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Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:26 am
by Anonymous User
This is just excruciating.

Factors that are important to me: culture (both seem very distinct but I identified with each during interviews), job security, compensation and business model, training/mentorship, ability to have input on assignments and eventual specialization, and flexibility of schedule/facetime requirements (I want and expect to work long hours but also some freedom to structure my time when possible).

It seems like Boies might be a better place to be an associate and Quinn to be a partner. I'm thinking long-term but don't know what to make of that difference. Other obvious concerns: the burnout factor at Quinn (everyone seemed way more energetic than associates at V5 firms); the whole "what if David Boies dies" thing (right now actually seems like a good time to join to be a mid-level or senior associate if/when the firm makes that transition). These both seem like rumors to a large extent; can anyone provide first-hand insight? Thanks.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:17 am
by Anonymous User
These firms are very similar. Both are prestigious places known for excellent litigation work, terrible firm cultures, high burnout rates (even for big law), and great exit options. The main difference is compensation because Boies is not quite lockstep beyond the first year. In theory, "merit"-based pay is good, but consider that you don't choose which cases you are staffed on, who you work with, or what the case strategy is. Yet people get fired or docked compensation at Boies because the case they were staffed on was lost. (See this link: http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/the-boie ... an-update/). So, "merit"-based pay has a real dark side, especially for junior associates who have very little control.

I would say pick Quinn. I have yet to hear of anyone getting fired at Quinn because the partners lost the case, Quinn is lock-step salary-wise but pays good bonuses (consistently better than most big law firms) and Quinn isn't beholden to one partner (Boies Schiller revolves around Boies and the "what is Boies dies?" question is a serious one).

Regardless of where you choose, you will likely not be smiling at work or happy you are there. But that's just big law in general.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:46 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote: I have yet to hear of anyone getting fired at Quinn because the partners lost the case

What? I like the merit-based thing despite the potential downside, but job security is a much bigger deal. Does Boies have a history of firing junior associates or stealthing people?

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:11 pm
by Anonymous User
At Quinn, I heard that even after you've passed over to make it as a partner, Quinn does not fire you or tel you to leave. Rather, you can stay on as an associate or they even make you counsel. True?

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:16 pm
by fatduck
Anonymous User wrote:At Quinn, I heard that even after you've passed over to make it as a partner, Quinn does not fire you or tel you to leave. Rather, you can stay on as an associate or they even make you counsel. True?

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Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:35 pm
by sundance95
You'll work just as hard at Boies as at Quinn, and get as good (if not better) substantive experience. However, you'll be paid significantly more at Boies.

W/r/t the Terra litigation and the layoffs that resulted from it, to my knowledge that is the only such story to come out of Boies, so I think its reasonable to presume that that was a unique situation.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:38 pm
by bk1
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Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:51 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: I have yet to hear of anyone getting fired at Quinn because the partners lost the case

What? I like the merit-based thing despite the potential downside, but job security is a much bigger deal. Does Boies have a history of firing junior associates or stealthing people?

A long, loooong history of it! Job security is hard to come by in big law, but it's an oxymoron at Boies. It's a mercenary place.

Oh and no, Terra was not an isolated incident. It was just the one incident that made the news because one of the associates was pregnant and the firings happened quickly enough for people to tie it to Terra. Boies has since learned to be craftier.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:57 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Boies has since learned to be craftier.

For example?

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:00 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Boies has since learned to be craftier.

For example?
Do you really expect me to share details that can potentially out me or those I know? Get to know current/former Boies Associates in real life. Your school's alum list is valuable. Boies's rep isn't a secret.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:25 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Do you really expect me to share details that can potentially out me or those I know? Get to know current/former Boies Associates in real life. Your school's alum list is valuable. Boies's rep isn't a secret.

Fair enough. Maybe you can answer this: on a scale of Latham to 100% job security, what's your best estimate of the risk level you might feel as an associate there? Source of constant anxiety?

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:32 pm
by anon168
Anonymous User wrote:At Quinn, I heard that even after you've passed over to make it as a partner, Quinn does not fire you or tel you to leave. Rather, you can stay on as an associate or they even make you counsel. True?


