Cravath v. Debevoise

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Cravath or Debevoise?

Poll ended at Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:27 pm

Cravath
30
48%
Debevoise
32
52%
 
Total votes: 62

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Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:27 pm

Interested in corporate. Not exactly sure which subgroup which makes me comfortable with either's rotation system. If I had to choose right now I'd say I prefer securities/cap markets to M&A. Heard great things about the Debevoise culture but one of my interviews in particular was a real struggle (made me surprised to get the offer) and the place seemed to live up to its boring reputation a bit. Like everyone else I had heard awful things about Cravath so maybe it's just the low expectations but I've been really impressed with all the people. Let me know your thoughts.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:28 pm

When did you interview at and hear from Cravath?

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When did you interview at and hear from Cravath?


Not OP but Cravath is giving same day offers.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did you interview at and hear from Cravath?


Not OP but Cravath is giving same day offers.


All the offers have been same day so far?

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did you interview at and hear from Cravath?


Not OP but Cravath is giving same day offers.


All the offers have been same day so far?


Many have, if not, they usually come withint 24-48 hours.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:39 pm

OP here. Cravath offer was given at the end of the day.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Cravath offer was given at the end of the day.


today? congrats!

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thesealocust
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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby thesealocust » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:48 pm

Can you do second looks/visits at either or both? Could be very useful in this situation.

Both firms seem like good places to wind up for people with the right "fit" but they also have very different reputations, so I imagine it would be a personal thing. FWIW, I've always had the impression that Debevoise had a top-flight corporate practice but a not-quite-as-top-flight litigation practice (kind of the inverse of PW) while Cravath and its peers tend to have inarguably dominant corporate and litigation practices.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Cravath offer was given at the end of the day.


today? congrats!

Yesterday actually.

thesealocust wrote:Can you do second looks/visits at either or both? Could be very useful in this situation.

That's definitely my plan. I want to meet more people, especially at Debevoise.

If I do ultimately prefer the fit at Debevoise, does anyone think I'd be sacrificing much with regard to exit options?

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby thesealocust » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:57 pm

re: exit options - it's very hard to quantify. I've been curious and trying to get my head around that and similar questions for years without much success.

The average Cravath associate might have a slightly easier time or wind up in a slightly fancier place, possibly particularly in finance related positions, but I really doubt it's a major difference. They're both very 'elite' firms and exit options are so narrow/individual/specialty/personality driven anyway.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby profitablechoy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:45 am

The most salient difference between these two firms is that one is on the east side and one is on the west side. Debevoise's location is a bit better, unless you want to live in, e.g., Chelsea or Jersey City (or the UWS even). Debevoise also has international offices, while Cravath doesn't (not really, anyway). Cravath will make you share an office for two full years, while at Debevoise it would be just one year (this is more of a factor than you might think, especially in corp where you and your office mate will both be on the phone a lot).

Work-wise, you'll spend very long hours at the office either way--there is no meaningful difference on this point. At both firms, some people will be nice while others won't. Both rotate you. Exit options are not meaningfully different. They both have fancy financial institution clients.

It sounds like you're leaning toward Cravath. If so, you should go for it. Don't let the thought that your work-life balance might be better at Debevoise hold you back, because that's not likely to be true. Just consider the points I made in the first paragraph and make sure none of them are critical to you.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby hypothalamus » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:38 am

thesealocust wrote:re: exit options - it's very hard to quantify. I've been curious and trying to get my head around that and similar questions for years without much success.

The average Cravath associate might have a slightly easier time or wind up in a slightly fancier place, possibly particularly in finance related positions, but I really doubt it's a major difference. They're both very 'elite' firms and exit options are so narrow/individual/specialty/personality driven anyway.


Pretty much every partner I've talked to at other firms has lateraled from Cravath. I'm obviously exaggerating, but you get my point - a Cravath "upbringing" gives you a lot of options. I'd personally never heard of Debevoise before this process started.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

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

I'd personally never heard of Debevoise before this process started.


