bay area firms

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GDC def laid off people.

I really like Howard Rice, which is now Arnold and Porter.


Agreed. Howard Rice is great, as is Farella. Both are very very grade-selective though.

It'll be interesting to see if A&P stays as grade selective as Howard Rice used to be. Doubtful, but possible. They're also now one of the largest offices in SF, with over 100 lawyers.

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby Emma. » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:53 pm

sundance95 wrote:Any thoughts on Sheppard Mullin?


Got an offer there last year but ended up at another firm. They seem really great though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:56 pm

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


It wasn't. They had one bad year but are now killing it. The firm has little if any debt, solid profits, are pretty much the go to for life sciences and privacy...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote: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.


Kind of a shite post, IMO.

For example, Goodwin just took on a bunch of Gunderson partners and are establishing themselves as a legit BA presence. Latham and MoFo are awful sweatshops, OMM suffered way worse than Cooley in the downturn...

jarofsoup
Posts: 1951
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.


Kind of a shite post, IMO.

For example, Goodwin just took on a bunch of Gunderson partners and are establishing themselves as a legit BA presence. Latham and MoFo are awful sweatshops, OMM suffered way worse than Cooley in the downturn...



Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.

User avatar
ilovesf
Posts: 11746
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:19 am

Does Mofo really do any work that's not IP focused? I'm not into IP, but I've heard such great things about the firm in general (not just here, but practicing attorneys in SF).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:10 am

jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.

SchopenhauerFTW
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote: Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.

Say more!

User avatar
camelcrema
Posts: 281
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:43 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby camelcrema » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


And IYO, what are some of the best places? (Looking to work in SF/SV)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


Agreed. Know someone who left MoFo after 9 months for Cooley because MoFo was so bad.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:28 am

camelcrema wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


And IYO, what are some of the best places? (Looking to work in SF/SV)


Vault: Orrick (SF&SV), WSGR (SF&SV), Morgan Lewis (SF&SV), Perkins (SF), A&P (SF), Winston (SF), Fish & Richardson (SV).

CA-only: Farella, Hanson Bridgett, Keker, Coblentz.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
camelcrema wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


And IYO, what are some of the best places? (Looking to work in SF/SV)


Orrick, WSGR, Farella, Hanson Bridgett, Morgan Lewis, Perkins, A&P.

For IP, also look into Fish & Richardson.


Orrick is good, although possibly on the decline (for the last several years). I disagree with WSGR being on this list- it is a very rigid institution and can feel sweatshoppy even though hours aren't anything like Quinn/Kirkland/others with that rep. It's easy to get screwed over with crappy work there.

Don't know enough about the others on the list to have an informed opinion.

Agree on Fish.

I'd add Fenwick, which is just an awesome place (although not necessarily top-of-the-line lit work, but still a great place to work), and GDC.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby sundance95 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:44 am

Great posts, ty all. What's great about working at Fenwick?

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby Emma. » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:51 am

sundance95 wrote:Great posts, ty all. What's great about working at Fenwick?


The work. Awesome tech clients. Also, good peeps, laid back vibe.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
camelcrema wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


And IYO, what are some of the best places? (Looking to work in SF/SV)


Vault: Orrick (SF&SV), WSGR (SF&SV), Morgan Lewis (SF&SV), Perkins (SF), A&P (SF), Winston (SF), Fish & Richardson (SV).

CA-only: Farella, Hanson Bridgett, Keker, Coblentz.


If you are at all concerned about Vault rankings, SF is probably not the right place for you. Vault is almost entirely irrelevant in CA.

KVN is amazing but you can only really think about them if you are top of your class at a handful of T10 schools. Totally agree with the poster who said WSGR isn't great. It is a siloed model where the partners basically end up in competition with one another. For lit I'd consider GDC. Cooley and Fenwick are great firms, especially if you want to work in Emerging Companies. Gunderson is cool but I'd be a little hesitant just based on how specialized they are. Ropes are small but solid, and also good folks. Paul Hastings for Real Estate... It really depends what practice area you want.

jarofsoup
Posts: 1951
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:12 am

Do all of these midsized SF firms actually recruit SAs?

User avatar
ilovesf
Posts: 11746
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
camelcrema wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Mofo SF is suppose to be solid.


One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.


And IYO, what are some of the best places? (Looking to work in SF/SV)


Vault: Orrick (SF&SV), WSGR (SF&SV), Morgan Lewis (SF&SV), Perkins (SF), A&P (SF), Winston (SF), Fish & Richardson (SV).

CA-only: Farella, Hanson Bridgett, Keker, Coblentz.

Coblenz is supposed to be great, I've heard really good things. I think that they have at least 1 SA this summer.

User avatar
gotmilk?
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:25 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby gotmilk? » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:02 am

Emma. wrote:
sundance95 wrote:Great posts, ty all. What's great about working at Fenwick?


The work. Awesome tech clients. Also, good peeps, laid back vibe.


