Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

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Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:03 am

Is this splitting hairs or are the exit options way better paying/more prestigious from Cravath or S&C or Skadden versus Latham or Kirkland or Debevoise? I know fit is important but it is difficult to go completely with fit when this first job could potentially shape your career. Thanks!

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:03 pm

Exit opportunities depend on the connections you establish at your firm. The connections you establish depend on the work that the firm takes on. It's debatable whether the deals at Cravath/S&C are better on average than ones at Kirkland/Latham.

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thesealocust
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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:08 pm

I've never found a perfect answer to questions like these, but the three firms you listed are all M&A powerhouses too. Surely prospects from Debevoise/Kirkland/Latham will at least still be bright, but I'm not sure a precise answer is realistic.

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby crouton62 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:35 pm

From my experience working in the GC's office of a F500 before law school, exit options, namely transitioning to an in-house roll with a client, are going to be relationship-based and skills-based, in that order. Sure, at the V5 you may get to work for a top-shelf client like Goldman or Morgan Stanley, but if the folks there don't care for you or think your work is shoddy, going in-house there ain't gonna happen. For transitioning into in-house rolls for companies who weren't clients of your firm, I can't imagine a V5 v. v15 will make that big a difference--how many non-lawyers really know the difference between DPW vs. Sidley? Or even if they do, they aren't prone to care about the name above the door as much as the type of work you did there. I have a hard time seeing a PE firm taking the guy from Wachtell who didn't do PE work over the guy from Paul Weiss who did just because the former spent a few years at a more reputable firm.

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:30 pm

Not OP. What about if you wanted to go into finance (on the business side) after a few years at a firm (e.g. banking, PE work, hedge fund, etc)?

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby crouton62 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:53 pm

That is again more a function of your skill set and connections than working at a V5 v. a V15 for a few years. Making due diligence binders and listening in on partners make conference calls is not going to convince an PE firm or hedge fund that you possess the requisite financial acumen to value and structure deals on the finance-side. Think about it, when you leave a firm after 3-5 years, that puts you directly competing against kids coming out of MBA programs for those VP positions that you'd presumably be targeting. Absent you having a strong finance background before law school, why is a PE fund or whatever going to take a chance on a wash-out lawyer when they have their pick from a horde of MBA's who have been finance guys their whole lives?

Now that said, many larger finance outfits do have these hybrid legal/finance positions (think compliance focused) where a lack of hard finance background isn't as likely to matter. Since these rolls are more likely to exist at bigger outfits like a KKR, Apollo, Goldman, etc., working at a V5 that represents such clients more so than do V15 firms, then yeah there might be a difference simply from a connections stand point. But just because you spent a few years at S&C or DPW, these elite shops aren't gonna be jumping to have you come on board simply because you were at those firms. Having those firms on your resume and by virtue of you working there to build the relationships plus you actually possessing the quantitate skills they're looking for? Yeah then you might be in business.

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:02 am

crouton62 wrote:That is again more a function of your skill set and connections than working at a V5 v. a V15 for a few years. Making due diligence binders and listening in on partners make conference calls is not going to convince an PE firm or hedge fund that you possess the requisite financial acumen to value and structure deals on the finance-side. Think about it, when you leave a firm after 3-5 years, that puts you directly competing against kids coming out of MBA programs for those VP positions that you'd presumably be targeting. Absent you having a strong finance background before law school, why is a PE fund or whatever going to take a chance on a wash-out lawyer when they have their pick from a horde of MBA's who have been finance guys their whole lives?

Now that said, many larger finance outfits do have these hybrid legal/finance positions (think compliance focused) where a lack of hard finance background isn't as likely to matter. Since these rolls are more likely to exist at bigger outfits like a KKR, Apollo, Goldman, etc., working at a V5 that represents such clients more so than do V15 firms, then yeah there might be a difference simply from a connections stand point. But just because you spent a few years at S&C or DPW, these elite shops aren't gonna be jumping to have you come on board simply because you were at those firms. Having those firms on your resume and by virtue of you working there to build the relationships plus you actually possessing the quantitate skills they're looking for? Yeah then you might be in business.


So you are saying a Cravath associate has the same shot at i-banking as a Gibson Dunn associate, all else equal and assuming banking contacts/relationships?

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:19 am

So you are saying a Cravath associate has the same shot at i-banking as a Gibson Dunn associate, all else equal and assuming banking contacts/relationships?


