San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

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hiima3L
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby hiima3L » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:55 pm

Where do you think has the best banh mi? The best burrito?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:23 pm

hiima3L wrote:Where do you think has the best banh mi? The best burrito?


I like Saigon sandwich because (a) I can walk there, and (b) it's cheap as hell. If we're just talking general Vietnamese sandwiches, though, I like Dinosaurs in the Castro. A few of my friends love Duc Loi, but I'm not as big a fan.

Best burrito feels like a super loaded question. I like the chicken mole at Papalote. But Gordo, the rare times I've headed that direction, is also really good. Farolito has always served me well, but I've never eaten it sober.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:44 pm

I'm top 10% at a non-California top 15-25 school with ties (grew up in Northern CA). I know SF is tough to get from outside CA, but any advice/odds?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:48 pm

Can you comment about the different firm cultures in SF/SV?

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Rahviveh
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Rahviveh » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can you comment about the different firm cultures in SF/SV?


This was me, didn't mean to be anon

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm top 10% at a non-California top 15-25 school with ties (grew up in Northern CA). I know SF is tough to get from outside CA, but any advice/odds?


(Are you a 1L or 2L? If 1L, maintain those grades and work in SF your first summer. If 2L, it's going to be very hard - SF firms don't do much in terms of 3L OCI, so I'd say the best option is to clerk and then apply to SF firms).

Are you diverse? I'd apply to the bay area recruiting fair. Set up some informational calls with alums from your school who are out here - I'm sure there are a few who'd love to talk to you, since they probably went through this same craziness a few years back.

But really, the best thing you can do is work here your first summer, and try to lock down a position before you head back for OCI.

whereskyle
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby whereskyle » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:In your experience regarding ties to SF and employment, would having lived out there for a year after undergrad count for much? Been plotting on how to return since I left, but UC Hastings seems a sub par school given todays legal climate and out of state at Berkley is ~300k.

Probably a difficult question to answer, but I thought I'd shoot anyways.


It'd definitely count for something. I think a well-reasoned answer to the why SF question in that situation would be something like "I lived and worked in SF after graduating, and knew that I wanted to come back after law school, but, financially, taking a large scholarship at X school made the most sense for my education." Rough, but you get the jist. It'll be hard to say "I didn't want to go to Hastings" because you'll almost certainly (unless you're interviewing at MTO, Gibson, or Covington) meet at least one Hastings grad during any callback; there's just a ton of them in SF biglaw.

I know some folks at Hastings who turned down T14 (including T14 with some money) to stay in SF, b/c they didn't get Berkeley/SLS. Uniformly, unless you have a family and a full-ride (does Hastings even give full rides?) I think this is a bad choice.


Thank you very much for the words in quotes above. I will be saying that three years from now.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:19 pm

Hey, thanks for doing this, man.

I'm roughly top quarter at CCN so far as a 1L (although one semester's not exactly dispositive) and hope to do corporate work in the Bay Area after graduation. I grew up and did my undergrad in LA, but my parents and extended family now live in San Francisco. Is that enough for ties, and how much does coming from a non-west coast law school hurt my odds? If I end up at or slightly above median after second semester, can I reasonably expect to have a decent chance at a San Francisco firm?

Also, as far as transactional work, which firms tend to specialize in various corporate law fields (private equity, venture capital, M&A, etc.)?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm top 10% at a non-California top 15-25 school with ties (grew up in Northern CA). I know SF is tough to get from outside CA, but any advice/odds?


(Are you a 1L or 2L? If 1L, maintain those grades and work in SF your first summer. If 2L, it's going to be very hard - SF firms don't do much in terms of 3L OCI, so I'd say the best option is to clerk and then apply to SF firms).

Are you diverse? I'd apply to the bay area recruiting fair. Set up some informational calls with alums from your school who are out here - I'm sure there are a few who'd love to talk to you, since they probably went through this same craziness a few years back.

But really, the best thing you can do is work here your first summer, and try to lock down a position before you head back for OCI.


1L, not diverse, and I already have a summer position. I don't think ties will be a problem, but I'll definitely try to set up some informational interviews with alums. If you have any other tips I would appreciate it. Thanks for the help.
Edit: I'm open to anywhere in the bay, would SV be easier?(no IP)

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:30 pm

What are your thoughts on the culture/hour differences between Fenwick, Cooley and WSGR? Any friends tell you experiences from those firms?

hiima3L
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby hiima3L » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
hiima3L wrote:Where do you think has the best banh mi? The best burrito?

