Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

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Which Firm?

Mayer DC
3
25%
Cleary DC
9
75%
 
Total votes: 12

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Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:04 am

My preferences: My medium-term career goal is to work in government (USAO, or something similar), and I would prefer a better work/life balance (although I know neither firm is known for that). I want to do lit, and Mayer's Appellate Lit practice and Cleary's Antitrust practice appeal to me for different reasons. I also got along really well with the people in both offices, so that isn't helping me decide either. And it appears as if both have equivalent offer rates.

My thoughts so far:

Pros Cleary - lockstep compensation avoids the issues that Mayer (purportedly) has with a cutthroat partner culture, and means that partners may be less protective of associates.

Pros Mayer - 1:1 ratio of partners to associates means that associates are getting a lot of substantial work and exposure to partners. Also, I got the impression that they are understaffed on the associate level, meaning that they might be even less likely to no-offer people than in the past.

Any insight you people have would be much appreciated! I'm struggling to weigh the pros/cons here.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:11 am

Cleary is a better firm nationally but their DC office does very little litigation. That office of Cleary is infamous for brutal turnover for junior associates because a ton of the work is second request antitrust, which is just endless doc review.

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quakeroats
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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby quakeroats » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Cleary is a better firm nationally but their DC office does very little litigation. That office of Cleary is infamous for brutal turnover for junior associates because a ton of the work is second request antitrust, which is just endless doc review.


A friend left after 6 months for just that reason. He had approximately 1 substantive assignment, and that's being generous with the word.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:24 am

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Cleary is a better firm nationally but their DC office does very little litigation. That office of Cleary is infamous for brutal turnover for junior associates because a ton of the work is second request antitrust, which is just endless doc review.


A friend left after 6 months for just that reason. He had approximately 1 substantive assignment, and that's being generous with the word.


Friend was an SA recently at Mayer Brown DC, had nothing but good things to say about the people/substantive work/ability to do the type of work you're interested in. Haven't heard the same good things about Cleary.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:06 pm

I summered at Cleary and did a lot of AT work. Will agree and disagree a bit with the above. Yes, some (a lot) of work that juniors do is tedious or boring. This is something I think is true of many firms. I disagree with the contention that there is a lot of "doc review.". Cleary has a small army of contract attorneys that do most of this. Juniors do some oversight but it isn't a big part of the work. Again, pretty typical if not better than peers.

If you really want courtroom style lit or brief writing, though, you won't find a ton of it in Cleary's AT practice. The firm does a lot more government facing work that is non-adversarial. You will be managing information flow and negotiations with DOJ, not arguing legal points with an opponent. TBF AT trial lit is growing and Cleary has had two major cases come up in the last 6-12 months.

I would also be super skeptical of your ability to do much interesting appellate brief writing as a junior assoc. at MB.

Cleary's strong financial position and superb reputation for AT work make it a strong choice unless you're really interested in more trial focused litigation.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I summered at Cleary and did a lot of AT work. Will agree and disagree a bit with the above. Yes, some (a lot) of work that juniors do is tedious or boring. This is something I think is true of many firms. I disagree with the contention that there is a lot of "doc review.". Cleary has a small army of contract attorneys that do most of this. Juniors do some oversight but it isn't a big part of the work. Again, pretty typical if not better than peers.

If you really want courtroom style lit or brief writing, though, you won't find a ton of it in Cleary's AT practice. The firm does a lot more government facing work that is non-adversarial. You will be managing information flow and negotiations with DOJ, not arguing legal points with an opponent. TBF AT trial lit is growing and Cleary has had two major cases come up in the last 6-12 months.

I would also be super skeptical of your ability to do much interesting appellate brief writing as a junior assoc. at MB.

Cleary's strong financial position and superb reputation for AT work make it a strong choice unless you're really interested in more trial focused litigation.

Isn't Cleary DC almost entirely Antitrust? Why would you go there if you didn't know that's what you wanted to do?

As for appellate at Mayer--I don't know how available it is to young associates, but summers actually do a ton of it (as per my friend who summered there), and those with appellate clerkships really can, if they want to, work exclusively on appellate. It's really a big part of the practice there.

(Note-this is a different anon from above.)

