Top Three Philly Firms

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Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:59 pm

I am fortunate enough to have offers at Dechert, Morgan, and Duane Morris. I am most interested in the lifestyle of the three firms. Thoughts?

thanks in advance.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:17 pm

In going around to a lot of the Philly firms this recruiting season, I seemed to frequently run into the perception that Dechert is the worst one as far as hours go. DM probably has a slight edge when it comes to work/life balance. Also, I am not totally sure about this, but I believe that DM may not follow the same compensation model as the other two, so although the starting pay is the same, you may not earn as much when factoring in pay increases after year one, and bonuses.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:26 pm

depends what you want. if you want the best exit options, i'd go with dechert or morgan lewis. duane morris has somewhat of a national reputation, but they're more a philly firm than anything else.

however, i will say that DM has an interesting contingency fee practice in addition to their normal billable work, and this often brings interesting work that you ordinarily wouldn't see at a big firm. also, i've heard so-so things about dechert. it's no secret that a lot of their associates jump ship after a few years. i even went on a CB recently with another big philly firm and 3 out of the 4 people i had interviewed with had all come over from dechert. just something to think about..

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:07 pm

It's news to me that Duane Morris is a top three Philly firm.

Besides that, you should probably take Morgan Lewis. They took a hard hit, but I know a lot of people who are going there and feel comfortable doing so--perhaps they've adjusted in response to the crash.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's news to me that Duane Morris is a top three Philly firm.

Besides that, you should probably take Morgan Lewis. They took a hard hit, but I know a lot of people who are going there and feel comfortable doing so--perhaps they've adjusted in response to the crash.


yeah i wouldn't be dissuaded by the fact that ML didn't have a summer class in 2010. if anything, that tells me they were particularly intent on adapting to the incredible changes to legal demand post-2008/9. they've continued to hire conservatively since then and i don't think you'd have to worry about a no-offer.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:20 pm

I worked at MLB for a bit, couple notes:

1) it can be very cliquey, and by year 2 or so you either have a partner who likes you or you don't. I saw a lot of people have it kind of rough because of that.

2) While Philly is (was?) the HQ, the DC office has grown to dominate the firm's work distribution. I worked in one of the non-Philly/DC offices, and we used to receive all of our "directives" and orders for extra staffing from Philadelphia, but slowly the power shifted to DC. You may want to keep that in mind.

3) What do you want to do?

I think MLB is fine for lifestyle; truth be told, I'd say in terms of national rep Dechert and MLB are about even-ish (someone will inevitably dispute this) and the hours might be a tad bit better for MLB.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's news to me that Duane Morris is a top three Philly firm.

Besides that, you should probably take Morgan Lewis. They took a hard hit, but I know a lot of people who are going there and feel comfortable doing so--perhaps they've adjusted in response to the crash.


As far as associates are concerned they have to be the top 3. Everyone else pays less. Those 3 are at 145. Pepper dropped down to 125, Blank 130, Drinker Biddle has some dumb apprenticeship program. I definitely hear you about DM being that I asked associates at Dechert what they thought about and most of them admitted they don't know much about them but hey the money is right. If I had an offer from DM or Pepper. I would take DM and 20,000 more dollars.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:48 pm

Is Dechert as prestigious in NYC as in Philly?

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:53 pm

anyone know the lockstep for dechert, morgan lewis, or duane morris? i know starting is 145, but what next?

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is Dechert as prestigious in NYC as in Philly?


no. in philly, dechert is top of the market in nearly every category (check chambers guide). in nyc, it's decent but average.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:02 pm

So a Top50ish in Vault is average?

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Wholigan » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anyone know the lockstep for dechert, morgan lewis, or duane morris? i know starting is 145, but what next?


See here. I don't know that all of the firms follow the same model.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:28 pm

KamaalTheAbstract wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's news to me that Duane Morris is a top three Philly firm.

Besides that, you should probably take Morgan Lewis. They took a hard hit, but I know a lot of people who are going there and feel comfortable doing so--perhaps they've adjusted in response to the crash.


As far as associates are concerned they have to be the top 3. Everyone else pays less. Those 3 are at 145. Pepper dropped down to 125, Blank 130, Drinker Biddle has some dumb apprenticeship program. I definitely hear you about DM being that I asked associates at Dechert what they thought about and most of them admitted they don't know much about them but hey the money is right. If I had an offer from DM or Pepper. I would take DM and 20,000 more dollars.

Money isn't everything. DLA Piper also pays $145k in Philly, but no one would accuse DLA Piper of having a good Philly office.

Ballard Spahr, Blank Rome, Drinker Biddle, and Pepper all have practices that are generally ranked as high as or higher than Duane Morris'.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:39 pm

You are also thinking ahead to starting salaries in the fall 2013. A lot of things can change between now and then. Moreover, a few firms in the 125-135k have also had rumors about going back up.

Also, consider that the 15k difference is only going to be like 7-8k after tax.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
KamaalTheAbstract wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's news to me that Duane Morris is a top three Philly firm.

Besides that, you should probably take Morgan Lewis. They took a hard hit, but I know a lot of people who are going there and feel comfortable doing so--perhaps they've adjusted in response to the crash.


As far as associates are concerned they have to be the top 3. Everyone else pays less. Those 3 are at 145. Pepper dropped down to 125, Blank 130, Drinker Biddle has some dumb apprenticeship program. I definitely hear you about DM being that I asked associates at Dechert what they thought about and most of them admitted they don't know much about them but hey the money is right. If I had an offer from DM or Pepper. I would take DM and 20,000 more dollars.

Money isn't everything. DLA Piper also pays $145k in Philly, but no one would accuse DLA Piper of having a good Philly office.

Ballard Spahr, Blank Rome, Drinker Biddle, and Pepper all have practices that are generally ranked as high as or higher than Duane Morris'.


True. Although we're talking about Philly firms so DLA Piper doesn't apply. Just like Akin Gump doesn't count.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am fortunate enough to have offers at Dechert, Morgan, and Duane Morris. I am most interested in the lifestyle of the three firms. Thoughts?

thanks in advance.


For lifestyle, the accepted wisdom says the rankings go DM, MLB, Dechert.

Something to consider: I have a friend that took an SA offer at MLB but is now worried because the acceptance rate is way higher than the firm anticipated so the class size might be bigger than they were aiming for (I think they were aiming for 9-11 SA's, currently have 10 acceptances with 8 offers outstanding). Hopefully this won't affect full time offers at the end of the summer, but it's a little troubling.

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Re: Top Three Philly Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am fortunate enough to have offers at Dechert, Morgan, and Duane Morris. I am most interested in the lifestyle of the three firms. Thoughts?

thanks in advance.


For lifestyle, the accepted wisdom says the rankings go DM, MLB, Dechert.

Something to consider: I have a friend that took an SA offer at MLB but is now worried because the acceptance rate is way higher than the firm anticipated so the class size might be bigger than they were aiming for (I think they were aiming for 9-11 SA's, currently have 10 acceptances with 8 offers outstanding). Hopefully this won't affect full time offers at the end of the summer, but it's a little troubling.


if this is true, that should become a VERY important factor in your decision, especially with the economy still shaky...




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