Ranking the top litigation boutiques

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Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jb9 wrote:ITT: bunch of creepy people who spend too much time on the internets looking up lawyers.
Its just lawyers guys. Let's not forget how unprestigious/distasteful the law profession is outside of the stupid bubble.
Also, in the grand scheme of the economy, don't forget what an insignificant and pathetic role big law litigators play.
Everyone knows what a Goldman Sachs is. Nobody knwos what a "Williams and Connolly" is. The average Wachtell lawyer will never have wealth, but he WILL be rich with just a horrendous hell of a life. He won't be able to buy a mansion, but he'll sure as heck have a nanny for kids who will never see him bec the ex got custody.

Legal profession is viewed from the outside as a bunch of risk-averse definitionally unethical anti-entrepreneurs who entered the profession because they don't know how to do anything else, and who spend their lives adding to costs of production for the most part.

Hey maybe that's why law is infected with the prestige disease - its the one way they can convince themselves their profession actually means something. They're really the bottom rung of the upper middle class with a structural ceiling that is basically unbreakable because it is a service profession.

^ cool story huh bro? =)


Agree, now think of it.

Was an outsider just a year ago, and found that the only attractive part of the whole profession was the STARTING salary.

Will get an MBA from H/S/P after 2-3 years of biglaw. Then I will be golden.


You likely won't homie. I'll teach you the big lesson of life in like less than 15 words: there is no determinsitic formula for wealth, there are a shit-ton - and I really mean, a shit-ton of formulas for getting into the upper-middle class. Law school used to be one formula of exclusively the latter type. Not so much anymore unless you're top 25% in t10.

If anything, law is one surefire way to never get wealthy. You're assuming NO RISK. Wealth necessarily involves risk assumption or inheritance.

Well, let me qualify that - playing with a loaded gun involves a lot of risk yet nobody's going to make bank with that. What I'm referring to is entrepreneurial market risk, where you somehow enter an unsaturated field, or respond to a market demand or create market demand by introducing a cool service or product WITH SCALE.

The people who create THE timekeeping software for law firms make 10x more than Wachtell partners, at the founder level. I can guarantee you there are more multi-millionaire entrepreneurs who have "serviced" the legal industry with some cool idea than there are Wachtell partners. Now think of the entire universe of market demand an entrepreneur can fiddle with, versus the tiny market that Wachtell is in.

I mean, hell, the TestMasters guy probably is as rich as the Wachtell folks. The Lexis/Westlaw founders are probably richer than all Wachtell partners combined.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jb9 wrote:ITT: bunch of creepy people who spend too much time on the internets looking up lawyers.
Its just lawyers guys. Let's not forget how unprestigious/distasteful the law profession is outside of the stupid bubble.
Also, in the grand scheme of the economy, don't forget what an insignificant and pathetic role big law litigators play.
Everyone knows what a Goldman Sachs is. Nobody knwos what a "Williams and Connolly" is. The average Wachtell lawyer will never have wealth, but he WILL be rich with just a horrendous hell of a life. He won't be able to buy a mansion, but he'll sure as heck have a nanny for kids who will never see him bec the ex got custody.

Legal profession is viewed from the outside as a bunch of risk-averse definitionally unethical anti-entrepreneurs who entered the profession because they don't know how to do anything else, and who spend their lives adding to costs of production for the most part.

Hey maybe that's why law is infected with the prestige disease - its the one way they can convince themselves their profession actually means something. They're really the bottom rung of the upper middle class with a structural ceiling that is basically unbreakable because it is a service profession.

^ cool story huh bro? =)


Agree, now think of it.

Was an outsider just a year ago, and found that the only attractive part of the whole profession was the STARTING salary.

Will get an MBA from H/S/P after 2-3 years of biglaw. Then I will be golden.


You likely won't homie. I'll teach you the big lesson of life in like less than 15 words: there is no determinsitic formula for wealth, there are a shit-ton - and I really mean, a shit-ton of formulas for getting into the upper-middle class. Law school used to be one formula of exclusively the latter type. Not so much anymore unless you're top 25% in t10.

If anything, law is one surefire way to never get wealthy. You're assuming NO RISK. Wealth necessarily involves risk assumption or inheritance.


