Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

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Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:07 am

The usual sources don't have terribly much info on these 2 firms. Can anyone offer some insights on their practice groups, culture, reasons to choose them etc.?

Sup Kid
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Re: Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

Postby Sup Kid » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:11 am

Just off the top of my head I know Crowell has one of the best gov Ks practices in the country and I think Curtis is well-known for their international practice (could be wrong about Curtis though).

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Re: Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:56 am

I worked at Crowell for around 5 years in a senior staff position in the DC office and absolutely loved it. The clients are top notch, the culture is collaborative and the work is really interesting. Most of the people (staff and lawyers alike) are really nice and the a**hole factor is really low for an AMLAW 100 firm (I've worked at two others so I have a comparison).

No one can touch their govt contracts practice. It's the best in the country. Other standout practices are environmental, antitrust, international arbitration, aviation and health care. They do a lot of work for major defense contractors (UTC), chemical companies (DuPont), coal companies (Massey), airlines (Continental), telecoms (AT&T), and manufacturers (Caterpillar). Litigation runs through the entire firm and they handle some really huge cases but the firm lacks any real star trial lawyers. If Crowell has a weakness (and it's not one in my book) it is the lack of star profile lawyers.

Truth is, the lawyers at Crowell are widely respected by peers and people who are in the know in the various practices and industries they serve, but the firm shuns the spotlight a bit. I think that is part of the firm's culture. Getting along and working in a collaborative and innovative way is valued more than playing power politics or counting coup. Some other clues to the place -- Crowell has no origination credit. Each client is a firm client, and attorneys are compensated in part on how well they have cross-sold other practices to their own clients. That makes collaboration a must and reduces the silo effect that plagues so many firms. Also, practice groups are not co-located by office or floor. As a result, attorneys from various practices see and talk every day with people from completely different groups.

For all of these reasons (and many more) Crowell has been wildly successful, growing revenue consistently despite the downturn and adding new attorneys and offices at a fast pace. However, I think this growth is the firm's biggest challenge since all of the new people come as laterals (no mergers) and must really be inculcated into the firm culture for things to continue as they have been. So far, they have managed things well.

Before I make the place sound like heaven, there are a few problems there. 1) All that collaboration sometimes makes for leadership difficulties, in other words, too much consensus building and not enough decision making. Things can move at a glacial pace and change comes very slowly (if at all) unless two or three key people are behind it. 2) The chairman is a really smart and nice guy, as are the other members of the executive committee, but the managing partner is a vindictive snake who is not to be trusted.

Overall, Crowell is a unique firm and a really fine place to work. I have often regretted leaving.

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Re: Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I worked at Crowell for around 5 years in a senior staff position in the DC office and absolutely loved it. The clients are top notch, the culture is collaborative and the work is really interesting. Most of the people (staff and lawyers alike) are really nice and the a**hole factor is really low for an AMLAW 100 firm (I've worked at two others so I have a comparison).

No one can touch their govt contracts practice. It's the best in the country. Other standout practices are environmental, antitrust, international arbitration, aviation and health care. They do a lot of work for major defense contractors (UTC), chemical companies (DuPont), coal companies (Massey), airlines (Continental), telecoms (AT&T), and manufacturers (Caterpillar). Litigation runs through the entire firm and they handle some really huge cases but the firm lacks any real star trial lawyers. If Crowell has a weakness (and it's not one in my book) it is the lack of star profile lawyers.

Truth is, the lawyers at Crowell are widely respected by peers and people who are in the know in the various practices and industries they serve, but the firm shuns the spotlight a bit. I think that is part of the firm's culture. Getting along and working in a collaborative and innovative way is valued more than playing power politics or counting coup. Some other clues to the place -- Crowell has no origination credit. Each client is a firm client, and attorneys are compensated in part on how well they have cross-sold other practices to their own clients. That makes collaboration a must and reduces the silo effect that plagues so many firms. Also, practice groups are not co-located by office or floor. As a result, attorneys from various practices see and talk every day with people from completely different groups.

For all of these reasons (and many more) Crowell has been wildly successful, growing revenue consistently despite the downturn and adding new attorneys and offices at a fast pace. However, I think this growth is the firm's biggest challenge since all of the new people come as laterals (no mergers) and must really be inculcated into the firm culture for things to continue as they have been. So far, they have managed things well.

Before I make the place sound like heaven, there are a few problems there. 1) All that collaboration sometimes makes for leadership difficulties, in other words, too much consensus building and not enough decision making. Things can move at a glacial pace and change comes very slowly (if at all) unless two or three key people are behind it. 2) The chairman is a really smart and nice guy, as are the other members of the executive committee, but the managing partner is a vindictive snake who is not to be trusted.

Overall, Crowell is a unique firm and a really fine place to work. I have often regretted leaving.

Wow, thanks for going into such depth. Sounds like you didn't summer there and lateraled when you were further along. Do you think it would be a good place to start as a 1st year? How is the training and mentorship compared to what junior associates get from bigger, more bureaucratic firms?

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Re: Info/thoughts on Crowell & Moring, Curtis Mallet-Prevost?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:46 pm

So no one knows anything about Curtis?




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