Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:43 pm

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ ... full_list/

There are 4 law firms that I noticed in the top 100 (Alston & Bird-24, Bingham McCutcheon- 30, Baker Donelson- 54, Perkins Cole- 58).

For anyone who has any insight, the descriptions seems to speak more to how great of an environment it is for non-lawyers. Fortune gives a small explanation for each, but is life really any different at these places for lawyers? I mean I'd assume that at all these firms you've got to bill 2000 or however many hours. Are they just better work environments generally (more camaraderie among all employees, less stressful, etc.)?

I am just curious what life is like for lawyers at these places relative to other similarly successful firms.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby 20160810 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:50 pm

FWIW, everyone I've known who works for Alston & Bird or Perkins Coie loves it, which is not something you hear a lot from people in biglaw.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:52 pm

SBL wrote:FWIW, everyone I've known who works for Alston & Bird or Perkins Coie loves it, which is not something you hear a lot from people in biglaw.


What do they say about those two specifically, if you don't mind sharing.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 pm

I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


Is it true that A&B only has a 1900 hour minimum?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


Is it true that A&B only has a 1900 hour minimum?

I think this depends a lot on the office. As with most firms, you're going to work harder in NYC, DC, and SF than most other offices. I think the fact that A&B is headquartered in ATL, where hours tend to be less bad in biglaw than other markets, probably contributes to the perception that they're not as sweat-shoppy a firm.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby 20160810 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SBL wrote:FWIW, everyone I've known who works for Alston & Bird or Perkins Coie loves it, which is not something you hear a lot from people in biglaw.


What do they say about those two specifically, if you don't mind sharing.

I just hear generally positive things, from a very small sample size of friends working at both firms. This contrasts with what I hear from most other friends at most other biglaw firms, which is nothing but horror stories.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


Is it true that A&B only has a 1900 hour minimum?


1900 is when the first bonus kicks in since the firm has a tiered bonus system. The amount of hours that you will actually work completely depends on the practice group you're in though. Some groups like IP will work a lot of hours. Others like tax/corporate may be slow from time to time but then the hours can really ramp up. The thing I noticed a lot was though that on the weekends and during the evenings, the offices are generally rather empty.

You really can't help your hours I have to say. If your group is busy, you will be busy. If its not, then it seems unlikely that you would get penalized for it so long as you aren't avoiding work when everyone else is swamped.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


Is it true that A&B only has a 1900 hour minimum?


1900 is when the first bonus kicks in since the firm has a tiered bonus system. The amount of hours that you will actually work completely depends on the practice group you're in though. Some groups like IP will work a lot of hours. Others like tax/corporate may be slow from time to time but then the hours can really ramp up. The thing I noticed a lot was though that on the weekends and during the evenings, the offices are generally rather empty.

You really can't help your hours I have to say. If your group is busy, you will be busy. If its not, then it seems unlikely that you would get penalized for it so long as you aren't avoiding work when everyone else is swamped.



That is great input, thanks. Do you have any insight into the real estate group, specifically? I'm curious about the pace/consistency of their hours at A&B.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


Is it true that A&B only has a 1900 hour minimum?


1900 is when the first bonus kicks in since the firm has a tiered bonus system. The amount of hours that you will actually work completely depends on the practice group you're in though. Some groups like IP will work a lot of hours. Others like tax/corporate may be slow from time to time but then the hours can really ramp up. The thing I noticed a lot was though that on the weekends and during the evenings, the offices are generally rather empty.

You really can't help your hours I have to say. If your group is busy, you will be busy. If its not, then it seems unlikely that you would get penalized for it so long as you aren't avoiding work when everyone else is swamped.



That is great input, thanks. Do you have any insight into the real estate group, specifically? I'm curious about the pace/consistency of their hours at A&B.


I didn't work on any projects with the Real Estate group over the summer. There were definitely projects available so it seems they were actively hiring. It seemed to me that the hours were in the Real Estate were actually pretty stable when I went to one of the Real Estate practice group's partner dinners.

