Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

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Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:24 am

For me, work satisfaction, training and firm culture is more important than working on marginally more complex due diligence projects and paperwork for bigger deals. As such, I am considering R&G NY over the entire V5 and Cleary, except Wachtell (which I don't have a CB for).

From those I've talked to who work at various top NY firms, it seems the work done across the board by new and junior associates is very similar regardless of the size of the deal; on the other hand, they emphasize that culture, work satisfaction and training are the distinguishing elements between the top firms. According to Vault and my discussions with various R&G associates, the firm has very little face time requirements, has a 1900 billable hour mark (even for its NY office), emphasizes formal/informal training, and has an excellent work culture (with among the highest associate work satisfaction rankings).

Can someone tell me why I shouldn't pick this firm, given that I value free time and a great work environment more than working on the biggest deals, over the V5 and Cleary? I assume the improvement in exit options (tied to the "prestige" of the firm) is the main consideration, but how would this factor be materially different across the firms? R&G NY, for example, has a strong Investment Management practice that leads to well-paid in-house counsel positions at top IM companies.

Oh, and I want to live in NY (and eventually SF where R&G has a satellite office), so R&G's Boston HQ is a very unlikely option for me.

Just to note, I am interested in M&A, PE, Securities and Banking and Finance work.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:36 am

Forget about 1900 billable hour myth. The hours will be the same. Practice area is important. If you really want a certain group, thats a good reason to take ropes. Culture is important too, but Dpw and stb have similarly polite cultures. And most of the V5 are good at training, particularly Cravath.

ropes NY is not a big corp office, IIRC. Its mostly IP. Just because a firm is good at something doesn't mean all its offices are.

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englawyer
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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby englawyer » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:53 am

ropes ny was an acquisition of fish & neeve, a former ip boutique. any corporate work there is probably just an addon/low priority.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:20 am

Ropes is a kind and gentle firm, but it's no kinder and gentler than DPW, STB and Cleary. I see no reason to take Ropes NY over any of those three (unless you're IP, but you're not).

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:41 am

Very glad someone posted this question, as I was about to ask the same. I am interested in a different practice area (not going to say since it might out me), but the situation is roughly the same- the NYC office didn't have this practice area until about 5 years ago. However, that could lead to good opportunities to be a part of the team that grows the practice.

Also considering Cleary, S&C, DPW, and STB. As for the 1900 hour requirement, it's nice that the bonus kicks in at 1900 rather than 2000+. While this might mean that you are working just as much as everyone else, it takes some of the pressure off about hitting the target if you hit a slow patch either when you first start or during some off month while work is on pause.

Anyway, I was very impressed by Ropes in the office. Seemed like a great place to work. Is your career at a significant disadvantage by working at Ropes vs. DPW or S&C?

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:46 am

While Ropes has a great reputation, they were pretty ruthless with layoffs, and their strength as a firm is definitely not centered in NYC. Out of the V5 + C, for corporate, I would go to Cleary or DPW. I've heard great things about both, and I doubt that Ropes would be any "nicer." NYC corporate work lifestyle is not going to vary a huge amount between firms.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby quakeroats » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is your career at a significant disadvantage by working at Ropes vs. DPW or S&C?


No.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:42 am

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is your career at a significant disadvantage by working at Ropes vs. DPW or S&C?


No.


Can you elaborate? This is a real concern for me as I want to do corporate as well, but worry about the relative difference in exit opps from a, say Ropes, versus a Cleary/Weil or versus a Cravath/Skadden/DPW/Simpson. My gut says go where I'll be the most happy/feel the most "at home," but still Vault/other competitive forces say shoot for the "top." At the end of the day, I think I may want to lateral in house at a top corporation. I've heard others say they are using the prestige thing to get into banking or other fields. Does the name matter for those purposes?