I don't know what you are talking about. I will be making 160K in Wilmington. I took the risk already. I will take more when I get my MBA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know what you are talking about. I will be making 160K in Wilmington. I took the risk already. I will take more when I get my MBA.


Have you ever wondered what happens about 10 years out to all these law graduates who say "I'll make 160k" outta law school?
Do the math. How many associates do you think enter 160k big law? How many partners does the firm make per year? What happened to the remainder?

Don't fit a line between 160-175-185-210- and think it'll just keep going up. It likely won't. And I don't blame you for not knowing. The law firms only say what 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th years make - and they publish PPP. But they don't say how many people make partner. You kind of have to track how many partners they make per year and do this math yourself.

I'll tell you what happens right here though - they take a 50% pay cut when they go in-house and start at 100k, and they are really pigeonholed in the law at that point and are likely never going to make general counsel or anything like that. Big law is one of these professions where your starting salary is generally 30-40% higher than your salary 4-5 years out.

And what the hell are you on about with this MBA? Unless you're telling me you're going to create the next Westlaw, what exactly do you plan on doing with an MBA?

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:44 pm

jb9 wrote:ITT: bunch of creepy people who spend too much time on the internets looking up lawyers.
Its just lawyers guys. Let's not forget how unprestigious/distasteful the law profession is outside of the stupid bubble.
Also, in the grand scheme of the economy, don't forget what an insignificant and pathetic role big law litigators play.
Everyone knows what a Goldman Sachs is. Nobody knwos what a "Williams and Connolly" is. The average Wachtell lawyer will never have wealth, but he WILL be rich with just a horrendous hell of a life. He won't be able to buy a mansion, but he'll sure as heck have a nanny for kids who will never see him bec the ex got custody.

Legal profession is viewed from the outside as a bunch of risk-averse definitionally unethical anti-entrepreneurs who entered the profession because they don't know how to do anything else, and who spend their lives adding to costs of production for the most part.

Hey maybe that's why law is infected with the prestige disease - its the one way they can convince themselves their profession actually means something. They're really the bottom rung of the upper middle class with a structural ceiling that is basically unbreakable because it is a service profession.

^ cool story huh bro? =)


The President of the United States was a lawyer. The CEO of Goldman Sachs went to law school.

Don't blame the legal profession as a whole cause you thought by going to a TTT shitlaw degree mill you would join the upper crust of society.

Your right there are alot of low lifes in the legal profession unfortunately. But in terms of overall prestige, only medicine has more lay prestige. Parents don't tell their kids they want them to grow up to be i-bankers or hedge fund managers, they tell their kids they want them to grow up and be doctors or lawyers.

Sure no one knows what Williams & Connolly is, but when you pull up in a porsche convertible with a $1,000 suit and a rolex, people get the idea that your a big shot. I wouldn't worry to much about comparing oneself to finance guys or CEO's. I think making more money than 99.9% of the rest of humanity should be good enough for most people.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know what you are talking about. I will be making 160K in Wilmington. I took the risk already. I will take more when I get my MBA.


Have you ever wondered what happens about 10 years out to all these law graduates who say "I'll make 160k" outta law school?
Do the math. How many associates do you think enter 160k big law? How many partners does the firm make per year? What happened to the remainder?

Don't fit a line between 160-175-185-210- and think it'll just keep going up. It likely won't. And I don't blame you for not knowing. The law firms only say what 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th years make - and they publish PPP. But they don't say how many people make partner. You kind of have to track how many partners they make per year and do this math yourself.

I'll tell you what happens right here though - they take a 50% pay cut when they go in-house and start at 100k, and they are really pigeonholed in the law at that point and are likely never going to make general counsel or anything like that. Big law is one of these professions where your starting salary is generally 30-40% higher than your salary 4-5 years out.

And what the hell are you on about with this MBA? Unless you're telling me you're going to create the next Westlaw, what exactly do you plan on doing with an MBA?


Law + Math major + finance background + MBA + fluency in Mandarin. Do you know where I am going?

I don't really think you know what you are talking about. I never planned on working in biglaw for more than 4 years.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jb9
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby jb9 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:47 pm

People considering an MBA after law school should consider: http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/cornell- ... a-ad-jpeg/

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:51 pm

jb9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think making more money than 99.9% of the rest of humanity should be good enough for most people.


