Firms to avoid

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:59 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:DLA Piper


I've heard this name get crapped on a lot, but I don't think I've ever heard specifically why it is so terrible. I know a lot of its market locations are, ahem, not so glamorous, but what are the other reasons? Just the usual poor morale/sweatshop mentality stuff? Anything uniquely awful?

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:05 am

layoffs

lots and lots of layoffs

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:06 am

Lockelord in the Texas market. Many of their associates are apparently just sitting there without work, but they continue their big SA program and just churn out their associates after a few years to make room for a new crop.

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Grizz
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:10 am

I knew Cadwalader had a bad rap, but I had no idea.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:16 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:DLA Piper


I've heard this name get crapped on a lot, but I don't think I've ever heard specifically why it is so terrible. I know a lot of its market locations are, ahem, not so glamorous, but what are the other reasons? Just the usual poor morale/sweatshop mentality stuff? Anything uniquely awful?


In general, the firm makes its money off of the QUANTITY of legal work it provides, not the QUALITY. All of its other flaws stem from this basic distinction between it and top firms.
Last edited by Julio_El_Chavo on Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dood
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby dood » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:18 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:DLA Piper


I've heard this name get crapped on a lot, but I don't think I've ever heard specifically why it is so terrible. I know a lot of its market locations are, ahem, not so glamorous, but what are the other reasons? Just the usual poor morale/sweatshop mentality stuff? Anything uniquely awful?


most of TLS does not know, too young. but you're on to it. DLA's profit model is volume. basically like the walmart of law firms. work is very uninteresting and mundane. "enjoy DLA" was coined actually in the good economy, as a way to insult law students from upper-ranked schools who were seen as too stupid to get moar prestigious firm jerbs. i.e., yale student: "i heard so and so was going to DLA." notably, students at lower-ranked schools (i.e., gw) especially in this economy would be glad to get a job at DLA.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Naked Dude » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:32 am

imchuckbass58 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.


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


Wow. The guy I had spoken with about a paralegal position a few months ago left OMM

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:17 am

I had to respond because the rationale being offered about OMM being "shaky" is so lulzy. OMM is not on shaky ground. Now, if you want to do corporate work, I wouldn't advise going to the NY office, but it's otherwise just fine. The NY office merged with another firm back in the early 2000s (I believe) in order to obtain one of their clients, Apollo. That was basically all the transactional work in the NY office. The merger was, by all accounts, a terrible idea, save the massive client. The partners who came in with the client left to go to Paul Weiss and took some associates with them with whom they'd worked at OMM. That was the vast majority of the departures and to be expected when the O'Sullivan folks bounced to PW. If you look at the list from ATL, most of the partners who left are NY partners.

Beyond the NY office, some partners have left for different reasons. Mark Easton (a partner in LA) left to become general counsel at Warner Brothers. Another LA partner, Steve Olson, left to become the president of Aletheia Management, an investment advising company.

All this is to say that one should do more than just read ATL for some surface level information. Go ask friends and classmates for information about firms.

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sunynp
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:06 am

What about Weil? Deferrals in all departments? I don't think they had massive stealth layoffs as Latham or other firms. What is the expectation for this year's hiring?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:04 am

Renzo wrote:
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.


No they are not:

http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2491847439

imchuckbass58
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had to respond because the rationale being offered about OMM being "shaky" is so lulzy. OMM is not on shaky ground. Now, if you want to do corporate work, I wouldn't advise going to the NY office, but it's otherwise just fine. The NY office merged with another firm back in the early 2000s (I believe) in order to obtain one of their clients, Apollo. That was basically all the transactional work in the NY office. The merger was, by all accounts, a terrible idea, save the massive client. The partners who came in with the client left to go to Paul Weiss and took some associates with them with whom they'd worked at OMM. That was the vast majority of the departures and to be expected when the O'Sullivan folks bounced to PW. If you look at the list from ATL, most of the partners who left are NY partners.

Beyond the NY office, some partners have left for different reasons. Mark Easton (a partner in LA) left to become general counsel at Warner Brothers. Another LA partner, Steve Olson, left to become the president of Aletheia Management, an investment advising company.

All this is to say that one should do more than just read ATL for some surface level information. Go ask friends and classmates for information about firms.


I have a friend at OMM (full time) and she is terrified/considering her options.

Listen, it's true that some of the partners left on amicable terms, and that many of the partners left as a result of the merger not working out. But 22 partners is roughly 10% of the O'Melveny partnership leaving in half a year (not to mention, many of the partners were very prominent, which means probably well more than 10% of the revenue walked out the door).

I agree that OMM isn't necessarily doomed, but it means one of two things: (1) Either they cut expenses (read: associates/SA hiring) to get in line with their reduced revenue base, or (2) they take a hit to PPP and start losing more partners. Either scenario should worry you if you are considering working at the firm.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:39 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
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.


