Which offer would you take?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:44 pm

OP here: I think only reason that holds me back from taking CWT offer is its reputation and v10 rank difference in comparison to A&P.
Anyone knows if these factors will be significant?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: I think only reason that holds me back from taking CWT offer is its reputation and v10 rank difference in comparison to A&P.
Anyone knows if these factors will be significant?


If that's all it boils down to, I would chose CWT. All firms have pluses and minuses, but my impression from the OCI/callback experience there, and from a close law school friend who summered there, is that CWT's reputation is largely a product of long-ago history and an internet law student feedback loop.

Now, don't get me wrong, they earned every bit of that reputation: they were the first firm to do layoffs in the late 2000's, and they did a lot of them; and, they no-offered a big part of a summer class, and did it in a very insensitive and poorly planned manner. Plus, they tolerated Dennis Block, a rainmaking M&A partner who is probably the all-time reigning champion of terrible bosses. They were (and remain) a highly leveraged firm, and they used to be a hardcore churn-and-burn business model. However, all that having been said, the firm is basically a completely different law firm from the one that existed in 2007; the only thing they share is the name on the door. Dennis Block is gone, the firm is far more diversified and less dependent on securitizations, and from the people I talk to, it's no worse or better a workplace environment than any other NYC biglaw office. Partnership is probably a pipe dream, but again, that's true at most biglaw shops.

And, as far as the Vault rankings go, they're pretty meaningless once you get outside the top 10, even in NYC. No one knows or cares if a firm is at #18 or #30.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here: I think only reason that holds me back from taking CWT offer is its reputation and v10 rank difference in comparison to A&P.
Anyone knows if these factors will be significant?


If that's all it boils down to, I would chose CWT. All firms have pluses and minuses, but my impression from the OCI/callback experience there, and from a close law school friend who summered there, is that CWT's reputation is largely a product of long-ago history and an internet law student feedback loop.

Now, don't get me wrong, they earned every bit of that reputation: they were the first firm to do layoffs in the late 2000's, and they did a lot of them; and, they no-offered a big part of a summer class, and did it in a very insensitive and poorly planned manner. Plus, they tolerated Dennis Block, a rainmaking M&A partner who is probably the all-time reigning champion of terrible bosses. They were (and remain) a highly leveraged firm, and they used to be a hardcore churn-and-burn business model. However, all that having been said, the firm is basically a completely different law firm from the one that existed in 2007; the only thing they share is the name on the door. Dennis Block is gone, the firm is far more diversified and less dependent on securitizations, and from the people I talk to, it's no worse or better a workplace environment than any other NYC biglaw office. Partnership is probably a pipe dream, but again, that's true at most biglaw shops.

And, as far as the Vault rankings go, they're pretty meaningless once you get outside the top 10, even in NYC. No one knows or cares if a firm is at #18 or #30.


2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:31 am

Does anyone know how easy/likely it is to move from one office to another in different location, within the same firm?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:56 am

.

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sunynp
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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:17 am

I'm surprised. I thought A&P is the obvious choice here. I would never suggest that anyone work at Cadwalder, esp. not because of it's vault ranking. Cadwalder isn't that prestigious. I don't know much about PH but it sounds like they no offered people.

Which firm culture did you like better?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Renzo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:37 am

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.


Do you think it would be worth putting stock into no-hire stats from this past year or 2 years?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Renzo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.


Do you think it would be worth putting stock into no-hire stats from this past year or 2 years?


Yes, I would look at how many offers they have made in recent years, if you can find out. I would also try and get a sense from the firm during the interview process where they expect to see the most demand in the short run, and how/why. Is it part of a long-term plan, or a sudden staff-up because of one giant matter. I would look at RPL, and would at least consider the leverage ratio of the firm. I would also watch the legal industry news sources to see what you can find out. Lots of lateral movement by partners in or out of a firm can be a sign that all is not well. Capital calls to partners should raise an eyebrow, as should recently merged firms or firms actively exploring mergers.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:17 am

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.



