The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby wert3813 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:27 pm

From time to time questions about white collar pop up and as it's something I'm interested in it I thought I would make a central place for discussion. This thread is meant to be for associates working in white collar, summers who dabbled or want to dabble, and future attorneys interested in the practice.

Vault Top 20

W&C
Skadden
Debevoise
Paul Weiss
S&C
Gibson Dunn
WilmerHale
Covington
Cravath
Davis Polk
Kirkland
Wachtell
Boies
Jones Day
Quinn
White & Case
Sidley
Latham
Akin
Steptoe

Initial topics for discussion:
How many of these firms actually have enough work/let associates do this type of work early on?
New York for securities DC for non-securities is thought to be TCR. Accurate?
A major misconception for some people about white collar is you are going to trial. Any white collar lawyers on here wanna share what their day is actually like?
Let's be honest, is the work at an associate level that much different that being a litigation associate?

heartbreaker
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby heartbreaker » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:45 pm

At least in New York, GDC, Skadden and S&C have really interesting and diversified white collar work, if you can break into the practice group. One great way to break into a practice group with a lot of FCPA work is language skills. Spanish, Chinese and Arabic (and maybe Russian) are most helpful.

There is a significant distinction between doing white collar work in biglaw or white collar work at one of the specialized white collar boutiques. Biglaw generally represents companies and the boutiques represent individual executives or employees. You will almost certainly not go to trial as a white collar associate at big law. Corporations never go to trial and always take guilty pleas or civil settlements of some sort. The firm's role is to do a comprehensive investigation of the facts and make an argument to the government to minimize the penalties from the settlement, or avoid charges. A white collar group that frequently goes to trial is not successful - the goal is to avoid indictment in the first place. Boutiques do have trial work, because executives have much more at stake and are more willing to fight the government or the SEC. However, the majority of the work is pre-indictment fact development and advocacy.

My recommendation would be to get a clerkship and then go to a boutique. The quality of work is tremendous and you have immediate responsibility in terms of fact development, substantive writing and client management. White collar associates at biglaw do much of the same work that litigation associates do (document review, interview memos, legal memos), although the cases are more interesting than your typical breach of contract. However, since the white collar groups are smaller at most big law shops (though small is relative), you will get an opportunity for more responsibility early on (as in, by your 2nd or 3rd year). Still, everything about the work experience at a boutique is better.

You can PM me for more details re: white collar boutique practice or white collar practice in NY.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby wert3813 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:55 pm

heartbreaker wrote:At least in New York, GDC, Skadden and S&C have really interesting and diversified white collar work, if you can break into the practice group. One great way to break into a practice group with a lot of FCPA work is language skills. Spanish, Chinese and Arabic (and maybe Russian) are most helpful.

There is a significant distinction between doing white collar work in biglaw or white collar work at one of the specialized white collar boutiques. Biglaw generally represents companies and the boutiques represent individual executives or employees. You will almost certainly not go to trial as a white collar associate at big law. Corporations never go to trial and always take guilty pleas or civil settlements of some sort. The firm's role is to do a comprehensive investigation of the facts and make an argument to the government to minimize the penalties from the settlement, or avoid charges. A white collar group that frequently goes to trial is not successful - the goal is to avoid indictment in the first place. Boutiques do have trial work, because executives have much more at stake and are more willing to fight the government or the SEC. However, the majority of the work is pre-indictment fact development and advocacy.

My recommendation would be to get a clerkship and then go to a boutique. The quality of work is tremendous and you have immediate responsibility in terms of fact development, substantive writing and client management. White collar associates at biglaw do much of the same work that litigation associates do (document review, interview memos, legal memos), although the cases are more interesting than your typical breach of contract. However, since the white collar groups are smaller at most big law shops (though small is relative), you will get an opportunity for more responsibility early on (as in, by your 2nd or 3rd year). Still, everything about the work experience at a boutique is better.

You can PM me for more details re: white collar boutique practice or white collar practice in NY.

This is excellent stuff and great to get the boutique perspective. Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:28 pm

Had an interview with Cadwalader in DC where they have a strong FCPA group. Associates travel all over the globe and loved it. Travel even as 1st years.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby wert3813 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:Had an interview with Cadwalader in DC where they have a strong FCPA group. Associates travel all over the globe and loved it. Travel even as 1st years.

