Comparing the Magic Circle

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anon_stars
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Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby anon_stars » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi,

I'm looking to understand magic circle firms a bit better. Is there an obvious hierarchy among the five firms? Are there consistant differences between the five MC firms and (other) high ranking american firms? Why are so many of them relatively low on the vault?

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stillwater
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby stillwater » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:29 pm

anon_stars wrote:Hi,

I'm looking to understand magic circle firms a bit better. Is there an obvious hierarchy among the five firms? Are there consistant differences between the five MC firms and (other) high ranking american firms? Why are so many of them relatively low on the vault?


yea slaughter and may is the most elite and you wont get that.

vault heavily favors NYC trasnactional firms

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:04 am

Is it just me, or has there been an unusual amount of interest in the magic circle firms around here this OCI season? Besides the threads, I've noticed people bidding them very high.

I can't work out why. There's nothing actually magic about them. Surely if you're doing "international" transactional work out of NYC, it's not that different than domestic transactional work, except that it's done at 3:00 in the morning. Is it more enjoyable if the people have accents?

You're not going to be traveling a lot with magic circle firms, right? I'm assuming that depends on practice group much more than it depends on what firm you join.

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smaug_
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby smaug_ » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:10 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:Is it just me, or has there been an unusual amount of interest in the magic circle firms around here this OCI season? Besides the threads, I've noticed people bidding them very high.

I can't work out why. There's nothing actually magic about them. Surely if you're doing "international" transactional work out of NYC, it's not that different than domestic transactional work, except that it's done at 3:00 in the morning. Is it more enjoyable if the people have accents?

You're not going to be traveling a lot with magic circle firms, right? I'm assuming that depends on practice group much more than it depends on what firm you join.

(trying to drive Magic Circle firm bids down) jk jk

Many of them have more forgiving grades requirements, right? Maybe they just stand out more easily because they're MC firms and don't exactly fit the NYC transactional cookie cutter.

That said, I don't really get it either. Maybe they're really ~the future~.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:22 am

hibiki wrote:(trying to drive Magic Circle firm bids down) jk jk

I was kind of thinking about it the other way. If these firms are getting a better choice of students, relative to their rankings et cetera, perhaps they'll be moving up soon.

I know that at my HYS school, looking through the OCI data for the last few years, they seemed to have got a lot more bids and offer acceptances last year (although one year could be an anomaly, of course).

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fingerscrossedxx
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby fingerscrossedxx » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:13 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
hibiki wrote:(trying to drive Magic Circle firm bids down) jk jk

I was kind of thinking about it the other way. If these firms are getting a better choice of students, relative to their rankings et cetera, perhaps they'll be moving up soon.

I know that at my HYS school, looking through the OCI data for the last few years, they seemed to have got a lot more bids and offer acceptances last year (although one year could be an anomaly, of course).


As someone looking into this, part of it is being able to spend part of your summer/firs years as an associate abroad. London firms are known to have "better" quality of life, which likely means out at 11pm instead of 12 haha, but that and you get a lot more substantive work earlier on because there's just less associates.

Not sure why its so popular all across the board but I know thats why I was looking into it :p

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:32 am

FWIW, at my HYS, every MC firm but Freshfields got 0 acceptances.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby GATORTIM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:05 am

.....jerk

Lubberlubber
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Lubberlubber » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:25 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:Is it just me, or has there been an unusual amount of interest in the magic circle firms around here this OCI season? Besides the threads, I've noticed people bidding them very high.

I can't work out why. There's nothing actually magic about them. Surely if you're doing "international" transactional work out of NYC, it's not that different than domestic transactional work, except that it's done at 3:00 in the morning. Is it more enjoyable if the people have accents?

You're not going to be traveling a lot with magic circle firms, right? I'm assuming that depends on practice group much more than it depends on what firm you join.


I think it's because:

1) They're not very grade selective (at least according to anecdotes and OCS)
2) They're growing VERY fast, at H, Freshfields went from 20 bids at EIP to 80 last year
3) People like the strength of the international brand, relaxed work-life balance of a British firm, opportunity to travel, etc.

I'm bidding them very high for EIP this year, not particularly because they're my top choices, but because they've always had really really high number of bids relative to slots (Clifford Chance was like 110 bids for 40 slots last year).

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby gnuwheels » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:00 am

Methinks this trend will soon reverse itself. Both Linklaters and Freshfields are having a hard time cracking the NY market. Linklaters has been conducting stealth layoffs in the last year and word on the street is the business is slow at Freshfields as well. I would talk to a summer or associate you know there because much of this has been confirmed by those I've talked to.

MC obviously have incredible reps in the UK and internationally, and they tried to use that rep to capitalize on the NY market after the recession. Unfortunately the test days of expansion are over and they're having a hard time establishing themselves along with the big boys in NY. Hence Vault.

