Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

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Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:34 pm

I am going to be a first-year associate at Skadden NYC next year, and I have been gunning to do corporate work all along. However, they have asked us to rank three departments out of antitrust, corporate, litigation, mass torts, real estate, tax, executive compensation, patent lit, labor and employment, trusts and estates, and white collar crime. Obviously I am ranking corporate first but I am at a loss for what to put second or third.

The form notes that they will take your preferences into account but that the firm's needs will also be considered. Apparently they did not ask people to do this last year. I know very little substantive law in any of the other departments, so I don't know if I would like antitrust or labor and employment. White collar crime sounds interesting, but again I have very little knowledge of it.

The reason I am posting is I am wondering what people familiar with these various departments would recommend for someone whose priority is preserving exit options. One of the reasons I am nervous about the other choices is, aside from lit, they are all pretty specialized. Help!

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:24 pm

would you mind sharing what school you're from? T? and rank? I'm just curious...

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:03 am

Real estate and trusts/estates are the most corporate like, probably. L&E is basically litigation but you have to learn a few extra statutes, exec comp tends to be tax-heavy but in other ways is corporate-esque. The nice thing about white collar is that, depending on the practice, it's almost all consent judgment type issues instead of litigation, and you need to really understand corporate structuring to understand how some of those crimes can even be committed. A neat practice for sure but typically aren't they all filled with former prosecutors?

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:would you mind sharing what school you're from? T? and rank? I'm just curious...


I am at a T14, and we don't have exact rankings but I was median after 1L, now around top 30%, I think.

Anonymous User wrote:Real estate and trusts/estates are the most corporate like, probably. L&E is basically litigation but you have to learn a few extra statutes, exec comp tends to be tax-heavy but in other ways is corporate-esque. The nice thing about white collar is that, depending on the practice, it's almost all consent judgment type issues instead of litigation, and you need to really understand corporate structuring to understand how some of those crimes can even be committed. A neat practice for sure but typically aren't they all filled with former prosecutors?


Thank you. The white collar group has associates who entered straight for law school with no prosecutorial experience (in fact, I don't think any of them have prosecutorial experience in the NY office). I am hesitant about basically any of the other groups because my plan was to go in-house (assuming I am not able to become partner) and I don't think that is as common from these other groups.

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby quakeroats » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am going to be a first-year associate at Skadden NYC next year, and I have been gunning to do corporate work all along. However, they have asked us to rank three departments out of antitrust, corporate, litigation, mass torts, real estate, tax, executive compensation, patent lit, labor and employment, trusts and estates, and white collar crime. Obviously I am ranking corporate first but I am at a loss for what to put second or third.

The form notes that they will take your preferences into account but that the firm's needs will also be considered. Apparently they did not ask people to do this last year. I know very little substantive law in any of the other departments, so I don't know if I would like antitrust or labor and employment. White collar crime sounds interesting, but again I have very little knowledge of it.

The reason I am posting is I am wondering what people familiar with these various departments would recommend for someone whose priority is preserving exit options. One of the reasons I am nervous about the other choices is, aside from lit, they are all pretty specialized. Help!


Don't get stuck in T&E. It's not viewed as a growth area. White Collar is hot right now, but understand it's a bit like deal making for litigators. Also, if you plan on having a future in it you'll need to do some time as a USA.

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby quakeroats » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:59 pm

If you want to get a sense of what White Collar work looks like and why it's one of the most lucrative areas of practice right now, start here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1982770

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:06 pm

quakeroats wrote:If you want to get a sense of what White Collar work looks like and why it's one of the most lucrative areas of practice right now, start here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1982770

<--not going to Skadden, but nice find. Thanks.

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:39 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am going to be a first-year associate at Skadden NYC next year, and I have been gunning to do corporate work all along. However, they have asked us to rank three departments out of antitrust, corporate, litigation, mass torts, real estate, tax, executive compensation, patent lit, labor and employment, trusts and estates, and white collar crime. Obviously I am ranking corporate first but I am at a loss for what to put second or third.

The form notes that they will take your preferences into account but that the firm's needs will also be considered. Apparently they did not ask people to do this last year. I know very little substantive law in any of the other departments, so I don't know if I would like antitrust or labor and employment. White collar crime sounds interesting, but again I have very little knowledge of it.

The reason I am posting is I am wondering what people familiar with these various departments would recommend for someone whose priority is preserving exit options. One of the reasons I am nervous about the other choices is, aside from lit, they are all pretty specialized. Help!


Don't get stuck in T&E. It's not viewed as a growth area. White Collar is hot right now, but understand it's a bit like deal making for litigators. Also, if you plan on having a future in it you'll need to do some time as a USA.


So do people typically work in white collar at a big firm and then become a USAO for awhile and then hopefully become a partner after that? I thought you couldn't really go from law school straight to USAO (except for those unpaid special assistant atty positions).

I hear you on T&E and wasn't planning on ranking it bc I know nothing about it. But I am pretty lost on what to rank instead. It is nice that white collar is growing, but it would be like a U-turn compared to what I have been planning to do (all my classes are corp, I have worked corp-related law clerk positions during school, etc)....same as if I ranked general lit. What would you recommend? Real estate?

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby rad lulz » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:44 pm

Real estate seems most like corporate out of those, and you'll end up helping clients to facilitate creating/maintaining corporate structures to do deals.

Should be decent opportunities for in-house with REITs or some such.

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:55 pm

Real estate is most like corporate. It also has pretty good in-house exit options, but, mostly at real estate firms - most companies have relatively few if any real estate lawyers. That should be your second choice.