But you won't after you're forced out of big law. If you're lucky, you'll break even. Do you not get that the big law ride is just like the adventure ride at Disneyland - they make you get off after a spin.

About your MBA, consider: http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/cornell- ... a-ad-jpeg/


You assume everyone who goes to law school is in it just for money. Also I agree nothing in this world is a free ticket. Investment banks also don't make every associate a managing director either.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jb9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think making more money than 99.9% of the rest of humanity should be good enough for most people.


But you won't after you're forced out of big law. If you're lucky, you'll break even. Do you not get that the big law ride is just like the adventure ride at Disneyland - they make you get off after a spin.

About your MBA, consider: http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/cornell- ... a-ad-jpeg/


You assume everyone who goes to law school is in it just for money. Also I agree nothing in this world is a free ticket. Investment banks also don't make every associate a managing director either.


You also assume that people don't have scholarships going to law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jb9 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think making more money than 99.9% of the rest of humanity should be good enough for most people.


But you won't after you're forced out of big law. If you're lucky, you'll break even. Do you not get that the big law ride is just like the adventure ride at Disneyland - they make you get off after a spin.

About your MBA, consider: http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/cornell- ... a-ad-jpeg/


You assume everyone who goes to law school is in it just for money. Also I agree nothing in this world is a free ticket. Investment banks also don't make every associate a managing director either.


You also assume that people don't have scholarships going to law school.


I think if you add up people who aren't in law school mostly for the money, or who have near-full or full scholarships - you're talking like 30-35 PEOPLE per law school.

I've met like one guy who's in law school because he finds the law a peculiar little songbird he'd like to acquaint himself with. And he's a trust fund baby.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:01 pm

Instead of ranking the boutiques, ITT can we describe and differentiate between them? How do their practice portfolios differ? Their cultures? Their salaries and bonuses?

traydeuce
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby traydeuce » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:14 pm

On a still off-topic but less off-topic note, top appellate boutiques in DC? That's what I'm planning on doing.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:18 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Hey, how about you assholes stop debating the merits of capitalism and talk about litigation boutiques.


agreed

traydeuce wrote:On a still off-topic but less off-topic note, top appellate boutiques in DC? That's what I'm planning on doing.


Robbins Russell and Kellogg Huber are the only ones I'm aware of.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:$125,000 signing bonus at Kellogg Huber. The hours there are apparently just as long as you would expect to find at Bartlit, Susman, etc.


:shock:

Is this on top of the market rate for clerkship bonuses and market first year salary?

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:$125,000 signing bonus at Kellogg Huber. The hours there are apparently just as long as you would expect to find at Bartlit, Susman, etc.


:shock:

Is this on top of the market rate for clerkship bonuses and market first year salary?

No; sort of. As in, no, that is not on top of the market rate for clerkship bonses. It is instead of the market rate $50k bonus. "Sort of" on the latter point insofar as Kellogg Huber pays above the market $160,000 starting salary. I do not know much above 160, however. So for total comp, post-clerkship associates make X + 125,000 in their first year, where X is an integer larger than 170k (the biglaw second-year rate).

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:54 pm

Best lit boutiques in houston/Texas? Any other than susman that should be looked at?

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Best lit boutiques in houston/Texas? Any other than susman that should be looked at?


Susman is King, but impossible to plan to get into. They are not only super selective, but thrive off of alpha personalities-- and will test you to see if you bring that to the table.

AZA is another lit boutique that is basically one step behind Susman in the growth process.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Best lit boutiques in houston/Texas? Any other than susman that should be looked at?


Susman is King, but impossible to plan to get into. They are not only super selective, but thrive off of alpha personalities-- and will test you to see if you bring that to the table.

AZA is another lit boutique that is basically one step behind Susman in the growth process.


Thanks! (only anon because I have been outed). AZA as hard as Susman to get in to?

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:26 am

If you are looking at CA then Howard Rice (SF) and Scheper Kim (LA) are worth a look.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:44 am

How does the application process for these types of shops go? Do you pretty much seek them out? Bartlitt Beck doesn't even accept summers, does that mean taht you just get a hold of them once you have a clerkship lined up?