If you're getting a law degree and working at a big firm to be an ibanker, you're taking the stupidest route to ibanking known to man. I don't get why this forum is so obsessed with being an ibanker.

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:22 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
So you are saying a Cravath associate has the same shot at i-banking as a Gibson Dunn associate, all else equal and assuming banking contacts/relationships?


If you're getting a law degree and working at a big firm to be an ibanker, you're taking the stupidest route to ibanking known to man. I don't get why this forum is so obsessed with being an ibanker.


Some people may not end up liking biglaw for whatever reason (after going to law school, intending to be a lawyer) and want to look elsewhere...

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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
So you are saying a Cravath associate has the same shot at i-banking as a Gibson Dunn associate, all else equal and assuming banking contacts/relationships?


If you're getting a law degree and working at a big firm to be an ibanker, you're taking the stupidest route to ibanking known to man. I don't get why this forum is so obsessed with being an ibanker.


Some people may not end up liking biglaw for whatever reason (after going to law school, intending to be a lawyer) and want to look elsewhere...


Yeah, but you'll definitely like ibanking and should dive into it full force after finding out that the law degree was for shit :shock: :roll:

If you wanted ibanking, you should've buckled up in HS, gone to a prestigious university and then to ibanking. Otherwise, you should've gotten your MBA from a good school, and then ibanking.

If you're still intent on going into ibanking (business side, not legal side) while doing the law degree/biglaw route, here's two ways
1) Be a superstar in your class (like you should seriously be the one associate in your massive class who everyone, including your peers, basically thinks will be one of the few who make partner), and work at a big firm with big, near historic connections to the bulge bracket investment banks (S&C<--->Goldman, for example). Even then, it's not nearly a guarantee and still incredibly difficult.

2) After a few years in biglaw, apply for MBA programs and attend one if you get into a top program. And then realize how stupid you were for getting the law degree, but maybe not really that stupid if you're able to take advantage of PAYE.

Edit: And for all the complaining people do on this forum about biglaw hours, I've seen the hours my peers at our clients do (including ibanks, PE funds, hedge funds). Our lives are glorious in comparison.

crouton62
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Re: Exit Options: M&A at V5 v. V15

Postby crouton62 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
crouton62 wrote:That is again more a function of your skill set and connections than working at a V5 v. a V15 for a few years. Making due diligence binders and listening in on partners make conference calls is not going to convince an PE firm or hedge fund that you possess the requisite financial acumen to value and structure deals on the finance-side. Think about it, when you leave a firm after 3-5 years, that puts you directly competing against kids coming out of MBA programs for those VP positions that you'd presumably be targeting. Absent you having a strong finance background before law school, why is a PE fund or whatever going to take a chance on a wash-out lawyer when they have their pick from a horde of MBA's who have been finance guys their whole lives?

Now that said, many larger finance outfits do have these hybrid legal/finance positions (think compliance focused) where a lack of hard finance background isn't as likely to matter. Since these rolls are more likely to exist at bigger outfits like a KKR, Apollo, Goldman, etc., working at a V5 that represents such clients more so than do V15 firms, then yeah there might be a difference simply from a connections stand point. But just because you spent a few years at S&C or DPW, these elite shops aren't gonna be jumping to have you come on board simply because you were at those firms. Having those firms on your resume and by virtue of you working there to build the relationships plus you actually possessing the quantitate skills they're looking for? Yeah then you might be in business.


So you are saying a Cravath associate has the same shot at i-banking as a Gibson Dunn associate, all else equal and assuming banking contacts/relationships?


Yep, finance is a completely different ball game. If you were the head chef of a restaurant and were evaluating two former petroleum engineers turned chefs to cook for you, would you care that one guy worked at Exxon and the other at Moose Shit Oil Co. in their former careers? Sure, you'd note that the Exxon guy was at the top of the heap in his former career, but in your kitchen does that really matter now? Who can make the sauce just right is all you'd care about. While that analogy was obviously a more extreme comparison that what you proposed, I still think it's principle hold true. I think TLS nitpicks the prestige difference between the Vault tiers in a way that is completely foreign to non-lawyers. The average senior banker whose bank doesn't use either Cravath or GDC might have some vague notion that Cravath is a better firm than GDC, but again for what he's hiring you for, unless he's not very good at his job, he's not hiring the Cravath guy simply because of that.




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