Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

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Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:51 pm

>30% chance
5
38%
<30% chance
8
62%
 
Total votes: 13

Anonymous User
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Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:53 pm

Some classmate was bragging to me that it is a lot easier to lateral from four or five rotations (6-7 years) at Cravath corporate into partnership at a firm like Schulte Roth? How common is this? I was always under the impression that firms would favor their own "superstars" who have already "proven" themselves.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: V5 --> V100 partner

Postby BuckinghamB » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:26 pm

Although it is impossible to become a partner at a higher ranked vault firm (say, V17-->V16), V5 is automatic partnership at every firm from V6 on down.

But seriously though, it seems like a decent chunk of partners at several firms didn't actually start at those firms. All else being equal, I would think coming from a firm like Cravath be big plus factor?

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Re: V5 --> V100 partner

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:31 pm

Maybe if the V5 guy has a portable book of business, which lol at as an associate.

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Re: V5 --> V100 partner

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:14 pm

I have seen senior associates working in a firm's practice group (that is one of the top groups in its field) lateral to a different firm's practice group (that doesn't have the reputation that the former firm's practice group does), and then make partner a couple years later. For example, let's say a senior capital-markets associate at DPW laterals to Sidley to work in their capital-markets group and then makes partner a couple years after being at Sidley. (Note that I completely made that up, but the example is absolutely based on moves I have seen.)

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Re: V5 --> V100 partner

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:49 pm

Sure, as a midlevel, it's probably easish to move from a place like Davis Polk to another firm down the vault totem pole. But I haven't seen any evidence whatsoever that the Cravath or DPW senior associate will have an better of a chance at *equity* partner than say the homegrown SRZ associate of equal seniority. If anything, the associate coming down from the V5 may be perceived as being passed over for partnership and, thus, again less desirable than the homegrown associate.

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:11 pm

It can happen. I think you'll mostly see it happen for people who come from firms with one particularly strong specialty, however. So, e.g., an associate coming from STB in Fund Formation or Weil in Bankruptcy, relatively niche areas where their original firm is at the top of the field, would stand a good chance at making partner elsewhere because many other firms don't have much home-grown associate talent in those areas. But, if your work is in a more generic field ("public company M&A"), it's unlikely to make any difference.

(The "failed partner" theory doesn't really hold up in any consistent way, though it is generally difficult for senior (7+ year) associates to lateral simply because any firm that might consider hiring them is really sizing them up as potential partners rather than as potential associates.)

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It can happen. I think you'll mostly see it happen for people who come from firms with one particularly strong specialty, however. So, e.g., an associate coming from STB in Fund Formation or Weil in Bankruptcy, relatively niche areas where their original firm is at the top of the field, would stand a good chance at making partner elsewhere because many other firms don't have much home-grown associate talent in those areas. But, if your work is in a more generic field ("public company M&A"), it's unlikely to make any difference.

(The "failed partner" theory doesn't really hold up in any consistent way, though it is generally difficult for senior (7+ year) associates to lateral simply because any firm that might consider hiring them is really sizing them up as potential partners rather than as potential associates.)


That makes sense for DPW ("capital markets"), Weil/Kirkland ("bankruptcy"), and STB ("fund formation"). But where does that leave the two more generalist V5 corporate groups (i.e., CSM and S+C)? I'm assuming senior associates at those firms might not get the type of bump you mention with respect to lateral partnership prospects?

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:18 pm

Very low chance of this happening. Almost nobody is going to make you a partner unless you are bringing in a very large book of business.

If you wait too long to lateral, you risk your value decreasing.

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Very low chance of this happening. Almost nobody is going to make you a partner unless you are bringing in a very large book of business.

If you wait too long to lateral, you risk your value decreasing.


I agree that it would be unusual to be named partner as soon as you lateral, but I have seen numerous very senior associates (without a book of business) lateral with the implicit promise that they'll make partner in a couple years if they don't fuck it up.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:20 am

God I hate these threads

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It can happen. I think you'll mostly see it happen for people who come from firms with one particularly strong specialty, however. So, e.g., an associate coming from STB in Fund Formation or Weil in Bankruptcy, relatively niche areas where their original firm is at the top of the field, would stand a good chance at making partner elsewhere because many other firms don't have much home-grown associate talent in those areas. But, if your work is in a more generic field ("public company M&A"), it's unlikely to make any difference.

(The "failed partner" theory doesn't really hold up in any consistent way, though it is generally difficult for senior (7+ year) associates to lateral simply because any firm that might consider hiring them is really sizing them up as potential partners rather than as potential associates.)


