bay area firms

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bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:48 pm

I posted this in another threat but thought it might help more people interested in bay area firms and offices. feel free to add to this:


WSGR (SF) - all about tech start ups and VC. not sure why you want the SF office though (obviously living in the city is 10x better then palo alto, but the office is a tiny satellite compared to SV.....though that is definitely changing as more tech companies start up and stay in SF). clearly the leader in this space. though, I'd be a bit wary. I think their SV office hired 45 summers for this summer (which strikes me as very imprudent), and the tech market is notoriously boom bust. all the indigenous SV firms (fenwick, WSGR, cooley, gunderson) go through these cycles, and they always see revenue and PPP crash, lay people off, lower salaries, etc. if the tech boom continues for the next 2-4 years this would be a great firm to be at. but if the bust comes, few firms will hurt as much as WSGR.

Fenwick (SF) - see above. but also my feeling is a bit more stable then the other SV firms. check out the recent profile on this firm in the american lawyer. again, SF is a tiny outpost compared to SV. and with their FB representation, I'm sure the firm will be in high demand.

Goodwin (SF) - know very little about this firm, but seems like a non-player to me.

Latham (SF) - impressive/quality presence in SF and SV. their SV office is one of the biggest and is very successful. good firm/office in SF. probably a bit more selective then others.

Pillsbury (SF) - stay away. they just moved offices and cut their office space literally in half. the firm has been unhealthy for years. bad mergers, bad investments in people, just not a quality firm I'd want to work for.

Gunderson (SF) - know little about this firm, but seems a quality start up/VC shop. be wary of the boom bust issues discussed above.

Kirkland (SF) - quality SF firm, though my impression is that, at least on the transactional side, all they do is private equity, over and over and over again. if that interests you, check them out. selective, relatively speaking. also, sick offices at the top of the bank of america building, incredible views. a very healthy office as well - I've been told one of the most profitable in the firm.

MoFo (SF) - the SF behemoth, largest office in the city by far. I think close to 300 lawyers now. if you want to be at a biglaw HQ (which does have a lot of perks), look here (and WSGR in SV). seems like a solid firm, excellent pan-asia practice, expertise in cleantech, respected in the start up/VC world (one of the larger palo alto office), done a lot of high profile M&A work and some major litigation work for apple/oracle. also expanding quite a bit in new york, and trying to capture more of the new york style finance/M&A/and corporate work. not particularly selective about grades. also snazzy brand new offices.

Skadden (SV) - decent SV practice, but nothing special at all. hires few people.

Cooley (SF) - exciting firm to work for, like the other SV firms, riding the tech wave with lots of great work. however, cooley is originally an SF firm, so their SF presence is better and more established IMO then the other SV firms. they also hurt terribly after the last bust, so watch out. their revenues collapsed pretty substantially.

Jones Day (SF) - a relatively new office that they're still expanding, especially on the corporate side (not much of a practice yet). its jones day, so its solid as can be. incredible offices as well.

OMM (SF) - a major california firm, and a major office. don't know much else but I think a solid choice.

Ropes (SF) - a PE shop, and a solid one at that. don't know much else about them.

Weil (SF) - like the other wallstreet firms in the bay area, these offices, especially in SV, focus on NY style cap markets work. not start up/VC/tech - but raising cash on the capital markets, representing underwriters during IPOs, etc. pretty limited practices.

Orrick (SF) - the other SF giant, aside from MoFo. have their own building, which is pretty cool. I got the impression they struggled a bit through the recession (who didnt though) but that they're in solid shape now. very strong public finance, project finance, and infrastructure practices.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: bay area firms

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Good post. Didn't realize Cooley was hit so hard though.

jarofsoup
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Re: bay area firms

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:58 pm

Interesting.

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fatduck
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Re: bay area firms

Postby fatduck » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:01 pm

i'm concerned that orrick's website looks like it was designed in 1998

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:11 pm

OP here - if anyone wants my take on any other SF/SV firms not on the above list, let me know and I'll give it my best shot.

jarofsoup
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Re: bay area firms

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:12 pm

Morgan Lewis

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:30 pm

Covington-SF?

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:34 pm

Wondering about Severson & Werson.

sarahh
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Re: bay area firms

Postby sarahh » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:09 pm

Know of any Bay Area firms with a decent tax practice?

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:59 pm

Quinn SF: litigation only. VERY heavy on patent litigation (over 80% of the revenue or something like that). This office plays a major role in representing Google and its proxies (htc, samsung, etc) in the smart phone wars. Known for intense hours (ATL memo leak), laid back dress, and intense partying (at least relative to other firms). also seem more active/outdoorsy than folks at other firms.

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ilovesf
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Re: bay area firms

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:03 pm

THANK YOU. When I make my bid list I'll have questions about some other firms not listed here.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:05 pm

DLA Piper SF or SV?

