Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Can anyone tell me about Munger's SF office, specifically their litigation group?

I know it's quite small. What are their strong practice areas, do people seem to enjoy their time there, are the hours grueling, are litigators involved in multiple practice areas, or generally only one? What % is patent?

Thanks :). I'd be a lateral.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:50 pm

Does anyone know anything about Shartsis Friese? I have an interview and would appreciate any info that might help me prepare.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about Shartsis Friese? I have an interview and would appreciate any info that might help me prepare.

One office firm, around 70 attys, pays market. Traditionally was a lit boutique but now very strong in hedge fund and real estate work as well. Very selective (I think they hire 2 summers at most each year), with an emphasis on personality as much as grades at the cb stage.

Anything more specific you want to know?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:23 pm

sundance95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about Shartsis Friese? I have an interview and would appreciate any info that might help me prepare.

One office firm, around 70 attys, pays market. Traditionally was a lit boutique but now very strong in hedge fund and real estate work as well. Very selective (I think they hire 2 summers at most each year), with an emphasis on personality as much as grades at the cb stage.

Anything more specific you want to know?


Thanks, that's helpful. I think my grades make me a long shot, but I appreciate it. Their hiring looks all over the place, from SLS grads to Hastings/Davis grads without honors, so the fit part makes sense. Do you have any sense of culture?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:42 pm

Anyone know anything about Trucker Huss? Have an interview with them and any insight would be appreciated.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about Shartsis Friese? I have an interview and would appreciate any info that might help me prepare.

One office firm, around 70 attys, pays market. Traditionally was a lit boutique but now very strong in hedge fund and real estate work as well. Very selective (I think they hire 2 summers at most each year), with an emphasis on personality as much as grades at the cb stage.

Anything more specific you want to know?


Thanks, that's helpful. I think my grades make me a long shot, but I appreciate it. Their hiring looks all over the place, from SLS grads to Hastings/Davis grads without honors, so the fit part makes sense. Do you have any sense of culture?

Do me a favor and don't quote; I might decide to remove this later.

Shartsis is egalitarian, in that firm finances and decision-making are open and transparent, there are always associates on the management committee, etc. It is a lot like Munger in that respect. Also like Munger, associates take on a lot of early responsibility because of the firm's low leverage (there are actually more partners than associates, I believe). [I'm not saying Shartsis is on par with Munger; Munger obviously takes on much bigger matters. I'm just saying that Shartsis shares these traits with Munger.] Low leverage also means that associates tend to last longer than in biglaw, because there isn't the same kind of up-or-out pressure. But because of that, the firm looks to hire people that want private practice as a career; unlike biglaw firms, losing associates after three years represents a relatively significant loss of investment.

As far as work culture, people tend to get in between 8 and 9 and the the office is empty by 6:00-6:30. The firm skews a little older (probably because it doesn't hire huge summer classes) so folks tend to want to get home to their non-work lives. I'm sure many people do more work after hours, and when things are crazy they surely stay longer, but face time is not an emphasis. As you note, fit is as important as grades, if not more so; the firm is looking to hire people who are outgoing enough to develop business someday, while enforcing the (very real) no-asshole rule. That's the main thing overall, really: people aren't miserable at Shartsis. There's not an expectation of answering emails on weekends/after hours (unless there's some all-hands-on-deck thing happening), and partners aren't throwing work on anyone's desk at 2PM on a Friday with a Monday deadline. Overall, it's a pretty amazing unicorn of a law firm. I turned down much more 'TLS preftigious' firms for Shartsis and haven't looked back for a second, and if you get a chance to work there, you're pretty lucky IMO.

The one drawback that might turn off some is that the firm gives Kirkland-style bonuses (i.e., not lockstep), which means that bonuses are calculated based on your total hours over your annual target (which is 1950). But I actually like how that aligns the firm's and the associate's incentives on marginal hours. If you have a huge year in terms of billables, you can kill it; but if you had an easy year then the firm isn't going to look to push you out because they are paying you a massive bonus you didn't earn.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:35 pm

wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby fruitlobber » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:47 pm

johndhi wrote:wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.


Sounds like BS. Annual target is 1950 - not different from a lot of CA big firms. All that other shit he said doesn't matter.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:48 pm

Thank you so much for that. I'm spending about $1000 to go out for just this interview, so I appreciate the review. I'm married and a little older, so I'm much more concerned with culture than hours, pay, or prestige. This sounds like a great place.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you so much for that. I'm spending about $1000 to go out for just this interview, so I appreciate the review. I'm married and a little older, so I'm much more concerned with culture than hours, pay, or prestige. This sounds like a great place.


You're paying for your own interview?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:02 pm

fruitlobber wrote:
johndhi wrote:wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.


