Why Cravath?

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fanmingrui
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Why Cravath?

Postby fanmingrui » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:06 pm

Apologies if this has been discussed (actually, I'm sure it probably has at some point). I'm on my phone and doing a search is a hassle. Given that Cravath attorneys work considerably more than those at other V10s (Wachtell excepted) and compensation is the same, what draws people to work at CSM over, say, DPW, SullCrom, or Skadden?

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gdane
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby gdane » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:08 pm

Hahaha! Because a lot of people will take any biglaw job that they can get, even if you have to work more than other "comparable" firms. People don't exactly have the option to work for all of the employers you listed.

PMan99
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby PMan99 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:09 pm

What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:09 pm

gdane wrote:Hahaha! Because a lot of people will take any biglaw job that they can get, even if you have to work more than other "comparable" firms. People don't exactly have the option to work for all of the employers you listed.

Yeah, Cravath is just the fallback option, the last resort for potential biglawyers. Excellent contribution as always.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:11 pm

Presftige

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fanmingrui
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby fanmingrui » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:13 pm

gdane wrote:Hahaha! Because a lot of people will take any biglaw job that they can get, even if you have to work more than other "comparable" firms. People don't exactly have the option to work for all of the employers you listed.

Assuming one has the grades/pedigree for CSM, wouldn't that person likely be able to garner other offers unless he/she totally screwed up the other interviews? The question is why would one take Cravath over another stable lockstep firm? I really don't get the feel it's a consolation prize for those who strike out at other biglaw firms.

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top30man
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby top30man » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Presftige

Thank God this is anonymous.

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airbud
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby airbud » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:17 pm

same reason why people want to join the Marine Corps and not the Army/Navy/Air Force/Coast Guard

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fanmingrui
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby fanmingrui » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm

PMan99 wrote:What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

I dunno... They like the city? No ties to other markets? Bigger classes/lower selectivity in NY? What does this have to do with anything?

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Icculus
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Icculus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm

I would guess it's a combination of prestige and long term goals. Think about it, while Cravath requires brutal hours, having Cravath on your resume provides some benefits. I would guess Cravath offers better opportunity to lateral and better exit options than other firms. Also, some people really do like to prestige whore.

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Icculus
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Icculus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:25 pm

fanmingrui wrote:
PMan99 wrote:What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

I dunno... They like the city? No ties to other markets? Bigger classes/lower selectivity in NY? What does this have to do with anything?


New York is essentially the capital of the world and the place to be if you want a chance to be working on the most interesting cases with the biggest clients...aka prestige. There is a reason why people flock to NYC to work even though the ColL is atrocious. And it's not just because NYC doesn't require ties.

aca0260
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby aca0260 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:27 pm

top30man wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Presftige

Thank God this is anonymous.


Amazing.

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sunynp
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby sunynp » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:33 pm

Icculus wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
PMan99 wrote:What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

I dunno... They like the city? No ties to other markets? Bigger classes/lower selectivity in NY? What does this have to do with anything?


New York is essentially the capital of the world and the place to be if you want a chance to be working on the most interesting cases with the biggest clients...aka prestige. There is a reason why people flock to NYC to work even though the ColL is atrocious. And it's not just because NYC doesn't require ties.


NYC also has the most jobs by far. If those jobs were located in North Dakota, people would flock there.

I love New York, I think it is the best place to live. It is hard to justify financially if you have a great biglaw option near where you live. Most people don't have those choices.
Last edited by sunynp on Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:34 pm

Isn't Cravath one of the most unique firms in the V10...? For example, their rotation system sounds very interesting.

There are other factors than MONEY and AVERAGE HOURS

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:37 pm

If you really like the rotation system, I think Cravath is the right choice. Also if you want patent litigation in NY. I don't think there are a lot of other good reasons to take Cravath. I think between CSM/S&C/DPW/STB, your hours and exit options are going to be based on practice group selection rather than firm selection. If you want public company M&A, S&C is the way to go. If you want private equity M&A, then STB. If you want capital markets, then DPW.

I personally accepted my DPW offer in the cab on the way from my Cravath callback. I strongly disliked the decor of the office (dark carpet, lots of wood paneling) and the muted tone of the people. DPW has light carpet, light maple wood paneling, and the people are peppier. Honestly, I think it's as good a reason as any to pick between these firms.

$$$$$$
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby $$$$$$ » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:42 pm

Do you honestly think Cravath has much worse hours than places like Davis Polk/Skadden/STB? All of these places are sweatshops. I don't know how much further the Cravath name gets you than Davis Polk, but it is as well-rounded a firm as you have. As for working in NYC, I guess the fact that it is pretty much the financial center of the universe would be a good reason to work there if you want to do corporate. Aside from the fact that its New York City and has anything and everything you could ever want to do, eat, drink, etc.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Magnificent » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:47 pm

Icculus wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
PMan99 wrote:What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

I dunno... They like the city? No ties to other markets? Bigger classes/lower selectivity in NY? What does this have to do with anything?


New York is essentially the capital of the world and the place to be if you want a chance to be working on the most interesting cases with the biggest clients...aka prestige. There is a reason why people flock to NYC to work even though the ColL is atrocious. And it's not just because NYC doesn't require ties.


No.