Also, Bartlitt Beck has a corporate group, is it nearly as well-regarded as their litigation practice?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:47 am

Also, Bartlitt Beck has a corporate group, is it nearly as well-regarded as their litigation practice?


No.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:26 am

I can attempt to weigh in on Keker. I don't work there, but I know people who do (or who used to). This is all second-hand info, so take it with a grain of salt.

My impression is that the workload is much less insane than at a place like Susman or Boies, for example. Many associates, even after three or four years of work, average 2000-2200 hours. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it doesn't compare to the 2700+ hours that I've heard Boies associates work.

Perhaps this has something to do with the bonus structure, which is not linked to hours worked. Unless you have a ball-busting year and qualify for a special "wartime" bonus for lots of intense trial work, I think bonuses are a flat rate each year, depending on your class year. I think it varies based on how good of a year the firm had.

I think that part of the firm's reasoning is that unlike Boies (my favorite point of comparison), Keker doesn't want a work model which encourages associates to work unsustainable hours every year. They want and expect hard work, but dont want everyone scrambling to bill as many hours as is humanly possible. With a nearly 1-to-1 partner/associate ratio, they're not trying to build an "up-and-out" model and rather have a somewhat vested interest in their associates' ability to survive long-term.

Base salary is market, I believe. So all in all, not the #1 choice if you want to make maximum $$$ ASAP (perhaps Susman would be the best bet there), but it seems like a great place where people tend to stick around, and where making partner, while certainly difficult, is not actually out of the question for those who want to stay.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:I can attempt to weigh in on Keker. I don't work there, but I know people who do (or who used to). This is all second-hand info, so take it with a grain of salt.

My impression is that the workload is much less insane than at a place like Susman or Boies, for example. Many associates, even after three or four years of work, average 2000-2200 hours. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it doesn't compare to the 2700+ hours that I've heard Boies associates work.

Perhaps this has something to do with the bonus structure, which is not linked to hours worked. Unless you have a ball-busting year and qualify for a special "wartime" bonus for lots of intense trial work, I think bonuses are a flat rate each year, depending on your class year. I think it varies based on how good of a year the firm had.

I think that part of the firm's reasoning is that unlike Boies (my favorite point of comparison), Keker doesn't want a work model which encourages associates to work unsustainable hours every year. They want and expect hard work, but dont want everyone scrambling to bill as many hours as is humanly possible. With a nearly 1-to-1 partner/associate ratio, they're not trying to build an "up-and-out" model and rather have a somewhat vested interest in their associates' ability to survive long-term.

Base salary is market, I believe. So all in all, not the #1 choice if you want to make maximum $$$ ASAP (perhaps Susman would be the best bet there), but it seems like a great place where people tend to stick around, and where making partner, while certainly difficult, is not actually out of the question for those who want to stay.


How does Keker differ from a place like Munger which is also 1-to-1 associate/partner ratio and also doesn't expect people to kill themselves billing? Is the only difference that Munger is bigger? Or is Keker somehow more well regarded or better for young associates?

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:25 am

Munger, by virtue of its size, is run more like a big law firm out of necessity. With nearly 200 (or over 200?) in the L.A. office, it's just going to have to be more bureaucratic, and I have heard some attorneys there lament this. But they still overwhelmingly seem to love the place.

Keker & Munger are apples and oranges, to an extent. They're both very very well respected in California. KVN is more trial-focused, you might say...there's not much appellate work going on. MTO, however, does have a pretty active appellate practice for a West coast firm (and of course plenty of trial work too). Each firm openly recognizes that the other is usually its most consistent source of competition for summer associates and post-clerkship hires.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:22 pm

Boies is the shit. By the way, most Boies associates do not bill 2800, but you are forgetting that billing 2800 at Boies is easier to do than at other places... You spend no time looking for work.

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Re: Ranking the top litigation boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Boies is the shit. By the way, most Boies associates do not bill 2800, but you are forgetting that billing 2800 at Boies is easier to do than at other places... You spend no time looking for work.


but isn't Boies also more highly leveraged than a traditional lit boutique

I personally don't see the appeal in Boies considering that you can make just as much money and get way more experience at a place like Susman or Kellogg Huber.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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