V10 Associate Taking Questions

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buckilaw
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby buckilaw » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:22 am

I'm doing a 1L summer job that is entirely lit focused in a very small market. I'd like to get some exposure to transactional work this summer through volunteering, really through any avenue, so I can tackle the lit v. corporate question with an actual idea of which I would prefer. Can you suggest/think of any way to get transactional experience over the summer in a small market.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for starting this thread.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:28 am

buckilaw wrote:I'm doing a 1L summer job that is entirely lit focused in a very small market. I'd like to get some exposure to transactional work this summer through volunteering, really through any avenue, so I can tackle the lit v. corporate question with an actual idea of which I would prefer. Can you suggest/think of any way to get transactional experience over the summer in a small market.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for starting this thread.


Does your firm do any transactional work? There's no real need to "tackle" that divide so early on FYI.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:33 am

So for OCI interviewing purposes, it isn't necessary to have a preference between lit and transactional? What if you are genuinely interested in both at this point?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:37 am

1. Any advice on keeping a solid work-life balance? You have any hobbies outside of work, or is that downtime so precious, that you just want to chill at home, see the girlfriend and relax, etc.?

2. What got you into M&A? I'm definitely going to try out a few transactional-side projects, and M&A is definitely on the checklist. Did you go into your summer knowing thats where you wanted to end up, or did you try a project out, and it won you over? And if so, what about it reeled you in?

3. Most people seem to describe big firm practice as something pretty much unsustainable. Yet you seem reasonably certain that you want to be with your firm until the partnership decision is made one way or the other. Any tips on how to keep it going and not get burned out, since that seems like its the way many people go (as evidenced by the high attrition rates at many big firms after just a few years)?

Thanks a ton.

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monkey85
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby monkey85 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:40 am

I'm going into M&A.

(1) Does PE vs Public Company M&A make any difference on the type of work, hours, responsibilities?
(2) What is it that keeps you (and will be keeping me, eventually) late in the office at night - what is the junior associate work?

Thanks!

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:So for OCI interviewing purposes, it isn't necessary to have a preference between lit and transactional? What if you are genuinely interested in both at this point?


Not necessary. Just say you're interested in both. Might be dangerous to express too strong an inference--comes across as arrogant.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:1. Any advice on keeping a solid work-life balance? You have any hobbies outside of work, or is that downtime so precious, that you just want to chill at home, see the girlfriend and relax, etc.?


Mostly the latter. I go to the gym, play sports, and watch a lot of TV. Most of my other hobbies are satisfied by the internet.

2. What got you into M&A? I'm definitely going to try out a few transactional-side projects, and M&A is definitely on the checklist. Did you go into your summer knowing thats where you wanted to end up, or did you try a project out, and it won you over? And if so, what about it reeled you in?


Actually, that's a good question. I didn't have the slightest clue what M&A lawyers did before starting at a law firm, but I became an avid reader of various M&A blogs out there and what attracts me to the practice is how close to the surface of the real world everything you do is. In litigation, the process can be so long and so hard that it's either hard to see the big picture or hard to care about the very trivial task you're doing in comparison to the big picture.


3. Most people seem to describe big firm practice as something pretty much unsustainable. Yet you seem reasonably certain that you want to be with your firm until the partnership decision is made one way or the other. Any tips on how to keep it going and not get burned out, since that seems like its the way many people go (as evidenced by the high attrition rates at many big firms after just a few years)?

Thanks a ton.


The biggest challenge with corporate work is not working too much. It's the uncertainty. It's hard to know whether you've taken on too many matters, or too little. This is mostly because of the ways deals work. At some point you might take on a few deals and they might all be pretty dead, but then you take on more work to compensate... but then your other deals begin to fire up and suddenly you're packed. Best advice I can offer is to not be scared if you're not too busy but are already staffed on a few deals. Wait it out and be patient, you're you'll take too much on and regret it.

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buckilaw
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby buckilaw » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
buckilaw wrote:I'm doing a 1L summer job that is entirely lit focused in a very small market. I'd like to get some exposure to transactional work this summer through volunteering, really through any avenue, so I can tackle the lit v. corporate question with an actual idea of which I would prefer. Can you suggest/think of any way to get transactional experience over the summer in a small market.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for starting this thread.


Does your firm do any transactional work? There's no real need to "tackle" that divide so early on FYI.


Not working with a firm. I realize it's not necessary to tackle this divide but I'm genuinely curious and I should have the time to volunteer a bit this summer on top of my existing job should the opportunity arise.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:54 am

monkey85 wrote:I'm going into M&A.

