San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

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mpaasky
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby mpaasky » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:11 pm

Thanks for doing this AMA. Here is a question I posted earlier:

Hi All,
As part of the hiring package, I have been offered a bar study stipend in additions to the bar registration fee and review course. As you can see, I won't actually start working until several months after taking the bar. Do you know if I have to wait until my first actual paycheck before seeing this money? Or, do firms normally write people a check earlier, before the actual employment starts? if so, do you know when do they usually send out the money(s)?
For your references, I am taking the May-July course, for the July exam, and my starting date in late Oct/early Nov.
Thanks,
Mpaasky
(SF Area BigLaw New Hire)

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:11 am

mpaasky wrote:Thanks for doing this AMA. Here is a question I posted earlier:

Hi All,
As part of the hiring package, I have been offered a bar study stipend in additions to the bar registration fee and review course. As you can see, I won't actually start working until several months after taking the bar. Do you know if I have to wait until my first actual paycheck before seeing this money? Or, do firms normally write people a check earlier, before the actual employment starts? if so, do you know when do they usually send out the money(s)?
For your references, I am taking the May-July course, for the July exam, and my starting date in late Oct/early Nov.
Thanks,
Mpaasky
(SF Area BigLaw New Hire)


You do not have to wait to see this money, to the best of my knowledge. None of my friends did. I had to buy my bar course and then was reimbursed plus given a stipend. It came around April.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.)?


Wanted to bring this back up. Thanks, man!

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prezidentv8
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Just here because it's a San Francisco thread and I like to have opinions on things relating to San Francisco

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.)?


Wanted to bring this back up. Thanks, man!


No problem! As to your first question, I think family in SF is ties enough for most attorneys. If you're top third after 1L, I think going into OCI you'll have a very strong shot at SF if you apply widely (but don't just apply to SF - apply NYC or LA as well). I don't think coming from a non-Berkeley/Stanford school, which is really the advantage as opposed to a "west coast law school," will hurt you with demonstrated ties and a strong law school performance.

As far as general corporate specialties, I'd check out Chambers & Associates if you haven't already. This is, again, sort of outside my knowledge base. But, from what I hear from friends, Latham has a strong corporate group, as does Fenwick, Wilson, MoFo, and Davis Polk (though, obviously, some of those are in the Valley). Kirkland has a strong PE group. The general players in venture capital will be the usual suspects, I imagine: Fenwick, Cooley, Wilson, etc. Sorry not to be more helpful, but I never considered doing corporate work.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 5:36 pm

bump

SFSpartan
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 6:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.)?


Wanted to bring this back up. Thanks, man!


No problem! As to your first question, I think family in SF is ties enough for most attorneys. If you're top third after 1L, I think going into OCI you'll have a very strong shot at SF if you apply widely (but don't just apply to SF - apply NYC or LA as well). I don't think coming from a non-Berkeley/Stanford school, which is really the advantage as opposed to a "west coast law school," will hurt you with demonstrated ties and a strong law school performance.

As far as general corporate specialties, I'd check out Chambers & Associates if you haven't already. This is, again, sort of outside my knowledge base. But, from what I hear from friends, Latham has a strong corporate group, as does Fenwick, Wilson, MoFo, and Davis Polk (though, obviously, some of those are in the Valley). Kirkland has a strong PE group. The general players in venture capital will be the usual suspects, I imagine: Fenwick, Cooley, Wilson, etc. Sorry not to be more helpful, but I never considered doing corporate work.


Midlaw EC/VC associate jumping in to supplement. Latham, Kirkland, Davis Polk and Shearman all have strong corporate groups, though they tend to be more focused on doing "traditional" corporate work (think capital markets, PE, stuff like that).

Wilson, Fenwick, and Cooley all do really strong company-side work, and both work with startups of all sizes (though Wilson has tended to emphasize more mature corporate work over the past couple years). Cooley has a really robust fund formation practice, and I've seen a fair bit of them on the investor side of deals as well. Gunderson is also great if you want to work with early-stage startups, as maturing companies occupy most of their work. Aside from the big 4, Orrick, Perkins Coie, Goodwin, and Ropes all do pretty good work. They don't necessarily get the biggest deals, though.

