DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

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DPW (NY) v. Cleary (NY) v. Debevoise (NY) for Corporate/Transactional work

Davis Polk NY
16
52%
Cleary NY
4
13%
Debevoise NY
11
35%
 
Total votes: 31

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DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:24 pm

I'm lucky enough to have some great options, all in New York.

Interested in corporate/transactional work, but not sure which particular practice area (probably the common ones--capital markets, m&a, PE, tax). I've visited all three firms and liked the people in all of them very much. I know Cleary has the non-rigid associate structure but I don't really see that as a huge pro or con. Primary concerns for me would be exit opportunities, job security, and firm morale/job satisfaction.

I am sort of leaning toward one firm but would love some feedback from those of you who have worked at or know people who work at these.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:46 pm

Also considering these options. Would like to know more.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:47 pm

it's a popular combination, I think most people who really want one of the three are probably also interested in the other two.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:58 pm

This is my exact decision except throw in Skadden and Simpson. Does Skadden/Simpson change the situation?

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is my exact decision except throw in Skadden and Simpson. Does Skadden/Simpson change the situation?


I'm the OP, I don't have skadden or simpson--I think Skadden is a bit different from these firms in terms of culture but Simpson would fit nicely into the mix--I simultaneously envy and sympathize with your position haha... but congrats on an amazing cycle!

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:01 pm

I'd be interested to know why people are choosing certain firms over others in the poll. I'm struggling with a similar decision.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:02 pm

not sure if this helps OP i'm the one with skadden/simpson. My original decision was simply DPW v. Debevoise and the other 3 came along later, but between DPW and Debevoise I found it to be nearly a standstill. I liked the Debevoise culture a bit more but DPW exit opps seemed a bit stronger, I was virtually deadlocked.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:30 pm

I summered at one of these firms, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here are some things I think you should consider:

(1) Practice mix. DPW, Cleary, and Debevoise have pretty different practices when it comes to corporate. Cleary and DPW do TONS of capital markets work (at DPW, it may be over half the corporate department). Debevoise on the other hand, is very private-equity driven. PE M&A and PE fund formation are the two biggest practices, and even a lot of the other practices (bankruptcy, real estate, capital markets) and heavily driven by PE clients. There's no better or worse mix, but if you have a leaning as far as practice area, keep this in mind. Capital markets is particularly polarizing in terms of some people loving it and some people hating it. Cleary probably has the most balanced practice - lots of capital markets, but also some PE, public M&A, and some interesting latin american transactional work.

(2) Clients. Sort of tied in with the above, but DPW has a lot of bank clients and does a lot of bank-side representation. Debevoise has relatively few, and even where it does, it tends to represent the private equity arms of banks. As noted above, Debevoise's clients tend to be private equity firms, insurance companies, and a few large public companies. Cleary is more balanced. This affects both exit options (type, not quality necessarily), and the type of work these firms do.

Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:05 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:I summered at one of these firms, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here are some things I think you should consider:

(1) Practice mix. DPW, Cleary, and Debevoise have pretty different practices when it comes to corporate. Cleary and DPW do TONS of capital markets work (at DPW, it may be over half the corporate department). Debevoise on the other hand, is very private-equity driven. PE M&A and PE fund formation are the two biggest practices, and even a lot of the other practices (bankruptcy, real estate, capital markets) and heavily driven by PE clients. There's no better or worse mix, but if you have a leaning as far as practice area, keep this in mind. Capital markets is particularly polarizing in terms of some people loving it and some people hating it. Cleary probably has the most balanced practice - lots of capital markets, but also some PE, public M&A, and some interesting latin american transactional work.

(2) Clients. Sort of tied in with the above, but DPW has a lot of bank clients and does a lot of bank-side representation. Debevoise has relatively few, and even where it does, it tends to represent the private equity arms of banks. As noted above, Debevoise's clients tend to be private equity firms, insurance companies, and a few large public companies. Cleary is more balanced. This affects both exit options (type, not quality necessarily), and the type of work these firms do.

Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.


Thanks for this. No OP but I am in a similar situation. Great analysis.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:I summered at one of these firms, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here are some things I think you should consider:

(1) Practice mix. DPW, Cleary, and Debevoise have pretty different practices when it comes to corporate. Cleary and DPW do TONS of capital markets work (at DPW, it may be over half the corporate department). Debevoise on the other hand, is very private-equity driven. PE M&A and PE fund formation are the two biggest practices, and even a lot of the other practices (bankruptcy, real estate, capital markets) and heavily driven by PE clients. There's no better or worse mix, but if you have a leaning as far as practice area, keep this in mind. Capital markets is particularly polarizing in terms of some people loving it and some people hating it. Cleary probably has the most balanced practice - lots of capital markets, but also some PE, public M&A, and some interesting latin american transactional work.

(2) Clients. Sort of tied in with the above, but DPW has a lot of bank clients and does a lot of bank-side representation. Debevoise has relatively few, and even where it does, it tends to represent the private equity arms of banks. As noted above, Debevoise's clients tend to be private equity firms, insurance companies, and a few large public companies. Cleary is more balanced. This affects both exit options (type, not quality necessarily), and the type of work these firms do.

Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.


Thanks for this. No OP but I am in a similar situation. Great analysis.


Yeah, OP here, this is very helpful and--based on my somewhat limited knowledge and exposure to these firms--spot on.

Thanks a lot!

