Why Cravath?

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r6_philly
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:49 am

Can anyone speak to the selectivity of the patent litigation group at Cravath? I think a few posts up someone said it is the firm to be for patent lit in NYC. True?

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sunynp
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby sunynp » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote: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.


I'll give you the first two as they are specific to Cravath.

It sounds like you've had too much of the Kool Aid (or is it the tea and cookies?) if you think that Cravath is the only firm where people take an interest in you. Most top firms emphasize that taking an interest in developing associates and treating coworkers with respect is important. You don't get to claim that just because Cravath vaunts tradition it is the only firm where people are treated with respect. There are just as many pompous assholes at Cravath as at any other firm.

Four only matters if you care about working at Cravath. If you turn it down for whatever reason, you don't care about being a lateral hire at Cravath, why would you?

Fifth, plenty of biglaw firms in NYC are committed to pro bono. You don't get some kind of special silver star for that. Every major firm has pro bono commitments that they honor.

I don't care if you promote your firm. It is wonderful that you are happy there. Just don't put down other firms while doing it.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:53 am

r6_philly wrote:Can anyone speak to the selectivity of the patent litigation group at Cravath? I think a few posts up someone said it is the firm to be for patent lit in NYC. True?


Cravath doesn't have practice groups in litigation. Each partner has an individual practice, although some partners work more often together than others. Roger Brooks and Rick Stark are probably the most well-known partners for patent lit.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby markman » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:54 am

r6_philly wrote:Can anyone speak to the selectivity of the patent litigation group at Cravath? I think a few posts up someone said it is the firm to be for patent lit in NYC. True?

For pat lit:
Cravath is OK. Paul Weiss is also Good. As are Weil and Kirkland.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:06 am

sunynp wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.


I'll give you the first two as they are specific to Cravath.

It sounds like you've had too much of the Kool Aid (or is it the tea and cookies?) if you think that Cravath is the only firm where people take an interest in you. Most top firms emphasize that taking an interest in developing associates and treating coworkers with respect is important. You don't get to claim that just because Cravath vaunts tradition it is the only firm where people are treated with respect. There are just as many pompous assholes at Cravath as at any other firm.

Four only matters if you care about working at Cravath. If you turn it down for whatever reason, you don't care about being a lateral hire at Cravath, why would you?

Fifth, plenty of biglaw firms in NYC are committed to pro bono. You don't get some kind of special silver star for that. Every major firm has pro bono commitments that they honor.

I don't care if you promote your firm. It is wonderful that you are happy there. Just don't put down other firms while doing it.


I'm the anon who posted above. I didn't mean to put down other firms, and I specifically didn't mention any firm by name. If you read OP, he specifically asked for reasons to choose Cravath over peer firms. I simply responded to OP's post with my personal reasons for doing so. Certainly my friends who chose other V10s over Cravath had their reasons for their choices--we all balance the pros and cons differently. These were just my pros, compared to my other options (and I certainly didn't have offers at all the V10 firms, though I did at some). In response to your specifics:

First, I never claimed that Cravath was the only firm where people are treated with respect. But my impression of the general atmosphere compared to other firms where I interviewed was one of the major reasons I chose it. Maybe you got a different vibe; who cares?

Second, if you don't think the ability to lateral matters, it doesn't matter to you. Whatever. It did to me.

Third, there are certainly other firms that care about pro bono, and some are much more dedicated to it than Cravath (including on of my options). But some of Cravath's peers don't take it that seriously (including one of my other options).

Magnificent
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Magnificent » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:58 am

Icculus wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
Icculus wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
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.


But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Arbiter213 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:21 am

Magnificent wrote:But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.


Really? More than half my class at Cornell seems to want to do M&A work. I'm in the distinct minority for wanting lit.

And DC is a shitty city to live in that's completely dead at night, whereas Manhattan is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan places in the world. Might that have something to do with the appeal?

keg411
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:23 am

DC is absolutely a horrible city. Maybe for people who jerk off to CNN/MSNBC/Fox News, I'm sure it's a great place, but for me, it would be an absolute nightmare. I'd rather work for bankers then politicians any day of the week.

ETA: to keep this on topic, I'd rather work at Cravath than any DC office of any firm.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:33 am

Magnificent wrote:But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.

Many people want M&A or other corporate work because it provides an easier path in-house, which is widely regarded as one of the better mid- to late-career options for lawyers in terms of money and quality of life. You won't make as much if you go to the government as a litigator. I don't think many people labor under the misapprehension that they're going to become bankers.

Also, lots of people just want to live in NYC.

rad lulz
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:53 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Magnificent wrote:But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.

Many people want M&A or other corporate work because it provides an easier path in-house, which is widely regarded as one of the better mid- to late-career options for lawyers in terms of money and quality of life. You won't make as much if you go to the government as a litigator. I don't think many people labor under the misapprehension that they're going to become bankers.

Also, lots of people just want to live in NYC.

Read somewhere that a third or do of all in house positions are lit. Who do you think manages document retention projects, talks to outside litigation counsel, etc.?

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:47 am

rad lulz wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Magnificent wrote:But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.