Also, since your from LA, keep in mind that Silicon Beach is heating up. I'd expect that to continue given that it's a 45 minute flight from LAX to SFO/SJC, and office space is more plentiful (and thus cheaper) in LA.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:bump


I'm assuming you are OP, raising the thread from the dead.

If so: I'm leaving biglaw to clerk on the Ninth in SF for a year, in a year (and therefore will be making only 90-100K while i'm there). If I am a single straight male in my late 20s who places a premium on being close work for commute purposes, what neighborhoods (or buildings) should I consider living in?

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue May 09, 2017 7:19 pm

SFSpartan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.)?


Wanted to bring this back up. Thanks, man!


No problem! As to your first question, I think family in SF is ties enough for most attorneys. If you're top third after 1L, I think going into OCI you'll have a very strong shot at SF if you apply widely (but don't just apply to SF - apply NYC or LA as well). I don't think coming from a non-Berkeley/Stanford school, which is really the advantage as opposed to a "west coast law school," will hurt you with demonstrated ties and a strong law school performance.

As far as general corporate specialties, I'd check out Chambers & Associates if you haven't already. This is, again, sort of outside my knowledge base. But, from what I hear from friends, Latham has a strong corporate group, as does Fenwick, Wilson, MoFo, and Davis Polk (though, obviously, some of those are in the Valley). Kirkland has a strong PE group. The general players in venture capital will be the usual suspects, I imagine: Fenwick, Cooley, Wilson, etc. Sorry not to be more helpful, but I never considered doing corporate work.


Midlaw EC/VC associate jumping in to supplement. Latham, Kirkland, Davis Polk and Shearman all have strong corporate groups, though they tend to be more focused on doing "traditional" corporate work (think capital markets, PE, stuff like that).

Wilson, Fenwick, and Cooley all do really strong company-side work, and both work with startups of all sizes (though Wilson has tended to emphasize more mature corporate work over the past couple years). Cooley has a really robust fund formation practice, and I've seen a fair bit of them on the investor side of deals as well. Gunderson is also great if you want to work with early-stage startups, as maturing companies occupy most of their work. Aside from the big 4, Orrick, Perkins Coie, Goodwin, and Ropes all do pretty good work. They don't necessarily get the biggest deals, though.

Also, since your from LA, keep in mind that Silicon Beach is heating up. I'd expect that to continue given that it's a 45 minute flight from LAX to SFO/SJC, and office space is more plentiful (and thus cheaper) in LA.


To that point, Cooley has had an office in Santa Monica for a bit. Gunderson just opened an office in Venice and is building it out with attorneys (they just did a hiring search for a midlevel) (their space is beautiful and in the heart of Venice). Bryan Cave, Stubbs Alderton, and Straddling all have offices in Santa Monica, too, but they are less relevant.

Edit: Orrick is opening a Santa Monica office too and also just did a search for midlevel corporate associates.

SFSpartan
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 7:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:bump


I'm assuming you are OP, raising the thread from the dead.

If so: I'm leaving biglaw to clerk on the Ninth in SF for a year, in a year (and therefore will be making only 90-100K while i'm there). If I am a single straight male in my late 20s who places a premium on being close work for commute purposes, what neighborhoods (or buildings) should I consider living in?


Berkeley. BART is not that bad, and the East Bay is loads cheaper than the City. You could also live in the Tenderloin (which is going to be a big cheaper than the rest of SF), but the TL pretty fucked up.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 7:37 pm

SFSpartan wrote:the TL pretty fucked up.


How fucked up are we talking? I currently live in a major metro downtown (close to work) that seems to always smell like homeless urine, and entails seeing the occasional homeless dude jerking off on a corner in broad daylight while making eye contact with passersby, but is still relatively safe in terms of actual crime. How does the tenderloin compare? Am I going to get mugged walking home after dark from the courthouse?

SFSpartan
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 7:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:the TL pretty fucked up.