No.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:01 pm
by Anonymous User
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At Quinn, I heard that even after you've passed over to make it as a partner, Quinn does not fire you or tel you to leave. Rather, you can stay on as an associate or they even make you counsel. True?


No.

Why do you say "No?" I know that this has happened at least at the SF and NYC offices. Perhaps it's not true of all the offices, but I'm pretty sure none of the offices have an "up and out" policy. As others have suggested, if you're willing to bill a bunch of hours, Quinn is happy to keep you around.

As for the "Boies v. Quinn" question, I think the firms are pretty similar. They're both litigation-heavy sweatshops that pay above market (though you have the potential to make more at Boies). The OP suggested that Boies is a better place to be an associate, but I'm not sure that's true. I know associates at both firms, and the Boies associates seem even more burnt out than the Quinn associates.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:11 pm
by anon168
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At Quinn, I heard that even after you've passed over to make it as a partner, Quinn does not fire you or tel you to leave. Rather, you can stay on as an associate or they even make you counsel. True?


No.

Why do you say "No?" I know that this has happened at least at the SF and NYC offices. Perhaps it's not true of all the offices, but I'm pretty sure none of the offices have an "up and out" policy. As others have suggested, if you're willing to bill a bunch of hours, Quinn is happy to keep you around.

As for the "Boies v. Quinn" question, I think the firms are pretty similar. They're both litigation-heavy sweatshops that pay above market (though you have the potential to make more at Boies). The OP suggested that Boies is a better place to be an associate, but I'm not sure that's true. I know associates at both firms, and the Boies associates seem even more burnt out than the Quinn associates.


At some point, they ask you to leave. No one wants a 15th year associate on their firm bio/resume.

You can stay easily beyond 8-10 years if the partner you are working for has the work for you, but at some that pipeline dries up and it is cheaper for the firm to use a midlevel associate or another sr. associate passed up for partnership.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:00 am
by sundance95
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: I have yet to hear of anyone getting fired at Quinn because the partners lost the case

What? I like the merit-based thing despite the potential downside, but job security is a much bigger deal. Does Boies have a history of firing junior associates or stealthing people?

A long, loooong history of it! Job security is hard to come by in big law, but it's an oxymoron at Boies. It's a mercenary place.

Oh and no, Terra was not an isolated incident. It was just the one incident that made the news because one of the associates was pregnant and the firings happened quickly enough for people to tie it to Terra. Boies has since learned to be craftier.

You're accusing Boies of stealthing? I'm surprised to hear it, if only because when firms utilize stealthing practices it seems to make ATL, and quickly.

Anonymous User wrote:Do you really expect me to share details that can potentially out me or those I know? Get to know current/former Boies Associates in real life. Your school's alum list is valuable. Boies's rep isn't a secret.

Also, you feel like a troll.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:08 am
by sunynp
Here is a link to the third and final article ATL did on the stealthing of the three women associates. I think the story broke pretty quickly after they were fired.
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/the-boie ... an-update/

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:10 am
by sundance95
Right, that's the Terra incident referenced above.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:41 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you really expect me to share details that can potentially out me or those I know? Get to know current/former Boies Associates in real life. Your school's alum list is valuable. Boies's rep isn't a secret.

Fair enough. Maybe you can answer this: on a scale of Latham to 100% job security, what's your best estimate of the risk level you might feel as an associate there? Source of constant anxiety?
It's not a Latham. Latham imploded. Boies is unlikely to do so. But source of constant anxiety? Yes. It's not just the end of year reviews you have to fear. Fear the impromptu reviews too - you get summoned to a meeting randomly one day and the same people who have spent months/weeks complimenting you are assembled to tell you that you work is so bad that you have to leave within two weeks. Turns out "merit" is very easy to define and redefine according to the firm's economic needs or just a partner's whim. It's about a culture of throwing people away. Not every big law firm has that mentality. Some actually give you a few years to prove yourself. Ask the right questions, reach out to alums, figure out where you're least likely to get taken out with the trash for reasons couched as "merit" but unrelated to merit. Or don't. It's your career.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:24 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:It's not just the end of year reviews you have to fear. Fear the impromptu reviews too - you get summoned to a meeting randomly one day and the same people who have spent months/weeks complimenting you are assembled to tell you that you work is so bad that you have to leave within two weeks. Turns out "merit" is very easy to define and redefine according to the firm's economic needs or just a partner's whim. It's about a culture of throwing people away. Not every big law firm has that mentality. Some actually give you a few years to prove yourself. Ask the right questions, reach out to alums, figure out where you're least likely to get taken out with the trash for reasons couched as "merit" but unrelated to merit. Or don't. It's your career.

