Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

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What would you choose?

Cravath
25
26%
Simpson Thacher
31
32%
Skadden
32
33%
Sullivan & Cromwell
9
9%
 
Total votes: 97

Renzo
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Renzo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Considering location within NYC is not very intelligent IMO, even considering that the work you do at these firms will be very similar, unless you're utterly indifferent to the type of people you will be working with, the environment you will be working in, and the exit opportunities you will have


I think a lot of people underestimate the effect that a shitty commute/area can have on your experience. Not to say that it outweighs culture and so forth, but using 'utterly indifferent' as the line at which location matters is really shortsighted, I think. I've lived all over NYC for 10 years (and worked in the city as well), and the worst periods of that time, even without accounting for quality of people, were the ones where my day was bookended by a commute that made me feel like a rat in a test lab.

Also, Times Square is a suppurating chancre on the face of an otherwise unobjectionable city. Enter at your peril


No doubt. I can't say I would have turned down an offer based on nothing but geography, but it was a huge consideration for me between peer firms.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:27 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Considering location within NYC is not very intelligent IMO, even considering that the work you do at these firms will be very similar, unless you're utterly indifferent to the type of people you will be working with, the environment you will be working in, and the exit opportunities you will have


I think a lot of people underestimate the effect that a shitty commute/area can have on your experience. Not to say that it outweighs culture and so forth, but using 'utterly indifferent' as the line at which location matters is really shortsighted, I think. I've lived all over NYC for 10 years (and worked in the city as well), and the worst periods of that time, even without accounting for quality of people, were the ones where my day was bookended by a commute that made me feel like a rat in a test lab.

Also, Times Square is a suppurating chancre on the face of an otherwise unobjectionable city. Enter at your peril


No doubt. I can't say I would have turned down an offer based on nothing but geography, but it was a huge consideration for me between peer firms.


Having worked both in midtown and downtown prior to law school, I can attest to how important location is to your overall quality of life on workdays. Commuting is one of those things that seems trivial in the big picture, but I urge people to give some serious thought to the location factor when they select an office.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:29 pm

Compare to Debevoise?

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:42 pm

Ann. because I do not want to out myself from earlier posts--What are the chances of landing any one of these firms (mainly STB) from Notre Dame Top 10%? Or would it be better to try a transfer and then try my luck?-Sorry in advance for hijacking the thread

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ann. because I do not want to out myself from earlier posts--What are the chances of landing any one of these firms (mainly STB) from Notre Dame Top 10%? Or would it be better to try a transfer and then try my luck?-Sorry in advance for hijacking the thread

If you're a 1L anticipating being top 10%, you should gtfo of this thread and get back to the library.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:50 pm

Not "anticipating" anything. Just a simple question about recruiting by the firms-not claiming I would ever get there; I would just like to know people's thoughts on it

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not "anticipating" anything. Just a simple question about recruiting by the firms-not claiming I would ever get there; I would just like to know people's thoughts on it


I can tell you:

Cravath is out unless you have the work experience/resume; being top 1-5% makes it possible (it's never probable), but transferring won't help unless it's to HYS.

S&C - see Cravath

STB - out because they only want schools "at which they conduct actual on-campus interviews"

But really, stop hypothesizing; 90% chance you won't be.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:04 pm

But really, stop hypothesizing; 90% chance you won't be.



He has a 50% chance of making the top 10%. He'll either make it or he won't.

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rayiner
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:27 pm

RVP11 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Curious how they retain any nice people at all, though. S&C has such an awful reputation. Maybe the interviewers are just the best actors.


Prestige?


Yeah, but if you've worked for S&C, it can't be THAT hard to lateral to DPW or Cleary or STB or Paul Weiss or somewhere comparably prestigious that isn't a giant vat of misery after a few years.


LOL no.

This is the exact type of statement that makes TLS so laughable. People here seem to think that you can always lateral to a lower Vault firm. Cleary, STB, and PW aren't desperate to take S&C's mid-levels. Why would they be?


