Importance of high Vault firm

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:25 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Chances are you will only be at the big firm for 3-5 years. Might as well go to the V10 one so you have better exit options.


No. If the V100 is the top dog in the secondary market, his/her exit options in that market would likely be better. In the south, for example, no one will be super impressed that you used to work at Cravath or SulCrom, much less STB.


Yeah I agree, based on the fact that OP wants to exit into the region that the V100 is already located, then they're likely to have just as good exit options from that V100 due to much better local connections after several years working there.


This is credited. I knew a couple of people who went to a really solid firm in Minneapolis because that's where all their family is and where they wanted to be. They had offers from V15/20 firms in NYC, but I feel pretty certain that the connections they've been able to build up in Minneapolis in just a few years beats the prestigious resume line of a V10/15/20 firm.

I don't know too much about STB, but I knew somebody who was there for a few years. The exit options he was telling me about didn't really seem to apply that well to a smaller market.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:30 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I appreciate the point on stability, I do think the V10 firm is more stable - they no-offered/laid off far less people during the recession, the summer program is longer, and the PPP is way higher. I still may go back and visit each one.


Be careful. None of the things you listed is a good indicator of stability. For example: Many firms had high PPP pre-recession thanks to high leverage, and maintained that high PPP through the downturn by de-leveraging (also know as "firing people"). Similarly, a shorter summer program could be viewed as a sign that they are conservative about costs, and that's good for a firm's stability.


OP here - What would you consider to be a good indicator of stability? I believe the V10 firm only laid off support staff during the recession, and no associates or partners. So, if they kept high PPP, without "de-leveraging", isn't that a good sign by your reasoning?


Almost everyone in the V10 let go of people from 2008-2010. They did it in less overt ways than, say, Latham, but they still did it. Btw, why don't you at least tell us which V10?


Every V10 stealthed people to keep attrition in check. Some did it worse than others, and most did way better than a lot of big lower V100s. S&C and DPW got fat during the recession (leverage went up a lot). STB's leverage was unchanged. Latham deleveraged like crazy. Firms didn't all behave the same.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby rayiner » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Chances are you will only be at the big firm for 3-5 years. Might as well go to the V10 one so you have better exit options.


No. If the V100 is the top dog in the secondary market, his/her exit options in that market would likely be better. In the south, for example, no one will be super impressed that you used to work at Cravath or SulCrom, much less STB.


Southern firms are full of partners that started at V25s.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know too much about STB, but I knew somebody who was there for a few years. The exit options he was telling me about didn't really seem to apply that well to a smaller market.


Do you mind mentioning what the exit options were, and if your friend did lit, M&A, or other corporate?

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby de5igual » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:39 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Chances are you will only be at the big firm for 3-5 years. Might as well go to the V10 one so you have better exit options.


No. If the V100 is the top dog in the secondary market, his/her exit options in that market would likely be better. In the south, for example, no one will be super impressed that you used to work at Cravath or SulCrom, much less STB.


Southern firms are full of partners that started at V25s.


not saying that it's impossible, but working a few years at a NYC V10 doesn't really give an advantage over working at K&S or A&B if you're looking to lateral or go in-house in Atlanta. In fact, being at K&S or A&B will likely give you better networking opportunities (which are probably more important than firm prestige).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know too much about STB, but I knew somebody who was there for a few years. The exit options he was telling me about didn't really seem to apply that well to a smaller market.


Do you mind mentioning what the exit options were, and if your friend did lit, M&A, or other corporate?


I don't want to give away too much, but it's PE-related and from what he's told me, it's a type of job that really only exists, for the most part, in NYC. He's doing okay financially. Not as well as I would expect somebody in his field to be doing, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:47 pm

Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:52 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.


You're probably right that they will be clamoring for someone from a firm like that. But that probably has more to do with the "quality" of the type of person that can get a job at a place like Simpson to begin with--i.e their "prestige". I'm not sure I buy into the "training" aspect. From what many people say, "training" at these big corporate departments in your first few years is a euphemism for due diligence.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:56 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.


