Picking a V100 over a V10

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote: cut-throat kill-what-you-eat sweatshop reputation than Kirkland, I too am majorly concerned with quality of life issues, and frankly even with real estate and other cost of living issues in the major market versus my hometown, as well as an awful commute since my wife currently works in this secondary market and likes her job. Leverage is similar (and not ridiculously high) at both firms overall, but lower in my hometown V50 than the major market V15. It's a tough decision, and I'm still struggling with it.


Everyone I spoke with at Skadden (3 different offices) said that despite the existence of an assignment coordinator it was very political with regard to finding work. Furthermore, associates at each firm spoke of 100-hour weeks and all-nighters.

Keeping all that in mind, why is K&E taking flak while firms like Skadden and other firms where the assignment system is a formality simply aren't as upfront about it? To keep up billables you generally need to be around 2200 right? Are you going to find better in NY for the same vault rank?

I guess my point is - it's a highly ranked vault firm; why are people condemning it for a fairly standard hours expectation?

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here..this is not a decision between KE vs. Sidley/Mayer/Winston..I have decided that if I want to be at a large firm in Chi, it will be KE. This is now a decision between KE vs. mid size, V50-100. Therefore, the prestige gap is much bigger than V10 v. V20, etc.


Ill offer an anecdotal story.....

I did a CB in Chicago a week or two ago at a firm in the vault 75-100 range. The firm specifically mentioned that they are NOT like K&E, and had a bunch of reasons for differentiating. The one that stuck with me was when one associate shared about a friend at K&E whose wife just had a baby. Supposedly the associate at K&E only took a half day in the morning to see the birth and was back at work in the afternoon. Then the associate at the V75-100 told me that his wife was expecting and it is common at the firm for the husband to take 3-4 weeks off, with no one giving you a strange look.

Luckily (or maybe unluckily?) I have no shot at K&E, and I really want a firm that respects my personal life, so it all depends on what you want. To me QoL > Prestige. While one of my boys recently interviewed at K&E and loved the idea of billing 2400+, so for him QoL < Prestige.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:51 pm

Doritos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Doritos wrote:The reasonableness of taking Katten over Kirkland depends on the individual I'd argue. People who are set on private practice and firm life really need to put a premium on things like culture and fit. The guy/gal who knows they want to leave in a few years after their loans are paid off are going to be in a different situation. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. I do not know the small firm/midlaw scene so I'll defer to someone to answer if a market paying firm in say, Cincinnati, will care about the Katten/Kirkland distinction.


Katten (#79 on Vault) isn't some tiny secondary market firm where everyone makes partner. It's a typical lower-V100 firm in that it's almost as leveraged as Sullivan & Cromwell (4.2 versus 4.5). It's got over 500 attorneys, and according to NALP the average annual attrition rate at firms of over 500 attorneys was 19% in 2006. To give a point of reference (http://books.google.com/books?id=zdcBuo ... ed&f=false) Sullivan & Cromwell's famous 30%+ attrition rate dropped to 22% after the firm implemented reforms.

So statistically speaking you're going to be out of the firm in 3-4 years anyhow. Maybe 3 if you had gone to K&E and 4 if you go to Katten. What happens then?


I didn't mean to say that they should take Katten over Kirkland if they wanted to be a firm long term, I just suggested that they should put a premium on culture and fit. Maybe BOTH firms have terrible culture and the individual does not fit in at either firm. From there, I'd look to things like how soon you get responsibility and which practice areas you are interested in. Also, keep in mind that there a lot of people who go into biglaw KNOWING they are going to leave in a few years so these stats may not have a lot to say about the individual who comes in wanting to stay longer term.

Are you looking for me to break down and say take Kirkland 100% of the time because they have a higher Vault rank?


I'm not saying that culture and fit isn't important. I'm saying that if you're a typical law grad going into big law, you shouldn't have any illusions about the QoL at lower-ranked firms, as some people ITT seem to have. Attrition throughout the V100 is very high.

