Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

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Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:04 am

Which firm would you choose for Corporate/Transac and why?
- Wilson Sonsini
- Cooley
- Fenwick
- Gunderson

Which one has the better culture and which firm will have more interesting work?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:37 am

I don't know, but perhaps Fenwick would have more interesting work than Cooley? After all, Fenwick handled Facebook's IPO. I have a friend who works there, and she says the people there are really collegial and nice. But she works long hours in corporate.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know, but perhaps Fenwick would have more interesting work than Cooley? After all, Fenwick handled Facebook's IPO. I have a friend who works there, and she says the people there are really collegial and nice. But she works long hours in corporate.


What does she consider "long hours"?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know, but perhaps Fenwick would have more interesting work than Cooley? After all, Fenwick handled Facebook's IPO. I have a friend who works there, and she says the people there are really collegial and nice. But she works long hours in corporate.


What does she consider "long hours"?


She regularly works to 9 PM or so. She on occasion pulls all nighters, especially when deals are to be closed. She said there's a free market system so you can manage your workload, but it's hard to predict when things will be due. She was so busy, it took her about three weeks for her to call me to chat about the firm, and we're high school friends. Her biggest complaint was the lack of predictability.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:10 am

Interested in hearing more about Cooley Palo Alto if anyone has any insight. Have a CB coming up.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:08 am

Can we throw Orrick in here too?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:Can we throw Orrick in here too?


I know Orrick culture a little (good friend works there, and I didn't get a callback). Orrick people are very collegial, and they like to think of themselves as a little quirky. They have this annual race or something where they run around on the floor with the CEO dressed in costumes (e.g. the Bratz dolls because of the MGA vs. Mattel suit).

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can we throw Orrick in here too?


I know Orrick culture a little (good friend works there, and I didn't get a callback). Orrick people are very collegial, and they like to think of themselves as a little quirky. They have this annual race or something where they run around on the floor with the CEO dressed in costumes (e.g. the Bratz dolls because of the MGA vs. Mattel suit).


Orrick shouldn't be in the picture if you want to do emerging companies work. The 4 listed firms are the only real players in that space.

OP: I had this same decision to make last year and chose Cooley.

Gunderson is awesome, but I was a little freaked out by how specialized the firm is. I imagine your job security as a junior associate isn't that great if VC funding starts to dry up. I just felt that a bigger firm with a broader range of practices was a safer bet since you are basically interviewing for a job that starts more than 2 years from now.

I really disliked WSGR. It is a huge campus, the firm is very siloed, I just didn't like the atmosphere at all.

Fenwick is a great firm. However, I don't know if I can agree with an earlier poster who used the Facebook IPO as an example of why Fenwick has more interesting clients than Cooley. Both firms deal with interesting & exciting clients, but IMO doing any public company work is far less exciting than doing the small private company stuff. Basically between Cooley and Fenwick I chose Cooley based on the people I met at Cooley (who were amazing) and the fact that Cooley is larger with a national reach. Cooley is apparently very stable financially (they also just opened a new LA office which is drawing a huge amount of interest) while they are one of the most respected CA firms, they also have offices across the country.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:01 pm

Mostly agree with the poster above. However, Goodwin Procter is landing a lot of former WSGR attorneys and some from elsewhere, and is seemingly poised to make a large splash on the SV emerging companies scene.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Orrick shouldn't be in the picture if you want to do emerging companies work. The 4 listed firms are the only real players in that space.

OP: I had this same decision to make last year and chose Cooley.

Gunderson is awesome, but I was a little freaked out by how specialized the firm is. I imagine your job security as a junior associate isn't that great if VC funding starts to dry up. I just felt that a bigger firm with a broader range of practices was a safer bet since you are basically interviewing for a job that starts more than 2 years from now.

I really disliked WSGR. It is a huge campus, the firm is very siloed, I just didn't like the atmosphere at all.

Fenwick is a great firm. However, I don't know if I can agree with an earlier poster who used the Facebook IPO as an example of why Fenwick has more interesting clients than Cooley. Both firms deal with interesting & exciting clients, but IMO doing any public company work is far less exciting than doing the small private company stuff. Basically between Cooley and Fenwick I chose Cooley based on the people I met at Cooley (who were amazing) and the fact that Cooley is larger with a national reach. Cooley is apparently very stable financially (they also just opened a new LA office which is drawing a huge amount of interest) while they are one of the most respected CA firms, they also have offices across the country.


Different anon, I chose Fenwick. Mostly agree with the above.

I don't know much about Gunderson, but agree that their specialization would turn me off. I would personally recommend the best fit between Cooley and Fenwick. WSGR has a different vibe and I wouldn't want to be chained to a partner. All have similar clients and do similar work (they share many of same public company clients). Fenwick is also financially stable. I might be biased but I don't think having a broader national base is all that important. You're going to be in SV doing SV work for the most part. If you intend to leave CA at some point then more offices is probably important, but if you're interested in this type of work I doubt you're intending to leave.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:09 pm

Different anon, I chose Fenwick. Mostly agree with the above.