Yeah I'd only say "the work" if you're interested in some specific things- emerging companies, certain valley work, and tax. Overall, its vibe is excellent- very laid back, genuinely kind people who care about each other, and it seems like the firm does seriously care about quality of life. Plus the office is in a cool location at Castro Street.

sheD
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: bay area firms

Postby sheD » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:11 am

jarofsoup wrote:


Coblenz is supposed to be great, I've heard really good things. I think that they have at least 1 SA this summer.


Can anyone else confirm if Coblentz hires any summer associates? Doesn't look like it from their website, but that would be good to know.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:30 am

sheD wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:


Coblenz is supposed to be great, I've heard really good things. I think that they have at least 1 SA this summer.


Can anyone else confirm if Coblentz hires any summer associates? Doesn't look like it from their website, but that would be good to know.


I don't think so. My friend summered there as a 1L intern and was told that Coblentz does not hire 2L SAs.

Another good one: Gordon & Rees.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:Good post. Didn't realize Cooley was hit so hard though.


It wasn't. They had one bad year but are now killing it. The firm has little if any debt, solid profits, are pretty much the go to for life sciences and privacy...


OP here - I meant the "last" downturn, ie the 1999-2001 downturn, sorry if that was not clear. the firm basically imploded from 500 attorneys to 250, lost a ton of long term partners. they survived obviously and are doing well now.

Anonymous User wrote:Kind of a shite post, IMO.

For example, Goodwin just took on a bunch of Gunderson partners and are establishing themselves as a legit BA presence. Latham and MoFo are awful sweatshops, OMM suffered way worse than Cooley in the downturn...


as I said in the OP, I just have not heard much about goodwin. did not say they were bad, just said they were not well known....which they are not, for the time being anyways. also I agree that OMM really hurt quite a bit 2008-2009.

re latham and mofo being sweatshops, I think there is something to that. they are both giant firms with large bay area presences, and I think that they have much more NYC style biglaw practices then the SV firms and the satellite offices...by which I mean, they do the highest level work for the biggest clients, can turn to large armies of associates, have higher leverage then many other bay area firms, have more formal hierarchies in place, etc. that being said, having worked in both NYC and the bay area, the bay area in general is MUCH more chill then NYC when it comes to biglaw hours and expectations. even at mofo or latham or wilson (in the bay area), it is not the norm for associates to be working until 9-10 everynight like it is in many busy NYC biglaw practices. people in the bay area don't have the same work mentality as people in new york do. I would not call mofo or latham bad places to work by any stretch, but its going to be a higher pressure work environment then some satellite office with only 10 associates.

Anonymous User wrote:Does Mofo really do any work that's not IP focused? I'm not into IP, but I've heard such great things about the firm in general (not just here, but practicing attorneys in SF).


yes, mofo does do plenty of non-IP work. obviously, the firm is known as one of the top IP litigation shops in the country, also strong in patent prosecution and tech transactions. but the firm has a very strong bankruptcy practice (directed mainly out of new york as far as I know), general commercial lit practice, and M&A practice. the chair of the firm moved to new york at some point in the early 2000s to concentrate on getting more NYC style M&A and finance work, and I think that's paid off quite well.

Anonymous User wrote:One of the worst places in SF to work, IMO.

Agreed. Know someone who left MoFo after 9 months for Cooley because MoFo was so bad.


people leave firms for all kinds of reasons all the time. I have friends at mofo who are very happy there. as noted above though, mofo is the only 300+ lawyer office in SF, so its going to be less personal and intimate then a satellite office with 20 or 30 people.

[quote="Anonymous User"]Vault: Orrick (SF&SV), WSGR (SF&SV), Morgan Lewis (SF&SV), Perkins (SF), A&P (SF), Winston (SF), Fish & Richardson (SV).

CA-only: Farella, Hanson Bridgett, Keker, Coblentz./quote]

man, this is wrong. orrick is a fine firm, but I'd be wary of any firm with declining revenues. orrick also has a network of far flung offices all over the world....in this economy, those can't be profitable....milan, moscow, dusseldorf? yikes. as another poster said, WSGR is a sweatshop as well - for some of the reasons mofo and latham might be, but also because they are incredibly siloed. if I recall correctly, everyone is assigned to a particular module and partner. they have great exciting work and are the king of SV, but I've heard all kinds of negative stories about associates working there. plus, they do a lot of emerging company work, which means their clients can't afford tip top biglaw rates....hence wilson paying below market for all of 2010 and most of 2011. know very little about those other firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:42 am

Also, you guys should be careful about paying too much attention to the rising revenue stats without accounting for the expenses. Dewey had an increase in revenue, but its expenses exceeded revenue by a ton. Not to mention Dewey was deep in debt. Make sure you're taking a holistic approach to stats.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:58 am

Anybody has comments about Finnegan SF office? Especially compared with MoFo and FR

Anonymous User
Posts: 273188
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anybody has comments about Finnegan SF office? Especially compared with MoFo and FR



Hanson Bridgett only recruits from Bay Area schools. Got bounced about 5 seconds after emailing them and told that they support local schools only.

I have Bay Area ties...

Zeile
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:15 am

Re: bay area firms

Postby Zeile » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:42 pm

tagged




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.