Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

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buddhabelly
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby buddhabelly » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:36 am

Sorry to bump an old thread, but would SV firms and SF firms overlap at all? As in, would there be Biglaw Firm X in SV AND one in SF? Or are those two places close enough that the difference is negligible.

Also, if I were to do some sort of SF job hunt, would that naturally include SV?

Forgive me I'm so east coast. A one hour drive here is almost a different major city.

fish52
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby fish52 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:16 am

Yes many firms have offices in both. Usually the firms' IP and often the transactional practice will be located in the SV office. SF offices tend to be more lit.

You can target one and not the other. I targeted SF and virtually ignored SV because it's a strip mall suburban hellscape.

Anonymous User
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:26 pm

Can someone point me to a contact email for MoFo San Francisco? NALP and their website only list a phone number.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:06 am

How fatal is no ties?? What if I have some family members there but not really ones I know very well and in general have limited contact with the city?

What would you do to play up ties in my situation?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:59 am

Spent half of summer in a Palo Alto biglaw office, it does have a very suburban feel to it. People in my office commuted from SF but hated it...so keep that in mind if considering SV.

But the weather is 100000x better than San Francisco, which is a consistently freezing town trying its best to play city.Yeah, there's no winter...there's also no summer.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:23 pm

Original OP here, three years later. Figured I'd bump this thread since OCI is fast approaching and I'm in between cases. I am now a second year associate at a firm here in SF and have lived in the city for quite a while.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:32 pm

What are the best firms in SF for transactional work? Is it true that SV has generally more interesting trans practices than SF?

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rpupkin
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are the best firms in SF for transactional work? Is it true that SV has generally more interesting trans practices than SF?

It depends on what you consider "interesting." There is a lot more tech trans work in SV, as you would expect.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:39 pm

Feedback would be much appreciated!

1) BACKGROUND: 4Hs. V5 internship 1L in CA. Graduate degree from Harvard in social sciences. Ties to socal, weak ties to nocal.

2) BID LIST REASONING: Targeting Silicon Valley (SV)/SF firms b/c of big interest in emerging companies/technologies work.
Main factors include (1) % of bid-to-interview; (2) number of emerging companies partners and leverage; (3) compilation of culture rankings. SV unless otherwise noted. I'm not bidding on too many firms b/c I would be happy at my 1L firm's SV location.

3) BID LIST (from highest rank to lowest rank)

Cooley (highest rank on bidlist)
Fenwick
WSGR
Pillsbury
Perkins
Gunderson
DLA Piper
WSGR SF
Latham
Goodwin
Orrick
Orrick SF
Wilmerhale
Sidley
Gibson
GDC
MOFO SF
MOFO PA
O'Melveny

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bruinfan10
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby bruinfan10 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Feedback would be much appreciated!

1) BACKGROUND: 4Hs. V5 internship 1L in CA. Graduate degree from Harvard in social sciences. Ties to socal, weak ties to nocal.

2) BID LIST REASONING: Targeting Silicon Valley (SV)/SF firms b/c of big interest in emerging companies/technologies work.
Main factors include (1) % of bid-to-interview; (2) number of emerging companies partners and leverage; (3) compilation of culture rankings. SV unless otherwise noted. I'm not bidding on too many firms b/c I would be happy at my 1L firm's SV location.

3) BID LIST (from highest rank to lowest rank)

Cooley (highest rank on bidlist)
Fenwick
WSGR
Pillsbury
Perkins
Gunderson
DLA Piper
WSGR SF
Latham
Goodwin
Orrick
Orrick SF
Wilmerhale
Sidley
Gibson
GDC
MOFO SF
MOFO PA
O'Melveny

First important piece of feedback. It's NORCAL. Not nocal. Norcal and Socal and NEVER effing "Cali" or "Frisco." ffs.

Second, I think you're right on with your bids. Those are the SV firms that come to mind for the kind of work you're interested in. Don't worry about "culture rankings" or whatever. Market paying biglaw pretty much sucks equally--experience will vary based on the partner/tyrannical midlevel assigning you work, not the firm. Also, don't give your V5 stuff any kind of creedence for SF/SV. I'd rather be at Fenwick or WSGR than DPW, Weil, or STB SV any day of the week (and I turned all those offices down).

