LA Biglaw

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LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:02 pm

Summer associate in LA biglaw in the past 3 years. Happy to try and answer questions. Hopefully other LA summers, associates, and partners will join in.

Thread started in response to this thread.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:06 pm

Current summer associate in LA biglaw. Also happy to answer questions.

To start, it doesn't seem like hours are less at my firm. I'm a summer and I've been called back to the office late at night, asked to come in on weekends, etc. We've been told that we are the busiest office of the firm (V5 with NYC hq). Associates are always here very late, if not all night.

Also, pay is the same: 160k + bonus for first years.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:08 pm

Thank you for doing this.

What are your thoughts on Skadden LA? I heard a girl died from overwork there a couple years ago, though that might be an outlier or happened as a result of some other set of circumstances. They seem to do pretty high-quality work despite that anecdote.

Who does high-quality corporate work there, if anyone? What sort of exit options might you expect for a corporate attorney in LA, and how would they be different from NY or SF/SV?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:09 pm

Edit: Double post.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current summer associate in LA biglaw. Also happy to answer questions.

To start, it doesn't seem like hours are less at my firm. I'm a summer and I've been called back to the office late at night, asked to come in on weekends, etc. We've been told that we are the busiest office of the firm (V5 with NYC hq). Associates are always here very late, if not all night.

Also, pay is the same: 160k + bonus for first years.


OP here: I know what firm this is and I think that this is somewhat abnormal. That office is particularly understaffed as compared to other LA biglaw offices.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:10 pm

tag

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current summer associate in LA biglaw. Also happy to answer questions.

To start, it doesn't seem like hours are less at my firm. I'm a summer and I've been called back to the office late at night, asked to come in on weekends, etc. We've been told that we are the busiest office of the firm (V5 with NYC hq). Associates are always here very late, if not all night.

Also, pay is the same: 160k + bonus for first years.


OP here: I know what firm this is and I think that this is somewhat abnormal. That office is particularly understaffed as compared to other LA biglaw offices.


That might be the case. There's definitely no shortage of work.

Were you an SA here?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:17 pm

OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for doing this.

What are your thoughts on Skadden LA? I heard a girl died from overwork there a couple years ago, though that might be an outlier or happened as a result of some other set of circumstances. They seem to do pretty high-quality work despite that anecdote.

Who does high-quality corporate work there, if anyone? What sort of exit options might you expect for a corporate attorney in LA, and how would they be different from NY or SF/SV?


Skadden has a strong LA presence, especially if you are interested in corporate work. They are one of the big transactional firms in LA (along with, off the top of my head, Gibson, Latham, O'Melveny). I can't speak to QOL concerns there, though. I will just add that tragedy could have/can happen at most biglaw firms, keep in mind.

Disclosure: I worked in litigation with not a lot of interest in transactional work so discount my thoughts on transactional firms.

I believe that there is high-quality corporate work in LA (in my opinion the idea that you can only do high quality transactional work in NYC is overblown, though clearly NYC has the highest volume and highest value transactional work). The exit options are the same, most commonly in-house. Though in NY you have more opportunities to go in-house. But companies in CA still need in-house counsel. I get the sense that is the most common exit opportunity for the trasactional side. Hopefully a transactional-focused associate or summer can explain how the exit opportunities are different than NY/SV besides the obvious points that I have made.

What was your sense of the hours worked by associates, and when did the day typically start (I hear its 10AM for NYC). I've also heard the atmosphere isn't as hellish in non-NYC biglaw markets than it is for NYC biglaw - whats your take on this?

Also, if you dont mind me asking, where was your firm located? I'm guessing most firms are either DT LA or West LA. If I get LA biglaw, I'm currently contemplating trying to live in Long Beach and commuting to either spot, just trying to figure out if this is feasible.


Hours are slightly better than NYC (emphasis on slightly) and firms are generally more lax about facetime, as compared to NY offices (I spent some time before lawschool working in a NYC firm). Long Beach commute is a terrible, terrible idea. Don't do it. Live somewhere close to your office and/or near the freeway and still be prepared for a long commute/bad traffic.

Hours are often earlier than NYC because of the time difference. Especially if you're working with east coast lawyers (seems more common with transactional attorneys), you're probably going to have to be in around 9 am or maybe 930 at the latest since NY/east coast lawyers will want email responses, documents, and there will be calls. Sometimes you will even have earlier calls (as early as 6 am) though these aren't super common and the firm will probably shield you from it as a summer.

I'd prefer not to state where I worked for anonymity's sake, but I will note that I am knowledgeable about both locations and know people who work at both locations.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:21 pm

OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Current summer associate in LA biglaw. Also happy to answer questions.

To start, it doesn't seem like hours are less at my firm. I'm a summer and I've been called back to the office late at night, asked to come in on weekends, etc. We've been told that we are the busiest office of the firm (V5 with NYC hq). Associates are always here very late, if not all night.

Also, pay is the same: 160k + bonus for first years.


OP here: I know what firm this is and I think that this is somewhat abnormal. That office is particularly understaffed as compared to other LA biglaw offices.


That might be the case. There's definitely no shortage of work.

Were you an SA here?


