Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

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Perkins (Seattle) or Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Perkins (Seattle)
19
56%
Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)
15
44%
 
Total votes: 34

Anonymous User
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Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:06 pm

Vastly different firms in vastly different market. Curious as to people's opinions. Where should I work?

Perkins
Pros:
Closer to home
Lower Billables
Like the mix of clients. Mix of large companies with some start-up work
Culture, COL, QOL, etc, etc.

Cons:
Compensation: Low Base + Low Bonus

Sidley/Kirkland
Pros:
Compensation, Prestige, etc.
Pay off loans quicker
Feel comfortable with people at both firms
Like Chicago

Cons:
Billables
Far from home. Probably wouldn't want Chicago long term.

Thoughts?

kahechsof
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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby kahechsof » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:23 pm

There is also a bit of a rankings/prestige/exit options inequality I'm thinking. (Unless perkins coie is so dominant in seattle that you can do anything out of there?)

smittytron3k
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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby smittytron3k » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:28 pm

Perkins is unquestionably #1 in Seattle, and I can't imagine turning it down if you want to be in Seattle (a notoriously insular market) long-term. It also consistently scores very high on associate satisfaction/QOL metrics.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:36 pm

I'd say Perkins if you wan't to be in Seattle long-term, K&E/Sidley if you want to be anywhere else.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:17 pm

Perkins is super stable financially, only laid off less than 15 total associates during ITE and none of them first years. They have been keeping their class sizes really small, have a part time partnership track that they seem to actually take seriously, and have really awesome work. Seems like the type of firm that doesn't try to push people out around year 5 or 6. They work with huge companies (Starbucks, Costco, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Boeing, UPS, Nintendo, Addidas, etc.) and aren't really that exposed to financial problems in Europe directly. Also, their culture is really progressive and they work with the Democratic party/Obama etc. IMO this is a clear example where Vault should be thrown out the window provided you actually liked it at Perkins and want to be in Seattle or anywhere on the West Coast. They've expanded in the last ten years into Phoenix and California, and have a ton of respect among lawyers all along the west coast (and nationally). Also, top notch IP practice.

Of course, those other firms are great too, but this is definitely a tough call.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:49 pm

If your long-term plans are to return to the PNW, just know that it will be highly competitive in the future. Many people burn out from NY/Chicago and try to lateral into the PNW markets.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:51 pm

If you know you're coming back to Seattle this shouldn't really be a question unless you're really under the gun for student loans or something similar.

Perkins is the firm that opens doors in the PNW. From there you'll have the best options for just about anything you could want to do.

Sidley is great, but if you want to come back to Seattle and have a name people recognize outside of the somewhat insular big-law firms, you'd have to go to Perkins anyways. So, your exit options won't be that great from Sidley coming to Seattle, other than the larger law firms. And you'd have to go to Perkins after moving to Seattle to get that back, which honestly is no guarantee.

Additionally, you cannot put a price on building up your personal/professional network. Leaving Chicago-Seattle partway through your career means you're losing pretty much all of that, friends, mentors, mentees, your very own life and it's going to be rough. A career is an investment, both in terms of money and relationships, with the latter eventually driving the former. Missing out on those first few years in Seattle will mean you're that much farther behind on that particular growth curve. And for what? If the money means that much to you, well, you might want to think twice because short term profit does not equal long term gain.

Add in a couple soft factors, e.g., work-life balance, ability to make partner and get experience (Perkins has a very low leverage rate)... all of this should influence your decision. You only have one con for Perkins, and it's money. Ask yourself who you want to be, and what type of person would make the decision for Sidley. Is that how the rest of your life is going to be? Will it ever end, or are you going to hit 50, realize you have a ton of money and that you still aren't back in the PNW and loathe the path you're currently on, because at a certain point it is too late to go back. Would you really regret passing up Sidley, the longer hour, higher stress rat race for slightly more money? What kind of regret is that, and is it worth having?

Edited with formatting to bump up drama level.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:28 am

Faced a (sort of) similar choice.

It's a location-driven dilemma, but it’s not necessarily a long-term one. People are tending to live longer, change employers with greater frequency, transition into new careers several times before retirement, and relocate with greater ease. Most end up doing something -- sometimes in some locale -- they wouldn’t have expected just five years earlier (let alone 10, 15, 20, 30+ yrs). This is especially true at a younger age. (Heck, ITE 2.0 => you might end up out of any of these stable big firms in 2 yrs.) ( Also, think of how many people you know who have relocated for work or pleasure over the course of their lives. Perhaps even your conservative and steady grandparents moved around the country a bit before they settled wherever they are now.)

So consider making the decision that best fits your near-to-medium-term inclinations. This choice is less permanent than something like getting a tattoo. Consider Q’s like these:

Which weather would you prefer more over the next 5 or so years?
Feeling up for change or continuity (depends on where you are now)?
Which city do you find more entertaining?
Which office space were you more comfortable in? (Also which would likely have the better commute?)
How does where you live affect your family? (and vice versa)?
Are you single or committed? (If the later, what does S.O. think? If single, which may have the better/larger single crowd?)
How big of a difference will the money make in the shorter term (re: amount of debt, etc.)?
Where do you have more friends? (If applicable, how interested are you in meeting new people?)

Long-term, the one thing I’ll say that being a Kirkland/Sidley attorney (+big law in Chi town) probably has better national recognition than the alternative. Might you consider working outside of Chi or Sea someday? Even still, it holds that you do not need to regard this decision as long-term or permanent. Trust your gut.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:32 pm

It seems to me the wrong decision is the one you make based on what people on the internet said, who may be either too disinterested or overly invested.

For example, in this thread you shouldn’t give credence to either the voting (since those who vote but don’t reply are just having fun) or to posts, which read like impassioned stump speeches (bizarre).

Ask your friends, ask your family, and then just decide! It feels good to be done.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:46 pm

Where do you want to live now? Where do you want to live in five or ten years?

I don't see any other meaningful way to make this decision.

Anonymous User
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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:43 pm

To provide some context. Accepted an offer at Perkins and had a friend facing a similar decision recently. Her actual choice wasn't really important, what mattered was that she ended up at the best place for her, and you'll have to simply decide that as well.

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Re: Perkins Coie (Seattle) vs. Kirkland/Sidley (Chicago)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:56 pm

Chicago will give you a greater breadth of experience; Seattle's legal market is so much smaller. I understand that lateraling into the PNW may be more difficult because Seattleites like their own, but I can't imagine a Kirkland or Sidley name will work against you. If anything, Perkins' offer will be to your advantage in the future, because you clearly met their hiring requirements in the first place. I would look at the practice areas and choose based on that and fit. If you know you want to be in Seattle forever, this should be a much easier decision.




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