Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

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Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:16 pm

Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?

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EvilClinton
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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby EvilClinton » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:22 pm

Nope. Go with what feels right.

If you don't fit in at the V10 then your life is going to be miserable there. But if you fit in at both and all other things are equal then take the V10.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?


You already know the answer.

The odd part is asking a bunch of strangers that (1) don't know you (2) don't know what you want out of life and (3) don't know what firms you are talking about to make a significant life decision for you.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:30 pm

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?


You already know the answer.

The odd part is asking a bunch of strangers that (1) don't know you (2) don't know what you want out of life and (3) don't know what firms you are talking about to make a significant life decision for you.


True. Just wanted to make sure it isn't career suicide (ie... bait and switch with horrible exit options).

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby rad lulz » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?


You already know the answer.

The odd part is asking a bunch of strangers that (1) don't know you (2) don't know what you want out of life and (3) don't know what firms you are talking about to make a significant life decision for you.


True. Just wanted to make sure it isn't career suicide (ie... bait and switch with horrible exit options).

Depends what you would be doing at these firms and what you would want to exit into.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:33 pm

I'm starting to decide that there is a limit to rationality at some point in this whole process. I literally cannot distinguish between my final two firm choices. I'm just going to go with my gut feeling based on the things you mentioned (people, perceptions on work environment, etc).

Hopefully this is the right call.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:14 am

rad lulz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?


You already know the answer.

The odd part is asking a bunch of strangers that (1) don't know you (2) don't know what you want out of life and (3) don't know what firms you are talking about to make a significant life decision for you.


True. Just wanted to make sure it isn't career suicide (ie... bait and switch with horrible exit options).

Depends what you would be doing at these firms and what you would want to exit into.


Corporate or Lit. Exit options? Umm dont want to be in a sweat shop. This isn't a plan for me to pay debt ASAP and go in house. Just want interesting work, good people and to live a decent life.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:41 am

Unless the firms are in different markets, it's probably foolish to think you'll avoid doc review and have a great quality of life at the non-V10.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Would I be stupid to do this? I thought the people were much friendlier and the work environment was so much more relaxed and less sterile. Also thinking about quality of life (hours) and avoiding doc review. Good or bad idea?


See my related post:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=193497

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:13 am

bro, it's WAY easier to transition downstream than up. after a couple or few years at the V10, doors will be flung open for you; you can go wherever. if you start at a v50, your options after a few years will be less than if you've got the v10 associated with your name.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby keg411 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:23 am

thesealocust wrote:it's probably foolish to think you'll avoid doc review and have a great quality of life at the non-V10.


This is accurate. If you're going to pick the lower firm, do it for the people and the environment and not because you think you're going to get more substantive work ASAP.

I also think it depends on what the V10 and what the V50-100 firms are, if you're doing corporate vs. litigation and how strong your top practice area is at each firm.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby ben4847 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:28 am

Plenty of 50-100's are sweat shops. Seems really hard to judge this on an interview.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby ruski » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:30 am

the only reason id say go with the v10 is bc u might go to the v50 thinking itll be less of a sweatshop, then you find out its not at all, then youll be kicking urself saying for this crappy lifestyle you might as well have gone to the v10. pple shouldnt have this notion that a v50 is going to work them less.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby keg411 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:58 am

ben4847 wrote:Plenty of 50-100's are sweat shops. Seems really hard to judge this on an interview.


IMO, pretty much all BigLaw firms are sweatshops in terms of hours (and yes, this even includes a ton of regional BigLaw firms or firms thought to be "lifestyle" firms). The places that are going to give you 40-50 hour work-weeks aren't paying $100k+ to first-year associates.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:12 am

keg411 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:Plenty of 50-100's are sweat shops. Seems really hard to judge this on an interview.


IMO, pretty much all BigLaw firms are sweatshops in terms of hours (and yes, this even includes a ton of regional BigLaw firms or firms thought to be "lifestyle" firms). The places that are going to give you 40-50 hour work-weeks aren't paying $100k+ to first-year associates.


