Anonymous User wrote: Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
This decision is enormous, enormous news for Cravath. They've probably done it like 3 times ever, and once was recently a BK guy from Skadden at the height of the crisis. That anonymous poster also meant partner-track laterals, i.e. mid-level and senior associates, which Cravath at least claims to not hire at all, rather than partner laterals (who they also claim to never hire). It's actually a point the firm tries to sell: the only way in is through the front door, they boast about not hiring laterals.
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.
And the point about mistakes during the crisis is pretty on point. A partner there has admitted as much to me in person. Cravath saw its PPP fall 24% or so in one year. Still a profitable firm, still a prestigious firm, still a place that will launch incredible careers and train talented lawyers: but there's almost nothing you can point to that would make it a better choice than another V10ish NYC firm, unless you found it a particularly strong fit personality wise.
Thanks for this. Also want to hear about Cravath's culture/work environment (other than long hours, obviously). Is it as bad as it's known to be? (i.e. soul crushing)
It depends on your personality, I think. I personally didn't find the atmosphere "soul crushing" (though I don't know anything about the hours obviously), but I did find it a little off-putting. I did not like the feng-shui of the place. Green carpet and dark wood created a somber tone that was reflected in the people. I found Davis Polk, for example, (light beige carpet, light maple wood) to be warmer and more open. I think that tone carried over to the people too.
This is obviously a small reason to choose one firm over the other, but again these firms all select from the same pool of people. Folks, including most of the partners you will work with, choose one firm over the other based on these factors.
I work at Cravath (and chose it over WLRK and S&C). I found the soul-crushing rumors to be absolutely false. You will work hard. But everyone is amazing and wonderful and the smartest people you will ever meet. In fact, as a student, I had an callback at Davis Polk, and it was just terrible compared to my experience at Cravath.
Two notes about comparisons to WLRK/S&C: I might have chosen one of them if I were going to do corporate/transactional work, but definitely not as a litigator. The only firm I would consider choosing over Cravath for litigation is Williams & Connolly (and GDC if I knew I wanted to do high-level appellate lit). But there was one associate with us who was dating a WLRK associate, and when we were leaving an event at midnight she said, "oh, this is great -- my boyfriend has a half day
at WLRK, so he'll be home just after I get back." Her boyfriend routinely worked until 3 in the morning, which was not the case at Cravath AT ALL. I think if you can handle that and you want to make bank, WLRK is a good option, but it is otherwise a very difficult life.
As for S&C -- great firm. It just wasn't my style. But I think once you get to the top firms, it becomes much more about fit than prestige.