I'm simply asking for acknowledgement that students should realize that they'll be out of big law in 3-4 years regardless of which big firm they go to, and balance considerations of culture and fit (keeping in mind that they're deriving their assessment of culture from a 4-hour callback), against the question of: when I'm looking for another job a few years from now, which firm would I rather have on my resume?

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here..this is not a decision between KE vs. Sidley/Mayer/Winston..I have decided that if I want to be at a large firm in Chi, it will be KE. This is now a decision between KE vs. mid size, V50-100. Therefore, the prestige gap is much bigger than V10 v. V20, etc.


Ill offer an anecdotal story.....

I did a CB in Chicago a week or two ago at a firm in the vault 75-100 range. The firm specifically mentioned that they are NOT like K&E, and had a bunch of reasons for differentiating. The one that stuck with me was when one associate shared about a friend at K&E whose wife just had a baby. Supposedly the associate at K&E only took a half day in the morning to see the birth and was back at work in the afternoon. Then the associate at the V75-100 told me that his wife was expecting and it is common at the firm for the husband to take 3-4 weeks off, with no one giving you a strange look.


I worked at an NYC V10 this summer, and one of the mid-levels I was working with went on a 3-week paternity leave. Nobody gave him weird looks. The senior associate I worked with (who works insane hours) walks his kid to school every morning. One of the (male) partners I talked to mentioned that being able to do that was a big perk of living in Manhattan near work.

There are heinous gunners in every profession. I had a professor in college that was working on grant proposals from her hospital bed the day after giving birth. Everyone has one of those stories, I don't think such anecdotes are particularly useful.

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Doritos
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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Doritos » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Doritos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Katten (#79 on Vault) isn't some tiny secondary market firm where everyone makes partner. It's a typical lower-V100 firm in that it's almost as leveraged as Sullivan & Cromwell (4.2 versus 4.5). It's got over 500 attorneys, and according to NALP the average annual attrition rate at firms of over 500 attorneys was 19% in 2006. To give a point of reference (http://books.google.com/books?id=zdcBuo ... ed&f=false) Sullivan & Cromwell's famous 30%+ attrition rate dropped to 22% after the firm implemented reforms.

So statistically speaking you're going to be out of the firm in 3-4 years anyhow. Maybe 3 if you had gone to K&E and 4 if you go to Katten. What happens then?


I didn't mean to say that they should take Katten over Kirkland if they wanted to be a firm long term, I just suggested that they should put a premium on culture and fit. Maybe BOTH firms have terrible culture and the individual does not fit in at either firm. From there, I'd look to things like how soon you get responsibility and which practice areas you are interested in. Also, keep in mind that there a lot of people who go into biglaw KNOWING they are going to leave in a few years so these stats may not have a lot to say about the individual who comes in wanting to stay longer term.

Are you looking for me to break down and say take Kirkland 100% of the time because they have a higher Vault rank?


I'm not saying that culture and fit isn't important. I'm saying that if you're a typical law grad going into big law, you shouldn't have any illusions about the QoL at lower-ranked firms, as some people ITT seem to have. Attrition throughout the V100 is very high.

I'm simply asking for acknowledgement that students should realize that they'll be out of big law in 3-4 years regardless of which big firm they go to, and balance considerations of culture and fit (keeping in mind that they're deriving their assessment of culture from a 4-hour callback), against the question of: when I'm looking for another job a few years from now, which firm would I rather have on my resume?


I'll grant you that. Attrition is high and many will be leaving the firm a few years after joining it. What I am pushing back on is the notion that Kirkland on the resume is clearly so much better than Katten and you are somehow going to be hamstrung in your career by going Katten even if you think its a better fit for you (however you determine that which is another issue). My impression after talking to people who do the hiring at some of these desirable exit options that people keep talking about is that by and large biglaw is biglaw. I'll grant you that you may get an impressed eyebrow raise if you have Cravath on your resume as opposed to DLA Piper but it's not NEARLY the same as having Columbia law on your resume as opposed to George Mason law.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:45 pm

