White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

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Better for White Collar

Skadden NY
5
83%
Skadden LA
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

Anonymous User
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White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:31 pm

Each office has particularly strong white collar practices, it seems. If I want to prosecute (federal) eventually, is NY easily my best bet? It would seem that it is, but the LA office seems to place a good bit of people in CA's Central District....

What do you all think?

Thanks!

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:33 pm

Also, any general insights on the differences between these two offices would be helpful. I have reservations about going to a satellite office when the NY HQ is such a powerhouse; but the LA office does not seem like a typical satellite.

-OP

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:08 pm

gentle bump

imchuckbass58
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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:38 pm

I have no particular experience or insight in this area, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But some thoughts that came to mind:

(1) New York does a lot of high-profile financial fraud and terrorism work. While I'm sure LA is quite prominent as well, it may be slanted more towards "normal" crime (which may be a plus or minus).

(2) If you eventually want to be an AUSA, SDNY and EDNY are quite large (larger than CDCA, I believe), and do the above-mentioned high profile work. But, there are a ridiculous number of litigators in NY competing for these spot. The number of big firm lawyers in New York is astounding, and it seems like every other litigator is gunning for an AUSA position. I'd be tempted to say that you stand a bit of a better shot in LA.

(3) How does Skadden assign you to practice groups? I am not sure how it works, but my point is you may want to consider whether white collar represents a larger portion of either office's work. I imagine it would suck if you ended up going to Skadden NY only to find out that while there's a strong white collar group, it's small relative to securities, and you just end up doing securities work for 3-4 years because the assignment system isn't that flexible.

(4) Do you have a personal preference for living in NY vs. LA? I would decide based on that. As you mentioned both offices have strong white collar practices, so it seems that shouldn't be your deciding factor?

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:50 pm

Those are all great thoughts. Thank you.

#2 in particular has been on my mind. Yes, the goal is eventually AUSA. The idea of competing with every other NY litigator scares me. In LA I might have a better shot (also, 4 of the partners in LA are former CDCA AUSA's). I am wondering if there is a significant difference, however, between exit options after a few years as an AUSA in CDCA versus a few years as an AUSA in S/EDNY. My inclination is that there would be, yes.

With respect to your 4th point: I prefer the weather and the cost of living in LA. I also have a handful of friends who have taken jobs there. But career is the most important thing right now. I would live in Detroit if it would position me better relative to my interests.

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:52 pm

Also, you hit on a genuine concern of mine here:

I imagine it would suck if you ended up going to Skadden NY only to find out that while there's a strong white collar group, it's small relative to securities, and you just end up doing securities work for 3-4 years because the assignment system isn't that flexible.


To what extent is this avoidable if I go heavy on crim courses in my next two years - does anyone know?

imchuckbass58
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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Those are all great thoughts. Thank you.

I am wondering if there is a significant difference, however, between exit options after a few years as an AUSA in CDCA versus a few years as an AUSA in S/EDNY. My inclination is that there would be, yes.


I think there is a difference, but I imagine the primary difference is geography. That is, if you AUSA in CDCA, it will be easier to lateral back as a partner at an LA firm than it will coming from NY (and vice versa). If you're talking about moving over to main justice, I truly have no idea.

Anonymous User wrote:To what extent is this avoidable if I go heavy on crim courses in my next two years - does anyone know?


You should probably take a good amount of crim courses just to demonstrate interest and because they'll probably be useful, but it's not as if you'll be placed in a practice group based on your transcript. The thing is a lot of that is a mix of (1) forming good relationships with the partners/associates who do that type of work, both during the summer and once you're there full time (don't overlook mid level and senior associates - often they have the authority to make staffing decisions), (2) doing good work once you have an opening, and (3) blind luck.

How much number 3 plays in usually depends on the staffing system of the firm. At a place like Cravath, where you are assigned to a partner, your first rotation is almost entirely blind luck. At free market places it tends to be a lot more about politicking. In the middle you have places with rotational programs, etc.

I guess my point is the more rigid Skadden's work assignment system is (i.e., Cravath-like or non-free market), the more that counsels in favor of going to the office that does a higher portion of white collar work, since you'll have to rely on luck to a certain extent.