NYC is the finance capital of the world and if your interested in finance then its the place to be. But for lawyers, its probably the worst place to be. You spend your entire career being defined as a servant to the bankers. Washington DC is the place you want to be as a lawyer. There is a reason its the hardest market to break into as well as the market with the highest quality lawyers in the country.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:06 am

What is the lowest GPA Cravath or similar firms would accept? I am little over median, and wondering whether I have a shot - even if its close to remote.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:16 am

You have a shot at Cravath (or S&C, which is basically equivalent to Cravath in this respect) from HYS if you're at median, but not from anywhere else. If you're like top 40% at CCN you might have a fighting chance at another one of the V5/V10 NYC firms but you're probably going to want to set your sights lower if your grades are worse or you're at a lower-ranked school.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:You have a shot at Cravath (or S&C, which is basically equivalent to Cravath in this respect) from HYS if you're at median, but not from anywhere else. If you're like top 40% at CCN you might have a fighting chance at another one of the V5/V10 NYC firms but you're probably going to want to set your sights lower if your grades are worse or you're at a lower-ranked school.


Can somebody verify this?

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5ky
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby 5ky » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:21 am

Magnificent wrote:
No.

NYC is the finance capital of the world and if your interested in finance then its the place to be. But for lawyers, its probably the worst place to be. You spend your entire career being defined as a servant to the bankers. Washington DC is the place you want to be as a lawyer. There is a reason its the hardest market to break into as well as the market with the highest quality lawyers in the country.


dat DC M&A

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Icculus
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Icculus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:25 am

Magnificent wrote:
Icculus wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
PMan99 wrote:What draws people to work in NYC over, say, Chicago, LA, or San Francisco?

I dunno... They like the city? No ties to other markets? Bigger classes/lower selectivity in NY? What does this have to do with anything?


New York is essentially the capital of the world and the place to be if you want a chance to be working on the most interesting cases with the biggest clients...aka prestige. There is a reason why people flock to NYC to work even though the ColL is atrocious. And it's not just because NYC doesn't require ties.


No.

NYC is the finance capital of the world and if your interested in finance then its the place to be. But for lawyers, its probably the worst place to be. You spend your entire career being defined as a servant to the bankers. Washington DC is the place you want to be as a lawyer. There is a reason its the hardest market to break into as well as the market with the highest quality lawyers in the country.


I agree with most of this, though I still think the idea of living in NYC and the general reputation of NYC does draw people. Plus since DC is so hard to get into, especially without either connections or top grades at a top school, NYC is the next best place. But yes, between DC and NYC, DC wins.

Edit: Though my guess is also corporate work and M&A is better in NYC, DC I would guess would be good for litigators. And having rethought the whole premise, I would take NYC over DC any day of the week, even as one who wants lit. NYC>>>>>>>>>>>>and a few in between>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>DC
Last edited by Icculus on Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:31 am

$$$$$$ wrote:Do you honestly think Cravath has much worse hours than places like Davis Polk/Skadden/STB?

As a SA, there is no doubt that the hours at Cravath are substantially worse than at any other firm at this level. Some people see that as a positive in that you get ramped up into matters faster as a summer. You can take on more work at the other firms, but you can also just coast if you feel like it.

Anonymous User wrote:I personally accepted my DPW offer in the cab on the way from my Cravath callback. I strongly disliked the decor of the office (dark carpet, lots of wood paneling) and the muted tone of the people. DPW has light carpet, light maple wood paneling, and the people are peppier. Honestly, I think it's as good a reason as any to pick between these firms.

I think there are more substantive reasons than the decor to choose between firms of this tier---or at least, to not choose Cravath. CSM is the definitely one that's most likely to strongly turn people turn or off. The rotation system is very unique and more constricting than what you'll get at STB/S&C/DPW, but does it have its upsides (i.e., partners are more invested in associate development). For me, the unmitigated downside was that I felt strongly pressured by CSM people I interviewed with to know, before the summer even started, the general practice area I was interested in. I couldn't make that call without actually trying out the practice area and meeting the people who worked in it, so I went with a firm that gives SAs more freedom to try out different assignments.

None of this is to knock Cravath, by the way. My point is that, if you're comparing between NYC v5 firms, there are more obvious answers to "Why not Cravath" than, say, "Why not STB."

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Old Gregg
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:36 am

None of this is to knock Cravath, by the way. My point is that, if you're comparing between NYC v5 firms, there are more obvious answers to "Why not Cravath" than, say, "Why not STB."


Well the obvious answer to the latter is that it isn't a V5.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:38 am

To answer OP's question, I chose it over other options (including one likely more lucrative one) for a few reasons:

First, I think the rotation system is amazing. You don't have to chase work, associates aren't ranked by hours (since those hours depend on how busy your partner/group is), you get to work really closely with partners for an extended period of time, meaning they have an incentive to train you rather than just not give you the next assignment if you did a shitty job. Whereas my friends are asking for work from partners, or are afraid of turning down work for fear that they won't get another chance, I am staffed on the same cases long term, am intimately involved with clients, and every stage of litigation. The rotation system isn't for everyone, but for me it's ideal.

Second, as someone who knew I wanted litigation, and wanted to be trained by the best in the business, I like the clear division between corporate and lit. Again, if you don't know what you want, maybe that's not ideal (although Cravath does let you split your summer to figure it out), but I have gotten so much exposure and worked on issues that my peers at other firms don't even get to touch because I'm not floating around between different matters.

Third, people at the firm gave me the impression they actually care about their coworkers and the firm itself. It sounds cheesy, but senior associates and partners take an interest in you in a way I didn't see elsewhere. Cravath is traditional in many ways, but some traditional values are worth keeping, like treating your coworkers with respect.

Fourth, you can always lateral to other firms, but you can't lateral to Cravath.

Fifth, unlike some other firms, pro bono is actually taken seriously.




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