Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

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Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:02 am

Hi all,

I am deciding between a V20 firm in DC and a V10 in NYC. I am not sure biglaw is for me long term, and I have family who have told me I need to take the firm in NYC on exit options alone. I liked my visit to the DC office more and the practice areas of the DC law firm more, too. My biggest fear is if I don't take NYC now, will that door be closed to me later? I have been told by many NYC lawyers that practicing in NYC gives you a feather on your resume that you won't get elsewhere. Is it a mistake to take the DC job now because I think there is a greater chance of happiness, but may want to move to NYC in 5 yeas (may also not want to move...)?

Thanks so much for all of your help!

maximator
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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby maximator » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:06 am

Go with the place you liked more.

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kwais
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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby kwais » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I am deciding between a V20 firm in DC and a V10 in NYC. I am not sure biglaw is for me long term, and I have family who have told me I need to take the firm in NYC on exit options alone. I liked my visit to the DC office more and the practice areas of the DC law firm more, too. My biggest fear is if I don't take NYC now, will that door be closed to me later? I have been told by many NYC lawyers that practicing in NYC gives you a feather on your resume that you won't get elsewhere. Is it a mistake to take the DC job now because I think there is a greater chance of happiness, but may want to move to NYC in 5 yeas (may also not want to move...)?

Thanks so much for all of your help!


I would think that V20 DC is no slouch in terms of exit options. This is your life, go where you want to practice. At some point you have to stop making decisions based on hypothetical future prestige. Go kick ass in DC and you'll likely make your own path throughout your career

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:15 am

Not a mistake.

Technically, the top DC-based firms are "V20" firms (Covington, Wilmer, W&C) but if you like the idea of being in DC you'd be completely stupid to turn any of those down for a NYC firm—it's not even a drop in "prestige" among anyone who knows anything. If it's one of those then take the DC job, end of conversation. If it's another firm... you should still feel completely justified in taking it.

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ryanmot
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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby ryanmot » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:28 am

Are we talking about a DC firm that is v20 or a v20 firm's office in DC?

E.g. big difference if we are talking about Covington or Wilmer DC or White & Case's DC office.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby keg411 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:34 am

I generally think it's fine, but it partly depends on the specific firms.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

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

I just took a V20 DC over a V10 NYC. I didn't want to exit into banking or finance, so DC was the right choice for me.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:31 am

I took Paul Weiss DC over DPW/Skadden NYC because I loved the office, the people, and the chance for early/substantive trial work. I haven't regretted the decision and the office is very well-connected to NYC so by the time I'm ready to look at AUSA spots there will be lots of channels open. (Whether there are jobs open will be another question.)

Also, at least for my firm, it's much easier to transfer from the DC office to the NY office (smaller-->bigger) than the other way around. That may not apply to your situation if you are looking at W&C, but just throwing it out there anyway.

ETA: I'm a second-year associate.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:55 pm

ryanmot wrote:Are we talking about a DC firm that is v20 or a v20 firm's office in DC?

E.g. big difference if we are talking about Covington or Wilmer DC or White & Case's DC office.


This--DC-based firms in the V20 or even lower are just as well regarded in the profession as most of the V10, not to mention more selective in many cases. Some of the New York megafirm's D.C. offices, not so much.

You need to ask yourself what kind of exit options you want. If you want the type of exit options litigators normally want, I would think a top-tier D.C. firm would actually be better, unless you're set on going to the AUSA in SDNY or EDNY. If you want to go in-house or transition from law to business, NYC is probably better. But as long as we're talking about a well-regarded D.C. office, I don't think you need to worry about missing out on a general prestige stamp.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:52 pm

No one will ever question why you took GDC DC for securities lit or Williams for white-collar over STB NY. I could only see Sidley, White & Case or maybe Jones Day or Quinn making someone wonder why DC.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No one will ever question why you took GDC DC for securities lit or Williams for white-collar over STB NY. I could only see Sidley, White & Case or maybe Jones Day or Quinn making someone wonder why DC.



statements like this always remind me how little basis there is for so much that's said here.

Sidley is extremely well respected in DC. During my callbacks when I told firms where else I was interviewing, they to a man reacted to Sidley approvingly. it's certainly not in White & Case's category

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:20 pm

^
Sidley may be well-respected (although the fact that a couple people on a CB "reacted approvingly" is sparse evidence), but it is not the same as Covington, WilmerHale, Williams & Connolly, and possibly GDC and Paul Weiss. I am not sure it is really above Quinn or Boies (especially Boies), but you are right that it's better than White & Case.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:21 pm

Fair enough. I just thought that that seemed like a really unfair characterization.