I would be more worried about financial stability than exit options when looking at these Chicago firms. The problem is that it is difficult to really know how stable a firm is. Based on the last few years though, I would not feel good about being at most of these Chicago firms if/when the economy goes to hell again.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:49 pm

Doritos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Doritos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Katten (#79 on Vault) isn't some tiny secondary market firm where everyone makes partner. It's a typical lower-V100 firm in that it's almost as leveraged as Sullivan & Cromwell (4.2 versus 4.5). It's got over 500 attorneys, and according to NALP the average annual attrition rate at firms of over 500 attorneys was 19% in 2006. To give a point of reference (http://books.google.com/books?id=zdcBuo ... ed&f=false) Sullivan & Cromwell's famous 30%+ attrition rate dropped to 22% after the firm implemented reforms.

So statistically speaking you're going to be out of the firm in 3-4 years anyhow. Maybe 3 if you had gone to K&E and 4 if you go to Katten. What happens then?


I didn't mean to say that they should take Katten over Kirkland if they wanted to be a firm long term, I just suggested that they should put a premium on culture and fit. Maybe BOTH firms have terrible culture and the individual does not fit in at either firm. From there, I'd look to things like how soon you get responsibility and which practice areas you are interested in. Also, keep in mind that there a lot of people who go into biglaw KNOWING they are going to leave in a few years so these stats may not have a lot to say about the individual who comes in wanting to stay longer term.

Are you looking for me to break down and say take Kirkland 100% of the time because they have a higher Vault rank?


I'm not saying that culture and fit isn't important. I'm saying that if you're a typical law grad going into big law, you shouldn't have any illusions about the QoL at lower-ranked firms, as some people ITT seem to have. Attrition throughout the V100 is very high.

I'm simply asking for acknowledgement that students should realize that they'll be out of big law in 3-4 years regardless of which big firm they go to, and balance considerations of culture and fit (keeping in mind that they're deriving their assessment of culture from a 4-hour callback), against the question of: when I'm looking for another job a few years from now, which firm would I rather have on my resume?


I'll grant you that. Attrition is high and many will be leaving the firm a few years after joining it. What I am pushing back on is the notion that Kirkland on the resume is clearly so much better than Katten and you are somehow going to be hamstrung in your career by going Katten even if you think its a better fit for you (however you determine that which is another issue). My impression after talking to people who do the hiring at some of these desirable exit options that people keep talking about is that by and large biglaw is biglaw. I'll grant you that you may get an impressed eyebrow raise if you have Cravath on your resume as opposed to DLA Piper but it's not NEARLY the same as having Columbia law on your resume as opposed to George Mason law.


I think that if OP wants Corp, in Chicago going to K&E will give him a slight advantage over a firm like McGuirewoods or KMR.

I think that the attitude in response to OP ITT went from, "If that's where you fit, then that's what you should take." to "The firm is a hellhole do not go there." A lot of people keep mentioning the hours - for Chicago they're high, but they're standard for NY (on the low side for several members of the V10). If this was Weil, Skadden, STB, or SullCrom would there be the same virulent reaction, at least with regard to A) culture and B) hours?

If OP is looking for fit - and he connected at KMR (or wherever) - that's where he should go. FWIW, I had CBs at KMR, K&E, SA, McGuire, and Winston - I asked first and second years at lunch for their billable targets. No one was below 2000 and the most (strangely) was Winston, where one guy reported 2400-something.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:00 am

bump

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:18 pm

Sup Kid wrote:
kaiser wrote:I made a post awhile back addressing this point, so I will essentially just copy and paste it here:

Its important to remember that the firm you pick is the "end of the line" in a sense. Every step up until this point in our law school journey has just been a means to an end, and had to serve a purpose in order to push us toward our next goal. But picking a firm isn't like picking a school, where the rankings and prestige play a huge part in determining your future. This is the step at which we can finally divorce ourselves from the "prize" mindset that is so prevalent amongst law students (i.e. we let someone else determine what the prize is, and then we blindly chase it, regardless of whether we actually want this prize).

