Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

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Which firm would you choose?

Ropes & Gray
11
42%
Davis Polk
7
27%
Sullivan & Cromwell
8
31%
 
Total votes: 26

Anonymous User
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Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:39 am

I am fortunate enough to be in the position to choose between these three firms. I have cancelled/declined callbacks everywhere else since these three are on my favorites. My gut feeling is that I'd be happiest at Ropes & Gray since I really got a good vibe from the people during the entire process, but I found the interviewers at Davis Polk to be exceedingly nice as well. S&C felt a little colder overall, so I'm leaning towards the other two.

As far as substantive work is concerned, DPW's first year of tax is spent doing some more menial work in the financial industry whereas I think you dive right in to the bigger stuff at Ropes. This may be a good thing for DPW, however, because it pretty much guarantees a steady workstream in your first year so that you aren't fighting for hours. DPW has no hour requirement and Ropes has a 1900 hour requirement, which both don't mean much other than that they aren't requiring 2100+ hours (although it is still possible to work that many).

My biggest concern when deciding between DPW and Ropes is that DPW seems more well known in the tax field in NYC, so that may have an effect on exit options should my career tend towards that direction. Interestingly, just in putting my thoughts on paper I can see that I'm really leaning towards Ropes, more so even than DPW. So maybe a better topic for the thread should have been "is there any reason I choose DPW/S&C over Ropes if I really like Ropes?"

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am fortunate enough to be in the position to choose between these three firms. I have cancelled/declined callbacks everywhere else since these three are on my favorites. My gut feeling is that I'd be happiest at Ropes & Gray since I really got a good vibe from the people during the entire process, but I found the interviewers at Davis Polk to be exceedingly nice as well. S&C felt a little colder overall, so I'm leaning towards the other two.

As far as substantive work is concerned, DPW's first year of tax is spent doing some more menial work in the financial industry whereas I think you dive right in to the bigger stuff at Ropes. This may be a good thing for DPW, however, because it pretty much guarantees a steady workstream in your first year so that you aren't fighting for hours. DPW has no hour requirement and Ropes has a 1900 hour requirement, which both don't mean much other than that they aren't requiring 2100+ hours (although it is still possible to work that many).

My biggest concern when deciding between DPW and Ropes is that DPW seems more well known in the tax field in NYC, so that may have an effect on exit options should my career tend towards that direction. Interestingly, just in putting my thoughts on paper I can see that I'm really leaning towards Ropes, more so even than DPW. So maybe a better topic for the thread should have been "is there any reason I choose DPW/S&C over Ropes if I really like Ropes?"


If "cold" is something you want to avoid, you may want to avoid DPW tax...

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am fortunate enough to be in the position to choose between these three firms. I have cancelled/declined callbacks everywhere else since these three are on my favorites. My gut feeling is that I'd be happiest at Ropes & Gray since I really got a good vibe from the people during the entire process, but I found the interviewers at Davis Polk to be exceedingly nice as well. S&C felt a little colder overall, so I'm leaning towards the other two.

As far as substantive work is concerned, DPW's first year of tax is spent doing some more menial work in the financial industry whereas I think you dive right in to the bigger stuff at Ropes. This may be a good thing for DPW, however, because it pretty much guarantees a steady workstream in your first year so that you aren't fighting for hours. DPW has no hour requirement and Ropes has a 1900 hour requirement, which both don't mean much other than that they aren't requiring 2100+ hours (although it is still possible to work that many).

My biggest concern when deciding between DPW and Ropes is that DPW seems more well known in the tax field in NYC, so that may have an effect on exit options should my career tend towards that direction. Interestingly, just in putting my thoughts on paper I can see that I'm really leaning towards Ropes, more so even than DPW. So maybe a better topic for the thread should have been "is there any reason I choose DPW/S&C over Ropes if I really like Ropes?"


If "cold" is something you want to avoid, you may want to avoid DPW tax...


+1

In this situation, I would either suck it up and go to SullCrom for the exit options (which I think would be superior to DPW in this regard, but it doesn't sound like you'd be too happy there), or with R&G, where you would probably be happier.

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
If "cold" is something you want to avoid, you may want to avoid DPW tax...


+1

In this situation, I would either suck it up and go to SullCrom for the exit options (which I think would be superior to DPW in this regard, but it doesn't sound like you'd be too happy there), or with R&G, where you would probably be happier.


Curious, what makes you say this? Is S&C's tax department particularly well known?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:24 pm

There's a pretty huge gulf in terms of prestige/exit options between the tax practices at S&C/DPW on the one hand and Ropes on the other. I would cross Ropes off if you're sure you want to do tax, then pick between S&C and DPW based on fit.