Didn't get an offer, so I'm certainly not stumping for a future employer.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby thesealocust » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:26 pm

If you want to work in DC instead of NYC, you would be mentally deficient to let the vault rankings sway you to NYC.

Vault rankings are derived from hand out a survey to associates and asking them to rank firms in order of PRESTIGE. It is absurdly new york and large firm centric, and is in no way useful for comparing firms in different locations.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:No one will ever question why you took GDC DC for securities lit or Williams for white-collar over STB NY. I could only see Sidley, White & Case or maybe Jones Day or Quinn making someone wonder why DC.



statements like this always remind me how little basis there is for so much that's said here.

Sidley is extremely well respected in DC. During my callbacks when I told firms where else I was interviewing, they to a man reacted to Sidley approvingly. it's certainly not in White & Case's category


Seconding this. Sidley's D.C. office may very well be its most prestigious. The firm's top-flight appellate practice and new managing partner are both based out of D.C. Carter Phillips is one of the most recognizable names in the D.C. legal scene and his name is synonymous with SIdley; it gets their associates instant respect.

OP: As others have pointed out, the difference between exit options banked on "prestige" is not discernible in the range of firms you're considering. V5, V10, v15, V20, etc. are not meaningful distinctions anywhere but on these forums, and even here its only meaningful use is trolling the prestige whores at Covington and other multiple-of-5-plus-1 firms. The only thing that's really going to make a significant difference on your exit options in your scenario is whether you're in NYC an Washington.

If your goal is to work in NYC after five years, then of course it will be easier to do so if you work in NYC the five years preceding that transition. This should be a no brainer. Your professional network will be stronger, there's a higher probability of you having a personal connections, a higher probability your references have personal connections so they can make a call for you, etc. Will it be absolutely impossible to transition into New York if you start in D.C.? Of course not, but it will be harder.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:^
Sidley may be well-respected (although the fact that a couple people on a CB "reacted approvingly" is sparse evidence), but it is not the same as Covington, WilmerHale, Williams & Connolly, and possibly GDC and Paul Weiss. I am not sure it is really above Quinn or Boies (especially Boies), but you are right that it's better than White & Case.


Well, no firm carries the cache of Williams & Connolly in D.C.. Everyone knows who they are, what they do, and that they do it extremely well. That is the undeniable reputation benefit of being a pure litigation shop in a sea of mega firms and franchises.
But after that, the next "band" includes way more firms than you listed (A&P and Hogan, notably) and includes Sidley. You're absolutely wrong if you think Paul Weiss DC gets more press than Sidley DC.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:18 pm

KidStuddi wrote:You're absolutely wrong if you think Paul Weiss DC gets more press than Sidley DC.


I beg to differ.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ ... story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/re ... story.html

http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/supreme ... rriage-act (fyi, this is being manned by a DC partner and a DC second-year associate, in addition to a handful of folks in NY)

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/04/13/bre ... aul-weiss/

...to name a few.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby ph14 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:22 pm

thesealocust wrote:If you want to work in DC instead of NYC, you would be mentally deficient to let the vault rankings sway you to NYC.

Vault rankings are derived from hand out a survey to associates and asking them to rank firms in order of PRESTIGE. It is absurdly new york and large firm centric, and is in no way useful for comparing firms in different locations.


This. We need to sticky this at the top of the forum.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:You're absolutely wrong if you think Paul Weiss DC gets more press than Sidley DC.


I beg to differ.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ ... story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/re ... story.html

http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/supreme ... rriage-act (fyi, this is being manned by a DC partner and a DC second-year associate, in addition to a handful of folks in NY)

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/04/13/bre ... aul-weiss/

...to name a few.


Lol. This is so not even the point, but. The dates of the stories you linked.: April 27, June 6, July 16 and one from April of 2010.

Here's 4 from this month that I found in under a minute.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/09/13/50253.htm
http://www.law.com/jsp/ca/PubArticleCA. ... 2571015679
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087 ... 98248.html
http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/n ... n08282012/

But even putting aside the national appellate work based out of D.C., it's still not even really a contest.