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:I summered at one of these firms, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here are some things I think you should consider:

(1) Practice mix. DPW, Cleary, and Debevoise have pretty different practices when it comes to corporate. Cleary and DPW do TONS of capital markets work (at DPW, it may be over half the corporate department). Debevoise on the other hand, is very private-equity driven. PE M&A and PE fund formation are the two biggest practices, and even a lot of the other practices (bankruptcy, real estate, capital markets) and heavily driven by PE clients. There's no better or worse mix, but if you have a leaning as far as practice area, keep this in mind. Capital markets is particularly polarizing in terms of some people loving it and some people hating it. Cleary probably has the most balanced practice - lots of capital markets, but also some PE, public M&A, and some interesting latin american transactional work.

(2) Clients. Sort of tied in with the above, but DPW has a lot of bank clients and does a lot of bank-side representation. Debevoise has relatively few, and even where it does, it tends to represent the private equity arms of banks. As noted above, Debevoise's clients tend to be private equity firms, insurance companies, and a few large public companies. Cleary is more balanced. This affects both exit options (type, not quality necessarily), and the type of work these firms do.

Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.


Thanks for this. No OP but I am in a similar situation. Great analysis.


Yeah, OP here, this is very helpful and--based on my somewhat limited knowledge and exposure to these firms--spot on.

Thanks a lot!


DPW is also better ranked in almost everything except PE vs. Debevoise which, to me at least, is a bonus given that it means that I (who has little idea what is interesting) can be doing the best work in a variety of different fields during my summer program.

Cleary is a mixed bag.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:37 am

Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.


And with that take everything that was said here with a grain of salt. It's very difficult to assess the culture of a place that you haven't worked in. If culture/fit is going to be the deciding factor, you cannot rely on the assessment of a firm's culture made by an anonymous stranger on the internet.

Go back, look again. Talk to more people. But if fit is your concern, I promise you the answer is not in this forum.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Culture is really in the eye of the beholder. DPW and Debevoise are very similar in the sense that they are extremely polite, respectful, and egalitarian, with great associate-partner relations. Cleary has a rep of being similar, but being a bit more "quirky." All three firms aren't especially "social" - not in the sense that people don't hang out (they do), but in the sense that unlike some other firms (Skadden, Weil), people tend to value a social life outside of the office, there's less getting smashed every weekend with your coworkers.


And with that take everything that was said here with a grain of salt. It's very difficult to assess the culture of a place that you haven't worked in. If culture/fit is going to be the deciding factor, you cannot rely on the assessment of a firm's culture made by an anonymous stranger on the internet.

Go back, look again. Talk to more people. But if fit is your concern, I promise you the answer is not in this forum.



True. But, I think people are looking for additional information/opinions, not the "answer."

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:DPW is also better ranked in almost everything except PE vs. Debevoise which, to me at least, is a bonus given that it means that I (who has little idea what is interesting) can be doing the best work in a variety of different fields during my summer program.

Cleary is a mixed bag.


Again, I am biased, but the bolded is a potential misconception. Yes, DPW is great at M&A, bankruptcy, and financial institutions regulation in addition to cap markets. But most people don't realize how small these practices are relative to the cap markets practice, especially these days. Anecdotally, I know many summers at DPW who wanted to do M&A or regulatory work but simply couldn't because there was so much capital markets work.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DPW is also better ranked in almost everything except PE vs. Debevoise which, to me at least, is a bonus given that it means that I (who has little idea what is interesting) can be doing the best work in a variety of different fields during my summer program.

Cleary is a mixed bag.


Again, I am biased, but the bolded is a potential misconception. Yes, DPW is great at M&A, bankruptcy, and financial institutions regulation in addition to cap markets. But most people don't realize how small these practices are relative to the cap markets practice, especially these days. Anecdotally, I know many summers at DPW who wanted to do M&A or regulatory work but simply couldn't because there was so much capital markets work.


Do you think this is partially due to the nature of capital markets assignments being shorter? Not all assignments obviously, but there tends to be more cap mkts assignments that can be completed in the course of 3-4 weeks than the other groups (especially M&A where most matters can be extremely complex and fast-paced, and therefore might not be given to summers. I would imagine regulatory work also require high levels of expertise or specialty knowledge.

There's no doubt that capital markets is a major practice at dpw, but does it really dwarf the other groups within corporate? If so, it must be even more lopsided at cleary since their M&A, PE, and bankruptcy groups are even smaller compared to dpw.

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Re: DPW v. Cleary v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DPW is also better ranked in almost everything except PE vs. Debevoise which, to me at least, is a bonus given that it means that I (who has little idea what is interesting) can be doing the best work in a variety of different fields during my summer program.

Cleary is a mixed bag.


Again, I am biased, but the bolded is a potential misconception. Yes, DPW is great at M&A, bankruptcy, and financial institutions regulation in addition to cap markets. But most people don't realize how small these practices are relative to the cap markets practice, especially these days. Anecdotally, I know many summers at DPW who wanted to do M&A or regulatory work but simply couldn't because there was so much capital markets work.


Do you think this is partially due to the nature of capital markets assignments being shorter? Not all assignments obviously, but there tends to be more cap mkts assignments that can be completed in the course of 3-4 weeks than the other groups (especially M&A where most matters can be extremely complex and fast-paced, and therefore might not be given to summers. I would imagine regulatory work also require high levels of expertise or specialty knowledge.

There's no doubt that capital markets is a major practice at dpw, but does it really dwarf the other groups within corporate? If so, it must be even more lopsided at cleary since their M&A, PE, and bankruptcy groups are even smaller compared to dpw.


The timeframe of the summer program could be a contributor. I'd also say that it partially has to do with the fact that capital markets practices at most firms, including DPW, were extremely busy until just recently, whereas many other practices were less so (though not necessarily slow).

But yes, capital markets is easily the largest group within corporate. I have no firsthand knowledge, but my friend who summered at DPW estimated it was more than half of the corporate department when she was there.




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