V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

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Old Gregg
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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Fresh Prince wrote:OP: Im a v10 associate here. Can I pm you for some advice? If so, can you pm me so I know whom to pm? Greatly appreciate it.
I want to say yes, but I would rather not lose anonymity. Can you post your questions in this thread anonymously so I can answer them here?


I mean... Everyone in this thread will then know this anonymous post belongs to me by reading this convo, so that kind of defeats the purpose. Thanks anyways.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:30 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:any thoughts on obtaining biglaw with criminal history - think a couple of alcohol misdemeanors and 2 theft misdemeanors. all occurred over 5 years ago, too
The theft misdemeanors are the ones that might stand in your way. What were the circumstances of those? Did they happen before or after age 18? Any chance they can get expunged? Also, what's your grade/school status? The more desirable a candidate you are, the more likely firms are to overlook your past.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:31 am

V10 anon.
5ky wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Fresh Prince wrote:OP: Im a v10 associate here. Can I pm you for some advice? If so, can you pm me so I know whom to pm? Greatly appreciate it.
I want to say yes, but I would rather not lose anonymity. Can you post your questions in this thread anonymously so I can answer them here?


Why don't you just make a new name? I'm sure the mods would give you permission to alt.
Good idea. I'll do just that.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:55 am

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:I've been to a few cbs with v15 or so firms who suggest that skadden is not in their league for corp (but acknowledging that s&c or dpw are). What's with the skadden hate? Is it really viewed as a lesser v5 even though it moved up to 3 in the vault rankings? Or are these firms just hatin'?

Especially in corp, not a single a V15 is in Skadden's league. Period. Wall street and GCs love Skadden. I get why other firms hate Skadden though. I have a couple of friends who used to work there and even they hate the place. From what I gather, the partners are uncivil to opposing counsel and even their own associates, co-counsel, local counsel. I've not really dealt with the firm before but I don't think I want to. Throwing unnecessary elbows, knees, and eyepokes just seems to be part of the firms culture probably because the firm made its bones in a really aggressive area (takeovers).

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:any thoughts on obtaining biglaw with criminal history - think a couple of alcohol misdemeanors and 2 theft misdemeanors. all occurred over 5 years ago, too
The theft misdemeanors are the ones that might stand in your way. What were the circumstances of those? Did they happen before or after age 18? Any chance they can get expunged? Also, what's your grade/school status? The more desirable a candidate you are, the more likely firms are to overlook your past.

everything happened w/in 1-1/2 year period when i was 17-18yrs old. One of the thefts is about to be expunged (stole cigarettes from employer). The other can't be (stole textbook from off campus bookstore), but I can get non-disclosure for it, which I will do when the expunction for the other is done. The alcohol misdemeanors occurred when i was 17 and were removed from my visible record. Last one is a class C marijuana charge that I pled guilty to. Completed probation/counseling/community service successfully for both theft charges and neither resulted in convictions. It's been almost 5 years since any legal problems, and will be 7 when i graduate. I'm #1 in my class at a mid tier-one school.

how does your firm deal with candidates like myself?

any info is appreciated

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:You have very little to lose by sending a short, humble e-mail to the associates who interviewed you to ask what they thought of you. If you felt you had an especially good rapport with an associate, then definitely e-mail that person. Initiative and humility can make you friends who will help you even if you don't end up at their firm. I am often rooting for those I do callbacks with because the callback is longer and more personal and I know how close they are to that offer. Often, I am curious about how they ended up (but I don't want to be creepy by reaching out first).