Keep in mind though that the housing crisis really hit Atlanta and the surrounding area pretty hard, so they are still recovering. Having said that, they still hired 1 or 2 out of the SA class. So that's a good indication of the health of the group. BTW though, absolutely great people to work with. I think it's one of the better groups to be a part of if you have no idea what you want because the people there are so awesome. Obviously I am carrying a lot of bias in promoting the firm, but the Fortune rankings see to agree with me.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:53 pm

The previous anon who was an SA in the ATL office of A&B is absolutely correct. I also worked as an SA at A&B's ATL office, and everything that has been said thus far is true. Real Estate had to go on the 3L market to get an associate because the rumor going around the summer class was that there wasn't enough work in that group. Obviously, the rumor was more than false, as a 3L was hired to fill that spot.

It is misguided to think that A&B attorneys don't work hard. While the ATL office has more humane hours than NYC/DC firms generally, the attorneys DO have lots of hours come in. That said, the firm tries its very best to respect your personal life as much as possible. And the comment about the office being totally empty in the evenings and on weekends is 100% true. I routinely stayed late one night during each office rotation just to see the culture of the groups, and typically, after 7, I was one of the last people there. Same seems to be the case with weekends (I went in once just to check it out).

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I worked at A&B as a SA in their Atl office and I can say that the atmosphere to practice law there was great. I think the firm endeavors to find attorneys that are affable and good to work with as opposed to simply finding the people with the best numbers. This isn't to say that you don't need good grades, it just isn't dispositive.

The partners are generally quite gregarious and down to earth as well. People do work hard though as in any biglaw firm, but the jerk ratio was quite low from my experience. I do think it makes a big difference for associate satisfaction.


I think what you mean to say is that good grades aren't sufficient. Because not having good grades is definitely dispositive for getting a job at Alston Atlanta.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The previous anon who was an SA in the ATL office of A&B is absolutely correct. I also worked as an SA at A&B's ATL office, and everything that has been said thus far is true. Real Estate had to go on the 3L market to get an associate because the rumor going around the summer class was that there wasn't enough work in that group. Obviously, the rumor was more than false, as a 3L was hired to fill that spot.

It is misguided to think that A&B attorneys don't work hard. While the ATL office has more humane hours than NYC/DC firms generally, the attorneys DO have lots of hours come in. That said, the firm tries its very best to respect your personal life as much as possible. And the comment about the office being totally empty in the evenings and on weekends is 100% true. I routinely stayed late one night during each office rotation just to see the culture of the groups, and typically, after 7, I was one of the last people there. Same seems to be the case with weekends (I went in once just to check it out).


How many associates did A&B end up hiring? I wonder if generally speaking 3L's that get recruited in without being an SA are as successful over the long term as the former SA's.

After being an SA there, how would you generally say the practice groups stack up as far as reputation inside the firm?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The previous anon who was an SA in the ATL office of A&B is absolutely correct. I also worked as an SA at A&B's ATL office, and everything that has been said thus far is true. Real Estate had to go on the 3L market to get an associate because the rumor going around the summer class was that there wasn't enough work in that group. Obviously, the rumor was more than false, as a 3L was hired to fill that spot.

It is misguided to think that A&B attorneys don't work hard. While the ATL office has more humane hours than NYC/DC firms generally, the attorneys DO have lots of hours come in. That said, the firm tries its very best to respect your personal life as much as possible. And the comment about the office being totally empty in the evenings and on weekends is 100% true. I routinely stayed late one night during each office rotation just to see the culture of the groups, and typically, after 7, I was one of the last people there. Same seems to be the case with weekends (I went in once just to check it out).


How many associates did A&B end up hiring? I wonder if generally speaking 3L's that get recruited in without being an SA are as successful over the long term as the former SA's.

After being an SA there, how would you generally say the practice groups stack up as far as reputation inside the firm?


Anon. who concurred above:

As far as I know, there were 2 no offers in the ATL office in the summer of 2011. So out of a summer class of 32 (including 4 1Ls) 30 people got offers--26 2L offers and 4 1L offers. One of those no offers was then hired into the Charlotte office, but [s]he had to reapply and reinterview for the position. Not sure about summer of 2012. I'm not sure whether the attrition rate for associates hired as 3Ls instead of as 1Ls/2Ls is higher. It seems like in the long run, A&B prefers home grown partners to lateral partners, and it wasn't uncommon to have partners who have spent their entire careers at the firm. The managing partner, hiring partner, former director of the summer program, and current director of the summer program were all hired as associates out of the summer program and worked their way up.

