keg411 wrote: Anonymous User wrote: Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I think this is pretty credited. I've talked to third-year associates at big law firms that have had an insane amount of responsibility and real, practical experience beyond doc review or due diligence.
I think the meme shows a misunderstanding of the big law model. At least at places like Cravath and its peers, corporate deals are very leanly staffed because they have so much work to go around. I talked to a second-year Cravath associate who said she was running her own (small) securities deal. She ran things by the partner, but the client called her first.
Cravath has, by far, the greatest leverage of any V5 -- and likely within the V10. In corporate, it's around 4.6 associates per partner vs. 3.2-3.3 average for other V5s sans Wachtell (2.6). All the V10s I calculated are within 3.2-3.3 as well.
Calculated using NALP-provided figures for NY corporate offices only.
Leverage has very little to do with the quality of work you get as a junior. It's really more the practice area and the client. For instance, a first-year doing client-side M&A is going to do way more diligence work than someone doing institutional-side M&A or credit or capital markets work, just because of the sheer amount of that type of work for those deals. And even a low-leveraged firm, juniors in litigation are still going to be doing doc review (unless, of course, you're "lucky" enough to be at one of the firms that in-source or have the now-legendary doc review dungeons filled with disgruntled and crazy TTT-ers).
Of course, for these reasons it's sometimes better to a free market firm or one with less well-defined practice areas than one that sticks you there or has a rotation system since you have the opportunity to go after the quality work as opposed to the diligence/doc review; but there are certainly advantages to structured firms as well since you're less likely to get eaten in the shark tank.
I know two people well: both firms are similarly ranked on the V-spectrum, one at a highly-leveraged firm in a highly-leveraged department and one in a firm that isn't leveraged at all and their experiences aren't different at all in terms of the kind/quality of work.
+1. Different practice groups have different leverage needs, and different firms have different mixes of those groups. Cravath does a lot of company-side M&A, which tends to require more bodies. STB has a similar leverage ratio, and also has an M&A heavy practice. I also get the impression Cravath's secondary groups (real estate, tax, etc) are a bit smaller. This is relevant because secondary groups tend to have much lower leverage than the M&A, securities, etc, groups.
Remember, corporate work tends to operate on a "hub and spoke" system, rather than a pyramid system like litigation. Most deal teams at Cravath are a partner, a senior associate, and 1-2 juniors. The firm leverages up by having partners delegate more to associates and managing more deals at once. It's not like in litigation, where high leverage tends to mean more layers between a junior associate and the partner.