Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:56 pm

Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?


What kind of litigation? That'll affect the answers you get.

Munger and Keker are at the top, though Munger doesn't seem to be too keen on laterals. Keker is more accessible as a lateral.

Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Covington, MoFo.


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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby V10Lateral » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=269185


I have a similar question about tiers for corporate firms (M&A and EC/VC work). I know a dated list was posted 6 or 7 years ago, but would love to hear updated opinions on how corporate firms (non-native firms especially) compare for quality of work, reputation, exit options, etc. Which corporate firms are considered the strongest in SF proper?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?


What kind of litigation? That'll affect the answers you get.

Munger and Keker are at the top, though Munger doesn't seem to be too keen on laterals. Keker is more accessible as a lateral.

Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Covington, MoFo.


Where does BSF Oakland fit in?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:18 pm

V10Lateral wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=269185


I have a similar question about tiers for corporate firms (M&A and EC/VC work). I know a dated list was posted 6 or 7 years ago, but would love to hear updated opinions on how corporate firms (non-native firms especially) compare for quality of work, reputation, exit options, etc. Which corporate firms are considered the strongest in SF proper?


For non-native firms I think really only Goodwin gets close on the EC/VC work and it's pretty close to being as good as the natives for that. Latham may be a second choice there. For M&A I would say Weil (I think they may have had some partner departures but I think are still a heavyweight) and Skadden. Kirkland does good PE but I've heard less than stellar things about hours/culture there.

Mofo does okay for corporate/M&A work outside of EC/VC. Otherwise, the native valley firms are good options. I think every other firm other than listed here are less than in terms of corporate work but many others have it available.

For SF proper WSGR, Fenwick and Cooley all have offices there. Cooley is about the only one with a real, full service general corporate office complete with real rainmaker partners doing that kind of practice. WSGR has early stage EC in SOMA and M&A in FiDi. Not sure about Fenwick but it seems like the bulk of their general corporate work is in SV. Mofo is obviously large up there and that's where K&E's main office is.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby freekick » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:20 pm

How accurate is this for general commercial litigation: https://www.chambersandpartners.com/120 ... torial/5/1

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?


What kind of litigation? That'll affect the answers you get.

Munger and Keker are at the top, though Munger doesn't seem to be too keen on laterals. Keker is more accessible as a lateral.

Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Covington, MoFo.


Where does BSF Oakland fit in?


The short answer to your question is probably somewhere below Munger/Keker, above or at least on par with most of the bigger offices listed above, but it really depends on what you're looking for. BSF Oakland is historically pretty small office without a big profile in the area, but they've brought on a number of new partners in the last year or so, and they do some cases with pretty big clients. Probably growing. Culturally probably closer to Keker than Munger.

It's hard to push the SF firms into clean tiers, because so much depends on what practice area you want, what size you want, and what culture you want. Munger and Keker are the two "best" medium/large-size firms for general lit in the city, but they're culturally very distinct. I don't know many people who would be happy at both places. And after those two, there isn't any clear hierarchy. If you want to be at a top boutique and do IP work, look at Durie. Covington will be similarly focused on IP, though less "elite" and a larger office. Orrick has some very good appellate work. Boies is a smaller office but gets some big tech company work here and as noted may be growing. Gibson, Latham, MoFo, Quinn all do good work.

Plaintiff-side work is obviously a whole different ballgame, but some of the top plaintiffs' firms in the country are here.

(FWIW, the Chambers firm rankings above are CA-wide, and in any case strike me as totally off.)

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?


What kind of litigation? That'll affect the answers you get.

Munger and Keker are at the top, though Munger doesn't seem to be too keen on laterals. Keker is more accessible as a lateral.

Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Covington, MoFo.


Where does BSF Oakland fit in?