I'd prefer not to state where I summered at, just for anonymity's sake. If you want to know, post here non-anonymously and I will pm you and tell you (if you do it fast enough, before another person responds, you can delete your post).

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:28 pm

.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Thoughts on grade selectivity among big LA firms? Particularly interested in Gibson, O'Melveny and Irell, coming from a T14.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on grade selectivity among big LA firms? Particularly interested in Gibson, O'Melveny and Irell, coming from a T14.


GDC and Irell are probably 2 of the 3 most grade selective LA biglaw firms (with the 3rd being MTO) (though for clarity's sake i'm not considering Susman and the Boies Santa Monica office because they're small boutiques).

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for doing this.

What are your thoughts on Skadden LA? I heard a girl died from overwork there a couple years ago, though that might be an outlier or happened as a result of some other set of circumstances. They seem to do pretty high-quality work despite that anecdote.

Who does high-quality corporate work there, if anyone? What sort of exit options might you expect for a corporate attorney in LA, and how would they be different from NY or SF/SV?


Skadden has a strong LA presence, especially if you are interested in corporate work. They are one of the big transactional firms in LA (along with, off the top of my head, Gibson, Latham, O'Melveny). I can't speak to QOL concerns there, though. I will just add that tragedy could have/can happen at most biglaw firms, keep in mind.


I'm definitely interested in the firm, I just can't find too much information on their LA office... so this is a big help.

Does Skadden LA have a larger roster of its own clients, rather than predominantly supporting the NY office? Is their transactional practice on par with Gibson's and Latham's?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on grade selectivity among big LA firms? Particularly interested in Gibson, O'Melveny and Irell, coming from a T14.


GDC and Irell are probably 2 of the 3 most grade selective LA biglaw firms (with the 3rd being MTO) (though for clarity's sake i'm not considering Susman and the Boies Santa Monica office because they're small boutiques).


median at T6 is hopeless?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts on grade selectivity among big LA firms? Particularly interested in Gibson, O'Melveny and Irell, coming from a T14.


GDC and Irell are probably 2 of the 3 most grade selective LA biglaw firms (with the 3rd being MTO) (though for clarity's sake i'm not considering Susman and the Boies Santa Monica office because they're small boutiques).


median at T6 is hopeless?


Not a great shot at Irell, I don't think. They're a bit pickier because they are smaller. I wouldn't say that median at a T6 is "hopeless" at GDC, though, and would still bid, but they are also known as one of the more grade selective firms.

Do you have an IP background? That's helpful for Irell too.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for doing this.

What are your thoughts on Skadden LA? I heard a girl died from overwork there a couple years ago, though that might be an outlier or happened as a result of some other set of circumstances. They seem to do pretty high-quality work despite that anecdote.

Who does high-quality corporate work there, if anyone? What sort of exit options might you expect for a corporate attorney in LA, and how would they be different from NY or SF/SV?


Skadden has a strong LA presence, especially if you are interested in corporate work. They are one of the big transactional firms in LA (along with, off the top of my head, Gibson, Latham, O'Melveny). I can't speak to QOL concerns there, though. I will just add that tragedy could have/can happen at most biglaw firms, keep in mind.


I'm definitely interested in the firm, I just can't find too much information on their LA office... so this is a big help.

Does Skadden LA have a larger roster of its own clients, rather than predominantly supporting the NY office? Is their transactional practice on par with Gibson's and Latham's?


I don't think I could offer anything but speculation here unfortunately. Hopefully someone more familiar with LA transactional firms can come in here soon and help out. Sorry.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:02 pm

What are the least selective LA firms?

Based on what I hear, for selectivity:
Munger/Irell/GDC > Skadden/Weil/Latham > ??????? (what firms would these be? I'm asking as a median at NYU.. what firms would I have a legit enough shot at that I should put in my top 10 for bidlist?)

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:39 pm

What's the reputation of Quinn in LA? Quality of life? Quality of work?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:01 pm

Do these firms hire from T-14 or USC/UCLA more?

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the reputation of Quinn in LA? Quality of life? Quality of work?


My impression from talking to the attorneys there.
.. The quality of work is great but quality of life sucks (no diff from ny)

I don't work there though. I did ask the attorneys if there were differences between ny and la and they said they weren't any

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Anyone have any info on Kirkland? They seem to go unmentioned when discussing LA

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have any info on Kirkland? They seem to go unmentioned when discussing LA


Overall, I've heard good things. Apparently the people are great, and they are relaxed on the facetime requirement.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby eagleslive » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:43 pm

tag

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:05 pm

While well-intentioned, I'm not quite sure how helpful this thread is if it's only SA's answering questions. If firms are doing their recruiting right, summers generally will not have a good sense of hours, etc. Nor will they have a good sense of exit options, etc.

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Re: LA Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:07 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:While well-intentioned, I'm not quite sure how helpful this thread is if it's only SA's answering questions. If firms are doing their recruiting right, summers generally will not have a good sense of hours, etc. Nor will they have a good sense of exit options, etc.


Sure the advice won't be good as an associate's, but SAs can get candid advice from associates, partners, and former associates and partners. Plus, this thread is also available to answer questions on firm selectivity, bidding, commuting, etc.

If there is specific advice you disagree with, please feel free to post and share your thoughts.




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