Why Cravath?

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fatduck
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:04 pm

all of the preceding bullshit about politicians and lawyers and bankers and who runs what is just fucking amazing. pure, unadulterated TLS.

Anonymous User
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:09 pm

Magnificent wrote:
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.


I feel like you are describing what maybe 10% of the lawyers in DC do. Even then it's mostly people who are partners or are likely to become partners. As a big law associate you are still a faceless drone doing whatever needs to be done so the real influential people at your firm can do what you are describing. Big law associates are rarely going to be "respected" anywhere...

If you want to be the big respected person in any city, choose another career

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
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.


I feel like you are describing what maybe 10% of the lawyers in DC do. Even then it's mostly people who are partners or are likely to become partners. As a big law associate you are still a faceless drone doing whatever needs to be done so the real influential people at your firm can do what you are describing. Big law associates are rarely going to be "respected" anywhere...

If you want to be the big respected person in any city, choose another career accept that this will never happen to you

What is this "respect" obsession anyway? Who cares? Respect is pretty freaking localized. You could be a billionaire hedge fund manager and nobody on the street would know the difference. Doing work you find interesting, fulfilling, lucrative, or some combination of the three is all anyone should really be thinking about, IMO. All the rest is completely illusory.

keg411
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:00 pm

I just hate politics in general, which is why I hate DC (if I said that the lawyers are beholden to politicians, I meant more in the sense that pretty much *everything* in DC revolves around politics/politicians, not that they necessarily work directly for them). The city itself is way too political for me to ever live there. But a fuckton more lawyers want to be politicians then want to be bankers or businesspeople.

On topic: I wouldn't want to work at Cravath either (didn't bid on it, didn't visit the hospitality suite, didn't mass mail). Too formal/old school/white shoe.

bdubs
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby bdubs » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:35 pm

keg411 wrote:The city itself is way too political for me to ever live there.


This is a common misconception about DC. Just because some guy you went to undergrad with works on the hill and won't stop talking about politics doesn't make DC that overly political.

The city is very split. Most lawyers don't even deal with the political side of things, they only deal with the regulatory BS. Capitol Hill and Georgetown (to use a neighborhood that most recognize) are actually worlds apart for day-to-day happenings. I'll admit that the upper echelon of DC society mixes politics and business, but it's not as outright political as people think.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Arbiter213 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:42 pm

keg411 wrote:I just hate politics in general, which is why I hate DC (if I said that the lawyers are beholden to politicians, I meant more in the sense that pretty much *everything* in DC revolves around politics/politicians, not that they necessarily work directly for them). The city itself is way too political for me to ever live there. But a fuckton more lawyers want to be politicians then want to be bankers or businesspeople.

On topic: I wouldn't want to work at Cravath either (didn't bid on it, didn't visit the hospitality suite, didn't mass mail). Too formal/old school/white shoe.


Politics is to DC what the Movie Business is to LA.

alabamabound
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby alabamabound » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:20 am

Having worked at Cravath before law school as a lowly paralegal, I feel like there are some convincing answers to OP's question. They probably haven't been voiced yet amidst the shitstorm.

Cravath attorneys do a lot of complex, non-cookie-cutter work on both the lit and corporate sides that can be very satisfying to people who choose big law not as a stepping stone but as an end in itself. That's true of its peers as well. Outside of that, there are perks that go along w/ being connected to the prestige associated with the firm name. Prestige-haters are common on TLS, but this is a valid reason to choose Cravath. Prestige opens a lot of doors that are pleasant to walk through. Cravath's prestige isn't markedly different from its peers inside the big law community (or among those hoping to join it). But it does seem to carry more weight outside of that fishbowl. Having it on the resume is also a nice conversation starter.

The ATL-driven obsession w/ who pays what bonus each bonus season has perhaps tarnished the firm somewhat in the minds of law students and (some) junior associates over the last few years. I feel like that's a very myopic reaction, but I might be wrong.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:16 am

alabamabound wrote:Having worked at Cravath before law school as a lowly paralegal, I feel like there are some convincing answers to OP's question. They probably haven't been voiced yet amidst the shitstorm.

Cravath attorneys do a lot of complex, non-cookie-cutter work on both the lit and corporate sides that can be very satisfying to people who choose big law not as a stepping stone but as an end in itself. That's true of its peers as well. Outside of that, there are perks that go along w/ being connected to the prestige associated with the firm name. Prestige-haters are common on TLS, but this is a valid reason to choose Cravath. Prestige opens a lot of doors that are pleasant to walk through. Cravath's prestige isn't markedly different from its peers inside the big law community (or among those hoping to join it). But it does seem to carry more weight outside of that fishbowl. Having it on the resume is also a nice conversation starter.

The ATL-driven obsession w/ who pays what bonus each bonus season has perhaps tarnished the firm somewhat in the minds of law students and (some) junior associates over the last few years. I feel like that's a very myopic reaction, but I might be wrong.


what were the attorney hours like? any horror stories (e.g., screamer partners etc.)??

LawIdiot86
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:28 am

keg411 wrote:
On topic: I wouldn't want to work at Cravath either (didn't bid on it, didn't visit the hospitality suite, didn't mass mail). Too formal/old school/white shoe.


Interesting. And old school, formal atmosphere is exactly what I look for in a firm. I was actually thrilled when I found out the practice group at my firm was the only one where the partners request the associates where suits everyday and all the partners wear ties.

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rayiner
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:03 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:
keg411 wrote:
On topic: I wouldn't want to work at Cravath either (didn't bid on it, didn't visit the hospitality suite, didn't mass mail). Too formal/old school/white shoe.


