How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

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Anonymous User
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How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:25 pm

Preface: I'm considering summering at a small New York branch of a highly regarded non-NY firm (think Covington, Arnold & Porter, Hogan, Wilmer) over larger New York firms (not the tippy-top elite, but think Latham, Paul Weiss, Debevoise, etc.). Assume that I'm mainly interested in corporate and that the specialty of the small New York branch office's corporate department (think life sciences, technology, healthcare) is something I'm interested in, but that broader M&A/finance/etc work is of interest as well. The culture of the small firm as well as the low leverage and opportunities for early substantive experience are reasons why I'd summer there, but I worry that I'd be losing out on the superior exit options at a larger firm.

My question:
How important should it be to me that the larger firm is very well rated by Chambers in multiple corporate practice areas and the smaller firm has middling/lower ratings?

My intuition is that Chambers rankings can help a prospective summer/junior associate answer two questions: (1) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area translates to superior exit options, and (2) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area ensures a strong and steady workflow, which wards off potential layoffs.

As for (1), my understanding is that your exit options mostly depend on two variables: the prestige value of the deals you've been working on (more high-caliber work translates to better exit options) and the actual substantive roles you've played on those deals. Would it be crazy for me to think that the early substantive opportunities (given low leverage and lean staffing) of the smaller and less-well-rated firm compensate for the fact that the deals themselves will be less sexy, smaller in value, etc? Moreover, I have an understanding that the rules juniors play on sexy, WSJ-front-page-type deals at the elite corporate shops in NY is mostly limited to diligence and minor drafting, and that often mid-level/smaller deals (the kind that are plentiful at the smaller firm) often provide better experience-- is this accurate?

I'm less concerned about (2); the corporate group of the small firm seems to have done well through rough economic periods and it has enough strong institutional clients that I'm less concerned about the work simply drying up. Should I be more concerned about this factor?

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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Preface: I'm considering summering at a small New York branch of a highly regarded non-NY firm (think Covington, Arnold & Porter, Hogan, Wilmer) over larger New York firms (not the tippy-top elite, but think Latham, Paul Weiss, Debevoise, etc.). Assume that I'm mainly interested in corporate and that the specialty of the small New York branch office's corporate department (think life sciences, technology, healthcare) is something I'm interested in, but that broader M&A/finance/etc work is of interest as well. The culture of the small firm as well as the low leverage and opportunities for early substantive experience are reasons why I'd summer there, but I worry that I'd be losing out on the superior exit options at a larger firm.

My question:
How important should it be to me that the larger firm is very well rated by Chambers in multiple corporate practice areas and the smaller firm has middling/lower ratings?

My intuition is that Chambers rankings can help a prospective summer/junior associate answer two questions: (1) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area translates to superior exit options, and (2) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area ensures a strong and steady workflow, which wards off potential layoffs.

As for (1), my understanding is that your exit options mostly depend on two variables: the prestige value of the deals you've been working on (more high-caliber work translates to better exit options) and the actual substantive roles you've played on those deals. Would it be crazy for me to think that the early substantive opportunities (given low leverage and lean staffing) of the smaller and less-well-rated firm compensate for the fact that the deals themselves will be less sexy, smaller in value, etc? Moreover, I have an understanding that the rules juniors play on sexy, WSJ-front-page-type deals at the elite corporate shops in NY is mostly limited to diligence and minor drafting, and that often mid-level/smaller deals (the kind that are plentiful at the smaller firm) often provide better experience-- is this accurate?

I'm less concerned about (2); the corporate group of the small firm seems to have done well through rough economic periods and it has enough strong institutional clients that I'm less concerned about the work simply drying up. Should I be more concerned about this factor?


1) Look at how firm has treated associates in the past. Security is the most important thing and when you get Lathamed, it does not matter that you could have also gone at another v-10 firm.
2) I think there is nothing wrong if you go to a smaller NY office that is one lower band on chambers. That is a result of mass. Chambers rankings matter when offices of equal size have band differences.

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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Preface: I'm considering summering at a small New York branch of a highly regarded non-NY firm (think Covington, Arnold & Porter, Hogan, Wilmer) over larger New York firms (not the tippy-top elite, but think Latham, Paul Weiss, Debevoise, etc.). Assume that I'm mainly interested in corporate and that the specialty of the small New York branch office's corporate department (think life sciences, technology, healthcare) is something I'm interested in, but that broader M&A/finance/etc work is of interest as well. The culture of the small firm as well as the low leverage and opportunities for early substantive experience are reasons why I'd summer there, but I worry that I'd be losing out on the superior exit options at a larger firm.

My question:
How important should it be to me that the larger firm is very well rated by Chambers in multiple corporate practice areas and the smaller firm has middling/lower ratings?

