GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC)

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GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:46 pm

I've got offers from GDC and A&P in DC, as well as Skadden and Cleary in NYC. (Waiting to hear back from a couple other firms but let's proceed with the assumption that these will be my options.) I'd really appreciate some input about what the best choice might be.

In terms of practice area, I lean heavily toward litigation, including appellate. However, while the appellate lit aspect is a significant interest, I don't want to give it *too* much weight in the decision since appellate practice groups are notoriously difficult to get into. I also have some curiosity about different types of regulatory practices. Regarding the subject matter of the work I'll be doing, government-related and other types of litigation interest me a great deal more than anything banking/securities focused.

So, my question has a couple of different parts. I'm leaning toward the DC firms (pretty obvious from the thread title) largely because of my disinterest in bank-related work, but would it be crazy to take GDC or A&P over the V10 options I have? If it *wouldn't* be crazy, what seems like the better choice between the two DC options? I don't have a great sense of the DC market, so any info about how comparatively well-respected GDC and A&P are, compensation and quality of life differentials, or any other details, would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Thread title changed to reflect the newly opened option of Covington!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:58 pm

No it is not crazy. In fact given your practice interests, it's probably the better decision. The NY firms are heaving biased towards securities/general commercial lit, rather than regulatory and agency-related work. The only exception maybe is if you have a big interest in prosecution - many big firms have big white collar/investigations groups. But even then DC has a good amount of that work as well.

Between GDC and A&P, A&P is very antitrust focused, especially in DC, and they don't really have a large-scale appellate practice you might want to take that into consideration. I would probably pick GDC in your position, unless you had an interest in antitrust. The appellate practice is quite large, so you have a better chance of getting in on it there. GDC DC also has a good mix of other practice areas.

In terms of culture, GDC is free-market in terms of work assignment, which you may want to consider. Some people like it, some people don't. Also in other offices GDC tends to be pretty social/hard-partying (among associates) - not sure about DC though.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby GeePee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:01 pm

Not crazy at all, and given your interests you'd be crazy to take a NY v10. Gibson Dunn and Arnold and Porter have pretty different styles and approaches that you can judge for fit. A&P prides itself on maintaining relationships with gov't agencies and encourages its attorneys to jump over to the public sector from time to time;they are also very strong in antitrust and some appellate work. Gibson Dunn has a very strong and robust practice in DC but is still a DC outsider in a lot of ways, this can be a + or -, because it carries a heavier bias toward appellate which you weren't sure about.

If you're worried about selectivity and prestige, I'll put it to you this way: I got callbacks at 6 of the 7 v10s to which I applied (and I royally screwed the 7th), and didn't get a single DC callback in 13 interviews. Obviously, this is anecdotal, but people know these DC offices carry a lot of prestige.
Last edited by GeePee on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:05 pm

GeePee, do you really think Gibson Dunn is still an "outsider?" What's your basis for this?

Anyway, I'd take Arnold & Porter in a heartbeat. It's a more diversified, full-service office in DC. Moreover, if you lean liberal, it's definitely the place to be (Gibson Dunn is notoriously conservative).

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:13 pm

Not to derail the thread, but, when did you have your AP callback? I had mine last week and the recruiting coordinator said not to expect decisions for one to two weeks...

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby GeePee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:16 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:GeePee, do you really think Gibson Dunn is still an "outsider?" What's your basis for this?

Anyway, I'd take Arnold & Porter in a heartbeat. It's a more diversified, full-service office in DC. Moreover, if you lean liberal, it's definitely the place to be (Gibson Dunn is notoriously conservative).

I think I should have been more precise. GDC's work is not characteristic of a DC outsider, but its culture is. I've met several past and current associates at GDC, and a few at other DC firms, and their perceptions of the culture differences were large. The other difference is that, similarly to a few other non-DC firms like Jenner, the existence of major offices in other hubs allows the DC office to take on a greater percentage of appellate work than firms that rely more heavily on DC for consistent general revenues, such as A&P. This is more perception than based off of direct evidence (I haven't picked the brains of managing partners at these firms, but the way the associates speak of their workload is telling).