Many people want M&A or other corporate work because it provides an easier path in-house, which is widely regarded as one of the better mid- to late-career options for lawyers in terms of money and quality of life. You won't make as much if you go to the government as a litigator. I don't think many people labor under the misapprehension that they're going to become bankers.

Also, lots of people just want to live in NYC.

Read somewhere that a third or do of all in house positions are lit. Who do you think manages document retention projects, talks to outside litigation counsel, etc.?

That's not inconsistent with corporate providing an "easier path" in-house.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:53 am

This thread is filled with sooooo much misinformation. Dont know whether OP is interested in corporate or litigation but if corporate most of the NYC V50 is fungible in terms of work. Most people choose Cravath over others because it is highly ranked, sometimes pays big bonuses and they heard something extremely vague about "exit options and complex work." Some people do happen to like the culture at Cravath better than its peer firms, however, and choose it for that reason. I dont know as much about litigation but I have been told the variability between firms is much higher.

Addressing some other stuff in this thread...
1) Any legal recruiter or staffing consultant will tell you that corporate work in general is better to lateral in-house but there is a risk at getting stuck doing super niche work at a firm and not having many options. There are typically fewer opportunities to lateral in-house from litigation and those options that are available often require more than 3-4 years of experience.

2) The idea that DC lawyers are beholden to politicians is absolutely ridiculous. DC also has plenty of areas where stuff is going on at nite.. just not the business district/capital (but why on earth would you expect anything different). DC is actually far, far more in demand than NYC at the top schools (or at least HYS) but is unfortunately supercompetitive.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:56 am

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.


How did you find out that STB is the place to go for PE M&A, etc? Just wondering what the reliable way to get reliable info on what each biglaw are good at and lifestyles, etc. Ask people working in those firms? Rankings (which ones)?

MTC87
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby MTC87 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


How did you find out that STB is the place to go for PE M&A, etc? Just wondering what the reliable way to get reliable info on what each biglaw are good at and lifestyles, etc. Ask people working in those firms? Rankings (which ones)?


You'll get these same characterizations from just about anyone, they're pretty much common wisdom. Chambers Associates is a good source for more detail and rankings, though. For instance: http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3655

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:08 pm

MTC87 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.


How did you find out that STB is the place to go for PE M&A, etc? Just wondering what the reliable way to get reliable info on what each biglaw are good at and lifestyles, etc. Ask people working in those firms? Rankings (which ones)?


You'll get these same characterizations from just about anyone, they're pretty much common wisdom. Chambers Associates is a good source for more detail and rankings, though. For instance: http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3655


Also, Thompson-Rueters league tables.

$$$$$$
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby $$$$$$ » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:29 pm

The argument of NYC v. DC is ridiculous, as someone that lived in DC for six months and NY my whole life, DC doesn't hold a freaking candle to New York City. The food, neighborhoods, culture, entertainment, bar scene, skyline, whatever you want to name is so much better in New York. I can understand why people don't like NYC though and I can see why they prefer DC, but the people on here talking about DC being the place everyone wants to go is complete horse shit.

Also, why is it weird to want to be an M&A lawyer rather than a litigator? I know plenty of people that came to law school to do corporate work. Litigation seems cool, but you dont see the inside of a courtroom for at least 5 years most of the time. Legal research and writing freaking blows unless it is really cutting edge, interesting stuff.

MTC87
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby MTC87 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MTC87 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How did you find out that STB is the place to go for PE M&A, etc? Just wondering what the reliable way to get reliable info on what each biglaw are good at and lifestyles, etc. Ask people working in those firms? Rankings (which ones)?


You'll get these same characterizations from just about anyone, they're pretty much common wisdom. Chambers Associates is a good source for more detail and rankings, though. For instance: http://www.chambers-associate.com/FirmFeature/3655


Also, Thompson-Rueters league tables.


And if M&A is your thing, here's another league table: http://www.mergermarket.com/pdf/Press_Release_for_Legal_Advisers_Year_End_2011.pdf. Stats for law firms advising global M&A start at p. 14, and US M&A at p. 31.
Last edited by MTC87 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:00 pm

keg411 wrote:DC is absolutely a horrible city. Maybe for people who jerk off to CNN/MSNBC/Fox News, I'm sure it's a great place, but for me, it would be an absolute nightmare. I'd rather work for bankers then politicians any day of the week.

ETA: to keep this on topic, I'd rather work at Cravath than any DC office of any firm.


FYI - DC lawyers don't work for politicians. DC litigators generally have national practices and regulatory work is certainly not on behalf of politicians.

On topic - I know a couple of litigation associates at Cravath - they work hard, but they like it.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:13 pm

markman wrote:
r6_philly wrote:Can anyone speak to the selectivity of the patent litigation group at Cravath? I think a few posts up someone said it is the firm to be for patent lit in NYC. True?

For pat lit:
Cravath is OK. Paul Weiss is also Good. As are Weil and Kirkland.


really? you think it would make sense to take Cravath over Kirkland/Weil/Quinn for patent lit??

