Cravath v SullCrom

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imchuckbass58
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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what about S&C vs. Cravath for litigation? right now i'm leaning heavily towards S&C only because the Cravath rotation system seems nuts to me, but i'm wondering if either firm has a significant edge when it comes to their lit practices.


As far as I know neither has a significant edge overall.

Cravath probably does relatively more IP lit. S&C probably does relatively more white collar.

Both do lots of securities and general commercial.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:42 pm

Man, really? S&C is famous for their white collar work. If you're interested in white collar and have an offer from S&C, you're probably foolish to go anywhere else. By the same token, Cravath is the litigation firm in NYC, which by default places it among the top lit firms worldwide. If you want a career in litigation, and aren't ga-ga about white collar work, there probably isn't a stronger resume line than CSM. Maybe I'm misinformed, but the no "significant edge overall" line seems just flat wrong to me. It's Cravath every way except one.

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clintonius
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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby clintonius » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:44 pm

quakeroats wrote:You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.

In the matter of quakeroats speaking from his bottom, exhibit #927...

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Man, really? S&C is famous for their white collar work. If you're interested in white collar and have an offer from S&C, you're probably foolish to go anywhere else. By the same token, Cravath is the litigation firm in NYC, which by default places it among the top lit firms worldwide. If you want a career in litigation, and aren't ga-ga about white collar work, there probably isn't a stronger resume line than CSM. Maybe I'm misinformed, but the no "significant edge overall" line seems just flat wrong to me. It's Cravath every way except one.


+1. There are many reasons not to go to CSM. Wanting to do lit at S&C isn't one of them.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Man, really? S&C is famous for their white collar work. If you're interested in white collar and have an offer from S&C, you're probably foolish to go anywhere else. By the same token, Cravath is the litigation firm in NYC, which by default places it among the top lit firms worldwide.


I don't think S&C and Cravath are as preeminent as you think in those respective specialties. Yes, they are certainly in the top tier, but you can argue that Paul Weiss, Davis Polk, and Boies are right there with Cravath in terms of NY lit (Paul Weiss especially). Similarly, it's not "foolish" to go to places like DPW, Debevoise or Paul Weiss for white collar/investigations. In fact many people turn down Cravath and S&C for these firms every year.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby quakeroats » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:57 pm

clintonius wrote:
quakeroats wrote:You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.

In the matter of quakeroats speaking from his bottom, exhibit #927...


Cravath isn't the firm it was 10-20 years ago. Entry-level lawyers haven't figured it out yet, but they will.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:05 pm

quakeroats wrote:
clintonius wrote:
quakeroats wrote:You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.

In the matter of quakeroats speaking from his bottom, exhibit #927...


Cravath isn't the firm it was 10-20 years ago. Entry-level lawyers haven't figured it out yet, but they will.


Why do you feel so strongly about this?

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rayiner
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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:05 pm

quakeroats wrote:
clintonius wrote:
quakeroats wrote:You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.

In the matter of quakeroats speaking from his bottom, exhibit #927...


Cravath isn't the firm it was 10-20 years ago. Entry-level lawyers haven't figured it out yet, but they will.


Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Man, really? S&C is famous for their white collar work. If you're interested in white collar and have an offer from S&C, you're probably foolish to go anywhere else. By the same token, Cravath is the litigation firm in NYC, which by default places it among the top lit firms worldwide. If you want a career in litigation, and aren't ga-ga about white collar work, there probably isn't a stronger resume line than CSM. Maybe I'm misinformed, but the no "significant edge overall" line seems just flat wrong to me. It's Cravath every way except one.


This.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:11 pm

rayiner wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:47 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DPW = collective
Cravath = patriarchal
S&C = individualistic

As for the work, your decision should really come down to whether you want the 2-year unassigned associate system, or the rotation system. I think in terms of parter contact and training opportunities, there are real advantages to Cravath's model. For example at Cravath, your performance reviews are done only by partners, perhaps with input from senior associates.


