Charlotte Firms

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Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:40 am

I have some questions about Charlotte firms that I am considering summering at.

1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

Thanks.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:57 am

1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

High up there, probably in the top two.


2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

130K is market, there are only a few firms that pay more than that (Dechert comes to mind).

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

There's another thread here that debates this question, so it's mostly a matter of opinion within the TLS community, but I've heard good things about MVA.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:04 am

MVA is considered one of the best (arguably the best) firm in NC. Its clearly more well known for its transactional/banking work - but its litigation group is solid. It got hurt bad when the Charlotte banking market went bad and it instituted layoffs and salary cuts, and also stopped its summer program for two years (though I heard that the litigation group continued to hire people out of clerkships).

Other top Charlotte firms include Robinson Bradshaw, Parker Poe, and McGuire Woods. I've probably left a few off and of course there are the big national firms with smaller Charlotte offices. I don't think there is a clear hierarchy of firms in Charlotte.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Dukie2007 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

High up there, probably in the top two.


2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

130K is market, there are only a few firms that pay more than that (Dechert comes to mind).

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

There's another thread here that debates this question, so it's mostly a matter of opinion within the TLS community, but I've heard good things about MVA.


Thank you. This was very helpful. Does anyone else have any similair insight or know of anyone working at these places?

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:23 pm

Dukie2007 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

High up there, probably in the top two.


2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

130K is market, there are only a few firms that pay more than that (Dechert comes to mind).

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

There's another thread here that debates this question, so it's mostly a matter of opinion within the TLS community, but I've heard good things about MVA.


Thank you. This was very helpful. Does anyone else have any similair insight or know of anyone working at these places?


I have a friend working at MVA who loves it. However MVA did take a PR hit when the economy tanked due to no-offering their summer class. They are still top dog though, IMO.

Like the previous poster said, market is 130, though some biglaw firms are above and below that line. Check out the older thread where Charlotte was discussed in more detail.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:14 pm

The hierarchy depends on what you want to do and what practice areas you are interested in. However, for the most complex work that pays the most, it is as follows (I am at a firm in Charlotte, from a top law school):

Top of Market - Pay and complexity (but purely transactional): Dechert, Mayer Brown, Cadwalader (and maybe Winston and Strawn) => 160K.

Near top of Market, for Transaction and litigation firms: Moore Van Allen, McGuire Woods, K&L Gates, Alston and Bird => 145k (and slower raise scale - 205 vs. 280 in 8th year).

Level 3: Parker Poe, Robinson Bradshaw, Womble Carlyle -similar to previous level but pays 135k, less prestigious work and name in the city.

Level 4: everyone else - mid-sized regional firms or firms that have Charlotte offices but take no1 or nearly no1 in Charlotte for summers. E.g. Hunton and Williams.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:21 pm

Pretty sure Womble and Parker Poe do not pay $135. $115 is closer.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Pretty sure Womble and Parker Poe do not pay $135. $115 is closer.


I know firsthand that this is false. 135k is closer.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The hierarchy depends on what you want to do and what practice areas you are interested in. However, for the most complex work that pays the most, it is as follows (I am at a firm in Charlotte, from a top law school):

Top of Market - Pay and complexity (but purely transactional): Dechert, Mayer Brown, Cadwalader (and maybe Winston and Strawn) => 160K.

Near top of Market, for Transaction and litigation firms: Moore Van Allen, McGuire Woods, K&L Gates, Alston and Bird => 145k (and slower raise scale - 205 vs. 280 in 8th year).

Level 3: Parker Poe, Robinson Bradshaw, Womble Carlyle -similar to previous level but pays 135k, less prestigious work and name in the city.

Level 4: everyone else - mid-sized regional firms or firms that have Charlotte offices but take no1 or nearly no1 in Charlotte for summers. E.g. Hunton and Williams.


Same poster as above. This list may be accurate *only* if it's focusing exclusively on transactional. If that's the case though, take down McGuireWoods a few levels though. They do a lot of lit

(If this list were changed to both Lit and transactional, it changes entirely. In that case, your current "Level 1" would drop considerably or be deleted (those are transactional only firms, little to no litigation). "Level 2" and "Level 3" would be reversed, with the exception of MVA, which should remain in level 2.)

RBH, WCSR, and MVA are top in Charlotte in litigation (McGuireWoods is in that mix too somewhere). RBH is particularly selective

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:55 pm

Any places for IP lit/pros in Charlotte?