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:53 pm

Median at UT/Vandy with no ties, Patent Bar eligible with prosecution experience

Looking to mass mail firms (as a 3L) in SF/SV, any recommendations for best chances?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:42 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Feedback would be much appreciated!

1) BACKGROUND: 4Hs. V5 internship 1L in CA. Graduate degree from Harvard in social sciences. Ties to socal, weak ties to nocal.

2) BID LIST REASONING: Targeting Silicon Valley (SV)/SF firms b/c of big interest in emerging companies/technologies work.
Main factors include (1) % of bid-to-interview; (2) number of emerging companies partners and leverage; (3) compilation of culture rankings. SV unless otherwise noted. I'm not bidding on too many firms b/c I would be happy at my 1L firm's SV location.

3) BID LIST (from highest rank to lowest rank)

Cooley (highest rank on bidlist)
Fenwick
WSGR
Pillsbury
Perkins
Gunderson
DLA Piper
WSGR SF
Latham
Goodwin
Orrick
Orrick SF
Wilmerhale
Sidley
Gibson
GDC
MOFO SF
MOFO PA
O'Melveny

First important piece of feedback. It's NORCAL. Not nocal. Norcal and Socal and NEVER effing "Cali" or "Frisco." ffs.

Second, I think you're right on with your bids. Those are the SV firms that come to mind for the kind of work you're interested in. Don't worry about "culture rankings" or whatever. Market paying biglaw pretty much sucks equally--experience will vary based on the partner/tyrannical midlevel assigning you work, not the firm. Also, don't give your V5 stuff any kind of creedence for SF/SV. I'd rather be at Fenwick or WSGR than DPW, Weil, or STB SV any day of the week (and I turned all those offices down).


1) Thanks so much for the feedback! hahah, duly noted not to say "nocal" (stupid HLS system calls it that so it stuck with me)

2) My biggest worry is my median grades, given the Bay Area's competitive reputation. Any thoughts/advice on that?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:56 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What are the best firms in SF for transactional work? Is it true that SV has generally more interesting trans practices than SF?

It depends on what you consider "interesting." There is a lot more tech trans work in SV, as you would expect.


OP here: I should clarify that I'm a lit associate with no experience with corporate work. (I'll also sign my responses from here on out "Dolores Park" so as to stop writing "OP Here" every time I respond).

However, I think that the general top-tier SF firms are also the ones with the best corporate practices, or at least the broadest ones. It seems that most of my friends who wanted corporate work in the Bay Area self-selected into SV firms, though, with Fenwick, Wilson, and Orrick being favorites. When going through OCI it seemed that SV firms were making way more corporate offers than similarly sized offices in SF, for what it's worth.

- Dolores Park

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Feedback would be much appreciated!

1) BACKGROUND: 4Hs. V5 internship 1L in CA. Graduate degree from Harvard in social sciences. Ties to socal, weak ties to nocal.

2) BID LIST REASONING: Targeting Silicon Valley (SV)/SF firms b/c of big interest in emerging companies/technologies work.
Main factors include (1) % of bid-to-interview; (2) number of emerging companies partners and leverage; (3) compilation of culture rankings. SV unless otherwise noted. I'm not bidding on too many firms b/c I would be happy at my 1L firm's SV location.

3) BID LIST (from highest rank to lowest rank)

Cooley (highest rank on bidlist)
Fenwick
WSGR
Pillsbury
Perkins
Gunderson
DLA Piper
WSGR SF
Latham
Goodwin
Orrick
Orrick SF
Wilmerhale
Sidley
Gibson
GDC
MOFO SF
MOFO PA
O'Melveny

First important piece of feedback. It's NORCAL. Not nocal. Norcal and Socal and NEVER effing "Cali" or "Frisco." ffs.

