Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

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What would you choose?

K&E Chi
15
29%
PW
4
8%
Weil
16
31%
STB
6
12%
S&C
7
13%
Milbank
4
8%
 
Total votes: 52

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Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:57 pm

Just got #6, need to start declining so I can stay within the NALP guidelines.

Want to do bankruptcy/restructuring work. Slight preference for debtor side over creditor, but I'm not sure how the differences between the two affect actual practicing so I may be wrong...Not sure about committee work. Slight preference for Chicago, but more interested in quality of work, substantive experience, and culture. I liked the people at K&E and PW the most, followed by Milbank, STB, Weil, and S&C in that order.

What would you choose? Anyone with experience in practice or anyone who's made a decision like this would be extremely helpful.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:24 pm

Fellow 2L but I'm relatively versed in it. I see no reason to keep S&C on your list given that their bankruptcy group is tiny and not highly regarded and you didn't like the people. They claim it's growing, but i don't know, you have really good other options.

Milbank as you probably know having CBed there is heavily slanted toward committee work for creditors. It sounds to me like it would be interesting, but as you acknowledged it's kind of the third wheel of restructuring and given your other options, I would probably gravitate elsewhere.

Simpson does mostly creditor work and given that it is low on your fit ratings and you have a disclosed preference for debtor work, I think it can probably be eliminated, though it might be preliminary since getting rid of S&C would put you at 5.

Weil and Kirkland are the two big names in debtor side stuff (with Skadden doing a lot of it too) and I've heard people adamant that Weil is on a tier of its own and others calling them fungible. I personally lean more toward the latter and think that especially given that debtor cases tend to be one shot propositions, that differentiating between the prestige of the two is not the right way to look at it. Kirkland could just as easily get the next Lehman and by the time you are starting could be seen as the unequivocal #1. I think given your personality fit I would lean Kirkland here. Your money goes further in Chicago and Kirkland nationally is a bankruptcy powerhouse but if for whatever reason bk isn't where you end up, Kirkland Chi is a big fish in a smaller pond and likely has better non-bk options.

I know next to nothing about PW's bk group but i have to imagine it is more litigation driven and potentially smaller, but I'm talking out of my ass with them sorry.


I think you need to narrow down a couple of questions for yourself.

1. How strongly do you prefer debtor to creditor work? (My personal opinion is that debtor is more diverse, probably gives you more substantive experience, but is more volatile while creditor work is marginally more mundane but stable and is probably better if you are interested in exiting to banks)

2. How do you really feel about committee work?

3. How much say do you get in your summer and ultimately your practice group rotation? What are the odds you would actually get staffed in the bankruptcy group?

4. What is your plan B practice group if you either don't get put in the bankruptcy group or don't like it over the summer?

5. Bankruptcy is somewhat of a corp/lit hybrid, which side are you drawn more to and which firms run it completely autonomously and which leanly staff the bk group while outsourcing the lit to lit teams?

6. Free market vs assignment system vs hybrid

7. Do any of the firms have institutional clients you are particularly interested in?



My intuition says in your shoes with your preferences my order would be K&E Chi, Weil, PW/Milbank (depending on where you fall on the committee question), Simpson, S&C. Given that your most pressing concern is to turn one down, I again don't see why it wouldn't be S&C.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:54 pm

Bankruptcy associate here. Debtor work as a junior associate is pretty brutal. Committee work is also . . . ghastly in some ways, and Milbank really screwed the pooch in the L2 case, its current Debtor case. PW isn't on the level of the other places you listed.

So my first cut would be PW or Milbank.

As for the rest, the question is if you want a diverse, high level but smaller, restructuring practice (S&C, STB) or an old school blood and guts debtor-side practice. (Weil, K&E). IMO, I'd rather go to the smaller groups at the better firms than be a fungible cog at Weil and K&E (and I think your quality of life would be better at S&C and STB, because in a small group there's more accountability for senior associates treating juniors like crap). You'll also be forced to rotate some for the first couple of years at S&C and STB rather than going straight into 100% restructuring, which is IMO a good thing and makes you a better lawyer long term.

Doing mostly junior associate debtor work sounds like peaches and cream until you've prepared schedules and SOFAs. Doing a bit of creditor work, some distressed M&A, and then maybe a debtor case if they pick one up is not such a bad deal.

YMMV, of course.

Anonymous User wrote:Just got #6, need to start declining so I can stay within the NALP guidelines.