The short answer to your question is probably somewhere below Munger/Keker, above or at least on par with most of the bigger offices listed above, but it really depends on what you're looking for. BSF Oakland is historically pretty small office without a big profile in the area, but they've brought on a number of new partners in the last year or so, and they do some cases with pretty big clients. Probably growing. Culturally probably closer to Keker than Munger.

It's hard to push the SF firms into clean tiers, because so much depends on what practice area you want, what size you want, and what culture you want. Munger and Keker are the two "best" medium/large-size firms for general lit in the city, but they're culturally very distinct. I don't know many people who would be happy at both places. And after those two, there isn't any clear hierarchy. If you want to be at a top boutique and do IP work, look at Durie. Covington will be similarly focused on IP, though less "elite" and a larger office. Orrick has some very good appellate work. Boies is a smaller office but gets some big tech company work here and as noted may be growing. Gibson, Latham, MoFo, Quinn all do good work.

Plaintiff-side work is obviously a whole different ballgame, but some of the top plaintiffs' firms in the country are here.

(FWIW, the Chambers firm rankings above are CA-wide, and in any case strike me as totally off.)


How are Keker/Munger culturally distinct in your view? I'm curious to know why you think some people would not be happy at both.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thinking of making a lateral move to San Francisco, does anyone have a sense of litigation tiers and growth trajectory of the top of the market?


What kind of litigation? That'll affect the answers you get.

Munger and Keker are at the top, though Munger doesn't seem to be too keen on laterals. Keker is more accessible as a lateral.

Gibson Dunn, Quinn, Covington, MoFo.


Where does BSF Oakland fit in?


The short answer to your question is probably somewhere below Munger/Keker, above or at least on par with most of the bigger offices listed above, but it really depends on what you're looking for. BSF Oakland is historically pretty small office without a big profile in the area, but they've brought on a number of new partners in the last year or so, and they do some cases with pretty big clients. Probably growing. Culturally probably closer to Keker than Munger.

It's hard to push the SF firms into clean tiers, because so much depends on what practice area you want, what size you want, and what culture you want. Munger and Keker are the two "best" medium/large-size firms for general lit in the city, but they're culturally very distinct. I don't know many people who would be happy at both places. And after those two, there isn't any clear hierarchy. If you want to be at a top boutique and do IP work, look at Durie. Covington will be similarly focused on IP, though less "elite" and a larger office. Orrick has some very good appellate work. Boies is a smaller office but gets some big tech company work here and as noted may be growing. Gibson, Latham, MoFo, Quinn all do good work.

Plaintiff-side work is obviously a whole different ballgame, but some of the top plaintiffs' firms in the country are here.

(FWIW, the Chambers firm rankings above are CA-wide, and in any case strike me as totally off.)


How are Keker/Munger culturally distinct in your view? I'm curious to know why you think some people would not be happy at both.


Though both extraordinarily selective my sense is that Munger is a bit stuffier than Keker (which seems not stuffy at all for a prestigious law firm). Also, Keker has only one office (SF) whereas Munger now has 3 and LA is the largest and oldest which is bound to change the culture some. I would be curious to hear what others think the differences are as well.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:40 pm

The reductionist answer boils down to this: The Keker kids did the trial advocacy competitions in law school, the Munger kids did the appellate moot courts.

~ SF-based litigator with friends at both firms

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:29 pm

Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?


Not sure if this count as a "specific circumstance" but they don't do appellate work.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?


Not sure if this count as a "specific circumstance" but they don't do appellate work.


Are you sure?

https://www.keker.com/services/appellate

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?


Would say so. Keker is a powerhouse in San Francisco in terms of prestige and quality of work.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:08 pm

anybody have any (anecdotal or not) info on white collar practices in sf? Tiers?

I've checked chambers but that includes a bunch of LA practices...

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:anybody have any (anecdotal or not) info on white collar practices in sf? Tiers?

I've checked chambers but that includes a bunch of LA practices...