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:20 pm

I'm the poser who broke down the 4 tiers. I have to disagree strongly with the response about my tiers and pay system - I know all of that directly from interviewing and getting offers so I assure you the numbers are accurate.

Moreover, pay is generally reflective of profitability per partner etc. Profits / partner at Dechert, for example, were (overall) over 2 million. RBH literally about one fifth of that. The firms are not comparable in this sense.

Perhaps overlooked is the national prestige factor as well. If there is any chance you move out of NC in the future, Dechert, Mayer, KL Gates, Cadwalader, etc. have great reputations in a number of markets all over the country, and with Dechert, Mayer, KL in particular, abroad as well. Nobody outside of NC has heard of Womble Carlyle or Robinson Bradhaw.

If you are going to make a life in NC, I agree this is entirely irrelevant, as they hold great weight here. But don't expdect to move to DC, Chicago, Atlanta, NY, etc. and rely on the name value to get you a lateral partnership.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the poser who broke down the 4 tiers. I have to disagree strongly with the response about my tiers and pay system - I know all of that directly from interviewing and getting offers so I assure you the numbers are accurate.

Moreover, pay is generally reflective of profitability per partner etc. Profits / partner at Dechert, for example, were (overall) over 2 million. RBH literally about one fifth of that. The firms are not comparable in this sense.

Perhaps overlooked is the national prestige factor as well. If there is any chance you move out of NC in the future, Dechert, Mayer, KL Gates, Cadwalader, etc. have great reputations in a number of markets all over the country, and with Dechert, Mayer, KL in particular, abroad as well. Nobody outside of NC has heard of Womble Carlyle or Robinson Bradhaw.

If you are going to make a life in NC, I agree this is entirely irrelevant, as they hold great weight here. But don't expdect to move to DC, Chicago, Atlanta, NY, etc. and rely on the name value to get you a lateral partnership.


First, how is profits per partner relevant to this discussion? Partners make a lot of money, great. That's a non-issue for the vast majority of attorneys working there.

Second, you're confusing national recognition and size with reputation in the region. As someone who grew up in Georgia and lived and worked in the region for most of my life, I can tell you that the Southeast is different. (Charlotte/Atlanta/etc.). K&L Gates or Dechert isn't taking you any further than Moore Van Allen, WC, or RBH. Period. The fact that Dechert has an international office in London is of zero consequence.

Third, while I don't doubt that your pay estimates for Cadwalader/K&L/Dechert are correct (that information is also available on NALP), your pay estimates for WCSR and RBH are wrong. I know firsthand. That information isn't published.

Fourth, if you want to work in the Southeast, presumably you want to stay in that region (and not lateral to NY or something). If you want to lateral from Charlotte to Chicago or New York yeah go with Cadwalader or Dechert. Why you'd go from Charlotte to Chicago or New York is beyond me...

Partner compensation is a non-factor, as is the fact that Dechert has an office in Singapore. OP asked about Charlotte firms. In that context, your tiers/pay is off

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:14 am

I might just be an idiot, but if I was looking to do lit anywhere in NC I'd take RBH over a biglaw satellite any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And there are several other midlaw shops that statement holds true for as well.

Also, my impression is that PP is not on the same level preftige-wise as RBH and WCSR, to the extent that matters to anyone who isn't a fool. I always thought it was more in that Brooks Pierce/SML/Poyner Spruill group of similar size firms. But again, I might just be clueless.

Also PPP is pretty stupid in this discussion, especially in a smaller market. Even in bigger firms, there's always going to be a significant variation between what partners are paid. I guarantee there are guys/gals at WCSR pulling in $2m+ and there are probably partners making $200k too.

Anonymous User wrote:If you are going to make a life in NC, I agree this is entirely irrelevant, as they hold great weight here. But don't expdect to move to DC, Chicago, Atlanta, NY, etc. and rely on the name value to get you a lateral partnership.



(a) who said anything about lateral partnership. is there anyone that makes a geographic switch like that after becoming partner into a new market with no book of business and no clients?
(b) more to the point, there's a very strong argument to be made, I think, that starting out at a place like RBH or WCSR (which any attorney or recruiter with half a brain will realize w/in 5 minutes of research practice law at a very, very high level) is likely to get you better experience faster than being in a megafirm satellite and make you more marketable earlier in your career.

<------- does not work at RBH or WCSR

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby los blancos » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:Third, while I don't doubt that your pay estimates for Cadwalader/K&L/Dechert are correct (that information is also available on NALP), your pay estimates for WCSR and RBH are wrong. I know firsthand. That information isn't published.


