Question about Simpson Thatcher

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:08 pm

hoos89 wrote:It is also possible that Simpson Thacher CHOOSES to have a smaller percentage of HYS students. So, what is it about HYS students that turns off Simpson Thacher?

At my HYS, they make a similar number of offers to places like DPW, S&C, and Cravath, but have a much lower acceptance rate. Not sure why.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby purpletiger » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hoos89 wrote:It is also possible that Simpson Thacher CHOOSES to have a smaller percentage of HYS students. So, what is it about HYS students that turns off Simpson Thacher?

At my HYS, they make a similar number of offers to places like DPW, S&C, and Cravath, but have a much lower acceptance rate. Not sure why.


DAT (perceived) PREFTIGE

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hoos89 wrote:It is also possible that Simpson Thacher CHOOSES to have a smaller percentage of HYS students. So, what is it about HYS students that turns off Simpson Thacher?

At my HYS, they make a similar number of offers to places like DPW, S&C, and Cravath, but have a much lower acceptance rate. Not sure why.


I was at an HYS, and I had offers at all these firms. Ultimately chose STB because of its dominance across so many different corporate practice areas (so the following information is tilted towards corporate).

It doesn't do public M&A the best (S&C is a bit better, while Wachtell is top) or credit and capital markets work (DPW beats it), but it does have the highest number of top-ranked practices (according to the objective methodology performed by Chambers) across the corporate group vis-a-vis the aforementioned competitors. It also has the best PE M&A practice and PE fund formation practice (Debevoise and KE may disagree, but STB has the highest number of top-ranked partners in Funds, according to Chambers).

It also has a generally chill collegial vibe which I like. Sullcrom felt more gunnerish, Cravath felt terribly snobby and elitist, and DPW felt too passive-aggressive.

If you know you want to do public M&A and don't mind an elevated level of gunnerism, go to S&C. If you like seeing smiles on everyone's faces, whether they're happy or not, and enjoy credit or capital markets work then go to DPW. If you like feeling like you're the king of the imaginary V10 prestige mountain (when in fact you're second-fiddle to Wachtell yet work nearly the same heinous hours and get no better pay), then go to Cravath.

If you don't know exactly what you want to do in corporate (or litigation) and want a pretty chill working environment, then go to STB. The higher concentration of top-ranked corporate practices means that you're less likely to fall into a second-rate practice area once you finally decide on a practice you like during the SA summer.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Lincoln » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:50 am

I didn't even bid STB because (1) their general lit practice was not as good as the other firms' I was looking at, and (2) the two people I knew who were associates there at the time fucking hated it and had some horror stories (and eventually ended up leaving within 18 months).

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:04 am

Lincoln wrote:I didn't even bid STB because (1) their general lit practice was not as good as the other firms' I was looking at, and (2) the two people I knew who were associates there at the time fucking hated it and had some horror stories (and eventually ended up leaving within 18 months).


But bro... BRO... did you see how many chambers-rated partners they had???

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:34 pm

Lincoln wrote:I didn't even bid STB because (1) their general lit practice was not as good as the other firms' I was looking at, and (2) the two people I knew who were associates there at the time fucking hated it and had some horror stories (and eventually ended up leaving within 18 months).


What metric are you using for point 1? Chambers has STB as being in the top-ranked group (along with all the other V5) for general commercial litigation and securities litigation, although they trail behind in white collar work. I agree that there is a micro-ordering of firms within the top-ranked group, but I think that's splitting hairs if other factors point towards STB. If other factors don't, and a person is gung-ho about litigation, then sure pick another firm that can be objectively considered "better" in litigation (although I'm unsure how one would do that except through anecdotal evidence). Regardless, you can't go wrong picking a top-ranked firm.

The second metric is anecdotal, and it's fine to use that when picking firms given the lack of knowledge people have when choosing among top firms based on work environment, but I'm curious if those same associates would have hated big law at any firm. Experiences also depends on the practice area. I would think people like that would also hate working longer hours at Cravath or slightly longer hours at S&C. Maybe they would have liked the frattier environment of Skadden or the passive-aggressiveness of DPW, but who knows.

To provide some more anecdotal evidence, my friends and I so far enjoy working at the firm and have nothing bad to say about it. Work assignments are fairly provided and everyone seems nice enough. There are some long days and nights, but that happens at any of the top firms (although I think the frequency increases as you go from V5 to V1).

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:42 pm

Chambers has STB as being in the top-ranked group (along with all the other V5) for general commercial litigation and securities litigation, although they trail behind in white collar work.


