Is Quinn really that bad?

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Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:04 am

I'm down to the wire on my decision and the only thing stopping me from picking Quinn over more traditional biglaw is their sweatshop-like reputation. So how bad is it really? Is it significantly worse than PW/DPW/Cleary/Debevoise? I would be especially interested to hear from people who've actually summered or worked at Quinn since I'm wondering if a lot of the sweatshop jabs come from the outside since Quinn is kind of the new kid on the block.

Thoughts?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:13 am

since I'm wondering if a lot of the sweatshop jabs come from the outside since Quinn is kind of the new kid on the block.


I don't know a single biglaw associate jealous of anyone who works at Quinn. Partners at firms with sub-$4mm PPPs on the other end, are definitely jealous, but I don't see them trolling about Quinn on the internets.

enibs
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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby enibs » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:37 am

Not really directly on point in response to your question, but I know my firm will not take laterals from Quinn because of conflict issues (they're known for suing lots of Biglaw clients). Something to keep in mind in thinking about exit options.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:57 am

I had one buddy at a non-NYC Quinn office who only made it a year before taking off. He worked hours that made a mockey of everyone else at good firms in that market. I cannot even imagine how horrid life is at Quinn NYC.

Obviously it's a great firm, but you have to *really* love working.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:49 am

Isn't Quinn also known for lean staffing and lack of support staff? I don't know the answer to this. But I've heard that you can end up doing a lot more grunt work at Quinn.

Also, is losing a way to get fired at Quinn?

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:57 am

NYstate wrote:Isn't Quinn also known for lean staffing and lack of support staff? I don't know the answer to this. But I've heard that you can end up doing a lot more grunt work at Quinn.

Also, is losing a way to get fired at Quinn?

How would a junior associate lose a case?

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:43 am

SBL wrote:
NYstate wrote:Isn't Quinn also known for lean staffing and lack of support staff? I don't know the answer to this. But I've heard that you can end up doing a lot more grunt work at Quinn.

Also, is losing a way to get fired at Quinn?

How would a junior associate lose a case?


Isn't Quinn obsessed with mock trials?
Maybe consistently losing at fake trials is enough to get you booted.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby NYstate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:45 am

SBL wrote:
NYstate wrote:Isn't Quinn also known for lean staffing and lack of support staff? I don't know the answer to this. But I've heard that you can end up doing a lot more grunt work at Quinn.

Also, is losing a way to get fired at Quinn?

How would a junior associate lose a case?


Was thinking of more mid-level or really senior people. But I could have been thinking of those two associates fired by wachtell. Sorry.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:11 am

I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.


Did he land on his feet at least?

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

In a weird way I legitimately admire the balls on someone who actively dodges work right from the word go.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:54 am

SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

In a weird way I legitimately admire the balls on someone who actively dodges work right from the word go.

Seems fair enough when that's what it takes to bill "only" 50 hours a week.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:57 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

In a weird way I legitimately admire the balls on someone who actively dodges work right from the word go.

Seems fair enough when that's what it takes to bill "only" 50 hours a week.

That's never how it works. 2400 hours per week = some 70+ hour weeks + some 30 hour weeks. It's the 70+ hour weeks that absolutely dehumanize you, and the 30 hour weeks feel like 50 hour weeks when they're interspersed between 70+ hour weeks.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.


Did he land on his feet at least?


He left to clerk for a Federal District Court judge before lateralling to a V50 (well below the other options you've indicated).

My impression is that everyone he knows who left did so because they found a job they preferred, not because they settled to escape, though I haven't asked about that specifically.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
SBL wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

In a weird way I legitimately admire the balls on someone who actively dodges work right from the word go.

Seems fair enough when that's what it takes to bill "only" 50 hours a week.

That's never how it works. 2400 hours per week = some 70+ hour weeks + some 30 hour weeks. It's the 70+ hour weeks that absolutely dehumanize you, and the 30 hour weeks feel like 50 hour weeks when they're interspersed between 70+ hour weeks.

It was obviously a simplification, but fine, even more so.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:17 pm

I was a summer associate at Quinn this past year, got an offer, and accepted.

I'll try to deal with as much as I can and then give more general advice.

Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

I don't want to call anyone out, and I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that this statement seems really inaccurate. The firm actually announces, internally, which office had the highest average associate hours total, so you can back-calculate and figure out about how much everyone worked. Given what the totals for the winning office looked like in 2012 and 2011, it's really hard to believe that a majority of NY first year associates were pulling in over 2600 hours in that same time frame. It's entirely possible your friend worked 2400 hours, and I'm not going to pretend everyone was working 2100 or some other fairy tale, but suffice it to say that based on the totals at the winning office for those years, there's no way about the "most first years in NY worked 2600+" part.

NYstate wrote:Isn't Quinn also known for lean staffing and lack of support staff? I don't know the answer to this. But I've heard that you can end up doing a lot more grunt work at Quinn.

Also, is losing a way to get fired at Quinn?


