DPW v. Kirkland NY

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DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:45 pm

Offer from both firms interested in corporate. Hoping for some insight as to both firmsin

1. Practice area strengths
2. Clientele
3. Firm culture
4. Exit options
5. Overall firm health
6. Assignment system style
7. Summer program (perks)
8. Any other valuable info/ benefits

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:50 pm

Bump

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:13 pm

The two firms are completely different in terms of culture and assignment system. You could not have chosen two more different firms in terms of culture. The decision should be pretty straightforward depending on what kind of culture you like more.

I'm at DPW. Can't speak about Kirkland since I never worked there but happy to answer questions about DPW specifically. My only experience with K&E is working across from them in 2 m&a deals and they're good smart lawyers but some junior associates can be pretty aggressive for no reason...

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The two firms are completely different in terms of culture and assignment system. You could not have chosen two more different firms in terms of culture. The decision should be pretty straightforward depending on what kind of culture you like more.

I'm at DPW. Can't speak about Kirkland since I never worked there but happy to answer questions about DPW specifically. My only experience with K&E is working across from them in 2 m&a deals and they're good smart lawyers but some junior associates can be pretty aggressive for no reason...

What year are you and how many hours do you bill generally? What type of culture does DPW have ?

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:43 pm

2nd year. Hours billed varies - so it's a difficult question to answer but I think we generally work less than our peers. I think I saw an article that discussed revenues per lawyer and we're not as high as our peers, which is a good thing for associates.

The culture is exactly as how people describe us - very friendly, collegial, nice to work with and most importantly - reasonable. 99% of the people here are just normal human beings who respect their colleagues and plays well with others, which seems like something that should be true of all firms but unfortunately is not the case.

Here's my shameless plug: I had offers at every peer firm in NY and if I could go back, I would not choose any other place to work. If you want the most non-biglawish biglaw firm in NYC I cannot think of a better place than DPW. The main reason not to come here is if you want to do a type of work that we do not do well or at all (i.e., criminal defense, sports law).

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:17 pm

How is the health of the firm? I know there were some staff layoffs but will this impact attorneys?

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:How is the health of the firm? I know there were some staff layoffs but will this impact attorneys?

I was a summer this year and from what I saw and heard from everyone, the firm is very strong. The managing partner spoke to us about the staff buyout (stress on voluntary buyout, not layoffs) and was very straightforward. The firm topped the first-quarter and first-half M&A rankings this year. I had a fantastic time and would second what the associate posted above.

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:How is the health of the firm? I know there were some staff layoffs but will this impact attorneys?


2nd yr associate here - No one at DPW ever worries about their job security.

1. Partners rarely leave our firm so we don't have a Dewey/Howrey issue
2. Key clients are large institutional financial institutions that have used us for decades
3. We are a balanced firm and do not rely on any one individual practice group or client to carry us
4. We are conservatively managed - though that is changing somewhat with Reid at the helm, but we still do not take huge gambles
5. We just signed a long term lease with our building at reasonable rates
6. This year's summer class was one of the largest; next year's seem to be on the same pace

All of the above suggest that there is no reason to believe that DPW is in any trouble financially. HTH

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:23 am

I think I saw an article that discussed revenues per lawyer and we're not as high as our peers, which is a good thing for associates.


Lower RPL can mean two things: The firm had the option of generating more $$$ per lawyer, but chose not to (good for associates, but questionable business strategy), or firm did not have enough business to generate more $$$ per lawyer.

I don't know which to attribute to Davis Polk, but you really shouldn't attribute the latter by default, especially given that big law firms, especially blue chip ones like Davis Polk, are businesses.

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Re: DPW v. Kirkland NY

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:13 pm

I also work at DPW NYC and echo what's been said. There are plenty of negatives: I see fellow junior associates (and, amusingly, very senior associates or counsel obviously gunning for partner) late at night, early on mornings, over weekends, on holidays, etc. regularly enough that it can be pretty sad. But the people are just universally decent, and the atmosphere is polite/reserved (not what I would call warm) but very friendly.

As for the staff, a big issue is just that our administrative assistant / secretary pool is old. People have been around forever, are getting expensive, and increasingly are underutilized as young attorneys and technology leaves the firm needing fewer people in secretarial roles than ever.

We've got mountains of work and obvious sources of revenue now and into the future. I'd especially second the notion that "no one at DPW ever worries about their job security" - lateral opportunities (especially but not exclusively in the financial sector) are bountiful.

We may be a little bloated though - we hired some big classes and don't seem to be in a hurry to push people out. In my experience that just means certain practice areas or individuals can be slow while others are slammed, so I wouldn't say it translates into better "quality of life" (my months nearing 300 hours certainly weren't high-quality times in my life).

Overall we're very busy, but the firm hasn't seem to gone to heroics to jack its PPP up from "incredibly high" to "some of the highest." All our lawyers work hard, all our partners are rich, all our associates get market compensation, and hopefully our legal work makes our clients happy.

It seems like DPW has settled into a comfortable position at the top, but maybe not at the peak, of firm profitability (something I heard partners at other firms speak about somewhat dismissively while interviewing, to be honest).




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