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:09 pm

Thanks, Chuckbass - this is good stuff.

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:44 pm

Chambers sees it as basically a tie:

New York:
Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
David M Zornow (Band 1)
John K Carroll (Band 1)
Keith D Krakaur (Band 2)


California:
Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 1)
Allen Ruby (Band 1)
Jack P Dicanio (Band 2)
Richard Marmaro (Band 1)


The only caveat being that Ruby is in the Palo Alto office.

Bearing in mind the size differences between the NY and LA offices, LA seems to have a pretty substantial white collar practice, and a nice little revolving door with the CDCA.

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:13 pm

Would any of the folks who voted for NY be able to chime in?

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:30 pm

You need to understand that the 2 places where you are trying to become an AUSA are 2 of the 3 most competitive in the country. In truth, although both offices will be good for becoming an AUSA, a lot of this will come down to geography and your credentials in addition to having worked for these firms. In other words, whether you go to LA or NYC will have less of an impact on your ability to be an AUSA (outside of the obvious geographical bias--LA means more likely to do CDC while NY means more likely to do SDNY or EDNY) than where (and more importantly if) you clerk, and your law school grades. For example, if you secure a district court clerkship in a major city that will be more important than which of the 2 Skadden offices you work for. And honestly, for the two places you're looking at (SDNY and CDCA) a district court clerkship will be all but mandatory. Also don't worry too much about doing White Collar work only. The truth is that they like people with an obvious Criminal interest background, and with "prestigious" credentials. So I would just go to the office that is located where you want to work, and pray that you can get a district court clerkship.

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:43 pm

You need to understand that the 2 places where you are trying to become an AUSA are 2 of the 3 most competitive in the country. In truth, although both offices will be good for becoming an AUSA, a lot of this will come down to geography and your credentials in addition to having worked for these firms. In other words, whether you go to LA or NYC will have less of an impact on your ability to be an AUSA (outside of the obvious geographical bias--LA means more likely to do CDC while NY means more likely to do SDNY or EDNY) than where (and more importantly if) you clerk, and your law school grades. For example, if you secure a district court clerkship in a major city that will be more important than which of the 2 Skadden offices you work for. And honestly, for the two places you're looking at (SDNY and CDCA) a district court clerkship will be all but mandatory. Also don't worry too much about doing White Collar work only. The truth is that they like people with an obvious Criminal interest background, and with "prestigious" credentials. So I would just go to the office that is located where you want to work, and pray that you can get a district court clerkship.


This is great input. Thanks very much!

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:20 am

Will I lose out on much of the V5 prestige by going to the LA office instead of NY?

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Re: White Collar - Skadden LA or NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:Will I lose out on much of the V5 prestige by going to the LA office instead of NY?


You're interested in working as an AUSA, meaning that you are (1) interested in being a litigator and (2) interested in working for the federal government. That means that you are basically in the category of law students for whom vault rankings are least useful. To be honest going to Paul Weiss NY, Boies Schillner NY, maybe Debevoise NYC, Quinn Emmanuel LA/NYC, Gibson Dunn LA, Munger LA, or even Irell LA might be better options than Skadden. Obviously you may have passed the point where that's relevant but you get the general idea (worrying about "Vault 5" prestige isn't important). You are looking for firms known for very strong litigation departments. Vault rankings are mainly based on NYC corporate work, especially the "Vault 5". So you really need to ignore the Vault obsession that plagues this website and focus on firms known for their litigation reputations, and if possible, for giving their associates real substantive lit work--like taking depositions, arguing motions, attending trials etc. Have you researched what an AUSA does? Did you work at a USAO the summer after your 1L year ( I hope so, I've heard that that can go a long way in setting you up for the AUSA track. It shows commitment to being a prosecutor and that biglaw wasn't your primary goal, with being an AUSA just a secondary one). Are you going to volunteer during your 3L year at a prosecutor's office? All of these things are more important than working for a "Vault 5". You need to understand that what an AUSA does is very very different from what most attorneys at a "Vault 5" do (corporate transactional work). They're also going to like to see that you've done significant pro bono work while at your firm (if you can do it at a district attorney's office then that's even better).




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