V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

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anon168
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is Latham really that bad? When should one choose Latham over other V25 firms?

Latham's brand is tarnished because of 2008/2009, but other than that, I can't offer more than mere speculation on how bad or good things are there. Some people say Latham did the right thing and has rebounded stronger than ever. Others say it's still limping along. I couldn't tell you who is right. I am risk-averse (surprise, surprise) so if I had to choose between a question mark like Latham and a peer firm that held steadier, I'd choose the latter.


That's hilarious. The brand may be "tarnished" in the eyes of law students, but not with clients. And trust me, law firms, incl. LW, care infinitely more about the latter than the former.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:45 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
It's all. Paul Weiss's name does not go as far as the other names do. Even lawyers, judges, GCs, hedge funds etc who don't care about big law rankings know the top 5 or so firms. Quinn and Boies are not top 5 firms, but their name partners are still alive and making sure to keep the NYT and Wall Street Journal apprised of their work, so being associated with their brands will get you notice. Paul Weiss is good but no one's double-taking or stopping to nod at the mention of its name.


Strongly considering Paul Weiss so this is highly relevant to my interests. First, why do you keep repeating how great they are in IP, last I checked, Vault doesn't even have them listed anywhere near the top for IP. Second, are you working in NY (maybe this was already mentioned)? If not, I imagine the Paul, Weiss name carries more in NY? I got a much better feel from the interview I had there - not to mention job security - than I did at any of the V10 firms I did cbs with. Coming from CCN, will my exit options be limited by choosing to practice at PW?
I mention PW for IP because its corporate practice is not impressive and its general litigation practice is good but not as good as firms ranked higher. IP is where I often hear it mentioned because many higher ranked firms do not have great IP practices, leaving room for PW. I can't give a final verdict on your exit options because I don't know where you want to exit to or what your grades are or how well you sell yourself or what kind of work you'll have done in a few years. All I can say is that you'll be competing w/ alums from better firms and, especially in a market as competitive as NY, every advantage and additional prestige point matters.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:47 pm

V10 anon.
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is Latham really that bad? When should one choose Latham over other V25 firms?

Latham's brand is tarnished because of 2008/2009, but other than that, I can't offer more than mere speculation on how bad or good things are there. Some people say Latham did the right thing and has rebounded stronger than ever. Others say it's still limping along. I couldn't tell you who is right. I am risk-averse (surprise, surprise) so if I had to choose between a question mark like Latham and a peer firm that held steadier, I'd choose the latter.


That's hilarious. The brand may be "tarnished" in the eyes of law students, but not with clients. And trust me, law firms, incl. LW, care infinitely more about the latter than the former.

Somebody out there cares about Latham but that person isn't me, so I don't care to debate you on this. Nuff said on Latham.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:47 pm

I'm about to start at a V50 satellite office. How easy would it be to lateral into the HQ office after, say, 2-3 years? Is there anything I could do to increase the likelihood (like take the bar for my current state and also the HQ state)?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:39 pm

I mention PW for IP because its corporate practice is not impressive and its general litigation practice is good but not as good as firms ranked higher. IP is where I often hear it mentioned because many higher ranked firms do not have great IP practices, leaving room for PW. I can't give a final verdict on your exit options because I don't know where you want to exit to or what your grades are or how well you sell yourself or what kind of work you'll have done in a few years. All I can say is that you'll be competing w/ alums from better firms and, especially in a market as competitive as NY, every advantage and additional prestige point matters.


Anon considering PW above: So are you working in NY or not? I am not trying to out you, just trying to gauge the position of your perspective. For instance, Kirkland is a V10 firm. Would you say Kirkland carries more weight in NY (for Lit) than PW?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you speak to your personal life? Has the obvious hours / stress effected your relationships (personal / family) irreperably? Are you in a relationship or is that extremely difficult to do given your work (again + stress)? Any married w/ kids people at your level in the firm?
My personal life is good. I don't have as much time as I would like but the people in my life are very understanding. Unlike most "prestigious" lawyers, I'm not with a lawyer, doctor, investment banker, managing director, trophy etc. My significant other ("SO") is good looking, but not a perfect 10, well educated and makes a decent amount, but in a low key field that is not all that prestigious or stressful. My SO cares more about me than career advancement or social climbing. Most of my friends fit that description too. When I leave work, I have calm, supportive people who know nothing about prestige and keeping up with the joneses and just care about me. I think that is why I am happy.

There are married people w/ kids at my firm. How many are happily married, never divorced people who are hands-on parents? Few. I hope to be one of those few.