Per my sarcasm above, chambers is not necessarily a great metric too. Counting partners and looking at bands doesn't tell you what your experience will be like as an associate or the kind of work you'll get. Nor, beyond broad strokes, does chambers tell you how good a firm really is at something. In this thread, you try to lend your post with so much language showing objectivity, but then it's laced with this:

Experiences also depends on the practice area. I would think people like that would also hate working longer hours at Cravath or slightly longer hours at S&C. Maybe they would have liked the frattier environment of Skadden or the passive-aggressiveness of DPW, but who knows.


So I guess we should look to chambers to see why Simpson is great, and then look at often mentioned and subjective stereotypes to see why the other firms suck. Got it.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:54 pm

zweitbester wrote:
Chambers has STB as being in the top-ranked group (along with all the other V5) for general commercial litigation and securities litigation, although they trail behind in white collar work.


Per my sarcasm above, chambers is not necessarily a great metric too. Counting partners and looking at bands doesn't tell you what your experience will be like as an associate or the kind of work you'll get. Nor, beyond broad strokes, does chambers tell you how good a firm really is at something. In this thread, you try to lend your post with so much language showing objectivity, but then it's laced with this:

Experiences also depends on the practice area. I would think people like that would also hate working longer hours at Cravath or slightly longer hours at S&C. Maybe they would have liked the frattier environment of Skadden or the passive-aggressiveness of DPW, but who knows.


So I guess we should look to chambers to see why Simpson is great, and then look at often mentioned and subjective stereotypes to see why the other firms suck. Got it.


At least Chambers provides a relatively objective point of reference. I'd like to know what other metric, excepting anecdotal (and often biased or imperfect) evidence from a few associates, would be better?

As for my characterizations of those other firms, I think they're appropriate given my own experiences with interviewing at the firms, attending callbacks at all those firms and speaking to associates at all those firms (as well as post-offer due diligence). Cravath prides itself on its "Cravath system" and having its associates work very hard to develop into well-rounded practitioners; associates there confirmed that they worked very long hours quite frequently -- a sentiment I didn't get so much from other firms. S&C was similar to a lesser extent, but given the number of people who gave off the gunner vibe (and their silly selection scheme that ignores fit or personality and emphasizes only grades), I'd think people would be fine working longer hours there too, pushing up the expectations. Skadden was certainly the "party" firm of the bunch -- with associates getting wild at the post-callback event and being quite a bit more indiscreet at the offer dinner. DPW was full of very nice people, and it was a nice firm, but I felt like everyone tried too hard to put on a nice facade.

All of the above firms are exceptional, and you can't go wrong picking any of them, but there are nuances that exist (based on my own anecdotal evidence, which seems to accepted as truth in these threads) that should be considered if you want to try and "optimize" deciding between them.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:06 pm

As for my characterizations of those other firms, I think they're appropriate given my own experiences with interviewing at the firms, attending callbacks at all those firms and speaking to associates at all those firms (as well as post-offer due diligence).


Quoted for posterity. :lol:

Your post is great, though. Shows the thread why law students choose for and against law firms for the dumbest reasons, and therefore why their choices should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby KaNa1986 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:33 pm

How does Simpson Thatcher compare with Cleary and Weil in terms of quality of work and culture. Cleary seems to be more popular among HYS students than Simpson Thatcher, and Weil's ranked higher on Vault for some reason.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby WhirledWorld » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
hoos89 wrote:It is also possible that Simpson Thacher CHOOSES to have a smaller percentage of HYS students. So, what is it about HYS students that turns off Simpson Thacher?

At my HYS, they make a similar number of offers to places like DPW, S&C, and Cravath, but have a much lower acceptance rate. Not sure why.


I was at an HYS, and I had offers at all these firms. Ultimately chose STB because of its dominance across so many different corporate practice areas (so the following information is tilted towards corporate).

It doesn't do public M&A the best (S&C is a bit better, while Wachtell is top) or credit and capital markets work (DPW beats it), but it does have the highest number of top-ranked practices (according to the objective methodology performed by Chambers) across the corporate group vis-a-vis the aforementioned competitors. It also has the best PE M&A practice and PE fund formation practice (Debevoise and KE may disagree, but STB has the highest number of top-ranked partners in Funds, according to Chambers).

It also has a generally chill collegial vibe which I like. Sullcrom felt more gunnerish, Cravath felt terribly snobby and elitist, and DPW felt too passive-aggressive.