How fucked up are we talking? I currently live in a major metro downtown (close to work) that seems to always smell like homeless urine, and entails seeing the occasional homeless dude jerking off on a corner in broad daylight while making eye contact with passersby, but is still relatively safe in terms of actual crime. How does the tenderloin compare? Am I going to get mugged walking home after dark from the courthouse?


People regularly selling heroin and crack on the streets, junkies shooting up in public, frequent stabbings and the occasional murder (I went to Hastings, we got alerts about some of this stuff). Most of it is just drug addicts/dealers wailing on each other; though I do try and avoid the TL if I can and would not park my car on the street there.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue May 09, 2017 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:the TL pretty fucked up.


How fucked up are we talking? I currently live in a major metro downtown (close to work) that seems to always smell like homeless urine, and entails seeing the occasional homeless dude jerking off on a corner in broad daylight while making eye contact with passersby, but is still relatively safe in terms of actual crime. How does the tenderloin compare? Am I going to get mugged walking home after dark from the courthouse?


I saw a dude walking down the street in the 'loin a month ago only wearing shoes and a tube sock around his johnson. Like an actual white tube sock. Red stripes I think.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 7:57 pm

Hi, any advice for a rising 3L that struck out in the Bay during oci? I go to CN (NYC) and I'll split this summer at two NYC firms (~v15, if it matters). My current plan is to mass mail and try to setup "interviews" (informational interviews) for August and see if that leads anywhere, but I know 3L hiring is rough and pretty much nonexistent at my school for SF/SV. I'd like to get out of NYC as soon as possible, and if I could do it without even starting in NYC, I'd love that. I want to work in tech/emerging companies, but would take any transactional group if I could go to the Bay. NorCal is close to family, though they don't live in CA (mountain west) and SF is the closest largest legal market. Plus I love SF and want to live there longterm. Any advice would be appreciated, I can PM if you'd rather chat that way (I just don't want my summer firms to know, hence anonymous). Thanks!

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue May 09, 2017 8:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, any advice for a rising 3L that struck out in the Bay during oci? I go to CN (NYC) and I'll split this summer at two NYC firms (~v15, if it matters). My current plan is to mass mail and try to setup "interviews" (informational interviews) for August and see if that leads anywhere, but I know 3L hiring is rough and pretty much nonexistent at my school for SF/SV. I'd like to get out of NYC as soon as possible, and if I could do it without even starting in NYC, I'd love that. I want to work in tech/emerging companies, but would take any transactional group if I could go to the Bay. NorCal is close to family, though they don't live in CA (mountain west) and SF is the closest largest legal market. Plus I love SF and want to live there longterm. Any advice would be appreciated, I can PM if you'd rather chat that way (I just don't want my summer firms to know, hence anonymous). Thanks!


First, you got big law, so you should be very happy that you are "in."

Second, at the end of the summer pick whichever of the two has an office in SF or SV. Most of the V15 have offices in either SF or SV. As has been discussed in other threads, some firms are cool at letting you move to other offices within the firm. Some firms are not. Feel it out, but DO NOT let them know at this juncture that you want to hop to a different ship in the flotilla.

Third, if during your 3L year you can't land something in CA, take the NY bar in the fall with an eye toward taking the CA bar in February. The chances of lateraling as a stub are near 0, so by the time that you might even be at all marketable, you will have taken and passed the CA bar.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 9:19 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
SFSpartan wrote:the TL pretty fucked up.


How fucked up are we talking? I currently live in a major metro downtown (close to work) that seems to always smell like homeless urine, and entails seeing the occasional homeless dude jerking off on a corner in broad daylight while making eye contact with passersby, but is still relatively safe in terms of actual crime. How does the tenderloin compare? Am I going to get mugged walking home after dark from the courthouse?


I saw a dude walking down the street in the 'loin a month ago only wearing shoes and a tube sock around his johnson. Like an actual white tube sock. Red stripes I think.


Seems like par for the course...