Want to do bankruptcy/restructuring work. Slight preference for debtor side over creditor, but I'm not sure how the differences between the two affect actual practicing so I may be wrong...Not sure about committee work. Slight preference for Chicago, but more interested in quality of work, substantive experience, and culture. I liked the people at K&E and PW the most, followed by Milbank, STB, Weil, and S&C in that order.

What would you choose? Anyone with experience in practice or anyone who's made a decision like this would be extremely helpful.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:Fellow 2L but I'm relatively versed in it. I see no reason to keep S&C on your list given that their bankruptcy group is tiny and not highly regarded and you didn't like the people. They claim it's growing, but i don't know, you have really good other options.

Milbank as you probably know having CBed there is heavily slanted toward committee work for creditors. It sounds to me like it would be interesting, but as you acknowledged it's kind of the third wheel of restructuring and given your other options, I would probably gravitate elsewhere.

Simpson does mostly creditor work and given that it is low on your fit ratings and you have a disclosed preference for debtor work, I think it can probably be eliminated, though it might be preliminary since getting rid of S&C would put you at 5.

Weil and Kirkland are the two big names in debtor side stuff (with Skadden doing a lot of it too) and I've heard people adamant that Weil is on a tier of its own and others calling them fungible. I personally lean more toward the latter and think that especially given that debtor cases tend to be one shot propositions, that differentiating between the prestige of the two is not the right way to look at it. Kirkland could just as easily get the next Lehman and by the time you are starting could be seen as the unequivocal #1. I think given your personality fit I would lean Kirkland here. Your money goes further in Chicago and Kirkland nationally is a bankruptcy powerhouse but if for whatever reason bk isn't where you end up, Kirkland Chi is a big fish in a smaller pond and likely has better non-bk options.

I know next to nothing about PW's bk group but i have to imagine it is more litigation driven and potentially smaller, but I'm talking out of my ass with them sorry.


I think you need to narrow down a couple of questions for yourself.

1. How strongly do you prefer debtor to creditor work? (My personal opinion is that debtor is more diverse, probably gives you more substantive experience, but is more volatile while creditor work is marginally more mundane but stable and is probably better if you are interested in exiting to banks)

2. How do you really feel about committee work?

3. How much say do you get in your summer and ultimately your practice group rotation? What are the odds you would actually get staffed in the bankruptcy group?

4. What is your plan B practice group if you either don't get put in the bankruptcy group or don't like it over the summer?

5. Bankruptcy is somewhat of a corp/lit hybrid, which side are you drawn more to and which firms run it completely autonomously and which leanly staff the bk group while outsourcing the lit to lit teams?

6. Free market vs assignment system vs hybrid

7. Do any of the firms have institutional clients you are particularly interested in?



My intuition says in your shoes with your preferences my order would be K&E Chi, Weil, PW/Milbank (depending on where you fall on the committee question), Simpson, S&C. Given that your most pressing concern is to turn one down, I again don't see why it wouldn't be S&C.



OP Here

I think I'm down to Weil, K&E, and Milbank. Does anyone know if these firms outsource the lit work? I'd like to do both lit/trans work, so it would be a negative for me.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: OP Here

I think I'm down to Weil, K&E, and Milbank. Does anyone know if these firms outsource the lit work? I'd like to do both lit/trans work, so it would be a negative for me.


Now that you're down to those 3 think about how the summer programs work at each. I'm not all that familiar with Milbank but I know quite a bit about Weil and KE. Weil will let you rotate through up to 3 groups this summer, where as KE is a free-market system so it's more what you make of it. You could very well get roped into doing one thing all summer IMO at KE, but that may be OK with you. I would also see how many new associates each group plans to take as 1st year associates. Even though they are powerhouses they may only take a handful and it could be a very high demand group. As for getting lit experience I know from speaking with people there that you will be in court but once things get to lit heavy it gets sent off to litigators in the firm.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: OP Here

I think I'm down to Weil, K&E, and Milbank. Does anyone know if these firms outsource the lit work? I'd like to do both lit/trans work, so it would be a negative for me.


Now that you're down to those 3 think about how the summer programs work at each. I'm not all that familiar with Milbank but I know quite a bit about Weil and KE. Weil will let you rotate through up to 3 groups this summer, where as KE is a free-market system so it's more what you make of it. You could very well get roped into doing one thing all summer IMO at KE, but that may be OK with you. I would also see how many new associates each group plans to take as 1st year associates. Even though they are powerhouses they may only take a handful and it could be a very high demand group. As for getting lit experience I know from speaking with people there that you will be in court but once things get to lit heavy it gets sent off to litigators in the firm.