(1) Does PE vs Public Company M&A make any difference on the type of work, hours, responsibilities?


Both have their unique aspects, as each present their own concerns. Public company M&A deals are far more likely to die.

(2) What is it that keeps you (and will be keeping me, eventually) late in the office at night - what is the junior associate work?

Thanks!


Don't want to say specifically for tonight, but in general it's either the sheer work... or the fact that the client has a very aggressive schedule and wants something done by a certain date. At my firm, we don't say no to that. At other firms, maybe. At my firm, absolutely not. I'm pretty sure we'll do almost anything for our clients. It sounds silly, but we're in a service-oriented industry where you're competing for fewer work among many other top caliber law firms; this is just one way in which a firm can distinguish itself, and it inures to my benefit by bringing in more clients and giving me more job security.

rosemerry
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby rosemerry » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:55 am

Hi there thanks for taking questions!

1. Can you give a range of hours each week that u've experienced? say 60 to 80?
2. In transactional work, is M&A the one that demands the longest hours? more than cap markets?

Thanks!

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:55 am

buckilaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
buckilaw wrote:I'm doing a 1L summer job that is entirely lit focused in a very small market. I'd like to get some exposure to transactional work this summer through volunteering, really through any avenue, so I can tackle the lit v. corporate question with an actual idea of which I would prefer. Can you suggest/think of any way to get transactional experience over the summer in a small market.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for starting this thread.


Does your firm do any transactional work? There's no real need to "tackle" that divide so early on FYI.


Not working with a firm. I realize it's not necessary to tackle this divide but I'm genuinely curious and I should have the time to volunteer a bit this summer on top of my existing job should the opportunity arise.


Nothing that I know of that you can do. Just read books. I'm sure some of the more zealous posters already have M&A book lists they've posted.

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buckilaw
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby buckilaw » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:57 am

Thx.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:59 am

How sustainable do you think the recent economic uptick is? Are you seeing more work coming across your desk nowadays than you did at this time last year?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:59 am

Thanks a lot for taking questions:

1) Because of your V10 M&A associate status, do you feel that it would be possible for you to exit into investment banking or another business oriented roll? Have any of your fellow associates taken this route? If so, does it seem that a financial background is necessary to make this transition?

2) What do you think you will do when you leave the firm? What do your exit options look like from your current position? What impact do you think leaving in 7-8 years as opposed to 3-4 years might have on your exit options (if any)?

3) Do you plan to use clients to find a job or a recruiting service? Do you feel that you have/have had the chance to have established good relationships with your clients? If so, is it sufficient to use them to find a job post V10 Associate (if you so choose)?

3) Do you have any debt? How has it been trying to pay back the loans? When do you expect to have paid them off? Was debt a factor when you were choosing where you wanted to practice? What made you choose NYC?

4) What is the culture for young associates at your firm?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:00 am

rosemerry wrote:Hi there thanks for taking questions!

1. Can you give a range of hours each week that u've experienced? say 60 to 80?


I work around 70-75, bill around 60 on average.

2. In transactional work, is M&A the one that demands the longest hours? more than cap markets?

Thanks!


I actually don't know. Again, I don't think M&A necessarily demands the "longest hours"--it could legitimately be the case that you have no work all day and suddenly you'll get put on something at 5:30pm. Litigation probably bills more hours, but that's probably because they have constant billables compared to corporate.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:How sustainable do you think the recent economic uptick is? Are you seeing more work coming across your desk nowadays than you did at this time last year?


Luckily, in terms of corporate work load, my firm has varied between busy and extremely busy during most of the crisis. At all times, enough has come across my desk to keep me busy to the point where I've had to say no, so I don't have a good sense as to whether there is more work this time around as opposed to last there. There's no such thing as a "recent uptick" and there's no way to tell how things will be in the future. If anything, the last quarter of 2011 was a bit disappointing in M&A terms for most big firms, especially compared to early 2011/late 2010.

If you're worried about Europe, don't be. Greece will default, but the economy has had two years to prepare for this, everyone knows they're going to default, and the market has already priced it in (in my opinion).

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:06 am

Anything you wish you could have known when you were a summer associate? Or if you could've done something differently when you were a summer, what would it be?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot for taking questions:

1) Because of your V10 M&A associate status, do you feel that it would be possible for you to exit into investment banking or another business oriented roll? Have any of your fellow associates taken this route? If so, does it seem that a financial background is necessary to make this transition?