If you know you want to do public M&A and don't mind an elevated level of gunnerism, go to S&C. If you like seeing smiles on everyone's faces, whether they're happy or not, and enjoy credit or capital markets work then go to DPW. If you like feeling like you're the king of the imaginary V10 prestige mountain (when in fact you're second-fiddle to Wachtell yet work nearly the same heinous hours and get no better pay), then go to Cravath.

If you don't know exactly what you want to do in corporate (or litigation) and want a pretty chill working environment, then go to STB. The higher concentration of top-ranked corporate practices means that you're less likely to fall into a second-rate practice area once you finally decide on a practice you like during the SA summer.


This is pretty fair. I usually hear folks say K&E and STB are more-or-less tied for best PE M&A practice. For public M&A, I usually hear Skadden mentioned most often, though Wachtell/S&C/Cravath are always in the same breath. Wachtell is always #1 when it comes to defending takeovers or advising boards though.

But I wouldn't necessarily recommend STB for someone who isn't sure what kind of corporate work to do. If you want to be a generalist and get exposure to everything, Cravath is probably the best fit because you never specialize and are always rotating. Skadden probably has greater breadth of practice areas if you want more top-tier options--things like securitizations, public and private deals work, financial institutions, insurance, issuer and lender-side debt work, etc.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:45 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
hoos89 wrote:It is also possible that Simpson Thacher CHOOSES to have a smaller percentage of HYS students. So, what is it about HYS students that turns off Simpson Thacher?

At my HYS, they make a similar number of offers to places like DPW, S&C, and Cravath, but have a much lower acceptance rate. Not sure why.


I was at an HYS, and I had offers at all these firms. Ultimately chose STB because of its dominance across so many different corporate practice areas (so the following information is tilted towards corporate).

It doesn't do public M&A the best (S&C is a bit better, while Wachtell is top) or credit and capital markets work (DPW beats it), but it does have the highest number of top-ranked practices (according to the objective methodology performed by Chambers) across the corporate group vis-a-vis the aforementioned competitors. It also has the best PE M&A practice and PE fund formation practice (Debevoise and KE may disagree, but STB has the highest number of top-ranked partners in Funds, according to Chambers).

It also has a generally chill collegial vibe which I like. Sullcrom felt more gunnerish, Cravath felt terribly snobby and elitist, and DPW felt too passive-aggressive.

If you know you want to do public M&A and don't mind an elevated level of gunnerism, go to S&C. If you like seeing smiles on everyone's faces, whether they're happy or not, and enjoy credit or capital markets work then go to DPW. If you like feeling like you're the king of the imaginary V10 prestige mountain (when in fact you're second-fiddle to Wachtell yet work nearly the same heinous hours and get no better pay), then go to Cravath.

If you don't know exactly what you want to do in corporate (or litigation) and want a pretty chill working environment, then go to STB. The higher concentration of top-ranked corporate practices means that you're less likely to fall into a second-rate practice area once you finally decide on a practice you like during the SA summer.


This is pretty fair. I usually hear folks say K&E and STB are more-or-less tied for best PE M&A practice. For public M&A, I usually hear Skadden mentioned most often, though Wachtell/S&C/Cravath are always in the same breath. Wachtell is always #1 when it comes to defending takeovers or advising boards though.

But I wouldn't necessarily recommend STB for someone who isn't sure what kind of corporate work to do. If you want to be a generalist and get exposure to everything, Cravath is probably the best fit because you never specialize and are always rotating. Skadden probably has greater breadth of practice areas if you want more top-tier options--things like securitizations, public and private deals work, financial institutions, insurance, issuer and lender-side debt work, etc.


I wouldn't say Cravath's rotation system is best for someone who has no idea what they want to do. Cravath's rotation system is a sequence of 18 month placements in various corp. practices, regardless of whether you want to focus on one in particular. Usually you can get a flavor for what you like best during the summer, but barring that you can still do rotations at STB (9mo, 6mo, 6mo), Skadden (1yr, 1yr) or DPW (9mo, 6mo, 6mo I think). S&C's system is the most flexible for new associates since you can do anything at all in corporate for the first three years, I think.

Skadden has a great breadth of corporate practice areas, too, but I've heard of associates being stuck in 1 year rotations in their second- or third-choice practice area. One associate I spoke to said he wanted M&A, but couldn't get it for his first rotation so he was doing capital markets work for a year, despite hating it during his summer. That blows. I believe Simpson usually always honors the first preference during the first rotation, but I'm not 100% sure.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby KaNa1986 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:54 pm

Is Simpson stronger than Cleary, Weil, and Skadden for corporate?

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby thesealocust » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:55 pm

KaNa1986 wrote:Is Simpson stronger than Cleary, Weil, and Skadden for corporate?