At Milbank, summers rotate through 3 groups of their choosing. At the end of the summer, you list your preferred groups, and then are assigned when you come back as a first year. There is no guarantee as to which group you may be assigned to, since it's based on firm need as much as your preference. Like anon above stated, once it get lit heavy, the lit team is pulled in.

2013applicant
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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby 2013applicant » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:20 am

I summered at one of K&E/Weil restructuring and have started/will be starting there as a 1st year associate.

OP feel free to PM me and I can discuss specifics with you via PM and answer any questions you may have.

(Also requesting that nobody quote this, please)

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:37 am

OP here. Surprised to see three votes for S&C. Are these votes prestige driven?

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:00 pm

because in a small group there's more accountability for senior associates treating juniors like crap


LOL, no. Small group means that if senior associates treat you like shit, you're stuck. Partners aren't going to "hold senior associates accountable" for how they act to junior associates, mostly because partners don't give a fuck about junior associates (though there is the rare breed).

To OP: K&E's BK group only outsources to lit/corp if there's too much work or there are massive, self-contained litigation projects within the CH11 that a whole litigation team could manage. Typically, the only other outsourcing that happens is if corp or lit is slow, those associates will take on BK work for hours.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby wons » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:04 pm

Trust me on this (and I say this as an associate working in a smallish group): you are dead wrong. It is very different to work in an environment where everyone knows everyone else personally. The partners don't hold the associates accountable, the juniors hold the seniors accountable by (a) avoiding joining the group or (b) just being real people, with faces, who the senior associates feel guilty screwing.

IMO, all things being held equal, always look for the situation where you are not fungible/anonymous. Makes for much better quality of life.

Anonymous User wrote:
because in a small group there's more accountability for senior associates treating juniors like crap


LOL, no. Small group means that if senior associates treat you like shit, you're stuck. Partners aren't going to "hold senior associates accountable" for how they act to junior associates, mostly because partners don't give a fuck about junior associates (though there is the rare breed).

To OP: K&E's BK group only outsources to lit/corp if there's too much work or there are massive, self-contained litigation projects within the CH11 that a whole litigation team could manage. Typically, the only other outsourcing that happens is if corp or lit is slow, those associates will take on BK work for hours.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:08 pm

wons wrote:Trust me on this (and I say this as an associate working in a smallish group): you are dead wrong. It is very different to work in an environment where everyone knows everyone else personally. The partners don't hold the associates accountable, the juniors hold the seniors accountable by (a) avoiding joining the group or (b) just being real people, with faces, who the senior associates feel guilty screwing.

IMO, all things being held equal, always look for the situation where you are not fungible/anonymous. Makes for much better quality of life.

Anonymous User wrote:
because in a small group there's more accountability for senior associates treating juniors like crap


LOL, no. Small group means that if senior associates treat you like shit, you're stuck. Partners aren't going to "hold senior associates accountable" for how they act to junior associates, mostly because partners don't give a fuck about junior associates (though there is the rare breed).

To OP: K&E's BK group only outsources to lit/corp if there's too much work or there are massive, self-contained litigation projects within the CH11 that a whole litigation team could manage. Typically, the only other outsourcing that happens is if corp or lit is slow, those associates will take on BK work for hours.



OP here. I think people may be misrepresenting the differences in group size. Even at Kirkland's office, there aren't that many restructuring people--it's not like corporate where it's easier to get lost. It's not super-small, but bankruptcy is a smaller department regardless of the firm. Not sure how much weight to give this...

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:03 pm

There are 30 restructuring associates in K&E Chicago, per their website.

There are 4 restructuring associates in STB NY, per their website.


Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I think people may be misrepresenting the differences in group size. Even at Kirkland's office, there aren't that many restructuring people--it's not like corporate where it's easier to get lost. It's not super-small, but bankruptcy is a smaller department regardless of the firm. Not sure how much weight to give this...

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There are 30 restructuring associates in K&E Chicago, per their website.

There are 4 restructuring associates in STB NY, per their website.


Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I think people may be misrepresenting the differences in group size. Even at Kirkland's office, there aren't that many restructuring people--it's not like corporate where it's easier to get lost. It's not super-small, but bankruptcy is a smaller department regardless of the firm. Not sure how much weight to give this...


OP again.

Sure, but it's not like we're comparing small with huge (like 120 associates, or something). We're comparing very small with small. I'm not sure if the "everyone HAS to be nice to everyone" thing is worth affecting my decision, because I think that's present throughout the practice area.

Am I wrong?