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby ruski » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:28 pm

i may be mistaken, but doesn't cravath assign you to a particular partner during the rotation system, and you work solely for him for the 6 month period, instead of just let you rotate generally within the entire group, like at other firms. i actually knew one guy in corp at cravath who was consistently coming home around 7-8 every night. his corp partner was in a very small niche that wasn't so deal focused, and apparently he was also the nicest guy in the world. but if ur assigned a partner who is a complete dick then you're pretty much screwed.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Magnificent » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:32 pm

Arbiter213 wrote:
Magnificent wrote:But really who goes to law school to do M&A work? I'm guessing less than 10% of folks even know what M&A is before starting law school. Plus who wants to be an M&A lawyer for their entire career. Most people who try going that route are people who failed making it as bankers the first time around and are hoping that becoming an M&A lawyer will help them get there the second time.

I really don't see the appeal in NYC for any law school graduate who has top grades from a top school. Your better served working in DC. That is actually a town run by lawyers, whereas NYC is run by bankers.


Really? More than half my class at Cornell seems to want to do M&A work. I'm in the distinct minority for wanting lit.

And DC is a shitty city to live in that's completely dead at night, whereas Manhattan is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan places in the world. Might that have something to do with the appeal?


Well I've lived in NYC and I think its an absolutely shitty city to live in. Expensive as hell, dirty, plus full of assholes. Unless your super rich its terrible. Plus what NYC lawyer has time to enjoy the city?

DC isn't the best place in the world but it is alot better than the dump that is NYC.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:47 pm

but if corporate most of the NYC V50 is fungible in terms of work


Wrong.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:26 pm

The "Why Cravath" question is interesting. No doubt you have great exit options, but are they significantly better than other elite firms who will also give you offers? This could be a combination of lies on the part of associates at other firms and honesty on the part of those at Cravath, but it does seem Cravath associates bill at near WLRK levels with out the commensurate increase in bonus/salary. Also, since Cravath sets the market bonus-wise, it's rare that Cravath will offer any better compensation than its peers or slight inferiors (and often gets topped by them).

As far as the off-topic DC/NY discussion goes, saying one city is better than the other for lawyers is monumentally stupid. Neither are dominant in their respective markets. DC is all about politicians and those who move in their circles, even at top lit shops, most associates aren't doing that kind of work, while NYC is ruled by the bankers. If you don't want to do lit (and many don't) DC is not going to be as exciting/interesting as NYC. Lit is probably better depending on practice area, but its all a wash anyways.

People on here don't seem to get that law is a service industry. No one ever talks about a city as the "legal capital of the US" the way that Banking is in NYC/government is in DC/entertainment is in LA/etc. We are always going to be working FOR someone else who is more powerful/influential in whatever city we are in. We aren't the ones making things happen, we just make sure they happen smoothly and deal with the fallout if they don't. Yes, none of these things could happen without us, but we aren't the driving force behind them either. This is true whether you are in DC/NYC.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Magnificent » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The "Why Cravath" question is interesting. No doubt you have great exit options, but are they significantly better than other elite firms who will also give you offers? This could be a combination of lies on the part of associates at other firms and honesty on the part of those at Cravath, but it does seem Cravath associates bill at near WLRK levels with out the commensurate increase in bonus/salary. Also, since Cravath sets the market bonus-wise, it's rare that Cravath will offer any better compensation than its peers or slight inferiors (and often gets topped by them).

As far as the off-topic DC/NY discussion goes, saying one city is better than the other for lawyers is monumentally stupid. Neither are dominant in their respective markets. DC is all about politicians and those who move in their circles, even at top lit shops, most associates aren't doing that kind of work, while NYC is ruled by the bankers. If you don't want to do lit (and many don't) DC is not going to be as exciting/interesting as NYC. Lit is probably better depending on practice area, but its all a wash anyways.

People on here don't seem to get that law is a service industry. No one ever talks about a city as the "legal capital of the US" the way that Banking is in NYC/government is in DC/entertainment is in LA/etc. We are always going to be working FOR someone else who is more powerful/influential in whatever city we are in. We aren't the ones making things happen, we just make sure they happen smoothly and deal with the fallout if they don't. Yes, none of these things could happen without us, but we aren't the driving force behind them either. This is true whether you are in DC/NYC.


You obviously don't know how DC works. Lawyers in DC don't work for politicians. They work for large corporations and use their political connections to fix issues that their client might have with government agencies and Congress.

Even if I took your assumption to be true that DC lawyers work for politicians, there are still major difference between bankers and politicians. For one, most politicians used to be lawyers and obviously have respect of the profession and those in it. Its more of a collaborative relationship whereas the bankers have disdain for lawyers and obviously most aren't lawyers and thus don't have respect for the profession. Also you can never discount money. Most lawyers in DC make more than the politicians so the respect factor is mutual whereas bankers will always make more than lawyers in NYC.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby ruski » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:01 pm

does anyone on this board understand what bankers do. banking is 100% a service industry, and their lifestyle reflects that. they work for the issuer. bankers are wealthy but have nothing on the people who actually run their own company and hire bankers to go raise capital. those are the guys you want to end up as.




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