After that I would pick either antitrust or tax. Antitrust is more corporate-ish (a lot of Skadden's antitrust department is merger counseling, rather than litigation), but there are limited in-house exit options. Tax tends to be corporate-ish and has great in-house exit options, but you should really make sure you understand and like tax before diving in (some people hate it and/or find it hard to understand).

I think it's pretty unlikely you would get your third choice, especially if you're putting corporate first. In my experience (different firm) you only really risked getting your second choice if you put an smaller group (real estate, tax, T&E) first. They almost always are able to accommodate people who want either corporate or lit, assuming there's not a huge imbalance of work (which there isn't right now).

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:37 am

rad lulz wrote:Real estate seems most like corporate out of those, and you'll end up helping clients to facilitate creating/maintaining corporate structures to do deals.

Should be decent opportunities for in-house with REITs or some such.


imchuckbass58 wrote:Real estate is most like corporate. It also has pretty good in-house exit options, but, mostly at real estate firms - most companies have relatively few if any real estate lawyers. That should be your second choice.

After that I would pick either antitrust or tax. Antitrust is more corporate-ish (a lot of Skadden's antitrust department is merger counseling, rather than litigation), but there are limited in-house exit options. Tax tends to be corporate-ish and has great in-house exit options, but you should really make sure you understand and like tax before diving in (some people hate it and/or find it hard to understand).

I think it's pretty unlikely you would get your third choice, especially if you're putting corporate first. In my experience (different firm) you only really risked getting your second choice if you put an smaller group (real estate, tax, T&E) first. They almost always are able to accommodate people who want either corporate or lit, assuming there's not a huge imbalance of work (which there isn't right now).


Thanks guys. It sounds like real estate is safe if not ideal.

imchuckbass, is antitrust something I could go into with no background in it? (I can't do tax because I haven't even taken the basic class.) What makes you put RE above antitrust? It is good to hear there is no an imbalance (although I heard Skadden's lit dep't is crazy busy) and I hope you are right about everyone getting their first choice if it's gen corp or lit!

Also, I realized I left IP transactional out of the list on my first post. Would that change your answer? I believe in IP transactional you negotiate and draft IP contracts. I don't have any knowledge of IP or a science background (don't think I need it for that group).

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks guys. It sounds like real estate is safe if not ideal.

imchuckbass, is antitrust something I could go into with no background in it? (I can't do tax because I haven't even taken the basic class.) What makes you put RE above antitrust? It is good to hear there is no an imbalance (although I heard Skadden's lit dep't is crazy busy) and I hope you are right about everyone getting their first choice if it's gen corp or lit!

Also, I realized I left IP transactional out of the list on my first post. Would that change your answer? I believe in IP transactional you negotiate and draft IP contracts. I don't have any knowledge of IP or a science background (don't think I need it for that group).


Real estate pretty much is corporate work. In fact, in many firms real estate is just a subdivision of the corporate department (like M&A or capital markets). You do the exact same tasks you'd do in M&A - diligence, drafting / negotiating agreements, etc., just instead of companies, someone is buying real estate and there are real estate-specific issues.

Antitrust is a slightly different beast. While merger counseling is "corporate" work, it more has to do with predicting the outcome of litigation and helping your client plan in such a way so as to avoid litigation. There's less of a focus on volleying documents back and forth.

It would be very helpful to have taken an antitrust class. I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary (you can pick up some on the job), but you'd definitely be starting at a disadvantage versus someone who has taken antitrust.

IP transactional could be a viable candidate too. To be honest I don't know much about it (substantively, or in terms of exit options).

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:27 am

You are a 2L correct and they are asking you to rank your departments for the summer (I assume this is the case otherwise you would know more about the various practice areas by now)? I was there last year and we went through a similar process.

I think you need to clarify a bit what you mean by exit options? Are you just talking about in-house, because every practice area has their own exit options.

To be honest, unless they changed things, this list is not set in stone. You can always change it once you start the summer and even during it. If you really want to avoid litigation, just put corporate first. Did you know at Skadden, corporate entails many departments like M&A, banking, private investments, etc..so corporate doesn't really mean much in terms of what assignment you are doing to get. Plus once you start as a first year, if you do corporate you have to do a rotation anyway. At Skadden if you want to do corporate, you can always do corporate. Just put whatever semi-interests you at this point for the other choices - like I said they don't really matter. Keep in mind also that some of these practice areas are a lot smaller than others and could affect how easy it is for you to get assignments from the group during the summer.

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Re: Skadden Dep't Choice (appreciate help of anyone in the know)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:21 pm

^ It looks like the OP is a 3L post-SA, not a 2L. Is that correct, OP?

They do have incoming associates do this every year and there is some flexibility to change your preferences as the year goes on. Have you already gotten the form? Are you sure they don't ask you to rank each of the corporate groups vs. just "corporate" and then the other areas? (Things may have changed since I did this a few years ago, but at that time your first three choices could be, e.g., M&A, Corp Fin, and IMG -- no need to include litigation or specialty groups.)

If the rotation system has changed and corporate is just one option in the ranking, I wouldn't worry too much about not getting into any corporate group, but for the sake of picking two more choices: Tax is a great group if you have an interest. IP Transactional is also a good group and the work is semi-similar to other corporate work. Real Estate might work for you too. Pretty much all of the groups you listed other than gen lit are smallish/take fewer people and somewhat competitive to get into, so I don't really see someone who ranks corporate #1 and a specialty group #2 or 3 getting put in those groups.

Which groups did you work with as a summer?




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