Because the lateral market is hot and firms are desperate to fill their mid-level ranks.

That said, starting out at S&C and lateraling to STB when you have the latter option from the get-go is comically retarded.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:47 pm

.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:37 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Though I have no real basis of comparison, after being an SA at S&C, I can say that the reputation of it being a terrible workplace is grossly exagerrated. Many of the worst stories concerned the same handful of partners (some of which may have been apocryphal), but it was generally a very congenial place in my experience. Associates were frank about what they didn't like about the firm (terrible hours, like everywhere else), but a poor atmosphere was not a common complaint.


Report back a year after you've started.


This is a really silly come back. As an SA you meet a ton of people, often in various states of inebriation. You will NOT get a good idea of the workload, etc, as an SA, but you do get to talk with associates in a candid setting and see what their lives are like.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:38 pm

.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:19 am

I interviewed at all of the V10 except Wachtell and S&C and thought Cravath and Simpson were the ones that really stood out. Both were the only places where I thought people acted genuine and were the most honest about their work life (as opposed to shelling out the marketing buzzwords they got from HR or being overly fratty and telling me how much they party)

I get the sense that while each of these firms has some real superstar top-notch partners, Cravath has the highest number of these people. That coupled with the fact that you get directly paired with a partner and work with them on a daily basis was a big factor in my decision (although the downside of this, as mentioned, is that your experience is highly dependent on your assignment).

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Though I have no real basis of comparison, after being an SA at S&C, I can say that the reputation of it being a terrible workplace is grossly exagerrated. Many of the worst stories concerned the same handful of partners (some of which may have been apocryphal), but it was generally a very congenial place in my experience. Associates were frank about what they didn't like about the firm (terrible hours, like everywhere else), but a poor atmosphere was not a common complaint.


Report back a year after you've started.


This is a really silly come back. As an SA you meet a ton of people, often in various states of inebriation. You will NOT get a good idea of the workload, etc, as an SA, but you do get to talk with associates in a candid setting and see what their lives are like.


My aunt is a STB partner. During family holidays (the ones she attends), she hides in the bathroom to answer messages on her blackberry. We went on a family camping trip and she paid to set up wireless when she found out she wouldn't have internet access for the weekend. I can't tell you how many times we've tried to get together only for her to cancel due to something at work coming up -- wait actually I can, literally every time I've tried. Who knows, maybe the partners work 85+ hour weeks to allow the associates to frolic freely throughout the office, but I doubt it.

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Though I have no real basis of comparison, after being an SA at S&C, I can say that the reputation of it being a terrible workplace is grossly exagerrated. Many of the worst stories concerned the same handful of partners (some of which may have been apocryphal), but it was generally a very congenial place in my experience. Associates were frank about what they didn't like about the firm (terrible hours, like everywhere else), but a poor atmosphere was not a common complaint.


Report back a year after you've started.


This is a really silly come back. As an SA you meet a ton of people, often in various states of inebriation. You will NOT get a good idea of the workload, etc, as an SA, but you do get to talk with associates in a candid setting and see what their lives are like.


My aunt is a STB partner. During family holidays (the ones she attends), she hides in the bathroom to answer messages on her blackberry. We went on a family camping trip and she paid to set up wireless when she found out she wouldn't have internet access for the weekend. I can't tell you how many times we've tried to get together only for her to cancel due to something at work coming up -- wait actually I can, literally every time I've tried. Who knows, maybe the partners work 85+ hour weeks to allow the associates to frolic freely throughout the office, but I doubt it.


My aunt's the same way. Who would've thought being US Secretary of State would be so damn time consuming?!

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Though I have no real basis of comparison, after being an SA at S&C, I can say that the reputation of it being a terrible workplace is grossly exagerrated. Many of the worst stories concerned the same handful of partners (some of which may have been apocryphal), but it was generally a very congenial place in my experience. Associates were frank about what they didn't like about the firm (terrible hours, like everywhere else), but a poor atmosphere was not a common complaint.