Sounds like BS. Annual target is 1950 - not different from a lot of CA big firms. All that other shit he said doesn't matter.

I suppose that's true, if billables are the only thing that matter to you, and not work culture, face time, whether evenings/weekends are really your own, or the odds that you are assigned to a tyrannical senior associate or partner who has no problem with making your life hell.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby fruitlobber » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:10 pm

sundance95 wrote:
fruitlobber wrote:
johndhi wrote:wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.


Sounds like BS. Annual target is 1950 - not different from a lot of CA big firms. All that other shit he said doesn't matter.

I suppose that's true, if billables are the only thing that matter to you, and not work culture, face time, whether evenings/weekends are really your own, or the odds that you are assigned to a tyrannical senior associate or partner who has no problem with making your life hell.


Oh excuse me, are you an associate? If so, my bad. I thought you were a summer who didn't know shit and is just regurgitating firm propaganda. FYI nearly all of the shit you said, I've heard from summers working for more "prestigious" firms in SF and LA. You are a billable hour slave at the end of the day, but keep thinking that you found a "unicorn". LOL.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:16 pm

fruitlobber wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
fruitlobber wrote:
johndhi wrote:wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.


Sounds like BS. Annual target is 1950 - not different from a lot of CA big firms. All that other shit he said doesn't matter.

I suppose that's true, if billables are the only thing that matter to you, and not work culture, face time, whether evenings/weekends are really your own, or the odds that you are assigned to a tyrannical senior associate or partner who has no problem with making your life hell.


Oh excuse me, are you an associate? If so, my bad. I thought you were a summer who didn't know shit and is just regurgitating firm propaganda. FYI nearly all of the shit you said, I've heard from summers working for more "prestigious" firms in SF and LA. You are a billable hour slave at the end of the day, but keep thinking that you found a "unicorn". LOL.

Not a summer. I'll acknowledge that you might be right, and that I could be wrong; I was asked for an opinion and gave it. But regardless of what I know or don't know, the idea that nothing about a firm affects quality of life other than billables is objectively silly.

Also, you seem mad.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thank you so much for that. I'm spending about $1000 to go out for just this interview, so I appreciate the review. I'm married and a little older, so I'm much more concerned with culture than hours, pay, or prestige. This sounds like a great place.


You're paying for your own interview?


Off-campus program; not a call-back.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby fruitlobber » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:20 pm

sundance95 wrote:Not a summer. I'll acknowledge that you might be right, and that I could be wrong; I was asked for an opinion and gave it. But regardless of what I know or don't know, the idea that nothing about a firm affects quality of life other than billables is objectively silly.

Also, you seem mad.


Where did I say that? I said that stuff you said doesn't matter because I've heard the SAME THINGS from former summers at other, big, "prestigious" firms, about face time, life style, culture, etc. I am just making sure this is a no spin zone.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby johndhi » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:23 pm

fruitlobber wrote:
sundance95 wrote:Not a summer. I'll acknowledge that you might be right, and that I could be wrong; I was asked for an opinion and gave it. But regardless of what I know or don't know, the idea that nothing about a firm affects quality of life other than billables is objectively silly.

Also, you seem mad.


Where did I say that? I said that stuff you said doesn't matter because I've heard the SAME THINGS from former summers at other, big, "prestigious" firms, about face time, life style, culture, etc. I am just making sure this is a no spin zone.


you shouldn't accost someone for making an honest review, it is both rare and valuable. thanks again sund.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby fruitlobber » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:24 pm

johndhi wrote:
fruitlobber wrote:
sundance95 wrote:Not a summer. I'll acknowledge that you might be right, and that I could be wrong; I was asked for an opinion and gave it. But regardless of what I know or don't know, the idea that nothing about a firm affects quality of life other than billables is objectively silly.

Also, you seem mad.


Where did I say that? I said that stuff you said doesn't matter because I've heard the SAME THINGS from former summers at other, big, "prestigious" firms, about face time, life style, culture, etc. I am just making sure this is a no spin zone.


you shouldn't accost someone for making an honest review, it is both rare and valuable. thanks again sund.


His review is worthless unless he is a current associate. If he is, then I apologize.

Oh yeah, I'm nitpicking over this because I mass mailed them recently.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:29 pm

fruitlobber wrote:
sundance95 wrote:But regardless of what I know or don't know, the idea that nothing about a firm affects quality of life other than billables is objectively silly.


Where did I say that?

fruitlobber wrote:
johndhi wrote:wow, that is a pretty glowing review, thanks for giving it, and congrats on finding something cool.


Sounds like BS. Annual target is 1950 - not different from a lot of CA big firms. All that other shit he said doesn't matter.