And here you are, having done excellent in law school, but at a fork in the road, because now you have to sit down and determine what the prize really is. If the prize to you is comfort and QOL, being with people you like, and being in a working environment that is tolerable and sustainable, then your "prize" is there for the taking. And if that truly is your "prize", then there isn't a better choice, whether it be the V10 or any other brand name firm. Again, this isn't like picking a school, where there are "worse" schools and "better" ones. It is a divergent change from the mindset that law school fosters, but at this point, it is all about what is right for you.

This is all accurate, but I would add that you need to look at the compensation differences between the firms (and not only whether they both start at $160k, but if the salary increases are lockstep at market and if the firm pays market bonuses). If not, you could potentially be leaving upwards of $100,000 on the table over the next 5 years, so it's definitely worth considering. Regardless, good problem to have, and congrats on your offers.


This. Plus, as far as I can see, OP still hasn't confirmed whether the lower V100 pays market or not.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:30 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:
Sup Kid wrote:This is all accurate, but I would add that you need to look at the compensation differences between the firms (and not only whether they both start at $160k, but if the salary increases are lockstep at market and if the firm pays market bonuses). If not, you could potentially be leaving upwards of $100,000 on the table over the next 5 years, so it's definitely worth considering. Regardless, good problem to have, and congrats on your offers.


This. Plus, as far as I can see, OP still hasn't confirmed whether the lower V100 pays market or not.


I'm not the OP, but I am the poster in post 49. My choice is between V15 in a major market that pays lockstep and had market and spring bonus this year, and a V50 in a secondary that pays 210 in year 5 (versus 230 for the V15) and that likely didn't pay spring bonuses. However, cost of living in the secondary market is significantly lower than the major market (think house with yard versus apartment for the same price) and commuting is a much larger pain in the major market if you drive. My point is that the pay differential isn't always as clear as (a) what you get for your money and (b) the pain and suffering you have to endure to get it [this second point is also being made quite clearly in the K&E banter].

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lieut Kaffee wrote:
This. Plus, as far as I can see, OP still hasn't confirmed whether the lower V100 pays market or not.


I'm not the OP, but I am the poster in post 49. My choice is between V15 in a major market that pays lockstep and had market and spring bonus this year, and a V50 in a secondary that pays 210 in year 5 (versus 230 for the V15) and that likely didn't pay spring bonuses. However, cost of living in the secondary market is significantly lower than the major market (think house with yard versus apartment for the same price) and commuting is a much larger pain in the major market if you drive. My point is that the pay differential isn't always as clear as (a) what you get for your money and (b) the pain and suffering you have to endure to get it [this second point is also being made quite clearly in the K&E banter].


The differences sound pretty substantial for you. IIRC, the OP has both firms in the same market with the same COL and the same commute variables. And the pay difference may be much larger than just the Year 5 lockstep. It could be $15k-$25k each year, BEFORE bonus differences.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:30 am

K&E
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby dedede » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:You need to turn off the interwebs, turn off the TLS and stop listening to people at law school and make the choice thats best for you. prestige is an absurd thing to let dominate your life at this point. you know what's prestigious? not giving a shit.

TCR

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby rayiner » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:You need to turn off the interwebs, turn off the TLS and stop listening to people at law school and make the choice thats best for you. prestige is an absurd thing to let dominate your life at this point. you know what's prestigious? not giving a shit.


Yes, ignore the collective advice of a bunch of people who have pored over the publicly available information, spoken with their contacts, and worked as summer associates at firms like the ones in question. Just go with your gut instead!

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Doritos » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You need to turn off the interwebs, turn off the TLS and stop listening to people at law school and make the choice thats best for you. prestige is an absurd thing to let dominate your life at this point. you know what's prestigious? not giving a shit.


Yes, ignore the collective advice of a bunch of people who have pored over the publicly available information, spoken with their contacts, and worked as summer associates at firms like the ones in question. Just go with your gut instead!


HOORAY!

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby DarkwingDick » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:24 pm

Where can attrition rates be found?

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Re: Picking a V100 over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:00 pm

LOL law firms aren't exactly ending out press releases on how many folks ran for the doors after 1.5 years




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