Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

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Where to?

Skadden NY
12
39%
WilmerHale DC
15
48%
Cleary NY
4
13%
 
Total votes: 31

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Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:44 pm

I am lucky enough to have offers from each of my three top choices; and I could really use some help deciding between them.

A bit of background: I am interested in litigation and arbitration, both domestic and international. I would look to join the business trial group at one of these firms, as well as the international litigation and arbitration group.

Eventually, I want to end up in DC. I hope to establish myself at a firm and then, later on, go in and out of government (interests include: State, DOJ Office of International Affairs, advising on foreign affairs on the Hill).

However, I really like the idea of starting my career in NY. So I would look to spend 2-5 years there and then head to DC.

Cleary appeals to me because they do such great international work in NY. I don't think I would want to move to their DC office, though, given their almost exclusive focus on antitrust and securities. I also just felt much more of a "fit" in the NY office.

WilmerHale is a great option because their DC practice is so solid. They also have a phenomenal international practice. I loved the office, and really clicked with the attorneys I met. My only hesitation is that Skadden and Cleary are arguably better firms on the whole. This leads to questions of (temporary) exit opportunities, although Wilmer DC seems to have one hell of a revolving door when it comes to DOJ and State.

Skadden... well, Skadden is Skadden. Incredible litigation opportunities in NY, both domestic and international; a very strong DC presence (seemingly on par with Wilmer); and nearly unparalleled name-brand recognition. I really liked everyone I met. If I had to decide right now, this is where I would go.

So, any and all input is welcome. I have self-imposed a deadline of this Friday. Is there anything that I am failing to consider here? Or are any of my impressions just wrong?

Thanks very much.

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:08 pm

Also if anyone can speak to whether I should even both spending a few years in NY, please feel free.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:43 pm

Aside from the Vault rankings which are biased towards NY firms, why do you think that Cleary and Skadden are better firms on a whole? WilmerHale is a powerhouse in DC and I would strongly disagree that Skadden DC is on the same level of Wilmer in terms of DC firms. All of your criteria point towards Wilmer other than your desire to spend a few years of your career initially in NY. Wilmer's NY office really doesn't offer much in terms of prestige within the NY market. If you're really truly set on entering government later in your career, Wilmer's probably your best bet.

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:53 pm

Aside from the Vault rankings which are biased towards NY firms, why do you think that Cleary and Skadden are better firms on a whole?


First, thanks for the input.

Mainly I am focusing on Vault's practice area rankings and Chambers. I am blown away by Skadden's presence in the Vault practice-specific rankings. These are just some of the highlights from the litigation rankings:

#1 in antitrust lit (Wilmer is 15th)
#1 in class actions (Wilmer not ranked)
#1 in products liability (Wilmer not ranked)
#1 in securities lit (Wilmer not ranked)
#2 in general commercial lit (Wilmer is 18th)
#4 in white collar (Wilmer is 8th)
#7 in international (Wilmer is 8th)

I would strongly disagree that Skadden DC is on the same level of Wilmer in terms of DC firms.


You could very well be right. To be honest, I was mostly going on Vault's regional rankings with this one... Skadden comes in just behind Wilmer and A&P, and ranks above DC firms such as Hogan, Steptoe and Jones Day

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby DallasCowboy » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:44 pm

Vault practice rankings? Rly? Go to wilmer

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:48 pm

Vault practice rankings? Rly? Go to wilmer


What is wrong with using the practice rankings? (Not being a smart ass - asking in earnest)

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Vault practice rankings? Rly? Go to wilmer


What is wrong with using the practice rankings? (Not being a smart ass - asking in earnest)


They're ridiculously inaccurate and based on small sample size surveys of associates who don't know jack. Use chambers - larger sample size, and based on feedback from clients (primarily) and partners (secondarily).

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:00 pm

Also to answer your original question, given your goals, Wilmer DC will give you vastly superior exit options to Cleary or Skadden, especially given that you'd be in the NY office of those firms. Wilmer is arguably the best firm in DC, and the best firm for going into government (I realize there are other firms that can claim this, such as Covington, W&C or A&P, but my point is that Wilmer is in that group).

At Skadden and Cleary, there is a significant chance you will get stuck on securities lit or some other practice area you don't want and/or does not help your future goals. Not the case with Wilmer, where the vast majority of the DC office is right up your alley in terms of practice mix.

To me this isn't even close. The only situation in which I would ever consider the other two firms given your goals is if you absolutely hated everyone you met at Wilmer DC and doubted your ability to stick it out there for a couple of years. Unless that's the case, Wilmer has vastly better exit options for what you want (and, many would argue, a better culture).

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:21 pm

Thanks, imchuckbass58. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

I definitely do not disagree about Wilmer's strength in DC. I just thought it would be good to spend a few years in New York before spending the rest of my life in DC. I have been assuming that Cleary and Skadden would provide great exit opportunities in DC (either directly in government - I have heard that Cleary places especially well at State, for example - or as a lateral, if I wanted to go to Wilmer, Covington, etc)... but many here seem to think I should rethink that assumption.

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby DallasCowboy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:41 pm

I think you should just suck it up and skip the NYC phase. DC is fun and Wilmer is a perfect fit for you. Stop worrying about prestige because Wilmer DC is as prestigious as it gets.
Last edited by DallasCowboy on Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cleary NY v Skadden NY v WilmerHale DC

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks, imchuckbass58. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

I definitely do not disagree about Wilmer's strength in DC. I just thought it would be good to spend a few years in New York before spending the rest of my life in DC. I have been assuming that Cleary and Skadden would provide great exit opportunities in DC (either directly in government - I have heard that Cleary places especially well at State, for example - or as a lateral, if I wanted to go to Wilmer, Covington, etc)... but many here seem to think I should rethink that assumption.


It's never a good idea to spend a few years in NYC if litigation is your goal and DC is an option. You'll save more money, make more connections, and generally be happier going straight to DC.




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