I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

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Anonymous User
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I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:01 am

But are there any firms that are better, or worse, in terms of not having as much facetime requirement, giving associates substantial work, and/or having nicer people? I'm particularly interested in Cleary, Covington, Debevoise, DPW, Jones Day, Simpson, Skadden, and Weil.

law-school-hacker
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby law-school-hacker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:34 pm

Jones Day and Skadden and Weil are slightly less prestigious than the others, at least in New York.

Very little difference in terms of face time and receiving substantial work. I guess I have heard that in this group that Skadden and Weil are the worst. I am an ex-Debevoisian and felt like people were generally nice, but there were screamers there.

"Face time" only matters if you care about making partner, which is a crapshoot anyway. You will want to be seen as working very hard at any of these places if you want to be a partner. If you don't care or learn that you don't have that fire in the belly (honestly, you have to really really want it), then face time doesn't matter, in my view, even at a place that ostensibly requires it.

Do you have a sense of whether you might want to do litigation or corporate instead? It makes a difference, somewhat.

Question for you: Why not Wachtell (if you get or have got the grades)? I am serious. You get paid more, it is more prestigious than any of these places, and you might work as hard anyway. I had a 2800 hour year with Debevoise (including travel), and an easier 2400 year the year after. I had the grades but didn't apply because I didn't think i wanted that kind of environment. Debevoise was still hard, and people at Wachtell work that much (or maybe a little more) anyway but get paid more and have the choice of any opportunities they want after.

Also, if you're into litigation, think Boies Schiller, Quinn, and the uber elite boutiques -- Susman Godfrey (yes, go to Texas, though they have outposts in NY and LA; they are probably the best law firm in the country, pound for pound), Barlit Beck, Kellogg Huber, etc. All of these places (I don't know about Barlitt Beck, nor do I even know how to spell it), pay above market bonuses consistently and are super elite. Munger is super elite but does not pay above market the way Boies can and Susman does.

If you're into corporate, you need to be a big firm; only they get real deal flow. I am not sure that there is a real corporate boutique that it makes sense to work at. Go to Cleary, Simpson, DPW. But also think Cravath. Skadden after all of these, but still a great firm.

Or think California -- Wilson Sonsini, Munger, etc. Are you dead set on NYC?

Best,

Anonymous User
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Re: I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Covington's the odd one out there, much smaller NY office than the others you list. Who knows how much that impacts culture, but, it is definitely a different sort of animal compared to the rest.

Anonymous User
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Re: I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:10 pm

law-school-hacker wrote:Jones Day and Skadden and Weil are slightly less prestigious than the others, at least in New York.

Very little difference in terms of face time and receiving substantial work. I guess I have heard that in this group that Skadden and Weil are the worst. I am an ex-Debevoisian and felt like people were generally nice, but there were screamers there.

"Face time" only matters if you care about making partner, which is a crapshoot anyway. You will want to be seen as working very hard at any of these places if you want to be a partner. If you don't care or learn that you don't have that fire in the belly (honestly, you have to really really want it), then face time doesn't matter, in my view, even at a place that ostensibly requires it.

Do you have a sense of whether you might want to do litigation or corporate instead? It makes a difference, somewhat.

Question for you: Why not Wachtell (if you get or have got the grades)? I am serious. You get paid more, it is more prestigious than any of these places, and you might work as hard anyway. I had a 2800 hour year with Debevoise (including travel), and an easier 2400 year the year after. I had the grades but didn't apply because I didn't think i wanted that kind of environment. Debevoise was still hard, and people at Wachtell work that much (or maybe a little more) anyway but get paid more and have the choice of any opportunities they want after.

Also, if you're into litigation, think Boies Schiller, Quinn, and the uber elite boutiques -- Susman Godfrey (yes, go to Texas, though they have outposts in NY and LA; they are probably the best law firm in the country, pound for pound), Barlit Beck, Kellogg Huber, etc. All of these places (I don't know about Barlitt Beck, nor do I even know how to spell it), pay above market bonuses consistently and are super elite. Munger is super elite but does not pay above market the way Boies can and Susman does.

If you're into corporate, you need to be a big firm; only they get real deal flow. I am not sure that there is a real corporate boutique that it makes sense to work at. Go to Cleary, Simpson, DPW. But also think Cravath. Skadden after all of these, but still a great firm.

Or think California -- Wilson Sonsini, Munger, etc. Are you dead set on NYC?

Best,


Thank you so much for the information! My grade is not good enough for about half the firms you listed. It's probably not even enough for half the firms I listed (UVA 20-25%).

I'm leaning towards corporate. Definitely not dead set on NYC.

So did you bill 2800 hours that year?? I know people are slaving in NYC, but 2800 billable hours seem... beyond scary...

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby johndhi » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:22 pm

law-school-hacker wrote:Jones Day and Skadden and Weil are slightly less prestigious than the others, at least in New York.

Very little difference in terms of face time and receiving substantial work. I guess I have heard that in this group that Skadden and Weil are the worst. I am an ex-Debevoisian and felt like people were generally nice, but there were screamers there.

"Face time" only matters if you care about making partner, which is a crapshoot anyway. You will want to be seen as working very hard at any of these places if you want to be a partner. If you don't care or learn that you don't have that fire in the belly (honestly, you have to really really want it), then face time doesn't matter, in my view, even at a place that ostensibly requires it.

Do you have a sense of whether you might want to do litigation or corporate instead? It makes a difference, somewhat.

Question for you: Why not Wachtell (if you get or have got the grades)? I am serious. You get paid more, it is more prestigious than any of these places, and you might work as hard anyway. I had a 2800 hour year with Debevoise (including travel), and an easier 2400 year the year after. I had the grades but didn't apply because I didn't think i wanted that kind of environment. Debevoise was still hard, and people at Wachtell work that much (or maybe a little more) anyway but get paid more and have the choice of any opportunities they want after.

Also, if you're into litigation, think Boies Schiller, Quinn, and the uber elite boutiques -- Susman Godfrey (yes, go to Texas, though they have outposts in NY and LA; they are probably the best law firm in the country, pound for pound), Barlit Beck, Kellogg Huber, etc. All of these places (I don't know about Barlitt Beck, nor do I even know how to spell it), pay above market bonuses consistently and are super elite. Munger is super elite but does not pay above market the way Boies can and Susman does.

If you're into corporate, you need to be a big firm; only they get real deal flow. I am not sure that there is a real corporate boutique that it makes sense to work at. Go to Cleary, Simpson, DPW. But also think Cravath. Skadden after all of these, but still a great firm.

Or think California -- Wilson Sonsini, Munger, etc. Are you dead set on NYC?

Best,


Are you at another firm now? Do you prefer it there? Or what are you doing now?

law-school-hacker
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: I know all the NYC BigLaw are the same

Postby law-school-hacker » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:00 pm

@johndhi, sorry for the long delay. I am at a smaller (50 attorney) firm now that I won't name, still in NYC. Lower hours (I have not gone beyond 2000 yet, not even close), less pay (but still a good) but still enough that it feels like much more than 9 to 5. But I have children now, and I spent a lot of time with them. That could never have happened at my BigLaw job.

The practice is different. The cases at BigLaw were more exciting. There was more turnover, so I was always meeting new people. And when you get even moderately senior (4th year, I think) you have junior associates helping you. At a small law firm, it's just different -- I often have very senior responsibilities (conceptualizing, writing brief) and very junior responsibilities (cite-checking and, one time, binding the brief myself).

Does that help? We can PM and I can tell you more there.




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