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not to derail the thread, but, when did you have your AP callback? I had mine last week and the recruiting coordinator said not to expect decisions for one to two weeks...


Had my callback early last week, received the offer by the end of the week.

Thanks everyone for the really helpful replies so far. I'm not too concerned about the liberal vs. conservative thing since I get the strong sense that GDC's "conservative" reputation is overblown due to the presence of Ted Olson and Eugene Scalia, etc. The sense I got from associates was that the political reality on the ground is actually more balanced (with possibly more liberals) and that politics aren't a huge presence in the office anyway.

Speaking of politics though, does anyone have any ideas about exit opportunities coming from these places? Both government and non-government.

Also, I just wanted to repeat the QOL and compensation questions, in case anyone knows anything on that front. I've heard A&P can be stingy with bonuses, so that's a concern ...

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:27 pm

I've heard A&P can be stingy with bonuses, so that's a concern ...


Yes, but the hours are generally better, I think.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Had my callback early last week, received the offer by the end of the week.

Thanks everyone for the really helpful replies so far. I'm not too concerned about the liberal vs. conservative thing since I get the strong sense that GDC's "conservative" reputation is overblown due to the presence of Ted Olson and Eugene Scalia, etc. The sense I got from associates was that the political reality on the ground is actually more balanced (with possibly more liberals) and that politics aren't a huge presence in the office anyway.

Speaking of politics though, does anyone have any ideas about exit opportunities coming from these places? Both government and non-government.

Also, I just wanted to repeat the QOL and compensation questions, in case anyone knows anything on that front. I've heard A&P can be stingy with bonuses, so that's a concern ...


Depends entirely on your practice area, but A+P definitely has more cache in DC than GDC. AP is one of 3 or so DC firms that are truly tops in the area. While GDC DC is a solid office, it doesn't compare to the big guys - in terms of prestige at least. GDC appellate is well known - its too bad you didn't get a WH offer, as they are solid appellate and reg.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:23 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had my callback early last week, received the offer by the end of the week.

Thanks everyone for the really helpful replies so far. I'm not too concerned about the liberal vs. conservative thing since I get the strong sense that GDC's "conservative" reputation is overblown due to the presence of Ted Olson and Eugene Scalia, etc. The sense I got from associates was that the political reality on the ground is actually more balanced (with possibly more liberals) and that politics aren't a huge presence in the office anyway.

Speaking of politics though, does anyone have any ideas about exit opportunities coming from these places? Both government and non-government.

Also, I just wanted to repeat the QOL and compensation questions, in case anyone knows anything on that front. I've heard A&P can be stingy with bonuses, so that's a concern ...


Depends entirely on your practice area, but A+P definitely has more cache in DC than GDC. AP is one of 3 or so DC firms that are truly tops in the area. While GDC DC is a solid office, it doesn't compare to the big guys - in terms of prestige at least. GDC appellate is well known - its too bad you didn't get a WH offer, as they are solid appellate and reg.


What are the other 2+?

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had my callback early last week, received the offer by the end of the week.

Thanks everyone for the really helpful replies so far. I'm not too concerned about the liberal vs. conservative thing since I get the strong sense that GDC's "conservative" reputation is overblown due to the presence of Ted Olson and Eugene Scalia, etc. The sense I got from associates was that the political reality on the ground is actually more balanced (with possibly more liberals) and that politics aren't a huge presence in the office anyway.

Speaking of politics though, does anyone have any ideas about exit opportunities coming from these places? Both government and non-government.

Also, I just wanted to repeat the QOL and compensation questions, in case anyone knows anything on that front. I've heard A&P can be stingy with bonuses, so that's a concern ...


Depends entirely on your practice area, but A+P definitely has more cache in DC than GDC. AP is one of 3 or so DC firms that are truly tops in the area. While GDC DC is a solid office, it doesn't compare to the big guys - in terms of prestige at least. GDC appellate is well known - its too bad you didn't get a WH offer, as they are solid appellate and reg.


