Cleary v. Weil

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Cleary v. Weil

Cleary
50
74%
Weil
18
26%
 
Total votes: 68

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:"For about a year now, Cleary has been laying off staff. I estimate about 30-40 so far. They are doing it one or two people at a time. They have reduced staff through attrition for several years, but now they are just letting people go. They are reassigning, changing schedules, and otherwise driving staff nuts."

"This started about a couple of years ago, when Sheldon Alster became the Managing Partner for the New York office. He is a miserable person and he brought in one Kelly Stevens as Administrator. They have really been busting chops. They even took five sick days away from staff this year from the ten [previously given].
In Cleary’s defense, I have to say it has been a good firm in the past…. Now they’re acting like the firm is in a death spiral."

"So what does this all mean? The times, they are a-changin’. The firms that used to be known as kinder, gentler Biglaw firms, like Cleary and Debevoise, are increasingly focused on the bottom line. Debevoise ditched its trusts and estates practice, essentially because T&E wasn’t paying its own freight. And now Cleary is clearing out unneeded support staff, for basically the same reasons."


I wouldn't really buy this whole "culture" thing, and I think you're probably splitting hairs between Weil & Cleary. Pick the firm that has the better practice group for what you're interested in, and go with the place that has good exits.


There is a big difference between staff layoffs and lawyer layoffs. Does it suck for staff? Yes, but as prospective associate this shouldn't bother you. Anyone who has been in a biglaw office recently knows that the level of staff to lawyers is insane. There are an enormous number of staff who just sit around waiting for stuff to do most of the day: secretaries are barely used by most associates and the partners who rely on them a lot are on the way out, positions like floor messengers are just silly, and the support centers are also over-staffed (increasingly this can be outsourced).

Also, read this article in the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 92346.html

I summered at Cleary and was kind of appalled at the wasted resources on staff. I can't speak to the rumors of stealth associate layoffs, but the firm whole heartedly denies that any such thing ever happened. They did cut their summer class sizes immensely in 2008 and now they are back up to where they were.

Although the culture is a little friendlier than some, the firm's management is super conservative.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:34 am

(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:51 am

NYstate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Also, I don't have a lot of exposure to bankruptcy, but the person above who talked about limited exit options from Weil's bankruptcy division is out of his/her mind. They have their pick of firms and in-house opportunities as well.


I'm not saying limited exit options from Weil. I'm saying that creditor work generally leads to better exit-options than debtor work. This should be obvious--creditors are lenders and they will always have work (and thus need an in-house attorney), while companies generally don't have in-house attorneys around in case there's a bankruptcy (though, you can do banking/finance work). Obviously a v10 like Weil will have great exit options, but the thread title is Weil vs. Cleary--and if you're comparing the type of work, it's good to know that one type has a smoother exit.

Additionally, I have heard of a Weil associate trying to lateral to another major debtor shop, and they only had experience doing one type of motion on one case for three years--that's not desirable experience from a firm's perspective. If it turns out OP doesn't like his job at Weil--the move to Skadden/Kirkland is going to be tougher than the move from Cleary to DPW/PW


Not sure how to respond to this. I doubt that any associate at Weil only works on one type of motion for three years. I also doubt that creditors would be disinterested in hiring someone from Weil. You meet a lot of people from both sides in doing reorgs and bankruptcies.

I agree with this -- Weil attorneys don't just do debtor work, there's a lot of creditor stuff going around.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:53 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

:roll: back at you... This is the opinion of a lot of people... And it's not a difficult logic to agree with. "If a profitable firm has just made layoffs, that firm is unlikely to make layoffs in the near future for reputation purposes." Too fresh, fresh prince

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

:roll: back at you... This is the opinion of a lot of people... And it's not a difficult logic to agree with. "If a profitable firm has just made layoffs, that firm is unlikely to make layoffs in the near future for reputation purposes." Too fresh, fresh prince


Well... shit... a lot of people's opinion. Now you really put me in my place.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:19 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

:roll: back at you... This is the opinion of a lot of people... And it's not a difficult logic to agree with. "If a profitable firm has just made layoffs, that firm is unlikely to make layoffs in the near future for reputation purposes." Too fresh, fresh prince


Well... shit... a lot of people's opinion. Now you really put me in my place.

Okay... pretty sure I wasn't the aggressor here, and I hope it's obvious that no one here is trying to put anyone in his/her place besides you.

Keep playing the big man online dude. I'm gona lay off now, because your post count is an intimidating number.