Chambers Rankings for D.C. of the respective firms:

PW
District of Columbia:
Antitrust (Band 5)
Joseph J Simons (Band 3)
Kenneth A Gallo (Band 4)
Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Beth A. Wilkinson (Band 2)
Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite
Patrick S Campbell (Band 4)


Sidley:
Antitrust
Larry Fullerton (Band 5)
Bankruptcy/Restructuring
David Kuney (Band 1)
Environment (Band 1)
Angus Macbeth (Band S)
Christopher L Bell (Band 4)
David Buente (Band 1)
James R Bieke (Band 4)
Roger Martella (Band 4)
Samuel Gutter (Band 4)
Timothy K Webster (Band 4)
Healthcare (Band 2)
Paul E Kalb MD (Band 1)
William A Sarraille (Band 2)
Healthcare: Pharmaceutical/Medical Products Regulatory (Band 2)
Coleen Klasmeier (Band 2)
Raymond A Bonner (Band 2)
Scott Bass (Band 3)
Intellectual Property (Band 3)
Jeffrey P Kushan (Band 3)
Joseph Micallef (Band U)
Intellectual Property: Litigation (Band 3)
Jeffrey P Kushan (Band 3)
Joseph Micallef (Band U)
Litigation (Band 3)
Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Mark D Hopson (Band 3)
Thomas C Green (Band 1)
Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (Band 3)
Carter G Phillips (Band 3)
David L Lawson (Band 2)
Mark Schneider (Band 2)

Paul Weiss is a great firm, but its baseless to say its D.C. office is better regarded than Sidley's.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:No one will ever question why you took GDC DC for securities lit or Williams for white-collar over STB NY. I could only see Sidley, White & Case or maybe Jones Day or Quinn making someone wonder why DC.



statements like this always remind me how little basis there is for so much that's said here.

Sidley is extremely well respected in DC. During my callbacks when I told firms where else I was interviewing, they to a man reacted to Sidley approvingly. it's certainly not in White & Case's category


Jones Day as well. TLS is vault whores.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby dixon02 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Paul Weiss is a great firm, but its baseless to say its D.C. office is better regarded than Sidley's.


Have to agree here. You might find some folks in DC who see the two as peer firms, but you'd find far more who say Sidley > Paul Weiss than vice versa. As mentioned above, Appellate practice carry quite a bit of weight in DC, and any debate about best Appellate practices includes Sidley.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:12 pm

dixon02 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Paul Weiss is a great firm, but its baseless to say its D.C. office is better regarded than Sidley's.


Have to agree here. You might find some folks in DC who see the two as peer firms, but you'd find far more who say Sidley > Paul Weiss than vice versa. As mentioned above, Appellate practice carry quite a bit of weight in DC, and any debate about best Appellate practices includes Sidley.


If we're talking appellate litigation exclusively then I will not argue with you there. For trial work, yes, I will argue.

ETA: But you're right, this thread is not about Paul, Weiss and I didn't mean to go off on a tangent.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:30 pm

CAREER SUICIDE

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:^
Sidley may be well-respected (although the fact that a couple people on a CB "reacted approvingly" is sparse evidence), but it is not the same as Covington, WilmerHale, Williams & Connolly, and possibly GDC and Paul Weiss. I am not sure it is really above Quinn or Boies (especially Boies), but you are right that it's better than White & Case.


I summered at one of the major, "prestigious" DC firms a couple years ago. Sidley is certainly ranked with Wilmer and A&P. In fact, I know people who were strongly considering it over some of the firms you listed. Sidley is well respected in DC and has had a major presence in DC since the '60's. Until I stumbled on this post, I never heard of anyone mentioning Paul Weiss as a major player in DC. In fact, Paul Weiss is not a major player in DC - it's a minor satellite office of a NYC firm with ~70 lawyers in DC (about the size of S&C's DC office), whereas Sidley is a 275 lawyer DC office.

More so, some of the crap being tossed around here is ridiculous. Quinn and Boies have almost no DC presence - Quinn's DC office has been open 10-14 months?

Anyways, I have no dog in this fight, but I find the anti-Sidley trolling in here to be quite ridiculous and unfounded.

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Re: Is taking a V20 firm in DC over V10 in NYC a bad idea?

Postby rayiner » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:^
Sidley may be well-respected (although the fact that a couple people on a CB "reacted approvingly" is sparse evidence), but it is not the same as Covington, WilmerHale, Williams & Connolly, and possibly GDC and Paul Weiss. I am not sure it is really above Quinn or Boies (especially Boies), but you are right that it's better than White & Case.


Sidley DC is solidly among the DC elite. It's a notch below Covington, Wilmer, and Williams and Connolly, but it's a very well-established DC office in the same class as A&P, Hogan, GDC and Kirkland, and above any of the other non-native firms (excepting Latham and Skadden for what little corporate work there is in the city).

In any case, the decision in DC is mostly about practice area. If you, e.g. want to do environmental practice, it's not anything to take Sidley over Wilmer. Nobody is going to blink twice as that decision.

Also, any of these DC offices are more selective than the non-WLRK V10. V5 NY ~= V100 DC. As long as you stay within the group of firms that are known to have an established DC office, you're not going to lose anything in terms of signaling.




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