Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

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Which firm?

Cravath (NYC)
15
56%
Kirkland (Chicago)
12
44%
 
Total votes: 27

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Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:30 am

Hi guys,

I'm having a lot of difficulty deciding between firms and I want to get input from whoever is willing to give it.

Right now I have narrowed down my decision to either K&E in Chicago or Cravath in NYC. I've written out a list of things that appeal to me about each firm, but any questions you can pose to me or opinions to interject are very welcome. Thanks so much in advance.

Things I like about Kirkland
-It is in Chicago, so better COL (even QOL?) as compared to NYC.
-Top notch restructuring practice, an area I'm interested in.
-Bonus tied to billables
-Family ties in Chicago
-Although not as prestigious as Cravath, still has a great name.
-Really liked the people I met during my CB and at the offer dinner

Things I like about Cravath
-The doors down the line that will open up by having CSM on my resume
-The experience I'll get rotating through their corporate department
-I can always start at CSM and then lateral to Kirkland, the opposite is not true
-Love the idea of working on things that are on the front page of the journal every day.
-Also really liked the people I met during my CB and at the offer dinner.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:15 am

morning bump

spondee
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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby spondee » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:24 am

You're making it too complicated. Where do you want to live?

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
-The doors down the line that will open up by having CSM on my resume
-I can always start at CSM and then lateral to Kirkland, the opposite is not true



Personally, I think these two reasons are compelling enough to make the decision. If the reasons you have for wanting to stay in Chicago (COL is different, admittedly, but if you find you don't like NYC and leave, this difference over a few years is going to be negligible in the long run) don't easily outweigh the differences in firms I think CSM is the way to go. If you go and find you don't like it, leaving to another firm will be reasonably easy. I was told by a Kirkland hiring partner that they get 100s of resumes a week but there are a few firms (he mentioned Simpson and CSM in particular) that if they are on the resume will guarantee the resume is reviewed seriously. If you stay, you will get some of the best experience a young lawyer can get anywhere and that early experience will be invaluable wherever you go. Kirkland is a great firm, no doubt, but they are a step behind CSM, and are not particularly well known for giving juniors great experience early on. That being said, if you end up deciding that you need or want to be in Chicago Kirkland is a fantastic option and your career will be off to a great start.

I was in the same position of deciding between Kirkland and another prestigious firm that I ended up taking last year. My decision seemed to split along similar lines as yours but in the end I decided that the non-Chicago firm was right for me for the reasons I listed above (resume, early experience, easier to lateral back than lateral out). Moreover if you decide early enough on that CSM is not right for you, Kirkland usually does 3L recruiting as well and I have to believe someone with the credentials to get it the first time around (and to get CSM), would be in a position for that.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
-The doors down the line that will open up by having CSM on my resume
-I can always start at CSM and then lateral to Kirkland, the opposite is not true



Personally, I think these two reasons are compelling enough to make the decision.


I have to agree. You're pretty much guaranteed to only have this one chance in your life to work at Cravath. Like the poster above me said, you can always do 3L OCI if you hate it. The nice thing about the summer at Cravath is that you should be able to actually get a taste of what life as an associate would be like, and 3L OCI is actually a worthwhile thing for people with credentials such as yours.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:31 am

OP Here.

Thanks to the three of you for your input.

Spondee, I definitely have gotten the "This is easy. Do you want to live in Chicago or NYC?" line and sometimes I think that it should be that easy. If that were the case, I would be going to Kirkland hands-down. But then there is the balance of whether my interest in Cravath outweighs my preference for Chicago.

Anonymous poster two above, thank you for your input as well. Re: 3L OCI, I'm afraid that Kirkland will pull the "fool me once, fool me twice" line. Re: experience, I was told that for Kirkland's restructuring group in particular, that junior associates are given early responsibility because of the nature of the practice. (But most likely not the sort of experience Cravath jrs get). Also, how has the adjust for NYC been for you?

What if my eventual goal is academia? Does that change the answer at all? Or going in-house?

