Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

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Anonymous User
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Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:03 am

I was pretty much set to go to Cleary NY, but spoke with a very well-informed source whose info I trust and she was pretty hard on Cleary. Said it was a great firm with great people and a nice place to work, etc, but also said that it's litigation side is not very strong. I definitely want to litigate. She said Wilmer NY is a better choice, especially because she knew I wanted to end up in government, most likely as an AUSA--if possible.

But I'm having a little trouble getting my mind around that. I know that Cleary is such a well-respected firm, and granted, so is Wilmer, but I think most would accept that when you compare the "prestige" of Wilmer DC v. Cleary NY, Cleary comes out ahead. And that's not even taking into account that I'm thinking about Wilmer NY, not DC--the dreaded branch office (even though my sense is that Wilmer NY ALMOST doesn't count as a branch office). I understand that Wilmer is a much more litigation-focused place, and that for a long time, Cleary was known as a corporate shop. But my understanding was that its litigation side has grown tremendously over the past decade or so and is quite well-respected now. They also have a bunch of former SDNY/EDNY AUSAs (I think maybe as many as 10). Though, granted, Wilmer has almost as many AUSAs and they're half as big.

Does anyone have any experience or any thoughts on this? If I like each firm equally on a personal level, and know I want to litigate and ultimately would like to end up as an SDNY AUSA, is it crazy to choose Wilmer over Cleary? Or even if not crazy, if one were making the decision solely on the "quality" of work at either place and the extent it's respected in the industry, does Wilmer really beat Cleary?

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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:58 am

In terms of pure prestige (especially for litigation), Wilmer DC>>>Cleary NY. However, I don't know much about Wilmer's NY office.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:01 am

Cleary might be "weak" in lit (whatever that means--it's no Boies I guess, but it's still superb and your experience won't differ markedly from "better" big law litigation practices like Paul Weiss, Skadden, or Kirkland), but Wilmer NY is not even close. As you note, if this was DC, the decision would be a lot harder.

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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:43 am

My impression regarding the SDNY is that your recommenders really matter. So work closely with someone who the office trusts, and make sure that you get everything else in order (clerkships, etc.). I don't think hiring would look at your resume and think any less of you because you went to Cleary.

xcountryjunkie
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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby xcountryjunkie » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:52 am

Chambers rankings:

Cleary (NY): Band 2 for "Litigation - General Commercial - The Elite"
Wilmer (NY): Band 4 for "Litigation - General Commercial - The Elite"

Benchmark Litigation Rankings:

Cleary (NY): Highly Recommended
Wilmer (NY): Recommended

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ryanmot
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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby ryanmot » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:22 am

Cleary. No question about it.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Cleary NY v. Wilmer NY

Postby Arbiter213 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:32 pm

xcountryjunkie wrote:Chambers rankings:

Cleary (NY): Band 2 for "Litigation - General Commercial - The Elite"
Wilmer (NY): Band 4 for "Litigation - General Commercial - The Elite"

Benchmark Litigation Rankings:

Cleary (NY): Highly Recommended
Wilmer (NY): Recommended


Cleary is also Band 1 for White Collar Lit in NY, and Band 1 for litigation in NY in the new chambers associates ranking.




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