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gotmilk?
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Re: bay area firms

Postby gotmilk? » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:18 pm

sarahh wrote:Know of any Bay Area firms with a decent tax practice?


Fenwick.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:35 pm

Gibson Dunn's SF and PA offices are excellent. Great securities lit, patent lit, M&A, and the PA office even has a partner who is super top-notch and up and coming for privacy matters. Plus the offices across the firm work with each other a lot, so it's common to work on plenty of cases/deals with people from other offices (meaning you're not limited to the work from partners in those offices). It's also pretty well-documented as a great place to work (see mid-level satisfaction survey, for instance).

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Gibson Dunn's SF and PA offices are excellent. Great securities lit, patent lit, M&A, and the PA office even has a partner who is super top-notch and up and coming for privacy matters. Plus the offices across the firm work with each other a lot, so it's common to work on plenty of cases/deals with people from other offices (meaning you're not limited to the work from partners in those offices). It's also pretty well-documented as a great place to work (see mid-level satisfaction survey, for instance).


OP here - I can echo this. gibson is all around a great firm, no question about it. stable, highly profitable, weathered the downturn very well, no layoffs, very high satisfaction, high retention, good mentorship, good culture...I've heard only good things. and they continue to get top notch work. a bit small in SF (known for antitrust) and not huge with start ups/VC in SV (they cost too much), but a very good firm. also, like all their offices, very grade focused.

Anonymous User wrote:DLA Piper SF or SV?


sorry, no first hand knowledge. I imagine they are like other DLA offices - ie, very office specific. DLA, despite ts best efforts, is still more of a confederation of fiefdoms then a single worldwide firm with a single culture.

Anonymous User wrote:Quinn SF: litigation only. VERY heavy on patent litigation (over 80% of the revenue or something like that). This office plays a major role in representing Google and its proxies (htc, samsung, etc) in the smart phone wars. Known for intense hours (ATL memo leak), laid back dress, and intense partying (at least relative to other firms). also seem more active/outdoorsy than folks at other firms.


again I can second this. as everyone knows, quinn is a litigation (and lit only) powerhouse on the rise. alpha fratty culture for sure. however, I'd be a bit careful - the firm has grown so fast in the past few years, my question would be, can it continue? 20-30% growth is obviously not sustainable. are they expanding too fast? I have no idea, and if they keep winning and keep up their reputation for being one of the top litigation firms in the country, the growth might continue. aside from kecker, the only other SF firms with comparable lit prowess are mofo (especially in IP lit) and gibson.

sarahh wrote:Know of any Bay Area firms with a decent tax practice?


the only firm that stands out in my mind is fenwick, though thats probably due to my own ignorance + recently reading the american lawyer profile.

Anonymous User wrote:Wondering about Severson & Werson.


sorry, no good info on this firm.

Anonymous User wrote:Covington-SF?


obviously strong in lit, though given their east coast cache, I'm kind of surprised I don't see them mentioned much or handling much high profile lit in california. I think its still a very DC focused firm. not sure what they focus on in SF, but I imagine a lot is related to DC/regulatory/federal matters.

jarofsoup wrote:Morgan Lewis


don't have a ton of info on this firm, but I know they were murdered in 2008-2009...both firm wide, and especially in the bay area. firm doesn't stand out at all and I'd bid low on any OCI list.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby JusticeJackson » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:11 pm

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Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:16 pm

OP, you're seriously, SERIOUSLY misinformed about 2/3 of the firms. For instance, I don't know why you pick Fenwick out of all firms for tax. I know someone who works in Baker & McKenzie Tax and she turned down multiple offers for it. I think B&M's Tax is pretty strong. And why you would describe Goodwin was a "non-player" and Morgan Lewis as a firm to place low on one's list is absolutely beyond me. There is NO Gunderson office in SF, and Skadden SV is more than decent.

The only way you'll really find out about these firms is talk to alum / current summer associates from your school and ask them about their experiences. They'll be more than happy to talk to you and answer your questions.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP, you're seriously, SERIOUSLY misinformed about 2/3 of the firms. For instance, I don't know why you pick Fenwick out of all firms for tax. I know someone who works in Baker & McKenzie Tax and she turned down multiple offers for it. I think B&M's Tax is pretty strong.

The only way you'll really find out about these firms is talk to alum / current summer associates from your school and ask them about their experiences. They'll be more than happy to talk to you and answer your questions.


look at what I said about fenwick:

Anonymous User wrote:the only firm that stands out in my mind is fenwick, though thats probably due to my own ignorance + recently reading the american lawyer profile.


