difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

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difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:03 am

Is the corp work in NY really that much better? If I want to end up in LA or SF long term would it be dumb to turn down an NY v5 for one of the bigger firms in these cities (like Latham or MoFo or GDC or the like)?

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:27 am

Not at all - in fact, there are many reasons to choose a Latham or GDC in LA or SF over DPW/Skadden/S&C/Cleary etc. in NYC.

Hours: Junior associates in CA can actually bill around ~2000. In NYC, they'll probably be expected to bill around ~2400 (or horror stories of more). That's like adding 2+ more work months into the year. Base is the same and bonuses are mostly a wash anyway, so it seems like a much better deal.

Culture: People in CA just seem to be more chill. I've heard more horror stories of screamers and all-nighters out east.

Exit options: If you want to end up in CA, I really think that GDC or Latham have better names than NYC v5 among local lawyers, firms, in-house gigs (that's probably in part because the satellites in CA just don't stack up to the local competition).

Personally, everyone I know in NYC at the v10 is miserable (including the 'lifestyle' places like Cleary, which is still a sweatshop).

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thesealocust
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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is the corp work in NY really that much better?


Yes. Absolutely.

If I want to end up in LA or SF long term would it be dumb to turn down an NY v5 for one of the bigger firms in these cities (like Latham or MoFo or GDC or the like)?


No, not at all. Starting your career where you want to wind up is perfectly defensible.

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is the corp work in NY really that much better? If I want to end up in LA or SF long term would it be dumb to turn down an NY v5 for one of the bigger firms in these cities (like Latham or MoFo or GDC or the like)?


The corporate work in NYC is so much better than the corporate work in LA or SF the two are not comparable. Additionally, when corporate work starts to dry up, it hits first in CA. This is because the CA firms like Latham, MoFo, GDC get a lot of the spillover NYC work, which is the firs to dry up in a bad economy. There is always going to be corporate work in NY because that's where the banks are, but in CA, there is no such guarantee. At firms like Gibson and Latham (don't know about MoFo) that have unassigned programs, this means that if corporate work is dead, you're going to be slotted in litigation (or worse).

As for exit options, I think they're about the same. The three CA firms you mentioned are all well respected in CA, but at the same time it's not like S&C, Skadden, Cravath, etc. attorneys aren't going to be able to get interviews for in-house positions out west either. Any V-20 firm in NY is going to have name recognition that is going to extend to the west coast, even if there are no offices in CA or SF.

Basically, I think the exit options are pretty similar for a NY v5 compared to a Latham/MoFo/GDC LA/SF corporate attorney, even though the V5 is more "prestigious." But the corporate work in NY is more steady (NY offices aren't surviving from deal to deal) and of better quality. Obviously if you can't stand NY you should take the CA firms. But if you don't mind NY or actually like NY, then I would take one of those V5's, especially given the added job security.

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Lawyerhead » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:34 am

What does "better" mean? More? Consistent? Higher quality? It really depends on the firm. True, more corporate work happens in NYC itself, but doesnt mean CA firms aren't fully engaged in corporate work. If we were talking a satellite office of a major NYC firm vs the main NYC headquarters, then I'd understand.

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thesealocust
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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:17 pm

Lawyerhead wrote:What does "better" mean?


The biggest, highest-stakes, most cutting-edge and/or involved legally, etc. corporate work nearly always involves at least one, and often 2, NYC firms.

If you want to get philosophical you could question what the benefits to a young associate are to working on a deal worth more or that gets more press, but it's impossible to dispute how NYC centric the "best" corporate work is. To some extent that's stability - even if the total number of deals drops off, there will always be a few big ones and they'll always be tapping big NYC firms.

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Additionally, when corporate work starts to dry up, it hits first in CA.


Not entirely true, see Silicon Valley ITE.

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:34 pm

Is Skadden LA a significant step down from GDC or Latham in terms of corporate work?

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Re: difference between quality of corp work in nyc vs. sf/la

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is Skadden LA a significant step down from GDC or Latham in terms of corporate work?


No not at all. Skadden LA is big in the corporate world in LA.




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