K&E or PW

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K&E or PW

K&E Chicago
7
54%
PW NY
6
46%
 
Total votes: 13

Anonymous User
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K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:48 am

I am going into litigation and both firms are excellent in that regard. I have lived in both Chicago and NY and would be happy in either city. Here are a few of my thoughts:

K&E has a bit of a reputation of being a sink-or-swim, sweatshop environment. However, would it really be markedly more difficult to stay afloat, and would the "real" expected billable hours really be any higher, than at the top NY firms?

Would being outside of NY limit my exit options in any way if I later sought work in a third city (LA, Boston, etc)? From what I can tell, the names should carry essentially equal weight otherwise.

PW seemed to weather the recession very well. Does this imply that a longer career there is more likely?

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GeePee
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Re: K&E or PW

Postby GeePee » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:08 am

Being outside of NY is not a concern when Kirkland is the name on resume, especially when you're not talking about moving back to work in NY. Paul, Weiss and Kirkland have both been extremely busy recently: PW has been handling Citigroup's infinite issues, while Kirkland has the BP/Deepwater Horizon litigation. The latter is less advanced in the trial process and is an absolutely huge case that's highly unlikely to settle, and therefore will probably still be in serious, all-hands-on-deck, doc review mode even when rising 2L's start in 2 years. I think I would expect similar volume of hours at both firms -- most people seem to be putting in somewhere in the neighborhood of 2300-2500 billables in the commercial lit groups of the NY offices, with Paul Weiss lawyers probably posting a somewhat greater %age of pro bono hours on average (I'm not sure if Kirkland Chi puts in significantly different hours; I suspect this is not the case). Both firms provide outstanding training to young associates that come to a place to learn and to work.

I suspect that this decision will revolve almost entirely around your comfort with the free market system. Are you the type of person that will spend that additional time schmoozing partners to make sure that you're getting good work? If you're on the passive side, you could easily end up the guy buried in a mountain of doc review because you haven't done the additional legwork required to get the types of assignments you really want. Be prepared for the type of culture this inspires as well, and recognize that some individuals can thrive under the Darwinian scope.

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englawyer
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Re: K&E or PW

Postby englawyer » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:04 am

Both have great reputations for litigation. I'd go K+E Chicago due to the lower cost of living. If you are happy in both cities, go for the cheaper one :P

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Re: K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 am

What about between K&E (NY) and PW (NY)?

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Re: K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:What about between K&E (NY) and PW (NY)?


That's a tough call - both are fantastic lit firms in NYC. Honestly, it may come down to your gut feeling. Did you meet other attorneys (or summers) at these firms during your callbacks? Did you get a sense for which group of people you liked more?

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Re: K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:17 pm

2 K&E corp associates warned me on a CB about lit associates being stuck down in the Gulf Coast living in crappy housing for the first few years of their career as a result of the BP work. Don't know how much truth there is in this, but it might be something to think about.

Full disclosure: I loved the PW folks I met on a CB but have decided against going to NYC.

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Re: K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:25 pm

There are lit associates stuck on BP, but it's pretty much fully staffed now, and--from talking with a couple lit associates on the matter--our class year is far enough out that we wouldn't be on it, perhaps even if we wanted to.

K+E Chi associates averaged 2215 hours in 2010, for what that's worth. I've had confirmation that that sounds about right as far as an average, though the whole distribution skews high (thus median would be lower).

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Re: K&E or PW

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:35 pm

Kirkland is a national brand, so I wouldn't worry about portability.

In your shoes I'd go to Kirkland. Free market for litigation is less of an issue since you tend to get staffed on a few big cases for a long period of time. It's not like corporate where you'd have to constantly drum up work. Plus, Chicago >> NYC on a lawyer's salary. You'll have an extra $600 in your pocket every month from lower taxes, save $500-1000 a month on housing, plus you'll start out $10k ahead because of Kirkland's generous bar stipend and get bigger bonuses each year on top of that. Kirkland's Chicago office is in an awesome part of the city, within walking distance of a ton of affordable residential skyscrapers. Paul, Weiss's location just doesn't compare.




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