Firms to love

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keg411
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Re: Firms to love

Postby keg411 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:35 am

Bobby Dazzler wrote:
Grizz wrote:Whatever firm gives me an offer, I will give them unconditional and unfailing love.

+1

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Hippononymous
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Hippononymous » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:30 am

Bobby Dazzler wrote:
Grizz wrote:Whatever firm gives me an offer, I will give them unconditional and unfailing love.

+1

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Blindmelon
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obligatory law student love of all things Sidley


Never understood this. Their NY office is a nightmare.

Love Nutter.


can you expand on this?


They don't pay market rate - but their billable expectations are low - small office means people actually know each other decently well. You won't work on front-page litigation or transaction, but its actually a lifestyle firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obligatory law student love of all things Sidley


Never understood this. Their NY office is a nightmare.

Love Nutter.


can you expand on this?


Met with a few stressed/overworked Sidley associates in DC, as well. They just seemed overly worried about the billable hour, and felt like there was a lot of pressure from their colleagues to compete over who could work the longest hours. Don't know if this is true/typical, as this impression mostly came from 1-2 associates.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:51 am

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Obligatory law student love of all things Sidley


Never understood this. Their NY office is a nightmare.

Love Nutter.


can you expand on this?


They don't pay market rate - but their billable expectations are low - small office means people actually know each other decently well. You won't work on front-page litigation or transaction, but its actually a lifestyle firm.


Wait....what?!?! are you seriously talking about Sidley NY? They absolutely pay market, and the office is a decent size - about 350 (small compared to other firms headquartered in NY, but it's Sidley's second biggest office). Same sort of deal with the billable hour expectations - it's not on par with the big NY firms, but compared to most offices elsewhere it's pretty comparable.

Anonymous User wrote:Met with a few stressed/overworked Sidley associates in DC, as well. They just seemed overly worried about the billable hour, and felt like there was a lot of pressure from their colleagues to compete over who could work the longest hours. Don't know if this is true/typical, as this impression mostly came from 1-2 associates.


This is not the norm at all. They do have long hours, but it's mostly because they're a tad understaffed after not hiring enough people during the recession and losing some people to gov positions, not because of layoff danger or anything. Hours are comparable to other DC firms, and much lower than at places that are truly understaffed (e.g., Gibson DC).

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:01 am

He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:04 am

LOL and he made the Sidley associate butthurt. Win.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.


Hah, yea. I've never heard a good thing about Sidley NY - rumors of screamers and a lot of drugs.

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Cavalier
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Cavalier » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:54 pm

...
Last edited by Cavalier on Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:03 pm

I've heard Patterson Belknap has a pretty good QOL.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:07 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.


Hah, yea. I've never heard a good thing about Sidley NY - rumors of screamers and a lot of drugs.


interesting...i know a few people who summered there (sidley NY, not nutter), & the part about drugs doesn't seem to fit in the least. i've heard of a few screamers scattered across the chicago office, but haven't heard anything similar about the NY office. as always, people's experiences vary based on practice group, & who they primarily work with within their practice group. however, based on my impression from my cb there, it seemed like people were more concerned with using their time outside work to be with family & friends instead of partying and doing drugs.

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sunynp
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Re: Firms to love

Postby sunynp » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:12 pm

Patterson Belknap? Not to love possibly, but at least not to hate. They don't hire many summer associates though and tend to look for clerkship experience.

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Grizz
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Grizz » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:59 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.


Hah, yea. I've never heard a good thing about Sidley NY - rumors of screamers and a lot of drugs.

dawg where do I sign up

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Blindmelon
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.


Hah, yea. I've never heard a good thing about Sidley NY - rumors of screamers and a lot of drugs.


interesting...i know a few people who summered there (sidley NY, not nutter), & the part about drugs doesn't seem to fit in the least. i've heard of a few screamers scattered across the chicago office, but haven't heard anything similar about the NY office. as always, people's experiences vary based on practice group, & who they primarily work with within their practice group. however, based on my impression from my cb there, it seemed like people were more concerned with using their time outside work to be with family & friends instead of partying and doing drugs.


This is key to every single firm.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:37 pm

This is easy: any firm that pays decent but doesn't work you to death. Basically, just a small sliver of firms, most of them probably small offices that fly under the radar and mostly hire laterals.

I don't care how well a firm treats me and how nice their office is, if I'm working 60+ hours per week, I will not be a happy person. I don't see how anyone could be.




This is an interesting quote. Maybe I am off base, but it seems to me that "professionals," and I include doctors, management level bankers in NYC/Chicago, and basically anyone else who practices a craft that involves years of education (even if the benefits of that education are superfluous) work very hard at their jobs. Associates work a lot, yes, but so do residents for Medical Schools; indeed, the AMA limits the amount a student can work at 80 hours every seven days, presumably because otherwise hospitals were assigning upwards of 90+ hours per week. And for students who side-step graduate school for Washington D.C., you should watch "In the Loop" to get a feel for how much they are required to work. And some of them get paid <30k per year.

