Susman Godfrey

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:01 pm

is it true that these guys only hire from the t14? does someone from a school in the 50-75 range who graduates magna and does a fed clerkship in a prestigious district have a chance at getting an interview?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:is it true that these guys only hire from the t14? does someone from a school in the 50-75 range who graduates magna and does a fed clerkship in a prestigious district have a chance at getting an interview?


They realistically only recruit from UT-Austin, U of Houston, and HYSCC. There are many T14 schools which they've never hired an associate from.

I'm not 100% sure but you should have a chance if you graduate #1 or close to it in your class at a T50-75 and you had a prestigious federal clerkship.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby thesealocust » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:is it true that these guys only hire from the t14? does someone from a school in the 50-75 range who graduates magna and does a fed clerkship in a prestigious district have a chance at getting an interview?


They realistically only recruit from UT-Austin, U of Houston, and HYSCC. There are many T14 schools which they've never hired an associate from.

I'm not 100% sure but you should have a chance if you graduate #1 or close to it in your class at a T50-75 and you had a prestigious federal clerkship.


It isn't that rigid. They're a small firm with a smaller summer program (they often talk about canceling it alltogether and only do 6 weeks, at least as of last I checked) so they don't do OCI at many schools. But students from all T14s in the top of their class have a shot if they send in applications.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:is it true that these guys only hire from the t14? does someone from a school in the 50-75 range who graduates magna and does a fed clerkship in a prestigious district have a chance at getting an interview?


They realistically only recruit from UT-Austin, U of Houston, and HYSCC. There are many T14 schools which they've never hired an associate from.

I'm not 100% sure but you should have a chance if you graduate #1 or close to it in your class at a T50-75 and you had a prestigious federal clerkship.


It isn't that rigid. They're a small firm with a smaller summer program (they often talk about canceling it alltogether and only do 6 weeks, at least as of last I checked) so they don't do OCI at many schools. But students from all T14s in the top of their class have a shot if they send in applications.


4 weeks now (but other information is correct).

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby TXIPLitigator » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:52 pm

...
Last edited by TXIPLitigator on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby L’Étranger » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:06 pm

fatduck wrote:it's a great place to work, but it takes a certain personality to thrive there. you need to be the type of person that isn't afraid of ridicule, and isn't afraid to put their name to something, even if they aren't sure it's correct. the culture there is all about taking personal ownership of your work, from the most detailed memo to the simplest question on an online forum.


Shout-out. This was quite clever.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:16 pm

How selective is Susman compared to Irell, Williams & Connolly, and Keker?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How selective is Susman compared to Irell, Williams & Connolly, and Keker?


way more selective than Irell

comparable to W&C and Keker

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:03 pm

susman might be the most selective firm there is

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:51 am

A scattershot of questions about Susman:

Along with higher reward possibilities, does Susman carry higher risk as well? Unlike a big firm with reliable large clients, Susman takes more one-off cases and many cases on contingency. How would losing a few high-profile cases affect Susman's prospects?

How will the firm fare when Steve Susman retires?

How do potential exit options compare between a top big lawfirm and Susman? Which is perceived as more prestigious?

Given the eat-what-you-kill mentality of the firm, how competitive is Susman within the firm?

Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A scattershot of questions about Susman:

Along with higher reward possibilities, does Susman carry higher risk as well? Unlike a big firm with reliable large clients, Susman takes more one-off cases and many cases on contingency. How would losing a few high-profile cases affect Susman's prospects?


The firm actually does 40% defense work and only 60% plaintiff. The defense work includes some large reliable clients that generates most of the hourly work that Susman does. The motto at the firm is that they do the defense work to pay for expenses and do the plaintiff work on top of that to make the big money.

Just look at the firms bonuses to associates the last 10 years. The firm has consistently been paying between 40k-100k in associate bonuses. The firm has also not laid off one attorney or staff worker during the whole financial crises. Given all this evidence, I think the firm is HIGHLY stable. The contingency cases are there to give the firm the ridiculous years they've had in the past when some partners make 10's of million of dollars in a single year and associates receive bonuses equivalent to their base salaries.

How will the firm fare when Steve Susman retires?


The firm already has a plan for what to do post-Steve Susman. One of the major fallacies people make is that they assume the firm is all about Steve. Although he's the one who started it, he's not even the biggest rainmaker at the firm anymore. They are a number of other attorneys at the firm which bring in more big money clients than him. The firm will be fine post-Steve Susman.

How do potential exit options compare between a top big lawfirm and Susman? Which is perceived as more prestigious?


Susman isn't the type of firm people go to for "exit options." When some gets hired there, its with the assumption that they'll go on to become partner. However, given how much more experience Susman associates gain in comparison to associates at biglaw firms, you'll always have many options if you decide to leave.

Given the eat-what-you-kill mentality of the firm, how competitive is Susman within the firm?


From my experience, the firm is very collegial. Everyone knows one another really well (considering how small it is). And everyone gets along. The families also know one another. And many of the attorneys live in the same neighborhoods.