I don't really think that's Debevoise's fault. Most laymen can maybe drum up three law firm names, and one of them is probably Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby hypothalamus » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:23 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
I'd personally never heard of Debevoise before this process started.


I don't really think that's Debevoise's fault. Most laymen can maybe drum up three law firm names, and one of them is probably Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.


Well, a law student in the middle of OCI is hardly a layman :D But point taken. It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

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

It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.


It isn't. I'm a practicing big firm attorney and would probably have chosen Debevoise in this instance.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:26 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.


It isn't. I'm a practicing big firm attorney and would probably have chosen Debevoise in this instance.

OP here. Any particular reasons why? Culture? Practice area interests? I really appreciate your insight.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby skers » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:27 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.


It isn't. I'm a practicing big firm attorney and would probably have chosen Debevoise in this instance.


That's weird. Cravath clearly has the higher Vault ranking.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.


It isn't. I'm a practicing big firm attorney and would probably have chosen Debevoise in this instance.

OP here. Any particular reasons why? Culture? Practice area interests? I really appreciate your insight.


[Speculation]

So I can't really delve into the particulars of why because I don't work at either, but I know many who work at both. My impression is that Debevoise's culture is nicer and more gentle, and that the lawyers view themselves as "scholars" (or whatever that means) than "business men." Cravath is more aggressive and has a pretty hostile culture. But then again, Debevoise's culture could be negative if you view it as "passive aggressive."

Hours could be bad at both, but I think they have a higher probability of being bad at Cravath. My gut is that 2,300-2,400 is good enough to have a nice long career at Debevoise, and that you'd need 2,600-2,700 for a similar trajectory at Cravath. I also don't like having to commit to a group from the outset for life, but don't know how Debevoise's assignment system works

[/Speculation]

I don't know how developed your interest in corporate is. Debevoise is tops at fund formation and private equity. Cravath is tops at public M&A. I would read up on the differences between the two. They both involve very different work styles, very different clients, and the development of pretty different skill sets as you proceed later in your career.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby tripu11 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:56 am

.
Last edited by tripu11 on Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

profitablechoy
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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby profitablechoy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
It just seems to me that the choice between Cravath and Debevoise is beyond obvious.


It isn't. I'm a practicing big firm attorney and would probably have chosen Debevoise in this instance.

OP here. Any particular reasons why? Culture? Practice area interests? I really appreciate your insight.


[Speculation]

So I can't really delve into the particulars of why because I don't work at either, but I know many who work at both. My impression is that Debevoise's culture is nicer and more gentle, and that the lawyers view themselves as "scholars" (or whatever that means) than "business men." Cravath is more aggressive and has a pretty hostile culture. But then again, Debevoise's culture could be negative if you view it as "passive aggressive."

Hours could be bad at both, but I think they have a higher probability of being bad at Cravath. My gut is that 2,300-2,400 is good enough to have a nice long career at Debevoise, and that you'd need 2,600-2,700 for a similar trajectory at Cravath. I also don't like having to commit to a group from the outset for life, but don't know how Debevoise's assignment system works

[/Speculation]

I don't know how developed your interest in corporate is. Debevoise is tops at fund formation and private equity. Cravath is tops at public M&A. I would read up on the differences between the two. They both involve very different work styles, very different clients, and the development of pretty different skill sets as you proceed later in your career.


The last part of your post is good.

However, culture-wise, Cravath is not particularly aggressive. Aggressive (some might say nasty) firms are Skadden and Kirkland. Debevoise definitely has a reputation as being holier-than-thou, but in reality Cravath and Debevoise are more similar than different in this regard.

The key here is that both Debevoise and Cravath have lockstep partner compensation, with much less income stratification among partners. That means that most of the really arrogant shitheads and mercenary partners aren't as interested. This has a much bigger impact on firm culture than anything else, and it's shared between the two firms.

Also, the hours aren't actually different between these two firms. There are more outlier lunatics billing 3000+ at Cravath probably, but that's about it.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby thesealocust » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:02 pm

The above discussion is all very sound, from what I know.