Pardon the word vomit.

ruski
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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby ruski » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:09 pm

first i don't think ropes weathered the crisis as well. their recruiting last year was a mess, and they put several pple on hold for months. the consensus last year was they really had no idea about their need and came off extremely disorganized compared to other firms.

the only issue i would have with ropes is if you take it, and then find out you are working the same hours as your friends at v5, and realize the "1900" mark is useless, you will be a little bitter as you could have just gone for a v5 for that type of atmosphere. i believe some v5s (i think dpw and simpson) also advertise that their target is between 1800-2000. im sure however this is not true for most of their practices, particularly capital markets and m&a and other corporate practices known to grind associates. so the last thing you want to do is go to a place like ropes thinking you're at a lifestyle firm, only to realize you're working just as hard as the v5 guys.

however, ive heard corporate ip is more chill than other corproate practices, so maybe it will be a better lifestyle, but this will probably be more a result of the practice area than actually being at ropes. the corporate ip group at a v5 will most likely be just as chill, but probably a smaller group and harder to get into. not sure what your future goals are but i would think your exit options would be limited if you do ip at ropes, than compared to general corporate at a v5.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:58 pm

Thread starter here. Some good points raised. I'm also curious about people's opinions on Debevoise.

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rayiner
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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Very glad someone posted this question, as I was about to ask the same. I am interested in a different practice area (not going to say since it might out me), but the situation is roughly the same- the NYC office didn't have this practice area until about 5 years ago. However, that could lead to good opportunities to be a part of the team that grows the practice.

Also considering Cleary, S&C, DPW, and STB. As for the 1900 hour requirement, it's nice that the bonus kicks in at 1900 rather than 2000+. While this might mean that you are working just as much as everyone else, it takes some of the pressure off about hitting the target if you hit a slow patch either when you first start or during some off month while work is on pause.

Anyway, I was very impressed by Ropes in the office. Seemed like a great place to work. Is your career at a significant disadvantage by working at Ropes vs. DPW or S&C?


Dow has no minimum hours for bonus either, for what little that is worth.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is your career at a significant disadvantage by working at Ropes vs. DPW or S&C?


No.


Can you elaborate? This is a real concern for me as I want to do corporate as well, but worry about the relative difference in exit opps from a, say Ropes, versus a Cleary/Weil or versus a Cravath/Skadden/DPW/Simpson. My gut says go where I'll be the most happy/feel the most "at home," but still Vault/other competitive forces say shoot for the "top." At the end of the day, I think I may want to lateral in house at a top corporation. I've heard others say they are using the prestige thing to get into banking or other fields. Does the name matter for those purposes?

Pardon the word vomit.


How did you like the vibe at Ropes versus DPW or STB?

Ropes is a prestigious firm for corporate, but not Ropes NY.

Also, beware of picking a firm based in a narrow practice area before doing an SA.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:58 pm

rayiner wrote: How did you like the vibe at Ropes versus DPW or STB?

Ropes is a prestigious firm for corporate, but not Ropes NY.

Also, beware of picking a firm based in a narrow practice area before doing an SA.


Echoing this a little, if you want corporate work in a more congenial/less stressful atmosphere, then get out of New York. I'm biased as I SA'ed in Boston, but the corporate associates aren't ridden like they are in NYC. Yes, you work long hours, but the corporate associates I know in NYC have no life, and the ones I know in Boston work usually from 9am - 630pm and are able to have dinner at home then finish up work there. I summered at RG/WH/GP in Boston and I can honestly say the building was empty after 7pm and no one was around on weekends. This will not be the case at most NYC shops.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:46 pm

It is straight up false that Ropes NY only does IP corporate. There is a substantial PE practice, hedge fund practice, IM practice and debt practice. There is a good deal of variety in the deals within all of those areas. There is also a lot of work across offices, which affects the atmosphere. Despite the tendency of NY firms to be more demanding in terms of hours and intensity, the NY office of Ropes definitely maintains the civility of the Boston office.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Maybe once you have offers, ask HR at Cleary & V5 firms if you can get in touch with people who lateral in from Ropes, and vice-versa? It'd be interesting to learn why they move from one to another.

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:24 am

Are exit opportunities pretty much the same across the V10 minus Wachtell?

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Re: Ropes & Gray NY vs. V5, Cleary for Corporate

Postby quakeroats » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are exit opportunities pretty much the same across the V10 minus Wachtell?


Vault rating has very little to do with exit opportunities.




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