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:33 pm

Using a poll with a bunch of law students is absolutely worthless. I'm willing to bet that 95% of the responders checked each firm on vault before voting.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:58 pm

OP Here:

Isn't that what all of these decision threads are doing? I'm just looking for some candid advice from people in the know. I'm not making a decision based on a poll.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Arbiter213 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:23 pm

If you liked K&E the best, have a preference for Chicago, and want to do bankruptcy with a possible preference for debtor work, how is this even a question?

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here:

Isn't that what all of these decision threads are doing? I'm just looking for some candid advice from people in the know. I'm not making a decision based on a poll.

Far too many people are full of crap. Even "candid" advice is likely to be 0L/law student nonsense.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:16 pm

It is the replier again. I am a bankruptcy associate. I have worked across or with all of these firms. IMO, I'd rather be at the smaller place. That said, if you want to be in Chicago, go for K&E - its not like its a bad option, and your gut counts for something.
I just think, based on my experience, getting a more rounded experience and an opportunity to work with people who don't see you as cannon fodder for debtor-side grunt work has real value, and I think that you're more likely to get that kind of outcome at an S&C or STB (or Wachtell, or Cleary).

PS: 30 restructuring associates in an office is huge. That's as big as, for example, the M&A practice at any non-Skadden firm.

EDIT: One thing to consider - if you have S&C and Simpson offers, you're probably going to be one of the better candidates that K&E gets. That may count for something - conventional wisdom is that it is meaningless, but based on my experience at two firms, there's a clear pecking order in terms of who folks are shooting to work with on day one. You can screw that up in about 5 seconds by ruining a couple of assignments, but going into K&E as someone they're pleased to get, versus going in as generic first year to use for the dark underbelly of debtor work, would enter into my calculus.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There are 30 restructuring associates in K&E Chicago, per their website.

There are 4 restructuring associates in STB NY, per their website.


Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I think people may be misrepresenting the differences in group size. Even at Kirkland's office, there aren't that many restructuring people--it's not like corporate where it's easier to get lost. It's not super-small, but bankruptcy is a smaller department regardless of the firm. Not sure how much weight to give this...


OP again.

Sure, but it's not like we're comparing small with huge (like 120 associates, or something). We're comparing very small with small. I'm not sure if the "everyone HAS to be nice to everyone" thing is worth affecting my decision, because I think that's present throughout the practice area.

Am I wrong?

2013applicant
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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby 2013applicant » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:28 pm

Not sure if you missed my first post OP, but I really can give you in-depth info about one of Weil/K&E restructuring if you PM me.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby peter2009 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got #6, need to start declining so I can stay within the NALP guidelines.

Want to do bankruptcy/restructuring work. Slight preference for debtor side over creditor, but I'm not sure how the differences between the two affect actual practicing so I may be wrong...Not sure about committee work. Slight preference for Chicago, but more interested in quality of work, substantive experience, and culture. I liked the people at K&E and PW the most, followed by Milbank, STB, Weil, and S&C in that order.

What would you choose? Anyone with experience in practice or anyone who's made a decision like this would be extremely helpful.


PW is tier one and does some debtor work, although they are known for their creditor work.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:22 pm

Trust me on this (and I say this as an associate working in a smallish group): you are dead wrong. It is very different to work in an environment where everyone knows everyone else personally. The partners don't hold the associates accountable, the juniors hold the seniors accountable by (a) avoiding joining the group or (b) just being real people, with faces, who the senior associates feel guilty screwing.


Pretty categorical statement there. Obviously, YMMV. But if you're contemplating in a small group, it behooves you to make damn sure that you'll like nearly every person you're working with. Kind of hard to determine that on a callback interview, which is therefore risky. In a bigger group, for obvious reasons, the same problem doesn't present.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:56 pm

I've worked with the PW folks before. They're great, highly regarded--band 1 for restructring in NY.

I would say go K&E Chi or PW depending on which city you'd rather be in.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby jitsrenzo » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:53 am

Do any of the restructuring associates have any advice on what a first year in a small restructuring group should do? I'd like to make a good first impression and avoid the typical newbie mistakes to the extent possible.

I also like that restructuring is a hybrid of corp/litigation and think that I'd be a good fit for doing corp and litigation. How do I develop both skill sets and express that interest to the firm?

Thanks, and sorry for the thread derail.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:01 am

My impression is that Weil is TCR here.

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Re: Bankruptcy/Restructuring: Weil/K&E Chi/PW/STB/S&C/Milbank

Postby lawyerwannabe » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:35 am

Paul Weiss is not band 1 in restructuring (band 2 NY and nationwide). Not sure what the two posters above are looking at.




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