What about no-offered or cold-offered summer associates? Does this advice apply at all, or is it just too awkward to ask for off the record feedback from associates who seemed to like me and be satisfied with my work? Not sure what went wrong or whether anyone at the firm even knows, but feedback would be extremely useful for those of us who are in this situation without having received overly forthcoming exit reviews.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Diversity of work is a big factor for me too and I'm concerned that Skadden/Cravath have far more homogenous litigation work mainly from their corp clients, and associates have to fight to get on the interesting cases. Quinn/Boies do plaintiff's side work too with much more variety, right? I was thinking the tradeoff would be V5 prestige and more cushy support (paralegals, secretaries, formal training etc.) vs. much more interesting and substantive work (doing depos as a first year, etc.). Thoughts?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Diversity of work is a big factor for me too and I'm concerned that Skadden/Cravath have far more homogenous litigation work mainly from their corp clients, and associates have to fight to get on the interesting cases. Quinn/Boies do plaintiff's side work too with much more variety, right? I was thinking the tradeoff would be V5 prestige and more cushy support (paralegals, secretaries, formal training etc.) vs. much more interesting and substantive work (doing depos as a first year, etc.). Thoughts?


Diversity of work is overrated in litigation, esp. as a young associate.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
More than anything, you need to know who to avoid and which matters not to get staffed on. There are some partners/counsels/senior associates who eat their young and are not smart enough to be where they are. These types will give you impossible/confusing work, take credit for what you do well, exaggerate what you do wrong, and even invent flaws for you. Avoid at all costs and keep your eyes open.


Can you give us some insight on how you became successful in identifying these people?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:20 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:any thoughts on obtaining biglaw with criminal history - think a couple of alcohol misdemeanors and 2 theft misdemeanors. all occurred over 5 years ago, too
The theft misdemeanors are the ones that might stand in your way. What were the circumstances of those? Did they happen before or after age 18? Any chance they can get expunged? Also, what's your grade/school status? The more desirable a candidate you are, the more likely firms are to overlook your past.

everything happened w/in 1-1/2 year period when i was 17-18yrs old. One of the thefts is about to be expunged (stole cigarettes from employer). The other can't be (stole textbook from off campus bookstore), but I can get non-disclosure for it, which I will do when the expunction for the other is done. The alcohol misdemeanors occurred when i was 17 and were removed from my visible record. Last one is a class C marijuana charge that I pled guilty to. Completed probation/counseling/community service successfully for both theft charges and neither resulted in convictions. It's been almost 5 years since any legal problems, and will be 7 when i graduate. I'm #1 in my class at a mid tier-one school.

how does your firm deal with candidates like myself?

any info is appreciated
I do not know how my firm would deal with this. I don't think most firms have blanket policies on misdemeanors, so you will have to go firm by firm and see which one is willing to take a chance on you. I don't want to encourage or discourage you with no basis.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:39 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:V10 anon.
More than anything, you need to know who to avoid and which matters not to get staffed on. There are some partners/counsels/senior associates who eat their young and are not smart enough to be where they are. These types will give you impossible/confusing work, take credit for what you do well, exaggerate what you do wrong, and even invent flaws for you. Avoid at all costs and keep your eyes open.


Can you give us some insight on how you became successful in identifying these people?
Same way you identify assholes in real life: pay attention and (discreetly) ask around. People who are leaving the firm are great sources of info. Seek them out before they're gone. Invite them for drinks after they leave. Talk to secretaries and legal assistants. Be inquisitive and humble. Be trustworthy (keep your mouth shut and don't go outing or quoting people). Share info with your fellow associates (but be careful who you confide in) and they'll share info with you too. Make friends with those in other groups. They are more candid because they have less to fear from your group. If a partner treats you shabbily, avoid that partner in the future. Abusive partners don't care how hard you work for them, so don't be a battered housewife type (and so many eager to please junior associates are).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:57 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Diversity of work is a big factor for me too and I'm concerned that Skadden/Cravath have far more homogenous litigation work mainly from their corp clients, and associates have to fight to get on the interesting cases. Quinn/Boies do plaintiff's side work too with much more variety, right? I was thinking the tradeoff would be V5 prestige and more cushy support (paralegals, secretaries, formal training etc.) vs. much more interesting and substantive work (doing depos as a first year, etc.). Thoughts?