Yeah there are. Plenty of firms in Illinois, Georgia, Texas, California, etc. that pay 160k and you can do 40-50 hour work weeks with the occasional fire drill case filings or deal closings.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:23 am

Depends on the specific V50-V100 firm, but I don't see a problem with this in the abstract (especially if you're not in NYC). I made a similar choice (V60>V20 and V10) and couldn't be happier with my decision.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:05 pm

I think it depends where the firm is headquartered. An Atlanta based firm in NYC doesn't work cravath/Skadden hours. Thats not what management instills. You work hard anywhere but I think it would be different.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:14 pm

At my regional V100 firm, most people are gone by 7:30 and the starting salary is still 130k+. Also, there aren't many T14 students, so being one is kind of special.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:32 pm

This thread is really pointless without knowing the specific firms, as you can't really judge just by vault rank.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby bk1 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:36 pm

keg411 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:Plenty of 50-100's are sweat shops. Seems really hard to judge this on an interview.


IMO, pretty much all BigLaw firms are sweatshops in terms of hours (and yes, this even includes a ton of regional BigLaw firms or firms thought to be "lifestyle" firms). The places that are going to give you 40-50 hour work-weeks aren't paying $100k+ to first-year associates.


I think it's a matter of degree. 2700-3000 hours is sweatshoppy compared to 2500-2700 which is sweatshoppy compared to 2200 which is sweatshoppy compared to 2000. While pretty much all objectively suck, some suck more than others.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:03 pm

Yeah, agree with whoever said that the firm matters. There are plenty of situations where I think this makes total sense (e.g. Patterson Belknap/Hughes Hubbard v. NYC V10, Jenner v. K&E in Chicago, Steptoe DC v. DC V10, Bingham v. Boston V10, or any situation involving offers in different cities), but there are obviously other instances where it would be dumb to take the lower-ranked firm.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:09 pm

I think you should examine your motives for choosing the V50. For instance, someone in this thread said, "there aren't many T14 students, so being one is kind of special." Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond?

Personally, when I got my V10 offer, I was kind of intimidated by it. I thought I might do better at a V30 or V50, the way some people think they'll do better at a lower ranked law school. I ultimately decided that that was the wrong way to go, and that being at a V10 firm, with its incredible resources and impressive clients, was the best thing for my development as an attorney.

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby lawyerwannabe » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, agree with whoever said that the firm matters. There are plenty of situations where I think this makes total sense (e.g. Patterson Belknap/Hughes Hubbard v. NYC V10, Jenner v. K&E in Chicago, Steptoe DC v. DC V10, Bingham v. Boston V10, or any situation involving offers in different cities), but there are obviously other instances where it would be dumb to take the lower-ranked firm.


HH is a great firm. But you're telling me that you would honestly take it over a V10? I understand the Patterson reference for someone that really wants to do litigation, but HH for coporate!? Really?

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby keg411 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:07 pm

bk1 wrote:
keg411 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:Plenty of 50-100's are sweat shops. Seems really hard to judge this on an interview.


IMO, pretty much all BigLaw firms are sweatshops in terms of hours (and yes, this even includes a ton of regional BigLaw firms or firms thought to be "lifestyle" firms). The places that are going to give you 40-50 hour work-weeks aren't paying $100k+ to first-year associates.


I think it's a matter of degree. 2700-3000 hours is sweatshoppy compared to 2500-2700 which is sweatshoppy compared to 2200 which is sweatshoppy compared to 2000. While pretty much all objectively suck, some suck more than others.


Well, yeah. I'm just saying that I know firms that have 1800/1900 billable requirements that aren't even Vault ranked (and aren't in NYC) and people still complain about how bad the hours are. I think it's really hard to get a good comparison, unless you ask laterals (and even they're going to have biases).

I just think it's better to have a general rule that, "yes the hours are going to suck. That's why you get paid."

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Re: Choosing a V50-100 firm over a V10

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:15 pm

I'm actually in this same situation, except with litigation and not corporate and with HH versus a V5. I'm going with HH (NYC market). Frankly, better personality fit for me, better fit for my broader life aims, and liked the people (at every tier of lawyering) better. Literally one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but you gotta go with your gut when you're signing away your better years to an office doing doc review. For corporate, go with the V10 if you're happy with the people/environment. What I've heard consistently from senior associates at a range of "Vault" firms in NYC is that the difference between biglaw in NYC is nonexistent in terms of work and prestige, that Vault is just a jiggered mess that shouldn't be paid heed, and that you should go with your gut.

So yea, go with your gut. You're going to be fine no matter what if you concede all firms work you like mad, and at least you'll be happy at the firm that fits better.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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