Tiago Splitter wrote:You might want to read up a bit on Cahill. Seemed like a nice enough place but their specialties are pretty niche. Also, they've only paid above market bonuses for a few years.
Not that Cahill is all peaches and cream but if you were really jazzed up about cap markets is there any significant difference between it and say, STB other than the fact that Cahill associates are getting 3x Cravath scale? Obvious downside is lower flexibility to change practice areas if you find your work really dull, but on the whole it definitely seems more appealing than V10. I could be missing other elemens due to noobishness, but I don't see why you would use the $$$ as the main tiebreaker.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it if Cahill pays 3x Cravath scale again this year (no indication they wouldn't, based on the $10k summer bonus they got), it will be the fourth year they've done so. Judge for yourself whether that's long enough to be part of a firm profile. I think it is, especially given that the bonuses were ITE and the work, though specialized, doesn't seem like an unsustainable one-shot fortune like the Weil/Lehman work (unless there's any indication that cap markets have an especially shitty outlook in the next few years).
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Beyond a certain point, people do value other things more highly than money. This is what some of the K&E SHATTERS type trolls don't seem to get. I personally would not like working in an aggressively eat-what-you-kill place and wouldn't do it for an extra $10k a year when I'm already making 160. In fact there seems to be a common cultural thread among a lot of the above-market firms -- Quinn, Boies, Cahill, Kirkland. They all seem to have an aggressive edge that can be off-putting. If it fits your personality and your work preferences, then great, but for some people biglaw is stressful enough without being in a place with a culture like that. This is putting aside the other obvious point that, with the partial exception of Kirkland, these firms are not strong across the board in lots of practice areas like the V10-ish firms are.
Seems like every single above-market place does get referred to as aggressive or some form of striver-ish. Seems to have been true for QE, BSF, CGR, KE, SG, W&C, MTO, WLRK and I'm probably forgetting a few others. I could definitely see why you'd turn down the extra $10k/year to get a firm that caters to a more reasonable lifestyle; I just don't get why you'd turn down the above just to have an equal level of stress at CSM/S&C. Also agreed on the flexibility point, if you believe it is an important issue for you.
Big Shrimpin wrote:So fucking credited. In my busiest times, I would have traded a few hundred hours for the entirety of the like 5k after-tax bonus, let alone an additional 5k for billing a few hundred more hours.
It's nice to have a life outside of work. I'm always going to whine/flame about getting more money, but the truth is that having time away from work is worth more than whatever marginal increase in total compensation you're getting. Unless you're (a) a workaholic or (b) working at a firm that gives you a shitton of bonus money above like 2000 hours. Any by a shitton, I mean like at LEAST a third of your billables (i.e. like 10K per 100 hours worked over like 2100 hours or so).
The marginal utility of free time definitely rises as you have less of it. You might take an extra $10k to bill 2000 hours instead of 1900, whereas making a jump from 2400 to 2500 might take, say, another $25k. Obviously there is a point where work is so pervasive in your life that money doesn't matter. It does you no good in life to be a WLRK partner with a $20M net worth if your work situations means you never get to go home to your Tribeca penthouse or actually have the time to take all those St. Tropez vacations you could afford.
On the other hand, it seems like the marginal utility provided by extra hours at that level is also pretty high. E.g. cutting down to 1800 hours from 1950 at Wiley Rein was a cut from $160k to $125k. A 22% pay cut seems like a pretty steep price for an 8% cut in your billables. Similarly at BSF it seems like a difference of only 200 hours at the high end was making people like 75k or something? (If someone knows the exact details of the BSF bonus/hour relationship, I'd be interested to hear it). So definitely greater marginal value on work as well. Though I think a lot of people would agree that they would rather have a structure where Biglaw was $100k but 9-5 M-F, no weekends/four weeks vacation.
legends159 wrote:One theory is that firms raise salaries when they're competing with other industries for candidates not other firms. During boom times the best college graduates were going into other industries and not flooding law schools - at least that was the fear of those in charge at specific law firms.
This seems to be as good a theory as any--by '05, first year BB analysts would have been crushing $125k, and I'm guessing it also beat $145k in '06 and $160k in '07. Of course, this presumes a three-year investment down the line (those already in law school didn't have much choice), and as the firms rudely found out, a lot can change in three years. I guess that theory implies that STB (or anyone who raises salaries) feels that they're losing a lot of potential talent from the places IB/PE/VC recruits from (heavily Ivy/Stanford/MIT UG).
Anonymous User wrote:This point cannot be overstated. Wonder why KE/BSF/Cahill can and do pay more? They're extraordinarily profitable because of their laser focus on niche, revenue generating businesses (underwriter side high yield/mid-market PE M&A/etc.) and because their associates bill more hours in a free market system (see, BSF). The cost imposed, from the perspective of a first year, is that you can't develop the generalist skills you might at a different V10 (try doing M&A at Cahill and see how it works out). I'm not knocking the firms -- they're all great practices -- but total comp alone doesn't capture the cost/benefit of these firms vs. others.
As someone who was making the choice between V3 and all of KE/BSF/Cahill, the 10-20k comp difference was not anywhere near as important as the substantive training/exposure I'd get on a variety of work as a junior. Also remember that there are lots of niche practices areas that these firms don't have and that lots of law students are interested (ie, bankruptcy at Cahill or public company work at KE).
Credited, assuming you consider having the generalist skills an important asset. I suppose Cravath associates are essentially the most well-rounded lawyers by the time they're done. I don't know exactly how many people think that's really important, though. Maybe it isn't many, but maybe it's a lot. You couldn't really knock someone for becoming a specialist for the extra money and then using that really well-developed niche to whatever advantage they can post-Biglaw, though.