Sure, I'd say Quinn/Boies have more diversity than the average V10, probably because they have to take on a variety of cases to pay the bills while V10s tend to have longstanding relationships with investment banks and other such institutions. Do I think that should factor into your decisionmaking? No. Because as a junior associate you don't control what cases you're staffed on. You could end up spending a year or two stuck under a partner who does one kind of case. You could end up on a case that lasts forever. Litigations can last a lot longer than corporate deals do so litigators are at greater risk of getting stuck. You shouldn't make a decision based on a factor you have no control over.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:10 pm

V10 anon.
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You have very little to lose by sending a short, humble e-mail to the associates who interviewed you to ask what they thought of you. If you felt you had an especially good rapport with an associate, then definitely e-mail that person. Initiative and humility can make you friends who will help you even if you don't end up at their firm. I am often rooting for those I do callbacks with because the callback is longer and more personal and I know how close they are to that offer. Often, I am curious about how they ended up (but I don't want to be creepy by reaching out first).

What about no-offered or cold-offered summer associates? Does this advice apply at all, or is it just too awkward to ask for off the record feedback from associates who seemed to like me and be satisfied with my work? Not sure what went wrong or whether anyone at the firm even knows, but feedback would be extremely useful for those of us who are in this situation without having received overly forthcoming exit reviews.

If you got close to an associate, then ask him/her for feedback. Don't go asking indiscriminately though because there's a stigma attached to being no/cold offered after a summer. You don't want to broadcast your status and be "that guy who got no offered" years after you've moved on.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Kind of interested in knowing in what way you perceive Paul Weiss as different from the other four, either culture-wise or work-wise.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:44 pm

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?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to be a litigator, Quinn Emmanuel is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're interested in IP, Paul Weiss is a V20 that will look great on your resume. If you're focused on M&A then you want to break into the V10 if at all possible because certain V10 firms completely dominate that practice area.

What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Kind of interested in knowing in what way you perceive Paul Weiss as different from the other four, either culture-wise or work-wise.



Ditto to this question. Is it prestige? exit options? culture?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What do you think of, for example, choosing a firm like Quinn or Boies over Skadden/Cravath/Paul Weiss for litigation? Ever wished you'd started in a slightly smaller firm more focused on whatever your practice area is? How differently would you view lateral candidates with these firms on their resumes?
From a litigation standpoint, Quinn, Boies, Skadden and Cravath are basically the same firm to me in that they have similarly strong litigation practices, great exit options, and stressful cultures. Laterals from those firms are interchangeable. Paul Weiss is not in the same category as the other four, except IP-wise. I definitely do not wish I had started in a smaller firm, though my firm is not gigantic as far as big law firms go. My firm is stable, attracts excellent work and I prefer to be able to work on a diverse range of matters.

Kind of interested in knowing in what way you perceive Paul Weiss as different from the other four, either culture-wise or work-wise.



Ditto to this question. Is it prestige? exit options? culture?

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.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:25 am

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?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:59 am

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.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:03 pm

How big is the prestige gap between, let's say Cravath/Skadden/Simpson and Weil/Latham/Debevoise? Are exit options significantly different if someone is interested in M&A and PE? Thanks!

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:11 pm

Is Latham really that bad? When should one choose Latham over other V25 firms?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

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

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?

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How big is the prestige gap between, let's say Cravath/Skadden/Simpson and Weil/Latham/Debevoise? Are exit options significantly different if someone is interested in M&A and PE? Thanks!
Exit options depend a lot on your credentials (school, grades, firm rep etc) but also on what you've done at whichever firm you choose. So, instead of trying to split hairs this finely, pick whichever of these firms you think you can get the best work at. You can't go wrong with any. Except that Latham has a black eye from the mass layoffs and stumble it had a couple of years ago. I don't know what it's ranked nowadays but its brand has been tarnished a bit.

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Re: V10 Midlevel Associate. Taking Questions.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:27 pm

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.




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