Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

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Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:15 pm

Hi all,

I am interested in doing corporate work and am having a real difficult time choosing a firm. I am pretty interested in emerging companies but I am not 100% set on that. ANy help differentiating between these firms corporate groups?

Edit: emerging companies
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:45 pm

If you mean "emerging markets" as in BRIC countries or similar, I don't know much about these three as it relates to emerging markets. I think that's probably because emerging markets work isn't big in Boston.

Quick summary. Ropes is going to be top for PE and investment fund work. Generally a lot of the biggest PE deals in Boston go through Ropes, and I think Bain Capital it still exclusive with them. On the IM side, they're representing a lot of the biggest VC and PE firms in fund formation, with only Proskauer really competing with them (and Dechert, if you're talking about hedge funds). In these two spheres, Ropes is probably tops. They're really strong in these two areas, and they account for most of the firms work.

Goodwin is #1 or #2 in Boston (and probably in that range nationwide) in representing technology companies. They're doing a lot of tech/startup work right now. Their real estate practice is probably also tops in Boston, along with Goulston. Probably second largest PE practice in Boston, although their are certain areas where they're probably a go-to over Ropes (such as LBO PE deals). Smaller IM practice.

I think Wilmer is probably clearly third for transactional work. Wilmer's reputation around Boston is mostly in the public side company work. But outside the public/MA work, they're probably second tier in most categories. They were doing a fair amount of restructuring work during the recession, but a lot of that is gone. I think most of their tech companies practice left for Latham, and they've never been known for being a big hitter in the private markets. Especially in recent years, I would say Wilmer is in the big 3 more because of its litigation focus. Just as a warning, last year, there were lots of rumors of Wilmer's corporate work drying up a lot.

Ropes for large PE and fund formation. Goodwin if you're most interested in working with startups and high growth companies, along with real estate. And Wilmer for large public company work.

Also, "culture wise," these are of course generalities, but Wilmer is considered snobish, Ropes are kind of considered dicks (they're the K&E or Boston, no one likes working with them), and Goodwin is probably considered the most "laid back" or down to earth (but Goodwin is probably considered the biggest sweatshop of the big 3, not that there are huge differences).

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you mean "emerging markets" as in BRIC countries or similar, I don't know much about these three as it relates to emerging markets. I think that's probably because emerging markets work isn't big in Boston.

Quick summary. Ropes is going to be top for PE and investment fund work. Generally a lot of the biggest PE deals in Boston go through Ropes, and I think Bain Capital it still exclusive with them. On the IM side, they're representing a lot of the biggest VC and PE firms in fund formation, with only Proskauer really competing with them (and Dechert, if you're talking about hedge funds). In these two spheres, Ropes is probably tops. They're really strong in these two areas, and they account for most of the firms work.

Goodwin is #1 or #2 in Boston (and probably in that range nationwide) in representing technology companies. They're doing a lot of tech/startup work right now. Their real estate practice is probably also tops in Boston, along with Goulston. Probably second largest PE practice in Boston, although their are certain areas where they're probably a go-to over Ropes (such as LBO PE deals). Smaller IM practice.

I think Wilmer is probably clearly third for transactional work. Wilmer's reputation around Boston is mostly in the public side company work. But outside the public/MA work, they're probably second tier in most categories. They were doing a fair amount of restructuring work during the recession, but a lot of that is gone. I think most of their tech companies practice left for Latham, and they've never been known for being a big hitter in the private markets. Especially in recent years, I would say Wilmer is in the big 3 more because of its litigation focus. Just as a warning, last year, there were lots of rumors of Wilmer's corporate work drying up a lot.

Ropes for large PE and fund formation. Goodwin if you're most interested in working with startups and high growth companies, along with real estate. And Wilmer for large public company work.

Also, "culture wise," these are of course generalities, but Wilmer is considered snobish, Ropes are kind of considered dicks (they're the K&E or Boston, no one likes working with them), and Goodwin is probably considered the most "laid back" or down to earth (but Goodwin is probably considered the biggest sweatshop of the big 3, not that there are huge differences).



OP Here. Thanks for the information this is extremely helpful. I meant to post Emerging companies. Whoopsies

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you mean "emerging markets" as in BRIC countries or similar, I don't know much about these three as it relates to emerging markets. I think that's probably because emerging markets work isn't big in Boston.

Quick summary. Ropes is going to be top for PE and investment fund work. Generally a lot of the biggest PE deals in Boston go through Ropes, and I think Bain Capital it still exclusive with them. On the IM side, they're representing a lot of the biggest VC and PE firms in fund formation, with only Proskauer really competing with them (and Dechert, if you're talking about hedge funds). In these two spheres, Ropes is probably tops. They're really strong in these two areas, and they account for most of the firms work.