San Francisco does not have anywhere near the amount of white collar work (even when size disparities are factored in) when compared to say DC or New York. That said, one anecdotal way to find out where good white collar practices are is to look at where former high level regulators from the region go and what shops get retained to deal with high-level criminal investigations. Some of the resulting names are what you might expect:

Covington, Keker, Latham, Gibson Dunn, Orrick, MoFo etc.

But there are several other firms that have a very accomplished white collar partner or two. Whether an associate could actually come in and expect to work with them exclusively (or even for a significant amount of their time) seems uncertain.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:15 pm

How difficult is it to lateral from one of the native SV practices as an Emerging Companies/VC lawyer (WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick) to one of the traditional M&A/Cap markets firms (DPW/STB, etc) and vice versa?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How difficult is it to lateral from one of the native SV practices as an Emerging Companies/VC lawyer (WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick) to one of the traditional M&A/Cap markets firms (DPW/STB, etc) and vice versa?


I wouldn’t say that either move is common, retooling your practice is difficult at any stage, but from my anecdotal experience as an associate at a traditional top M&A/Cap markets firm, there are many more people who have lateraled into native SV practices to do EC/VC work than vice versa.

I think it’s primarily due to the fact that the culture is so distinctly different that few people starting at native SV practice would be interested in a traditional white shoe firm (it’s hard to understate just how different it really is). It’s also partially due to the fact that the vast majority of associates at traditional white shoe firms are home grown. After 2.5 years at my firm, I’ve only seen 1 or 2 laterals join our M&A/Cap markets groups. To put that in perspective, we’ve lost 35+ associates since January 1 lateraling to other firms.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How difficult is it to lateral from one of the native SV practices as an Emerging Companies/VC lawyer (WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick) to one of the traditional M&A/Cap markets firms (DPW/STB, etc) and vice versa?


Conventional wisdom, which I believe is correct, is that it's much easier to go from DPW/STB to WSGR/Cooley/Fenwick. I see it happen all the time. Almost never see it go the other way.

I do think it's a bit weird to refer to DPW/STB as traditional M&A/Cap markets vis a vis the valley firms. The valley firms all do a lot of M&A (generally more seller side) and cap markets (i.e. like ALL the tech IPOs). I'm never sure how much people understand that the valley firms do rep public companies, not just startups.

Personally, I'd never want to be at DPW/STB in the bay area over WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley. I really don't think NYC archetypes hold up out here. I think WSGR/Fenwick/Cooley get the better deals if you're in the Bay Area. Go to those other firms if you want to rep NYC clients.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:27 pm

What are the best SF Plaintiffs firms? Preferably in securities lit work but open to other stuff too.

I know of:
Leiff Cabraser, Altshuler Berzon, Robbins Geller.

Also would be interested in which of these didn't require SCOTUS level stats. I have an okay resume but its nothing amazing. Top 1/3 at GW/WUSTL/ND/BU. Law Review, no position. 2 years at V30ish NYC and now working as a Manhattan ADA in white collar. Originally from SF.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?


Not sure if this count as a "specific circumstance" but they don't do appellate work.


Are you sure?

https://www.keker.com/services/appellate


I should've added a "really" before do. Someone I know said they wanted to do appellate work during their interview and the interviewer told them that's not something they really do. I also know folks who have chosen MTO over Keker post-clerkship for this exact same reason.

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:06 am

Has anyone heard anything about Quinn Emanuel's SF office?

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Re: Let's Talk San Francisco - Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does it make sense to say, absent some specific circumstance, Keker would probably be the top place to be as a litigation associate for most people?


Not sure if this count as a "specific circumstance" but they don't do appellate work.


Are you sure?

https://www.keker.com/services/appellate


I should've added a "really" before do. Someone I know said they wanted to do appellate work during their interview and the interviewer told them that's not something they really do. I also know folks who have chosen MTO over Keker post-clerkship for this exact same reason.


Keker has just one appellate partner who does all their appellate work. Not really a full on appellate practice.



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