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Re: 3L OCI, I'm afraid that Kirkland will pull the "fool me once, fool me twice" line.


Anecdotally, I know people who ended up getting firms through 3L OCI whose offers they turned down for 2L OCI. I actually think it helped them a lot to show that they've already been extended an offer once. I don't think Kirkland is going to brush you aside if you tell them, "Last year, it came down to Cravath and your firm. It was an extremely difficult decision, and I ended up going with Cravath, but now I realize after having spent the summer with them, that that probably wasn't personally the best choice for me." And that's if it even comes up. I've heard that often, the firm doesn't even ask you about it. They all know how the game is played and that you're looking out for #1.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:47 am

Was between the same firms. Chose Cravath pretty much for all the reasons you listed, and I really like the idea of the rotation system as opposed to the free market.

But wait a second... I didn't know there was an offer dinner!?

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:But wait a second... I didn't know there was an offer dinner!?


Also received an offer but no invitation to offer dinner. Recruiting knew I was going to be out of town though so I figure maybe they knew I couldn't make it either way?

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Was between the same firms. Chose Cravath pretty much for all the reasons you listed, and I really like the idea of the rotation system as opposed to the free market.

But wait a second... I didn't know there was an offer dinner!?

I'm thinking we're at the same school right now. CSM did one offer dinner and they're thinking about doing a second one because 90% of the people from our school with offers were unable to attend the first one.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Was between the same firms. Chose Cravath pretty much for all the reasons you listed, and I really like the idea of the rotation system as opposed to the free market.

But wait a second... I didn't know there was an offer dinner!?

I'm thinking we're at the same school right now. CSM did one offer dinner and they're thinking about doing a second one because 90% of the people from our school with offers were unable to attend the first one.


Hmm I doubt we are at the same school, but what part of the country are you in? When was the dinner?

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Was between the same firms. Chose Cravath pretty much for all the reasons you listed, and I really like the idea of the rotation system as opposed to the free market.

But wait a second... I didn't know there was an offer dinner!?

I'm thinking we're at the same school right now. CSM did one offer dinner and they're thinking about doing a second one because 90% of the people from our school with offers were unable to attend the first one.


Hmm I doubt we are at the same school, but what part of the country are you in? When was the dinner?

I am in the midwest and the dinner was Tuesday.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Also, how has the adjust for NYC been for you?

What if my eventual goal is academia? Does that change the answer at all? Or going in-house?


It's been very easy. I think NYC seems a bit more intimidating when you are flying in and out and don't get the chance to take things slow, have your own place etc. Overall, I really enjoy the city and am happy I've had the opportunity to live here.

I don't know anything about in-house options but if your goal is academia I think the decision is even easier in CSM's favor.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I think NYC seems a bit more intimidating when you are flying in and out and don't get the chance to take things slow, have your own place etc.


This is the impression I got, as well (I'm not from NYC or the east coast). I tend to believe that if you're young there's no way you wont love NYC at least for a few years.

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:51 am

Day 2 Bump

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Re: Kirkland & Ellis (Chi) vs. Cravath

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:52 pm

It really depends: do you want to be in the midwest long term, or on the east coast? The Cravath name isn't going to give you any boost in the midwest that Kirkland doesn't.

I made a similar decision, Kirkland Chicago versus NYC V5, and though I chose the latter I'm not of the opinion that it was the obvious choice. Chicago is just a different place than NYC. I love the down to earth people and beauty (at least downtown by the lake) of Chicago. The tone of the cities is vastly different: Chicago is upbeat and friendly, NYC is brooding and intense. Of course, there are lots of reasons to recommend NYC as well (food, nightlife, etc).

The firms themselves are quite different, with Kirkland having a more "get up early" midwestern ethic and Cravath having the slightly dissatisfied NYC intensity. This was immediately apparent the minute I walked into the respective offices.

I ultimately ended up choosing the more collegial atmosphere of a different V5, I wasn't from the midwest and wasn't 100% sure where I wanted to end up.




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