This is so refreshing to hear. Good for you for having some humility and realizing what really matters.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:43 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:I'm about to start at a V50 satellite office. How easy would it be to lateral into the HQ office after, say, 2-3 years? Is there anything I could do to increase the likelihood (like take the bar for my current state and also the HQ state)?
This depends completely on the firm's policies. Some firms give associates a really hard time about moving to other offices while other firms are more relaxed. How relaxed a firm is about letting you transfer also depends on staffing needs at the HQ firm. If they don't need another associate at your level in the group at the office you want to transfer to or if your group at your current really needs associates at your level, then you're stuck. Another factor is that most firms will not permit associates who are not in good standing to transfer among groups or offices. So, if you got bad reviews, weren't promoted, were docked all/part of your bonus, or just have a powerful enemy in your group, odds are you won't get to transfer. As you can tell, all of this basically means that you can't figure out the likelihood of transferring until the very point at which you want to transfer. In the meantime, all you can do is try your best to do good work.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:51 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Can you speak to your personal life? Has the obvious hours / stress effected your relationships (personal / family) irreperably? Are you in a relationship or is that extremely difficult to do given your work (again + stress)? Any married w/ kids people at your level in the firm?
My personal life is good. I don't have as much time as I would like but the people in my life are very understanding. Unlike most "prestigious" lawyers, I'm not with a lawyer, doctor, investment banker, managing director, trophy etc. My significant other ("SO") is good looking, but not a perfect 10, well educated and makes a decent amount, but in a low key field that is not all that prestigious or stressful. My SO cares more about me than career advancement or social climbing. Most of my friends fit that description too. When I leave work, I have calm, supportive people who know nothing about prestige and keeping up with the joneses and just care about me. I think that is why I am happy.

There are married people w/ kids at my firm. How many are happily married, never divorced people who are hands-on parents? Few. I hope to be one of those few.


This is so refreshing to hear. Good for you for having some humility and realizing what really matters.

Thanks. As you know or may soon find out, big law is so stressful and emotionally taxing that you will often not have the emotional resources to deal with drama outside work and will often need those around you to be very patient and very supportive. Nothing wrong with a high-powered, well-connected, gorgeous SO, but a "prestigious" SO of the "right" pedigree is little consolation when you've barely slept for weeks, the partner hates you, and the economy sucks and that SO cares only about if the checks are about to stop rolling in.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Do the single, young male associates go out and party? Bottle service? Models? Do they live the dream?

Or is that just TLS hype about NYC biglaw?

Do summers do this?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do the single, young male associates go out and party? Bottle service? Models? Do they live the dream?

Or is that just TLS hype about NYC biglaw?

Do summers do this?

LOL. Big law gives great paychecks. Do some spend those checks on strippers, bottle service and the supposed high life when they're able to sneak out of the office? Sure. But at least in NYC, big law associate money is not a big deal that opens every door because there's partner money, hedge fund money, trust fund money, politician money, entrepreneur money, celebrity money etc to compete with. Women who are ready and attractive enough to sleep their way to financial success have a lot of options. Not to mention that many articles claim that something like 10% of men are doing 80% of the f-cking. (90% of men are doing 80% of the lying.). Doing a mental scan of the big law wives, girlfriends, mistresses and f-ck buddies I've come across, I wouldn't throw some of them out of bed but I've yet to come across models.

anon168
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby anon168 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do the single, young male associates go out and party? Bottle service? Models? Do they live the dream?

Or is that just TLS hype about NYC biglaw?

Do summers do this?


I'm sorry if this comes off the wrong way, but you're an idiot.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I am choosing between Skadden and Fried Frank. I want to do corporate but not M&A. I know lots of people would say Skadden no question because of exit options, and that is a big thing for me. The two things that concern me about Skadden are the firm culture and the insistence on narrow specialization, which might limit exit options if I only have done one thing for five straight years. Is it still a no-brainer that I should bite the bullet, suck it up, and go with Skadden?
I am pretty sure Skadden has a rotation program, although it might be short. So, I don't think corporate has to specialize all that quickly. I would go with Skadden over Fried Frank unless you're sensitive. If you can grit your teeth and deal with the nasty culture for a few years, the name can open doors.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:09 pm

I just started at a V20 and I can tell you that the fear of getting fired starts on day 1 and never leaves the back of your mind, at least in my experience.

What are the most common types of jobs your classmates have gotten after they leave your firm?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:07 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I just started at a V20 and I can tell you that the fear of getting fired starts on day 1 and never leaves the back of your mind, at least in my experience.

What are the most common types of jobs your classmates have gotten after they leave your firm?

Those in corporate most often go in-house at banks/financial institutions (~75% of farewell emails I get). Peer and lower ranked big law firms are second most common options for those in corporate. A really small minority become entrepreneurs. The litigators often go to peer or lower ranked big law firms, the USAO, plaintiff's firms, the DOJ, clerkships and occasionally, in-house. Very rarely do associates on any side go to non-profits unless they're leaving with only a year or so of experience (these are the ones who quickly realize big law is not where they can succeed).

Of course, there also those who leave because they were pushed out for performance reasons, stealth laid off, or didn't get along with a big shot here. Many of those leave without jobs lined up and sometimes quit the law altogether.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:09 pm

Thank you for answering the questions. It was mentioned in previous replies that Latham's reputation was tarnished due to the downsizing. White & Case NY office went through major layoffs as well. What's White & Case's reputation in New York?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for answering the questions. It was mentioned in previous replies that Latham's reputation was tarnished due to the downsizing. White & Case NY office went through major layoffs as well. What's White & Case's reputation in New York?
There's no way to quantify or concretely measure reputation. White & Case has drawn negative attention with its layoffs but in the wake of Latham, Dewey and other such firms, its layoffs are not as big surprise as Latham's were back in 2008/2009. Latham was the first V10 to visibly struggle.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:36 pm

Nevermind...edited for identifying info.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:45 am

It's obviously very easy to figure out salary scales, but bonus structures and levels seem fairly opaque. What sort of bonus does a solid V10 associate receive the first three years? Years 4-6?