You're probably right that they will be clamoring for someone from a firm like that. But that probably has more to do with the "quality" of the type of person that can get a job at a place like Simpson to begin with--i.e their "prestige". I'm not sure I buy into the "training" aspect. From what many people say, "training" at these big corporate departments in your first few years is a euphemism for due diligence.


Years 1-3 at big prestigious corporate firms are not entirely due diligence. And I strongly doubt firms are after the "quality" of the associate who can get the job at those firms. They are truly after the associate who has had exposure to the most complex deals/litigation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273142
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:21 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.


OP here. Looking at a secondary market, not tertiary. Think Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh. I think the STB name would definitely carry weight, which makes it tempting to go for a few years. I am interested in litigation, though.

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby de5igual » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:30 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.


I'm not really sure if that's true, though. People on TLS vastly overestimate the weight of "NYC-prestige" in non-primary markets. Sure, Texas firms will have heard of STB. But will they necessarily think someone with that experience to be of a higher caliber than someone from VE/FJ/BB? Probably not. As for the other markets you mentioned, I have no idea.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:41 pm

f0bolous wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Depends on the secondary market you're talking about. Simpson Thacher doesn't count for much in Mobile, Alabama, sure. But in Houston? Seattle? Miami, etc.? The name definitely carries huge weight at big firms there, and they will clamor to have a corporate associate with training from a firm like Simpson.


I'm not really sure if that's true, though. People on TLS vastly overestimate the weight of "NYC-prestige" in non-primary markets. Sure, Texas firms will have heard of STB. But will they necessarily think someone with that experience to be of a higher caliber than someone from VE/FJ/BB? Probably not. As for the other markets you mentioned, I have no idea.



Actually, they will. You know how I know that? I know attorneys at top firms in TX and I've talked to them precisely about this issue. Some have even gone so far as to say that they'll take me even if they don't have a spot for me right then and there. They will find something for me at their firm just so they can have me.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Importance of high Vault firm

Postby rayiner » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:46 pm

f0bolous wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Chances are you will only be at the big firm for 3-5 years. Might as well go to the V10 one so you have better exit options.


No. If the V100 is the top dog in the secondary market, his/her exit options in that market would likely be better. In the south, for example, no one will be super impressed that you used to work at Cravath or SulCrom, much less STB.


Southern firms are full of partners that started at V25s.


not saying that it's impossible, but working a few years at a NYC V10 doesn't really give an advantage over working at K&S or A&B if you're looking to lateral or go in-house in Atlanta. In fact, being at K&S or A&B will likely give you better networking opportunities (which are probably more important than firm prestige).


If you're looking to make partner at A&B sure. If you're looking to make partner somewhere, not necessarily.

A lot of people have this illusion that partnership is entirely dependent on your "book." That's silly, because very few associates at any V100 have a book. Partners are promoted mostly based on cultivating contacts with existing clients, potential for business development, and timing. The latter is hugely helped by being at a big NYC firm, because you're a credible lateral to any market where an opportunity might arise. Lots of partners got made in the 1990s and early 2000s as secondary market firms poached experienced senior associates from big NYC firms to expand their NYC presences. These folks weren't recruited for their rainmaking ability - they were recruited because they had the skills to help the firms existing clients in the NY market working on financial matters.

There is also the risk management angle. What happens when you don't make partner? Coming from STB you'll be a credible lateral candidate anywhere in the country. At the secondary market firm, you'll have strong leverage only in that market. This is really important because if you're up for partnership during a downturn in that market, you could be really screwed. Other firms in the market will probably be facing similar problems. If you've got national mobility you can at least look for better options in another market. The Atlanta legal market, for example, has suffered particularly badly even as others have recovered. While starting at A&B will give you great options in Atlanta, it won't give mobility to say CA.

That said, litigation is probably an entirely different can of soup. The above discussion is probably not applicable.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.