Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

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Which one would you choose?

Paul Weiss
18
86%
Cleary
3
14%
 
Total votes: 21

Anonymous User
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Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:31 pm

So these are the two firms I'm deciding between.

Several questions: (1) How much better is PW for litigation than Cleary. (2) What will the difference be in terms of prestigious exit options for a litigator (e.g., AUSA, SEC, Clerking). (3) Will the quality of work be significantly different (meaning, will I get more substantive experience at one over the other, even if the amount of lit. work at PW is greater). (4) Cleary is known to be a lifestyle firm; how much worse, if at all, is the QoL at PW? (5) Is it worth going to Cleary simply for the prestige?

To be frank, I fell in love with Cleary when I visited. Everyone there seems very happy. I cannot say the same for my PW visit. But I am not willing to sacrifice career prospects for a slightly better QoL. So, I'm stuck.

Thanks!

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Old Gregg
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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:34 pm

Go with your cut, because:

Not much better if it all for an associate

None

No

Cleary is not at all a lifestyle firm. Hours similar to PW.

No.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:20 pm

People seem to be all over PW because it's mostly litigation, unlike other top-tier NY firms. But the fact that it does more litigation doesn't necessarily make it a better place to practice or give you better exit options. I doubt anyone doing AUSA or in-house hiring seriously views Paul Weiss as better than Cleary, DPW, etc. just because they do proportionally more litigation.

Go with your gut. At that level the difference in experience / exit options is not going to be materially different.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:05 pm

If you want international work, definitely choose Cleary (their sovereign immunity litigation looks fascinating, for example).

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

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

PW.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To be frank, I fell in love with Cleary when I visited. Everyone there seems very happy. I cannot say the same for my PW visit. But I am not willing to sacrifice career prospects for a slightly better QoL. So, I'm stuck.

Thanks!


Paul, Weiss litigation associate. The people who I work with here seem happy.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:31 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Go with your gut, because:

Not much better if it all for an associate

None

No

Cleary is not at all a lifestyle firm. Hours similar to PW.

No.


I know litigators who work / have worked at both, and they are all either happy masochists or miserable. I'm a masochist myself when it comes to work so that's not meant to be offensive. I know you're just a fellow 2L, but litigation is a broad and varied category. Is there anything you'd like to specialize in? If so, pick the firm that is better aligned to your interests. Cleary may offer better exit options if you're interested in international work.

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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:32 pm

If you are interested in litigation the obvious choice is Paul Weiss.

Cleary is a firm that is 70% corporate/ 30% litigation. Paul Weiss is a firm that is 70% litigation/ 30% corporate. [DISCLAIMER: percentages are for purposes of illustrating the point and are not precise].

The fact that Paul Weiss does proportionally more litigation than Cleary is significant. The effect is that Paul Weiss both has a greater variety of types of litigation and works on more important "big" cases.

The most significant reason to choose Paul Weiss though if you are interested in litigation is that it is one of few BigLaw firms that actually takes cases to trial. The firm has taken three multi-billion dollar cases to trial or arbitration (rather than settlement) in the past ten years. As an associate this effects you insofar as there is a different mentality and different work when you are preparing to take a case to trial versus working towards settlement. The fact of the matter is that BofA/ Merrill brought in Paul Weiss to replace Cleary when they saw that the shareholder derivative suit against it arising from the merger might actually go to trial instead of settling (see --LinkRemoved--). That speaks volumes - they trusted Cleary to do document review and discovery and to work towards a settlement but they wanted the big guns of Paul Weiss when they realized there might actually be a trial.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you are interested in litigation the obvious choice is Paul Weiss.

Cleary is a firm that is 70% corporate/ 30% litigation. Paul Weiss is a firm that is 70% litigation/ 30% corporate. [DISCLAIMER: percentages are for purposes of illustrating the point and are not precise].

The fact that Paul Weiss does proportionally more litigation than Cleary is significant. The effect is that Paul Weiss both has a greater variety of types of litigation and works on more important "big" cases.

The most significant reason to choose Paul Weiss though if you are interested in litigation is that it is one of few BigLaw firms that actually takes cases to trial. The firm has taken three multi-billion dollar cases to trial or arbitration (rather than settlement) in the past ten years. As an associate this effects you insofar as there is a different mentality and different work when you are preparing to take a case to trial versus working towards settlement. The fact of the matter is that BofA/ Merrill brought in Paul Weiss to replace Cleary when they saw that the shareholder derivative suit against it arising from the merger might actually go to trial instead of settling (see --LinkRemoved--). That speaks volumes - they trusted Cleary to do document review and discovery and to work towards a settlement but they wanted the big guns of Paul Weiss when they realized there might actually be a trial.


OP, you should probably go to Cleary just so you don't have to work with insufferable douches who convince themselves they are BIG TIME TRIAL LAWYERS because they work at a firm with a couple dozen more litigators than another firm.

All big firms settle cases. All big firms sometimes go to trial. All big firms work on cases of relatively similar importance / magnitude. Big firms are often replace one another (sometimes for no particular reason, sometimes because the old firm screwed up).

Within reasonable bounds (which all big NY firms meet), the number or proportion of litigators at a firm shouldn't really drive your decision. Otherwise, you should just go to Jones Day (because it has the highest number of litigators) or Quinn Emanuel/BSF (because it only does litigation).

You should pay attention the culture and mix of work at these firms. It may very well be that after doing so you prefer Paul Weiss, but the above is a dumb reason to justify that choice.

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Loose Seal
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Re: Paul Weiss vs. Cleary for Litigation

Postby Loose Seal » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:48 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
All big firms settle cases. All big firms sometimes go to trial. All big firms work on cases of relatively similar importance / magnitude. Big firms are often replace one another (sometimes for no particular reason, sometimes because the old firm screwed up).

Within reasonable bounds (which all big NY firms meet), the number or proportion of litigators at a firm shouldn't really drive your decision. Otherwise, you should just go to Jones Day (because it has the highest number of litigators) or Quinn Emanuel/BSF (because it only does litigation).
.


I disagree with this. While you are right that firms replace each other often, there are some firms that are frequently brought in to actually try a case and some firms that are retained only to take a case to settlement. If the OP wants trial experience, that fact matters a great deal.




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