Yikes. Sorry your firm had layoffs. How firms handled the recession is an important factor because it gives a clue as to how they will handle the economy if and when it gets worse. More importantly, tons of firms laid people off. I wouldn't focus so much on who conducted big attorney layoffs, but rather who did not.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Renzo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.



Yikes. Sorry your firm had layoffs. How firms handled the recession is an important factor because it gives a clue as to how they will handle the economy if and when it gets worse. More importantly, tons of firms laid people off. I wouldn't focus so much on who conducted big attorney layoffs, but rather who did not.


I am not at either of those firms I mentioned (although my firm did do layoffs in 2008). But, you are right that there is something to be said for those (very few) firms that did not conduct layoffs. It means that the partnership was willing to take a personal hit to their income in order to benefit the incoming associates, and that is a good sign.

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Loose Seal
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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Loose Seal » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2008 was not that long ago. I would be wary of any firm that laid off a ton of attorneys. Cadwalader was one of them. So was Paul Hastings. A&P didn't lay off attorneys according to the Layoff Tracker.


This is wrongheaded. Latham and Cadwalader in particular had very large practices doing securitization work. This work completely evaporated in 2008, leaving those firms with hundreds of attorneys doing literally nothing. Yes, it was shitty for those people who were laid off, and yes, both those firms handled it in a shittier than necessary manner. But clinging on to outdated information about a firm's health is not helpful, and likely harmful, if you are looking to protect your career in the here-and-now.



Yikes. Sorry your firm had layoffs. How firms handled the recession is an important factor because it gives a clue as to how they will handle the economy if and when it gets worse. More importantly, tons of firms laid people off. I wouldn't focus so much on who conducted big attorney layoffs, but rather who did not.


Additionally, the manner in which firms handled the layoffs can be illustrative of their attitudes towards certain classes of associates. For example, although I understand that Latham may not have had work for their first-year class when they let everyone go in 2009, the fact that they axed such a disproportionate number of junior associates indicates that they do not value the potential contributions of those attorneys nor their future career paths or marketability. When you are looking to start at a firm in such a vulnerable position as a junior associate, those attitudes are important to consider, IMO.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:44 am

sunynp wrote:I'm surprised. I thought A&P is the obvious choice here. I would never suggest that anyone work at Cadwalder, esp. not because of it's vault ranking. Cadwalder isn't that prestigious. I don't know much about PH but it sounds like they no offered people.

Which firm culture did you like better?


A&P is definitely more prestigious, but that is for the firm-wide. I am reluctant for A&P new york because (1) not HQ, (2) not as diversified in finance related works. Otherwise, I think I would have chosen AP.
Thoughts?

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:27 pm

In addition to what I wrote earlier about PH, check out Am Law's most recent Associate Survey released today: http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticl ... tes_Survey. PH is ranked 2nd overall nationwide, first among AmLaw200 firms, and first in almost every city where they have an office (including NY and LA). Exit options/firm finances are important, but are not the only thing you should consider. Actual having to work at a place for at least 2 and probably more years of your life should definitely be part of your thought process.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:06 pm

Of course, the no offered people don't participate in the associate satisfaction survey.

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Re: Which offer would you take?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sunynp wrote:I'm surprised. I thought A&P is the obvious choice here. I would never suggest that anyone work at Cadwalder, esp. not because of it's vault ranking. Cadwalder isn't that prestigious. I don't know much about PH but it sounds like they no offered people.

Which firm culture did you like better?


A&P is definitely more prestigious, but that is for the firm-wide. I am reluctant for A&P new york because (1) not HQ, (2) not as diversified in finance related works. Otherwise, I think I would have chosen AP.
Thoughts?


OP again: On this regards, would developing a specialty make me a more attractive lateral candidate, or should I rather aim to be a generalist?




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