and because they're smaller, shifts in the economy hit them hard. Foley & Lardner is just a satellite office. Foley Hoag is kind of just standard, but I haven't heard anything overly negative about them - they're just kind of boring and attract a very nerdy/intellectual crowd. Ropes rocks all of the satisfaction surveys, but I never understood why. I know quite a few associates who are there and they are pretty miserable - IMO theres better choices for litigation in Boston than Ropes as the misery I've heard is mostly from lit associates. They also had stealth layoffs (a buddy of mine was fired due to performance because of a memo that was subpar or some crap - he said others were too - but they swore they weren't layoffs).


Foley Hoag also stealth'ed if you want to get on Ropes about it (except they had people actually write "goodbye" emails as if they were leaving on their own accord).


I had no idea. To be honest, they didn't give me a CB so I didn't look into them that much.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:55 am

anything comments or opinions about OMM in Los Angeles?

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:anything comments or opinions about OMM in Los Angeles?


would like to hear anything on OMM LA as well

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:24 am

What's the scoop on Dewey NY in terms of work environment and hours?

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:anything comments or opinions about OMM in Los Angeles?



How do you feel about a sink or swim environment? If you want a firm where it's all but guaranteed that you will get an offer, then this is not the firm for you. If you thrive on competition and are OK with taking a gamble (as the firm will tell you that the offer is yours to earn), then it's a decent place.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
How do you feel about a sink or swim environment? If you want a firm where it's all but guaranteed that you will get an offer, then this is not the firm for you. If you thrive on competition and are OK with taking a gamble (as the firm will tell you that the offer is yours to earn), then it's a decent place.

How's the working environment?

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:31 pm

How does one go about choosing a practice group at skadden?


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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:34 pm

I've heard similar things about most of the firms discussed on this thread, with the exception of K&E being mentioned before as working associates like crazy. Any one else heard similarly?

I have a family friend at Dechert (NY office) who said that the really crazy work hours seems limited to corporate only in the past year or two because people have been leaving and they haven't started hiring until recently, and the other groups are busy and work hard, but the environment isn't cut throat like other places. Their no-offer and then hiring 3Ls from two years ago is shady, but did full offers this year on the last day so hopefully that trend will stick around.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby rayiner » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've heard similar things about most of the firms discussed on this thread, with the exception of K&E being mentioned before as working associates like crazy. Any one else heard similarly?

I have a family friend at Dechert (NY office) who said that the really crazy work hours seems limited to corporate only in the past year or two because people have been leaving and they haven't started hiring until recently, and the other groups are busy and work hard, but the environment isn't cut throat like other places. Their no-offer and then hiring 3Ls from two years ago is shady, but did full offers this year on the last day so hopefully that trend will stick around.


K&E has tons of work and associates do tons of work. This is a good thing ITE.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby keg411 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:32 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've heard similar things about most of the firms discussed on this thread, with the exception of K&E being mentioned before as working associates like crazy. Any one else heard similarly?

I have a family friend at Dechert (NY office) who said that the really crazy work hours seems limited to corporate only in the past year or two because people have been leaving and they haven't started hiring until recently, and the other groups are busy and work hard, but the environment isn't cut throat like other places. Their no-offer and then hiring 3Ls from two years ago is shady, but did full offers this year on the last day so hopefully that trend will stick around.


K&E has tons of work and associates do tons of work. This is a good thing ITE.


However, the K&E free-market approach and cutthroat environment also isn't for everyone. And they were a major no-offer offender a few years ago as well. But I agree the fact that a firm is "busy" and "associates work a lot" should not be a reason to avoid a firm ITE.

(I will now eat a bit of crow on my K&E-dislike since if I end up in major-market BigLaw at all this summer, it will likely be at a firm that has a far worse reputation than K&E on the "shark tank", "sink or swim", and "Type A" front :lol:)

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've heard similar things about most of the firms discussed on this thread, with the exception of K&E being mentioned before as working associates like crazy. Any one else heard similarly?

I have a family friend at Dechert (NY office) who said that the really crazy work hours seems limited to corporate only in the past year or two because people have been leaving and they haven't started hiring until recently, and the other groups are busy and work hard, but the environment isn't cut throat like other places. Their no-offer and then hiring 3Ls from two years ago is shady, but did full offers this year on the last day so hopefully that trend will stick around.


Very interested in hearing about the environment at Dechert NY. Any idea what his "typical" hours might look like? Any other info is also greatly appreciated!

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:anything comments or opinions about OMM in Los Angeles?



How do you feel about a sink or swim environment? If you want a firm where it's all but guaranteed that you will get an offer, then this is not the firm for you. If you thrive on competition and are OK with taking a gamble (as the firm will tell you that the offer is yours to earn), then it's a decent place.


Could you expand? This is the opposite of what I heard from a summer associate who worked there last year.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:02 pm

keg411 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've heard similar things about most of the firms discussed on this thread, with the exception of K&E being mentioned before as working associates like crazy. Any one else heard similarly?

I have a family friend at Dechert (NY office) who said that the really crazy work hours seems limited to corporate only in the past year or two because people have been leaving and they haven't started hiring until recently, and the other groups are busy and work hard, but the environment isn't cut throat like other places. Their no-offer and then hiring 3Ls from two years ago is shady, but did full offers this year on the last day so hopefully that trend will stick around.


K&E has tons of work and associates do tons of work. This is a good thing ITE.


However, the K&E free-market approach and cutthroat environment also isn't for everyone. And they were a major no-offer offender a few years ago as well. But I agree the fact that a firm is "busy" and "associates work a lot" should not be a reason to avoid a firm ITE.

(I will now eat a bit of crow on my K&E-dislike since if I end up in major-market BigLaw at all this summer, it will likely be at a firm that has a far worse reputation than K&E on the "shark tank", "sink or swim", and "Type A" front :lol:)



And which firm is that, out of curiuosity? (I would likei to avoid such firms.) Feel free to list A or B or C if you don't want to be completely specific.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.




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