And thanks for answering questions.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:It's obviously very easy to figure out salary scales, but bonus structures and levels seem fairly opaque. What sort of bonus does a solid V10 associate receive the first three years? Years 4-6?

And thanks for answering questions.


Bonus levels are fairly well publicized, especially for the V10, and are almost he exact opposite of opaque assuming we're not talking about Wachtell or Kirkland.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:56 am

I posted this in one of the other associate question topics, but since I see you around posting I thought I'd direct this to you Fresh Prince:

thoughts on Wachtell Lit? Know anyone who works there?
I know the hours are more than your average biglaw - but how much more? 2800? 2900? I'm under the impression (perhaps misguided) that Wachtell Lit hours, while crazy, might be a bit less crazy than Wachtell Corp.

Do people think it's worth it? Not money-wise- I wouldn't make the decision based on money- but experience-wise? Career Options for the future-wise?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:08 am

I'm not the best at this, but I'll give it a shot.

The hours at wlrk are not based on group. They are based on culture. The wlrk culture is such that you are expected to bill at least 3,000 hours. This expectation is so warped that it is shocking how normal wlrk partners view it. I think the 3,000th hour of an associate is malpractice, but wlrk attys could easily be 10x more talented and intelligent than me, so I'm probably wrong on that.

The litigation is top notch for what it does: cutting edge corporate governance and M&A litigation. If you want to do that, go to Wachtell. If you want to do products liability, don't. If you want to do mass torts, don't. If you want to do bet the company litigation outside the m&a context, don't. For pretty much every other type of litigation, you are probably better off at a different firm.

That said, I don't think it'll influence your "exit ops" significantly if at all when you're coming from a firm that doesn't do those types of litigation.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:54 am

V10 anon.
Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's obviously very easy to figure out salary scales, but bonus structures and levels seem fairly opaque. What sort of bonus does a solid V10 associate receive the first three years? Years 4-6?

And thanks for answering questions.


Bonus levels are fairly well publicized, especially for the V10, and are almost he exact opposite of opaque assuming we're not talking about Wachtell or Kirkland.

Anonymous's question is actually a good one because public releases about bonuses tell you the max a firm pays associates at a certain level. It does not tell you how many associates actually get that supposedly standard bonus. Of course, the natural assumption is that at lockstep firms everyone gets the standard bonus for their given level except for the one or two low quality, terrible associates who no firm could in good conscience pay full bonuses to, right? But what if I told you that for the past few years, many firms, including V10s, have used even the most bizarre excuses to deny full bonuses to as many as they can in order to save money and/or force attrition when they have too many associates (nothing says "get lost!" like no bonus, but you can't say you were actually fired or laid off). It's a very smart approach because associates who receive half- or no bonuses are often too embarassed to admit that openly. They resolve to work harder or leave quietly. Only the ones who get full bonuses talk openly about bonuses. Thus, the erroneous, outdated idea that virtually everyone except a rare, nameless few gets the standard bonus continues.

Edited to add that students need to realize that none of the traditional positive assumptions about big law hold true any more....
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:59 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:I posted this in one of the other associate question topics, but since I see you around posting I thought I'd direct this to you Fresh Prince:

thoughts on Wachtell Lit? Know anyone who works there?
I know the hours are more than your average biglaw - but how much more? 2800? 2900? I'm under the impression (perhaps misguided) that Wachtell Lit hours, while crazy, might be a bit less crazy than Wachtell Corp.

Do people think it's worth it? Not money-wise- I wouldn't make the decision based on money- but experience-wise? Career Options for the future-wise?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
If you're not going to Wachtell for the money then there's no reason to go there. Other V10s have stronger or as strong litigation practices and exit options without such senseless billable requirements. BUT unless you are completely debt-free with wealthy, generous parents or have strong personal reasons (like small children you would like to see more than once a month), I have no idea why you would pass up the money. Suck it up, forgo a normal life for a few years then abandon ship with a boatload of cash.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:45 pm

V10 anon here.

In dealing with pre-law students, law students, and new associates, I am always surprised by the naivete and outright denial a lot of people are in about the nature of big law. I came across the following article today and I had to share it with this forum because its depiction of big law is accurate and frank:

--LinkRemoved--

In fact, virtually all the articles on this blog (written by a former Sullivan & Cromwell associate and federal clerk turned psychotherapist) are sadly accurate. I have done quite well in big law and have no intention of leaving big law any time soon, but I believe I was able to carve out a life for myself and find happiness because I arrived here with my eyes wide open.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:35 pm

Why were you able to arrive with your eyes wide open? Was it just that you didn't buy into the "collegiality" BS that they sell in recruiting? Or was it a situation where you got there and quickly understood what was really going on?




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