No they are not:

http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2491847439


I know this may seems like a dumb question but if I never ask I'll never know. Is PPP how much partners get paid or is that just the total money brought in by the firm divided by the number of partners. Do partners get paid differently? I know at my firm one of the partners was trying to get 3000 hrs to get a bonus. Is this normal. I just never really understood the whole partner pay scale. Any knowledge would be helpful.

bdubs
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:46 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
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.


No they are not:

http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2491847439


I know this may seems like a dumb question but if I never ask I'll never know. Is PPP how much partners get paid or is that just the total money brought in by the firm divided by the number of partners. Do partners get paid differently? I know at my firm one of the partners was trying to get 3000 hrs to get a bonus. Is this normal. I just never really understood the whole partner pay scale. Any knowledge would be helpful.


It's total profits divided by total partners. There are pretty extreme differences in the way partners are compensated that vary quite a bit by firm, but some may be based on hours billed (probably for junior partners) and many will be based on new business generated (for more senior partners).

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby seriouslyinformative » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:59 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
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.


No they are not:

http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... 2491847439


Any surprise that Renzo was blatantly wrong yet again???

alabamabound
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby alabamabound » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:09 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:The cost of ending up at the next Howrey/HellerEhrman is potentially catastrophic (career-wise), thus it makes sense to guard against that in any way you can as an applicant, even if the odds of collapse are low at any given firm.


TCR

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5ky
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby 5ky » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:31 am

seriouslyinformative wrote:
Any surprise that Renzo was blatantly wrong yet again???


Dude, what is wrong with you?

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swc65
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby swc65 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:48 am

5ky wrote:
seriouslyinformative wrote:
Any surprise that Renzo was blatantly wrong yet again???


Dude, what is wrong with you?



These two have been fighting across many, many different threads.

FWIW. I have a good friend at Caddy who says the terrible stories are largely the result of associates' experience with one partner. Also, the Amlaw article linked to earlier has a bunch of associates saying they have had great experiences at CWT. Of course, take that witha grain of salt since their bosses may have known they were doing the article.

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beachbum
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby beachbum » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:08 am

Recently saw a story on ATL regarding SNR Denton's financial troubles, though the news seems specific to Europe. Take it for what you will:

http://www.rollonfriday.com/TheNews/Eur ... fault.aspx

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SweetrollStealer
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby SweetrollStealer » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:12 am

Anyone know the scoop on Dewey & LeBoeuf? I heard (anecdotally) that it was not a great place to be, post-merger.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby quakeroats » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 am

I've heard Cravath is living on its reputation from the 80s and 90s. My information is second hand, so I can't vouch for accuracy.

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bjsesq
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby bjsesq » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:43 am

beachbum wrote:Recently saw a story on ATL regarding SNR Denton's financial troubles, though the news seems specific to Europe. Take it for what you will:

http://www.rollonfriday.com/TheNews/Eur ... fault.aspx


The limited number of interview slots they have seem to support the conclusion that things are not on the upswing yet at SNR.

bdubs
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:47 am

quakeroats wrote:I've heard Cravath is living on its reputation from the 80s and 90s. My information is second hand, so I can't vouch for accuracy.


Don't all law firms live on their reputation? If they continue to get work then they will continue to make money.

It's another story though if all of the business comes from older partners who made a name in the 80s and will have to retire soon. I don't think this is the case at CSM though.

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby seriouslyinformative » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:48 am

quakeroats wrote:I've heard Cravath is living on its reputation from the 80s and 90s. My information is second hand, so I can't vouch for accuracy.


This is correct, but that doesn't quite mean it should be avoided. Just that there are about 7 other V10s I'd take over it.

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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby Rule11 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:04 am

The main problem with DLA isn't even the low quality of work they give you, but their terrible, terrible reputation. Everyone who has worked with DLA has a negative impression of them and their work product. It would not be helpful to have their name on your resume.

Cravath is a popular punching bag, but the idea that it's a "firm to avoid" is laughable. Something truly bizarre would have to happen for Cravath not to be part of the "HYS" of law firms. A better reason to avoid Cravath would be that they make you share an office through your first two years, and sometimes into your third.

Cadwalader's hours requirement listed above is hardly a reason not to go there. Certainly in NY, all firms will either a) have a similar bonus threshold or b) put just as much indirect pressure on associates to hit 2000+ hours. Nowadays, actually, if you're not hitting 2000, you should be updating your resume. That goes for just about any firm. It's shit, but life is shit.

Someone already covered this above, but Latham NY is no more a firm to avoid than any other in NY. It's a sad reality that major layoffs could come from any big firm.

Overall, I give this thread a generous C (primarily for effort) so far.

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Firms to avoid

Postby seriouslyinformative » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:08 am

I'll be doing a megapost in a few hours about firms to avoid and how to make wise picks. Watch for it.




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