Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

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S1mm
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Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby S1mm » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:32 am

I just received an offer from Skadden HK office, so I'm updating this thread to include the addition. Thanks again.

ORIGINAL TEXT:

Interested in hearing people's thoughts on which is the "better" firm to work for if one is generally interested in corporate transactions and project finance. Particularly interested to hear about the prospects that each firm offers in terms of 1) partnership, 2) flexibility to move between practices and/or offices, 3) lateral opportunities into other firms or in-house.

Thanks!
Last edited by S1mm on Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:54 am

My vote's for Milbank if you want to do project finance work - at the firm's reception for my school and my callback interviews, people said that the project finance group is expanding rapidly and doing some really interesting work, like funding windmills and telecommunications networks. One associate even mentioned that if you really want to get an offer, say you're interested in project finance. It's an area that the firm obviously takes pride in.

Also, from what I gathered, Allen & Overy markets itself (very aggressively, I might add) as an international law firm. Other firms, including Milbank, say they're building their international presence, but they're still very much based in New York. Depending on your interests and your desire to pursue international work (which is 99% corporate work anyway), that could push you in one direction or another. Milbank lets summer associates rotate through three practice groups during the summer program - I have no idea whether you can still rotate once you're a full-time associate. That could be something to ask junior associates there. Don't know about A&O.

As a 2L going through the same process, I know nothing about either firm's partnership prospects or lateral opportunities, though I would imagine that the chances of making partner at any firm now is slim. Both are great choices, but my hat's tipped in favor of Milbank for their sweet Milbank@Harvard program, especially if you're interested in corporate and finance.

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:59 pm

A&O's projects group is actually pretty badass, and is only getting more so with this announcement from yesterday: http://abovethelaw.com/2012/09/musical- ... o-another/.

In terms of exit options, I know a lot of people in A&O's projects group go on to do some really cool work with organizations like OPIC. In terms of lateraling, I think most people leave A&O to go work for a bank or other corporations. Very few people leave to work for other law firms--probably because the culture at A&O is pretty good and when people leave they mostly want a lifestyle change.

A&O also has a rotation system. The summer program pretty much lets you work on whatever you want, and when you get back as a first year you are expected to rotate through at least two groups (although you don't HAVE to).

One huge thing to think about that most 2Ls don't/can't is that A&O New York is a lot smaller than Milbank. But they're growing aggressively and bringing in new partners, so while it's true that the NYC office can't compare to HQ in London, there's a lot of opportunity coming from the ground-up at A&O. Also think about what it's like to be one summer in a group of about 15 people (A&O) vs. about 50 people (Milbank). Big difference in terms of standing out and getting to know people.

S1mm
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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC)

Postby S1mm » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:10 pm

Thanks guys! Really like what you've written!

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:28 pm

OP, do you want to work overseas one day? Working at the Hong Kong office of Skadden sounds a lot like baptism by fire: smaller office, leanly staffed projects, you'll get a lot of responsibility and substantive work upfront as a junior associate, which could be awesome if you want that.

S1mm
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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby S1mm » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP, do you want to work overseas one day? Working at the Hong Kong office of Skadden sounds a lot like baptism by fire: smaller office, leanly staffed projects, you'll get a lot of responsibility and substantive work upfront as a junior associate, which could be awesome if you want that.



As indecisive as this sounds, I really don't know if I want to work overseas. I know I want to have the opportunity of doing so, but without having actually worked overseas, I can't say I want to commit to it right off the bat. I totally agree with what you're saying regarding Skadden. My question is: if I start out there, what are my chances of coming back to NY if I find that I don't want to live/work in HK anymore?

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:19 pm

S1mm wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP, do you want to work overseas one day? Working at the Hong Kong office of Skadden sounds a lot like baptism by fire: smaller office, leanly staffed projects, you'll get a lot of responsibility and substantive work upfront as a junior associate, which could be awesome if you want that.



As indecisive as this sounds, I really don't know if I want to work overseas. I know I want to have the opportunity of doing so, but without having actually worked overseas, I can't say I want to commit to it right off the bat. I totally agree with what you're saying regarding Skadden. My question is: if I start out there, what are my chances of coming back to NY if I find that I don't want to live/work in HK anymore?

Anon who asked about Skadden HK here. During my cb with Skadden NY, I talked pretty extensively to a partner who's close with people in the HK office. He said that if you've interviewed there and they've gone through the whole process of interviewing and then offering you, they're assuming that some degree of permanence is involved. After all, it wouldn't really make sense that you liked the city enough to accept an offer there and then spent the whole time wondering how to get out. If you want to move back to NY, I would imagine that some compelling reason would be required, but you may want to ask junior associates who are working in the HK office now if there are opportunities to switch back.

Also, I don't mean to get all psychological on you, but it doesn't sound like you're fully committed to working in HK and I would advice against accepting an offer in a completely foreign city if you have some reservations, especially if there's no grace period, like a summer program, to test the city out and see if it's to your liking. Milbank and A&O both have overseas offices, and I think overseas rotations are encouraged, if you ultimately wind up liking international work.

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:09 pm

If you don't want to live in HK in the future or even thinking about moving to NYC, then you might as well just start out in NYC...

S1mm
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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby S1mm » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:23 pm

I'm not sure about the details of the Skadden offer just yet, but it is likely that they can offer me a five week summer in NY and another in HK (I should have mentioned that this is for the Summer Associate program). I like what y'all are saying about how going to HK may not be the best if I want to start off in NY.

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:20 pm

i have family ties in HK and visit there quiet a lot (indeed, my parents were born there). i also know some lawyers in HK (UK trained, US trained, and HK trained). i'd say i know the city and the market there pretty well, and my advice is: do NOT go unless you are sure you want to live there for at least 3 years. since you already have an offer, i'd imagine you successfully convinced them that you'd want to live in Asia. i don't know your background, but unless you have strong ties with NY, it's much harder to lateral back to the NY market than the other way around. have you spent more than a week in HK before? imo, HK is amazing, but it's not NY, the city gets boring after a few months...

lemme know if i can be of more help

S1mm
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:11 pm

Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby S1mm » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i have family ties in HK and visit there quiet a lot (indeed, my parents were born there). i also know some lawyers in HK (UK trained, US trained, and HK trained). i'd say i know the city and the market there pretty well, and my advice is: do NOT go unless you are sure you want to live there for at least 3 years. since you already have an offer, i'd imagine you successfully convinced them that you'd want to live in Asia. i don't know your background, but unless you have strong ties with NY, it's much harder to lateral back to the NY market than the other way around. have you spent more than a week in HK before? imo, HK is amazing, but it's not NY, the city gets boring after a few months...

lemme know if i can be of more help



Thanks!

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Re: Allen & Overy vs. Milbank (both NYC) vs. Skadden HK

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:01 pm

Sorry if this point has already been mentioned (I skimmed this thread), but you should consider the financial advantages of working in HK.

Firms still give expat packages of about $80k on top of your NY salary. If you're a US citizen, you also enjoy an exclusion from gross income of ~$95k as well as deductions of up to ~$104k for living expenses. Basically, if you start in HK, you'll be earning $240k in year 1 but with the tax advantage, your net income is equivalent to making $300k back in the states. The cost of living in HK is roughly equal to that of NY.




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