My pet hypothesis has always been that Cravath - as a brand - probably doesn't really generate materially better exit options than its 'peer' firms, but it DOES attract the balls-to-the-wall, I-love-the-law-and-hate-everyone-and-everything-else personality types who see it as an enclave for such behavior, and those people go on to do things like be David Boies later in life.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:59 pm

OP here. Still undecided, but after talking with lots of associates at both firms I'm leaning Debevoise just because there seems to be a real difference in the number of hours. Multiple people at Deb (working in M&A and cap markets) hadn't ever billed 2000, and no one had billed 300+ in a month. Everyone at Cravath had hit 300 multiple times and while most Cravath people said they didn't know how many hours they had billed one guy told me he was over 2700 last year.

So why am I still undecided? Well as Fresh Prince said Deb is tops at fund formation/PE and while I'm interested in those practices the exit options seem a little narrow. Going through 3-4 rotations at Cravath seems to set you up for a wide range of great exit options, but I don't know if I can stomach those hours to make it through 3-4 rotations. And I suppose I can just do M&A/cap markets rotations at Deb and skip the more narrow fund formation practice altogether. I guess the counter is that if I'm going to do those two practice areas first I might as well spend 2.5 years at Cravath and be in a better position down the road.

So yeah any other comments are appreciated as I finish this process up.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Still undecided, but after talking with lots of associates at both firms I'm leaning Debevoise just because there seems to be a real difference in the number of hours. Multiple people at Deb (working in M&A and cap markets) hadn't ever billed 2000, and no one had billed 300+ in a month. Everyone at Cravath had hit 300 multiple times and while most Cravath people said they didn't know how many hours they had billed one guy told me he was over 2700 last year.

So why am I still undecided? Well as Fresh Prince said Deb is tops at fund formation/PE and while I'm interested in those practices the exit options seem a little narrow. Going through 3-4 rotations at Cravath seems to set you up for a wide range of great exit options, but I don't know if I can stomach those hours to make it through 3-4 rotations. And I suppose I can just do M&A/cap markets rotations at Deb and skip the more narrow fund formation practice altogether. I guess the counter is that if I'm going to do those two practice areas first I might as well spend 2.5 years at Cravath and be in a better position down the road.

So yeah any other comments are appreciated as I finish this process up.



Do you have an SO or something that you will need to be away from work for? Are you okay with your life being work for awhile? If not, this would be a good investment in your future, and it sounds like you like the people at Cravath more.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:09 pm

I don't think the hours at Cravath for associates are that much worse than other NYC biglaw (if at all). I think the sweatshop reputation is boosted by Cravath's summers working significantly more than their peers.

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Re: Cravath v. Debevoise

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Still undecided, but after talking with lots of associates at both firms I'm leaning Debevoise just because there seems to be a real difference in the number of hours. Multiple people at Deb (working in M&A and cap markets) hadn't ever billed 2000, and no one had billed 300+ in a month. Everyone at Cravath had hit 300 multiple times and while most Cravath people said they didn't know how many hours they had billed one guy told me he was over 2700 last year.

So why am I still undecided? Well as Fresh Prince said Deb is tops at fund formation/PE and while I'm interested in those practices the exit options seem a little narrow. Going through 3-4 rotations at Cravath seems to set you up for a wide range of great exit options, but I don't know if I can stomach those hours to make it through 3-4 rotations. And I suppose I can just do M&A/cap markets rotations at Deb and skip the more narrow fund formation practice altogether. I guess the counter is that if I'm going to do those two practice areas first I might as well spend 2.5 years at Cravath and be in a better position down the road.

So yeah any other comments are appreciated as I finish this process up.



Do you have an SO or something that you will need to be away from work for? Are you okay with your life being work for awhile? If not, this would be a good investment in your future, and it sounds like you like the people at Cravath more.

Yeah my fiancee is freaking out about the whole thing. I'll also be over 30 when I graduate.




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