Best case scenario, what was looking like significant expansion on their part in NY will stop and reverse and they'll remain smaller players in NY. Worst case scenario they pare things down significantly. Either way, I wouldn't rely on the last few years of hiring to be indicative of they're hiring this year or next.

Also, I would say this applies mainly to Linklaters and Freshfields as opposed to CC and A&O. And no American lawyer gets a job at S&M.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:07 am

Bumping for this year's OCI cycle.

Interested to hear how NY offices of MC firms are different from each other.

More interested to hear what makes law students opt for NYC MC firms over your more traditional NYC V50 corporate shops. I have a background in international work and could see myself living/working abroad in the future, but it seems like every big NYC firm these days has international clients and operates offices overseas. Are people making their decision off of CB experience or something else? Thanks.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:16 am

A lot of people prefer smaller office/working environments and a lot of the MC firms offer that in NYC and DC. You get the benefit of a large, powerful worldwide brand but end up doing more substantive work on leaner teams than you do at the blue blood wall street firms with hundreds of first year associates.

(at least that's the pitch they all give me)

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DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:32 pm

Image
Last edited by Desert Fox on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:46 pm

What about the US groups of MC firms working in London? Are the exit opps and quality/volume of work closer to being in NYC with the US group or being in London with the UK group?

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A lot of people prefer smaller office/working environments and a lot of the MC firms offer that in NYC and DC. You get the benefit of a large, powerful worldwide brand but end up doing more substantive work on leaner teams than you do at the blue blood wall street firms with hundreds of first year associates.

(at least that's the pitch they all give me)


Yea... "Leaner teams" being the operative phrase there.

Also,
Desert Fox wrote:It's like working for Skadden Wilmington or Covington NYC. They get to pretend it's prestigious despite being lower on the totem pole than DLA Piper.


This is unnecessary. Our London hq clout keeps us at least V20 status despite what the colOnial haters say.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:40 pm

Slaughter & May
..
Freshfields
..
..
Allen & Overy
Linklaters
..
Clifford Chance

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:43 pm

It does seem like the OCI GPA ranges for MC firms at my T14 are as high as if not higher than at least a handful of V25s and almost all V50s. But you're saying that many people are getting caught up in fake prestige? Honest question to DF.

BigZuck
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby BigZuck » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:59 pm

I don't think I'd want to work at any, names are all too goofy

jbagelboy wrote:Slaughter & May (LOLslaughter)
..
Freshfields (brand of douche or to go salad restaurant)
..
..
Allen & Overy (LOLovaries)
Linklaters (director(s))
..
Clifford Chance (big red dog)


Bags- You seem like a born and bred anglophiliac. What's the draw to these places? Dat international law? And what makes one better than the other? I assume that anything based in London would be one of the sweatiest of sweatshops but I don't know if that's based on anything other than a hunch.

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Desert Fox
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DFTHREAD

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:07 pm

Image
Last edited by Desert Fox on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:23 pm

All praise the nebulous "prestige!" Forgot this was TLS for a second.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:26 pm

second the "wanting to be INTERNATIONAL" part

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jbagelboy
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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:29 pm

BigZuck wrote:I don't think I'd want to work at any, names are all too goofy

jbagelboy wrote:Slaughter & May (LOLslaughter)
..
Freshfields (brand of douche or to go salad restaurant)
..
..
Allen & Overy (LOLovaries)
Linklaters (director(s))
..
Clifford Chance (big red dog)


Bags- You seem like a born and bred anglophiliac. What's the draw to these places? Dat international law? And what makes one better than the other? I assume that anything based in London would be one of the sweatiest of sweatshops but I don't know if that's based on anything other than a hunch.


Lol. I don't work at any of these places but I have friends who summered at all of them except Slaughter. I think DF is right that what they offer is a certain brand of eliteness and international opportunity without the grades you would need for a V10. I was just trying to illustrate the relative selectivity/historical eminence of each firm. This list also corresponds roughly to global compensation, even if they all start at NYC market in the US (they offer different cost of living bumps to US associates working in the London office, though, with Freshfields the highest).

How they are regarded specifically in London might be a little different, but the consensus is that CC is a relative newcomer to the group that expanded rapidly but offers low quality of life; Linklaters and Allen & Overy are the "mega" firms with huge transactional practices and offices literally everywhere; Freshfields is the oldest, most traditional and most selective (they will actually ding for grades from a T6 school, whereas the others basically don't care); and Slaughter is like the Wachtell of London, with the highest end transactions, biggest margins, most PPP, ect.

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Re: Comparing the Magic Circle

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about the US groups of MC firms working in London? Are the exit opps and quality/volume of work closer to being in NYC with the US group or being in London with the UK group?


Really sorry to bump this thread. But I am interested to know if anyone has knowledge of the quality of the exit opportunities and deal flow working in London with a Freshfields or Linklaters. It would be as an associate in the US group doing corporate and capital markets work.




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