This is not to say folks aren't competitive. You don't become an attorney at a place like Susman without being competitive. I just don't think the climate is detrimental. If you are the type of person who enjoys working hard and trying to win big cases and make a lot of money then you'll fit in.

Remember, the partner compensation model isn't totally eat-what-you-kill. A portion of the money any client brings in is spread between the rest of the partners. The billing partner just gets the benefit of getting a lot more of what he brings in compared to other biglaw firms.

Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?


I think Susman wins big time in all 3 areas when compared to V5 firms. At any of those large NYC firms, you'll be working just as many hours as any Susman associate (~2500-2700); however, you won't have anywhere close to the amount of substantive experience you will have at Susman.

At Cravath, sure you'll bill 2700 hours but almost all of those hours will be doing doc review, writing memos, preparing depos but never taking them, being at hearings but never actually speaking. At Susman, however, sure you'll do some of the grunt work of doing doc review and preparing depos, but you'll also get all the fun stuff out of the litigation experience. You'll take depos on your own all across the country, you'll argue motions that you wrote rather than having a partner do it. You argue hearings in court rather than just attending them. This leads you to becoming a more competent attorney in a much shorter time than many of your peers.

You also get paid WAY MORE than almost any other biglaw firm. Just look at their website and see what they paid their associates the last couple of years. The top associates at Cravath (8th and 9th years) got paid less than the most junior associates at Susman last year (1st and 2nd years). There is no question that when it comes to compensation, Susman is PEERLESS.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby quiver » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?
I'll defer to the more knowledgeable people on your other questions, but, with respect to this one, I would take Susman over pretty much any other firm. Different people weigh factors differently, but the most important factor for me is getting as much substantive experience as possible early in my career. Susman is excellent for that. And on a sidenote, V5 isn't really a good distinction to draw anyway; for example, I would take W&C over any V5.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:20 pm

I know very little about Susman, but I spent my summer at another firm that's listed pretty high up on Vault's list of "elite litigation boutiques" and wanted to add my 2 cents in about these firms generally.

1) Exit options are not appreciably better than well-regarded biglaw firms. For example, if you were magna at HLS, clerked, and worked at Debevoise, you'll probably be in the same position as if you were magna at HLS, clerked, and worked for Susman or Bartlit Beck. Getting a job as an AUSA or other desirable government posts is hard everywhere, even from these firms.

2) There's no monolithic "biglaw" experience. Totally depends on partner, city, practice group, etc. There are partners at my firm that had absolutely terrible, soul-crushing experiences at Cravath et al (very much like the poster above describes, doing doc review and meaningless research for 2500 hours a year), and there were also partners at my firm who mused out loud that maybe I would have been better off at a Davis Polk or Cravath for the first few years of my career.

3) The first few years are going to be stressful as shit. Even if you clerk, you won't really know how to do things, and there will be a lot expected of you. The big-firm model certainly has its drawbacks, but I'm not so sure that the training wheels are all bad. But perhaps that's only because I don't know how bad the first few years in biglaw really are.

4) It's just as easy to get stuck on a bad case or with a bad partner at a firm like this.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:33 pm

quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?
I'll defer to the more knowledgeable people on your other questions, but, with respect to this one, I would take Susman over pretty much any other firm. Different people weigh factors differently, but the most important factor for me is getting as much substantive experience as possible early in my career. Susman is excellent for that. And on a sidenote, V5 isn't really a good distinction to draw anyway; for example, I would take W&C over any V5.


I appreciate the responses. Regarding the sidenote, I agree with you and was using V5 as an imperfect shorthand for the tippy top of BigLaw. Here's a follow-up:

Of course the opportunity to gain immediate stand-up litigation experience at a place like Susman is appealing. But the most recent poster makes a good point about the usefulness of "training wheels" during the first few years in biglaw. Doesn't practicing law require some apprenticeship? Or do young lawyers at Susman just know how to take good depositions and the like? Is there any training or mentorship provided?

And if you ask questions like these as a young associate or summer associate, or you need some guidance doing something you've never done before, are you looked down upon or helped?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?
I'll defer to the more knowledgeable people on your other questions, but, with respect to this one, I would take Susman over pretty much any other firm. Different people weigh factors differently, but the most important factor for me is getting as much substantive experience as possible early in my career. Susman is excellent for that. And on a sidenote, V5 isn't really a good distinction to draw anyway; for example, I would take W&C over any V5.


I appreciate the responses. Regarding the sidenote, I agree with you and was using V5 as an imperfect shorthand for the tippy top of BigLaw. Here's a follow-up:

Of course the opportunity to gain immediate stand-up litigation experience at a place like Susman is appealing. But the most recent poster makes a good point about the usefulness of "training wheels" during the first few years in biglaw. Doesn't practicing law require some apprenticeship? Or do young lawyers at Susman just know how to take good depositions and the like? Is there any training or mentorship provided?

And if you ask questions like these as a young associate or summer associate, or you need some guidance doing something you've never done before, are you looked down upon or helped?


