"Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

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Anonymous User
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"Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:04 pm

Deciding between regional biglaw or whatever the hell you want to call it (500+ attorneys across multiple states, not vault ranked) versus a major office of a vault firm. Both secondary markets.

Bottom line is this: regional firm pays comparable (within $15-20,000) of vault firm. Little bit less on the hours (1800 versus 1900-1950). Regional firm has a stated model of hoping to make everyone partner in 7-8 years. Vault firm follows traditional vault model of up-or-out in 4-6 years or so I believe.

Long-term wise, would it be entirely dumb to pass up on the vault firm? Should I do it just for the name? Or can I settle in a place where I at least have a chance of making partner?

My thought is that I could get shitcanned from either and then having a "regional biglaw" name would suddenly suck at that point.

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kalvano
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:39 pm

I would say to with whichever firm you feel would be the best fit.

Stinson
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby Stinson » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:45 pm

Some thoughts:

1. The regional firm may well be less "up and out" than the vault firm, but just realize that making partner at any firm is going to be a tough goal and contingent on your ability to do a lot of things you have never done before, ie obtain and retain biglaw clients. Plus you might figure out that you hate biglaw, regional or otherwise, and have no interest in staying longterm.

2. The hours comparison is a crapshoot. Talk to associates at the firms about the hours they work and whether those minimums are realistic, because the difference you cite could be much bigger or much smaller than it seems.

3. Whether you ought to go Vault for the name depends on what you see yourself doing and where you intend to be in the future. If you see yourself staying in or around the secondary market in which you are going to be working now, the Vault firm might not make a lot of sense. Potential employers in that region are likely to go with what they know, and if the lower ranked firm has a much better known presence (you'll have to figure this out) it'll probably be better for you.

I don't know exactly what the comparison is from the details you gave, but to hyperbolize it, were I choosing between the biggest, but lower ranked, firm in a given market and a small satellite office of a better ranked firm, I would probably go with the bigger firm with the bigger name in that market. The vault guides tell you a lot about what Wall Street firms think of other Wall Street firms; they don't give you a firm picture of what secondary market employers think of any given firm.

Conversely, if you don't want to stay in the market indefinitely, you'll probably want the portability and cache of the better nationally recognized Vault firm.

4. As always, consider the financial health of both firms to the extent you are able. If one is rock solid and the other shaky, don't go with shaky. Not being laid off = not worrying about finding a job. :D

andythefir
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby andythefir » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:12 pm

#1 consideration ought to be offer rates. Non-big name firms can have any number of bizarre summer-associate schemes.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:30 pm

Thank you all for the advice so far. It has been helpful.

To add...both offices are not small (150-200 attorneys). SA offer rates are the same. Some years 100% others 1-2 no-offers.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:34 pm

My two cents: regional if you want to be in that region forever, otherwise Vault firm for better name recognition. This is assuming all else is basically equal, which you seem to be indicating is this case.

sparty99
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby sparty99 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Deciding between regional biglaw or whatever the hell you want to call it (500+ attorneys across multiple states, not vault ranked) versus a major office of a vault firm. Both secondary markets.

Bottom line is this: regional firm pays comparable (within $15-20,000) of vault firm. Little bit less on the hours (1800 versus 1900-1950). Regional firm has a stated model of hoping to make everyone partner in 7-8 years. Vault firm follows traditional vault model of up-or-out in 4-6 years or so I believe.

Long-term wise, would it be entirely dumb to pass up on the vault firm? Should I do it just for the name? Or can I settle in a place where I at least have a chance of making partner?

My thought is that I could get shitcanned from either and then having a "regional biglaw" name would suddenly suck at that point.


Stop being a prestige whore. Employers won't care about the name of your firm, 4 to 6 years out. They will care about what you did. Will the regiional firm give you the opportunity to do more work then the other firm? Will you sit on depositions or just write memos? Where do you feel you could be more successful? And what city would you enjoy the most? These factors are all more important then having a fancy name on your resume. At the end of the day, law is the law.

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20160810
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby 20160810 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:16 pm

andythefir wrote:#1 consideration ought to be offer rates. Non-big name firms can have any number of bizarre summer-associate schemes.

Honestly this is probably the best advice to give. It sounds like they're both good firms. Vault rankings are always kinda useless, but outside of NYC they're really useless.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Regional Biglaw" vs Vault & Partnership

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:39 pm

OP.

Thanks everyone. Seriously been a big help.

Regional firm will give me more experience from the start. Actual experience and not just memos. I could probably be more successful there long term. They also have an intensive first year program with a lot of perks.

However, the international v firm will pay approximately $100K more over 4 years. Don't have much debt, but still. City is also a bit better.

This is why it's been so damn difficult. The input has been a big help.




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