DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

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DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:25 pm

I have interviews with both firms this month and I'm trying to figure out which firm has a better reputation among associates, work/life balance, office culture, mentoring, etc. Have an offer from another V100 for next summer but am willing to pass if A&P or Covington comes through. My research so far suggests that APers are pretty unhappy with their pay as of late, but I don't know much else.

Which place would you want to work and why? Also, I'm interested in real estate and energy. Thanks guys!

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blurbz
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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby blurbz » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:27 pm

I have nothing constructive to say to answer your question.

But....

How have you done this? I want.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:32 pm

Out of all the firms that I've had a chance to meet people from Covington is the only one where I've heard the people say it wasn't a negative experience. One went so far as to say "if I continue doing biglaw, the only place I'll do it is here". Admittedly he said it wasn't the best thing in the world, but for a biglaw firm it was pretty good. Frankly, when you look at how low the QOL is at many firms, and what many associates say, that's actually pretty high praise.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Doritos » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:35 pm

blurbz wrote:I have nothing constructive to say to answer your question.

But....

How have you done this? I want.


Good grades & school I reckon

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:09 pm

Necroing: Any further thoughts on this breakdown?

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:24 pm

Small sample size, but I really liked the folks I met at Covington, and the associates to a T all seemed to be satisfied with their jobs. Some really liked it, some were more of the 'it's good for BigLaw variety' but nobody had anything overtly negative to say. A&P I found to be very formal and a little stuffy, and the associates were much more 'meh' about the firm. Again, this is based on meeting 4-6 people at each firm. But fwiw, I also met several folks at other firms who had lateraled from A&P; never met anyone who lateraled from Covington.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Small sample size, but I really liked the folks I met at Covington, and the associates to a T all seemed to be satisfied with their jobs. Some really liked it, some were more of the 'it's good for BigLaw variety' but nobody had anything overtly negative to say. A&P I found to be very formal and a little stuffy, and the associates were much more 'meh' about the firm. Again, this is based on meeting 4-6 people at each firm. But fwiw, I also met several folks at other firms who had lateraled from A&P; never met anyone who lateraled from Covington.


Guess this is the curse of the sample size, eh?

My experience was almost opposite - I definitely thought Covington was stuffier than A & P.

Your note about the lateraling is well taken though, because I had the same experience.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:57 pm

I wonder how much of the lateraling has to do with pay vs. satisfaction, though. I didn't meet anyone who had lateraled from A&P but did meet someone who had lateraled from Covington.

I also got the sense that both firms had very friendly cultures, but it seemed like A&P people were more social with each other outside of work than Covington people were.

On a different note, I also heard (from someone at a third firm, so take it with a grain of salt) that A&P associates don't get as much substantive work early on as Covington associates do. Not sure if that's actually the case.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:47 am

Necroing anon:

I have also heard, though, that Covington's assignment system means that a lot of people are roped into doing IP even if they didn't really want to do it

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:55 am

Former Covington (DC) paralegal/current law student here. I can't speak to A&P, but I spent two years at Covington, and there are some genuinely great attorneys there. That being said, there are also some really difficult (I'm trying to be diplomatic) people, although that's arguably the case for most of biglaw. Also, the litigation department skews heavily toward patent and insurance, and if you go there to do litigation, most likely you'll end up staffed to one of those matters, whether you want to or not. Also, I know several associates who have recently jumped ship to go to the government/non-profits. Again, this is arguably a characteristic of most large DC law firms, but at Covington, I got the impression that those associates were really burned out, and from what I've heard, Covington's attrition is worse than at other firms. I do have one friend who is still an associate there (and is miserable) who, before I went through OCI, warned me to stay far away. But then again, she's certainly not representative of the entire firm, and I've also kept in touch with a couple of associates still there who are very happy. I was treated relatively well and never screamed at (well, maybe once when this one associate was drunk), so I can't say that you shouldn't go to Covington.

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Re: DC Firms: Arnold & Porter vs. Covington & Burling??

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:18 am

For me, A&P by a mile. They might not be quite as highly ranked as CB (we are talking relative degrees in the stratosphere here)-- but, associates actually like coworkers and the firm has more of a 'we are a team' atmosphere. The garden room concept is pretty amazing. (there is a happy hour every night at the firm to encourage colleagues to mingle) It isn't as stuffy as CB, and they do interesting work on par with the top firms in DC and NYC.

As to the negative comments about bonuses. Not every firm is perfect, and I do think that coming out of the abyss that was the legal economy- firms may play it cautious with extra funds. I don't think A&P decision to give only market bonuses should be a reason to not seriously consider the firm culture, work prospects and quality of life.

At the end of the day, go with whichever firm you liked more-- and could envision yourself working in.... You are the one taking the job, not the TLS masses.




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