Interesting. And old school, formal atmosphere is exactly what I look for in a firm. I was actually thrilled when I found out the practice group at my firm was the only one where the partners request the associates where suits everyday and all the partners wear ties.


It's old school in apperances only. They aren't old school in the way that Cravath lawyers 50 years ago billed 1600 hours/year. That distinction makes the rest farcical in my opinion.

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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
alabamabound wrote:Having worked at Cravath before law school as a lowly paralegal, I feel like there are some convincing answers to OP's question. They probably haven't been voiced yet amidst the shitstorm.

Cravath attorneys do a lot of complex, non-cookie-cutter work on both the lit and corporate sides that can be very satisfying to people who choose big law not as a stepping stone but as an end in itself. That's true of its peers as well. Outside of that, there are perks that go along w/ being connected to the prestige associated with the firm name. Prestige-haters are common on TLS, but this is a valid reason to choose Cravath. Prestige opens a lot of doors that are pleasant to walk through. Cravath's prestige isn't markedly different from its peers inside the big law community (or among those hoping to join it). But it does seem to carry more weight outside of that fishbowl. Having it on the resume is also a nice conversation starter.

The ATL-driven obsession w/ who pays what bonus each bonus season has perhaps tarnished the firm somewhat in the minds of law students and (some) junior associates over the last few years. I feel like that's a very myopic reaction, but I might be wrong.


what were the attorney hours like? any horror stories (e.g., screamer partners etc.)??


I worked with some former Cravath lawyers in a corporation before law school. From what they told me, the hours were pretty bad, but manageable. However, if you want a family life, you probably won't have much. And the firm's rotation program was highly praised by those former associates. They are actually very nice and smart people, not sharks, maybe I was lucky. And the firm has pretty high turnover rate (which is true in any biglaw).

alabamabound
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby alabamabound » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
alabamabound wrote:Having worked at Cravath before law school as a lowly paralegal, I feel like there are some convincing answers to OP's question. They probably haven't been voiced yet amidst the shitstorm.

Cravath attorneys do a lot of complex, non-cookie-cutter work on both the lit and corporate sides that can be very satisfying to people who choose big law not as a stepping stone but as an end in itself. That's true of its peers as well. Outside of that, there are perks that go along w/ being connected to the prestige associated with the firm name. Prestige-haters are common on TLS, but this is a valid reason to choose Cravath. Prestige opens a lot of doors that are pleasant to walk through. Cravath's prestige isn't markedly different from its peers inside the big law community (or among those hoping to join it). But it does seem to carry more weight outside of that fishbowl. Having it on the resume is also a nice conversation starter.

The ATL-driven obsession w/ who pays what bonus each bonus season has perhaps tarnished the firm somewhat in the minds of law students and (some) junior associates over the last few years. I feel like that's a very myopic reaction, but I might be wrong.


what were the attorney hours like? any horror stories (e.g., screamer partners etc.)??


The hours expectations for junior associates are very challenging, which is probably true of all "meat-grinder" NYC firms, as an ex-CSM attorney I know calls them. I worked for some fantastic partners and one screamer. Mostly, I have very pleasant memories of the place and no horror stories to speak of.

Anonymous User
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 22, 2013 11:43 pm

the direction that this thread took is pretty funny.

agree with the above that both banking and law are service industries and therefore exist to provide services to issuers (re: public companies). in that way, NYC is not "run" by the bankers.. the bankers are just usually closer to the issuer, while the lawyers are closer to the banker (realize though that everyone in the world has a boss.. so there is no one who is entirely unaccountable).

also agree that the DC legal industry is about two things: (1) representation to a governmental agency or (2) lobbying to politicians (in neither instance do the lawyers work for the politicians). again, its the issuers who typically are the clients (who else can afford the legal fees?).

regarding DC v NYC: i think there are significantly more firm jobs for lawyers in NYC, which theoretically makes DC more difficult to break into (assuming around equal amount of demand for each city). this may be why NYC biglaw seems less prestigious than DC biglaw. however, both cities have pros and cons - neither is "better."

regarding cravath: for the select few who are fortunate enough to have offers from cravath and other comparable firms, i suppose the prestige/exit options is what ultimately sways many people. i could also see the rotational system being appealing, as it avoids the need to constantly worry about sourcing assignments (this is probably the best answer you can give when asked "why cravath" in an interview).

ETA: just realized how old this thread is - didn't mean to reignite it

anonymous2012
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Re: Why Cravath?

Postby anonymous2012 » Thu May 23, 2013 9:27 am

Arbiter213 wrote:
keg411 wrote:I just hate politics in general, which is why I hate DC (if I said that the lawyers are beholden to politicians, I meant more in the sense that pretty much *everything* in DC revolves around politics/politicians, not that they necessarily work directly for them). The city itself is way too political for me to ever live there. But a fuckton more lawyers want to be politicians then want to be bankers or businesspeople.

On topic: I wouldn't want to work at Cravath either (didn't bid on it, didn't visit the hospitality suite, didn't mass mail). Too formal/old school/white shoe.


Politics is to DC what the Movie Business is to LA.


Meaning what? The movie business is huge, but still tangential to the majority of LA. There's plenty of other stuff going on. On the other side, politics is pervasive in DC because even if you don't work for or around politicians or lobbying, there are hundreds of thousands of people working in executive agencies whose jobs are directly impacted by political goals via the executive appointees running their agency.

I don't think you can discount the importance of politics in DC. A huge amount of the work that is done there is either directly political or related to politics. Even if you're not in a position to make political decisions, there's a high likelihood you are extremely focused on the decisions being made on the hill or in the White House. I think that's pretty different from LA, where a lot of people's most direct connection to the film industry is that their server is a failing actor/actress.




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