Thanks for sharing. Any summers or associates wanna offer their experiences with Cadwalader's FCPA practice? Also slightly OT but what is the culture of the DC office like? You can read things on the internet but I'm always skeptical since usually culture defaults to the NY office and culture is so office specific.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:49 am

I'm a first year doing some of this work now at a BigLaw firm not on the list (my firm has a general litigation practice and you just kind of end up doing whatever is available). It's incredibly interesting and I'm really hoping to get more. It's been a ton of doc review (which is generally the case with internal investigations and white collar work as a whole), but it's super interesting.

I can definitely see how language skills would be a huge plus, but if you're not looking to get into a super competitive group, and the work is available, they're not required just to break in.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:50 pm

wert3813 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had an interview with Cadwalader in DC where they have a strong FCPA group. Associates travel all over the globe and loved it. Travel even as 1st years.

Thanks for sharing. Any summers or associates wanna offer their experiences with Cadwalader's FCPA practice? Also slightly OT but what is the culture of the DC office like? You can read things on the internet but I'm always skeptical since usually culture defaults to the NY office and culture is so office specific.



Different anon with a summer offer there. DC office is really collegial. Everybody seemed to get along and stressed a difference from the Ny office. Granted the firm has gotten better in past few years they said. Associates had traveled to basically every continent for work. Many had done stints at DOJ or USAO and lateraled in or worked for a few years and came back to the firm. Office setting was more modern and open doors.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby wert3813 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had an interview with Cadwalader in DC where they have a strong FCPA group. Associates travel all over the globe and loved it. Travel even as 1st years.

Thanks for sharing. Any summers or associates wanna offer their experiences with Cadwalader's FCPA practice? Also slightly OT but what is the culture of the DC office like? You can read things on the internet but I'm always skeptical since usually culture defaults to the NY office and culture is so office specific.



Different anon with a summer offer there. DC office is really collegial. Everybody seemed to get along and stressed a difference from the Ny office. Granted the firm has gotten better in past few years they said. Associates had traveled to basically every continent for work. Many had done stints at DOJ or USAO and lateraled in or worked for a few years and came back to the firm. Office setting was more modern and open doors.

Good to know. Did you take the offer there?

User avatar
anon919
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:25 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby anon919 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:22 pm

Bump

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:18 pm

Great thread. Would enjoying crim and crim pro classes your 1L year be good ways to show interest in white collar work? Or is that too transparent?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:42 pm

Current SA. Probably going to be placed in my firm's FCPA group. What are the main exit options from FCPA? Is in-house counsel a viable option?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:30 am

Looking to find a comprehensive list of firms with top FCPA practices. I have a decent list of large firms, but does anyone have any boutique lists?

Law360 counts the following as the top 10. I'm assuming the DC office is the main for FCPA given the locations of the practitioners on the firm sites:

-WilmerHale
-WilkieFarr
-Venable
-Reed Smith
-Kirkland & Ellis
-Gibson Dunn
- Debevoise (NY)
-Davis Polk (NY)
-Crowell & Moring
-Cahill Gordon (NY)

I believe other good firms for FCPA include, in no particular order:
-Weil (DC)
-Skadden (DC)
-Covington
-Steptoe & Johnson
-Paul Hastings (DC)
-Cleary (DC)
-Shearman & Sterling
- Squire Patton Boggs
- Jones Day (DC)
-Akin Gump
- White & Case
- Arnold & Porter
-Miller & Chevalier
-O'Melveney
-Cadwallader (DC)
-King & Spalding
-Hogan Lovells

Firms that I've had recommended, but haven't dug up enough info on yet: Holland & Knight, Ropes & Gray, Fried Frank, Morgan Lewis, Morrison & Foerster, Shepperd Mullin, Latham

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Current SA. Probably going to be placed in my firm's FCPA group. What are the main exit options from FCPA? Is in-house counsel a viable option?


Do you need to be multilingual for FCPA work

Anonymous User
Posts: 273479
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:54 am

Not at all, otherwise FCPA lawyers would only work in the languages that they speak in (rarely more than 1 or 2). The language skills are a big bonus if you happen to land a case where it would be useful. Other than that, it is an indication of cultural awareness.

1492
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: The All Things White Collar/FCPA/etc. Thread

Postby 1492 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:41 pm

How well does a few years work experience in a big four accounting firm's forensics group set you up for one of these positions?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.