My intuition is that Chambers rankings can help a prospective summer/junior associate answer two questions: (1) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area translates to superior exit options, and (2) the extent to which a firm's reputation/prestige in a given practice area ensures a strong and steady workflow, which wards off potential layoffs.

As for (1), my understanding is that your exit options mostly depend on two variables: the prestige value of the deals you've been working on (more high-caliber work translates to better exit options) and the actual substantive roles you've played on those deals. Would it be crazy for me to think that the early substantive opportunities (given low leverage and lean staffing) of the smaller and less-well-rated firm compensate for the fact that the deals themselves will be less sexy, smaller in value, etc? Moreover, I have an understanding that the rules juniors play on sexy, WSJ-front-page-type deals at the elite corporate shops in NY is mostly limited to diligence and minor drafting, and that often mid-level/smaller deals (the kind that are plentiful at the smaller firm) often provide better experience-- is this accurate?

I'm less concerned about (2); the corporate group of the small firm seems to have done well through rough economic periods and it has enough strong institutional clients that I'm less concerned about the work simply drying up. Should I be more concerned about this factor?


1) Look at how firm has treated associates in the past. Security is the most important thing and when you get Lathamed, it does not matter that you could have also gone at another v-10 firm.
2) I think there is nothing wrong if you go to a smaller NY office that is one lower band on chambers. That is a result of mass. Chambers rankings matter when offices of equal size have band differences.


1) you didn't answer the question.
2) this doesn't sound right at all.

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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:04 pm

I'm interested in almost exactly this same question, except replace Corporate blah blah blah with Litigation blah blah blah.

anon168
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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby anon168 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in almost exactly this same question, except replace Corporate blah blah blah with Litigation blah blah blah.


For litigation, focus on the training and quality (and type) of work you will be getting at whatever firm you go to, and not on stupid rankings -- either Vault, Chambers, USNWR.

When you decide to lateral out, no one is going to hire you because you worked at, for example, Cravath but did nothing except doc review and write mind-numbing boilerplate discovery requests. On the other hand people will do a double-take over resume even if went to an under-the-radar boutique like, for example, Shapiro Arato or Holwell Schuster, and did amazing stuff like second chairing a couple of trials and running your own cases.

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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:18 pm

Moreover, I have an understanding that the rules juniors play on sexy, WSJ-front-page-type deals at the elite corporate shops in NY is mostly limited to diligence and minor drafting, and that often mid-level/smaller deals (the kind that are plentiful at the smaller firm) often provide better experience-- is this accurate?


No, it isn't. Depends on firm. My firm even staffs megadeals leanly. Have been given plenty of responsibility and offered more.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:52 pm

It is really hard to advise you without knowing more. You're anonymous for christ's sake. You can say the firm (Hogan is not exactly Covington especially ITE HTH) and you don't need to go through the mega double secrecy of not giving the firm or the practice area. You are not the only special snowflake interested in this firm for this practice group. /rant

In the interest of disclosure I am venting a little in response to overuse of anon.

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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:16 am

somewhatwayward wrote:It is really hard to advise you without knowing more. You're anonymous for christ's sake. You can say the firm (Hogan is not exactly Covington especially ITE HTH) and you don't need to go through the mega double secrecy of not giving the firm or the practice area. You are not the only special snowflake interested in this firm for this practice group. /rant

In the interest of disclosure I am venting a little in response to overuse of anon.


OP here: the office is small enough that it hires less than ten summers and I know at least some of their associates read TLS. I'd like to conceal my neuroses from potential future co-workers for as long as possible.

Moreover, I think my fundamental question is pretty generalizable: do the hiring committees for typical corporate exit options (in-house counsel, lateral hires (including secondary markets), etc.) care more about the prestige of your firm/practice area or the substantive experience you've acquired?

itbdvorm
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Re: How important are Chambers rankings for quality of exit ops?

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:It is really hard to advise you without knowing more. You're anonymous for christ's sake. You can say the firm (Hogan is not exactly Covington especially ITE HTH) and you don't need to go through the mega double secrecy of not giving the firm or the practice area. You are not the only special snowflake interested in this firm for this practice group. /rant

In the interest of disclosure I am venting a little in response to overuse of anon.


OP here: the office is small enough that it hires less than ten summers and I know at least some of their associates read TLS. I'd like to conceal my neuroses from potential future co-workers for as long as possible.

Moreover, I think my fundamental question is pretty generalizable: do the hiring committees for typical corporate exit options (in-house counsel, lateral hires (including secondary markets), etc.) care more about the prestige of your firm/practice area or the substantive experience you've acquired?


Secret correct answer is both.

Your resume / name gets you in the door. Once past the initial gatekeeping stage, you have to demonstrate what you've done.




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