Katten v. Mayer Brown

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Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Have offers from both Chicago offices. They seem like fairly similar firms, with Mayer holding a little more prestige and nicer digs. Wondering which would be better for litigation, hours, partnership prospects.

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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:06 pm

Both are second tier Chicago firms now, with MB still having a bit of an edge over Katten in terms of brand. Partnership prospects at both are so infinitesimally small that it's foolish to try to factor it into your decision. They're both band 2 for litigation, so unless you want appellate lit (which you won't get at MB), then it's pretty much a wash there too.

Regarding hours, I don't know anyone at Katten but my friend who works at MB works typical biglaw hours but has reported a slight slowdown in his practice group.

Overall, it's generally kind of a wash between the two firms. I never interviewed with Katten, but I enjoyed most of the people I met at MB when I did a CB there a few years back. Who did you like better? Also look at how they start you out as an associate. I believe MB gives you a general offer at the end of the summer but then when you show up, you are placed in a group on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:22 pm

OP here. Thanks for the reply.

Re: practice groups, that was not my impression at all. The associates I met with at MB were very much omnivorous. For example, a fourth-year I enjoyed speaking with had cases in telecom and products liability. Unless you're defining "practice group" as the corporate/litigation dichotomy, your statement is at odds with my impression that there is no practice-group specialization as a junior associate.

Re: partnership prospects, NALP relays that Katten, a firm of around 600 attorneys, made 14 partners in 2013. That's probably quite a bit better than MB, admittedly, and elevating better than 2% of attorneys to partner annually is hardly an "infinitesimally" small prospect, especially if you extend the timeframe to 3-5 years. Just saying.

Re: associate life, both firms start at $160k, and I believe both start you with your own office. A 2000-hour billable requirement at Katten with a below-market bonus structure; a 2100-hour requirement at MB with Cravath bonuses once you hit that mark. So that works out to be a 2 billable hour difference per week between the firms, with ample bonuses following at MB.

ATL's law firm guide paints a stark portrait of both firms. While this may have been prior to the New Republic article, MB's "Insider Rating" was an "A," whereas Katten's was a "C+". The "industry reputation" for MB was an "A-," whereas Katten's was a "B." So I think equating the two in terms of being "second-tier" Chicago might be a bit facile. After all, Kirkland and Sidley are the only Chicago-based firms that would presumably top MB, whereas all three of these, as well as Jenner, McDermott, and maybe Winston, could claim to equal or best Katten's prestige.

Overall, I liked the people more at MB; they were clearly more intelligent with better pedigree, IMO.

It helps to hash these things out, but I'm still unsure. Anyone else have thoughts?

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Law Sauce
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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Law Sauce » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:41 pm

Have friends who SAed this summer at these firms, PM me if you would like to discuss...
Last edited by Law Sauce on Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the reply.

Re: practice groups, that was not my impression at all. The associates I met with at MB were very much omnivorous. For example, a fourth-year I enjoyed speaking with had cases in telecom and products liability. Unless you're defining "practice group" as the corporate/litigation dichotomy, your statement is at odds with my impression that there is no practice-group specialization as a junior associate.

Re: partnership prospects, NALP relays that Katten, a firm of around 600 attorneys, made 14 partners in 2013. That's probably quite a bit better than MB, admittedly, and elevating better than 2% of attorneys to partner annually is hardly an "infinitesimally" small prospect, especially if you extend the timeframe to 3-5 years. Just saying.

Re: associate life, both firms start at $160k, and I believe both start you with your own office. A 2000-hour billable requirement at Katten with a below-market bonus structure; a 2100-hour requirement at MB with Cravath bonuses once you hit that mark. So that works out to be a 2 billable hour difference per week between the firms, with ample bonuses following at MB.

ATL's law firm guide paints a stark portrait of both firms. While this may have been prior to the New Republic article, MB's "Insider Rating" was an "A," whereas Katten's was a "C+". The "industry reputation" for MB was an "A-," whereas Katten's was a "B." So I think equating the two in terms of being "second-tier" Chicago might be a bit facile. After all, Kirkland and Sidley are the only Chicago-based firms that would presumably top MB, whereas all three of these, as well as Jenner, McDermott, and maybe Winston, could claim to equal or best Katten's prestige.

Overall, I liked the people more at MB; they were clearly more intelligent with better pedigree, IMO.

It helps to hash these things out, but I'm still unsure. Anyone else have thoughts?



I worked for a couple of years, albeit as a paralegal, in the chicago legal market, and my impression from the attorneys that I have talked to is that while Mayer is a "second tier" firm in Chicago, so is everyone who is below Sidley and Kirkland. Mayer is more on par with Jenner, Skadden, and Latham. But probably a healthy step above Katten. But, again will dpend on what you want to do. Mayer has a lot of interesting practice areas that most other Chicago firms do not have, or do not do well. I have no idea what your particular goals are, but take a look at Mayer's practice areas and Katten's practice areas. There is quite a bit of difference here which should make your decision easier.

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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the reply.

Re: practice groups, that was not my impression at all. The associates I met with at MB were very much omnivorous. For example, a fourth-year I enjoyed speaking with had cases in telecom and products liability. Unless you're defining "practice group" as the corporate/litigation dichotomy, your statement is at odds with my impression that there is no practice-group specialization as a junior associate.

Re: partnership prospects, NALP relays that Katten, a firm of around 600 attorneys, made 14 partners in 2013. That's probably quite a bit better than MB, admittedly, and elevating better than 2% of attorneys to partner annually is hardly an "infinitesimally" small prospect, especially if you extend the timeframe to 3-5 years. Just saying.

Re: associate life, both firms start at $160k, and I believe both start you with your own office. A 2000-hour billable requirement at Katten with a below-market bonus structure; a 2100-hour requirement at MB with Cravath bonuses once you hit that mark. So that works out to be a 2 billable hour difference per week between the firms, with ample bonuses following at MB.

ATL's law firm guide paints a stark portrait of both firms. While this may have been prior to the New Republic article, MB's "Insider Rating" was an "A," whereas Katten's was a "C+". The "industry reputation" for MB was an "A-," whereas Katten's was a "B." So I think equating the two in terms of being "second-tier" Chicago might be a bit facile. After all, Kirkland and Sidley are the only Chicago-based firms that would presumably top MB, whereas all three of these, as well as Jenner, McDermott, and maybe Winston, could claim to equal or best Katten's prestige.

Overall, I liked the people more at MB; they were clearly more intelligent with better pedigree, IMO.

It helps to hash these things out, but I'm still unsure. Anyone else have thoughts?



I worked for a couple of years, albeit as a paralegal, in the chicago legal market, and my impression from the attorneys that I have talked to is that while Mayer is a "second tier" firm in Chicago, so is everyone who is below Sidley and Kirkland. Mayer is more on par with Jenner, Skadden, and Latham. But probably a healthy step above Katten. But, again will dpend on what you want to do. Mayer has a lot of interesting practice areas that most other Chicago firms do not have, or do not do well. I have no idea what your particular goals are, but take a look at Mayer's practice areas and Katten's practice areas. There is quite a bit of difference here which should make your decision easier.


Mayer is better at some things, Katten is better at other things... peer firms are pretty much peer (in chicago)

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Re: Katten v. Mayer Brown

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:22 pm

I don't think information is available for the summer class of 2013, but for the summer class of 2012... Katten did have two no-offers out of its 20 SAs whereas MB made offers to 100% of its 25 summer associates.




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