Goodwin is #1 or #2 in Boston (and probably in that range nationwide) in representing technology companies. They're doing a lot of tech/startup work right now. Their real estate practice is probably also tops in Boston, along with Goulston. Probably second largest PE practice in Boston, although their are certain areas where they're probably a go-to over Ropes (such as LBO PE deals). Smaller IM practice.

I think Wilmer is probably clearly third for transactional work. Wilmer's reputation around Boston is mostly in the public side company work. But outside the public/MA work, they're probably second tier in most categories. They were doing a fair amount of restructuring work during the recession, but a lot of that is gone. I think most of their tech companies practice left for Latham, and they've never been known for being a big hitter in the private markets. Especially in recent years, I would say Wilmer is in the big 3 more because of its litigation focus. Just as a warning, last year, there were lots of rumors of Wilmer's corporate work drying up a lot.

Ropes for large PE and fund formation. Goodwin if you're most interested in working with startups and high growth companies, along with real estate. And Wilmer for large public company work.

Also, "culture wise," these are of course generalities, but Wilmer is considered snobish, Ropes are kind of considered dicks (they're the K&E or Boston, no one likes working with them), and Goodwin is probably considered the most "laid back" or down to earth (but Goodwin is probably considered the biggest sweatshop of the big 3, not that there are huge differences).


OP Here. Thanks for the information this is extremely helpful. I meant to post Emerging companies. Whoopsies


Then I think of the big 3, Goodwin is far and away the best for that.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you mean "emerging markets" as in BRIC countries or similar, I don't know much about these three as it relates to emerging markets. I think that's probably because emerging markets work isn't big in Boston.

Quick summary. Ropes is going to be top for PE and investment fund work. Generally a lot of the biggest PE deals in Boston go through Ropes, and I think Bain Capital it still exclusive with them. On the IM side, they're representing a lot of the biggest VC and PE firms in fund formation, with only Proskauer really competing with them (and Dechert, if you're talking about hedge funds). In these two spheres, Ropes is probably tops. They're really strong in these two areas, and they account for most of the firms work.

Goodwin is #1 or #2 in Boston (and probably in that range nationwide) in representing technology companies. They're doing a lot of tech/startup work right now. Their real estate practice is probably also tops in Boston, along with Goulston. Probably second largest PE practice in Boston, although their are certain areas where they're probably a go-to over Ropes (such as LBO PE deals). Smaller IM practice.

I think Wilmer is probably clearly third for transactional work. Wilmer's reputation around Boston is mostly in the public side company work. But outside the public/MA work, they're probably second tier in most categories. They were doing a fair amount of restructuring work during the recession, but a lot of that is gone. I think most of their tech companies practice left for Latham, and they've never been known for being a big hitter in the private markets. Especially in recent years, I would say Wilmer is in the big 3 more because of its litigation focus. Just as a warning, last year, there were lots of rumors of Wilmer's corporate work drying up a lot.

Ropes for large PE and fund formation. Goodwin if you're most interested in working with startups and high growth companies, along with real estate. And Wilmer for large public company work.

Also, "culture wise," these are of course generalities, but Wilmer is considered snobish, Ropes are kind of considered dicks (they're the K&E or Boston, no one likes working with them), and Goodwin is probably considered the most "laid back" or down to earth (but Goodwin is probably considered the biggest sweatshop of the big 3, not that there are huge differences).


OP Here. Thanks for the information this is extremely helpful. I meant to post Emerging companies. Whoopsies


Then I think of the big 3, Goodwin is far and away the best for that.


Anyone have thoughts for someone who is deciding between Wilmer and Goodwin and leaning towards litigation, but pretty open minded about practice areas?

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:56 pm

I disagree with the 2nd poster about culture. I'm an M&A associate at another Boston firm (not one of these 3). My impression is that Ropes is much more pleasant to work with than Goodwin. Both firms tend to be cocky, but Ropes is a bit more subdued and Goodwin is a bit more aggressive (to the point of harming the working relationship), in my experience.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:07 pm

I summered at Ropes, and I just loved the culture there. But it's not all PE/Investment Management work. Ropes does have a strong IP transactional group, for example, in case you wanted to try something different.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Wonk » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:10 pm

I have the same question as OP but with a litigation focus. I've hit it off really well with people at all 3 firms. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I disagree with the 2nd poster about culture. I'm an M&A associate at another Boston firm (not one of these 3). My impression is that Ropes is much more pleasant to work with than Goodwin. Both firms tend to be cocky, but Ropes is a bit more subdued and Goodwin is a bit more aggressive (to the point of harming the working relationship), in my experience.


This is the correct (or more widely held I should say) view of the cultures. No one in boston or anywhere else besides jealous law students describes Ropes as "kind of dicks" and no one ever has described Goodwin as "laid back."