User has been warned.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

:roll: back at you... This is the opinion of a lot of people... And it's not a difficult logic to agree with. "If a profitable firm has just made layoffs, that firm is unlikely to make layoffs in the near future for reputation purposes." Too fresh, fresh prince


they don't have that much control over the layoffs. why would a profitable firm make layoffs in the first place? i understand the logic but it's ultimately naive. they will do what they have to do when shit hits the fan. logically, no one could have predicted they'd do what they did this close to oci. it's a different environment. everyone'd be well advised to look out for their own interest(s).

the opinions are worthless because they're motivated by the same underlying logic.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:19 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
(1) there's no way in heck that Weil would layoff again in the next 3+ years


Oh really? Did they promise you that??? :roll:

:roll: back at you... This is the opinion of a lot of people... And it's not a difficult logic to agree with. "If a profitable firm has just made layoffs, that firm is unlikely to make layoffs in the near future for reputation purposes." Too fresh, fresh prince


they don't have that much control over the layoffs. why would a profitable firm make layoffs in the first place? i understand the logic but it's ultimately naive. they will do what they have to do when shit hits the fan. logically, no one could have predicted they'd do what they did this close to oci. it's a different environment. everyone'd be well advised to look out for their own interest(s).

the opinions are worthless because they're motivated by the same underlying logic.


Absolutely this. And Weil stealthed during the recession (and it was well known that through their deferral program, there was a massive pipeline of junior attorneys entering the firm in a very short time span).

Firms also don't care about "reputation purposes," especially when it comes to layoffs. Look at Latham, which is now a "V10" firm again (I think), despite doing what they did...

Really, the layoffs should be viewed as a positive thing..."


This quote really takes the thread, though :lol:

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:Okay... pretty sure I wasn't the aggressor here, and I hope it's obvious that no one here is trying to put anyone in his/her place besides you.

Keep playing the big man online dude. I'm gona lay off now, because your post count is an intimidating number.


This coming from "anonymous" with over 149,000 posts...

NYstate
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby NYstate » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:24 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Okay... pretty sure I wasn't the aggressor here, and I hope it's obvious that no one here is trying to put anyone in his/her place besides you.

Keep playing the big man online dude. I'm gona lay off now, because your post count is an intimidating number.


This coming from "anonymous" with over 149,000 posts...


My understanding is that the anon count is cumulative so it has no reflection on the individual user. I used to think it was a random number, but now I think it may be the actual count.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:37 am

NYstate wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Okay... pretty sure I wasn't the aggressor here, and I hope it's obvious that no one here is trying to put anyone in his/her place besides you.

Keep playing the big man online dude. I'm gona lay off now, because your post count is an intimidating number.


This coming from "anonymous" with over 149,000 posts...


My understanding is that the anon count is cumulative so it has no reflection on the individual user. I used to think it was a random number, but now I think it may be the actual count.


That was the joke. Trying to simultaneously point out that the dude is posting anonymously and that the whole post count point is a red herring for having a dumb view.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:All of this being said, is Kirkland on the table? DPW? Milbank? PW? There are a lot of great bankruptcy firms out there--I'm not sure Cleary would be at the top of my list. Also, check this.

I'm not OP, but I'm very interested in bankruptcy and have offers at several of the above. Any chance you could expand on the relative merits of their practices? I get that K&E does a lot of PE-driven debtor-work, while Skadden does a lot of debtor-work in the form of prepacks, Milbank is creditor-heavy, and PW does a mix. But can you elaborate on the reputations of these firms? And/or can you speak to the experience for an associate at any of them?

I'd really appreciate it.


I think that if you want to do debtor work, there's no firm like Kirkland right now--they're incredibly healthy (tons of work) and they allow for associates to take on a lot of responsibility early on. Culture is very entrepreneurial and social--don't go there if you'd prefer an office where you can keep to yourself. Pretty competitive (bonuses individualized, have to ask for work, etc)

PW has great people and do a mix of work, from what I hear, the summer is focused real world assignments rather than social events. If I were to pick PW, it would be for culture and the (albeit small) chance at partner (4:1 associate to partner ratio). The culture is very team-oriented, but not nearly as competitive as Kirkland (lockstep associate/partnership pay).

Milbank is creditor committee heavy--which is slightly different. There are some benefits, though--you often have standing on every issue, and you have to learn to balance the needs of different parties in the committee. Lots of the lawyer's recommendations have to be approved, so there isn't too much flexibility in terms of practicing it. But they're known for their committee work and they are good at what they do. The people there seemed rather boring to me, but with a hint of personality deep down.

Skadden does debtor work too, and is more like Weil than Kirkland. Assignment system, lockstep responsibility, etc etc but I get the feeling that the group is there because their clients want a full-service firm. There isn't a lot of work from what I hear. Culture is very work hard play hard.

DPW is the creditor firm if that's what you want to do and the culture seems uptight (once again, just comparing to my personality)--Cleary is close behind in terms of creditor work, but not at the same level.

Most of the other top firms will have strong practices, but they are generally a mix of debtor/creditor work and are there for the purpose of servicing clients from other groups, or participating in middle-market ch. 11s.


I'm currently going through callbacks for these firms and I'm into restructuring, but I've met with attorneys at each so I have a bit of experience behind what I'm saying. Take it with a grain of salt--I've learned some of it from attys at other firms. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Thanks. This was enormously helpful, and basically confirms what I've been hearing.