All of those firms are on very similar footing, and differences in "corporate" practice will vary from specialty to specialty.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby WhirledWorld » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:41 pm

KaNa1986 wrote:Is Simpson stronger than Cleary, Weil, and Skadden for corporate?


Cleary and Weil are in lower bands for M&A. Cleary has a top corporate finance practice, but Weil's not really on the same footing.

So just going by chambers, it's more like Simpson/Skadden/Cravath etc. > Weil/Cleary etc.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Just FYI, but ATL has Simpson as having a higher insider rating (determined by associate surveys across several metrics including hours, compensation, culture, training and morale) than any other V10 except DPW -- http://abovethelaw.com/careers/law-firm ... ew=ratings.

Ironically, DPW has higher stated hours requirement and the same compensation structure (lock-step associate salary + market bonus) as STB, yet scores better in those metrics. Also has higher leverage than STB.

Amusingly, S&C (which can be considered one of STB's closest competitor in terms of strength in many practice areas -- apart from Skadden) fairs extremely poorly. Skadden also does pretty terribly.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby itbdvorm » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:20 pm

This thread seems weird to me.

For what it's worth, in terms of NY "corporate" practices (which as an earlier poster noted can mean very different things depending on the firm), I view it as something like the following:

Wachtell
Cravath/S&C/Skadden/DPW/Weil/Simpson/Cleary/Latham
Kirkland/Debevoise
[everyone else]

The order of the firms above is no particular order other than Vault ranking. Each firm in a "same" band has strengths/weaknesses, but if a firm in that band does what you want to do and you like the people/fit/culture/impression you have of it more than another one, who cares about the rest

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby gchatbrah » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:28 pm

itbdvorm wrote:This thread seems weird to me.

For what it's worth, in terms of NY "corporate" practices (which as an earlier poster noted can mean very different things depending on the firm), I view it as something like the following:

Wachtell
Cravath/S&C/Skadden/DPW/Weil/Simpson/Cleary/Latham
Kirkland/Debevoise
[everyone else]

The order of the firms above is no particular order other than Vault ranking. Each firm in a "same" band has strengths/weaknesses, but if a firm in that band does what you want to do and you like the people/fit/culture/impression you have of it more than another one, who cares about the rest


+1. Any anomalies we see in "acceptance rate" differences at the top schools is a 2L-perceived-prestige issue -- a completely useless metric anyway.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby KaNa1986 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:45 pm

itbdvorm wrote:This thread seems weird to me.

For what it's worth, in terms of NY "corporate" practices (which as an earlier poster noted can mean very different things depending on the firm), I view it as something like the following:

Wachtell
Cravath/S&C/Skadden/DPW/Weil/Simpson/Cleary/Latham
Kirkland/Debevoise
[everyone else]

The order of the firms above is no particular order other than Vault ranking. Each firm in a "same" band has strengths/weaknesses, but if a firm in that band does what you want to do and you like the people/fit/culture/impression you have of it more than another one, who cares about the rest


For the bread and butter corporate practices (banking/finance, capital markets, M&A), I always thought it was:
Cravath/S&C/Skadden
Wachtell/DPW/perhaps Simpson
everyone else

But, the strength of general corporate practice doesn't matter, unless you are at Cravath (where you would have to rotate) or S&C (where you essentially work as a generalist by floating for two years and then choose two very broad areas to go into), but then the strength of general corporate practice still doesn't matter since S&C and Cravath are at the top at essentially every major corporate areas that they are in.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:59 pm

These rankings are all dumb and pointless.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:09 am

thesealocust wrote:These rankings are all dumb and pointless.

Agreed. Most rankings above save for itbvdorm's have boiled down to "well I always thought it was [X vault-based ranking, Y vault-based ranking]." itbvdorm's is probably the closest to the correct response since all of these firms are particularly well respected in these practice areas.

That said, I resisted the urge to provide my own set of rankings based on perceived prestige and instead quickly threw together a trio of tables that rank the V15 firms with a substantial NYC/corporate presence based on their Chambers nationwide rankings*. There are 12 firms that generally fall into that category: Wachtell, Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, Weil, STB, Cleary, Kirkland, Latham, Debevoise, and Paul Weiss.

