Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

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Anonymous User
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Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:17 pm

I feel like it is really hard to research the culture of a firm's specific practice. Does anyone have insight to offer on the culture of the corporate departments for BigLaw in the Chicago market? Especially firms like:

Baker & McKenzie
Bryan Cave
Dentons
DLA Piper
Duane Morris
Greenberg Traurig
Jenner & Block
Jones Day
K&L Gates
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Kirkland & Ellis
Latham & Watkins
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will & Emery
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg
Paul Hastings
Reed Smith
Schiff Hardin
Sidley Austin
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Ungaretti & Harris
Vedder Price
Winston & Strawn

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I feel like it is really hard to research the culture of a firm's specific practice. Does anyone have insight to offer on the culture of the corporate departments for BigLaw in the Chicago market? Especially firms like:

Baker & McKenzie
Bryan Cave
Dentons
DLA Piper
Duane Morris
Greenberg Traurig
Jenner & Block
Jones Day
K&L Gates
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Kirkland & Ellis
Latham & Watkins
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will & Emery
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg
Paul Hastings
Reed Smith
Schiff Hardin
Sidley Austin
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Ungaretti & Harris
Vedder Price
Winston & Strawn


I've heard bad things about specific partners in Katten's corporate practice.

McDermott's corporate practice is downsizing, according to a person close to the matter.

Reed Smith's corporate practice wants to grow in the private equity field. The corporate attorneys there are generally very nice and easy-going.

Jenner wants to grow its corporate practice. Hiring partner is in the corporate practice, and doesn't like the reputation that Jenner is mostly litigation oriented.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:53 am

I heard Kirkland is all about hours and that your work life balance is pretty terrible there.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I heard Kirkland is all about hours and that your work life balance is pretty terrible there.


Kirkland is probably the best firm in the market, and has no face-time policy so after your third or fourth year you can do your work wherever (like at home) and no one will care. Most take advantage of this (unlike some other firms who have this policy). They also have unlimited vacation days as long as the hours are put in. Additionally, once you put in the work for a few years, your exit-ops are significantly better than some of the other firms on this list.

That being said, Kirkland functions at the level of a NY firm while in Chicago--but that does mean NY hours. I'm not so sure why everyone is worried about work/life balance, though. Outside of firms like Wachtell, it's not going to stop anyone from accepting an offer--it's just a convenient excuse when you aren't accepted.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:23 pm

Just as at a 1000 foot view: Kirkland is probably at the top in Chicago in PE and general corporate practices as far as deal volume and size. Sidley also does a bunch of huge deals. Firms like Jones Day, Latham, and Skadden obviously are huge national players and their chicago offices obviously participate in this. Chicago shops like Winston, Mayer Brown, Katten, and others all have strong practices as well. Each has specialities that many be interesting to some, for example, Katten has a partner or two who is very active in corporate sports law deals. Jenner is a big name in Chicago but Corporate is not really a speciality though it appears to be attempting to build in this area.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:53 pm

.

Anonymous User
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I heard Kirkland is all about hours and that your work life balance is pretty terrible there.


Kirkland is probably the best firm in the market, and has no face-time policy so after your third or fourth year you can do your work wherever (like at home) and no one will care. Most take advantage of this (unlike some other firms who have this policy). They also have unlimited vacation days as long as the hours are put in. Additionally, once you put in the work for a few years, your exit-ops are significantly better than some of the other firms on this list.

That being said, Kirkland functions at the level of a NY firm while in Chicago--but that does mean NY hours. I'm not so sure why everyone is worried about work/life balance, though. Outside of firms like Wachtell, it's not going to stop anyone from accepting an offer--it's just a convenient excuse when you aren't accepted.


The thing is, Kirkland is the only Chicago office working on deals at the level of a NYC V10. I have friends at quite a few of the NYC V10s (Cravath, Wachtell, DPW, etc), and quite a few friends at Kirkland-Chicago. Kirkland-Chicago absolutely offers a better work-life balance, better hours, and less stress than both Wachtell and Cravath. I would say it's more in line with DPW or Simpson--a couple of the NYC "lifestyle" biglaw firms (at least that's what somebody who lateraled from DPW-NYC to Kirkland-Chicago told me.)

Can you go to Sidley-Chicago and have less working hours than Kirkland-Chicago. Possibly; although a lot of people really do exaggerate the difference in lifestyles between the two firms. You're still in biglaw. You still might have to pull an occasional all-nighter. You're still going to have weekend plans blow up. BUT, in regard to corporate work, there is hardly any comparison between Kirkland-Chicago and Sidley-Chicago (or any other Chicago biglaw firm). If you want to do corporate (or restructuring) work, and you want to work at the best, then Kirkland is the way to go I think.

Skadden used to be more of a corporate player, but their deal flow is less than spectacular and, in some ways, they're essentially just local counsel for the higher-powered Skadden offices (e.g. NYC and DC)

WhirledWorld
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Re: Chicago Legal Market - Corporate

Postby WhirledWorld » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:19 pm

Top shops are K&E, Latham, Sidley and Skadden: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/1247 ... torial/5/1




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