GDC LA v. Quinn SF

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GDC LA v. Quinn SF

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:08 pm

I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to choose between these two firms, but need some help deciding which is a better fit for someone with my interests. My gut is telling me GDC, but my brain is telling me QE.

Practice Area Interests: Primarily interested in patent litigation (tech background), but I would like to work on other types of litigation cases as well (soft IP, antitrust, class actions, etc.). QE does incredible patent lit work, but has a ton of atty's staffed on those cases--while I would be working on prominent cases with interesting issues, I imagine I would be more of a cog. GDC doesn't have nearly the same footprint QE has, but seems to be growing its practice--the partners I spoke with made it seem like I would have a chance to help shape the practice. Also, while I would like to try a corporate project or two over the summer, the fact that Quinn is litigation-only isn't a deal-breaker.

Culture + Fit: Loved everyone I met at both offices (GDC LA and QE SF), but the GDC atty's were, on the whole, easier to talk to. All the rankings say GDC >> QE in this respect, but I'm not sure how wide the gap is.

Work Environment: Worried about the "sweatshop-ness" of QE, but it's hard to glean how much more QE atty's work than GDC atty's. Also, GDC LA is the flagship office (~ 300 atty's), while QE SF is a satellite (~ 70). There are pros and cons for large and small offices, and I am not sure which I prefer. And, again, the relative difference in the strength of each firm's IP practice is a concern.

Location: Both firms would let me split my summer between LA and SF, so there is less of an issue re: geography. Not sure if the firms would let me switch offices for full-time employment, but GDC as a firm seems more receptive to that.

Partnership Prospects / Exit Options: Partnership chances seem to be very low at both firms (lower than most BigLaw firms), but I'm not sure which firm gives me a better shot. Also, I am not sure which firm would give me better exit options.

Any insight would be much appreciated!

Anonymous User
Posts: 270907
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: GDC LA v. Quinn SF

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Having basically chosen to accept at Quinn SF, the following will be biased.

Both are great. I think the one thing in your post that is off-base is the idea that you'd be a cog in Quinn's IP practice, or that you'd be able to steet the direction of GDC's IP litigation group. I've had that idea in the past (e.g. Simpson Thacher has a growing IP practice... I wonder if this means I have better partnership prospects there or would give me a more entrepreneurial experience), but I think it is a bad one. Quinn's IP group is growing, too; also, from all acounts, it has so much work they can't afford to put tons of people on the IP cases. I don't think you can justifiably say GDC's patent group is better than Quinn's. I have your same worry about transaction v. litigation - what made it easier for me to decide is to think about the transactional lawyers and the litigators I've met. If you want to do transaction - why not become a banker or a businessman?

I didn't know both firms would let you split summers in Cali. Will they let you split with, like, NY, too?

Why do you say partnership prospects are lower at these firms than at other biglaw? These two are generally regarded as two of the most economically solid firms coming out of the recession, so I was under the impression that they have better partnership prospects. Quinn is clearly growing, too. That said, it seems midlaw, like Munger, probably has better p.ship prospects - but I wouldn't say your prospects are worse than at Latham, Orrick, OMM.

I don't think there is a substantial difference in exit options.

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