What are the other 2+?


In sort of order (depends on practice area): W&C (lit), Covington, WilmerHale

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:12 pm

A&P has an excellent reputation for creating a great QOL. They consistently rank high on multiple surveys of associate satisfaction, and it is very progressive when it comes to creating family friendly policies. Additionally, they are trying to grow their appellate practice through taking on SC pro bono cases, so it might be easier getting into appellate work there since they are building their practice. young associates tend to get a lot of pro bono cases early on and working on appellate cases will give you the experience necessary to transition into that area in the future, rather than having to try to insert yourself into an already existing appellate group at another firm.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A&P has an excellent reputation for creating a great QOL. They consistently rank high on multiple surveys of associate satisfaction, and it is very progressive when it comes to creating family friendly policies. Additionally, they are trying to grow their appellate practice through taking on SC pro bono cases, so it might be easier getting into appellate work there since they are building their practice. young associates tend to get a lot of pro bono cases early on and working on appellate cases will give you the experience necessary to transition into that area in the future, rather than having to try to insert yourself into an already existing appellate group at another firm.


OP here again. That's a really interesting point about A&P's appellate practice. They've also brought on Lisa Blatt, former assistant to the Solicitor General, to help grow the practice, and she's got a stellar record at the Supreme Court, so the opportunity to work with her also seems like a big draw. (Of course GDC has Ted Olson ... )

Based on what everyone's been saying, I think I'm leaning pretty heavily toward A&P. I might head down to DC for second looks though, and if any more offers come in for me things might change, but I feel pretty good about where I'm at right now decision-wise. Thanks to everyone who has responded!

[This is by no means meant to be a thread-ending post, of course. I would welcome and greatly appreciate any more anecdotes/details about any of the firms I mentioned.]

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:16 pm

I'll be honest with you. A&P is my dream firm. If I end up relocating to DC, I will try my darndest to work for them. They just seem to have good hours requirements even for people who want to make partner, partnership seems attainable, they seem really flexible and to honor their commitments. Yeah, they might stiff associates on bonuses, but I'm fine making $160k with minimal bonus for billing 2,100 hours in DC than making $175k for billing 2,600 hours in NYC. I'm making $13/hour more in the former situation and DC has lower CoL than NYC.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:46 am

OP again: With Covington DC now thrown into the mix here, what does everyone think?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC) [vs. NY V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:04 pm

bump

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Re: GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC) [vs. NY V10s]

Postby GeePee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:43 pm

A&P and Cov seem to have similar cultures, but very different areas of expertise. That decision should be informed by practice area interests.

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Re: Gibson Dunn (DC) vs. Arnold & Porter (DC) [vs. NYC V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP again: With Covington DC now thrown into the mix here, what does everyone think?


Covington, without a doubt. Super jealous.

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Re: GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC) [vs. NY V10s]

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:04 pm

GeePee wrote:A&P and Cov seem to have similar cultures, but very different areas of expertise. That decision should be informed by practice area interests.


Apart from what I mentioned initially, my interests are pretty open/undefined, so that might be a wash in terms of a deciding factor.

Does one have more back and forth with the government than the other? Are there QOL differences between the two?

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP again: With Covington DC now thrown into the mix here, what does everyone think?


Covington, without a doubt. Super jealous.


The choice actually feels a bit tough, at least between the DC firms. Is it just the rankings motivating a statement like the above, or something more?

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Re: GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:41 am

Any more thoughts on this question? I have the same dilemma. Interest in appellate lit. And I'm a liberal (perhaps relevant to the GDC option).

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Re: GDC (DC) vs. A&P (DC) vs. Covington (DC)

Postby dood » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:18 am

people should post their sources of info. i havent read vault reviews for a while, but my friends who work at GDC, A&P, covington (all in DC) tell me that convington and GDC are both generally more socially conservative than A&P; A&P is more relaxed and also very family friendly; convington is a slave shop with complete dick partners and to be avoided at all costs. no idea on practice group strengths.




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