I never observed an internal hierarchy amongst groups. That is arguably what makes A&B different from other firms. While external groups like Chambers rank practice groups, within the firm, everyone is on equal footing. IP Litigation probably gets some of the more high profile cases, as does Litigation & Trial Practice, but honestly, internally, nobody seemed to care. Everyone was busy and was doing good work, and there is so much cross-group collaboration that in those high profile cases, so many people have a hand in the firm's success. If you are SAing at A&B, you should really focus on finding a group that fits your personality and interests instead of the group that is "most prestigious." Hiring decisions, as far as I could tell, depended on (a) quality of work and (b) fit. Once you meet the quality-of-work threshold, everything boils down to how much a group likes you.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The previous anon who was an SA in the ATL office of A&B is absolutely correct. I also worked as an SA at A&B's ATL office, and everything that has been said thus far is true. Real Estate had to go on the 3L market to get an associate because the rumor going around the summer class was that there wasn't enough work in that group. Obviously, the rumor was more than false, as a 3L was hired to fill that spot.

It is misguided to think that A&B attorneys don't work hard. While the ATL office has more humane hours than NYC/DC firms generally, the attorneys DO have lots of hours come in. That said, the firm tries its very best to respect your personal life as much as possible. And the comment about the office being totally empty in the evenings and on weekends is 100% true. I routinely stayed late one night during each office rotation just to see the culture of the groups, and typically, after 7, I was one of the last people there. Same seems to be the case with weekends (I went in once just to check it out).


This is great info, thanks. I am curious though...If the attorney's work so hard, how is it that people aren't there past 7 or on the weekends? Does that mean that they're doing work from home? I have heard that A&B is pretty open to people doing that.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273104
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firms in Fortune's "Top 100 Places to Work"

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The previous anon who was an SA in the ATL office of A&B is absolutely correct. I also worked as an SA at A&B's ATL office, and everything that has been said thus far is true. Real Estate had to go on the 3L market to get an associate because the rumor going around the summer class was that there wasn't enough work in that group. Obviously, the rumor was more than false, as a 3L was hired to fill that spot.

It is misguided to think that A&B attorneys don't work hard. While the ATL office has more humane hours than NYC/DC firms generally, the attorneys DO have lots of hours come in. That said, the firm tries its very best to respect your personal life as much as possible. And the comment about the office being totally empty in the evenings and on weekends is 100% true. I routinely stayed late one night during each office rotation just to see the culture of the groups, and typically, after 7, I was one of the last people there. Same seems to be the case with weekends (I went in once just to check it out).


This is great info, thanks. I am curious though...If the attorney's work so hard, how is it that people aren't there past 7 or on the weekends? Does that mean that they're doing work from home? I have heard that A&B is pretty open to people doing that.


Absolutely, A&B is very open to working from home, and pretty much every attorney does it as far as I can tell. The firm's flex time policy is pretty great, actually. For example, many young mothers have arrangements where they work in the office till 4 or 5, go home and have family time with their kids, and then power up and work some more after the kids have gone to sleep. People take advantage of the flex time in different ways. I know one attorney who goes into the office super early on Mondays, works there till 7, then goes home and continues working till midnight. This enables her to get a good chunk of her work done, so with more normal hours the next 4 days, she is able to complete everything and have weekends completely off. Other attorneys stop working at 6 or 7 and power up from home on the weekends. As long as the work is getting done by designated deadlines, the partners don't seem to care where it gets done.

My general sense is that there isn't much of a face time culture at A&B so long as you are reachable. Of course, this all goes out the window when going to trial or a deal is closing, but on an average day, associates have flexibility to decide their post 5PM work schedule. I say post 5PM because I don't think any associate would roll in past 10am, take 2 hour lunch breaks, or any of that. From basically 9:30-5:30, everyone is in their office.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.