Basically, if you want to work in an industry that compensates well, but you don't want to work 60+, you should try legal academia (though there are concern about the barriers to entry), consulting (which requires a law degree/MBA), and...what else?

In the meritocracy that is the United States, there are plenty of great careers. But those careers require tremendous sacrifice. It's rough, but I imagine hunters and gatherers would scoff at the idea of foraging in the firm lounge refrigerator for a snack while you try to summon the energy to produce sophisticated work product after 10 PM on a Tuesday. For them, it was survival. Perhaps it is for us too, in a sense.

This post is not meant to be adversarial. I guess I am curious what others have to say on this point as well.

**This post was changed to reflect "<30k" for Washington D.C. aides as opposed to ">30k"**

tecumseh
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Re: Firms to love

Postby tecumseh » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:49 pm

Basically, if you want to work in an industry that compensates well, but you don't want to work 60+, you should try legal academia (though there are concern about the barriers to entry), consulting (which requires a law degree/MBA), and...what else?


Software engineering? plus you can work from home...

and consulting is prob 60+ too...

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GeePee
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Re: Firms to love

Postby GeePee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:50 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:This is easy: any firm that pays decent but doesn't work you to death. Basically, just a small sliver of firms, most of them probably small offices that fly under the radar and mostly hire laterals.

I don't care how well a firm treats me and how nice their office is, if I'm working 60+ hours per week, I will not be a happy person. I don't see how anyone could be.

You're in the wrong profession.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:00 am

How about an SF mid-size that has great rep, good work and pays market? Associates get, and usually use much of, 4 weeks vacation. Fourth-year associates and beyond get 1 month paid sabbatical on top of that.

Associates report that even if you don't hit billable expectation of 1,850 you're generally fine, as long as it's not a year-after-year thing. Caveat: under 1,950 billables and you're paid "only" $145K.

Would I be absolutely stupid to choose this one instead of Quinn SF? How about instead of STB Palo Alto?

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:24 am

How about an SF mid-size that has great rep, good work and pays market? Associates get, and usually use much of, 4 weeks vacation. Fourth-year associates and beyond get 1 month paid sabbatical on top of that.

Associates report that even if you don't hit billable expectation of 1,850 you're generally fine, as long as it's not a year-after-year thing. Caveat: under 1,950 billables and you're paid "only" $145K.

Would I be absolutely stupid to choose this one instead of Quinn SF? How about instead of STB Palo Alto?


I think if lifestyle is important to you, at the margins a mid-level firm may offer more reasonable work-life balance. I guess the larger point is that even at a mid-level, the nature of the work means that some weeks will be lots busier than others. And during those busy weeks, the 8-5, or even 8-6 model is not realistic for anyone providing corporate legal services.

But I struggle a bit, too, selecting among firms that have greater reputations with those that offer more realistic partner options or hours commitments.

I suppose a good analogy is with selecting (if you are fortunate enough to receive multiple offers from firms) a college to play a sport coming out of high school. While some kids get drawn in by the allure of "big-time" athletics, a lot of times they don't realize what type of commitment playing in the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, or Big Ten entails. The high school athlete, whether it's basketball, football, swimming, tennis, comes into the college with a sort of naivety, gleaning most of his/her knowledge of the school from official visits (akin to "call backs") that present the school (firm) in its most favorable light. If the athlete is informed enough, he/she will make a reasoned decision that accounts for the likely amount of commitment. If they understand the type of work that program demands from its student-athletes, the experience has a good chance of being a positive one.

If, on the other hand, the athlete does not understand the nature of the commitment, or believes it will be less than it actually is, frustration often develops, and athletes must either reorient their goals or leave the program, either quitting the sport entirely or finding a lower-ranked school to excel at

Note: This analogy is probably not as useful for "rock-stars" who play/start as true freshmen, but for an athlete who has more modest talent, or will require a few years in the program to develop physically or wait their "turn", it is somewhat representative)

I guess the point is that managing your own expectations about what you want out of a career, and what you expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis, is as critical as the actual distinctions between the firms. Knowing that a Vault firm will expect more time and social resources going in will lessen the shock when you begin to work. Similarly, knowing what you are sacrificing in terms of "career opportunities," if that is important to you, is useful to know and understand going into the firm. Quickly back to college athletics, the analogy would be someone who forgoes a chance to play in a big-time college program for the promise and security of succeeding at a smaller school.

There is no judgment passed on either decision. It's all what is the best fit for you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:He expanded on the Nutter comment, not the Sidley one.


Hah, yea. I've never heard a good thing about Sidley NY - rumors of screamers and a lot of drugs.


interesting...i know a few people who summered there (sidley NY, not nutter), & the part about drugs doesn't seem to fit in the least. i've heard of a few screamers scattered across the chicago office, but haven't heard anything similar about the NY office. as always, people's experiences vary based on practice group, & who they primarily work with within their practice group. however, based on my impression from my cb there, it seemed like people were more concerned with using their time outside work to be with family & friends instead of partying and doing drugs.