But this can happen anywhere, right? And certain firms who have a policy of hiring anyone with the right grades and letting them stay on no matter how useless or awkward they turn out to be might not exactly be preferable work environments. Yes, this is terrifying, but that doesn't really give me a sense of how much more at Boies than anywhere else.

So Quinn will never lay you off no matter how much you suck? Hard to believe given their obsession with being the best.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:36 pm
by HeavenWood
Boies no-offers people. A lot of people. High-reward, but I still say it's not worth the risk.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:25 am
by Anonymous User
Bumping this because I want to hear more about Quinn...

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:52 pm
by Anonymous User
bump

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:26 pm
by Anonymous User
Reanimating this old thread to see if there are any new opinions on the subject. Deciding principally between these firms, coming off a couple clerkships. Quinn offering extremely generous clerkship bonus, but comp would generally be higher at Boies so that may be a wash. Interested in views on the associate experience and relative standing since the last time the board had its say

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:52 pm
by Anonymous User
"Above market" comp at Quinn is a joke (it may not have been in the past). They have a really high billable requirement (2100 IIRC) to get a Cravath-scale bonus, which is certainly hit by many of their associates but is above any other firm's billable requirement. And their "above market" bonuses have been miniscule in recent years (talking like a few thousand dollars) and kick in at very high billable numbers (I believe 2400 and 2700 the last two years). Boies by contrast pays both above market salaries and genuinely above market bonuses to pretty much everyone.

Culture-wise, I think they are similar. Boies may be more centered on David Boies for work, but John Quinn has an enormous amount of day-to-day operational control at Quinn that makes the firm at least as personality-centric.

Quinn is also notoriously and almost comically cheap. Their (NYC) offices are really embarrassing, like public-school-that-hasn't-been-renovated-since-the-1950s chic. Never been in Boies's offices but hard to imagine them being anywhere near as bad. And absurdly cheap on reimbursement of expenses (meals, taxis, even associates fronting litigation expenses at times). Everyone I know there finds the entire experience highly demoralizing.

I can't really think of a reason to choose Quinn, unless there's a specific practice area at Quinn you'd prefer that doesn't exist at Boies.

Re: Boies vs. Quinn (NYC)

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:55 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:"Above market" comp at Quinn is a joke (it may not have been in the past). They have a really high billable requirement (2100 IIRC) to get a Cravath-scale bonus, which is certainly hit by many of their associates but is above any other firm's billable requirement. And their "above market" bonuses have been miniscule in recent years (talking like a few thousand dollars) and kick in at very high billable numbers (I believe 2400 and 2700 the last two years). Boies by contrast pays both above market salaries and genuinely above market bonuses to pretty much everyone.

Culture-wise, I think they are similar. Boies may be more centered on David Boies for work, but John Quinn has an enormous amount of day-to-day operational control at Quinn that makes the firm at least as personality-centric.

Quinn is also notoriously and almost comically cheap. Their offices are really embarrassing, like public-school-that-hasn't-been-renovated-since-the-1950s chic. Never been in Boies's offices but hard to imagine them being anywhere near as bad. And absurdly cheap on reimbursement of expenses (meals, taxis, even associates fronting litigation expenses at times). Everyone I know there finds the entire experience highly demoralizing.


I can't really think of a reason to choose Quinn, unless there's a specific practice area at Quinn you'd prefer that doesn't exist at Boies.

I don't have anything to contribute other than to say Boies's NYC Office (at least as late as 2015) is really, really bad in terms of "furnishings." If you've interviewed/worked in that office, I think you'd find them comparable or worse to whatever you claim Quinn's office looks like (I've never been inside a QE office though).

ETA: I will also add that I have friends at Quinn who have enjoyed their experience thus far.