Saigon sandwich

Farolito has always served me well, but I've never eaten it sober.


Okay everyone, you can trust OP's opinions.

Also, a seemingly well kept secret: Hoang Dat on Geary in between Larkin and Polk. No one seems to know about it because it looks like an awful hole in the wall, but it's incredible. I sadly didn't discover it until months before moving out of SF. If I could eat anything in the world right now, it'd be the "special combination" (or whatever it's called) sandwich from Hoang Dat. The meatball sandwiches and soup are unbelievably good.

echooo23
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby echooo23 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm top 10% at a non-California top 15-25 school with ties (grew up in Northern CA). I know SF is tough to get from outside CA, but any advice/odds?


(Are you a 1L or 2L? If 1L, maintain those grades and work in SF your first summer. If 2L, it's going to be very hard - SF firms don't do much in terms of 3L OCI, so I'd say the best option is to clerk and then apply to SF firms).

Are you diverse? I'd apply to the bay area recruiting fair. Set up some informational calls with alums from your school who are out here - I'm sure there are a few who'd love to talk to you, since they probably went through this same craziness a few years back.

But really, the best thing you can do is work here your first summer, and try to lock down a position before you head back for OCI.


Are SF firms just flat out against hiring 3Ls? Or they do, but just not through schools/OCI? Which firms, if any, hire 3Ls looking to trade up?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:52 pm

does your firm have non-partnership track associates? are they looked down upon by the partnership track associates? what's the difference in pay on a percentage basis?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:19 pm

Thanks a lot for taking questions. I have a question about lateraling to SF as a 3-5th year associate coming from a V10 firm in NY.

I've always wanted to live in SF and have applied for every firm job in the city I could find via OCI and mass mailing. Unfortunately, I didn't get any offers from SF firms and went w/ a big firm in NY instead.

In your experience, what's the best way to position ones self for lateraling to a SF firm? My V10 doesn't have an office there, so I'd have to start fresh at a new firm. Any particular practice groups that would make this easier? I don't have ties to SF, but I really want to live there and have for some time. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot for taking questions. I have a question about lateraling to SF as a 3-5th year associate coming from a V10 firm in NY.

I've always wanted to live in SF and have applied for every firm job in the city I could find via OCI and mass mailing. Unfortunately, I didn't get any offers from SF firms and went w/ a big firm in NY instead.

In your experience, what's the best way to position ones self for lateraling to a SF firm? My V10 doesn't have an office there, so I'd have to start fresh at a new firm. Any particular practice groups that would make this easier? I don't have ties to SF, but I really want to live there and have for some time. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!



I have this exact same question but for the SV region rather than SF (sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, I realize OP is based out of SF). Like the user above, I went to a v10 NY biglaw firm after law school and have no ties, except that my fiancee grew up in the bay area and wants to return. I wouldn't be completely against working in SF though. With no background in IP or tech transactions, would SF be easier than SV?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:40 pm

San Francisco is known for being a location where many startup companies are founded. How much of your work involves interacting with startup companies? Do you believe it is more than the average BigLaw Associate sees?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:50 pm

echooo23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm top 10% at a non-California top 15-25 school with ties (grew up in Northern CA). I know SF is tough to get from outside CA, but any advice/odds?


(Are you a 1L or 2L? If 1L, maintain those grades and work in SF your first summer. If 2L, it's going to be very hard - SF firms don't do much in terms of 3L OCI, so I'd say the best option is to clerk and then apply to SF firms).

Are you diverse? I'd apply to the bay area recruiting fair. Set up some informational calls with alums from your school who are out here - I'm sure there are a few who'd love to talk to you, since they probably went through this same craziness a few years back.

But really, the best thing you can do is work here your first summer, and try to lock down a position before you head back for OCI.


Are SF firms just flat out against hiring 3Ls? Or they do, but just not through schools/OCI? Which firms, if any, hire 3Ls looking to trade up?


OP here, back for Monday answers.

My firm does not hire 3Ls at all. I'm not positive who does in SF, other than Latham. Someone else might be able to jump in and give a better response. For mine, though, it's 2L OCI, post-clerkship, or mid-level laterals and that's about it.

Anonymous User
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:does your firm have non-partnership track associates? are they looked down upon by the partnership track associates? what's the difference in pay on a percentage basis?


We do, but not many. And I haven't sensed any "looking down upon" those associates, at all - they're really good at what they do (generally a more niche area), they are nice people generally with families, and they seem happy. I actually think it's a pretty good gig (at my firm at least), and would seriously consider it down the line.

