Anonymous User wrote:I've been lurking the last few days just to see how people responded to a recent callback dinner I went to . . . but I can't let this crap hang out there.
Let's start with the usual disclaimers. I'm an associate at S&C, and I love my job and feel very lucky to be here. I'm not particularly hooked up with recruiting, and I'm not shilling because I couldn't really care less, from a selfish point of view, if 2Ls come here. I just hate, HATE to see folks make the same mistakes some of my friends did, and go to a place like Latham for the culture and end up being a credit/high-yield monkey, working as hard as I do and getting half as much out of it. Don't make that mistake please.
(a) I have no hours-based billing pressure. My first year, things were slow (it was the crisis) and I billed, gosh, couldn't have been more than 1800 hours. Not a word. It is strictly a project-based workload. Work fast and efficiently, and you'll work less than half the folks you know at other firms. Waste time, and it will suck. But it is up to you, not the clock, to determine when you leave. This alone justifies going to S&C (or the one or two peer firms with a similar setup) over places lower down the food chain.
(c) There is real effort put into training you. You're not pigeon-holed into a practice area. You're constantly pushed, assigned to new matters in areas you've never done before. People monitor your experience and you receive assignments to plug holes in your knowledge.
(d) As a result, you LEARN here, constantly, and you become a damn good lawyer. You'll have 90% of the credit knowledge as your friend doing ONLY credit at Simpson; you'll have 90% of the high yield knowledge as your friend doing ONLY high yield work at Cahill; oh, and you'll ALSO know how to do registered offerings and you'll have worked on a projects deal, etc.
I agree that S&C is a great firm to work at -- at the same level as other V5+STB -- but I don't agree that these points fairly support the idea that S&C is superior to the aforementioned peer firms.
For point (a), you actually believe that associates who get ahead are not billing many many more hours than that bare minimum level? I'm not debating whether you can coast by at a top corporate law firm doing bare minimum hours -- I know that's possible and doable for several years if you're smart about it -- but it's fallacious, even intuitively, to say that you will get ahead billing so few hours but working very efficiently. That just doesn't seem like an honest assessment of how the Big Law model works, and I doubt S&C is immune to it.
To legitimately support points (c) and (d) vis-a-vis S&C's peer firms you have either needed to work at multiple firms or have solid (not anecdotal data from friends) cross-firm evidence supporting these points. I think these are typical advertising points that S&C is very good at using to market its general corporate practice flexibility (which I definitely like), but you're not going to be a master of several corporate practice areas just because you've done 3 or 4 assignments in them vs. someone who has spent 9-12 month focusing on one particular area in a traditional rotation system. I also don't see why S&C is exceptional at teaching its associates vis-a-vis its peer firms -- all these firms have talented individuals working at them, and they all benefit from teaching their associates properly.