Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

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Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Cadwalader
7
24%
Gibson
22
76%
 
Total votes: 29

Anonymous User
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Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:05 pm

I want to focus on financial institutions. I'm looking for work experience + exit opportunities.

Renzo
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Renzo » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:43 pm

Depends what you mean by "banking." Do you want to be a banker, or do you want to go in-house at a bank?

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:54 am

Cadwalader has a much stronger presence in the financial sector.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Cadwalader has a much stronger presence in the financial sector.


This may be true, but the people I know at CWT are just so miserable. I think of any firm truly deserved its reputation for unhappiness among associates Cadwalader is it. Go to Gibson unless you felt like it wasn't a good fit culturally. It's the better firm, generally.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cadwalader has a much stronger presence in the financial sector.


This may be true, but the people I know at CWT are just so miserable. I think of any firm truly deserved its reputation for unhappiness among associates Cadwalader is it. Go to Gibson unless you felt like it wasn't a good fit culturally. It's the better firm, generally.


I believe that morale at Cadwalader is particularly practice specific.

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rayiner
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby rayiner » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:45 pm

If you really really really want to do compliance work at a bank after your stint in big law, then Cadwalader. Otherwise Gibson all the way.

This is really one of those situations where you're better following Vault than Chambers. What's features in a firm are good for partners/in-house counsel aren't necessarily the same as what features in a firm are good for an associate.

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quakeroats
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby quakeroats » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:50 pm

rayiner wrote:If you really really really want to do compliance work at a bank after your stint in big law, then Cadwalader. Otherwise Gibson all the way.

This is really one of those situations where you're better following Vault than Chambers. What's features in a firm are good for partners/in-house counsel aren't necessarily the same as what features in a firm are good for an associate.


Sometimes the Vault rankings are right. On the other hand, the same could be said for a dartboard.

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rayiner
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby rayiner » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:03 pm

quakeroats wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you really really really want to do compliance work at a bank after your stint in big law, then Cadwalader. Otherwise Gibson all the way.

This is really one of those situations where you're better following Vault than Chambers. What's features in a firm are good for partners/in-house counsel aren't necessarily the same as what features in a firm are good for an associate.


Sometimes the Vault rankings are right. On the other hand, the same could be said for a dartboard.


In this case, though, you want to follow Vault precisely for what it measures: how the firm is regarded by associates. Despite the oft-cited NY bias of the rankings, Gibson NY's practice isn't that highly ranked. Gibson ranks high in Vault because it's perceived as a better, more prestigious place to work by associates, despite Cadwalader being very profitable and having some Band 1-rated capital markets practices.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:15 pm

I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't see why Latham or Cadwalader are bad choices today. Past layoffs do not increase the chances of future layoffs and firms that did not lay off associates during the crisis (or, worse, laid off associates and blamed those associates by claiming "performance reasons") are not guaranteed to not lay off associates in the future.

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GeePee
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby GeePee » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't see why Latham or Cadwalader are bad choices today. Past layoffs do not increase the chances of future layoffs and firms that did not lay off associates during the crisis (or, worse, laid off associates and blamed those associates by claiming "performance reasons") are not guaranteed to not lay off associates in the future.

Past layoffs do increase the likelihood of future layoffs, though, if firms keep the same practices and policies. It isn't like Latham and Cadwalader responded to the financial crisis by keeping entry-level associate hiring more tempered and sustainable in the long run; instead they've immediately loaded back up on first year associates as the firm had an opportunity to take more cases. This absolutely means that there is a greater likelihood of future layoffs should another dry spell for legal work -- especially transactional work -- arise, and with the volatility of the European market that's not entirely out of the question.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:48 pm

GeePee wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't see why Latham or Cadwalader are bad choices today. Past layoffs do not increase the chances of future layoffs and firms that did not lay off associates during the crisis (or, worse, laid off associates and blamed those associates by claiming "performance reasons") are not guaranteed to not lay off associates in the future.

Past layoffs do increase the likelihood of future layoffs, though, if firms keep the same practices and policies. It isn't like Latham and Cadwalader responded to the financial crisis by keeping entry-level associate hiring more tempered and sustainable in the long run; instead they've immediately loaded back up on first year associates as the firm had an opportunity to take more cases. This absolutely means that there is a greater likelihood of future layoffs should another dry spell for legal work -- especially transactional work -- arise, and with the volatility of the European market that's not entirely out of the question.


This came up during my callback at Cadwalader several times. They've reduced entry-level hiring markedly, to less than a third of the past levels.

alumniguy
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby alumniguy » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:11 pm

Generally speaking, according to people I've spoken to, big law firm associates don't move in-house at banks to do compliance work. Compliance positions are typically entry level positions and they aren't well paid positions (we are talking sub 6 figures). Law firm experience simply doesn't translate into compliance work. Moving in-house at a bank typically requires 4-5 years of law firm work, at which point you move to a bank to become a in-house lawyer working on issues related to your specialty. While not compliance, this also isn't "front office"/business side work.

