Firm Cultures to Avoid

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Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:25 pm

This is a bit of a spin on the "Firms to Avoid" thread. There are lots of rumors regarding which firms have better firm cultures than others, so I thought having a thread for people to discuss firm's that have a reputation for being particularly tough culture-wise would be useful. All markets welcome!

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:29 pm

Latham (at least LA) has a reputation for being very fratty, not that this is a bad thing. Disagreeable to some people, though.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:32 pm

The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:50 pm

I've heard Kirkland & Ellis Chicago is known to be particularly tough and to be good at burning associates out.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've heard Kirkland & Ellis Chicago is known to be particularly tough and to be good at burning associates out.


this varies wildly. my friends at kirkland say that they have a lot of freedom and independence, but some people can't handle that and sort of burn themselves out by being an overachiever.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


3:32 here.

Consistent 100+ hour weeks, at least for corporate transaction side. A friend of mine experienced first-hand and has since left the field altogether.

Of course, if that is your type of thing, then go for it. But I prefer a firm that understands some semblance of a balance should be in place. A workplace that expects grueling hours months at a time is not what I consider a healthy firm (though an oxymoron of sorts, they do exist).

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


Same question re: Cleary NY? Hadn't heard this specifically, and had heard some positives about their culture...?

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:24 pm

Firm Cultures to Avoid: Large Law Firms.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Detrox » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:Firm Cultures to Avoid: Large Law Firms.


This.

Individual experiences are going to vary, but culture is likely to be overblown as a consideration for large firms which are generally fungible.

That being said, firms that notably play up their "unique" culture (true or not) are undoubtedly: MoFo & Debevoise as mentioned, and I would add Quinn Emanuel.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


Same question re: Cleary NY? Hadn't heard this specifically, and had heard some positives about their culture...?

+1, would like to hear about cleary culture

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


Same question re: Cleary NY? Hadn't heard this specifically, and had heard some positives about their culture...?


As someone who has summered at Cleary NY and has multiple friends 1-3 years in to working there, I don't agree with that at all.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


Same question re: Cleary NY? Hadn't heard this specifically, and had heard some positives about their culture...?


As someone who has summered at Cleary NY and has multiple friends 1-3 years in to working there, I don't agree with that at all.


More info, please! It's on my short list and it would be great to hear from someone who has summered there and knows some junior associates!

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As someone who has summered at Cleary NY and has multiple friends 1-3 years in to working there, I don't agree with that at all.


More info, please! It's on my short list and it would be great to hear from someone who has summered there and knows some junior associates!


Well, people work hard and long hours and on weekends etc and everything youre going to experience at any of the big firms, but there certainly seemed to be a large amount of respect for vacation/necessary(ie weddings and important events) personal time. One of the deals I was on the mid level associate that was basically running the deal left for vacation the week before it closed, and the partner was totally supportive and one of his friends who was having a slow period filled in for him and said that everyone does that for each other to allow people to take vacations without having to worry about work. Other people I know have been able to take all of their vacation time and enjoy it and partners/seniors associates have been understanding re: weddings/family commitments. None of this is to say you wont work long hours and weekends etc but everyone seems to do evenings/weekends from home and there is no problem with that.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As someone who has summered at Cleary NY and has multiple friends 1-3 years in to working there, I don't agree with that at all.


More info, please! It's on my short list and it would be great to hear from someone who has summered there and knows some junior associates!


Well, people work hard and long hours and on weekends etc and everything youre going to experience at any of the big firms, but there certainly seemed to be a large amount of respect for vacation/necessary(ie weddings and important events) personal time. One of the deals I was on the mid level associate that was basically running the deal left for vacation the week before it closed, and the partner was totally supportive and one of his friends who was having a slow period filled in for him and said that everyone does that for each other to allow people to take vacations without having to worry about work. Other people I know have been able to take all of their vacation time and enjoy it and partners/seniors associates have been understanding re: weddings/family commitments. None of this is to say you wont work long hours and weekends etc but everyone seems to do evenings/weekends from home and there is no problem with that.