Right there.
fruitlobber wrote:I said that stuff you said doesn't matter because I've heard the SAME THINGS from former summers at other, big, "prestigious" firms, about face time, life style, culture, etc.

That is somewhat surprising to me; I knew many summers at large firms, and generally speaking, they knew what they were getting into and for how long they hoped to last in it. It's hard to hide warts for an entire summer, and even more so when you're not one of twenty summers who are shepherded into a special Disneyland summer associate version of the firm.
fruitlobber wrote:I am just making sure this is a no spin zone.

Good! That's totally fair. Everyone should take everything I said with a grain of salt. It's just one experience. But I'm not out here shilling for the firm. I was just responding to the question.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Micdiddy » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:37 pm

Fruitlobber you're just being dumb. Someone's opinion is just that, their opinion. Your friends who said the same thing about Biglaw probably weren't wrong or trying to mislead people, they just said how they felt about the firm. Everyone knows there's more to judging a firm then one random TLSer's opinion, but reviews like Sundance's above should obviously be encouraged. If you have a different review, say so, but since your clearly not an associate or summer there take your own advice and stfu.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby notgreat » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:48 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Sundance. I understand that Shartsis is very selective, but how grade selective would they be at a lower T14 for someone that was a great fit?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:20 pm

notgreat wrote:Thanks for the thoughtful response, Sundance. I understand that Shartsis is very selective, but how grade selective would they be at a lower T14 for someone that was a great fit?

I don't have anything specific to share. However, as other have noted, their hires have been all over the map school/gradewise (they've hired out of Davis and Hastings, including but not limited to magna/Coif/LR types, but also have hired out of the T14, including but not limited to Coif/LR types). My impression is that there is some minimum threshold to get you an interview, which is probably pretty high; after that point, grades/school don't matter nearly as much as fit, if at all. I would imagine that whatever that grade threshold is, it would be lower the higher up the law school ranking you go, but again I have no direct knowledge of that. Depending on what T14 you are at, I would think the hierarchy of issues would be something like establishing that 1) you really want to be in SF; 2) you are likable and teachable; and 3) you want to be in private firm practice long term. But of all this is how you would approach any SF biglaw interview anyway.

There's also an undeniable level of luck involved. When you're talking about ~2 hires out of thousands of applicants, that's just how it goes.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:16 pm

Phone screener with the hiring partner of Shartsis next week from mass mail. I like what I hear about them.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:59 pm

Jumping in here with a request for a bid list review. SLS transfer coming from a T1, top 3%. Primarily interested in lit. Would love to work in SV because I'm from that area, but I recognize that a lot of the lit practice around here is in SF. I did rank strategically based on bidding trends from the past few years, but would love some general input. All lottery; bids due Aug 1. Thanks in advance!

Fenwick (MV)
MoFo (SF)
Jones Day (SF)
Cooley (SV)
Wilson Sonsini (SV)
Orrick (SF)
OMM (SF)
Gibson Dunn (SV)
Latham (SV)
Farella (SF)
Arnold & Porter (SF)
Kirkland & Ellis (SF)
Sidley Austin (SF)
Winston & Strawn (SF)
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw (SF)
Perkins Coie (SV)
Goodwin Procter (SF)
Paul Hastings (SV)
Sheppard Mullin (SF)
Reed Smith (SF)
DLA Piper (SV)
Davis Polk (SV)
Ropes + Gray (SV)
Morgan Lewis (SV)
Simpson Thacher (SV)
Skadden (SV)
WilmerHale (SV)
Shartsis Friese (SF)
Shearman & Sterling (SV)
Hanson Bridgett (SF)

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Phone screener with the
Anonymous User wrote:Jumping in here with a request for a bid list review. SLS transfer coming from a T1, top 3%. Primarily interested in lit. Would love to work in SV because I'm from that area, but I recognize that a lot of the lit practice around here is in SF. I did rank strategically based on bidding trends from the past few years, but would love some general input. All lottery; bids due Aug 1. Thanks in advance!


Quinn Emanuel
Bingham
is Fish and Richardson still around?
feel like there are some other firms you're missing but can't recall at the moment.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:27 pm

Quinn Emanuel
Bingham
is Fish and Richardson still around?
feel like there are some other firms you're missing but can't recall at the moment.


Thanks for the feedback! I already have a CB scheduled at one of the Quinn offices through direct mailing. Fish & Richardson is around but doing IP only and I do not have a hard science degree. Bingham I have heard is not doing well, so I'm hesitant to bid on them.

I intentionally omitted Covington because I have heard they're not transfer friendly (not sure if being a transfer to SLS changes that equation, but I'm trying to bid conservatively). I also left off Keker & Boies for this reason.




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