Not OP but I'm thinking very seriously about S&C. Can you explain more what you mean by individualistic? I also have the impression that they're a bit more egalitarian and progressive (liberal pro bono cases, partners eat in same cafeteria etc.) and the people seem extraordinarily nice, friendly and low-key compared to the firm's reputation.

I currently want to do lit and am trying to pick the firm where I'll get the highest caliber training and exposure to different practice areas in 2L summer and first couple years as an associate. The rotation system sounds too confining, but I'm concerned that S&C's generalist approach might be too ad hoc or unsystematic. Any thoughts on this? Aside from prestige, how does S&C compare to other V10s in terms of culture, mentorship & training?

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby quakeroats » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:09 pm

rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:17 pm

quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.


Is Cravath really faring that much worse than S&C? What is the reason behind this?

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.


Is Cravath really faring that much worse than S&C? What is the reason behind this?


i dont think this person (quakeroats) has any basis for the arguments he/she is making itt. while this discussion is directly relevant to my immediate interests, i feel comfortable ignoring him.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:34 pm

quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
rayiner wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.


Woolrey went to a major institutional client as co-head of m&a. Good for cravath, not bad.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby quakeroats » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:50 pm

rayiner wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:Based on what?

Cravath has dropped... to the point that it's a peer with S&C.


Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.

Woolrey went to a major institutional client as co-head of m&a. Good for cravath, not bad.


It's not all bad, but it isn't all good either.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby smokyroom26 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:58 pm

quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Well, not just S&C. Cravath is now peers with S&C, DPW, Cleary, and Simpson, and now compares unfavorably to Wachtell in terms of M&A. This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

I don't think anyone's arguing Cravath is shabby, it's just that back in the day there was a point where Cravath was basically without peer, and that's no longer the case.


I think that's exactly what quakeroats is arguing ("You should pick Sullivan and Cromwell. Cravath isn't even a close second.").


That's not quite what I'm arguing. My point is that if the OP is required to choose between Cravath and SullCrom, he should go with the latter without hesitation. I wasn't speaking to any other pairing. I have a negative outlook on Cravath (especially if they lose another Woolery or two), but I think they'll slide to a relatively soft landing on that sterling reputation of theirs.

Woolrey went to a major institutional client as co-head of m&a. Good for cravath, not bad.


It's not all bad, but it isn't all good either.


I would love to see hard facts/cites/evidence backing up these claims about Cravath. I am not trying to be snarky - actually interested.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:13 pm

smokyroom26 wrote:
I would love to see hard facts/cites/evidence backing up these claims about Cravath. I am not trying to be snarky - actually interested.


its not that cravath is a bad firm, its that they've been on the downswing. moving down in prestige over the past 20 years + not weathering the financial crisis as good as the other firms shows that they are not the best anymore. so its not that they have become a bad firm, its that they have been in a bit of a slight downward trend. cravath has also gotten the reputation that you work close to wachtell hours, but for the same pay as pretty much the entire v100. so incoming associates have smartened up and started going to other v5.

also until recently cravath didnt even have a bankruptcy/restructuring practice, which has been a booming field these past few years which is another reason they didn't fare as well in the recession. they are just an old school firm that is resistant to change - they were one of the lasts to enter M&A as well. this is what people mean when they say they are living on their reputation of the last 50 or so years. i mean cmon, to be a corporate law firm in 2000 and not even have a restructuring department b/c that work is beneath you? thats the same mentality they had with M&A and thats what allowed wachtell surpass them. clear evidence that they are trying to live on their reputation from the past and are stubborn to adapt to changes in the business environment.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:16 pm

Woolrey left to make bank as an i-banker. Cravaths lockstep comp can't offer that kind of cash. Doesn't reflect badly on cravath.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby ruski » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm

rayiner wrote:Woolrey left to make bank as an i-banker. Cravaths lockstep comp can't offer that kind of cash. Doesn't reflect badly on cravath.