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:59 am

For the Litigation poster, Wilmer, hands down.

Goodwin is a horrible place to work from what I've heard, take Ropes over it for tnx work.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Wonk » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For the Litigation poster, Wilmer, hands down.

Goodwin is a horrible place to work from what I've heard, take Ropes over it for tnx work.

Why Wilmer for lit hands down?

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:20 pm

When people say Goodwin is more of a sweatshop than Ropes or Wilmerhale , is that just based on hours? If so, can anyone get any more specific on what hours look like at these places? If not, what exactly goes into Goodwin's sweatshop reputation? TYIA

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When people say Goodwin is more of a sweatshop than Ropes or Wilmerhale , is that just based on hours? If so, can anyone get any more specific on what hours look like at these places? If not, what exactly goes into Goodwin's sweatshop reputation? TYIA


All I can speak to regarding hours is anecdotal and they vary too much within the firm and between practice areas to be of use for general conclusions. I can say, however, that I have seen a number of Goodwin Procter's invoices and they charge significantly lower rates (even taking realization into account) than both Ropes and Wilmer. They also appear to make greater use of staff attorneys (my experience is limited to the corporate side, however). All that you can conclude from that really is that at a given level of revenue a lot more hours are required of Goodwin than of Ropes/Wilmer.

Wonk wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For the Litigation poster, Wilmer, hands down.

Goodwin is a horrible place to work from what I've heard, take Ropes over it for tnx work.

Why Wilmer for lit hands down?


I wouldn't say hands down but if you are thinking of doing anything other than Securities or IP Lit Ropes probably isn't the place for it.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:40 am

I'm the person who summered at Ropes (posting again). I should add that Ropes' Vault ranking as one of the best firms to work at (lifestyle, satisfaction) does seem to have some basis. I wasn't at the Boston office, but it seemed like attorneys lived a good life compared to other big law firms. For example, attorneys weren't constantly at the office until late at night or working throughout the weekend. Usually, there was a crunch time where long hours had to be pulled, but shortly thereafter attorneys were leaving at like 3 PM or taking a day off to make up for it. It seemed like attorneys enjoyed their weekends and took trips/vacations, even if it meant still checking emails or doing some work. During very early hours, very late hours, or weekend hours, I saw some attorneys (mostly partners) still working there. But usually it was really empty. It does seem like the work load ramps up with the more years you spend there, and first-year associates seem to have the least amount of work. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but my impression is that it was not hell.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I disagree with the 2nd poster about culture. I'm an M&A associate at another Boston firm (not one of these 3). My impression is that Ropes is much more pleasant to work with than Goodwin. Both firms tend to be cocky, but Ropes is a bit more subdued and Goodwin is a bit more aggressive (to the point of harming the working relationship), in my experience.


This is the correct (or more widely held I should say) view of the cultures. No one in boston or anywhere else besides jealous law students describes Ropes as "kind of dicks" and no one ever has described Goodwin as "laid back."


I didn't mean the people at Ropes are dicks personally (and at least on the IM side, they actually seem pretty awesome from my experience), but there is definitely a feeling of not liking working with them at my firm.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:00 pm

New poster here. I'm truly stuck between Wilmer and Ropes (both Boston). I want to do litigation. Ropes has been pretty persistent in saying that the "I want to do litigation in Boston, so I should be at Wilmer" shtick is somewhat BS. Wilmer doesn't feel like they have to say much about the strength of their litigation practice. I'm desperately trying to get a semi-objective perspective. Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Wonk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:New poster here. I'm truly stuck between Wilmer and Ropes (both Boston). I want to do litigation. Ropes has been pretty persistent in saying that the "I want to do litigation in Boston, so I should be at Wilmer" shtick is somewhat BS. Wilmer doesn't feel like they have to say much about the strength of their litigation practice. I'm desperately trying to get a semi-objective perspective. Any advice greatly appreciated.

In the same exact boat. If you're HLS, pm me and maybe we could grab lunch.

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Does anyone know how many have been no offered at Goodwin/Wilmerhale the past few years?

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:06 pm

Wonk wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:New poster here. I'm truly stuck between Wilmer and Ropes (both Boston). I want to do litigation. Ropes has been pretty persistent in saying that the "I want to do litigation in Boston, so I should be at Wilmer" shtick is somewhat BS. Wilmer doesn't feel like they have to say much about the strength of their litigation practice. I'm desperately trying to get a semi-objective perspective. Any advice greatly appreciated.

In the same exact boat. If you're HLS, pm me and maybe we could grab lunch.


I'm across the river, but thanks for the offer. BUMP for any advice

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Re: Ropes v. Wilmer v. Goodwin (Boston)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:08 pm

What's the basis for arguing Wilmer is better for litigation?




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