Second, I think you're right on with your bids. Those are the SV firms that come to mind for the kind of work you're interested in. Don't worry about "culture rankings" or whatever. Market paying biglaw pretty much sucks equally--experience will vary based on the partner/tyrannical midlevel assigning you work, not the firm. Also, don't give your V5 stuff any kind of creedence for SF/SV. I'd rather be at Fenwick or WSGR than DPW, Weil, or STB SV any day of the week (and I turned all those offices down).


1) Thanks so much for the feedback! hahah, duly noted not to say "nocal" (stupid HLS system calls it that so it stuck with me)

2) My biggest worry is my median grades, given the Bay Area's competitive reputation. Any thoughts/advice on that?


Agreed with everything said above. If you're at Skadden or S&C LA right now and think you'll have a better experience at their SV office than one of the bigger SV shops, you're mistaken. That being said, I can't think of many firms off the top of my head (edit: any firms) that you are missing. If Stanford/Berkeley OCI is similar at all to HLS, you'll have a tough time getting Gunderson at 6 or Orrick/Sidley/GDC/MoFo that low, so I might bump them up. Unless Cooley has required a #1 bid before, you should feel safer with it lower, even if it is your top choice.

With your grades, the Cooley/Wilson/Fenwicks of the world are more than in play, even without ties, given your interest in emerging companies work. The biggest wildcard will be how many other folks in your class want that type of work and how big a pool you're competing against. The only firms on your list that I think your grades could cause problems for are Gibson and, to a lesser extent, MoFo, but I know that both have dipped down to the 3-4 H range at HLS/SLS in the past, so they remain worth a bid, just not a super high one.

- Dolores Park

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Median at UT/Vandy with no ties, Patent Bar eligible with prosecution experience

Looking to mass mail firms (as a 3L) in SF/SV, any recommendations for best chances?


It might sound glib, but the only correct answer is "every single firm with a patent IP or prosecution group." Even then, I think you're going to have a particularly tough time. Do you have a 2L offer? Did you work during the year doing prosecution?

- Dolores Park

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:34 pm

It might sound glib, but the only correct answer is "every single firm with a patent IP or prosecution group." Even then, I think you're going to have a particularly tough time. Do you have a 2L offer? Did you work during the year doing prosecution?

- Dolores Park


Offer should come in the next couple weeks. Was at an mid-sized IP boutique this summer (no office in CA). Have had 3 internships, all prosecution.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:43 am

I'm primarily interested in private public interest firms and litigation boutiques, but want to bid on a few big firms to be safe. I have very good grades and don't want to do IP. Any suggestions for best firms for litigation (not in Silicon Valley)? Also any thoughts on the litigation boutiques would be great.

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rpupkin
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm primarily interested in private public interest firms and litigation boutiques, but want to bid on a few big firms to be safe. I have very good grades and don't want to do IP. Any suggestions for best firms for litigation (not in Silicon Valley)? Also any thoughts on the litigation boutiques would be great.

All the defense-side litigation boutiques in San Francisco do a fair amount of IP lit. If you don't want to do IP, your options are very limited, especially if you're looking for a summer associate position. Altshuler Berzon seems like a good fit for you, though it's pretty tough to get a job there if you don't go to HYSB.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:21 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm primarily interested in private public interest firms and litigation boutiques, but want to bid on a few big firms to be safe. I have very good grades and don't want to do IP. Any suggestions for best firms for litigation (not in Silicon Valley)? Also any thoughts on the litigation boutiques would be great.

All the defense-side litigation boutiques in San Francisco do a fair amount of IP lit. If you don't want to do IP, your options are very limited, especially if you're looking for a summer associate position. Altshuler Berzon seems like a good fit for you, though it's pretty tough to get a job there if you don't go to HYSB.


I agree with this. Keker, for example, does a substantial amount of IP work. When you say IP, do you mean patents, or all IP-related work? If you are only hoping to avoid patent work, some of the smaller firms could still be good fits (Shartsis Friese, Farella, Hanson, MTO, etc.).

If you're hoping to avoid IP altogether, I think you'd be well-served looking into the larger defense-side firms. Most of the litigation firms in the city have large numbers of non-IP attorneys (Quinn being the major exception I can think of off the top of my head).