Report back a year after you've started.


This is a really silly come back. As an SA you meet a ton of people, often in various states of inebriation. You will NOT get a good idea of the workload, etc, as an SA, but you do get to talk with associates in a candid setting and see what their lives are like.


My aunt is a STB partner. During family holidays (the ones she attends), she hides in the bathroom to answer messages on her blackberry. We went on a family camping trip and she paid to set up wireless when she found out she wouldn't have internet access for the weekend. I can't tell you how many times we've tried to get together only for her to cancel due to something at work coming up -- wait actually I can, literally every time I've tried. Who knows, maybe the partners work 85+ hour weeks to allow the associates to frolic freely throughout the office, but I doubt it.


At my SA at a similar firm I didn't see the associates frolicking freely throughout the office. They don't work you that hard as an SA, but they definitely don't insulate you from the associates who are working that hard.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Though I have no real basis of comparison, after being an SA at S&C, I can say that the reputation of it being a terrible workplace is grossly exagerrated. Many of the worst stories concerned the same handful of partners (some of which may have been apocryphal), but it was generally a very congenial place in my experience. Associates were frank about what they didn't like about the firm (terrible hours, like everywhere else), but a poor atmosphere was not a common complaint.


Report back a year after you've started.


This is a really silly come back. As an SA you meet a ton of people, often in various states of inebriation. You will NOT get a good idea of the workload, etc, as an SA, but you do get to talk with associates in a candid setting and see what their lives are like.


My aunt is a STB partner. During family holidays (the ones she attends), she hides in the bathroom to answer messages on her blackberry. We went on a family camping trip and she paid to set up wireless when she found out she wouldn't have internet access for the weekend. I can't tell you how many times we've tried to get together only for her to cancel due to something at work coming up -- wait actually I can, literally every time I've tried. Who knows, maybe the partners work 85+ hour weeks to allow the associates to frolic freely throughout the office, but I doubt it.


Is your aunt a terrible person? If not, that's not really inconsistent with the comment of the person you're replying to.

When people talk about "terrible place to work" they don't mean hours. Hours are terrible at any NY firm. What people are talking about is whether a firm is full of shouters and assholes. As an SA, you won't be working associate hours, but you will hear all about what the partners are like.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not "anticipating" anything. Just a simple question about recruiting by the firms-not claiming I would ever get there; I would just like to know people's thoughts on it


I can tell you:

Cravath is out unless you have the work experience/resume; being top 1-5% makes it possible (it's never probable), but transferring won't help unless it's to HYS.

S&C - see Cravath

STB - out because they only want schools "at which they conduct actual on-campus interviews"

But really, stop hypothesizing; 90% chance you won't be.


T-35 to CCN transfer here, Cravath offer in hand. No prior work experience, either.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:00 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:My aunt's the same way. Who would've thought being US Secretary of State would be so damn time consuming?!

Cool story bro.

Anonymous User wrote:Is your aunt a terrible person? If not, that's not really inconsistent with the comment of the person you're replying to.

When people talk about "terrible place to work" they don't mean hours. Hours are terrible at any NY firm. What people are talking about is whether a firm is full of shouters and assholes. As an SA, you won't be working associate hours, but you will hear all about what the partners are like.


Sorry, I apparently misconstrued the topic then. I thought the OP and others wanted input on hours and suggested that the hours were somehow less than the other firms listed. I don't think she's a good or bad person because of how much she works -- that's just how she is. All I can do is add my anecdote to the pile since people don't have much more than that to go on when choosing an SA position.

To try to add something at least somewhat useful, one of my professors absolutely hated S&C and would tell anyone who would listen. Like cry in the office hated it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firm Culture: Cravath vs. S&C vs. Skadden vs. STB

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To try to add something at least somewhat useful, one of my professors absolutely hated S&C and would tell anyone who would listen. Like cry in the office hated it.

Why? Just accepted my offer there, tried to ignore their brutal reputation since I actually hadn't heard any first-hand stories like this.




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