These tables are hardly a definitive set of rankings, but they are hopefully a little more concrete than the "I thought X firm is the best . . ." approach that these threads tend to evoke. Chambers practice group rankings are generally recognized as a better metric for evaluating the strengths of particular practice groups than Vault's prestige-based rankings, yet Chambers rankings have typically been considered only in isolation without considering what the full set of rankings say about particular firms. These tables are an imperfect stab at (1) putting these puzzle pieces together to paint a larger picture for each of these firms through the "Average Band" rankings (lower is better) and (2) putting firms' practice group rankings side-by-side so it's easier to consider firms' relative strengths and weaknesses in relation to their peers. Of course, it should be stated again that the difference between "Band 1" and "Band 2" or "Band 3" is very small and generally has minimal impact (if any) on the day-to-day opportunities of your average associate at any of these firms.

Table #1: This table includes all of Chambers' nationwide rankings in which at least two-thirds (8+ of 12) of the firms are ranked. The goal was to include practice areas that are widely participated in by NYC-based firms without arbitrarily including smaller, niche practices that might work in favor of or against certain firms. Firms that do not have a particular practice area are not impacted positively or negatively, and the total number of ranked areas is also noted as a very rough indicator of the breadth of each firm's practices. Not surprisingly, a firm like Wachtell has a more narrow range of practice area rankings than, for example, Skadden.
Image


Table #2: This table includes only transactional-based practice groups from the larger subset included in Table #1. Bankruptcy may be something of an outlier given its hybrid corporate/litigation nature, but it includes enough transactional work that it seemed reasonable to include it here.
Image


Table #3: This table includes only what others in this thread have termed the "bread-and-butter" corporate practice groups: M&A, Capital Markets, and Banking & Finance.
Image


As stated above, these rankings do not paint a full picture and inevitably fail to account for nuances between the firms, particularly small practice-area specialities. My hope is that they will nonetheless provide a high-level overview of the strengths of firms that benefits from the quality of Chambers' individual rankings without succumbing to the circularity of the Vault rankings.

*These numbers are from Chambers USA 2013. For more information on Chambers' rankings, see: http://www.chambersandpartners.com

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby thesealocust » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:17 am

Somehow that's not nearly as awful as I anticipated it would be when I saw graphs and numbers.

It may be the least insane effort I've seen to present this kind of information, actually.

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Re: Question about Simpson Thatcher

Postby WhirledWorld » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:I resisted the urge to provide my own set of rankings based on perceived prestige and instead quickly threw together a trio of tables that rank the V15 firms with a substantial NYC/corporate presence based on their Chambers nationwide rankings*. There are 12 firms that generally fall into that category: Wachtell, Cravath, S&C, Skadden, DPW, Weil, STB, Cleary, Kirkland, Latham, Debevoise, and Paul Weiss.

These tables are hardly a definitive set of rankings, but they are hopefully a little more concrete than the "I thought X firm is the best . . ." approach that these threads tend to evoke. Chambers practice group rankings are generally recognized as a better metric for evaluating the strengths of particular practice groups than Vault's prestige-based rankings, yet Chambers rankings have typically been considered only in isolation without considering what the full set of rankings say about particular firms. These tables are an imperfect stab at (1) putting these puzzle pieces together to paint a larger picture for each of these firms through the "Average Band" rankings (lower is better) and (2) putting firms' practice group rankings side-by-side so it's easier to consider firms' relative strengths and weaknesses in relation to their peers. Of course, it should be stated again that the difference between "Band 1" and "Band 2" or "Band 3" is very small and generally has minimal impact (if any) on the day-to-day opportunities of your average associate at any of these firms.

Table #1: This table includes all of Chambers' nationwide rankings in which at least two-thirds (8+ of 12) of the firms are ranked. The goal was to include practice areas that are widely participated in by NYC-based firms without arbitrarily including smaller, niche practices that might work in favor of or against certain firms. Firms that do not have a particular practice area are not impacted positively or negatively, and the total number of ranked areas is also noted as a very rough indicator of the breadth of each firm's practices. Not surprisingly, a firm like Wachtell has a more narrow range of practice area rankings than, for example, Skadden.
Image


Table #2: This table includes only transactional-based practice groups from the larger subset included in Table #1. Bankruptcy may be something of an outlier given its hybrid corporate/litigation nature, but it includes enough transactional work that it seemed reasonable to include it here.
Image


Table #3: This table includes only what others in this thread have termed the "bread-and-butter" corporate practice groups: M&A, Capital Markets, and Banking & Finance.
Image


As stated above, these rankings do not paint a full picture and inevitably fail to account for nuances between the firms, particularly small practice-area specialities. My hope is that they will nonetheless provide a high-level overview of the strengths of firms that benefits from the quality of Chambers' individual rankings without succumbing to the circularity of the Vault rankings.

*These numbers are from Chambers USA 2013. For more information on Chambers' rankings, see: http://www.chambersandpartners.com


Quality post.




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