I don't know much about Gunderson, but agree that their specialization would turn me off. I would personally recommend the best fit between Cooley and Fenwick. WSGR has a different vibe and I wouldn't want to be chained to a partner. All have similar clients and do similar work (they share many of same public company clients). Fenwick is also financially stable. I might be biased but I don't think having a broader national base is all that important. You're going to be in SV doing SV work for the most part. If you intend to leave CA at some point then more offices is probably important, but if you're interested in this type of work I doubt you're intending to leave.


Did you summer at Fenwick last summer? How was the workload on the junior associates? Quality of life?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:34 pm

bump

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Did you summer at Fenwick last summer? How was the workload on the junior associates? Quality of life?


Corporate seemed busy, don't really know about lit. Most of the office was gone by 6 but there were definitely some associates still there. I know people also worked from home so I couldn't get a handle on how much people worked in total. Corporate is also very up and down (but that's normal for the group).

An associate I talked to said that 2100 for the year was about normal for her but that's only one person. She also said that 2400 was the highest she had ever heard of and that it was very rare.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Did you summer at Fenwick last summer? How was the workload on the junior associates? Quality of life?


Corporate seemed busy, don't really know about lit. Most of the office was gone by 6 but there were definitely some associates still there. I know people also worked from home so I couldn't get a handle on how much people worked in total. Corporate is also very up and down (but that's normal for the group).

An associate I talked to said that 2100 for the year was about normal for her but that's only one person. She also said that 2400 was the highest she had ever heard of and that it was very rare.


What's the bonus structure like at Fenwick?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:10 am

I can get why someone visiting the WSGR headquarters wouldn't like the atmosphere that much. The campus is large, and you can get lost in the main building. But my experience was completely different. I spent a whole summer there, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I thought the atmosphere was inviting and open, but that was a personal experience that not everyone may have. I gained some great friends working there and the partners, while intimidating, were really down-to-earth and accessible when you get the chance to work with them. We had plenty of non-firm-sponsored drinking nights and plenty of new associates were taking vacations. I did see quite a few exit emails while I was there, but nearly all of those individuals were going in-house. I think one was starting her own firm.

Fenwick did get the Facebook IPO (and the following debacle was largely not their fault), but WSGR still handles the most venture-backed IPOs in Silicon Valley, along with their large compliment of startups. They've also got a booming greentech practice to compliment their traditional technology and biotech fields. And they just opened an incubator office for clients to use in SF SoMa across from the ballpark, which I think is a cool and novel thing for a law firm to do.

And I'm not a person to put much stock in the Vault rankings, but they still constantly rank higher than the other firms on this list. Take from that what you will. I don't think you could go wrong with Fenwick or WSGR.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:14 am

So, I had a callback at Cooley, and a couple of things got me wondering. There didn't seem to be as many women there compared to other firms I interviewed with. Any thoughts on this? I read somewhere that Cooley has struggled to retain women.

What are people's thoughts on Cooley's culture? It is so completely different than typical firms -- I felt out of place in a suit given how casually people were dressed. Is that a Silicon Valley thing or just a Cooley thing?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:51 am

Gunderson just seemed incredibly awesome.

That's all I got.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Bump. Thoughts on Fenwick vs. Cooley?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So, I had a callback at Cooley, and a couple of things got me wondering. There didn't seem to be as many women there compared to other firms I interviewed with. Any thoughts on this? I read somewhere that Cooley has struggled to retain women.

What are people's thoughts on Cooley's culture? It is so completely different than typical firms -- I felt out of place in a suit given how casually people were dressed. Is that a Silicon Valley thing or just a Cooley thing?


I don't know about your experience but FWIW like half my CB (Palo Alto) interviewers were women so it may have just been your luck of the draw.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Thoughts on Fenwick vs. Cooley?


Fenwick - 100%. Fenwick is the up and comer that is growing in prestige and numbers. Cooley, while hip in the past, is not moving in either direction.

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Thoughts on Fenwick vs. Cooley?


Fenwick - 100%. Fenwick is the up and comer that is growing in prestige and numbers. Cooley, while hip in the past, is not moving in either direction.


Lolwut?

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Re: Which SV firm and why? Wilson/Cooley/Fenwick/Gunderson

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bump. Thoughts on Fenwick vs. Cooley?


Fenwick - 100%. Fenwick is the up and comer that is growing in prestige and numbers. Cooley, while hip in the past, is not moving in either direction.


As the Fenwick person from above, this is delusional. Pick between the two based on fit, imo.




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