Was the screamers and drugs thing a joke? The vault report makes everyone seem super happy to be at Sidley. And vault is where people go to complain.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:... managing your own expectations about what you want out of a career, and what you expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis, is as critical as the actual distinctions between the firms. ...

There is no judgment passed on either decision. It's all what is the best fit for you.


I'm the (potential) mid-sizer you quoted. I agree 100%.

Also, going into litigation, I absolutely expect to have many weeks out the year that exceed 60+ hours. I've still not made up my mind between midlaw v. biglaw. I have 3 offers at V10-V20 firms. I tell myself that I can handle a 2,100-2,300 billable-hour year. But now that I have a very well-respected regional firm in my pocket, I know that I don't have to do so to make a BigLaw paycheck+bonus (or 90-95%, depending on how the local handles bonuses).

For me, it may well be just that I'm a bit older than most 2Ls. I'm married. I'll probably have a kid within 2-3 years. I've worked for several years already, and often for bosses who don't value their employees (would've been nice, though, if I'd done it for $160K instead of $30K; but whatever). These things definitely alter my own equation.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:19 am

MTO. It's the firm SCOTUS clerks choose because they don't want to work Wachtell hours but still want top-notch work. Financially stable, good partnership prospects, work from home, excellent training for young associates, firm-wide lunch 3 days a week—all at 1,900-2,100 hours.

The only downside is that it's very difficult to get an offer in the first place.

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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:How about an SF mid-size that has great rep, good work and pays market? Associates get, and usually use much of, 4 weeks vacation. Fourth-year associates and beyond get 1 month paid sabbatical on top of that.

Associates report that even if you don't hit billable expectation of 1,850 you're generally fine, as long as it's not a year-after-year thing. Caveat: under 1,950 billables and you're paid "only" $145K.

Would I be absolutely stupid to choose this one instead of Quinn SF? How about instead of STB Palo Alto?


Farella (I presume based on the tiered pay) is a good firm. Probably a good move to have cushion available where you can reduce hours if you anticipate having kids soon. Plus, if you do end up billing big law hours, you get big law pay (i.e. over 1950, get 160K plus w/e bonus). If you're looking to stay in CA, particularly NorCal, they have a very good reputation. Not sure why it would be stupid to choose over Quinn given their reputation, don't know about STB though.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How about an SF mid-size that has great rep, good work and pays market? Associates get, and usually use much of, 4 weeks vacation. Fourth-year associates and beyond get 1 month paid sabbatical on top of that.

Associates report that even if you don't hit billable expectation of 1,850 you're generally fine, as long as it's not a year-after-year thing. Caveat: under 1,950 billables and you're paid "only" $145K.

Would I be absolutely stupid to choose this one instead of Quinn SF? How about instead of STB Palo Alto?


Farella (I presume based on the tiered pay) is a good firm. Probably a good move to have cushion available where you can reduce hours if you anticipate having kids soon. Plus, if you do end up billing big law hours, you get big law pay (i.e. over 1950, get 160K plus w/e bonus). If you're looking to stay in CA, particularly NorCal, they have a very good reputation. Not sure why it would be stupid to choose over Quinn given their reputation, don't know about STB though.


Quinn->Farella is possible (not guaranteed, but possible). Farella->Quinn is not. It depends on whether you think you would regret not taking a shot at being the best. IE rated as a top practicing lawyer in the field, a chance to work on highest profile matters, etc.

Anonymous User
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Re: Firms to love

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How about an SF mid-size that has great rep, good work and pays market? Associates get, and usually use much of, 4 weeks vacation. Fourth-year associates and beyond get 1 month paid sabbatical on top of that.

Associates report that even if you don't hit billable expectation of 1,850 you're generally fine, as long as it's not a year-after-year thing. Caveat: under 1,950 billables and you're paid "only" $145K.

Would I be absolutely stupid to choose this one instead of Quinn SF? How about instead of STB Palo Alto?


Farella (I presume based on the tiered pay) is a good firm. Probably a good move to have cushion available where you can reduce hours if you anticipate having kids soon. Plus, if you do end up billing big law hours, you get big law pay (i.e. over 1950, get 160K plus w/e bonus). If you're looking to stay in CA, particularly NorCal, they have a very good reputation. Not sure why it would be stupid to choose over Quinn given their reputation, don't know about STB though.


Quinn->Farella is possible (not guaranteed, but possible). Farella->Quinn is not. It depends on whether you think you would regret not taking a shot at being the best. IE rated as a top practicing lawyer in the field, a chance to work on highest profile matters, etc.


"Quinn->Farella is possible (not guaranteed, but possible). Farella->Quinn is not"
-False and moronic statement

"Shot at being the best"
-LOL




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