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Isn't Cleary DC almost entirely Antitrust? Why would you go there if you didn't know that's what you wanted to do?

As for appellate at Mayer--I don't know how available it is to young associates, but summers actually do a ton of it (as per my friend who summered there), and those with appellate clerkships really can, if they want to, work exclusively on appellate. It's really a big part of the practice there.

(Note-this is a different anon from above.)


Anon summer from Cleary. The office is about 1/4 to 1/3 antitrust, the remainder is mostly white collar, international arbitration (seriously), and bank regulatory work.

I know a former summer at MB who had an appellate clerkship with a feeder judge that was told that it would be "difficult" for him to do exclusively appellate work as an associate. I highly doubt that a "large" part of the practice is appellate given that it isn't usually a practice that needs a lot of bodies and hours. Given the New Republic article on MB I am not sure why you would be confident that the appellate practitioners are likely to stick around, let alone unnecessarily staff a lot of juniors to their cases.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Isn't Cleary DC almost entirely Antitrust? Why would you go there if you didn't know that's what you wanted to do?

As for appellate at Mayer--I don't know how available it is to young associates, but summers actually do a ton of it (as per my friend who summered there), and those with appellate clerkships really can, if they want to, work exclusively on appellate. It's really a big part of the practice there.

(Note-this is a different anon from above.)


Anon summer from Cleary. The office is about 1/4 to 1/3 antitrust, the remainder is mostly white collar, international arbitration (seriously), and bank regulatory work.

I know a former summer at MB who had an appellate clerkship with a feeder judge that was told that it would be "difficult" for him to do exclusively appellate work as an associate. I highly doubt that a "large" part of the practice is appellate given that it isn't usually a practice that needs a lot of bodies and hours. Given the New Republic article on MB I am not sure why you would be confident that the appellate practitioners are likely to stick around, let alone unnecessarily staff a lot of juniors to their cases.

Yeah but Mayer Brown does a ton of other kinds of lit out of that office too. So even if OP doesn't get to do appellate, there's plenty of other lit work around. None of your posts address the issue that Cleary DC has almost no lit to speak of. The white collar work is a handful of partners.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:03 pm

Not disputing that Cleary is objectively a better firm in the abstract, but if there are your only two DC options OP, then MB is going to be a better fit for your interests.

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:Given the New Republic article on MB I am not sure why you would be confident that the appellate practitioners are likely to stick around, let alone unnecessarily staff a lot of juniors to their cases.


Curious about this - Not specifically because of the New Republic article, but because it seems like MB appellate practice is an older practice and a lot of other firms are making names for themselves in appellate. Sidley, Gibson... even W&C. Any intel on the health of the practice at MB in comparison?

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Re: Help me Decide: Cleary DC v. Mayer Brown DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Isn't Cleary DC almost entirely Antitrust? Why would you go there if you didn't know that's what you wanted to do?

As for appellate at Mayer--I don't know how available it is to young associates, but summers actually do a ton of it (as per my friend who summered there), and those with appellate clerkships really can, if they want to, work exclusively on appellate. It's really a big part of the practice there.

(Note-this is a different anon from above.)


Anon summer from Cleary. The office is about 1/4 to 1/3 antitrust, the remainder is mostly white collar, international arbitration (seriously), and bank regulatory work.

I know a former summer at MB who had an appellate clerkship with a feeder judge that was told that it would be "difficult" for him to do exclusively appellate work as an associate. I highly doubt that a "large" part of the practice is appellate given that it isn't usually a practice that needs a lot of bodies and hours. Given the New Republic article on MB I am not sure why you would be confident that the appellate practitioners are likely to stick around, let alone unnecessarily staff a lot of juniors to their cases.

Yeah but Mayer Brown does a ton of other kinds of lit out of that office too. So even if OP doesn't get to do appellate, there's plenty of other lit work around. None of your posts address the issue that Cleary DC has almost no lit to speak of. The white collar work is a handful of partners.


Wasn't at Cleary's DC office, but I had friends who split there from NY- Cleary DC has more White Collar and Securities lit than you're giving it credit for. That said, Cleary DC is definitely not the place to pick for DC lit if you have no interest in AT.




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