That makes sense for DPW ("capital markets"), Weil/Kirkland ("bankruptcy"), and STB ("fund formation"). But where does that leave the two more generalist V5 corporate groups (i.e., CSM and S+C)? I'm assuming senior associates at those firms might not get the type of bump you mention with respect to lateral partnership prospects?


Though S&C and Cravath are the two strongest full-service firms, they have niche areas where they are better than almost all other firms (e.g. financial institutions for S&C, high-yield for Cravath). Thus, this gives associates a boost when trying to make partner at other firms.

I've talked with many partners who were senior associates at S&C, Cravath, etc. For general fields such as mega public M&A, only a few firms routinely lead on those deals. Of those firms, the volume of those types of deals sets Cravath, S&C, WLRK, etc. apart from other firms. When M&A picks up, the volume of large, complex deals you work on at those places enables you to learn a lot, and become an excellent lawyer. At the high-end of the spectrum, deals are complex and can go wrong in many places, and thus the volume and complexity of deals you've worked on as a mid/senior associate would become a great selling point for business development (especially at firms trying to grow their M&A practice). This gives M&A generalists at such firms a boost.

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:47 am

The lateral market sucks. Positions are rare, very competitive, and always practice-area specific. Firms are super suspicious of laterals from another firm in the same geographic market. One V10 partner told me that maybe 1 in 7 laterals works out.

I'm guessing for larger markets, no one cares about your book of business... It's not like JPMorgan is going to leave Davis Polk and Skadden for some V100 because a senior associate lateraled.

But if you have made a bit of a name for yourself and have solid experience, you have a decent shot at partnership at a firm that's trying to grow/expand in a specific area. Paul, Weiss for example has hired a handful of lateral V5 senior associates into corporate groups in hopes of expanding its corporate presence.

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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:36 am

Given the information ITT, if one's goal was to maximize V100 partnership chances, it seems like it would make sense to choose DPW cap markets, STB funds or WGM bankruptcy over S&C or CSM, since it looks like most firms want experience in more "niche" areas, rather than general practice.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Given the information ITT, if one's goal was to maximize V100 partnership chances, it seems like it would make sense to choose DPW cap markets, STB funds or WGM bankruptcy over S&C or CSM, since it looks like most firms want experience in more "niche" areas, rather than general practice.


Sorry buddy, this really isn't how things work and it's frankly absurd to try to "game" shit this way. OP should do what interests him. If you like what you do and you're good at it, the opportunities will present themselves constantly. This is in stark contrast to "get 4.0, 178, go to HYS, go to V5 but not STB PE because STB PE sucks for... errr... making partner at a less prestigious firm..." I really, really hope you realize how absurd that sounds. Grow a pair of balls and realize that the real world doesn't operate that way, and odds are that a shitty personality like the one that would take seriously the calculation above would short-circuit one's partnership chances despite working in "WGM bankruptcy."

I hope you realize how stupid all of this sounds. Take it from me, who has seen numerous associates leave for equity partnership at other firms, that said associates didn't have the faintest idea that it would happen when they were deciding between firms and practice groups perhaps EIGHT years earlier. And, to be sure, I've seen these moves in all practice groups and across varied firms (so not necessarily V5->V100).

The lateral market sucks. Positions are rare, very competitive, and always practice-area specific.


What? No. The lateral market is great. Positions are plentiful (http://www.gobiglaw.com). Yes, they are practice-area specific because it doesn't really make sense for them not to be. You're not going to hire a fourth year litigator to do M&A.

Are they competitive? Depends. How many positions is the firm looking to fill? How many associates are ready to up and leave their job? For another big law firm? What about possibly moving markets? What about giving up all the good will generated at one's current firm?

I think maybe you're confusing partnership laterals here. Yes, partner laterals, I believe statistically, more often than not turn out to not be profitable for the poaching law firm. But that's a discussion for another thread.

thegrayman
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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby thegrayman » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:18 pm

There's no easy way, obviously. You either bring enough to the table to justify a distribution of $800K+ or you don't, regardless of where you're coming from. I can understand having more "partner material" candidates at the V5, so they might go down in rank to a firm that has room for them, but they don't just get rubberstamped as a partner at their new firm.


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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:28 am

m
Last edited by rad lulz on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Realistic to lateral as Sr. associate V5 --> V100 partner?

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:58 am

rad lulz wrote:in b4 OP finds out he hates firm life

and bolts for govt as soon as he can


In before vast majority of thread graduates and learns that they don't know anything about the way a law firm works.




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