Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

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Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:54 am

Hey guys, need some help. I'm currently doing callbacks in around this range (V20 - V50) and am really having a hard time seeing whats better about the V20's in comparison to the V50's. I really liked the lawyers I talked to at all of these firms in the range and they all have strong practice groups in what I want to do so I can't really choose based on that so far.

Just from general student talk/ evaluations, though, it seems like the work is measurably more intense and associates are slightly more unhappy at some of the V20's. Then you have the fact that Jones Day seems to pay below market with their hidden compensation system while Cahill has been paying above market. Anybody have any idea about how to decide between these types of firms?

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:13 am

Jones Day doesn't pay "below market". It pays market for first years. After that comensation is confidential. Some will make less than market, but others have room to make more than market.

On more than one occasion this summer I heard things from partners that said clearly firm is bullish about it's positioning economically AND speculation 170k may be out there for class of 2012. It's not the phantom 190 figure from pre ITE, but the first real hint I've seen about going higher. (admittedly I don't look much so I may have missed it.)

So, some people hate the confidential compensation (most notably abovethelaw). But no one I talked to about it was unhappy with it at my office (one of the bigger offices). Personally I willlike the fact that everyone and his/her mother will not see how many hours I bill etc.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:15 am

Everyone at Jones Day that I have talked to was really supportive of the compensation model, then again the firm picked these people to represent them so they are likely all above market or at it.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:18 am

Same poster as the first reply. Now if you are talking partner compensation then yes they do make less than others-- esp Cahill. But I like they opted for lower PPP rather than cutting associate ranks.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby RVP11 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:21 am

PSA/Protip: Vault ranking is pretty much useless for anything other than ranking NYC M&A practices. Don't base your decision on it unless NYC M&A is what you want to do.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:Everyone at Jones Day that I have talked to was really supportive of the compensation model, then again the firm picked these people to represent them so they are likely all above market or at it.

I found the same thing, but my conversations were over the course of the summer program so it was not hand picked representatives. That said, if you don't like the idea of confidential compensation, you're not likely to start working there in the first place.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby irie » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:26 am

Cahill is very much a "eat what you kill" place. they use an free market system for assignments, which basically means you build up relationships with partners and get your work from them. no one will come chasing after you with assignments. they also focus heavily on the NY office, and do less "general corporate" work while investing more in the areas they are good at--such as LBOs.

I can't speak for Jones Day but Shearman is pretty different from Cahill--it is a very international firm with strong presence in Asia and Europe. As a junior associate you can rotate 3-4 times through difference practices over a two year span. Most of the firm's major clients are the large, blue chip wall street banks and the firm does a lot of financing work for these.

As for Bingham--not sure what office you are interested in, but if you are interested in finance and New York, it's not in the same league as the other 3.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:04 am

Interesting, thanks! These really help out. What do you guys think about White & Case then? And do you get the impression that you would work even more at one of the old school white shoe firms like Shearman or White & Case as compared to up and comers? Or is it about the same?

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby markymark » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:51 am

Cahill has the worst offices of any V50 firm. Dismal and run down.

Also Vault rankings are a terrible metric to utilize. Chambers people. Chambers.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:43 pm

Are you interested in corporate or lit (or both)?

Cahill is a great place - probably best financial condition and most high profile work of the firms you named. But they are very specialized. In corporate high-yield debt offerings are a massive portion of their business (easily the majority, I think), in litigation, they're almost exclusively insurance and media/1st amendment litigation. If you're comfortable with those practice areas, great, but if you're not, it can be a bit restricting.

My personal impression of Shearman is that it's sort of in decline. Definitely not what it once was, and even now many of the top partners are on the brink of retirement.

Don't know anything about Jones Day or Bingham.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:24 pm

Cahill's offices aren't dismal at all - they filmed the Adjustment Bureau in there, so go back and watch the whole opening sequence in the venture capital firm and that's Cahill. They are not bad at all. They may not be flashy like some of the V10s, but they put that money back in associates' pockets in the form of high bonuses. Idk about you, but I'd rather have my money in my bank account rather than hanging on the firm's walls.

Second, look in Chambers - they are actually known for litigation. They're known for being "litigators' litigators." They do have a strong First Amendment practices, but that's not all they do. Media & Telecoms is huge there, as is securities lit, IP, and regular commercial litigation (like K disputes, etc). And insurance lit is NOT something thats prevalent at Cahill - and I know this because I worked there.

Third, they don't only do LBOs. In fact, they don't even do LBOs in the traditional sense like a Kirkland & Ellis would. They do acquisition financing as lender's counsel. The corporate group is much, much more than this, with lots of company side work, IPOs, and bond offerings. It is a Wall Street firm, though, so most of the corporate work is geared towards finance. It's not an M&A shop (even though it does company side M&A work, it's "middle-market," meaning smaller deals).

I wouldn't say it's "eat what you kill" because that implies bonuses are based on merit, hours, or business, and that's not true. Bonuses are lockstep, meaning every associate in a particular class receives the same bonus, regardless of how much she billed.

There is a free market system though, which means you're never confined to a practice group. Ever. You do what you want and work with whom you want.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby irie » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wouldn't say it's "eat what you kill" because that implies bonuses are based on merit, hours, or business, and that's not true. Bonuses are lockstep, meaning every associate in a particular class receives the same bonus, regardless of how much she billed.


I don't pretend to be an expert on Cahill, having never worked there, but I do have several friends there and the impression they gave me is that, while bonuses are lockstep, if you are an associate who is not pulling his/her weight and milking the bonus pool you will be shown the door sooner than you will at most other firms. I think the risk of a free market system is that if you aren't proactive enough or you just don't make an impression on certain people right off the bat, you are at a much greater risk of getting pink slipped.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:27 am

irie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I wouldn't say it's "eat what you kill" because that implies bonuses are based on merit, hours, or business, and that's not true. Bonuses are lockstep, meaning every associate in a particular class receives the same bonus, regardless of how much she billed.


I don't pretend to be an expert on Cahill, having never worked there, but I do have several friends there and the impression they gave me is that, while bonuses are lockstep, if you are an associate who is not pulling his/her weight and milking the bonus pool you will be shown the door sooner than you will at most other firms. I think the risk of a free market system is that if you aren't proactive enough or you just don't make an impression on certain people right off the bat, you are at a much greater risk of getting pink slipped.


I think this is true at any firm though. If everyone is pulling around 1900 hours and you're pulling 1100, you'll be shown the door at whatever firm you're at. With Cahill, there's no minimum - so a bit more of a range is permissible whereas most other firms have a hard floor for minimum billables.

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Re: Jones Day/ Shearman & Sterling v. Cahill / Bingham

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:27 am

I think the "free market" system is what makes Cahill a bit rough at times. The thing that really eases that is the fact that they are lockstep, rather than merit or hours-based bonuses (though apparently some people didn't get the Spring bonus; or at least, that's what they told associates).

Also, Cahill's represents primarily banks and lenders, so most of their work is high yield debt (what they are known for on the corporate side) and financing/credit work. They aren't a M&A shop for the most part, and when they do M&A work, it's much more on the institutional side then on the company side (and as a result, juniors don't have to do as much diligence work).

/I don't work there, but an immediate family member does

ETA: Firms are way more than just their Vault rank #. Go where you feel most comfortable and where you feel you can succeed in your career. I think there are enough differences in the firms that you can at least figure that out.




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