There are plenty of far better firms that will give you a better shot at lateraling in-house to a bank than either CWT or GDC. Use Chambers guide to figure it out (you should be looking at the Band 1, Band 2 and Band 3 firms). These firms have institutional relationships with the top investment banks and are usually the go-to firms that banks rely on to do their work. http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42618#org_3688

With that said, there are also specialties that can get you in-house at a bank. Tax for example, will open up tax doors at a bank as tax is directly related to many financial structurings. Real Estate will up open doors to the real estate side of the investment banks. Derivatives lawyers also seem to develop skills that are directly transferable to bank positions. Etc.

Speaking to the question originally posed, the answer is to go to the place that you think you can last the longest. The pure fact is that firms bleed junior associates. Most simply don't make it to year 5 and it is difficult to transition to a bank as a 2nd year or a 3rd year. Certainly possible, but not all that usual.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't see why Latham or Cadwalader are bad choices today. Past layoffs do not increase the chances of future layoffs and firms that did not lay off associates during the crisis (or, worse, laid off associates and blamed those associates by claiming "performance reasons") are not guaranteed to not lay off associates in the future.


It speaks to the firm's business model. L&W and CWT are happy to binge and purge on associates. They deal with the ensuing hit to recruiting by recruiting people who have less options and by doing more commodity work where they don't have to trumpet how many HYS grads they have working on a deal. People who are willing to quickly overlook past transgressions also mitigate their concern.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Renzo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't apologize for any firms, but I do point out that a fuckton of firms were, are, and continue to be as leveraged as Latham or Cadwalader. And, similarly, lots of firms laid off associates (and/or withdrew offers, or no-offered summers, deferred associates, etc.). Worse yet, lots of firms didn't do "layoffs," and instead fired associates for poor performance--meaning the firm couldn't get them enough work to make their minimum billables, and they blamed the associates for it. They did this thinking simpletons would be fooled into thinking they weren't like that evil Latham you read about in the news; and you are proving that their strategy worked. There are firms that didn't conduct layoffs, but that number is a tiny fraction of firms that claim not to have done layoffs, which is again a fraction of large firms (at least in NY).

There is no real basis for singling out Latham or Cadwalader from the pack of firms that did poorly in the downturn, other than the echo-chamber of the Above the Law comment posters.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:43 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think Gibson is more prestigious in LA and DC, and in NY lit. I think that Cadwalader has stronger corporate practices and is underrated on the message board based on past issues.


I don't get the CWT/L&W apologists on this site. These firms were leveraged to the hilt, and then laid off hundreds of attorneys in the bust. Their peer firms didn't behave nearly as recklessly. CWT has a bad reputation because it deserves it, and that reputation is much more important to you as an associate than what the firm's Chambers rankings are.


I don't apologize for any firms, but I do point out that a fuckton of firms were, are, and continue to be as leveraged as Latham or Cadwalader. And, similarly, lots of firms laid off associates (and/or withdrew offers, or no-offered summers, deferred associates, etc.). Worse yet, lots of firms didn't do "layoffs," and instead fired associates for poor performance--meaning the firm couldn't get them enough work to make their minimum billables, and they blamed the associates for it. They did this thinking simpletons would be fooled into thinking they weren't like that evil Latham you read about in the news; and you are proving that their strategy worked. There are firms that didn't conduct layoffs, but that number is a tiny fraction of firms that claim not to have done layoffs, which is again a fraction of large firms (at least in NY).

There is no real basis for singling out Latham or Cadwalader from the pack of firms that did poorly in the downturn, other than the echo-chamber of the Above the Law comment posters.



From an article a couple years back: "The American Lawyer republished its May list of the most highly leveraged firms. The top five are: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (with 8.49 lawyers per equity partner), White & Case (with 6.63), Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (6.26), Thelen (6.13), and Bingham McCutchen (5.95). McDermott is 67th on the list." (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... e_problem/)

There is no sane way for a corp-heavy law firm to have a leverage of 8.5. Cadwalader is a unique transgressor in how leveraged it is and how much of its workforce it had to cut. Latham wasn't as heavily leveraged (and at its peak wasn't leveraged much more than Kirkland or Paul Weiss), but their problem is the saw-tooth pattern of their leverage. During the last bust they purged and then ramped up again, and did so again this time. Even for 2010 summer they hired a huge summer class, literally months after laying off double-digit %-ages of their associates in some offices.

Getting stealth-ed sucks, but firms stealthing a few people doesn't say bad things about their management in the way leveraging/deleveraging cycles do.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby quakeroats » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:54 pm

alumniguy wrote:Generally speaking, according to people I've spoken to, big law firm associates don't move in-house at banks to do compliance work. Compliance positions are typically entry level positions and they aren't well paid positions (we are talking sub 6 figures). Law firm experience simply doesn't translate into compliance work. Moving in-house at a bank typically requires 4-5 years of law firm work, at which point you move to a bank to become a in-house lawyer working on issues related to your specialty. While not compliance, this also isn't "front office"/business side work.