I don't have experience with other firms, so it's hard to say. However, contract attorneys are brought in for first-pass document review on all the major cases, and I've never known an associate to make their own binders, so it's hard to know what "a lot more grunt work" refers to. The only complaint I heard is that a lot of litigation support is centralized in the LA office, meaning that you have to deal with a long-distance working relationship if you are in the non-LA offices, especially for "after hours" stuff. It's not that you do the grunt work, but it's definitely not as simply as wandering down the hallway.

And no, losing is not a way to get fired at Quinn. Quinn actually takes on cases that you are expected to lose. One usual scenario is: another biglaw firm has screwed up pretrial motions, the in-house counsel at the corporation have flipped their shit, and Quinn takes over the case. In such an instance, the thought is that you'll win on appeal, but probably not at trial, and you're never penalized for losing at trial.



As for a general recommendation, the best example of Quinn culture probably comes from the summer associate mock trial program. Summer associates are split into partnerships and asked to fight a mock trial, with associates and support staff playing witnesses, partners playing judges, and jurors hired from a local temp agency. Each day of the program you listen to a lecture, and participate in a workshop in order to develop trial skills (opening, closing, cross examination, etc.). At night, you work as little or as much as you want on the mock trial. It doesn't count for anything. Half the summer associates will always lose by design, just as half will always win, so no one keeps track. There are no prizes, no recognition, nothing, it just doesn't matter. Nonetheless, every single year most people will go nuts trying to win. They'll do legal research, write, and "file" dozens of fake motions in limine to exclude fake evidence from the fake trial whose outcome doesn't matter. They'll stay up all night researching and writing the things. I will personally admit to being guilty of this. Meanwhile, other people won't. They'll say this is fake, and it's not about winning, and they'll put in the minimal necessary appearances not to look unprepared and foolish.

The thing is, when you talk to the associates who have been there for a few years, they're mostly from the first group - the group staying up all night trying to win. The firm also holds mock deposition and mock trial training for associates (I don't remember exactly, but I think it's after your 2nd, 4th, and 6th years, or something like that), and the associates will readily admit that at associate mock trial training everyone stays up all night trying to win, even though it doesn't count for anything.

I can't tell you which group you'd be in. If you're in the first, Quinn is the firm for you. If you're in the second, it probably isn't.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was a summer associate at Quinn this past year, got an offer, and accepted.

I'll try to deal with as much as I can and then give more general advice.

Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend who made it about 2 years and change at Quinn NYC; he said that despite actively dodging work he still ended up billing 2400 his first year, and most of his first-year colleagues were in the 2600+ range. He also told me that basically everyone he knows from his class has already jumped ship.

I don't want to call anyone out, and I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that this statement seems really inaccurate. The firm actually announces, internally, which office had the highest average associate hours total, so you can back-calculate and figure out about how much everyone worked. Given what the totals for the winning office looked like in 2012 and 2011, it's really hard to believe that a majority of NY first year associates were pulling in over 2600 hours in that same time frame. It's entirely possible your friend worked 2400 hours, and I'm not going to pretend everyone was working 2100 or some other fairy tale, but suffice it to say that based on the totals at the winning office for those years, there's no way about the "most first years in NY worked 2600+" part.


Unless the account predates 2011 or "colleagues" is meant narrowly to just include the people he had direct contact with.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby aces » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As for a general recommendation, the best example of Quinn culture probably comes from the summer associate mock trial program. Summer associates are split into partnerships and asked to fight a mock trial, with associates and support staff playing witnesses, partners playing judges, and jurors hired from a local temp agency. Each day of the program you listen to a lecture, and participate in a workshop in order to develop trial skills (opening, closing, cross examination, etc.). At night, you work as little or as much as you want on the mock trial. It doesn't count for anything. Half the summer associates will always lose by design, just as half will always win, so no one keeps track. There are no prizes, no recognition, nothing, it just doesn't matter. Nonetheless, every single year most people will go nuts trying to win. They'll do legal research, write, and "file" dozens of fake motions in limine to exclude fake evidence from the fake trial whose outcome doesn't matter. They'll stay up all night researching and writing the things. I will personally admit to being guilty of this. Meanwhile, other people won't. They'll say this is fake, and it's not about winning, and they'll put in the minimal necessary appearances not to look unprepared and foolish.

The thing is, when you talk to the associates who have been there for a few years, they're mostly from the first group - the group staying up all night trying to win. The firm also holds mock deposition and mock trial training for associates (I don't remember exactly, but I think it's after your 2nd, 4th, and 6th years, or something like that), and the associates will readily admit that at associate mock trial training everyone stays up all night trying to win, even though it doesn't count for anything.

I can't tell you which group you'd be in. If you're in the first, Quinn is the firm for you. If you're in the second, it probably isn't.

This is a great anecdote and is in line with my perception of Quinn as well.

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Re: Is Quinn really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Unless the account predates 2011 or "colleagues" is meant narrowly to just include the people he had direct contact with.

(Quinn former SA from above).

These are definite possibilities, he may have had close contact with a particularly hard working bunch, and/or the data may be more than 3 years old. However, in either case (his sample is not representative, his experience was 2010 or earlier), that story is still not an accurate representation of the average first year associate experience at Quinn right now.




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