Thank you for this response!

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:21 pm

Irell, unless you know what you're getting yourself into and then you'll love it.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:35 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:Firm Cultures to Avoid: Large Law Firms.


I lol'ed.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby fatduck » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:41 pm

wtf is going on in this thread

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Irell, unless you know what you're getting yourself into and then you'll love it.

What is negative about Irell's culture? (coming from someone considering them)

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby fatduck » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Irell, unless you know what you're getting yourself into and then you'll love it.

What is negative about Irell's culture? (coming from someone considering them)

i assume he's referring to the soul-crushing hours

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY
Yes. I'm a V10 midlevel associate and I can tell you that if you care about lifestyle, friends, happiness, balance, you should run far from these three firms in particular. The rumors about these firms are not exaggerated. If you can land these firms, you can land a firm like Debevoise, which is about as good as a V10 gets. Lockstep partner compensation (which Debevoise has) alleviates stress among the partnership and partners with lower stress levels don't abuse people. Everyone I know at Debevoise works hard but is satisfied. Cleary is a passive aggressive place. They don't know if they want to be Cravath or Debevoise and partners there really vary wildly. Kirkland is high stress and encourages gunnerism because it's not quite lockstep. It's like a wannabe Boies, which is strange because it predates Boies. Davis Polk is said to be a good place to work compared to the rest of the V10 (except Debevoise). As far as Boies goes, money is the only reason to go to Boies Schiller. I've heard it's a miserable, very high stress place with high attrition (higher than usual). None of the people I know there has lasted more than two years (and these are highly motivated gunners).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY

Firms that have the reputation to notoriously treat you like factory workers that I have heard of and experienced first-hand: Cleary Gottlieb NY, Shearman & Sterling NY

Firm known to have great culture: MoFo, Debevoise NY


Can you speak more about the "factory worker" experience at Shearman & Sterling NY?


3:32 here.

Consistent 100+ hour weeks, at least for corporate transaction side. A friend of mine experienced first-hand and has since left the field altogether.

Of course, if that is your type of thing, then go for it. But I prefer a firm that understands some semblance of a balance should be in place. A workplace that expects grueling hours months at a time is not what I consider a healthy firm (though an oxymoron of sorts, they do exist).


Huh I think a lot of this varies depending on who you talk to. I know multiple associates at Shearman who have much better work life balance and enjoy the culture as compared to a person I know at Debevoise who had large workloads and didn't really enjoy the intense & work-centric culture (in terms of a sort of constant focus on law, legal ideas, etc. even on downtime discussions or events) he found at Debevoise. This then is the complete opposite of what you listed.

Of course this also varies widely depending on your luck and certain circumstances. I do know Shearman had a massive deal that had out of control hours for awhile that sucked some associates in for more than two months and really crushed them with work. However this was more of a unusual circumstance in that M&A deals usually aren't that consistently heavy.

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The obvious: Cravath, S&C, Skadden NY
Yes. I'm a V10 midlevel associate and I can tell you that if you care about lifestyle, friends, happiness, balance, you should run far from these three firms in particular. The rumors about these firms are not exaggerated. If you can land these firms, you can land a firm like Debevoise, which is about as good as a V10 gets. Lockstep partner compensation (which Debevoise has) alleviates stress among the partnership and partners with lower stress levels don't abuse people. Everyone I know at Debevoise works hard but is satisfied. Cleary is a passive aggressive place. They don't know if they want to be Cravath or Debevoise and partners there really vary wildly. Kirkland is high stress and encourages gunnerism because it's not quite lockstep. It's like a wannabe Boies, which is strange because it predates Boies. Davis Polk is said to be a good place to work compared to the rest of the V10 (except Debevoise). As far as Boies goes, money is the only reason to go to Boies Schiller. I've heard it's a miserable, very high stress place with high attrition (higher than usual). None of the people I know there has lasted more than two years (and these are highly motivated gunners).


Can you talk about STB? Thank you!

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Re: Firm Cultures to Avoid

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:37 am

+1 for hearing about STB.




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