Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

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Anonymous User
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Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:50 pm

I've heard the term A-team and B-team being used a few times when people discussed M&A at Skadden NYC. What does this mean exactly? How are associates assigned to the teams?

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thesealocust
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:53 pm

I highly doubt it's formal, but rather just a nod to the fact that Skadden's M&A department is huge and so it will have a broad spectrum of deals (from WSJ front page, hyper-complex, cross-boarder, fancy-pants deals to smaller/less glamorous but still profitable deals) and the accompanying politics over how work gets distributed.

Of course the legal industry being what it is, I could be wrong and there could actually be an A-team and a B-team :lol:

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Old Gregg
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:12 pm

If such teams exist, it's probably based on your reputation as an associate. Do poor work, and you'll be on the B team. Do great work, and you'll be on the A team.

Sometimes could also just correspond to seniority.

legends159
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby legends159 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:20 pm

FYI It's better as a junior to be doing more complex work in a tiny deal than doing secretarial work in a mega deal. So in a sense it is better to be on B team deals with fewer attorneys than A team deals with 6 senior lawyers. Problem is that if there really are A and B teams how do you get from one to the other.

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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Do other firms have this?

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thesealocust
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do other firms have this?


No firms have this. Skadden doesn't have this.

All firms, however, have politics about who gets what work and who works for which partners/clients/groups.

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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Is Skadden's system formal?

Pokemon
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Pokemon » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:09 pm

...

Anonymous User
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do other firms have this?

Depends on what you mean. The best associates are in high demand by the powerful partners with the bigger books of business. The powerful partners get first dibs on associates. The teams are usually not formal and the lines are crossed, but when a partner or senior associate are figuring out how to staff a deal, they go with the best associates that are available. This is why you sometimes get some 3rd-5th associates who are still doing mostly diligence and ancillary documents... no one ever invested in them. Sometimes it is because they did not do good work or were not responsive. Other times, there just isn't enough good work to go around. Partners fall into grooves with who they like to use. I guess you could call certain associates the "a-team" but no one would, and anyone who refers to themselves as this is a huge douche.

On the flip side, there are some partners that are horrible to work for. They micromanage, give shit work, delegate mostly rush assignments (that did not need to be rush assignments when they originally came in the door), provide non-substantive or no feedback and generally are just not good delegaters. Senior/midlevel associates with a choice avoid these partners if they can (or the powerful partners protect them from these partners). That isn't to say powerful partners are necessarily good delegaters, but they are usually better than average in my experience. Some associates don't have a choice who they get to work with and no one claims/protects them....so they get the dregs. You could call this the b-team, but no one would unless you're an asshole.

The lesson? Don't worry about teams. Do good work generally and your reputation will spread, and prioritize the work of powerful partners/associates that are desirable to work with. If you are in a position where you have to disappoint someone (and you will be), try to never disappoint the person that gives great work.

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thesealocust
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Re: Skadden NYC M&A A-team and B-team

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:16 pm

Great advice. Actively managing your work flow - and crucially, the people your work flow comes from - can make the difference between tolerating a firm job and being ground into dust by a firm job.




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