Interestingly enough, Brooks Pierce, Smith Anderson, and RBH all say they pay $130k on NALP. Which is not what my impression was, but it looks like salaries have been moving up lately.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby moandersen » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:58 am

los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Third, while I don't doubt that your pay estimates for Cadwalader/K&L/Dechert are correct (that information is also available on NALP), your pay estimates for WCSR and RBH are wrong. I know firsthand. That information isn't published.


Interestingly enough, Brooks Pierce, Smith Anderson, and RBH all say they pay $130k on NALP. Which is not what my impression was, but it looks like salaries have been moving up lately.


They all prob followed Womble's increase (or the other way around). These firms were losing out on the top talent due to the previous ~20k pay gap between them and the big boys.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:08 pm

Person being responded to here.

You claim, without any evidence whatsoever, that my pay estimate are wrong?

Those are not "estimates" but either numbers I got from receiving an offer directly from those firms or in 2 of the cases, from a close colleague receiving an offer. So no, they are not estimates, but this years offer numbers in Charlotte (not sure about Raleigh). It's possible they give higher $ offers to people from top law schools v. local schools but I doubt it.

I disagree with most of the rest of what you wrote as well but that's fine that we have different perspectives, there's no point to me restating or justifying what I was saying further.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:52 am

Would there be any benefit to knocking out the NY and NC bar during 3L summer if you're going to the Charlotte office of a NY firm that does a lot of work with NY clients?

Not sure if that's practically even possible, but is it something that might be of value and worth considering?

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:26 pm

Re NY/NC bar, I was considering doing the same but was told it was unnecessary and also overly stressful. NY is a particularly intensive bar to pass and you don't really get any practice benefits from it beyond a small added credential on the website. You can still handle NY clients if your firm deals with them.

I think what's more common is to go back a couple years later and sit for the one you didn't already take.

hope this helps.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Any places for IP lit/pros in Charlotte?


I can think of a few -
A&B has the biggest group, and most mid-levels and partners in the area came through the A&B pipeline; I also want to say that A&B pays their IP folks 160 to start, contrary to most of the rest of Charlotte.
MVA has a decent sized group as well, maybe 10-15.
Womble has a small group in Charlotte, I think up to 3 now.
Smith Moore Leatherwood has 3-4 in their Charlotte office now too, probably.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby los blancos » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Re NY/NC bar, I was considering doing the same but was told it was unnecessary and also overly stressful. NY is a particularly intensive bar to pass and you don't really get any practice benefits from it beyond a small added credential on the website. You can still handle NY clients if your firm deals with them.

I think what's more common is to go back a couple years later and sit for the one you didn't already take.

hope this helps.


Id bet NC is worse than NY

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby NinerFan » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have some questions about Charlotte firms that I am considering summering at.

1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

Thanks.


Avoid Cadwalader at all costs.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:58 am

NinerFan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have some questions about Charlotte firms that I am considering summering at.

1. What is Moore & Van Allen's reputation? I have looked at chambers but looking for more anecdotal stories.

2. What is "market" in Charlotte and what do the different "big-law" firms pay?

3. Is there a "best" firm in Charlotte? What is the hierarcy of firms?

Thanks.


Avoid Cadwalader at all costs.

Have a friend there. As of October 31, said friend had billed >2100 hours.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:53 pm

NinerFan wrote:Avoid Cadwalader at all costs.

Why? The hours? The hours seem on par with NY corporate firms, except you get to make ~30k above Charlotte market pay and you don't have to live in NY. Seems like not a bad deal to me.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:Avoid Cadwalader at all costs.

Why? The hours? The hours seem on par with NY corporate firms, except you get to make ~30k above Charlotte market pay and you don't have to live in NY. Seems like not a bad deal to me.


Corporate is ridiculously busy right now at all firms but that office in particular, where a friend works, is very lean. During the recession, they laid off several mid-levels so it's increasingly on juniors to get all the work done. You'll find that cap markets is busy anywhere you go.

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Re: Charlotte Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:Avoid Cadwalader at all costs.

Why? The hours? The hours seem on par with NY corporate firms, except you get to make ~30k above Charlotte market pay and you don't have to live in NY. Seems like not a bad deal to me.


Corporate is ridiculously busy right now at all firms but that office in particular, where a friend works, is very lean. During the recession, they laid off several mid-levels so it's increasingly on juniors to get all the work done. You'll find that cap markets is busy anywhere you go.

Can confirm at least a part of that. Said friend is on pace for about 2500 because of the lean staffing.




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