I said I was ignorant and don't know much about tax, but also that there was recently a feature in the american lawyer highlighting fenwick's tax practice. baker probably does have a great tax practice, but its not something I have any knowledge of. I don't claim to know everything, but I am in biglaw and am in the bay area, I interviewed at a slew of these firms, did a ton of research on many of them, and keep up with the legal press so I think I can provide some useful information.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby david_niedrauer » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:14 am

Of the large firms, what is the best firm for bankruptcy in the SF area? I bid very high on Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis for the so-called diversity fair in SF. I'll have to check out MoFo. I don't remember seeing it on the list for the career fair. I bid on most of the others on OP's list, except for Gibson Dunn.

I am interested in bankruptcy and, possibly, M&A or something else, but bankruptcy was my 1L summer job. I like it, and it's the only area of law with which I'm even vaguely familiar.

How about boutiques in bankruptcy? Or tax? I do not have an accounting background.

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Lasers » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:03 am

can someone give me an estimate of which is the least grade selective big law firm in SF/CA so i can make them my #1 bid? :D

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Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:15 am

david_niedrauer wrote:Of the large firms, what is the best firm for bankruptcy in the SF area? I bid very high on Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis for the so-called diversity fair in SF. I'll have to check out MoFo. I don't remember seeing it on the list for the career fair. I bid on most of the others on OP's list, except for Gibson Dunn.

I am interested in bankruptcy and, possibly, M&A or something else, but bankruptcy was my 1L summer job. I like it, and it's the only area of law with which I'm even vaguely familiar.

How about boutiques in bankruptcy? Or tax? I do not have an accounting background.


Have you looked into Shartsis Friese? One-office firm with strong transactional practice. Pays market (i.e. $160K). Very reputable in SF.

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gotmilk?
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Re: bay area firms

Postby gotmilk? » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP, you're seriously, SERIOUSLY misinformed about 2/3 of the firms. For instance, I don't know why you pick Fenwick out of all firms for tax. I know someone who works in Baker & McKenzie Tax and she turned down multiple offers for it. I think B&M's Tax is pretty strong.

The only way you'll really find out about these firms is talk to alum / current summer associates from your school and ask them about their experiences. They'll be more than happy to talk to you and answer your questions.


look at what I said about fenwick:

Anonymous User wrote:the only firm that stands out in my mind is fenwick, though thats probably due to my own ignorance + recently reading the american lawyer profile.


I said I was ignorant and don't know much about tax, but also that there was recently a feature in the american lawyer highlighting fenwick's tax practice. baker probably does have a great tax practice, but its not something I have any knowledge of. I don't claim to know everything, but I am in biglaw and am in the bay area, I interviewed at a slew of these firms, did a ton of research on many of them, and keep up with the legal press so I think I can provide some useful information.


http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/ ... 0#org_9051
Apparently B&M's tax group is well-respected, but the only tax group I've heard of in the Bay Area is Fenwick. They're very well known. I'm sure you couldn't go wrong with either.

I'd have to disagree with first anon's characterization of OP's info. I find OP's profiles quite accurate, with the exception of Pillsbury, which I don't think is nearly as bad as OP says (and I know people who are there).

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Re: bay area firms

Postby david_niedrauer » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
david_niedrauer wrote:Of the large firms, what is the best firm for bankruptcy in the SF area? I bid very high on Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis for the so-called diversity fair in SF. I'll have to check out MoFo. I don't remember seeing it on the list for the career fair. I bid on most of the others on OP's list, except for Gibson Dunn.

I am interested in bankruptcy and, possibly, M&A or something else, but bankruptcy was my 1L summer job. I like it, and it's the only area of law with which I'm even vaguely familiar.

How about boutiques in bankruptcy? Or tax? I do not have an accounting background.


Have you looked into Shartsis Friese? One-office firm with strong transactional practice. Pays market (i.e. $160K). Very reputable in SF.


Looks really good. Do you think I could get them to interview me in late July when I'm in the area for the SF diversity fair? How should I go about doing this?

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gotmilk?
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Re: bay area firms

Postby gotmilk? » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:49 am

I'd also like to add:

Kirkland SF/PA: These offices are mostly an extension of the firm's big strengths in Chicago- private equity, and IP litigation. Their practices reflect the type of clients they have elsewhere, so don't expect a very Bay Area/SV-focused practice, although these offices do tend to focus on tech clients. OP is right that the SF office is one of Kirkland's most profitable.

Weil SV: Excellent patent lit practice here that is very attuned to local developments (extremely rare for a NYC firm). The group used to be very dominant, although Matt Powers and a number of other solid partners left, but it's still a solid practice, led by Ed Reines (who, among other things, is the head of the Federal Circuit Advisory Council).

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Re: bay area firms

Postby englawyer » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:55 am

Lasers wrote:can someone give me an estimate of which is the least grade selective big law firm in SF/CA so i can make them my #1 bid? :D


the problem is, least grade selective is somewhat proportional to the most ties-focused. the more local SF firms care less about grades but more about deep SF ties.




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