I think these kind of concerns separate those who are fit to be associates at Susman and those who are not fit. If you're too worried about making mistakes to take risks then this firm isn't for you. To be successful at Susman requires not being afraid to make mistakes. If you're the kind of person who wants stuff looked over by someone else before turning in the assignment then you might be better off getting your hand held at a biglaw firm. However, if you're a go-getter who is ready to jump right into the deep end not worried about the consequences then Susman is the place for you.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
quiver wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Overall, accounting for experience, compensation, and quality of life, which is better in your opinion: being a litigation associate at a V5 or with Susman?
I'll defer to the more knowledgeable people on your other questions, but, with respect to this one, I would take Susman over pretty much any other firm. Different people weigh factors differently, but the most important factor for me is getting as much substantive experience as possible early in my career. Susman is excellent for that. And on a sidenote, V5 isn't really a good distinction to draw anyway; for example, I would take W&C over any V5.


I appreciate the responses. Regarding the sidenote, I agree with you and was using V5 as an imperfect shorthand for the tippy top of BigLaw. Here's a follow-up:

Of course the opportunity to gain immediate stand-up litigation experience at a place like Susman is appealing. But the most recent poster makes a good point about the usefulness of "training wheels" during the first few years in biglaw. Doesn't practicing law require some apprenticeship? Or do young lawyers at Susman just know how to take good depositions and the like? Is there any training or mentorship provided?

And if you ask questions like these as a young associate or summer associate, or you need some guidance doing something you've never done before, are you looked down upon or helped?


I think these kind of concerns separate those who are fit to be associates at Susman and those who are not fit. If you're too worried about making mistakes to take risks then this firm isn't for you. To be successful at Susman requires not being afraid to make mistakes. If you're the kind of person who wants stuff looked over by someone else before turning in the assignment then you might be better off getting your hand held at a biglaw firm. However, if you're a go-getter who is ready to jump right into the deep end not worried about the consequences then Susman is the place for you.


I might not be afraid of making mistakes, but my liability insurer is... and, I'm not afraid of the consequences of "jumping right into the deep end", but my client is, because they will be the ones paying for the mistake...

No one is perfect on their own.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:44 pm

Anyone heard anything from the LA or Seattle offices? Also, do most associates lateral in, or is the summer program the main pipeline to employment?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:Also, do most associates lateral in, or is the summer program the main pipeline to employment?


Many Susman associates are recruited and hired out of clerkships. As the firm website says: "Each office has become successful and grown by focusing on hiring the best lawyers available from federal clerkships rather than through mergers or lateral hires." (http://www.susmangodfrey.com/About-Us/). That's also the reason the summer program, if you can call it that, is only four weeks long and not a particularly high firm priority.

Anonymous User wrote:1) Exit options are not appreciably better than well-regarded biglaw firms. For example, if you were magna at HLS, clerked, and worked at Debevoise, you'll probably be in the same position as if you were magna at HLS, clerked, and worked for Susman or Bartlit Beck. Getting a job as an AUSA or other desirable government posts is hard everywhere, even from these firms.


Fair enough as far as it concerns government posts. But it seems to me you're missing a key point.

The fella that worked at Susman would have a good chance to lateral to Debevoise or comparable firms at any time. He would leave Susman having gained significantly more substantive experience than his peers in biglaw and with negotiating leverage against lateral-hiring firms as a result of Susman's higher pay and shorter partnership track.

But the fella that worked at Debevoise would probably not be able to lateral to Susman.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:43 am

The fella that worked at Susman would have a good chance to lateral to Debevoise or comparable firms at any time


You sure about this?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:02 am

Is Susman gay-friendly? From talking to various associates, I've heard that even the few conservative offices in New York are, but some places in Texas aren't. How is Susman?

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is Susman gay-friendly? From talking to various associates, I've heard that even the few conservative offices in New York are, but some places in Texas aren't. How is Susman?


Dude. Susman is a super liberal place......just like almost any other law firm. Even the Texas offices. Work there or talk to people who have worked there before making generalizations.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby fatduck » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is Susman gay-friendly? From talking to various associates, I've heard that even the few conservative offices in New York are, but some places in Texas aren't. How is Susman?


Dude. Susman is a super liberal place......just like almost any other law firm. Even the Texas offices. Work there or talk to people who have worked there before making generalizations.

good idea. if only he could find some kind of law-themed forum where he could ask about this and educate himself.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:49 am

Work there or talk to people who have worked there before making generalizations.

This is great advice. If you're gay and you're worried that some workplace isn't gay-friendly, you know what you should do? Risk your entire future by beginning your career there.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:38 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
The fella that worked at Susman would have a good chance to lateral to Debevoise or comparable firms at any time


You sure about this?


Yes. Susman doesn't take laterals either.

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Re: Susman Godfrey

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:02 pm

fatduck wrote:it's a great place to work, but it takes a certain personality to thrive there. you need to be the type of person that isn't afraid of ridicule, and isn't afraid to put their name to something, even if they aren't sure it's correct. the culture there is all about taking personal ownership of your work, from the most detailed memo to the simplest question on an online forum.


LOL....underrated

God forbid your TLS handle be outed when asking for thoughts on susman




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