How much do Vault rankings not matter?

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How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:31 am

I understand people choose firms for 'fit' and 'work/life balance' and location and stuff, but at what point (if any) would it not be worth it? I am lucky enough to have offers from 3 of the V5 firms. Would I be crazy to pick a market paying firm from the lower V100 with a strong practice in my area of interest in a city I like? Thanks!

anon168
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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby anon168 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:I understand people choose firms for 'fit' and 'work/life balance' and location and stuff, but at what point (if any) would it not be worth it? I am lucky enough to have offers from 3 of the V5 firms. Would I be crazy to pick a market paying firm from the lower V100 with a strong practice in my area of interest in a city I like? Thanks!


No, you would not be crazy to do so.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:I understand people choose firms for 'fit' and 'work/life balance' and location and stuff, but at what point (if any) would it not be worth it? I am lucky enough to have offers from 3 of the V5 firms. Would I be crazy to pick a market paying firm from the lower V100 with a strong practice in my area of interest in a city I like? Thanks!


Fuck no. It all depends on what you want out of life. Obviously the V5 are great in terms of prestige and exit options but its not like you can't succeed elsewhere. Ask yourself where you want to be in 5-10 years and work backwards from there.

Congrats on killing it!

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thesealocust
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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:56 am

The relative financial health, client base, and prestige of the firms your considering, particularly within your chosen practice area, does matter. The problem is that the vault rankings basically never correlate well with those things unless you're comparing corporate practices in NYC, and even then the differences can be over or under stated.

To be clear, all the vault rankings are is a survey handed out to associates at big firms asking them to rank the prestige of a ton of other firms. A huge plurality of associates at major firms work at big firms in New York, so... that's what the rankings reflect. They're value is minimal in non-NYC major markets and basically zero for non-major markets.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:00 am

OP here. Thanks. Given that Biglaw life may not work for me (or for most people) sometimes I feel I should keep my exit options open by picking a prestigious name. But I have to move to take up the top firms and it's not something I really want to do...

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ryanmot
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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby ryanmot » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:11 am

Perception is reality. You won't see many people lateral from a V100 to a V5. You'll see the opposite all of the time. Having the name of a highly rated "Vault" firm on the resume opens doors. Whether you like it or not. You may love your V100, but you may very well only last a few years there before someone who spent of a few years at a V5 comes in and makes partner. It's just the reality.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Borg » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:34 am

ryanmot wrote:Perception is reality. You won't see many people lateral from a V100 to a V5. You'll see the opposite all of the time. Having the name of a highly rated "Vault" firm on the resume opens doors. Whether you like it or not. You may love your V100, but you may very well only last a few years there before someone who spent of a few years at a V5 comes in and makes partner. It's just the reality.


Eh. It also happens that a lot of V5 burnouts come through supposedly less prestigious firms and burn out there too. A lot of people spend the first decade of their careers slowly descending the corporate ladder. I think it's actually pretty rare for someone to come in and take the momentum away from a homegrown associate who is really kicking ass, so this is not a concern.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:01 am

ryanmot wrote:Perception is reality. You won't see many people lateral from a V100 to a V5. You'll see the opposite all of the time. Having the name of a highly rated "Vault" firm on the resume opens doors. Whether you like it or not. You may love your V100, but you may very well only last a few years there before someone who spent of a few years at a V5 comes in and makes partner. It's just the reality.


Yea, it opens doors at lower ranked firms that you could have started at. If you want to be a lawyer, I've never understood this "great exit options" argument for the higher ranked vault firms. You work insane hours for a few years to transfer to a lower ranked firm where you often have less substantive experience than the fourth year associates there.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:10 am

you might also want to think about the training you will get. I talked to a partner recently at a lower V100 who said he occasionally interviews 3-4th year Skadden associates who have simply not done half of the tasks that his juniors have by that time. You will likely still be quite marketable because firms never stop being prestige whores, but it might be annoying to be behind your peers at that point.

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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks. Given that Biglaw life may not work for me (or for most people) sometimes I feel I should keep my exit options open by picking a prestigious name. But I have to move to take up the top firms and it's not something I really want to do...


Even though I want to be in my home market at least eventually, I'm picking a V5 because of this. I talked to many many people about whether it made sense to start in my home market or at a more prestigious firm, and while I got a lot of mixed results, all of the opinions (including of hiring attorneys in my home market) together make me think starting at the V5 makes more sense.

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ryanmot
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Re: How much do Vault rankings not matter?

Postby ryanmot » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ryanmot wrote:Perception is reality. You won't see many people lateral from a V100 to a V5. You'll see the opposite all of the time. Having the name of a highly rated "Vault" firm on the resume opens doors. Whether you like it or not. You may love your V100, but you may very well only last a few years there before someone who spent of a few years at a V5 comes in and makes partner. It's just the reality.


Yea, it opens doors at lower ranked firms that you could have started at. If you want to be a lawyer, I've never understood this "great exit options" argument for the higher ranked vault firms. You work insane hours for a few years to transfer to a lower ranked firm where you often have less substantive experience than the fourth year associates there.


You might not get it but it does open doors. OP might go v100 and be in and out after 3 years and have substantially less options than the v5 third year. Just the way it is.




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