Just needed to correct something as someone who works at Skadden. I have friends in the restructuring group and they are all very busy; i.e. there is plenty of work. Also, Skadden's restructuring group does not exist "because their clients want a full-service firm." The restructuring group has made Skadden the go-to place for Prepacks and is generally very well-regarded in the bankruptcy/restructuring space for debtor work. It also has had some good representations on the creditor side.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:10 pm

With the exception of that person they fired for having a criminal record, did Cleary give 100% offers this year? I know I saw on ATL that Weil did.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:"For about a year now, Cleary has been laying off staff. I estimate about 30-40 so far. They are doing it one or two people at a time. They have reduced staff through attrition for several years, but now they are just letting people go. They are reassigning, changing schedules, and otherwise driving staff nuts."

"This started about a couple of years ago, when Sheldon Alster became the Managing Partner for the New York office. He is a miserable person and he brought in one Kelly Stevens as Administrator. They have really been busting chops. They even took five sick days away from staff this year from the ten [previously given].
In Cleary’s defense, I have to say it has been a good firm in the past…. Now they’re acting like the firm is in a death spiral."

"So what does this all mean? The times, they are a-changin’. The firms that used to be known as kinder, gentler Biglaw firms, like Cleary and Debevoise, are increasingly focused on the bottom line. Debevoise ditched its trusts and estates practice, essentially because T&E wasn’t paying its own freight. And now Cleary is clearing out unneeded support staff, for basically the same reasons."


I wouldn't really buy this whole "culture" thing, and I think you're probably splitting hairs between Weil & Cleary. Pick the firm that has the better practice group for what you're interested in, and go with the place that has good exits.


There is a big difference between staff layoffs and lawyer layoffs. Does it suck for staff? Yes, but as prospective associate this shouldn't bother you. Anyone who has been in a biglaw office recently knows that the level of staff to lawyers is insane. There are an enormous number of staff who just sit around waiting for stuff to do most of the day: secretaries are barely used by most associates and the partners who rely on them a lot are on the way out, positions like floor messengers are just silly, and the support centers are also over-staffed (increasingly this can be outsourced).

Also, read this article in the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 92346.html

I summered at Cleary and was kind of appalled at the wasted resources on staff. I can't speak to the rumors of stealth associate layoffs, but the firm whole heartedly denies that any such thing ever happened. They did cut their summer class sizes immensely in 2008 and now they are back up to where they were.

Although the culture is a little friendlier than some, the firm's management is super conservative.


I summered there too and have to agree. Most secretaries had four associates and spent the majority of their days playing Facebook games. I also know that cleary revamped its tech suite this past year. Upgrading from lotus notes may have lessened the need for staff.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:With the exception of that person they fired for having a criminal record, did Cleary give 100% offers this year? I know I saw on ATL that Weil did.


Cleary gives offers individually, after the end of the program. It's hard to know what the offer rate was but there was every reason to expect 100%. I know I got an offer and so did everyone I know of.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:With the exception of that person they fired for having a criminal record, did Cleary give 100% offers this year? I know I saw on ATL that Weil did.


Cleary gives offers individually, after the end of the program. It's hard to know what the offer rate was but there was every reason to expect 100%. I know I got an offer and so did everyone I know of.



From what i was told, if they gave you an offer before the summer ended then everyone in that office got an offer. If they're no-offering anyone they wait until the summers leave.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:With the exception of that person they fired for having a criminal record, did Cleary give 100% offers this year? I know I saw on ATL that Weil did.


Cleary gives offers individually, after the end of the program. It's hard to know what the offer rate was but there was every reason to expect 100%. I know I got an offer and so did everyone I know of.



From what i was told, if they gave you an offer before the summer ended then everyone in that office got an offer. If they're no-offering anyone they wait until the summers leave.


They told us from day one of the summer program that offers were going out the week after the program ended.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:With the exception of that person they fired for having a criminal record, did Cleary give 100% offers this year? I know I saw on ATL that Weil did.


Cleary gives offers individually, after the end of the program. It's hard to know what the offer rate was but there was every reason to expect 100%. I know I got an offer and so did everyone I know of.



From what i was told, if they gave you an offer before the summer ended then everyone in that office got an offer. If they're no-offering anyone they wait until the summers leave.


They told us from day one of the summer program that offers were going out the week after the program ended.


At Cleary? I don't remember them telling us that. I talked to my friends who'd summered the previous year and knew to expect it at my end of summer review. There was then the cocktail reception which everyone was invited to where they encouraged us all to come back and accept quickly, so I'm pretty sure it was 100% offers.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:At Cleary? I don't remember them telling us that. I talked to my friends who'd summered the previous year and knew to expect it at my end of summer review. There was then the cocktail reception which everyone was invited to where they encouraged us all to come back and accept quickly, so I'm pretty sure it was 100% offers.


I assumed both offices were the same. I guess they weren't.

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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:00 pm

Is Weil financially stable?

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thesealocust
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Re: Cleary v. Weil

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is Weil financially stable?


It's probably not going to Howrey into pieces tomorrow, but legitimate layoffs are not what you're looking for to give a firm an A-grade on financial stability.




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