someone can correct me if im wrong but doesn't cravath's lockstep comp have much narrower spreads among partners earnings than other lockstep firms. isnt their average spread like 1 to 2 or 3, whereas at others its more 1 to 3 or 4. this could lead to top talent leaving as rainmakers are really shortchanged at cravath, even when compared to other lockstep firms.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:35 pm

ruski wrote:
rayiner wrote:Woolrey left to make bank as an i-banker. Cravaths lockstep comp can't offer that kind of cash. Doesn't reflect badly on cravath.


someone can correct me if im wrong but doesn't cravath's lockstep comp have much narrower spreads among partners earnings than other lockstep firms. isnt their average spread like 1 to 2 or 3, whereas at others its more 1 to 3 or 4. this could lead to top talent leaving as rainmakers are really shortchanged at cravath, even when compared to other lockstep firms.


Thats the danger of lockstep, but Cravath's is in line with S&C etc (1:3 iirc). Remember, even in a bad year their PPP was 2.5M. It just cant compete with banking.

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:36 pm

Does this mean that accepting an offer from SullCrom means one has to work with quakeroats?

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP but I'm thinking very seriously about S&C. Can you explain more what you mean by individualistic? I also have the impression that they're a bit more egalitarian and progressive (liberal pro bono cases, partners eat in same cafeteria etc.) and the people seem extraordinarily nice, friendly and low-key compared to the firm's reputation.

I currently want to do lit and am trying to pick the firm where I'll get the highest caliber training and exposure to different practice areas in 2L summer and first couple years as an associate. The rotation system sounds too confining, but I'm concerned that S&C's generalist approach might be too ad hoc or unsystematic. Any thoughts on this? Aside from prestige, how does S&C compare to other V10s in terms of culture, mentorship & training?


From http://nymag.com/news/features/28515/index1.html :

"As a firm, Sullivan may be even more hard-core than most. “It’s not a very nice place,” says one lawyer who left, “and that’s the leadership of the firm, from the top down. They’ve turned a blind eye to it for years.” Says another, “Many partners think they’re gods, and they think the associates are worthless shit.” The attitude has led, some say, to unusually low associate morale: In the past few years, the attrition rate for Sullivan’s associates has been higher than the national average for large firms."

From http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/01/24/sul ... te-morale/ :

"But last February, the partners at Sullivan & Cromwell acknowledged that problems at its firm had become particuarly acute. A 74-page PowerPoint presentation entitled “Recruiting, Associate Morale and Retention” showed that associates were leaving the law firm in droves: S&C lost 31% of its associates in 2004; 30% in 2005. (The average associate attrition rate for law firms of 501 or more attorneys from 2002 to 2004 was 19%, according to a NALP study.)

Meanwhile, in the American Lawyer’s midlevel associate satisfaction surveys, the firm compared unfavorably against peers like Davis Polk, Cleary Gottleib, Debevoise, and Simpson Thacher. In the 2005 survey, it ranked 155th out of 160 law firms. Scribbled one person on a hard copy of the presentation: “We are breaking away from the pack in the wrong direction.” "

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Re: Cravath v SullCrom

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:38 pm

ruski wrote:
rayiner wrote:Woolrey left to make bank as an i-banker. Cravaths lockstep comp can't offer that kind of cash. Doesn't reflect badly on cravath.


someone can correct me if im wrong but doesn't cravath's lockstep comp have much narrower spreads among partners earnings than other lockstep firms. isnt their average spread like 1 to 2 or 3, whereas at others its more 1 to 3 or 4. this could lead to top talent leaving as rainmakers are really shortchanged at cravath, even when compared to other lockstep firms.


Yeah, but frankly if you are a connected enough lawyer that a bank would want you, it doesn't matter if the spread is 1:10, no law firm pays more than most banks.




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