Gunderson questions

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Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:36 pm

Can anyone address any of these questions:

1) how does the work breakdown between Gunderson the different Gunderson offices?
2) how much mobility is there (if there is any) between their various offices?
3) any general impressions on the firm?
4) anyone know what common exit options are for associates? I'd interested in going to/starting a startup, or going to a VC/PE fund if the whole law thing didn't work out (related - partnership prospects?)

Thanks all

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Re: Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone address any of these questions:

1) how does the work breakdown between Gunderson the different Gunderson offices?
2) how much mobility is there (if there is any) between their various offices?
3) any general impressions on the firm?
4) anyone know what common exit options are for associates? I'd interested in going to/starting a startup, or going to a VC/PE fund if the whole law thing didn't work out (related - partnership prospects?)

Thanks all


bump

Anonymous User
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Re: Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can anyone address any of these questions:

1) how does the work breakdown between Gunderson the different Gunderson offices?
2) how much mobility is there (if there is any) between their various offices?
3) any general impressions on the firm?
4) anyone know what common exit options are for associates? I'd interested in going to/starting a startup, or going to a VC/PE fund if the whole law thing didn't work out (related - partnership prospects?)

Thanks all


1) Amongst the start-up communities in cities where they have offices, SV has some of everything (lots of tech/CS), NYC is more media focused (plus the growing General Assembly scene), and Boston does some tech and a lot of life sciences. I think there is some degree of cross office work if they are understaffed in one place, but not a ton because start-ups tend to want local connections, and generally don't have matters big enough to justify cross-office staffing.

2) They claim that there is mobility between the CA HQ and satellites, but I have no firsthand experience.

3) Fratty, male-centric culture (may vary by office). One of the best places to be for pure VC/start-up/emerging tech work, but Wilson Sonsini/Cooley/Fenwick are larger firms that have that focus AND a more diversified practice. If you're not interested in emerging tech, should probably go elsewhere as they don't do much else. I think Gunderson, more than any of their competitors, tends to rise and fall with the health of Silicon Valley, and has a reputation for quick expansion/deflation in response to that economy. (In 2008 they laid off half of their first year associates: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1 ... hbxlogin=1) I am very much interested in the type of work they do, but would rather lateral in as a midlevel (after having gained a more general corporate bg at a more stable firm) than start out there.

4) Exit options to in-house legal at tech companies are good. What would you want to exit into at VC/PE/start-up? Chances of being a business guy at these places is low unless you're coming in at the partner level and bringing massive connections. VC/PE associate or principal positions are intensely competitive even for people with more relevant bgs than law -- best chance of lateral here is to have a top undergrad or MBA, technical background, hopefully some previous banking/consulting experience, and mad networking skills. Best way to exit into a start-up is to start one yourself. Keep in mind that joining most startups on the legal and even business side is useless and uncommon at an early stage, as startups need to be lean and can only support good tech/product people in the beginning.

Hope that helps! I'm very passionate about this area, let me know if you have more questions.

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Re: Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:41 pm

interview tips?

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Re: Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:43 pm

OP here; thanks for the helpful info. Just trying to weigh the riskiness of going with a smaller firm like Gunderson against the benefit of much more interesting work, in the sector I really want to be in (start-up/emerging tech). I'm comparing against a v5 where I'd do general corporate. Lots to think about. Thanks!

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Re: Gunderson questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:16 am

Re: the emerging comp/vc practices, this is a very SMALL legal practice. Law firms are businesses and typically businesses aim for high margin work. Emerging comp/vc tends to be high-volume, low margin (most emerging companies fail) work.

Outside of Gunderson/Fenwick/Cooley/WSGR, it is hard to find law firms with substantial emerging comp/vc practice. Out of these 4 firms, an emerging comp/vc practice will be a handful of partners at most.

I think emerging comp/vc is a very interesting area (I'd like to work in it myself), but it is subject to large amounts of volatility. Your choice between (1) general corporate and (2) emerging comp/vc will depend a lot on your risk preferences.




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