There are plenty of far better firms that will give you a better shot at lateraling in-house to a bank than either CWT or GDC. Use Chambers guide to figure it out (you should be looking at the Band 1, Band 2 and Band 3 firms). These firms have institutional relationships with the top investment banks and are usually the go-to firms that banks rely on to do their work. http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/42618#org_3688

With that said, there are also specialties that can get you in-house at a bank. Tax for example, will open up tax doors at a bank as tax is directly related to many financial structurings. Real Estate will up open doors to the real estate side of the investment banks. Derivatives lawyers also seem to develop skills that are directly transferable to bank positions. Etc.

Speaking to the question originally posed, the answer is to go to the place that you think you can last the longest. The pure fact is that firms bleed junior associates. Most simply don't make it to year 5 and it is difficult to transition to a bank as a 2nd year or a 3rd year. Certainly possible, but not all that usual.


Well put

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Renzo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
From an article a couple years back: "The American Lawyer republished its May list of the most highly leveraged firms. The top five are: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (with 8.49 lawyers per equity partner), White & Case (with 6.63), Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (6.26), Thelen (6.13), and Bingham McCutchen (5.95). McDermott is 67th on the list." (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... e_problem/)

There is no sane way for a corp-heavy law firm to have a leverage of 8.5. Cadwalader is a unique transgressor in how leveraged it is and how much of its workforce it had to cut. Latham wasn't as heavily leveraged (and at its peak wasn't leveraged much more than Kirkland or Paul Weiss), but their problem is the saw-tooth pattern of their leverage. During the last bust they purged and then ramped up again, and did so again this time. Even for 2010 summer they hired a huge summer class, literally months after laying off double-digit %-ages of their associates in some offices.

Getting stealth-ed sucks, but firms stealthing a few people doesn't say bad things about their management in the way leveraging/deleveraging cycles do.


First, the bolded is just a stupid thing to say. I'd love to hear you explain to me how deleveraging and blaming the fired employees for their "poor performance" is better than deleveraging and blaming the economy.

Second, as I said, I'm not apologizing for any firm. I would not take a job at a firm that was leveraged 8.5:1, and in that sense it was a unique transgressor. It was also THE firm to go to for securitizations, and nearly 1/4 of the firm was doing nothing but that in 2007, so it's no wonder the place fell apart.

But you are still grasping at straws to rationalize an absurd aversion to two firms out of dozens. Look at the Lawshucks layoff tracker information: Latham and Cadwalader don't stand out in any meaningful way. And if you were thinking about taking a time machine to 2005 to take a job, then an article about 2005 leverage rates matters. But if you're not, then looking at firms current stats, firm health, practices, etc. is what is relevant. I'd rather go to the new, less securitization focused Cadwalder than the 2012 Orrick or the 2010 Howrey--no matter how those firms compared 7 years ago.

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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:52 am

quakeroats wrote:I would not take a job at a firm that was leveraged 8.5:1, and in that sense it was a unique transgressor. It was also THE firm to go to for securitizations, and nearly 1/4 of the firm was doing nothing but that in 2007, so it's no wonder the place fell apart.

But you are still grasping at straws to rationalize an absurd aversion to two firms out of dozens. Look at the Lawshucks layoff tracker information: Latham and Cadwalader don't stand out in any meaningful way. And if you were thinking about taking a time machine to 2005 to take a job, then an article about 2005 leverage rates matters.


What's Cadwalader's current leverage ratio?

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rayiner
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby rayiner » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
quakeroats wrote:I would not take a job at a firm that was leveraged 8.5:1, and in that sense it was a unique transgressor. It was also THE firm to go to for securitizations, and nearly 1/4 of the firm was doing nothing but that in 2007, so it's no wonder the place fell apart.

But you are still grasping at straws to rationalize an absurd aversion to two firms out of dozens. Look at the Lawshucks layoff tracker information: Latham and Cadwalader don't stand out in any meaningful way. And if you were thinking about taking a time machine to 2005 to take a job, then an article about 2005 leverage rates matters.


What's Cadwalader's current leverage ratio?


7.3:1. http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTA ... hbxlogin=1

481 lawyers, 58 equity partners.

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Dtackpat75
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby Dtackpat75 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:54 pm

NALP suggests leverage is significantly lower for NY:

Total Partners: 68
All other lawyers: 272

Ratio 4:1

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rayiner
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Re: Cadwalader (NY) or Gibson Dunn (NY) for banking?

Postby rayiner » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:35 pm

Dtackpat75 wrote:NALP suggests leverage is significantly lower for NY:

Total Partners: 68
All other lawyers: 272

Ratio 4:1


NALP doesn't distinguish between equity partners and non-equity partners, while AmLaw does.




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