I don't think there's anything to being in a V10 qua V10 that gives you these options; it really depends on the specific firm. Debevoise, for example, will give more finance opportunities than Covington will. At my firm, because of the clients we keep, I do think it's more possible for me to exit to the above types of companies you specified, but largely in a legal, not business oriented role. I don't know about other associates.

2) What do you think you will do when you leave the firm? What do your exit options look like from your current position? What impact do you think leaving in 7-8 years as opposed to 3-4 years might have on your exit options (if any)?


Working until years 7-8 used to be bad, but increasingly companies are demanding more seniority out of the attorneys they bring in. I haven't decided what I'll do... probably go for a fairly senior position in-house or lateral to a firm where the pay is similar but the work demands are a lot lower. At my current position, exit options are just law firms.

3) Do you plan to use clients to find a job or a recruiting service? Do you feel that you have/have had the chance to have established good relationships with your clients? If so, is it sufficient to use them to find a job post V10 Associate (if you so choose)?


I haven't decided yet. Depends on who has what I want. Will visit this decision when I have to make it. Yes, I do have a chance to have established relationships with clients. The associates and partners take seriously the passing down of clients to junior associates and the opportunity to develop strong, generational, institutional ties. And yes, I do think it's sufficient.

3) Do you have any debt? How has it been trying to pay back the loans? When do you expect to have paid them off? Was debt a factor when you were choosing where you wanted to practice? What made you choose NYC?


Yes. It's been pretty easy. I don't live extravagantly, but I live comfortably. I expect to have them paid off by years 5-6. No. I chose NYC because of the sophistication of the work and because I knew that I'd set myself up extremely well for anything else I wanted to do further down the line.

4) What is the culture for young associates at your firm?


Work hard, play hard. We're treated like adults with real responsibilities, real work, and a significant degree of autonomy in how we execute them.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:15 am

ph14 wrote:Anything you wish you could have known when you were a summer associate? Or if you could've done something differently when you were a summer, what would it be?


I'd probably have worked less my summer. Summer is an opportunity to establish a network with the people you'll work with in the future, and to do good work. It's not necessary to overwork yourself or "gun."

rosemerry
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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby rosemerry » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:20 am

Have you considered moving abroad? Like Asia/Europe? Is it easy to lateral to an office of a V10 abroad? Have you heard of cases like that, especially for your Asian colleagues?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:27 am

Did you go into law school knowing you wanted big law or did it sort of just happen?

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:27 am

rosemerry wrote:Have you considered moving abroad? Like Asia/Europe? Is it easy to lateral to an office of a V10 abroad? Have you heard of cases like that, especially for your Asian colleagues?


Absolutely yes. To an office of a V10? It depends on whether there's a need and whether you possess the possible linguistic pre-requisites, but assuming those two are satisfied I don't see why it wouldn't be fairly easy.

Yes, I know Asian colleagues who found positions in Asia, either at my firm or at others. The firm name definitely played a huge role in it.

Honestly, though, avoid Asia. You know Wachtell hours, right? Asia's worse.

In terms of work-life balance, from worst to best:

Asia>>>>>>>>>>London (for U.S. firms in London)>>>NYC>>other cities in America>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Continental Europe
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Did you go into law school knowing you wanted big law or did it sort of just happen?


Went in wanting to stay in the Ivory Tower for the rest of my life. Decided to leave the womb of theory and academics to rough it out in the real world and be a man. Also I'm not smart enough for that academics stuff, but I'm quite alright with that.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:32 am

This is really general, but I was wondering if you had any tips for those of us about to go through OCI in August. Perhaps anything that you wish you knew before you went through the process.

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Re: V10 Associate Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is really general, but I was wondering if you had any tips for those of us about to go through OCI in August. Perhaps anything that you wish you knew before you went through the process.


Don't be a slave to the grades. After a certain point, virtually all firms are in play for you. During my OCI, I genuinely downplayed myself and acted stupidly because my grades, from my perspective and the grade charts that I had, told me that I didn't have a shot at certain firms. That wasn't further from the truth.

Of course, below a certain level, yes, you should avoid the top firms. But just because you're not in the top 10% (or even top 20%), doesn't mean you're out of contention for these places. Not at all.

Also, don't be a douchebag during OCI. Not really firm specific, but be sensitive to friends who are interviewing and resist the urge to casually mention what firms you got callbacks or offers from. Also, please please please don't act like you're in a massive dilemma and feel the need to debate about your offers in front of others. Just fucking obnoxious. Be cool bro.




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