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
If "cold" is something you want to avoid, you may want to avoid DPW tax...


+1

In this situation, I would either suck it up and go to SullCrom for the exit options (which I think would be superior to DPW in this regard, but it doesn't sound like you'd be too happy there), or with R&G, where you would probably be happier.


Curious, what makes you say this? Is S&C's tax department particularly well known?


From my understanding after talking to people who work there, the only better place for exit options re: tax is Skadden.

PeanutHead
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby PeanutHead » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:38 pm

DPW and S&C are way better in tax than Ropes in NYC. Ropes does have an outstanding Boston tax practice, but it really is not in the same league as the other 2 in terms of NYC.

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:39 pm

Go where you think you'll be most happy. Life is short.

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:23 pm

Op here. This:

PeanutHead wrote:DPW and S&C are way better in tax than Ropes in NYC. Ropes ... really is not in the same league as the other 2 in terms of NYC.


and this:

Anonymous User wrote:Go where you think you'll be most happy. Life is short.


are the two competing ideas in my head. My long term goal in life is to either be a tax partner at a law firm or a VP of tax at a Fortune-whatever company (maybe Pharma?), so exit options are of some importance to me but not entirely. It's funny that someone mentioned that DPW tax is "cold"- I didn't get that vibe at all during the interview. It felt like everyone valued professionalism and proper workplace attitudes there. Not that SullCrom doesn't, but at DPW it felt very apparent, like something they were all conscious of. It felt a little more competitive at SullCrom. Of course, these are merely wishy washy feelings and are not quantifiable or verifiable!

For my career goals, it is most important to me to get experience in international tax structuring/planning as well as some experience in M&A. This is pretty general though since they all do this. It all feels pretty equal except for the exit options, which I suspect aren't quite as good at Ropes. I just really liked the people there! Unless they were instructed to be extra nice in which case I won't see their true colors for 2 years (since SA positions are fluff too), lol.

Oh well, you've all given me a couple more things to think about. It won't be easy but I'll post up when I accept one.

ruski
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby ruski » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:00 pm

just make sure the good vibe you are feeling from ropes is accurate and that you met enough people there to judge.

the thing is that you might hate ropes (or at least not be crazy about it) once you get there it would really suck to be like man, for a crappy environment i might as well went to dpw where at least my exit ops would be better.

my vote would thus be for dpw or s&c. unless you are really really sure about ropes b/c the difference seems to be pretty large between ropes and the dpw/s&c.

as an aside i met tax guys at several firms and honestly i found their personalities all to be pretty similar. tax attracts a very specific type of person so i think a tax dept anywhere will have that nerdy, quirky vibe.

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote: It's funny that someone mentioned that DPW tax is "cold"- I didn't get that vibe at all during the interview.


You didn't interview high enough in the department.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: It's funny that someone mentioned that DPW tax is "cold"- I didn't get that vibe at all during the interview.


You didn't interview high enough in the department.


+1

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: It's funny that someone mentioned that DPW tax is "cold"- I didn't get that vibe at all during the interview.


You didn't interview high enough in the department.


+1


+1

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: It's funny that someone mentioned that DPW tax is "cold"- I didn't get that vibe at all during the interview.


You didn't interview high enough in the department.


+1


+1


This goes for all of DPW and it needs to be emphasized. People keep talking about how "nice" they are. They aren't nice, they're just not as gruff as other NYC firms.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:30 pm

I highly recommend going to Ropes. The culture and people really are great. 2Ls need to put more emphasis on having a balance of prestige and happiness. Ropes fits that IMO.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I highly recommend going to Ropes. The culture and people really are great. 2Ls need to put more emphasis on having a balance of prestige and happiness. Ropes fits that IMO.


This

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Old Gregg
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:12 pm

The problem is that Ropes doesn't have any prestige in NYC...

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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:The problem is that Ropes doesn't have any prestige in NYC...

Ropes doesn't have the prestige in NYC that it has in Boston, but it is plenty prestigious in NYC. FWIW, its regional NYC V rank is 25 i think, on par with its overall nationwide rank.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Ropes v. DPW v. S&C for Tax in NYC

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:The problem is that Ropes doesn't have any prestige in NYC...

Ropes doesn't have the prestige in NYC that it has in Boston, but it is plenty prestigious in NYC. FWIW, its regional NYC V rank is 25 i think, on par with its overall nationwide rank.


Yes, right around where Shearman is. Also not prestigious in NYC lol




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