- Dolores Park

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
It might sound glib, but the only correct answer is "every single firm with a patent IP or prosecution group." Even then, I think you're going to have a particularly tough time. Do you have a 2L offer? Did you work during the year doing prosecution?

- Dolores Park


Offer should come in the next couple weeks. Was at an mid-sized IP boutique this summer (no office in CA). Have had 3 internships, all prosecution.


With an offer in hand, it can't hurt to reach out to every possible firm in SV. But I think it will be noticeably easier if you go to your current firm for a couple of years and then attempt to transfer to SF/SV as a third year.

- Dolores Park

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rpupkin
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm primarily interested in private public interest firms and litigation boutiques, but want to bid on a few big firms to be safe. I have very good grades and don't want to do IP. Any suggestions for best firms for litigation (not in Silicon Valley)? Also any thoughts on the litigation boutiques would be great.

All the defense-side litigation boutiques in San Francisco do a fair amount of IP lit. If you don't want to do IP, your options are very limited, especially if you're looking for a summer associate position. Altshuler Berzon seems like a good fit for you, though it's pretty tough to get a job there if you don't go to HYSB.

I agree with this. Keker, for example, does a substantial amount of IP work. When you say IP, do you mean patents, or all IP-related work? If you are only hoping to avoid patent work, some of the smaller firms could still be good fits (Shartsis Friese, Farella, Hanson, MTO, etc.)

Not sure about Hansen, but the other three all do a fair amount of patent lit as well. I mean, that's basically why MTO opened its SF office. I think it would be tough for a junior associate to avoid patent lit at any of those firms.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:34 pm

Might as well, since others seem to be doing it!

Background: HLS, medianish, strong ties to the area, want transactional. A few firms omitted because of interviews before OCI. Gibson and Arnold Porter are skippable, right?

Bidlist (all SF/SV, in order):

MoFo
Fenwick
Orrick
Cooley
Gunderson
Wilson Sonsini
Skadden
Ropes & Gray
Kirkland
OMM
Davis Polk
DLA Piper
Perkins Coie
Sullivan & Cromwell
Covington
Sidley Austin
Paul Hastings
Goodwin Proctor
White & Case
Jones Day
Farella Braun
Mayer Brown
Baker Botts
Pillsbury

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rpupkin
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Might as well, since others seem to be doing it!

Background: HLS, medianish, strong ties to the area, want transactional. A few firms omitted because of interviews before OCI. Gibson and Arnold Porter are skippable, right?

Bidlist (all SF/SV, in order):

MoFo
Fenwick
Orrick
Cooley
Gunderson
Wilson Sonsini
Skadden
Ropes & Gray
Kirkland
OMM
Davis Polk
DLA Piper
Perkins Coie
Sullivan & Cromwell
Covington
Sidley Austin
Paul Hastings
Goodwin Proctor
White & Case
Jones Day
Farella Braun
Mayer Brown
Baker Botts
Pillsbury


Given your grades and interests, Farella, Covington, and Mayer Brown all seem like wasted bids to me.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:52 pm

I'm the poster from above, thanks! I say I want transactional, but I also do want to keep doors open if possible and I have plenty of bids to spare. Covington doesn't break down their practice areas on NALP, but I'm assuming they're mostly lit? Am I not competitive enough for Farella? They seem to do a fair amount of corporate work, especially in the wine industry.

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rpupkin
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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the poster from above, thanks! I say I want transactional, but I also do want to keep doors open if possible and I have plenty of bids to spare. Covington doesn't break down their practice areas on NALP, but I'm assuming they're mostly lit? Am I not competitive enough for Farella? They seem to do a fair amount of corporate work, especially in the wine industry.

Covington is mostly lit and probably wants above-median grades, even from HLS. Farella is basically a lit boutique, though you're right that they have a wine practice. I think Mayer Brown is mostly lit.

As far as your grades go, I wouldn't count yourself out at too many places, as most of these firms will take a median HLS grad if they like you. Off the top of my head, your grades probably disqualify you from Gibson, Covington, A&P, Keker, and maybe a couple of other firms. But most SF/SV offices will at least consider you.




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