Anonymous User
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks a lot for taking questions. I have a question about lateraling to SF as a 3-5th year associate coming from a V10 firm in NY.

I've always wanted to live in SF and have applied for every firm job in the city I could find via OCI and mass mailing. Unfortunately, I didn't get any offers from SF firms and went w/ a big firm in NY instead.

In your experience, what's the best way to position ones self for lateraling to a SF firm? My V10 doesn't have an office there, so I'd have to start fresh at a new firm. Any particular practice groups that would make this easier? I don't have ties to SF, but I really want to live there and have for some time. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!


You're welcome! I'm not much help here, though, as I've never served on the hiring group that considers laterals. We have taken a few, generally those who are moving to SF from somewhere else (less so laterals from other big firms in the city, though we've done that too, particularly on the corporate side). Most have had ties, though some seem to have been in your position - wanted to be in SF, an opportunity fit their experience, and they jumped.

I'd suggest coming up with some ties, though; at least enough to get you seriously pulled from the pile (or maybe reach out to a headhunter here in SF).

Anonymous User
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:San Francisco is known for being a location where many startup companies are founded. How much of your work involves interacting with startup companies? Do you believe it is more than the average BigLaw Associate sees?


I have done approximately 0.0% of my work for start ups. Apart from my non-law friends, and a few buddies from law school, I don't even know many folks who work in start ups. My practice just doesn't overlap much with the start up world, and it's never held any interest for me. Simialrly, I don't do much IP. Though SF is known for it, there are a lot of lawyers out here who never touch the stuff.

It's like tequila for me; touched it a couple of times, had bad experiences, and now I just try and stay away.

Anonymous User
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have this exact same question but for the SV region rather than SF (sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, I realize OP is based out of SF). Like the user above, I went to a v10 NY biglaw firm after law school and have no ties, except that my fiancee grew up in the bay area and wants to return. I wouldn't be completely against working in SF though. With no background in IP or tech transactions, would SF be easier than SV?


Again, not to be unhelpful, but I'm honestly unsure. I think you should apply broadly in SV and the city, though. Firms won't mind that you're checking out offices in both places; if anything it'll show that you're serious about relocating, if you spin it that way in interviews. ("I want to be out here, my fiancee wants to come home, so I'm interviewing widely in SF/SV/Oakland/SJ").

And, as I said above, just don't force an interest in IP. Lots of us out here don't do IP work, or do so only tangentially. There's probably a broader base in SF, but SV firms will have substantial practices that don't touch IP (even Fenwick/Wilson type firms).

shtein
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby shtein » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:14 pm

I know you have touched upon it before in this thread, but I was hoping you could expand a bit; how is Hastings viewed at your firm versus Cal/Stanford?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:26 pm

shtein wrote:I know you have touched upon it before in this thread, but I was hoping you could expand a bit; how is Hastings viewed at your firm versus Cal/Stanford?


We have a number of partners who went to Hastings, but only a handful of associates, all of whom (I just checked), graduated magna or summa.

When interviewing, we'll look at the top 10% of Hastings grads. At Cal and Stanford, we'll drop below median (though generally we don't).

The top of the class at Hastings, though, is viewed very highly at our firm, and we always make offers to folks there during OCI. One partner has said that they tend to last longer than most of the Cal/Stanford associates, who tend to leave for other things after a few years.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What are your thoughts on the culture/hour differences between Fenwick, Cooley and WSGR? Any friends tell you experiences from those firms?


hey OP any chance u can touch on this question? Thanks!!!

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What are your thoughts on the culture/hour differences between Fenwick, Cooley and WSGR? Any friends tell you experiences from those firms?


hey OP any chance u can touch on this question? Thanks!!!


I have more than one friend that started at all of those firms, and know a couple of people who latered into them.

It seems that, uniformly, my friends at Fenwick have better hours than the other two. One friend at Cooley has pretty normal hours, but the other two people I know there are working like crazy, especially when compared to general SF hours. My friends at Wilson in corporate work fairly long hours, worse than my friends there in litigation, though that could be due to a small sample size.

From what I've seen, hours look like:

Fenwick <<< Cooley (normal) << Wilson <<<<<< Cooley (crazy).

Culturally, though, my friends at Cooley rave about their firm more than my friends at the other two. People at Fenwick seem happier than those at Wilson, but the Cooley people, even those with pretty bad hours, seem to really like the firm.




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