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, any advice for a rising 3L that struck out in the Bay during oci? I go to CN (NYC) and I'll split this summer at two NYC firms (~v15, if it matters). My current plan is to mass mail and try to setup "interviews" (informational interviews) for August and see if that leads anywhere, but I know 3L hiring is rough and pretty much nonexistent at my school for SF/SV. I'd like to get out of NYC as soon as possible, and if I could do it without even starting in NYC, I'd love that. I want to work in tech/emerging companies, but would take any transactional group if I could go to the Bay. NorCal is close to family, though they don't live in CA (mountain west) and SF is the closest largest legal market. Plus I love SF and want to live there longterm. Any advice would be appreciated, I can PM if you'd rather chat that way (I just don't want my summer firms to know, hence anonymous). Thanks!


Everything that Smokey said is on point. Also, Cooley and Wilson generally dip their toes into the 3L hiring pool. If you have any classmates that went there, I'd hit them up at the end of the summer for a soft intro. You can also carpet bomb the Bay Area with your materials in August.

Ultimately, your strategy is going to depend on what you are interested in. If you want corporate, most of that work is in SV (though some good stuff in SF too), so be cognizant of the fact that it's over an hour in each direction between the City and Palo Alto.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 9:46 pm

Thank you for taking questions!

Have you heard of anyone who worked in a SF startup (non-T14, didn't go to any school in CA, etc) and lateraled into an emerging companies practice of a large firm after 1-2 years? Any anecdotes would be appreciated.
Thank you!

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue May 09, 2017 9:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for taking questions!

Have you heard of anyone who worked in a SF startup (non-T14, didn't go to any school in CA, etc) and lateraled into an emerging companies practice of a large firm after 1-2 years? Any anecdotes would be appreciated.
Thank you!


So you're asking if an attorney who went to a not T-14 not in CA and who worked at a startup in SF moved into big law?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:bump


I'm assuming you are OP, raising the thread from the dead.

If so: I'm leaving biglaw to clerk on the Ninth in SF for a year, in a year (and therefore will be making only 90-100K while i'm there). If I am a single straight male in my late 20s who places a premium on being close work for commute purposes, what neighborhoods (or buildings) should I consider living in?


Not OP--just a recent SF biglaw lateral wanted to hear more recent chatters about SF/SV market--but it looks like you got your question answered.

Since the start of the original thread, there has been more SF/SV biglaw associates, so plenty can jump in and answer questions.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 09, 2017 10:10 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
So you're asking if an attorney who went to a not T-14 not in CA and who worked at a startup in SF moved into big law?


Correct. no T-14, no ties to CA except for the last couple of work experience in SF for startups.

Jchance
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Jchance » Tue May 09, 2017 10:17 pm

Why is the California legal market so small, comparing to the population size and GDP output of the state? Given California's population size and GDP output, would the California legal market increase exponentially at some point? I'm grouping SF+SV, LA+OC, and also want to hear about San Diego.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SmokeytheBear » Tue May 09, 2017 10:19 pm

Jchance wrote:Why is the California legal market so small, comparing to the population size and GDP output of the state? I'm grouping SF+SV, LA+OC, and also want to hear about San Diego.


Can you provide some data comparing legal markets (either based on attorney head count, $$$, or something) to back up the "so small" claim?

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 09, 2017 10:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
So you're asking if an attorney who went to a not T-14 not in CA and who worked at a startup in SF moved into big law?


Correct. no T-14, no ties to CA except for the last couple of work experience in SF for startups.


I mean, I'm sure this has happened. But it seems much more interesting to take on a bizdev/legal role at a startup and just stay in house. Being able to put together interesting deals and then farming the boring pieces out to counsel seems like a much more interesting play in the long run.

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Re: San Francisco Biglaw Associate taking questions

Postby Jchance » Tue May 09, 2017 10:35 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Jchance wrote:Why is the California legal market so small, comparing to the population size and GDP output of the state? I'm grouping SF+SV, LA+OC, and also want to hear about San Diego.


Can you provide some data comparing legal markets (either based on attorney head count, $$$, or something) to back up the "so small" claim?


Ok, so general data doesn't support my claim (https://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpres ... -by-state/, showing similar # of lawyers per 10000 residents as NY), but what I meant specifically is not # of lawyers per capita, but # of biglaw SA openings as compared to its population+GDP.




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