Skadden - Exit Options

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thesealocust
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

piccolittle: Corporations hire counsel based on the reputation (for expertise, speed, communication, etc.) of the partners who will be representing them. "Good" firms are thusly known because their partners command respect in their fields.

Firms care about associates in a strange way. On the one hand, they know few will both want to stick around and be qualified to become partners. On the other hand, good and trained associates are necessary to getting the volume of legal work done at the pace that is required for high profits. If a firm loses associates too quickly it can't do as much work or it can't do work as well. It's a difficult balance. When the economy is good you often see firms scrambling to keep retention rates up.

To speak to Skadden in particular: it has a history of being less elitist in its hiring practices and practice area choices. Every firm recruits differently and mot models seem to work out well enough, but the fact that Skadden might be pulling students with slightly lower GPAs or from schools where students had slightly lower LSAT averages isn't going to hurt them as a firm, like, at all.

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Royal
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby Royal » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:46 pm

nygrrrl wrote:I'm sorry. I just have to be the person to say this. Why in heck would you be looking at lateralling from Skadden? Where the heck would you GO? Cravath?
(Actually suspects this is a flame but is bored and willing to play along for a short period of time*.)

*a very SHORT period of time


People lateral for all sorts of reasons. Better hours, better chance of making partner or cushy of-counsel gig, firm prominence in a specific practice area, etc. Contrary to popular TLS belief, there is more to life than sweet vault "prestige" that will impress only other big firm lawyers and law students.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby bruinfan10 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:26 pm

Royal wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:I'm sorry. I just have to be the person to say this. Why in heck would you be looking at lateralling from Skadden? Where the heck would you GO? Cravath?
(Actually suspects this is a flame but is bored and willing to play along for a short period of time*.)

*a very SHORT period of time


People lateral for all sorts of reasons. Better hours, better chance of making partner or cushy of-counsel gig, firm prominence in a specific practice area, etc. Contrary to popular TLS belief, there is more to life than sweet vault "prestige" that will impress only other big firm lawyers and law students.

bro you may wanna read the thread before you post; she clarified this comment just shy of 500x.

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zonto
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby zonto » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Are you talking about two NYC offices here?

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby JusticeHarlan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:11 pm

zonto wrote:Are you talking about two NYC offices here?

Read the thread, broseph.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:38 pm

piccolittle wrote:Okay then humor me for a bit, because I honestly don't understand. What then separates, say, a V75 or whatever from a V5 in a client's eyes?


The partners.

Not the perceived talent of the firm's employees?


Not the firm's associates and staff, nope.


Why do any firms care about associate morale at all, then, if it has no impact on their financials?


It does have an impact. Poor morale leads to higher attrition, and that's leads to lower revenue (assuming there is enough work to go around).

Why do they give any perks or anything beyond simply giving you a job (especially in this economy)?


It's the market.

Isn't law school recruitment all a competition to attract the best students etc so you can brag on your firm website and thus charge clients millions in fees while assuring them they have "the best people" working on their stuff?


No.

Why does recruitment selectivity matter at all, then, if clients don't care and/or it has no impact on the firm's performance financially or otherwise?


Is this a serious question? Firms are selective because they want to get what they perceive to be the most talented lawyers. They want they most talented lawyers because they're easier to train, do good work, and let the firm have an excuse to exist for another hundred or so years (remember, these are associate classes from which around 4-5 partners will be minted).

I'm not saying there is an absolute direct effect, I'm wondering about the very long term. But I guess I'll shut up now. And sorry for the multiple questions.


I know this is going to be rude, but screw it. Yes, shut up now. Skadden is going to be fine in the eyes of clients. It has a harder time recruiting top law students because it's well known for being a shitty place to work, though that's really no different from most other V10s (despite what people at other firms like to circle jerk each other into believing).

anon168
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby anon168 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:39 pm

piccolittle wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:No. Clients are attracted to partners, not associates. And, ultimately, an associate who makes partner at Skadden will be hard to differentiate, talent-wise, from an associate who makes partner at any other V10.

And clients don't give a shit about associate experience. If anything, clients hire these firms for the ability to get associates to so stuff in a second's notice.

Okay then humor me for a bit, because I honestly don't understand. What then separates, say, a V75 or whatever from a V5 in a client's eyes? Not the perceived talent of the firm's employees? Why do any firms care about associate morale at all, then, if it has no impact on their financials? Why do they give any perks or anything beyond simply giving you a job (especially in this economy)? Isn't law school recruitment all a competition to attract the best students etc so you can brag on your firm website and thus charge clients millions in fees while assuring them they have "the best people" working on their stuff? Why does recruitment selectivity matter at all, then, if clients don't care and/or it has no impact on the firm's performance financially or otherwise?

I'm not saying there is an absolute direct effect, I'm wondering about the very long term. But I guess I'll shut up now. And sorry for the multiple questions.


The answer is clients' don't care about Vault rankings, only students do.

Clients hire Joe Blow partner not Vault X firm.

If a major F500 didn't already have an existing relationship then it comes down to a beauty contest, not Vault rankings.

And firms care about morale because a happier workforce is a more productive one.

Pokemon
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby Pokemon » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:15 pm

Great points Anon + Fresh Prince. Out of pure curiosity, what occurs down the line ten years from now? Do firms like Skadden, if they are no longer first choices for students, get partners and mid-level associates from lower ranked firms. I thought lateraling up is unheard of. How do they replenish their partners if they start facing difficulties attracting or keeping students.

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thesealocust
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:20 pm

Pokemon wrote:Great points Anon + Fresh Prince. Out of pure curiosity, what occurs down the line ten years from now? Do firms like Skadden, if they are no longer first choices for students, get partners and mid-level associates from lower ranked firms. I thought lateraling up is unheard of. How do they replenish their partners if they start facing difficulties attracting or keeping students.


The mistake you're making is assuming that there is a material difference in the quality of student and then lawyer Skadden takes compared to "peer firms."

There isn't one.

Breaking news: slight differences in GPA won't translate into differences in ability to practice law or attract clients. Firms use GPA because there are so many applicants for so few spots they need some kind of filter, not because it works especially well to predict anything other than pain tolerance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:51 am

I don't know if the morale at Skadden is any worse than other top firms or whatever. But assuming it is, it was much worse in the 1980's and early 1990's and the firm didn't go anywhere.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Skadden - Exit Options

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know if the morale at Skadden is any worse than other top firms or whatever. But assuming it is, it was much worse in the 1980's and early 1990's and the firm didn't go anywhere.


This is just the perennial story of any big law firm, to be honest. These places have never been particularly "good" places to work (work/life wise) and they never will be.

If you read any publication concerning these institutions, from decades ago (Lions of the Street, the Partners) to the 90s (American Lawyer) the story is always the same. In fact, it's almost surreal just how repetitive the boom and busts are in terms of how firms behave. I really think that, in Biglaw, past conduct is highly reflective of current and future culture.




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